Sunday, December 28, 2008

Baird, Robert D. “Traditional Values, Governmental Values, and Religious Conflict in Contemporary India,”

Baird, Robert D. “Traditional Values, Governmental Values, and Religious Conflict in Contemporary India,” Brigham Young University Law Review, 1998/2 (1998): 337-357.

[but the way the article printed, there are only 11 pages for the body of the article, and the pages are numbered 1-11, and I will use that numbering for these notes]

SUMMARY: 1- “The Constitution of India embodies a number of values, which, while promoting the principles of human rights, opposed traditional beliefs and values…The prevalence of these traditional beliefs has in many cases interfered with the full scale implementation of the values articulated in the Constitution.”; the article looks at the events that concern these issues in the area of religious liberty, looking at (2) “axiomatic Indian values which are at odds with the Constitutional notions of equality and religious liberty”, “the Indian courts’ attempts to harmonized these conflicting values”, and discusses the possibility of a Hindu secular state, concluding that “the Constitution will continue to promote religious freedom”

-the Constitution, passed in 1949, says it secures for all people “justice”, “liberty” (of, inter alia, “belief, faith, and worship”), “equality” and “fraternity” (including “dignity of the individual”)

2-Justice: in the Constitution, it “is to be realized in the present life. However, Manusmrti, an ancient law book held in high regard by traditional Indians, portrays justice in light of the doctrines of Karma and rebirth…Before the nineteenth century, Indians universally accepted these Karmic effects as axiomatic. Not until [then]…did Indians begin offering philosophical defenses for the doctrine of reincarnation or rebirth.”, plus, the idea that karma can be passed to others is contrary to idea that justice is contained within individuals

-idea that all people are equal in Constitution is inimical to traditional values of caste and women are seen as lower than men; with this is the (3) traditional idea that some activities render some pure or impure

3-idea of nonviolence (ahimsa) is somewhat widespread, though not fully axiomatic; it was especially made popular by Gandhi; as well as vegetarianism

4-Baird then lists Articles 25 and 26 (the ones that deal with religion) which say that religion can’t interfere with the “public order, morality and health” (25(1), 26), and the government has a right to regulate or restrict “any economic, financial, political or other secular activity which may be associated with religious practice” (25(2)(a)) and “provide for social welfare and reform or the throwing open of Hindu [or any related] religious institutions of a public character to all classes and sections of Hindus [or any related group]” (25(2)(b)); religious groups can have institutions for “religious and charitable purposes” (26(a)), “manage its own affairs in matters of religion” (26(b)), “own and acquire movable and immovable property” (26(c)), and “administer such property in accordance with the law” (26(d))—and if you can’t have use of the idea of pollution through caste impurity, this conflicts with “the right freely to profess, practice and propagate religion” (25(1)), though the Constitution implicitly acknowledges this conflict with its limitations by making its provisions

-a 1958 lawsuit (Sri Venkataramana Devaru V. State of Mysore) said that the Madras Temple Entry Authorization Act (1947) violated Article (26(b)), the Supreme Court found that “religion” included beliefs and practices, (5) it noted that Article 17 abolished “untouchability”, and that Articles 26(b) and 25(2)(b) conflicted, though each was of equal authority, so they tried to harmonize both, saying the temple should be open to all but allowing some religious services to be exclusive—Baird analyzes: “traditional faith was constricted and had to be reformulated” because of this

5-hindus and Muslims have traditionally felt family law to be part of religion and not secular and at time of independence, practices were very diverse, but in the Constitution, which tried to ensure that the state didn’t “discriminate on the basis of religion,” made Article 44 that calls for a uniform civil code; (6) both Muslims and Hindus have resisted its implementation

-between 1955 and 1956 a series of bills were passed on family law: Hindu Marriage Bill, Hindu Succession Bill, Hindu Minority and Guardianship Bill, and Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Bill—provided conformity for “Hindu” law and modernized it, based on rationality, social needs, and even opinion (eg it included allowing divorce and limited marriage to monogamy)

-the BJP said it was unfairly imposed on Hindus only and not on Muslims

-Muslim views on the issue came to foreground when Shah Bano case was made public in 1985: in 1978 a Muslim divorced his wife. Muslim law required him to pay her the marriage settlement her family had originally paid (Rs. 3000); but she (Shah Bano) refused it and sued him “for maintenance under the Criminal Procedure Code” (Article 125 of the Code said a divorcing husband had to pay a monthly fee to his ex-wife if she had no means of support) and they required him to pay a monthly fee (Rs 180/month); and the Supreme Court upheld the decision, with the Chief Justice disparaging Islamic law and its status of women, and he said Court’s decision was keeping with the Shariat—many Muslim clergy said it was wrong for a secular group to interpret Islamic law; then the Chief Justice said the uniform civil code should include Muslims; it caused huge Muslim agitation; (7) Muslims then pressured the government to pass the “Muslim Women’s (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Bill” in 1986, exempting Muslim women from Article 125—Bill was opposed by women’s groups and militant Muslims

7-B/c of religious sentiment against hurting animals, the Constitution included Article 48 to prohibit cow slaughter, but many Muslims were the local butchers plus they usually sacrificed cows on Bakr Id Day—so they took legal action saying it impinged on their religious rights in 1959, but the Supreme Court said the Qur’an merely mandated “prayers and sacrifice” and so other animals could be, and should be used

8-and punishments for the slaughter of cows was excessive—eg in 1956, six men were each given an 18-month sentence for slaughtering 1 cow.

-the question of propagation/proselytizing and whether the Constitution should have an Article protecting or prohibiting it was debated in the Constitutional Assembly; those who wanted to prohibit it felt (9) like it might weaken one culture or religion and fraud was used in the process; but it ended up being protected and later attempts to limit it failed except in 3 states.

