The Ravi Dasis of Punjab: global contours of caste and religious strife

Abstract

The attack in May on two visiting religious leaders of Ravi Dasis in Vienna, presumably by a group of local militant Sikhs, sparked off widespread violence in Punjab. Though most of the violence by Ravi Dasi dalits was directed against public property and reflected their general anger at the Vienna incident, the mainstream media was quick to interpret it as yet another instance of caste conflict within Sikhism, viz, between dalit Sikhs and upper caste Sikhs. Such misrepresentations of caste and religious realities of Punjab today could lead to a communal divide between dalits and mainstream Sikhism. Based on an empirical study of the Punjabi Ravi Dasis, the paper tries to provide a historical perspective on caste and religion in Punjab today.

Citation

Jodhka, S.S. The Ravi Dasis of Punjab: global contours of caste and religious strife. Economic and Political Weekly (2009) 44 (24) 79-85.

The Ravi Dasis of Punjab: global contours of caste and religious strife

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