Critical Events: Anthropological Perspective on Contemporary India

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9780195635409: Critical Events: Anthropological Perspective on Contemporary India
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Identifying key events in the history of contemporary India - Partition, sati, minority rights, the Bhopal industrial disaster, the nature of the Indian state - Veena Das describes the implications of these occurrences within the framework of anthropological knowledge. Her attempt here is to produce an ethnography of contemporary India which is sensitive to both world historical processes and the inner life of individuals. The critical events that Professor Das analyzes have all instituted new sorts of action which have, in turn, redefined traditional categories such as codes of purity and honour; the meaning of martyrdom; and the construction of a heroic life. The author shows how these new forms took shape and were appropriated by a variety of political actors such as caste groups, religious communities, women's groups, and the nation as a whole.

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