ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Rethinking Belief and Identity

Religion and Colonial Modernity

This paper while questioning the assumption that religious imaginary preceded modernity, argues for the need to seriously address the fashioning of the caste self and a new collectivity within a religious imagining under colonialism. Colonial structures of governance often ignored the alternative realms - ties of locality and kinship often articulated in religious terms - which, emerged, opposed and even were antagonistic to the idea of a national identity. In the south, the attraction of the lower castes for Christianity was partly prompted by the need to move away from the cycle of oppression and inequality and also because the religion allowed for their entry into a wider public sphere, as individuals.

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