Punjab has been witness to the emergence of a large number of Deras due to the continued social exclusion and pervading inequality in the social and economic order that refuses to go away despite the rise of Sikhism which in normative terms is opposed to caste based discrimination and glorifies manual labour.
In Punjab, the number of Deras are not in hundreds but in thousands. A study conducted by the Desh Sewak, a Punjabi newspaper published from Chandigarh, gives figures that there are more than 9000 Sikh as well as non-Sikh Deras in the 12,000 villages of Punjab.
Many of the dera movements started as reform movements in Sikhism but with passage of time they became anti-Sikh and started believing in bodily form of gurus.
They use Gurbani/Guru Granth sahib ji’s teachings to propagate their own group/aim by misinterpreting Gurbani in many ways according to their convenience mainly to vein Sikhs away from Gurbani and make them followers of their own sect.