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Punjab ReconsideredHistory, Culture, and Practice$
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Anshu Malhotra and Farina Mir

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780198078012

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198078012.001.0001

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Brotherhood of the Pure

Brotherhood of the Pure

The Poetics and Politics of Cultural Transgression*

(p.163) 6Brotherhood of the Pure
Punjab Reconsidered

Harjot Oberoi

Oxford University Press

This chapter seeks to move beyond the colonial and nationalist narratives of the popular Kuka movement in order to answer a different set of questions: What sorts of codes of behaviour and symbolic language existed in nineteenth-century Punjab? Why are prophecies and apocalyptic visions believed in? What mobilizes common people to resist political regimes? What is the nature of charismatic leadership? What evokes the moral indignation of communities? How does culture influence everyday behaviour? In seeking answers to these questions that have not been posed within the registers of existing historiography we hope to gain a more nuanced view of indigenous forms of resistance in colonial Punjab.

Keywords:   codes of behaviour, symbolic language, Kuka movement, resistance, culture, historiography, prophecies, apocalyptic visions

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