9-Orissa’s 1967 Act said there was danger in it because it tended to use “force, fraud and material inducements” which gave rise to civil disorder; Madhaya Pradesh (1968) and Arucachal Pradesh (1978) passed similar laws for similar reasons; In 1977, the Supreme Court upheld the Acts of Orissa and Madhaya Pradesh, it also distinguished between right to propagate and right to convert, with the former being allowed and the latter not seen as a fundamental right; but people continued to violate it have been jailed

Monday, December 22, 2008

Rajeev Bhargava “Religious and Secular Identities”

Rajeev Bhargava “Religious and Secular Identities” in Crisis and Change in Contemporary India, ed. Upendra Baxi and Bhikhu Parekh (London: Sage Publications, 1995), 317-349.

SUMMARY: Essay attempts to create typologies to explain the intersections and divergences of religious and secular identities. It begins with a definition of identity and ends by asserting that despite a popular belief, secularism and religion (and the identities people have relating to them) are not always incompatible.

317-says scholars have typically taken modernization’s effects as marginalizing religion and thus causing zealotry—and this is an obvious conclusion. But some of the reasons for this analysis are ‘not entirely honourable”—and this essay looks at these “unconvincing” reasons; Bhargava says this view “is plagued with an excessive them-us syndrome. It ridicules the dichotomies of modernity without the slightest awareness of its own fractured vision. It is obsessed with the spirituality of traditional religion but unashamedly obscures the spiritual roots of modernity. It is over-sensitive to the linkages of power, wealth (318) and privilege with a secular but not religious discourse. It fluctuates between a perilous purism for which a value loses all it import even when slightly tainted with power and a vertiginous relativism for which high values are at base plain, lowly desires. In short, I detect in this reasoning a dash of motivated simple-mindedness, an oversimplification that has dangerous consequences in times of trouble.”

318-Bhargava identifies himself as a secularist who is “wedged between secularists in power and the religious who wish to usurp this power from them”, and he points out there are various levels of religious and secular identity—some “secular” identities are closer to “religious” than with “state secularism”

-so we must first have an understanding of identity; says there are “at least four ways of formulating the concept of identity”

319-“some forms of secular identities have more in common with some variants of religious identities than they do with members of their own fold, and that a common culture cuts across the familiar divide between the religious and the secular.”

-objects to the common idea that objects, and thus identities, are the same from one moment to the next; and if objects are a little different, what brings them together?; “it is impossible for anything to remain the same within itself in all respects all the time. To demand that it do so is to impose such a stringent requirement that no object can meet it…And if nothing ever lost its identity, then the problem of identity cannot even arise in the first place…(320) This is equally true of a thing’s identity with other things. At a given instant there are any number of respects in which it is different. To talk of the identity of something with some other thing makes sense therefore only within a pre-selected domain; once again, identity is crucially linked to some principle of relevance” (a criterion)—identity must be permanent and essential (cf Erikson “The Problem of Ego Identity”)

320-and this conforms to the common sense of identity which also anchors us in the world, and if one loses it one loses “one’s bearings and the ability to see where one stands, to be unhinged, detached and to feel (321) insecure.”

-But “No person can be exhaustively identified with her body alone…because a person is a person only in so far as she has mental attributes. Strawson is surely correct in viewing a person as an entity to which both corporeal characteristics and state of consciousness can be ascribed” (cf Swanson Individuals 1964); states of consciousness: sensations (eg pain and pleasure) which “cannot occur without the minimal awareness by the subject”; “beliefs and desires” –desires are states of “intentionality”, “involves the use of a ‘that’ clause”—these “do not require that in order to have them we be conscious of them…At the same time, no person can have all her beliefs and desires without some minimal awareness. To be a person at all, an individual must be conscious of some of her beliefs and desires. It is necessary, therefore, that to have an identity a person must consciously be able to identify with some of her beliefs, desires and acts.”

322-beliefs and desires are either completely independent from external environment or “depend on the natural environment” and then they are constituted by language, and so “A person’s identity, one can legitimately say, is defined by her language…She cannot identify with her beliefs and desires without identifying with the conceptual framework embodied in the vocabulary provided by her language…[so] personal identity is related to a world of meanings.”—which is “held in common with others”, beliefs are necessarily shared, identity is recognized in socially defined terms (cf Berger and Luckmann) , and is built through interaction with others; plus each group has a “common world of references” and “we get initiated into the practice of cutting up the world, slicing it in one rather than another manner.”—words have slightly different meanings depending on the group, though (323) not every world has a definite meaning that everyone in the group agrees on—so our identity depends on our group

-323-and not all beliefs and desires are central to an identity, those that are central must matter to a person; (324) sometimes it’s simply one’s strongest desires; plus people (325) can value things differently from how they desire—and this is what’s “relevant for a person’s identity”, therefore, “since my identity is formed within an enduring framework, not to posses it is to fail to have an identity”; (326) a crisis in one’s identity results when a person doesn’t have a framework

326-says individuals that make value judgments vary, they vary on how important they make ideas; and when ideals are made most important, “One’s identity within this culture is non-negotiable or almost so…when acquired it leaves no scope for maneuverability or escape. Getting out of it is next to impossible.”; but when ultimate ideals aren’t the most important aspect of one’s identity, “from an existing repertoire of identities a person partly selects and shapes her identity”, though she can’t “pick up any one and move it exactly how she pleases.” And not everything is up for grabs or negotiable, and they are “context-dependent”, fluidity; (327) there’s also a style with a high idea but is also fluid with many small ideals; then there are those purely driven by desire [PROB: what about when the high ideals are to fulfill desire or to have plurality? This typology would then break down]

328-says a religious identity is a framework for ultimate ideas, of values

329-based off Geertz’s and Nandy’s observations about religion, Bhargava says there are 6 kinds of religious identities: “the zealot, of the faithful and (330) finally of the religious ideologues.”, plus “religion lived as spirituality (religious spiritualism), spiritless religiosity, and what I call religion as a pastiche”

330-for Bhargava, faith = trust; and belief is faith and devotion to a particular object; so the identity of the person with faith is “unshakable belief” in a way of life (that is but one of many available)—(332) and since belief is within a culture, it shares culture’s ideals

