Harjot Oberoi, along with several other scholars of Sikh studies - including W.H. McLeod, Pashaura Singh, and Gurinder Singh Mann - has been the recipient of much unfair criticism for authoring scholarship that dares to run counter to Sikh tradition.
Sikhs desperately need to realize that scholarship is of little value unless it is free to disagree with tradition.
The hostility with which scholars of Sikh studies have been greeted every time they deviate from tradition threatens to repel scholars of repute from the area of Sikh studies. Sadly, such a trend is already visible today.
Criticism of scholars must be aimed at assessing rather than silencing.
Oberoi is perhaps the most articulate Sikh scholar of Sikh studies to emerge in recent times and deserves to be read.
In this book, Oberoi makes a potent case for the idea that the boundary between Sikhism and Hinduism was fortified - and in some cases manufactured - during the Singh Sabha period (late 1800s to early 1900s).