The Ballad of Bant Singh

Nirupama Dutt



On the evening of 5th January 2006, Bant Singh, a Dalit agrarian labourer and activist in Punjab’s Jhabar village, was ambushed and brutally beaten by upper-caste Jat men armed with iron rods and axes. He lost both his arms and a leg in the attack. It was punishment for having fought for justice for his minor daughter who had been gang-raped. But his spirit was not broken, and he continues to fight for equality and dignity for millions like him, inspiring them with his revolutionary songs and his courage.

Journalist and writer Nirupama Dutt tells Bant Singh’s story in this powerful book which is both the biography of an extraordinary human being and a comment on the deep fault lines in Punjabi and Indian society.



Nirupama Dutt's book detailing the struggles of Dalit Sikh activist Bant Singh is necessary reading for those who live in their ivory towers and deny that casteism exists. It paints a moving picture of the Dalit Mazhabi Sikhs and their hardships and of Bant, the gutsy "singing torso", who continues to fight for the cause of the dispossessed with his moving songs.

This lyrical and moving biography the Dalit singer, salutes the spirit of a living legend. But its true strength lies in the dexterity with which Dutt has woven the beauty and bloodiness of Punjab into her tale.

The Ballad of Bant Singh is one of those rare pieces of literature in which the causes of both marginalised groups. Dalits and women's find equal space. Even though it presents a grim and unsettling narrative, the presence of Punjabi folk tales and poetry and Mr Singh's own ability to see the humour in the hardest situations make the prose sparkle.
-Business Standard

An intimate, moving memoir of a Dalit protest singer. Despite being maimed, he survived, and his protest songs grew louder, the spirit of the singing tors, indefatigable. Stories of such individuals make up the story of a nation. And that's why we need writers like Dutt to unearth them.


‘If you are the one who interests in revolutionary stories, then this novel not only quells you but also brings forth the fault lines which India still has in spite being branded as a progressive country. Here lies the irony which has been clearly explained by the author’. - Millennium Post

‘The story of Dalit activist Bant Singh and his daughter Baljit is one of great courage’.—The Indian Express

Language English
ISBN-10 938528830X
ISBN-13 978-9385288302
No of pages 244
Book Publisher Speaking Tiger Books
Published Date 15 Jan 2016

About Author

Author : Nirupama Dutt


Related Books