333-ideologues appear when certainty in faith weakens, so people cling to their commitment (they are already in the process of losing their religious identity) and their actions are guided by more worldly reasons; (334) and therefore their identity is formed less by ideals than by desire, with religion only as a rationalization for their actions

334-says a religious zealot sees faith and ideology as “dead can” and is driven by desire “but makes the restoration or creation of a religious order his primary project”, but really “moved by an earthly desire for power” and the idea he’s a victim; cynical of all ideals

335-pastiche is just an extremely empty form of spiritless religion, where they don’t know that they are spiritless; they are constantly trying to do self-expression

-spirituality is an intuition of the infinite; and “religion strays when it posits essences…[and] final causes and proclaims eternal truths.” As well as when it has duties and commands—(336) “a person with such a religious identity is contemplative and tolerant”, his ideals are high but he has multiple values

337-says his original dichotomy (his first typology—of desire-driven to ideal-driven) puts the ideal end as the “more mature, fully human sense of one’s identity”; and they are distinct from desires

-religions can have different religious identities; says secularists have a caricatured view of religious identity; each type of religious identity has a secular counterpart

338-“All religions worry about” anarchy; says modern secularism values unrestrained desire, though it also has its own ideals, and multiple values, though because of pluralism these values aren’t as distinguished from desire as they might be in other religions; plus it has spirituality too

339-he calls one of secularism’s high ideals “superhumanism”—man can do and know everything and discovery of all things will only take time and anything is justified in pursuit of knowing and doing everything; (341) also a culture of multiple values; plus there is a “spiritualized” “humanism” that “accepts that we cannot know, predict and control everything”

342-so religious and secular identities can be similar, says their content is different: “One is integrally tied to god, the other is not”

-some religious identities can be subsumed under secular ones; though not those of ideologues and zealots—(343) so the identities are not always incompatible (especially if they’re both “spiritual”)

343-says Nehru was really spiritual, as was Gandhi; (344) and the BJP is closer to ideologue/zealot than secular, as they claim

345-can’t necessarily say that the modern world is incompatible with religion and that it forces the religious to become zealots or ideologues; though it has changed religion through homogenization and traditional religious symbols don’t have as much power

346-criticizes Nandy’s analysis of secularism as too harsh, a caricature
[PROB: bhargava doesn’t play out the implications of changing identities—that religious and secular ones are transient, perhaps constantly changing]

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Anthony Good, “’Mamul’ and Modernity in a South Indian Temple,” Modern Asian Studies 35/4 (2001): 821-870.

Anthony Good, “’Mamul’ and Modernity in a South Indian Temple,” Modern Asian Studies 35/4 (2001): 821-870.

SUMMARY: Examines the history of British involvement in southern Tamil Nadu: the increasing British control of the military, the estate, and the temple of Kalugumalai—with most of the information centering around discussions of court cases. In addition, Good examines the reactions of Rajas and the citizens of in the area around the temple. He concludes that the zamindars were probably not stealing from the temples and the HRCE’s attempts to appoint an Executive Officer (an EO) went against the idea that they would only take over “public” trusts.

821-in January of 1951, the Raja of Ettaiyapuram had many legal actions against modernizing forces—“a writ petition questioning the legality of the Madras Estates (Abolition and Conversion into Ryotwari) Act of 1948” which had just come into forces January 1951 and “authorized the government to take over his zamindari estate”; he also was bringing a case to prevent the HRE Board from taking control of the Kalugumalai temple (in the Tirunelveli District, a temple of which he was a trustee) and appoint its own employees as EO and 2 lawsuits in Kovilpatti Munsif’s Court, “questioning the authority of the newly-formed Kalugumalai Panchayat Board on the grounds that the entire town was temple property.”

-these were properties that had been slowly taken over by the British since the 1803 Permanent Settlement onwards—this paper looks at these processes, and (822) particularly tries to explain why the Raja’s family continues to defend its hereditary position regarding Kalugumalai temple.”; this process is, as Kaviraj said in 2000, “utterly central to the story of modernity in India”

822-India’s modernity did not come, as in many other colonized countries, with the colonizer imposing fully developed “modern” ideas and institutions, both sides underwent change, “both in their social practices and how those practices were conceptualized”, the E. India Co came in as “a revenue-raising organization” and gradually extended its control—complete by mid-19th century by which time it had European-style State Authority

-the colonial powers had a laissez-faire attitude to religious matters (though this was narrowly defined) and Hinduism wasn’t directly threatened, but it was changed, especially through the “intellectual engagement with Christian missionaries on the latter’s own, rationalist terms” and Hinduism “restructured itself using the European critique”; “The anit-devadasi movement exemplifies this (though notions of “Hindu spirituality” and “tantrism” played a part even there…), as much later, does the imposition of bureaucratic rationality by the HRE Board and its successors.”

823-“The history of the Rajas of Ettaiyapuram typifies that of many ‘little kings’ in sourthern India, whom the British called Poligars…”

