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Archive for the ‘On Hindu Nationalism’ Category

©Tessa Valo, 2007

tessa.valo@indiatimes.com

„Declare without hesitation that this is a Hindu rashtra, a nation of Hindus. We have come to strenghten the immense Hindu shakti into a fist. Do not display any love for your enemies … The Quran teaches them to lie in wait for idol worshippers, to skin them alive, to stuff them in animal skins and torture them until they ask for forgiveness. [We] could not teach them with words, now let us teach them with kicks … Tie up your religiosity and kindness in a bundle and throw them in the Jamuna. Any non-Hindu who lives here does so at our mercy.“ (Uma Bharati, cit. in. Talbot 2000:175)

The primary objective and aim of the Hindu nationalist movement is the unification of all Hindus into a single community that would serve as a foundation of a strong Hindu rashtra and that would ensure social cohesion in India. The Indian state, civil society and social formations should be according to this ideology “reorganized in a holistic and organic way along exclusively ‘Hindu’ precepts” (Bhatt; Mukta 2000:408). The ideal of Hindutva is thus one of assimilation, one that aspires to dissolve all religious pluralism and constitute India as a religiously homogenous Hindu nation. This means for the Hindu nationalist movement overcoming of all the innumerable divisions of the Indian society (caste divisions which remain the strongest, family, gender, territory, rural-urban divisions etc.) and integrating all the marginal groups, such as untouchables and other backward classes, into the body of the Hindu society and simultaneously reinforcing and strengthening the division between non-Hindus, especially Muslims, and Hindus themselves. Muslims are being constructed as the Other, as invaders, foreign transplants and as a great threat to Hindus. Muslims and secularism are recognized as the two main enemies. We can thus identify four basic premises underlying the claims of the right-wing Hindu nationalists: for the first the ‘Hindu’ identity is constructed as the privileged, exclusive identity, encompassing all other types of identities which are considered as subordinate; for the second the bearers of the above mentioned identity are presupposed to share a distinct ‘Hindu’ culture, which is perceived as a source of common interests; for the third “ ‘Hinduism’ is a phenomenon which can be understood largely sui generis, and in isolation from political and economic processes and conflicts” (Searle-Chatterjee 2000:498) and for the fourth ‘Hinduism’ is primarily considered as a culture that is associated with a particular group of people and with a particular country (”one nation, one people, one culture”) (cf. Searle-Chatterjee 2000). Though the Hindu nationalist movement is often labeled as “fundamentalist”, I would rather use the more fitting label borrowed from Nikki R. Keddie and consider the Hindu nationalist movement as a part of the New Religious Politics (from now on religiopolitics), which is characterized by several distinctive features which are all part of the Hindu nationalist politics:

These features include, first, an appeal to a reinterpreted, homogenized religious tradition, seen as solving problems exacerbated by various forms of secular, communal or foreign power. Second, these are populist movements that aim at gaining political power in order to transform governments on the basis of their religiopolitical program. Third, they are not led by liberals or leftists and have predominantly conservative social views (Keddie 1998: 697).

This definition has the advantage of being broader and including not only religiously fundamentalist aspects of Hindu nationalism and omitting all the connotations the word “fundamentalist” without question has.

The Emergence of the Hindu Nationalism and the Sangh Parivar

The origin of the idea of the Hindu Rashtra lies in the mid to late nineteenth century, in the British colonial period and is connected with the names of Vivekananda, Dayanand Saraswati and Aurobindo Ghose. But it must be noted that it is highly problematic to trace the historical origins of Hindu nationalism since Hindu nationalism itself claims legitimacy in the writings of this period. Vivekananda has thus for example become a crucial icon of the Hindu nationalist discourse, though the Ramakrishna Mission he founded has distanced itself from the Hindu nationalism (cf. Bhatt; Mukta 2000). But the birth of Hindutva itself can be dated from 1920s when the founding text of Hindu nationalism and a definition of Hindutva – Vinayak Damodar Savarkars Hindutva – or who is a Hindu? (1923) – was written. Hindutva can be translated as ‘Hinduness’, i.e. the essence of being Hindu. “Hindutva is fundamentally an empty signifier that has become extraordinarily politically potent” (Bhatt; Mukta 2000:413) and serves as a great example of the invention of a primordial tradition that is supposed to stand at the core of the contemporary identity politics. Hindutva is associated with common blood resp. ‘race’, jati, Vedic-Aryan forefathers, and makes use of different ethnic, religious, ‘racial’ and nationalist motives, but does not use any of these exclusively – its nature is thus fundamentally eclectic. In 1924 the most important male nationalistic organization – the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) – was founded by Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, while Golwalkar is considered as the ideological father, the great “guruji”. This organization is still at the core of organizations that are allied to Hindutva ideology (the so called Sangh Parivar), it is a highly centralized semi-paramilitary organization devoted to recruitment and training of young men for service to the Hindu Nation[1]. Later numerous offshoot organizations were created, the most important ones were: the Jana Sangh in 1951, which was the precursor of the current Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) in 1964. This ‘family’ of organizations which RSS created is often labeled as Sangh Parivar, and these organizations are the largest body of organizations in Indian civil society. The BJP formed in 1998 its first shaky coalition government which was followed by another coalition government in 1999 which was in power until 2004.

