ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Gurpreet BalSubscribe to Gurpreet Bal

Understanding the Paradox of Changes among Dalits in Punjab

A study of dalits in two districts of Punjab reveals that ghettoisation remains common (including in urban areas). While the traditional caste occupational structure has changed, this is less so among dalits in rural areas. Caste endogamy remains the norm. The study shows that casteism is powerfully embedded in the collective consciousness. The caste system is oppressive due to discrimination, exclusion, exploitation and untouchability, but at the same time it situates the dalits in the system as a collective identity. Their desire is to end all kinds of discrimination, oppression and exclusion, but not the caste system in its entirety. This is an instance of a deep-rooted internalisation of a world view. This paper is based on interviews of 1,600 dalit respondents randomly selected in Amritsar and Jalandhar districts of Punjab.

A Good Addition to Existing Literature

Textures of the Sikh Past: New Historical Perspectives edited by Tony Ballantyne; Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2007;

Construction of Gender and Religious Identities in the First Punjabi Novel Sundari

The first Punjabi novel Sundari was written by Bhai Vir Singh with the objective of keeping the followers of Sikhism adherent to their practices. The author's reference to the historical records and writings of his period lend great sociological relevance to the novel Sundari. Through his main character, the author presents an ideal Sikh woman who is benevolent, brave and courageous in the struggle of Sikhs. His narrative has constructed the Sikh identity as not only the defender of the honour of its women, but of all women. This paper analyses the construction of gender and religious identities in this novel against the backdrop of 18th century Punjab when Sikhs were trying to consolidate themselves in difficult conditions.

Violence, Migration and Entrepreneurship

This paper is an in-depth study of how violence during the peak period of militancy in the Punjab induced forced migration on the part of several business communities. A survey of three villages reveals that violence led to a rupturing of the traditional caste determined occupations, especially in the countryside and semi-urban areas, with the result that agrarian castes such as jat Sikhs or those lower in the social order were able to take to business. The paper argues for some intervention on the part of the state to alleviate the sufferings of those displaced and ensure that displacement of one community by another does not lead to pronounced societal upheavals.

Sri Lankan Migrant Labour and Gender Roles

tion, the rural women come into the contact of local, national and international agen- Sri Lankan Migrant cies and actors both at formal and informal levels. The basic issue that emerges from the book is that the migration of women Labour and Gender Roles has led to the commodification of Transnationalism and Sri Lanka

Development and Status of Women

Gurpreet Bal Gender, Work and Power Relations: A Case Study of Haryana by Ranjana Kumari; Har-Anand Publications, New Delhi, 1998; pp 332, price Rs 495.

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