-“The Ettaiyapuram Poligars were Vaduka Nayakkars, originating from Chandragiri in present-day Andhra in the ninth century. In the fourteenth century, legend has it, the 11th of the line killed ‘the athlete Soman’ but spared his eight brothers, for what feat Sambu Rajah awarded him the title Ettappan (‘father of eight’). The 14th ruler fled south to escape Muslim incursions, and was granted land near Sattur by Kind Adivira Pandyan, who gave him the title Jakavirarama. Around 1550 the vijayanagara agent, Viswanatha Nayaka, appointed 72 notional tributaries as guardians of the bastions of Madurai city; the 19th Ettappan was one of these, and was awarded the title Kumara. His son founded Ettaiyapuram in 1567.”
“Poligars derived their revenue partly from plunder and partly from land rents and duties. They were in turn liable to pay tribute to the sovereign power, whose demands were, however, resisted whenever possible. This brought Virapandiya Kattapomma, Poligar of Panjalamkuricci, into conflict with the British. Kattabomman had not paid his tribute, and when interviewed about this in 1798, he killed a British officer and escaped. After his capture and execution in September 1799, his deaf-and-dumb brother Oomadurai continued to fight until Panjalamkuricci fort was captured and (824) destroyed. The Ettappan fought on the British side in this conflict, no doubt b/c of enduring border hostility with Kattabomman.”
“The rebels’ lands were granted by the British to Poligars who had supported them, with the Ettappan as principal beneficiary. Almost immediately, however, the British began converting into zamindar landlords. They lost military and judicial rights except for ceremonial purposes, and their forts were destroyed…Ettaiyapuram pal aiyam was converted into a zamindari estate under a Deed of Permanent Settlement in 1803. The Settlement recorded the notional area, or ayacut…of each plot, but this was above all a revenue survey, and the land itself was not properly surveyed until much later. The estate then comprised 185 villages, including 79 formerly belonging to Panjalamkuricci, but subsequently grew by purchasing other estates, until by 1917 it was the largest zamindari in Tirunelveli District, comprising 422 villages in a total area of 647 square miles. Under the zamindari system, finally abolished by the 1948 Act, farmers paid annual land rents to the zamindar, who in turn contributed a fixed peshkash (peskas, ‘tribute’) to government revenue.”

824-the Permanent Settlement shifted life away from militaristic/dependant on agriculture to being a gentleman landlord society, “The new zamindars did their best to cushion this shock by viewing the British as simply the latest in a long line of superior rulers, whose validating presence…had always been needed as a backdrop to their own claims to regality, as the Ettappan’s continued for some time to see their relationship with the British as primarily defined by ‘services performed for their sovereign overlords’ and recognition of these through presentation of honours and privileges.” And (825) they continued to “maintain all the trappings of royalty” even w/out the army, and “never left their Palace except w/ pomp and ceremony”

825-“Increasingly, however, his pretensions appeared anachronistic.”, eg tradition dictated that he didn’t have to go to court, then when courts were modernized in 1862, he petitioned no to still, though the government didn’t allow it; (826) and extravagant household entertainers were seen by British as a waste and were stopped when it was under the Court of Wards management; (826) palace women’s movements also had much pomp and weddings were extravagant

827-in the 16th ce, the 20th Ettappan helped another ruler on a military mission, he was killed, so the ruler that asked for help gave the Kalugumalai village to his family to compensate, though its temple, the kalukacala murtti shrine, is not explicity mentioned in the story—and the priest of that temple claim it was a family shrine, and “they portray the Rajas as merely their wealthiest patrons and deny them any form of ownership. Although the Trustee concedes that this is not unlikely, there is not hard evidence; even under the stimulus of litigation, neither party could trace the temple’s history prior to 1802.” Though “several nineteenth century Rajas spent lavishly to extend the temple and upgrade its rituals.”

828-the 41st and last Raja, Jakavira Rama Muthukumara Venkateswara, is who made the lawsuits and petitions in the 50s, (829) “in 1968 he granted power of attorney to his eldest son, E. Thangaswami, who has continued the legal battles ever since”

829-“to all appearances, the Zamindari went almost undisturbed by Government until the 1860s.”
“The most dire of modernizing influence during the nineteenth century was certainly the Court of Wards, via the Collector as its local representative. The estate twice came under Court management b/c the heir to the estate was a minor…Both periods were traumatic in their different ways, but in terms of modernizing impact the first was more significant.”

-A Zamindar died in 1868 and his dying wish was that the minor ward’s uncle be made manager, the Court accepted, but still looked at the financial records and found its position unsatisfactory, w/ (830) wasteful spending on pagodas, ceremonies, and charities; and the uncle was annoyed with the probing and didn’t want to change; so the Collector got the Court’s permission to run the estate: he leased hitherto money-losing land; (831) he restricted all spending and gave uncle’s family an allowance, and in 1872 the estate was fully taken over and found out many other tenants were withholding rent, and he got them to pay (832) by using threats; he surveyed every village and stone boundary markers were put in place (increasing revenue b/c they found out the estate was bigger than originally estimated; reorganized public works, repaired irrigation tanks, repaired palace and other buildings, paved streets, the “estate’s credit balance had almost trebled since the start of Court management.”, though the Collector thought that things would still be hopeless w/out government overview or revamping views of what a zamindar truly (making it more as an administrator than landlord), (833) and the Court had tutors teach the ward English, Tamil and Telugu. The government’s control ended in 1878.

833-Collector took over again in 1890, (834) and at that time, the state was doing well, though he still found room for improvements, and by the end (1899) revenue demand and cash balance both increased

835-the Raja’s petition in 1951 was dismissed in Madras and later in the Supreme Court, and government “took possession of the whole estate on 26 September.

836-“At the time of Permanent Settlement, the Madras government deferred any enquiry into the validity of existing inams. These were grants, known locally as maniyams, whereby all or most of the “government” or upper share…of revenue of a plot of land, was granted to a person, institution, or deity…but not till 1859 did an Inam Commissioner begin looking at them systematically. Kalugumalai itself was not investigated until 1868.”
“The status of rent-free pre-Settlement inams was just the same in Zamindari estates as in ryotwari areas; their value had not been included in the Zamindars’ peshkash. Zamindars could not change this rent, however, and had no rights over the land itself since it had not been counted among their assets.”
“The Commissioner adopted the principle that 50 years’ enjoyment of an inam conferred valid title, even if no deed existed. Pre-Settlement inams were classed into grants for temple upkeep, Devadayam…; grants to temple staff…or village officers…in return for performing their duties; charitable donations… and “Personal” inams…providing subsistence for particular individuals.”