Demonizing the Muslim Other

The Muslim Other plays in the Hindutva ideology a crucial role in defining, delineating and creating a boundary around the Hindu community; the Muslim Other is usually portrayed as the absolute opposite of the Hindu, where the Hindu is the educated, civilized, tolerant, rational, modern, caring etc. This polarization is also present in the distinction between semitic and non-semitic religions which is being continually emphasized. The well-known case of the Ayodhya (van der Veer 1994; Talbot 2000), the recovery of Ram’s birthplace from the hands of its Muslim “occupants” and the building of a new temple became another strong and potent symbol of the restoration of the Hindu nation and its pride and of demonizing the Other. Muslims are also presented as a “pampered” minority with special reservations and since the era of the ‘Mandalisation’ of politics, when special reservations were assigned to different groups of the Indian society – which was apprehended as dividing the Hindus – the Muslims began to be perceived as greater a threat to the Hindu nation; the stereotypes and prejudices were strengthened. Secularism is in this context conceived of as overriding Hindu rights (and labeled as ‘pseudo-secularism’) since it is connected with appeasement of minority claims and favoring of Muslims (Ruud; Mageli; Price 2006:380), secularism is thus “portrayed as a source of national weakness” (Talbot 2000:176). Another way how to create and strengthen the boundary between Hindus and Muslims is the strategy of using Hindu women’s bodies and portraying Muslim men as violators of the Hindu women and thus the evil and threat to the Hindu nation (cf. Das 2006). The nuclearization of India serves as another mighty symbol and an agent of Othering between India and Pakistan.

Idealized Men and Women as Portrayed in the Ideology of Hindutva

Men and female bodies hand in hand with cultural representations of femininity and masculinity serve as powerful symbols and metaphors for depicting a nation. In the discourse of Hindu nationalism two images of manliness and masculinity are especially highly celebrated – i.e. the image of Hindu soldier and warrior monk (Banerjee 2006) – and have great impact also on women, who are trying to respond properly to the call of nationalism that glorifies muscular strength, moral fortitude, readiness to go to the battle and defend the nation against the enemy, the Other. Women can thus within the frame of this ideology play either roles of heroic mothers, chaste wives or celibate warriors (Banerjee 2006). The gendered power imbalances as such are not challenged and the patriarchal Hindu family remains in the ideology of Hindutva the primal reference point.

Hindu Religiopolitics and Public Rituals

Since the primary aim of the Hindu Religiopolitics is to unite all Hindus and overcome all possible divisions within the Indian society, the ever-present polytheism and hierarchichal differentiation within Hinduism is necessarily perceived as a great problem that must be dealt with. It is highly problematic to translate all the multiple – regional, caste, family – gods and goddesses, beliefs and practices into symbols of unity, when these signify belonging to a definite group or category. The Hindu nationalist leaders are perfectly conscious of this situation and have therefore chosen several deities that appeal to as great number of people as possible and that symbolize best the pan-Hindu unity. The pantheon of the ‘celestial nationalists’ thus consists of Rama, Ganesha, the ‘epic’ Krishna, Durga and others (Fuller 2004). The Hindu unity is promoted in public rituals and worships of these gods and in diverse festivals, which also serve as a manifestation of Hindu strength and physical control. “Converting private devotion into demonstrative public worship has been a consistent strategy of Hindu nationalists, whose broader aim is to transform the polity and civil society, and the public sphere as a whole.” (Fuller 2004:287).

