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The Legacies of Bindy Johal: The Contemporary Folk Devil or Sympathetic Hero

Sociology and Legal Studies, The University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada
Religions 2020, 11(5), 228; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11050228
Received: 18 January 2020 / Revised: 27 April 2020 / Accepted: 4 May 2020 / Published: 5 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exploring Gender and Sikh traditions)
A folk devil has the ability to elicit a community’s fear over crime. Notorious late gangster, Bindy Johal, occupies this position as his legacy stirs the social anxieties over gang violence by some in the Punjabi-Sikh community in Western Canada. A competing narrative of Johal’s legacy has emerged, which frames him in a more sympathetic light, and as an individual who overcame systemic racial barriers that subordinated the masculinity of South Asian men in British Columbia. Based on interviews with 34 authorities in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, and drawing attention to his status as both a folk devil and hero, the discussion reveals two dueling narratives framing his legacy. The overall effect of these contradictory narratives is the overshadowing of racism, class oppression and a regional history within Sikh extremist movements that illustrate why gang involvement may appeal to some disenfranchised boys and men in the Indo-Canadian community. View Full-Text
Keywords: masculinities; gangs; British Columbia; moral panics; Sikhs; Punjabis; Khalistanis masculinities; gangs; British Columbia; moral panics; Sikhs; Punjabis; Khalistanis
MDPI and ACS Style

Pabla, M. The Legacies of Bindy Johal: The Contemporary Folk Devil or Sympathetic Hero. Religions 2020, 11, 228.

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