-“The kalugumalai Register lists two grants to the brothers who shared the priestly duties in its temple.”, In 1868 they claimed the grants were temple staff/service inams in return for them performing puja, “the sub-text here being their wish to be recognized as hereditary arccakars of the temple. The Commissioner rejected this claim…partly b/c they had been classed as [“Personal” inams]…at the Permanent Settlement, but mainly b/c ‘The (837) incumbents do puja and receive separate pay for it’.”; there were many cases like this—the Commissioner decided grants were purely personal “for distinctly ‘modern’ reasons…he tended to define any financial reward as a salary, thereby riding roughshod over a complex set of local notions in a prime example of the lack of official concern with careful exegesis…The priests’ ‘pay’ was probably an honorarium rather than a salary; that is certainly true nowadays,” and a much later Tirunelveli District Judge agreed w/ the priests’ descendents

837-zamindars wanted them classified as service grants b/c that required reciprocal obligation that personal grants didn’t, plus in that case, services would have to be rewarded in other ways; plus the priests wanted it b/c then they couldn’t be dismissed by the Zamindar and “guaranteed them enjoyment in perpetuity of all honours and prerequisites associated with their office.”, so the priests sometimes even claimed they were the true owners, though this is a stretching of the idea of hereditary rights (miracu) which doesn’t necessarily include proprietary rights; (838) though traditionally, hereditary rights implied “partial” “ownership”/a “stake-holder” idea

838-“Grants made after the Permanent Settlement, so-called ‘subsequent inams’, were strictly speaking not legally valid, b/c the entire estate was treated as security for the settled revenue due to government…Even so, they [zamindars] continued to make such grants, and Government treated these flexibly in practice.”, Commission only looked at those in estates taken over by government and even then tried to keep the grants going, though they (839) were increasingly restricted though late 19th ce w/ many accepted b/c they were used as payments for village officials (though the Proprietary Estates Village Service Act of 1894 required a cess from zamindars to pay officials); (840) inams were abolished in the 1950s

841-the Devastanam owned most of the town and hill area, and franchises for the weekly markets and 2 X/year cattle fairs; though this was challenged after the zamindar donated the village to the deity

-The Nadars were a lower caste (with improving economic status) that was not let into the temple; they tried to go in and get (842) procession rights on nearby streets. When the Raja built car streets in mid century, they allowed the Nadars to use them a little, but Nadars wanted to go further, causing a riot in 1885, it led to an injunction and the Raja argued that car streets belonged to the temple who could restrict use (except for secular purposes) while the Nadars said they were public roads, though they lost every level of appeal; at that point, they converted to Catholicism (even the local Jesuits agree their conversion was mostly for social climbing) and, with his new parish, a Jesuit purchased a site to build a church near an important car street which itself caused riots; including in 1885 a big fight in which the Court manager was murdered, as were (843) several Nadars while only Nadars were convicted and Hindus were freed w/out trial. In their appeal to High Court, Nadars showed there was collusion w/ police and sub-magistrate and the High Court overturned the previous decision, though no further action against the magistrate was taken; then the Jesuit agreed to move the church in 1897 to a closer to the Nadar quarter; the Court approved it but Hindus objected saying it was on sacred land, so (844) they had to move to yet another site

845-the next dispute over the Devastanam’s hegemony was from 17 people “mainly from long-established mercantile castes” (including the man Tirumeni) who “brought a suit seeking to prevent the collection of brokerage and cess fees from market traders” in 1931; (846) and wanted a refund of “illegally” collected fees; 1933 judgment was that fees would decrease for locals but increase for outsiders and non recompense had to be paid; but it was noticeable b/c zamindars did compromise

846-for many years the Devastanam had resisted a town Panchayat b/c “this would provide a politicoeconomic framework through which opposition could be expressed, taxes levied on the Devastanam, and other controls exerted over temple activities.”, But one was formed in December 1948, immediately after independence; (847) one of their “first acts was to pass a resolution criticizing the running of the temple” in 1949, and submitted to the HRE Board; the Raja formally objected to its forming and, in 1949, the Inspector of Local Boards “served a notice asking the Panchayat to show cause why its formation should not be cancelled” and Raja filed 2 suits: both against the Panchayat President (Tirumeni, from the 1931 dispute); “one objected to the Panchayat levying union tax on temple property; the other challenged its right to tax the Raja’s personal property.”, and many people, even some from the Panchayat did not trust Tirumeni and his motives and passed a no-confidence motion against him (they thought he was bringing them in a private vendetta); (848) first case decided in 1961, the subordinate judge said the only street the temple had was the strip between its gate based on the Estates Abolition Act, but on appeal to High Court, they showed they took care of streets and altars were indeed along them (the streets were labeled as public because there was no evidence of religious practice on them), and the streets had never been dedicated to the public; (849) though the High Court upheld the original decision

-says deity is legal owner of temple and its wealth, though temple property is managed by Trustee (who is like a legal guardian), British took over temple overseeing until 1863 to prevent misuse of funds and gave authority to independent trustees, (850) though criticized by Raj and Indians in general b/c it gave trustees unrestricted control over temple assets; 1925 Madras made HRE Board, replaced in 1951 by HRCE Department, but the Kalugumalai temple administration wasn’t taken over b/c ever since 1925 “successive Trustees have fought a protracted legal battle to retain control.”

-850-in 1935 the “Board asserted Kalugumalai was a public temple and should therefore come fully under its control, while the Raja contended that it was a ‘100% private’ temple which his family had largely built, and whose property they had donated. The Raja lost this arguemtn on the grounds that there was a Hundial collection box in the temple, whereby the general public contributed to its upkeep. However, the Board’s victory was not complete, as Kalukacalamurtti temple became officially classified as a ‘public excepted temple’ rather than simply a ‘public’ one.”

-“’Excepted’ temples were generally those whose hereditary trustees were wealthy landlords known to be hostile to any circumscription of their powers by appointed Temple Committees. To avoid antagonizing these worthies, such temples were ‘excepted’ from some provisions (851) of the Act.”