Conclusion

As we have seen from the brief sketch of the ideological background, symbolism and metaphors employed by Hindu nationalists, the arena where Hindu nationalists operate is very broad and can not be reduced to either the religious or the political field. The Hindu nationalism emerges in the sphere of the public and thus attacks directly and in different ways the representation and recognition of individuals and the creation and institutionalization of diverse communities.

Resources:

  1. Appadurai, Arjun. 1981. The Past as a Scarce Resource. Man. 16(2):201-219.
  2. Banerjee, Sikata. 2006. Armed Masculinity, Hindu Nationalism and Female Political Participation in India. International Feminist Journal of Politics. 8(1):62-83.
  3. Basu, Amrita. 1997. Reflections on Community Conflicts and the State in India. The Journal of Asian Studies. 56(2):391-397.
  4. Bhatt, Chetan; Mukta, Parita. 2000. Hindutva in the West: mapping the antinomies of diaspora nationalism. Ethnic and Racial Studies. 23(3):407-441.
  5. Bose, S.; Jalal, A. 2004. Modern South Asia: History, Culture, Political Economy. London: Routledge.
  6. Das, Runa. 2006. Encountering Hindutva, Interrogating Religious Nationalism and (En)gendering a Hindu Patriarchy in India’s Nuclear Policies. International Feminist Journal of Politics. 8(3):370-393.
  7. Datta, Rekha. 1999. Hindu Nationalism or Pragmatic Party Politics? A Study of India’s Hindu Party. International Journal of Politics, Culture and Society. 12(4):573-588.
  8. Eriksen, Thomas Hylland. 2002. Ethnicity and Nationalism. Pluto Press.
  9. Fuller, C.J. 2004. The Camphor Flame: Popular Hinduism and Society in India. Princeton University Press.
  10. Ganguly, S.; DeVotta, N. 2003. Understanding Contemporary India. Lynne Rienner Publishers.
  11. Gokhale, B. G. 1964. Swami Vivekananda and Indian Nationalism. Journal of Bible and Religion. 32(1):35-42.
  12. Gottschalk, Peter. 2000. Beyond Hindu and Muslim. Oxford University Press.
  13. Chaturvedi, Vinayak. 2003. Vinayak & me: Hindutva and the politics of naming. Social History. 28(2):155-173.
  14. Keddie, Nikki R. 1998. The New Religious Politics: Where, When and Why Do ”Fundamentalism” Appear? Comparative Studies in Society and History. 40(4):696-723.
  15. Lindberg, Staffan. 1995. Farmers’ movements and Cultural Nationalism in India: An Ambiguous Relationship. Theory and Society. 24(6): 837-868.
  16. Nanda, Meera. 2003. Prophets Facing Backward: Postmodern Critiques of Science and Hindu Nationalism in India. Rutgers University Press.
  17. Ruud, A. E.; Mageli, E.; Price, P. 2006. Indias historie med Pakistan og Bangladesh. Oslo: Cappelen, Akademisk forlag.
  18. Searle-Chatterjee, Mary. 2000. ”World Religions” and ”ethnic groups”: do these paradigms lend themselves to the cause of Hindu nationalism?. Ethnic and Racial Studies. 23(3): 497-515.
  19. Seshia, Shaila. 1998. Divide and Rule in Indian Party Politics: The Rise of Bharatiya Janata Party. Asian Survey. 38(11):1036-1050.

20. Schöpflin, G. 1997. The Functions of Myth and Taxonomy of Myths, In: Hosking, G. and Schöpflin, G. (eds.): Myths and Nationhood, London.

  1. Talbot, Ian. 2000. India and Pakistan. Arnold, Oxford University Press.
  2. Thapar, Romila. 1989. Imagined Religious Comunities? Ancient History and the Moderen Search for a Hindu Identity. Modern Asian Studies. 23(2):209-231.
  3. van der Veer, Peter. 1994. Religious Nationalism: Hindus and Muslims in India. University of California Press.



