The Sikh Kirpan in America
The story of the Sikh kirpan begins on April 13, 1699, in the town of Anandpur, resting high up in the Shivalik hills of the northern Indian state of Punjab. That morning, a Sikh guru dressed in full battle gear and carrying a gleaming sword pronounced that a dagger known as the kirpan was to be one of the faith”s most religious symbols. Approximately 300 years later, in a small courtroom in Northern California, a District Court judge pronounced that a kirpan is a dagger, one of the American legal system”s most banned weapons.
The research thesis below, which I wrote at UCLA, documents the story of the Sikh kirpan in America.