Punjab Research Group

Waiting for Spring by Nirupama Dutt

Posted in Articles by Pippa on May 8, 2010

The emergence of a Dalit identity in East Punjab is a recent development, spurred in part by the failure of Sikhism to abandon caste discrimination as it initially averred to do.

For us trees do not bear fruits
For us flowers do not bloom
For us there is no Spring
For us there is no Revolution …
– Lal Singh Dil –

These are lines from the last poem of Lal Singh Dil, hailed as the foremost revolutionary poet of Punjab. He passed away in 2007. The despondent note of the poem is both surprising and telling, for a poet who had once declared that the song and dance in his heart would not die, no matter how dire the circumstance. It took Dil a lifetime to discover this sad yet provocative truth, against the backdrop of the complexities of caste in Punjab. Yet centuries before Dil’s birth, the same frustration with caste was intricately linked to the emergence of the Sikh religion.
Read full article: Waiting for Spring. Punjabi Dalit Poets. Nirupama Dutt. Apr 10

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