[1] „We expect three-four things from our workers. First, that they take pride in Hindutva. Second, that they have knowledge of Hindutva. Third, that they have the ability to expend time and energy, and be ready to meet responsibilities given. And they have to have discipline. As our workers get ready, they are sent, for overall development of society, to different fields according to their abilities. Their main task is to take along other sections of society and to try and find solutions to problems in those assigned areas, under the Hindutva ideology.“ From an interview with RSS chief K.S. Sudarshan in the Outlook Maganize (http://www.rss.org/New_RSS/Columns/Colum

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Power, Resistance and their Religious Manifestations: The Cases of the Colonial and Postcolonial Period

©Tessa Valo, 2007

tessa.valo@indiatimes.com

Introduction

As the title of this essay suggests, we will be concerned here with the fundamental relation between power, resistance, and the religious manifestations of these. Though power and resistance can take many forms and are as such to a definite degree present in almost any conceivable ritual practice, be it initiation ceremony chisungu or rites performed by the Christian Church, we will focus our attention on two more explicit examples of this interplay, which stem from the interaction of two different conceptual systems; these being the language game played by the colonizers and another played by the colonized. The situation of the colonial and postcolonial subject is in other words an example par excellence in relation to our object of interest. But before we can proceed to the concrete examples, a brief theoretical sketch is highly needed; we will operate here with three rather problematical notions, i.e. the notions of power, of resistance and of the “religious”, which all call for clarification, even though the space here is limited.

The concept of power (and consequently also the one of resistance) has become almost an obsession in social sciences of the last few decades[1] (especially with the help of its influential promotion by Foucault), and we thus have to be more careful when using it, not to fall in the realm of reductionism of such notions as ‘power is an aspect of every social relation and interaction’ or, as Walzer has called it, ‘micro-fascism of everyday life’ (cf. Brown 1996). There is, of course, no doubt that the whole of social life entails degrees of domination and subordination, but the institutions that on one hand dominate also on the other hand enable. Power and resistance are distinct but interdependent aspects of power relations. “Resistance imposes limits on power” (Barbalet 1985:531); “the influence on social relationships exerted by powerless agents derives precisely from their resistance to power. Resistance limits the effects of power and in doing so materially influences the ‘conditions of reproduction of those social systems’ in which those resisting power have its subordinate positions” (ibid.:542). One more aspect of power must be emphasized here – power depends on action[2]. Power is not a static entity, it has to be continually negotiated and constructed anew, it is a matter of social relationship – there is simply no power without those over which power is exercised. At this moment it may be of use to recall the fundamental relationship between society, action and religion as described by Durkheim, in his own words, “it is action that dominates religious life, for very reason that society is its source” (Durkheim 2002:48; emphasis mine). And it is precisely religion that can serve these two sides of the same coin, i.e. power and resistance – it is on one hand “world-maintaining” and on the other “world-shaking” (cf. Billings & Scott 1994:173), as it is capable of legitimating power as well as challenging it. In the analysis of the two examples that have been chosen (the one coming from the colonial South Africa and the other, more recent and actual, from the postcolonial India), we will focus more on the discursive (primary) level, where power and resistance are expressed through various religious metaphors, classifications and symbolism. One reason for focusing on the discursive level as on the primary one is that the fundamental struggle underlying all power relations evolves around meaning, i.e. the definition of the reality itself resp. around whose definition is to be established as the dominant, valid, and norm giving. What we have to bear in mind and what will prove as crucial is the fact that “powerless groups must learn to master the language of the powerful, and in this process they may have to alter their cultural identity substantially” (Eriksen 1991:274) together with the idea that “classifications are not otiose, they do something, they are necessary in organization” (Douglas 1999:196; emphasis mine). And again we have to bear in mind that religious symbols and religious expressions “cannot be understood independently of their historical relations with nonreligious symbols or of their articulations in and of social life, in which work and power are always crucial” (Asad 2002:129)[3]. The idea of religion itself is a part of particular history and discourse of knowledge and power; this point comes out clearly in our first example.

