Monday, July 15, 2013
PAPER: The Baul movement and legacy of Fakir Lalon Shah
The social, academic and intellectual construct given to the Baul movement of Bengal for centuries have been attempts by the elite status quo to box-in the music, lifestyle and philosophy of Fakirs, Sadhus and Sages of our time, thereby limiting them to easily explainable parameters and expected norms, practices of spirituality. Baul philosophy is however unique in that it challenges these constructs in the epochal tangents setting it apart from other ‘religions’ or beliefs. Our dominant heritage culture, especially those practised by the marginalised majority, the construed ‘subalterns’ has therefore traditionally been in conflict and at odds with the city centers.
The objective of this essay is to give readers a concise yet coherent understanding to the basis of the Baul creed, its history, philosophy, complex spirituality and lofty ideals. It also aims to present us an opportunity to appreciate why the teachings of Fakir Lalon Shah has become so pertinent in present day Bangladesh which is beset with sectarian strife of an unimaginable magnitude, and perhaps lessons we may inculcate to the way forward.
Download or read full paper at this link