Punjab Research Group

Ronki Ram, ‘Ravidass Deras and Social Protest: Making Sense of Dalit Consciousness in Punjab (India)’

Posted in Articles by Pippa on November 11, 2008

Please see the latest edition of JAS for this article http://www.aasianst.org/publications/JAS.htm

The Journal of Asian Studies Vol. 67, No. 4 (November) 2008: 1341–1364

 

 

Abstract:

This paper argues that Dalit consciousness in Punjab emerged against the backdrop of the teachings of Ravidass, an untouchable saint-poet of the North Indian Bhakti movement who presented a middle path between assimilation and radical separatism for the construction of a separate Dalit identity. Dera Sach Khand Ballan, one of the most popular Ravidass Deras in Punjab, played an important role in concretizing this path by chiseling the markers of a separate Dalit identity in the state. The author assesses the long-term implications of the newly emerged Dalit consciousness in Punjab for the deepening of democracy in India.

 

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