Deras Beyond Caste: Remedies for Developmental Pressures

Rathi, Ankita (2020) Deras Beyond Caste: Remedies for Developmental Pressures. South Asia Research, 40 (3). pp. 416-433.

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Abstract: In the northern regions of India, the rising popularity of alternative religious sects, prominently Deras, has sparked much interest in explaining this phenomenon. Current literature, based on case studies of specific Dalit Deras, relates the emergence of these religious sects to caste-based social discrimination and exclusion of lower castes by the mainstream Sikh religion. This article presents a case study of a small town, Patran, in the state of Punjab. Confirming the popularity of these alternative religious sects for upper and lower castes in the town, the article argues that the contemporary attractiveness of Deras needs to be understood also as a result of localised agrarian dynamics and related social pressures engendered by the process of rural to urban and agrarian to non-agrarian transition.
Item Type: Journal Paper
Keywords: caste, Dalits, Deras, Hindus, Punjab, Sikhs, social change
Subjects: School of Social Sciences > Development Studies
Doctoral Programme > PhD Scholar Publications
Date Deposited: 14 May 2021 11:04
Last Modified: 14 May 2021 11:31
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