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Guru Nanak was Here With Us: The Role of Religion in the Indian Farmers Protest

This lecture series is presented by Professor Christine Moliner (Jindal School of International Affairs). Read more about her research here.


Part 1: Introduction to Sikhism

About the lecture

In this video, Dr. Moliner briefly introduces the religion of Sikhism and goes on to talk about what she believes is a relatively under-researched field–the study of religion in Social Movements. To study this, Moliner uses the Farmer’s Protest that took place in the borders of Delhi, which saw the participation of a large number of Sikh farmers from Punjab protesting against the three farming laws that were aiming at liberalizing & corporatizing Indian agriculture, until the government repelled those laws in December of 2021.


Part 2: The Study of Religion in Social Movements

About the lecture

Continuing on her earlier note, Dr. Moliner provides a brief timeline of events surrounding the movement, and then goes on to list out the various Sikh organizations that had stepped in to support the agitation of the farmers. In this process, Dr. Moliner talks about the processes through which religion—or Sikhism—inserts itself into social movements.

Part 3: The Role of Leftist and Radical Politics in the Farmer’s Movement

About the lecture

In this video, Dr. Moliner continues to talk about the processes through which the movement lent a religious fervor to itself. Protest sites were also sites of deeply spiritual, even mystical experiences. However, what is also important to understand that a rich history of the left & radical politics that has been a constant feature of 20th Century Punjab played an important role in the farmers’ movement.