851-a 1935 Amendment to the Act said the Board could “notify” a temple concerned that it was planning on sending in an E.O. to replace the trustee, it notified 217 temples by 1940, though the proceedings were dropped in Kalugumalai b/c they “agreed to prepare registers of land, jewels, and other endowments.”

-in 1947, Nadars claimed to the Board that Trustee was mismanaging temple, an inspection was made in 1948 and they found temple funds were simply put into zamindar’s accounts and endowment records hadn’t been verified since 1938, buildings needed repair, and there was no reserve fund—so the Board recommended an EO, a (852) Scheme of Administration (based on the 1927 Act); when given the opportunity to respond to this, the Trustee said that when the temple’s fees are more than the money allocated by state (money given since the HRE was instituted), zamindar paid it, and the temple money was never used for the estate, and the local bank wouldn’t allow the huge withdrawals the temple needed; (853) and said he’d be willing to hear suggestions about building a reserve; then the President of the HRE Board inspected the temple at saw “unhealthy practices” and 10 residents (854) gave him a petition to have an EO, and said that the fact expenditures went over was a sign of bad handling

856-in 1951, the Court decided there had been no misappropriation and the trustee should do banking in Kalugumalai, though the judge felt a Scheme was necessary for other administrative defects; (857) that the trustee should be assisted by an EO (the EO got daily administration and supervising staff while the trustee could appoint, dismiss, punish, and pay staff, though subject to Board’s rules), plus the EO would prepare and submit accounts and balances—but it was still appealed b/c the zamindar said since no misappropriation was found, they couldn’t impose a Scheme under the HRE Act; judgment from High Court given in Jan 1956, but the Board had already been replaced by the HRCE Department by then (in which they modified the Scheme, reducing the power of the Board), (858) though the Trustee could appoint his own EO, plus it came out that the staff hadn’t been paid since the government had started controlling the money.

858-in 1959 the 1951 Act was amended making it easier for the HRCE to appoint an EO, without hearings and it didn’t need the previous trustee to have been dismissed; in 1981 HRCE tried to appoint an EO after noticing “administrative irregularities”, (859) though these were really petty issues and Trustee proved this, but the Commissioner still appointed an EO citing the 1959 Act; (860) then the trustee went to the Madras High Court to obtain a stay order against the Board pending final judgment, (861) and even as late as 1992 the HRCE hadn’t been able to appoint an EO

862-zamindars in 15th and 19th century, even after being reduced to “tax farms” spent lavishly on temple and expanding it onto town property, they did this b/c they thought gain of land was more important for power than profit; but (863) this practice fell off drastically for Ramnad mid 19th ce b/c it was bigger and on the wrong side of the Poligar war—so the British took it over faster and more completely, taking charge of all its devastanams in 1815—the Ettaiyapuram zamindar was a “favourite son” of the British

867-in trying to make temples “secular” rather than “religious” institutions, the HRCE is “at odds with virtually all temple ‘share-holders’ and interest groups, be they Trustees, priests, or donors.” And they tried to make temples profitable; “temples are seen as ‘public’ institutions in the sense that they are part of the Tamil cultural heritage, which should not be (868) restricted to serving particular interest groups or individuals.”, and it’s clear the Devastanam was not a public trust even when it was labeled as so

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Baltutis, Michael C. “Recognition and Legislation of private religious endowments in Indian law”

Baltutis, Michael C. “Recognition and Legislation of private religious endowments in Indian law” in Religion and Law in Independent India second enlarged edition ed. Robert D. Baird, (New Delhi: Manohar, 2005), 443-467

SUMMARY: This essay examines the history of religious and charitable endowment regulation form 1810 to present. Baltutis looks at eh laws, overseeing institutions, and the realities of endowment management. Since the creation of the HRCE in 1927, the Courts and the HRCE Commission have defined the distinction between public and private endowments differently, with the HREC Commission denying the title of “private” to be given hardly at all. In addition, Baltutis points out that after the British stopped overseeing endowments in 1843, misuse proliferated and endowments started being used as tax shelters and sources of income. These practices, however, were drastically reduced with the Income Tax Act of 1961 and by challenges from the HREC Commission. He gives several examples from the wording of various Acts and Court rulings.

443-endowment of religious institutions goes back to as long as they’ve been around; documents of temples go back to 500 BCE; “temples containing images of deities” [aka “idols”] date from first century CE; and “sankara is said to have established the first four maths in the 8th century C.E.”

-“A tradition of gift-giving (dana) in India as a means of distributing wealth and attaining fame and prestige extends back through the Vedic period and is imbued with a legal format by the turn of the Common Ear. By this time, dana is being applied in the form of land grants to brahmanas, large gifts of cash to religious beneficiaries, and the building of alms—houses for distribution of food and clothing to the city’s needy.”—(444) these were the original “endowments” and were used to found new institutions for any number of purposes. Furthering the goals of the institution, “undergoing personal penance, giving for purely altruistic purposes, and establishing and improving one’s reputation.”

444-“From very early on, local governments began to take notice of and oversee the endowments received by the institutions. Reddy discusses the existence of a separated Religious Endowment Department in 15th century Andhra Desa, which supervised the functioning of religious institutions and maintained copies of original grants; similar arrangements were also made in other Hindu Kingdoms.” (cf Hindu and Muslim Religious Institutions)—this supports Derret’s theory (in Religion, Law and the State…) that modern Indian regulation of endowments is in consonance with its own traditions’ and not imitating Western ones. (individual state’s regulations; income tax laws thru Act of 1961, and courts “have been analyzed and reinforced by the Hindu Religious Endowments Commission’s Report of 1962.”

-w/ these mechanisms, the government defines categories and regulates endowments: “Religious,” “charitable,” “temple,” “math,” “absolute,” “partial,” “public,” and “private” are all different categories used—and endowments must meet requirements to be considered valid

-“state legislation since 1927 has explicitly defined (445) endowments so as to exclude private religious endowments, assuming regulatory duties for public endowments while allowing private endowments nearly absolute autonomy; numerous High and Supreme Court cases have strained to define the boundary between public and private endowments, ensuring the constitutionality of endowment acts and the proper administrations of the endowments themselves…income tax codes have addressed the tax-exempt status of each, excluding private endowments from the benefits accrued by their public counterparts; and the Report of the Hindu Religious Endowment Commission of 1962 has put forth recommendations whose goals mirror those of the states’ legislations.”

