The sociopolitical fault lines that run through Punjab’s SC community

Diverse hereditary occupations and religious influences and the exploiting of these differences by mainstream political parties are responsible for the deep divisions within the SCs of Punjab, writes Ronki Ram

Among all the states of India, Punjab has the largest proportion of population that falls under the Scheduled Caste (SC) category. Yet, the category is not homogenous. Far from it, the SCs here are made up of 39 castes scattered over varied religions and deras. These deep, hierarchical divisions offer insight into why the SCs have not made their presence felt in the elections.

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