The Unconquered People: The Liberation of an Oppressed Caste

John O'Brien

Editore: OUP Pakistan
Anno: 2012
Rilegatura: Hardback
Pagine: 350 p.
Testo in English
Dimensioni: 222 x 147 mm
Peso: 586 gr.
  • EAN: 9780199063543
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This book explores the history and ethnography of the Chandala of classical literature, now known as Punjabi Christians. Mapping their history of conquest and religiously-endorsed degradation, it discusses their subversive counter-narrative through genealogies, wedding songs, litanies and epic poetry; with its defiant proclamation of identity. Rites of passage disclose an unreconstructed patriarchalism, where ritualized sexual joking is a form of equality creation. Eclecticism in their religious sensibilities, indicates how superficial adherence to the externals of major religions, was a survival tactic. Their hidden religion and exclusion from Hindu dharm, shows why they never saw themselves as 'Hindus.' It traces how one group, Mazhabi Sikhs, became a model of social mobility, how their economic world was transformed in the Chenab Canal Colonies and how a new identity began with the founding of Christian villages. It analyses their embracing of Christianity as a 'Tactics of Consumption,' noting the factors that contributed to a turn towards Catholicism. It observes their growing exclusion due to the Islamization of Pakistan. Cautioning against the suppression of the 'memory' of oppression, it argues that seeing themselves as a lineage of belief and praxis, can give meaning to their on-going historical struggle.