Guru Ravidas Jayanti and Punjab Elections
The Guru Ravidas Jayanti is celebrated on Magh Poornima, that is, on the new moon day of the Magh month. It is celebrated all over India.
Ravidas was a social reformer and a spiritual man. He is popular mainly for his work against castism. Ravidas was a contemporary saint to Saint Kabir. It is believed that Ravidas was a Brahmin in his previous birth. He was attracted to a woman while he was dying and wished her to be his mother. Thus, in his next birth he was born the very same woman. He is a 15th century poet.
During Ravidas Jayanti, people take dip in the holy rivers. They then remember the great miracles and events that happened in his life.
He contributed largely to the Bhakti movement. He played a significant role in eradicating caste system. His works were highly commendable. A group of people even today follow Ravidassa religion.
What happened in Punjab elections?
The Election Commission of India recently postponed the assembly elections in the state of Punjab due to Ravi Das Jayanti. The decision was made after the request made by few political parties. According to the new schedule, the elections are to be held in February 20. The last date for filing nominations is February 1. Date of scrutiny of nominations is February 2. Counting date is March 10.
Why the postponement?
This year, in 2022, the Ravidas Jayanti falls on Febriary 16. Between February 10 and February 16, his followers travel from Punjab to Varanasi. With this a large number of voters will leave the state and might probably miss the polls that were to be held on February 14.
Role of Dalits
Most of the Ravidas followers also called Ravidasias are dalits. They contribute 32% of the scheduled caste population in the state. The push by the political parties for the postponement of the elections shows the importance of the dalit vaotes for them.
SCs in Punjab
There are 39 schedules castes in the state of Punjab. The castes differ in numerical strength, political affiliations, geographical spread, economic conditions, social mobility, cultural outlook and status. Of these SCs, the Rai Sikhs, Mazhabis, Sansis and Ramdasias follow Sikh religion. Ad – Dharmis and Ravidassias have founded a recent religion called the Ravidassia dharm.
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