445-“The courts hear cases on a regular basis and are exposed to the wide variety of existing endowments. They allow oral and documentary evidence to establish the ‘custom and usage’ of an endowment, of the region, or of the religion or sect…”

-“Endowment acts and the income tax laws, on the other hand, do not look at every case; their goal is to establish general policies pertaining to each and every religious endowment…(Interestingly, the Commission also looked at individual cases, yet sided with the state acts and income tax law.)”, courts are conservative, preserving traditional ways; Preler, in Religion Under Bureaucracy, says the HRCE is the opposite and does not take into account differences b/c it is single mindedly focused on preventing (446) “patrimonial-like interests on the part of those with authority in the temple”; but Baltutis says Presler forgets to show how the HRCE also makes sure endowments and being managed with grantor’s intentions and that India, in its past, had other institutions that were similar to HRCE—Presler’s view favors the courts which allows for “privately-managed temples”

446-“While charitable purposes are defined by the benefits bestowed upon the public, religious purposes have no such necessary ‘public’ corollary. A privately endowed family ideol, then, constitutes a valid religious endowment just as much as a math established for the religious education of the public.”

-Acts have identified valid charitable purposes: “Health, education, relief of the poor, and preservation of sciences and literature”; but “religious purposes are rarely if ever provided for in the Acts”—though examples are drawn from actual practices—money for an idol, temple, shraddhas and pujas

-the donor must be competent (legal age and sound mind)

447-no ceremony is necessary now, though “centuries ago” there was 2 parts: sankalpa, in which “one indicated the purpose and direction of the property” and utsarga in which “one renounced all ownership of the property”; now donor must make clear he has divested himself of all the thing donated, usually through a will; though there is no need for a written document “detailing the origin and nature of the endowment”, there are tests done to prove the donor’s “intention” (eg that future financial gains from endowment are applied to religious things, but if “the intention of the donor was to tie up the dedicated money in the family”, then this would be seen as invalid); most states require endowments to be registered with all the pertinent information (including the specific uses and employees); and it must have a specific purpose—can’t be for an unspecified deity or “dharma”, or “without the provision of a specific amount of money have all been judged invalide.”

-“individual who would have inherited the property, had it not been endowed, may appeal the validity of an endowment for any of these reasons”

448-depending on the court, state act, or income tax law, the terms “endowments”, and “trusts” can be used almost interchangeably

449-“In a public temple, the installed idol itself is held to be the temple’s legal owner, and the beneficiaries—those to whom the endowment is dedicated—are the general public. In a private temple, the owner is the individual who endowed the idol, and the beneficiaries are the family members.”

-the Income Tax Act of 1961 defines only public endowments, not private ones, most individual state Acts similarly don’t define or identify private endowments, but Bihar’s Trust Act is the only one that mentions “private”, (and says those endowments are not in its jurisdiction); though (450) its definition of “private” is unclear, and so it could fall under the state jurisdiction

-“The Supreme Court has shied away from offering a strict distinction between public and private endowments,” eg in Radhakanta Deb v. Comnr., Hindu Religions Endowments, Orissa (1981) they said that it should be decided on a case by case basis, (451) and sometimes it’s inconsistent in its rulings, sometimes “size of temple, manner of worship, [or] structure and location of temple”, or other things (eg Did the public build it? Is it for an idol? How is the temple treated?)

-some supreme court “factors have been consistently applied by the court in a majority of cases” eg private trusts have beneficiaries which are “an ascertainable group or specific individuals” while public ones are for the “general public or a class thereof”; though some rulings have said trusts are private if the specific individuals are the only ones that have “interest” (452) (which is strictly defined as the “right” to use the temple, even if the public goes there), while other decisions say that if the public uses it, it is public—there’s a “fine line between the public’s worship in private tempels and the public’s right to worship in public temples”

452-thoughout history “There have been three major financial benefits associated with religious endowments” and numbers 1) and 2) “have been eroded through income tax laws and now the third has been challenged by the Endowment Commission.”
1)”Income tax exemption”: income from endowment for public purposes is not to be taxed, while income from private endowments is
2) “perpetuities and accumulation” based off English models, (454) the Transfer of Property Act of 1882 allowed people to use endowments as tax shelters for several years after someone dies before inheritor gets it b/c it’s an exception for private endowments while these time lengths (more than 18 years after death) are forbidden in that same act if the trust is not for religious purposes
(455) 3) “property rights”: “The landmark Shirur Math [1954] case established the foundation for property owenership within religious endowments. It established that the mahant (like the shebait of the temple) is more than just a servant of the math but is something less than the property owner. Both mahants and shebaits have rights over the disposition of the institutions property and are to be compensated for their services; they may receive personal donations but are not legally entitled to offerings made to the temple itself.” And the Profullo Chorone v. Satya Chorone ruling also said shebait had a “right to a part of the usufruct”

-says for both public and private, ownership of endowed property reside in the idol and profits go the institution [this contradicts p 449], says the identities of beneficiaries and direction of dedication are the only differences legally; but for practical purposes, the difference is a private idol owner can make a profit

456-Central Endowment Regulations (1810-1920)—regulations in which British took control over charitable and religious trusts to prevent people “reaping lucrative financial benefits through the mismanagement of an endowment’s funds”; regulations were done state by state, beginning with Bombay

457-in these, “the states’ Boards of Revenue (BOR) acquired ultimate responsibility for the regulation of endowments.” As well as provide for “repairs and maintenance of buildings, appoint trustees for non-hereditary temples, supervise trustees of hereditary temples, and ensure that the endowments were not used for any private purpose.”

