The Meaning of Uplift in Punjab

Christopher Harding

in Religious Transformation in South Asia

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9780199548224
Published online January 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191720697 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Historical Monographs

 The Meaning of Uplift in Punjab

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This chapter sets the socio-economic and cultural scene for the book by looking at the meaning of socio-religious ‘uplift’ in Punjab. It begins by analyzing the socio-economic and cultural background in Punjab, and in particular where rural low-caste peoples were concerned. The shifting yet enduringly dependent and isolated nature of low-caste life is explored, and its manifestation in idiosyncratic and combative forms of low-caste religion analyzed. ‘Uplift’ in the Victorian British context is then examined, followed through to its appearance in Punjab in a variety of forms from the work of mission societies and British officials such as Lieutenant Frank Brayne and Sir Malcolm Darling, to Indian innovations such as the Arya Samaj and Ad Dharm religious movements.

Keywords: reform movements; Arya Samaj; Frank Brayne; Malcolm Darling; Ad Dharm; Chuhra; low-caste; religion; rural; evangelical

Chapter.  14544 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Asian History

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