Wednesday, Jan 26, 2022
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Deras Of Punjab: Powerful Symbols Of Dalit Assertion

Dalits may be under-represented in mainstream politics, but in Punjab they have a rich tradition of religio-cultural assertion through the influential Deras.

Deras Of Punjab: Powerful Symbols Of Dalit Assertion
Deras Of Punjab: Powerful Symbols Of Dalit Assertion -

“The regal realm with the sorrowless name;
They call it Begumpura, a place with no pain
Not taxes or cares, nor own property there,
No wrongdoing, worry, terror or torture,
Oh my brother, I have come to take it as my own,
My distant home, where everything is right…”

(Begampura, a poem by Sant Ravi Das about a utopia, a city without sorrow, translated by J.S. Hawley and Mark Juergensmeyer, in their 1988 book, Songs of the Saints of India)

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