Region, Culture, and Politics in India

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Rajendra Vora, Anne Feldhaus
Manohar, 2006 - Group identity - 380 pages
In recent decades the South Asian subcontinent has seen an often-contentious nationalistic and regionalistic splintering which sometimes leads to horrifyingly bloody consequences. In India the process of transforming conceptual and cultural regions into administrative and political units continues to this day, with ever-more-refined regional identities becoming the basis for carving up larger states into smaller ones. For centuries there have also been many regions in India that provide a framework for peoples cultural lives without attaining political salience. This book presents a multidisciplinary study of the processes through which regions and regional consciousness get formed and maintained in India. The fourteen essays brought together here examine various modes through which people in different parts of India express, create, and foster a sense of their area as a distinct, coherent, and significant unit to which they belong in some important way. The modes examined include language, oral and written literature, festivals, pilgrimages, everyday rituals, domestic wall-calendars, caste identity, religious identity, and political movements. The contributors to the volume belong to a wide variety of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences: linguistics, literature, folklore, history, religious studies, sociology, and political science. The regions they discuss range in location from Kerala to Punjab, and in size from a few square kilometres of the Sringeri area to the whole Hindi-speaking region of north India, with two essays focusing on a single city each.

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A Philological Approach to Regional Ideologies

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