Ravidas community problems in the West Midlands and Northern India

  • A.D.W. Leivesley

Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Philosophy


This present work traces the life and influence of one man in 15th century India. His name was Ravidas. the dissertation examines his teachings and shows how his influence in Northern India created a group of followers. They remained within the Hindu caste-system but attained a separate identity.
A further goal of the research was to examine in the contect of contemporary Northern India some of the problems which beset the followers of Ravidas. The community was surveyed also in its 20th century setting in a Western culture (In West Midlands) making reference to its problems. The dissertation makes brief mention of some of the mechanisms that exist within the Ravidas community for finding solutions to these problems.
A description of the research methodology is contained in the first chapter. The methods on which the study is based consisted principally of historical/documentary research supplemented by personally administered questionnaires, structured interviews with male members of the Ravidas community living in the West Midlands and personal visits by the author to India. The present author is aware that the influences that have had a bearing on the emergence of the Ravidas community span 5,000 years, and that these involve two world religions (Hinduism and Islam). The influences are compounded by the effect of transplanting an Eastern sub-culture within a Western culture several thousand miles removed. In view of the span of time, distance and culture, it was thought wise to devote the first chapter to exploring some historical details to describe the methodology and to make brief mention of the conclusions which are stated formally in Chapter XI.
The conclusions deal with the religious structues of Ravidasias, their social and political aspirations as an identifiable and separate cultural group and the implications of past and present trends for the future.
Date of Award1983
Original languageEnglish


  • Guru Ravidas
  • community
  • West Midlands
  • Northern India

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