‘I was told I’d be killed if I didn’t leave’: Himalayan state is a testing ground for Modi’s nationalism
The Guardian » Hinduism
by Hannah Ellis-Petersen and Aakash Hassan in Uttarakhand
1w ago
A region known as ‘God’s land’ offers a glimpse of the future if Indian prime minister’s BJP party retains its power For centuries it has been known as the “land of the gods”. Stretching high up into the Himalayas, the Indian state of Uttarakhand is home to tens of thousands of Hindu temples and some of the holiest Hindu pilgrimage sites. Yet as Hindu nationalism has become the dominant political force in India under prime minister Narendra Modi over the past decade, the government is accused of weaponising Uttarakhand’s sacred status for politics, making the state a “laboratory” for some of t ..read more
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Material world: how the sari connected me to my past
The Guardian » Hinduism
by Sheela Banerjee
2w ago
The colours and fabrics of my mother’s old saris are a thread linking me to my Indian ancestors It’s my first memory. I’m watching my mother put on her sari in her old bedroom in Southall. It’s 1969 and I’m two years old. It’s early evening, all dark browns and blacks in my mind, like a sepia-tinted film. I remember the long white petticoat, tied at her waist with string, her figure defined by a dim light from the hallway. She starts wrapping her body in the lengths of material, quickly tucking the first layer into the petticoat. Part of the sari is still lying in a heap on the floor, before s ..read more
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The Hindu caretaker and his mosque: a symbol of harmony amid India’s religious discord
The Guardian » Hinduism
by Jyoti Thakur and Hanan Zaffar in Varanasi
2w ago
Bechan Baba has dedicated his life to Varanasi’s Anarwali mosque, where Hindus and Muslims come to pray – despite the historical disputes raging outside In the heart of Varanasi, where the sacred Ganges meanders by and incense smoke mingles with the faint echoes of prayers from a myriad of temples, Bechan Baba sits at the entrance of the Anarwali mosque. A silent sentinel, the 72-year-old Hindu caretaker leans back on weathered stones that were laid almost 400 years ago. Bechan has dedicated his working life to the service of this ancient mosque, which represents a sense of unity in a city wre ..read more
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Swatantra Veer Savarkar review – biopic of Hindu nationalist is self-defeating call to arms
The Guardian » Hinduism
by Catherine Bray
1M ago
Politically-inspired biopic of Indian politician who opposed Gandhi’s non-violence is hamstrung by its own lack of action Of all the hot takes you expect to see when you go to the cinema, the suggestion that Mahatma Gandhi was overrated is perhaps low down the list. But this Hindi biopic of Hindu nationalist leader Vinayak Damodar Savarkar (directed and co-written by Randeep Hooda, who also stars as Savarkar in a committed and involving performance) argues exactly that, although it’s careful to have Savarkar note: “I don’t hate Gandhi, I hate non-violence.” Okay then. In general, the stance ac ..read more
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What the unrest in Leicester revealed about Britain – and Modi’s India – podcast
The Guardian » Hinduism
by Written by Yohann Koshy and read by Raj Ghatak. Produced by Jessica Beck. The executive producer was Ellie Bury
1M ago
A year and a half ago, Hindus and Muslims clashed in the streets of one of Britain’s most diverse cities. What lay behind the violence? By Yohann Koshy Archive: The Guardian ..read more
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Uncovering the higher truth of Jay Shetty
The Guardian » Hinduism
by John McDermott in Los Angeles
1M ago
Celebrities call him ‘amazing’ and fans pay thousands – but what exactly do they get from this self-help guru with an iffy origin story? On 20 August 2022, Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck got married at Affleck’s 87-acre countryside estate in Savannah, Georgia. The nuptials were the closest thing the US had to a royal wedding: two A-list actors reunited after years apart. It was the kind of storybook ending you might see in a J.Lo romcom. Presiding over it all was Jay Shetty, the former Hindu monk who’s become a one-man self-help empire. Shetty and Lopez connected in January 2021 on the YouTube ..read more
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Indian women are being told nationalism will empower them. It’s a trick | Pragya Agarwal
The Guardian » Hinduism
by Pragya Agarwal
1M ago
Far-right Hindu nationalists are giving women prominence to mobilise others, but regressive patriarchal systems are embedded in their ideology It all started in the family WhatsApp group. A member of my extended family posted photos and videos of fireworks with the caption “a very good day” and many smiley emojis. When I asked, “what are we celebrating?” she replied, “the temple in Ayodhya”. It quickly escalated into a heated discussion about the decision to build a Hindu temple in place of a mosque that was razed to the ground, and the rise of far-right ideology. As someone who left India 20 ..read more
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Hindu nationalists go to court over lion named after Muslim emperor in India
The Guardian » Hinduism
by Agence France-Presse in Kolkata
2M ago
Controversy in West Bengal centres around Akbar and Sita, named for a Hindu deity, being placed in the same enclosure An Indian Hindu nationalist organisation has launched a court petition to stop two lions named after a Hindu deity and a 16th-century Muslim emperor from sharing a zoo enclosure. Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), a prominent rightwing Hindu organisation, went to court in the state of West Bengal after reports a lioness named Sita had been put with a lion called Akbar ..read more
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Last rites for Delhi’s forgotten: the woman who cremates strangers
The Guardian » Hinduism
by Amrit Dhillon in Delhi
2M ago
Pooja Sharma has dedicated her life to providing a dignified end for thousands of unclaimed bodies lying in mortuaries in India, though she pays for it herself – and it ended her engagement On an overcast, blustery day, with cars honking in the distance, a young woman covers a dead body with a shroud. With a helper, they place it on a bamboo stretcher and carry it up the steps of Delhi’s Sarai Kale Khan crematorium. Once at the furnace, she gives it a gentle push to move it inside and bows her head in prayer. Pooja Sharma repeats the process for three other bodies. The people are unknown to he ..read more
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What the unrest in Leicester revealed about Britain – and Modi’s India
The Guardian » Hinduism
by Yohann Koshy
2M ago
A year and a half ago, Hindus and Muslims clashed in the streets of one of Britain’s most diverse cities. What lay behind the violence? On Saturday 17 September 2022, the weekend before the Queen’s funeral, 300 men marched through Leicester. Their faces were hidden by Covid masks and balaclavas as they made their way to Green Lane Road in Highfields, an area in east Leicester with a large Muslim population. On WhatsApp, it had been billed as a Hindu neighbourhood safety march. “It’s very important for every Hindu to attain [sic] this meeting,” an organiser wrote. “Otherwise in future, we will ..read more
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