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Emerging Role of Deras in the Electoral Politics of Punjab:An Analysis of 2017 State Assembly Elections


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1 Center for Study of Law and Governance, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India
     

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An emerging trend is being witnessed in the politics of India with the process of democratization. The upsurge of Dalit politics since the late 1980s transformed the way politics works in India. The assertion and interest articulation by the Dalit leadership had to be taken seriously by the ones sitting at the tables of diplomacy. The emerging influence of deras in Punjab was one such repercussion of the rising Dalit consciousness. The expansion of the activities of the deras and the rising number of followers in these deras is a clear sign of the rising Dalit consciousness. The electoral politics in Punjab is not unaffected by this process. The demand for the share in the local structures of power by the Dalits is quite visible in the local politics of the state. The 2017 assembly elections in Punjab reflected the significance of deras as most of the state and national politicians visited these deras before the elections. The influence of these deras does not seem to reduce in the near future. The rising number of followers in the deras Irom the state and across the world from the Dalit community is a unique trend in the democratic politics in India.

Keywords

Democratization, Dalit Consciousness, Assertion, Articulation, Deras, Punjab.
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  • Emerging Role of Deras in the Electoral Politics of Punjab:An Analysis of 2017 State Assembly Elections

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Authors

Tanvi Chopra
Center for Study of Law and Governance, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India

Abstract


An emerging trend is being witnessed in the politics of India with the process of democratization. The upsurge of Dalit politics since the late 1980s transformed the way politics works in India. The assertion and interest articulation by the Dalit leadership had to be taken seriously by the ones sitting at the tables of diplomacy. The emerging influence of deras in Punjab was one such repercussion of the rising Dalit consciousness. The expansion of the activities of the deras and the rising number of followers in these deras is a clear sign of the rising Dalit consciousness. The electoral politics in Punjab is not unaffected by this process. The demand for the share in the local structures of power by the Dalits is quite visible in the local politics of the state. The 2017 assembly elections in Punjab reflected the significance of deras as most of the state and national politicians visited these deras before the elections. The influence of these deras does not seem to reduce in the near future. The rising number of followers in the deras Irom the state and across the world from the Dalit community is a unique trend in the democratic politics in India.

Keywords


Democratization, Dalit Consciousness, Assertion, Articulation, Deras, Punjab.