MICRO-MINORITY AND NEGOTIATED LIVES IN A DEADLY CONFLICT SOCIETY: A CASE STUDY OF SIKHS IN PATTANI

  • Padtheera Narkurairattana Institute of Human Rights and Peace Research, Mahidol University
Keywords: Ethno-religious identity, power of micro-minority, negotiated life, Sikhs, southernmost provinces

Abstract

The three southernmost provinces of Thailand have been a “deadly conflict society,” extending over 15 years. In this area there are fewer than 40 members in the Sikh microminority, who coexist with 1.9 million Malay Muslims – the largest majority in the area. Out of the entire population, 89% are Muslims, 10% are Buddhists, and 1% are “Christians and others”. The Sikhs are counted as “others” among the micro-minorities. The key question is how do Sikhs — as a micro-minority — exist amongst the deadly conflict and tension between the other groups? With their differences in ethnicity and religion, as well as the rumor of Muslims intending to eradicate others from the southernmost provinces, a former Muslim empire. This research aims to study through the lens and daily life of a Sikh woman, examining how Sikh people negotiate for survival in the deadly conflict society between the Muslim majority and Buddhist minority in the southernmost provinces, while nationally the Buddhists are the majority and Muslims the minority. The study employs an integrated qualitative approach combining literature, field research, and in-depth interviews. The research findings suggest that being a micro-minority is not an obstacle to existence for the Sikh population. On the contrary, Sikhs use their status as a micro-minority to build negotiating power in society through social interaction in business, converting private homes into public spaces to generate power to negotiate lives. This also includes using the potential power within for their source of authority as community leaders and peace advocates in Women in Faith for Peace. These are peaceful and powerful ways for the Sikh micro-minority in Pattani to negotiate their lives.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

Appadurai, A. ( 2006) . Fears of Small Numbers: An Essay on the Geography of Anger. Durham and London: Duke University Press.

Bundhiwong, C.. (2017). Economic and Development in Southern Border Area: A critical Survey. In Anusorn Unno (ed.) A Decade of Anthropology and Sociology Studies on Southern Thailand Issue. Bangkok: Socanth. Retrieved from https://socanth.tu.ac.th/ccscs/ wpcontent/uploads/2017/09/anusorn-ed-2560-chalita.pdf. [in Thai]

Che Man, W. K. ( 2004) . The Problem of Patani Malays in Southern Thailand: Neither Assimilation Nor Separation. Translated by Parinya Nuanpien ( pp. 19- 25) . In Parinya Nuanpien ( ed. ) . Outside Thainess Definition. Songkhla: Center of Songkhla Studies.

Goldfarb, J. C. (2006). The Politics of Small Things: The Power of the Powerless in Dark Times. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press.

Kamwang, A. ( 2013) . Sewa ( Social Service) in the Guru kaLangar ( Free Kitchen) and Socio- cultural Features of Thai Sikhs: A Case Study in Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha ( Bangkok) . Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 4( 2) , 1- 25. [ in Thai]

Khuankaew, O. ( 2008) . Making Leardership and Team Building. Bangkok: Amarin Printing and Publishing ( Public Company) . [ in Thai].

Narkurairattana, P. ( 2012) . The Magic of Numbers and the Politics of (in)visibility: A Preliminary Study of Catholics, the Sub- Minority in the Three Southernmost Provinces of Thailand. The Journal of Thai Khadi Research Institute, 9(2), 156-187.

Narkurairattana, P. (2013). Micro-minority and Negotiated Life in Deadly Conflict: A Case Study of Catholic in Pattani. [ Dissertation]. Doctor of Philosophy Integrated Science, College of Interdisciplinary Studies Thammasat University. [in Thai].

Narkurairattana, P. ( 2017) . In House Stories: Catholic and Negotiated Lives in the Malay Muslim Majority and Deadly Violence. Rusamilae, 38(2), 9-34.

Pickering, P. M. (2003). The Choices that Minorities Make: Strategies of Negotiation with the Majority in Post- War Bosnia-Herzegovina In
Keridis, D. , Elias- Bursac, H. & Yatromanolakis, N. ( eds. ) , New Approach to Balkan studies, Volume 2 of the IFPA- Kokkalis Series on
Southeast European Policy ( pp. 255-309). Dulles, VA: Brassey’s.

Pickering, P. M. (2007). Peacebuilding in the Balkans: The View from the Ground Floor. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press.

Sakolnakorn, T. P. N. et al. ( 2012) . Situation and Adjustment of Retail Business in Mueng District, Areas in Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat
Province. Bangkok: Thailand Research Fund (TRF). [In Thai].

Salamat, T. (2006). Islam-Media-Violence: A Journey through Media’ s Construction of Islam’ s Violent Image. [Dissertation]. Doctor of
Philosophy Integrated Science, College of Interdisciplinary Studies Thammasat University. [in Thai].

Satha-anand, C. (2008). Violence and Truth Management: Pattani in a HalfCentury. Bangkok: Thammasat University Press. [in Thai].

Satha- anand, C. ( 2006) . The Life of This World: Negotiated Muslim Lives In Thai Society. Islam in Asian Series: Marshall Cavendish Academic.

Sripokangul, S. (2015). The Sikhs and NonViolent Practices. Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, 21( 4) , 53-93. [in Thai].

Strategic Nonviolence Commission. (2018) . International Actors in the Deep South Deadly Conflict: A Preliminary Survey. Bangkok: Thailand Research Fund (TRF). TNN. (January 11, 2019). Open 15 Years’ Statistic of Southern Violence, More than 20,000 of Incidents. Retrieved from https://www.tnnthailand.com/content/12107. [in Thai]
Published
2019-07-26
How to Cite
Narkurairattana, P. (2019). MICRO-MINORITY AND NEGOTIATED LIVES IN A DEADLY CONFLICT SOCIETY: A CASE STUDY OF SIKHS IN PATTANI. Social Science Asia, 5(3), 55-66. Retrieved from https://socialscienceasia.nrct.go.th/index.php/SSAsia/article/view/166
Section
Research Article