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Open AccessArticle

Songs of the Bauls: Voices from the Margins as Transformative Infrastructures

The Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85281, USA
School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing, Massey University, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Religions 2019, 10(5), 335;
Received: 13 March 2019 / Revised: 12 May 2019 / Accepted: 14 May 2019 / Published: 22 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and Transformation in Contemporary World)
Bauls, the rural minstrels who sing songs of transformation, are a socio-economically and politico-religiously marginalized cultural population from rural Bengal (both from eastern and north-eastern, India and from Bangladesh). They identify themselves outside of any organized religion or established caste system in India, and therefore are constituted at the margins of contemporary global South. Voicing through their songs and narratives of emancipation, they interrogate and criticize material and symbolic inequalities and injustices such as discrimination and intolerance (including class and caste hierarchies, and other forms of disparities) perpetuated by hegemonic authorities and religious institutions. Embracing a critical communication lens, this paper pays attention to material and discursive marginalization of Bauls and Fakirs, foregrounding voice as an anchor to communicative interrogation of structural and cultural inequalities. Through voice, Bauls and Fakirs foreground reflexive spiritual and humane practices that raise societal consciousness and cultivate polymorphic possibilities. View Full-Text
Keywords: Baul; Fakir; Bengal; voice Baul; Fakir; Bengal; voice
MDPI and ACS Style

Dutta, U.; Dutta, M.J. Songs of the Bauls: Voices from the Margins as Transformative Infrastructures. Religions 2019, 10, 335.

AMA Style

Dutta U, Dutta MJ. Songs of the Bauls: Voices from the Margins as Transformative Infrastructures. Religions. 2019; 10(5):335.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Dutta, Uttaran; Dutta, Mohan J. 2019. "Songs of the Bauls: Voices from the Margins as Transformative Infrastructures" Religions 10, no. 5: 335.

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