Master of Arts (MA)
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First Advisor's Committee Title
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Second Advisor's Committee Title
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Sikh, Bhindranwale, India, Punjab, Terrorism, Charisma, Weber, Anthropology, Sociology
Date of Defense
Sikh leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale’s militant and masculinist discourses were embraced by Punjabi Sikhs because of his presence as a charismatic authority, a concept first developed by sociologist Max Weber to understand the conditions surrounding and personal qualities of a figure which attracts followers. The rebellion he led in Punjab resulted from his radical exploitation of issues concerning the Sikh community. Religion was wielded as a tool, legitimizing Sikh violence as commanded by the Gurus. Radical interpretations of Sikh scripture and folklore were initially preached to rural, less educated crowds. While his sermons brought out their frustrations with the government, his charisma allowed him to manipulate young men, his largest demographic of supporters, into embracing violence. This study analyzes Bhindranwale from the perspective of the people that supported him. By identifying multiple social factors through which to understand Bhindranwale’s reign, this study exhibits his importance in understanding Sikhism in Modern India.
Cibotti, John P., "Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale: A Charismatic Authority and His Ideology" (2017). FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 3190.
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