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Download Hindu, Sufi, or Sikh: contested practices and by Steven Wesley Ramey PDF

By Steven Wesley Ramey

This multi-sited ethnography considers the influence of contested definitions at the reviews and representations of Sindhi Hindus. Ramey acknowledges how the dominant definitions of Hinduism, Islam, and Sikhism problem groups who defy such understandings and analyzes the methods Sindhi Hindus have demonstrated their unconventional practices and history within the context in their diaspora. by means of examining concrete examples of the production of a historical past within the context of migration, this publication considers the consequences of representations of religions for Sindhi Hindus and different comparable groups.

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Additional resources for Hindu, Sufi, or Sikh: contested practices and identifications of Sindhi Hindus in India and beyond

Sample text

Despite its current difficulties, during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Lucknow was a major center for the arts and Islamic learning. At the time of my research, the city had a population of more than two million people, although urbanization made exact figures difficult as the city spread into the surrounding plains. One tradition in Lucknow emphasizes its Hindu origins, claiming that Ram created the city for his brother Lakshman. However, the city is better known in modern history for its role in Islamic empires and society.

Such characterizations promoted the significance of their heritage and countered any suggestion that Sindh and Sindhis were marginal to Hindu traditions or the Indian nation. While the centrality of Sindh for early Hinduism supported their Hindu identification, it failed to address the differences between their traditions and the dominant Hindu understandings. Therefore, other Sindhis emphasized another geographical factor, Sindh’s location on the western edge of South Asia, which distanced it from Brahmanical Hinduism and infused it with other cultural influences.

I repeatedly heard Sindhis state that Sindhis never beg, since Placing Sindhis 17 they are proud and hardworking people. Sindhi Hindus often emphasized the unique business acumen of their community, an assertion that the phenomenal success of some Sindhi businesses supports. D. M. Punjabi, a leader of Sindhi cultural and political movements in Lucknow, emphasized that Sindhis were not criminals. He then clarified his assertion by distinguishing between violent crimes, which, he asserted, Sindhis very rarely commit, and financial crimes, which, he said, some Sindhis might commit.

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