The Unconquered People: The Liberation of an Oppressed Caste

Hardcover | July 15, 2012

byJohn OBrien

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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 epicpoetry; 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 asurvival 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 thefactors 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-goinghistorical struggle.

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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 epicpoetry; with its defiant proclamation of id...

John O'Brien was born in Ireland where he studied Science, Education and Theology. His doctoral thesis at the Gregorian University Rome, was entitled 'The Hermeneutical Privilege of Poor.' He worked as a teacher in Sierra Leone, as a community activist in inner-city Dublin and lectured widely in Religious Studies. He first came to Pak...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:350 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.98 inPublished:July 15, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199063540

ISBN - 13:9780199063543

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Table of Contents

Preface1. A Wounded Identity2. Speaking Their Own Word3. The World Within4. The Religion Of Bala Shah5. Hunger for Change6. A New IdentityBibliographyIndex