Thathagata Buddha Songs: Buddhism as Religion and Cultural-Resistance among Dalit Women Singers of Uttar Pradesh

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Kalyani Kalyani

Abstract

This paper intends to understand music as a form of cultural expression that has enabled mobility to Dalit-Bahujan and their cultural production. This cultural production can be seen in the form of popular songs that are widely circulated among Dalits and is part of their religion, identity, as well as a cultural assertion. Tathagata Buddha songs, which this paper studies, has been specifically enabling for Dalit women as it gives them not only a sense of religiosity but it also opens them to the possibility of rationalizing their beliefs and practices. The paper will bring up an ethnographic account of some of these Dalit women singers and look into some of their composition and songs that have a specific invocation to Gautam Buddha and of political icons like Babasaheb Ambedkar, whom they revere. A study of Tathagata Buddha songs and Bhimgeet can provide an insight into how music has departed from being just an aesthetic sensibility to a language of resistance against the oppressive caste order. The paper also explores the material dimension of Tathagata Buddha songs understanding its circulation, production, and platforms through which these are popularized.


Key words: Thathagata Buddha, songs, Dalit, resistance


 

Article Details

How to Cite
Kalyani, K. (2020). Thathagata Buddha Songs: Buddhism as Religion and Cultural-Resistance among Dalit Women Singers of Uttar Pradesh. CASTE / A Global Journal on Social Exclusion, 1(2), 51-62. https://doi.org/10.26812/caste.v1i2.184
Section
Research Articles