Ravidassia community

With reference to the Ravidassias, consider the following statements:

1. They are a Dalit community.
2. The Dera Sachkhand Ballan was founded in the early 20th century by Baba Sant Pipal Das.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

A. 1 only
B. 2 only
C. Both 1 and 2
D. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: Both 1 and 2

Explanation: The postponement of the Assembly elections in Punjab to February 20 underlines the importance of the Ravidassia community in the state.

Several political parties had urged the Election Commission for a postponement as the earlier date of February 14 would have clashed with Guru Ravidas Jayanti, an annual occasion during which Ravidassias travel to Varanasi in large numbers.

Many of them take a special train organised by the Dera Sachkhand Ballan in Jalandhar, the largest dera of the Ravidassias.

The Ravidassias are a Dalit community of whom the bulk — nearly 12 lakh — live in the Doaba region.

The Dera Sachkhand Ballan, their largest dera with 20 lakh followers worldwide, was founded in the early 20th century by Baba Sant Pipal Das.

Once closely connected with Sikhism, the dera severed these decades-old ties in 2010, and announced they would follow the Ravidassia religion.

The dera made the announcement on Guru Ravidas Jayanti in Varanasi.

Guru Ravidas was a mystic poet saint of the Bhakti Movement from the 15th and 16th centuries, and founded the Ravidassia religion.

From 2010, the Dera Sachkhand Ballan started replacing the Guru Granth Sahib with its own Granth, Amritbani, carrying 200 hymns of Guru Ravidas, in Ravidassia temples and gurdwaras.

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