Field Visits

During the year the project team visited places like Varanasi, Gazipur, Lucknow, Barabanki (Uttar Pradesh), Satna, Rewa, Ujjain, Indore, Bhopal and Panchmarhi (Madhya Pradesh). The main purpose of these visits were to visit the hub of the various sects, be it their cultural seats and mutts (monasteries), to meet the sants (saint), mahants (revered holy men who lead these sects), bhajan (hymn) singers and followers. First hand interactions and long interviews were conducted by the project team. This process also included documentation of their performances. This process was also helpful in selecting the Lokgyani (resource persons), helping us understand how thoughts, ideas and values are disseminated from the grassroots to the upper strata and the kind of chain it makes in this process. The basis for selecting the Lokgyani is the relationships that they have with the sects, folk wisdom and contemporariness.

Audio-visual Documentation:

The project team of DRC collected rich and rare photographs of the various aspects of the sects, including their idols, temples; events like birth anniversaries and other festivities of the sects; calendars, posters, pamphlets, promotional materials; books, audio tapes, CDs and VCDs. The team also documented the participation of various sect leaders during Ambedkar Jayanti, at Lucknow and recorded the role of these sects vis-à-vis the Dalit public. A link between sects and contemporary BSP politics was recorded.

Interview:

One of the objectives of the project is to prepare an exhaustive list of local intellectuals of the sects and propogators to understand the whole process through which they underwent and the circumstances that prompted or compelled them to undertake the task of awakening the society. A semi-structured interview schedule was prepared to collect information about their past and present phases of social campaigning. Many local intellectuals of the sects and propogators living at Allahabad, Lucknow, Kanpur, Varanasi, Gazipur, Barabanki (Uttar Pradesh), Satna, Rewa, Ujjain, Indore, Bhopal and Puri were interviewed keeping these objectives in mind.