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

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Deras as ‘Little Fiefdoms’

The phenomenon of deras draws from the region’s social history and porosity of religious boundaries, where much of its reconfiguration and reconstitution has happened at the intersection of caste and religion.

Religion and Scheduled Caste Status

The Supreme Court's judgment in the case of Mohammad Sadique carries disturbing implications for Muslim Dhobis, Dooms, Julahas, Mochis, etc, who face social disabilities similar to Hindu Dhobis, Dooms, Julahas, Mochis, etc, but are denied the same legal status. It seems to convey that the former could get the Scheduled Caste status provided they agree to convert to Hinduism, Sikhism or Buddhism. This judgment is in conflict with the basic tenets of the Constitution. There is thus an urgent need to review the relationship of religion and caste as assumed in the acts that deal with the question of the membership of SCs.

Complexities of the Question of Sikh Nationality

While some scholars and religio-political organisations of the Sikhs, such as Akali Dals and SGPC, view the Sikhs as a nationality, certain Hindu chauvinists never tire of repeating that Sikhs are only a part of the larger Hindu community. The issue of Sikh nationality is actually more problematic.
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