The Impact of Christian Missionary Activity on South Africans

Though the Christian missionary activity exercised (not only) over the South Africans presented itself in purely religious terms, the impact it had and the way it substantially changed the everyday life of the subjects of colonization shows, how it was in fact tightly bound with the discourse of modernity itself and how it stepped across the imaginary boundaries of the religious and affected every single sphere of life. “The Africans became drawn into conversations whose terms (central concepts and arguments) were set by Europeans” (Lambek 2002:493), they were forced to learn the language of the powerful, which led to inevitable alternation of their cultural identity, but which also, on the other hand, created a substantial space for resistance. In their article, which is our point of departure in this brief chapter, Jean and John Comaroff (1992[1989]) look closer at the case of the Tswana people of South Africa and analyze the impact of the Christian missionary activity, i.e. of the colonization of consciousness and the struggle over power and meaning. As in other places, colonizers tried to “gain control over both the material and semantic practices” – and one could argue that primarily and foremost over the semantic practices as they are constitutive of the material ones – “through which their would-be subjects produce and reproduce the very basis of their existence” (Comaroff & Comaroff 1992[1989]: 494). The aim of the colonization was to convert and to reform the Tswana, i.e. to convince them of the ideological content of Christianity by use of powerful symbolism and religious narrative and to impose the hegemonic practices not only in the realm of religion of the colonizing culture on the colonized. The response and consequently also resistance of Tswana to this double project was the strongest especially on the discursive and conceptual level. “The Tswana response to the mission encounter was an effort to fashion an awareness of, and gain conceptual mastery over a changing world” (Comaroff & Comaroff 1992[1989]:508). Since colonizing process is not a simple dialectic of domination and resistance, this effort (typical not only for the Tswana) can lead to different results, such as emergence of new techniques of empowerment, sources of new knowledge, movements such as cargo cults, etc. (cf. Turner 2002[1969]: 369). The response to the colonial encounter may be, and often was, expressed in religious terms, since religion disposes of powerful symbols that have not only the potential to legitimate the given power structure but also to express and gain support to resist it; these symbols are also to a large extent dynamic, able to serve the actual needs. One more feature is crucial here, typically to be able to resist and be at least to some extent effective in ones resistance, one has to adopt the language of the powerful and dominant and express the resistance in terms of the Other. The dominant and the dominated thus necessarily have to share, if not the entire, so at least a great part of the identical conceptual universe and the struggle is no longer a struggle between two radically opposed conceptual systems, but a struggle over meaning and definition of particular segments of reality, often expressed in religious terms and metaphors. The example of the encounter between Christian missionaries and the Tswana nicely shows how religion is embedded in particular history and discourse of power and knowledge and how for meaningful it must be reproduced together with a definite social organization and material structure[4], it can not be truly distinguished as a realm of its own. The power of the colonizers was thus not only manifested through religious expressions, but the religion itself was the power, since because of its nature it had the potential to change substantially the social structure, organization, identity and consciousness of the colonized.

Hindu Religious Nationalism: A Love Affair between Power and Religion[5]

Our first example was concerned mainly with the relation between the religious expressions and the dominance and power of the colonizers; our second example will on the other hand focus more on the religious expressions manifesting resistance particularly to modernity and the notion of secular nationalism. Religion, on the global scale, gained recently a renewed potential as a cultural medium of protest; it has turned into a mean how to express political opposition and challenge, as in the case of India, even the legitimacy of the secular state (cf. Billings & Scott 1994:181-8). Similarly to our first case, the Indian nationalisms and Hindu nationalism in particular, were and are being formed in resistance to colonization but are also inevitably deeply affected by it. As we have already noted religious identities are historically produced, by particular social forces, i.e. by power (cf. Asad 1993[1982] and 2001); the formation of religious communities is affected by the state formation and by state practices (we can recall f. ex. the census practices and by its means imposed societal divisions during the colonial era, which largely affected the self-perceptions of the colonial subjects and led to the creation of strict border lines between diverse communities and became a base of identity and communalistic politics). But now let us turn our attention to a brief sketch of the Hindu nationalist movement itself. The primary objective of the Hindu nationalist movement is the unification of all Hindus into a single community that would serve as a foundation of a strong Hindu rashtra and that would ensure social cohesion in India. The Indian state, civil society and social formations should be according to this ideology “reorganized in a holistic and organic way along exclusively ‘Hindu’ precepts” (Bhatt; Mukta 2000:408). Hindutva thus aims at assimilation, dissolution of all religious pluralism and constitution of India as a religiously homogenous Hindu nation. This means for the Hindu nationalist movement overcoming of all the innumerable divisions of the Indian society (caste divisions which remain the strongest, family, gender, territory, rural-urban divisions etc.) and integrating all the marginal groups, such as untouchables and other backward classes, into the body of the Hindu society and simultaneously reinforcing and strengthening the division between non-Hindus, especially Muslims, and Hindus themselves; the definition of Hinduism – “the game of defining religion in this context is a highly political one” (Asad 2001:210). Severe boundaries are drawn between Hindus and Muslims, who are being constructed as the Other, as invaders, foreign transplants and as a great threat[6]. Muslims and secularism thus become the two main enemies and nationalism based on shared religious identity is the way how to express the opposition to both of these and how to gain power and support, for “since ritual creates domination, powerful groups and movements try to seize control over it and use it for their purposes” (van der Veer 1994:83). But the ideological background, symbolism and metaphors employed by Hindu nationalists and the arena where Hindu nationalists operate is much broader and can not be reduced to either the religious or the political field, though the religious metaphors have a certain privilege. The Hindu nationalism emerges in the sphere of the public and attacks directly and in different ways the representation and recognition of individuals and the creation and institutionalization of diverse communities.

