Journal article Open Access

Sikh Community as an Ethnic Minority in Patna, Bihar

Mahima Mehra

Sponsor(s)
Blue Eyes Intelligence Engineering and Sciences Publication (BEIESP)

The capital of Bihar - Patna, is one of the holiest cities in Sikh history. Despite rich historical and religious significance, the population of Sikhs in Patna is merely 0.09% of the total population. The Sikh minority in the Bihar capital is one of the handful minorities of India who have never "claimed" a minority status or any compensation for their community from the government. However, the community continues to preserve its ethnic behavior and social symbols to date. This paper aims to analyze the existence of social institutions that support the formation of the Sikh community as ethnicity in Patna, Bihar. It also touches briefly on the reasons behind the lack of agency and demand for greater minority representation. Interviews were taken from 100 respondents in January 2019 in the capital city of Patna, Bihar in India. Age was taken as a criterion for inclusion. The findings of the study show that minority behavior is not the same everywhere. The ethnicity of the community is maintained by the continuity of symbols of lifestyle such as dietary habits, attire, the teaching of Gurumukhi in school and colleges, and trade activities. A reasonable explanation can allude to the very foundations of the Sikh community which upholds ideals of bravery and resilience. Begging or lobbying is a mandate prohibited by the very religion which protects them. However, the younger population shows a shift towards the general trend and is moving away from the economic set up of establishing business and of looking at the Gurudwara as an intersection of political and social rights. A change in the coming decade is inexorable. This research can be used as a model to understand the behavior of other minorities in India or elsewhere. It provides a better-looking glass to understand subaltern behavior. Additionally, it also shows variations in the status of communities. The Sikh community, a majority religion in most of Northern India, is a minuscule minority in Patna’s Capital city with rich Sikh history.

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