Chamar pop | The voice of Punjab’s Dalits
Across Punjab’s Doaba region a sub-genre of Punjabi music, locally referred to as “chamar pop” is changing the narrative of caste-based identity politics in the region. In the world of “chamar pop”, caste consciousness and pride is expressed in its aspirational and assertive lyrics, foot-tapping beats, and the iconography of B R Ambedkar and Guru Ravidas, a 19th-century Chamar saint. Doaba region comprises of the districts of Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, Nawansheher and Kapurthala, where Census numbers point to the highest SC population in the country. Punjab has 32 per cent SCs, and most of them are concentrated in the region of Doaba.