Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 32 items for :

Clear All
Restricted access

'Inter-publics'

Hindu Mobilization beyond the Bourgeois Public Sphere

Ursula Rao

This article develops the notion of interconnected publics as a means to understand better both the escalation of Hindu political activism in the 1990s in India and its subsequent waning in the new millennium. I argue that the prime visibility of Hindu fundamentalism in the 1990s was a result of the effective—yet tenuous—connection between various spaces for public communication. The emerging 'inter-public' effectively imbricated the private viewing of religious soap operas with public ritual and political debate to produce, for a short historical moment, the image of a vibrant, forceful, and dominant Hindu nation. The aim of this article is to contribute to Indian studies by discussing the essential, yet in the literature mostly neglected, connections between devotional practices, media Hinduism, and political mobilization. At the broader conceptual level, I argue for a theory of inter-publics that interrogates how multiple 'micropublics' link up to create tangible political effects.

Restricted access

Giving and Taking without Reciprocity

Conversations in South India and the Anthropology of Ethics

Soumhya Venkatesan

almsgiving into conversation with the large literature on similar giving in Hinduism. Notwithstanding key differences between Hindu and Muslim ideas about such gifts, there are important commonalities, partly based on Tamil ideals about what constitutes a

Restricted access

Mark Tully on India and Hinduism

From the Political to the Personal

Nivedita Misra

The article looks at the unique position of Mark Tully in talking about India and the role of travel in developing his oeuvre of writing. The article contextualizes Tully's “English” identity and problematizes the colonial spaces that dislodge the concept of a national identity based on boundaries. It also relates the traveler's sense of engagement at a deeper level due to his participation in India's national life at various levels, analyzing his two residences and his awareness of two different audiences. It posits that a look at the culture of the Other makes the writer self-aware of his own upbringing, religious beliefs, and social understanding. It also positions the traveler as an interpreter of cultures—the others and his own—tracing the development of his perspective from his No Full Stops in India (1991) to India: The Road Ahead (2011).

Restricted access

Mobilities and the Multinatural

A Test Case in India

Thomas Birtchnell

Abstract

This article examines whether the mobilities paradigm could be more sensitive to recent debates about the more-than-human (animals, plants, and insects) and indeed the inhuman (geological, planetary, and biophysical). Many possible examples spring to mind: the forced movement of people due to “natural” catastrophes, the annual migrations of birds across vast distances, the accidental and intentional spread of invasive weeds. “Multinatural mobilities” are at present both inside and outside of the paradigm’s core themes. Can mobilities go beyond transportation, migration, urban development, the hypermobility of the few, and the comparative immobility of the world’s majority of people to encompass everything that moves? Or does this risk diluting the novelty of the paradigm? By presenting a test case of a potential research theme on wild animals in India’s urban spaces, this article argues that by thinking multinaturally progress can be reached in applying the rich mobilities framework to problems in mobility systems.

Restricted access

"Blood Will Have Blood"

A Study in Indian Political Ritual

Jacob Copeman

This article considers the significance of the incorporation of blood donation as a widespread feature of commemorative political rituals in India. It places the rituals in the context of the current campaign in India to replace paid with non-remunerated donation, and explains how this campaign has led to the circulation of a store of ethical capital that the ritual organizers endeavor—through these blood-shedding commemorations—to capture for political ends. It is argued that there is nothing purely political about memorial blood donation—that its performance relies upon certain established religious themes in order to achieve political efficacy, and that this works both ways. The article highlights the role of blood donation in facilitating bodily transactions across and between different temporal locations, and finishes with a case study that demonstrates the risk involved in these rituals of remembrance.

Restricted access

Christophananda Writes His Religion

Isherwood's Purgatory

Stephen Wade

Most readings of Isherwood’s work tend to gloss over the writing he did between the Berlin stories and the last novels, steeped in his responses to his encounter with Vedanta Hinduism. Yet, the fiction of these years – mostly the fifties and early sixties – offers a great deal to us if we wish to understand Isherwood’s major attempt at resolving some of the problems of the religious novel, attempted chiefly in A Meeting by the River (1967).

Restricted access

Jacob Copeman

This article explores emerging ascetic orientations toward utility and death in India. It chronicles the activities of an innovative organization that campaigns for cadaver donations for the purposes of organ retrieval and dissection by trainee doctors. This would entail dispensing with cremation, a mode of cadaver disposal newly characterized as wasteful. In order to counter 'cremation-lack', the asceticism of cadaver donation is accentuated by the organization. The group thereby reinterprets classical Hinduism according to the demands of 'medical rationality'. This produces a novel 'donation theology' and additionally serves to demonstrate the 'asceticism' by which all voluntary donors of body material are obliged to abide.

Restricted access

Yamini Narayanan

The fundamental sustainability tension may be said to lie in reconciling want and greed. This places the human self or the human soul as a moral battleground where desire and duty constantly attempt to triumph over each other. However, desire must be understood and integrated as part of a fully self-conscious human self in order to enable a consistent and unwavering performance of duty. In this article, I propose the Hindu notion of the purusharthas, or the fourfold path to self-actualization, as one illustrative example of a green telos. The purusharthas prescribe a path comprising of material and sensuous experience, in obedience to dharma or duty, such that moksha or a state of complete self-awareness may be achieved. I suggest that the stage of dharma is thus where the most profitable connections between Hinduism and sustainable development might be made.

Restricted access

Afterword

So What Is the Anthropology of Buddhism About?

David N. Gellner

seeking to show its underlying diversity. In the study of Hinduism, the anthropological imperative may mean, on the contrary, emphasizing its unity in order to combat the conventional view that there is virtually nothing shared by all the various forms and

Restricted access

Thomas Hylland Eriksen

phenotypical diversity is not seen as problematic in Mauritius, nor is religious intolerance a major problem in the island. Some attribute the remarkably tolerant and respectful attitude to others’ religions to the fact that the largest religion is Hinduism