Hidden transcripts in Nepali Folksongs during Sikkimese Feudalism’
The power struggle between sufficient class and the insufficient is prevalent since time immemorial. Like any other subjects, this sphere too has its own globe, speciality, and account. It is a natural fact that in a power relationship, the subordinate often has to tender somewhat and sometimes has to make a huge deal endangering his whole needs. It is in such occasions, the subordinates resist the dominants to protect their interest that ultimately leads to the growth of hidden transcripts among the powerless in a society. The resentment of the peasantry and working class against the unjust and a self-centred rule began to take shape with the hidden transcripts. Generally, the hidden transcript takes place beyond instant inspection of the authorities. When the level of suppression reaches its highest watermark, the subordinates began adopt shabby acts against their landlords. Apart from cheating, poaching, pilfering, hiding grains and so on, such acts also includes adoption of cynical and satirical verses in the folksongs to exhibit their anguish against exploitative and manipulative set ups.
This paper entitled ‘Hidden transcripts in Nepali Folksongs during Sikkimese Feudalism’ has attempted to understand the hidden transcripts in Nepali folksongs of Sikkimese peasantry against feudalism. This paper is divided in five sections. The first section of paper deals with introduction of Sikkimese peasantry and their relationships with the intermediaries between the State and the peasants. This section also underlines on the concept of hidden transcripts among Sikkimese peasants in the form of Lok Geet or folksongs. Likewise, the second part examines the methodology used for writing this article. Similarly, in the third part importance of folksongs in peasant study, ethnic composition of Sikkimese peasantry, and adoption of Nepali folksongs by the peasants of East, West and South Sikkim is discussed. While, in the fourth part of the paper attempt has been made to comprehend the nature of Nepali folklores prevalent in feudal Sikkim, and six popular Nepali folksongs collected from East, West and South Sikkim is inferred. Similarly, the last part of the paper draws the conclusion.
Keywords: Hidden Transcripts, Nepali Folksongs, Sikkim, Peasants, Forced Labour