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

Rajiv AtwalSubscribe to Rajiv Atwal

Finding Balmikis

This article traces neo-Hindu politics which tried to categorise the Balmikis as Hindu, even as colonial accounts mentioned them as cult worshippers of the Muslim saints Bala Shah and Lalbeg. Looking at the political discourse of cultural–religious assertions in the lives of the Balmikis, it is evident that after 1917, the Indian National Congress lured the untouchable communities to remain as bystanders for its political objectives. As a result, the Arya Samaj, the Hindu Mahasabha, and the All India Anti-Untouchability League (later known as the Harijan Sevak Sangh) began to redefine Hindu religious traditions through the process of cultural–religious assertions among the “Chuhra Balmikis.”
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