The 17 years old, Ginni Mahi from Jallandhar does not appears to be afraid of her caste identity.
Her music video, “Danger Chamar” which was released on youtube last year successfully created awareness among the masses towards eradicating caste discrimination in the society.
Ginni Mahi turned out to spearhead a super hit with his album, ‘Guruan di diwani’ owing to which she is paid more than 30,000 Rs for each performance.
While Ginni Mahi being her stage name, this 18-year old was name Gurkanwal Bharti by her parents. She comes from the scheduled castes and is not shy to say that she is a ‘chamar’, a caste, a caste tht was once considered low in the Indian society. The ‘Danger Chamar’ title for the song, according to Ginni, came after one of her friends in college here asked about her caste.
“The thought of creating a song (on the caste divide) came when I was asked about my caste in college. When I said that I was a chamar, the girl said that chamars are quite dangerous,” said Ginni, a devotee of 15th century saint Ravidas. Ginni says that through her song, she has tried to point out that the chamars, a word considered derogatory under the law, are “dangerous to the extent that they can sacrifice anything to fight injustice”, she said in an interview.
Interestingly, she has tens of thousands of fans on YouTube and Facebook who keenly follow every musical performance she uploads.
Her songs are rooted in Punjabi folk tunes and praise the virtues of BR Ambedkar and Sant Ravidass, both powerful Dalit icons.
Mahi’s family belongs to the Ravidassia faith, founded out of Sikhism, that believes in the oneness of God. Ginni Mahi’s songs are generally ‘shabads’ written in praise of her Guru. Needless to say, she is the voice of Punjab against the atrocities encountered by the dalits in the state.
Watch her video ‘Danger Chamaar’ here: