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

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Anthropological Archives

This paper revisits earlier ethnographic writing and assumption as an “archive” in order to reconsider Dalit “religions.” It explores the nature of power in the caste order when viewed from Dalit positions and perspectives, the historical constitution of caste under the British empire by drawing on recent scholarship, the terms, at once, of the Dalit’s critical exclusion from and unequal inclusion in caste domains, Dalit responses to hierarchy and authority in everyday terrains, and, finally, the intimate intermeshing of religion and politics, both broadly understood.

Exploring the Temple Town of Tiruvarur: The Abode of Carnatic Music and Shaivism

Tiruvarur in Tamil Nadu is a repository of the cultural, historical, and spiritual heritage of India. It attracts scores of pilgrims, art enthusiasts, and music connoisseurs from across the globe.

Adivasi Claims Over Sabarimala Highlight the Importance of Counter-narratives of Tradition

In the context of the Supreme Court’s verdict on the entry of women in Sabarimala, the article examines the claim raised by the Mala Araya Adivasi community in Kerala over the Sabarimala temple and its rituals. The verdict provided momentum to the tribal community's articulation of their rights in the public sphere, especially about their tarnished history, stolen gods and the socio-economic alienation inflicted upon them by the state and its agencies in collusion with caste forces.

Religious Identity at the Crossroads

​ The religious identity of the Hindu fisherfolk of Kerala—the Dheevaras—has been a site of multiple and contradictory interpretations by agents and institutions with varied interests. While their caste association—the Akhila Kerala Dheevara Sabha—is urging them towards Sanskritisation and allegiance to Hindutva, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is engaging them in their communal propaganda. At stake is a host of religious practices and philosophies evolved by the Dheevaras through their occupation of fishing, and the contribution of early Dheevara reformers in critiquing the Brahminic domination of Hinduism and the caste system.

Is an Atheistic Defence of God Possible?

This article argues that both the arguments--that "God exists" and that "God does not exist"--fall within the realm of belief, and hence, religion; for the existence of God cannot be proved or disproved. It stresses that atheism is not a belief in the non-existence of God but an inability to believe in the existence of God. Finally, the essay sets out to examine if there can be an atheistic defence of the concept (not existence, which cannot be proved) of God, and concludes by arguing that it is the only kind of defence of God that is rationally possible.

The Khasis as Hindus

Hindu religious practices may have influenced present day monotheistic Christinatity prevalent among the Khasis. However the cultural and religious linkages between Hinduism and Christianity in Khasi Hills need to be investigated keeping in mind that there was no defined centre for the Hindu faith and the influence may have been more syncretistic than partisan.

Menstruation, Purity and Right to Worship

The growing protest against temples that deny access to menstruating women should also challenge the institutionalisation of faith and the mediating power of the priest.

The Widow in the Novel

The Hindu Widow in Indian Literature by Rajul Sogani; Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2002; pp ix + 265, Rs 525

The Icon of Mother in Late Colonial North India

In the metaphor of nationalism, it is the female body and the many faces of 'mother' - motherland, mother tongue, motherhood - have served as the most universal and potent symbols of imagining the nation. The symbol of mother was especially effective because it could take on different meanings in different contexts. This paper examines how and why the metaphor of mother was used in multiple fields in late colonial north India, with a special focus on the UP. Hindu publicists of UP particularly worked the icon of the mother into narratives of nation, language and cow, thereby sharpening the contours of community identity.

Identity, Hegemony, Resistance

The subject of religious conversion is rarely studied with reference to Hinduism. On the other hand, reports of adivasi 're-conversion' imply that their Hindu identity is taken for granted, justifying in turn the need for re-conversion. As a further contradiction, while Hinduisation involves their integration with the varna order, they are simultaneously regarded as outcastes - a process that involves hegemony and exploitation of the adivasis and outcastes. This paper, based on the questioning and interrogating the way conversion has been located, takes up the history of conversion in Orissa over the last 200 years
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