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

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