Conclusion

As we have seen from our examples, power and resistance are inseparable, they are two sides of the same coin; they can be powerfully manifested under specific historical and social conditions through the religious expressions and symbolism. These three notions can thus become so tightly bound that it is almost impossible to distinguish where the one begins and ends and which one causes the other. They are under certain circumstances mutually dependent on each other for their own existence.

Resources:

Asad, Talal. 1993[1982]. The Construction of Religion as an Anthropological Category. In: Lambek (ed.). Pp: 114-132.

Asad, Talal. 2001. Reading a Modern Classic: W.C.Smith’s “The Meaning and End of Religion”. History of Religions. 40(3):205-222.

Barbalet, J.M. 1985. Power and Resistance. The British Journal of Sociology. 36(4):531-548

Billings, Dwight B. & Scott, Shaunna L. 1994. Religion and Political Legitimation. Annual Review of Sociology. 20:173-202.

Brown, Michael. 1996. On Resisting Resistance. American Anthropologist. 98(4):729-735.

Comaroff, Jean & Comaroff, John. 1992[1989]. The Colonization of Consciousness. In: Lambek (ed.). Pp: 493-510.

Bhatt, Chetan & Mukta, Parita. 2000. Hindutva in the West: mapping the antinomies of diaspora nationalism. Ethnic and Racial Studies. 23(3):407-441.

Douglas, Mary. 1999. Land Animals, Pure and Impure. In: Michael Lambek (ed.). 2002. A Reader in the Anthropology of Religion. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. Pp: 194-209.

Durkheim, Emile. 1995[1912]. The Elementary Forms of Religious Life. In: Lambek (ed.). Pp: 34-49.

Eriksen, T.H. 1991. Ethnicity versus Nationalism. Journal of Peace Research. Vol. 28. No. 3. pp. 263-278.

Friedland, Roger. 2001. Religious Nationalism and the Problem of Collective Representation. Annual Review of Sociology. 27:125-152.

Geertz, Clifford. 1973[1966]. Religion as a Cultural System. In: Lambek (ed.). Pp: 61-82.

Giddens, Anthony. 1976. New Rules of Sociological Method. London: Hutchinson.

Lambek, Michael.(ed.). 2002. A Reader in the Anthropology of Religion. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.

Lienhardt, Godfrey. 1961. The Control of Experience: Symbolic Action. In: Lambek (ed.). Pp: 330-339.

Tarrow, Sidney. 2006. Power in Movement. Social Movements and Contentious Politics. Cambridge University Press.

Turner, Victor. 1969. Liminality and Communitas. In: Lambek (ed.). Pp: 358-374.

van der Veer, Peter. 1994. Religious Nationalism: Hindus and Muslims in India. University of California Press.

Weber, Max. 1958[1904-5]. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. In: Lambek (ed.). Pp: 50-60.



[1] As Sahlins has rightly pointed out, power has become an ”intellectual black hole into which all kinds of cultural contents get sucked” (Sahlins 1993:15, cit. In: Brown 1996:133-4).

[2] ”Power refers to the transformative capacity of human action” (Giddens 1976: 110; emphasis in original).

[3] Simply put, there is no such distinctively religious realm of things separated from the cultural and social filling as Clifford Geertz would like to imagine (Geertz 1973[1966].).

[4] Here we can recall Webers famous study of the protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism (Weber 2002 [1958]:50-60).

[5] This chapter is partially based on my previously written essay on Hindu nationalism (“nr.451”. 2007. A Glimpse on the Hindu Nationalist Ideology & Religiopolitics. Unpublished manuscript).

[6] ”For people draw social lines, or oppose the attempt to do so, in particular contexts and for particular purposes.” (Asad 2001:210-1).

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