The Wrestler's Body: Identity and Ideology in North India

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University of California Press, Aug 3, 1992 - Social Science - 332 pages
The Wrestler's Body tells the story of a way of life organized in terms of physical self-development. While Indian wrestlers are competitive athletes, they are also moral reformers whose conception of self and society is fundamentally somatic. Using the insights of anthropology, Joseph Alter writes an ethnography of the wrestler's physique that elucidates the somatic structure of the wrestler's identity and ideology.

Young men in North India may choose to join an akhara, or gymnasium, where they subject themselves to a complex program of physical and moral fitness. Alter's first-hand description of each detail of the wrestler's regimen offers a unique perspective on South Asian culture and society. Wrestlers feel that moral reform of Indian national character is essential and advocate their way of life as an ideology of national health. Everyone is called on to become a wrestler and build collective strength through self-discipline.
 

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Best book tells about our country's ancient wrestlers....Thank you

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htis bok really awesome about indian wrestler.
it can called the a search of indian type pahelwani.
thank you

Contents

Search and Research
1
The Akhara Where Earth Is Turned Into Gold
26
Gurus and Chelas The Alchemy of Discipleship
58
The Patron and the Wrestler
70
The Discipline of the Wrestlers Body
90
Nag Panchami Snakes Sex and Semen
136
Wrestling Tournaments and the Bodys Recreation
167
Hanuman Shakti Bhakti and Brahmacharya
198
The Sannyasi and the Wrestler
214
Utopian Somatics and Nationalist Discourse
237
The Individual ReFormed
256
The Nature of Wrestling Nationalism
261
Glossary
265
Bibliography
271
Index
295
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About the author (1992)

Joseph S. Alter grew up in North India and was himself a youthful member of an akhara. He was educated at Woodstock School in India and at Wesleyan University and the University of California, Berkeley.

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