Birinder Pal Singh, "Sikhs in the Deccan and North-East India" (Taylor & Francis, 2018)

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Birinder Pal Singh's book Sikhs in the Deccan and North-East India (Taylor & Francis, 2018) is a major intervention in the understanding of the dynamics of internal migration in South Asia. It traces the historical roots of certain migrant Sikh communities to the south and north-east India; chronicles their social, religious and economic practices; and examines peculiar identity formations. This first-of-its-kind empirical study examines the socio-economic conditions of Sikhs in the Deccan and the North-East who are believed to be the descendants of the soldiers in Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s army despatched to the two regions in the early nineteenth century. It draws on extensive ethnographic accounts to present the social realities of the different communities, including language, religion, culture, occupation, caste, marriage and kinship, and agency. It also questions the idea of Sikh homogeneity that many within the community have come to believe in, while revealing both differences and similarities. The book will be of great interest to scholars and researchers of sociology and social anthropology, migration and diaspora studies, religion, especially Sikh studies, cultural studies, as well as the Sikh diaspora worldwide.

Raj Balkaran is a scholar, educator, consultant, and life coach. For information see rajbalkaran.com.

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