-“Subordinate to the BOR were district-level Local Agents who supplied the Board with information on the temples (e.g. names and numbers of endowments, names of trustees, method of trustee election for each temple). The appointed trustees themselves comprised the third level of the regulatory hierarchy, who directly managed the religious institutions, collecting and appropriating land and cash revenue. Those services were financially supported by a fee taken out of temple funds—kept in the government’s treasuries.”

-Presler has pointed out that the BOR Collector, besides “ensuring the proper administration of endowments”, was to “resume misused or uncared for land, resulting in a new source of governmental income”

458-British continued regulation until 1830’s, “when religious groups in England began to protest their government’s involvement in non-Christian institutions.” Which also included “payments to temples whose endowments had lapsed”, “In 1843, the British government began its withdrawal from endowment regulation; all regulation was given over to local rajas, panchayats, newly-formed committees, or existing temple priests and trustees. This withdrawal produced a vacuum of authority in endowment regulation, producing mismanagement on a scale rivaling, and possibly surpassing, that of any period. The British severed all ties between the BOR and endowment regulation in the Religious Endowment Act of 1863 (Act XX), which provided for the appointment of Local Committees to replace the BOR. These Committees exercised supervision only over those temples whose trustees were appointed; temples whose trustees were hereditary were left wholly unmanaged until 1920…The Charitable and Religious Trusts Act of 1920 (Act XIV)—passed almost 60 years later—allowed an interested party to apply to a court” to get the financial information of trusts for public use—and this Act, like all preceding ones, was only for public trusts, and “private religious endowments were still wholly unregulated”

-“Act XIV operated within the existing framework (459) of Article 92 of the Civil Procedure Code of 1908, the combination of which allowed ‘interested parties’ to hold trustees responsible for alleged mismanagement by forcing them to open their books and file suit in cases of mismanagement; beginning with Madras in 1925, state governments, under continued local pressure, began to eschew the four pages of Act XIV creating more proactive and cost-effective legislation, allowing the states themselves to hold public endowments responsible for their financial dealings, instead of forcing devotees to bring their own suits against wealthy temples”

459-“The HRE Act (Madras Act II of 1927) marked the government’s first attempt to proactively address the issue of temple mis-administration. The Act’s proactivity was effected by a shift from a court-based system to an executive-based system, signaling a departure from the long-standing British policy of non-interference.”

-and most states made their own Acts on it since the Constitution was adopted with Article 25(2)(a) allowing states to regulate or restrict “any economic, financial, political or other secular activity which may be associated with religious practice”, “while leaving all religious activities to the administration of the temples themselves. The ‘secular’ duties assumed include: Preparing codes of conduct for endowment staff, appointing a Board of Trustees, inspecting ledgers, removing the head of the institution of various reasons, and assessing fees…”

460-The Income Tax Act of 1961 eroded 2 old financial benefits of religious endowments; exemption from tax and ability to tax shelter inheritance

-a public religious endowment has 2 sources of income: rental property and donations—they are taxed differently; the Act distinguishes between two types of income from property: applied and accumulated. For Section 11, “Applied funds are those spent during the tax-year; these are tax-exempt. Of those funds accumulated, or unspent, only the first 25 per cent is exempt. The endowment can delay taxation on the remaining 75 per cent for up to ten years, if it discloses the intention behind its accumulation to the Income Tax Officer and invests the accumulated funds in certain approved [government-owned] investments. Section 12 addresses income derived from contributions from the general public applied solely to religious purposes to be excluded for the income for that year; an amendment was passed in 1973, however, making these voluntary contributions taxable as of April 1, 1973. Under sub-section 2, contributions made by another “trust or charitable or religious institution to which the provisions of Section 11 apply” will be treated as income for that year and will not be tax-exempt.”

461-and private trusts are not exempt; a rule actually started in an Act in 1922 [unclear if this rule was ubiquitous form 1922 on]

462-the 3rd financial benefit was owning property which has not been eliminated, but limited—HREC said in early Commission Report that there can be no personal ownership of maths, but shebaits could keep donations that are expressly for them

-“in the past 30 years, the Supreme Court has heard approximately twenty cases involving disputes over the publicity/privacy of a religious institution. In (463) six of these cases, the Court has ruled that the institutions—five temples and one math—were private, in each case overturning the prior judgment of the respective Higher Court.”

465-the Commission Report and Courts define private endowments differently; Commission looks more a “the object of dedication, beneficiaries, and scope of worshippers” and essentially didn’t think people could have private endowments

-while the Court does the opposite, even saying “that to refuse worship to a member of the public is ‘a heresy which is scarcely expected in Hindus (466) who are by and large constitutionally reverent and prone to worship’”—directly contradicting a statement in the Commission Report, the Report even criticizes courts for being too willing to call endowments private

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Asad, Talal. “Religion, Nation-State, Secularism,”

#Asad, Talal. “Religion, Nation-State, Secularism,” in Nation and Religion: Perspectives on Europe and Asia, ed. Peter van der Veer and Hartmut Lehmann (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999), 178-96.

178-looks at “the limits of this way of understanding the public character of religion”

-recently scholars have had a “sense that the Enlightenment’s view of the place of religion in modern life needs to be revised”, especially because of the re-emergence of religion; there is an idea of the end of the “secularization thesis”, an idea examined by J. Casanova in Public Religions in the…

179-defenders of the secularization thesis have said that religious people are simply rebelling against modernity—as if modernity requires secularization; but Casanova said not necessarily, especially if religion emerges “in ways that are consistent with the basic requirements of modern society, including democratic government.”’ As long as “deprivatization” of religion “furthers the construction of civil society” and liberal values; but if not (gives examples of Egypt and Iran) “then political religion is indeed a rebellion against modernity and the universal values of Enlightenment.”—Asad says this idea is not entirely “coherent” because if deprivatization of religion is indeed carried out, then what’s its affect on secularization?; it has an affect on how things are run: economics, science, education, etc.

-says when religion is deprivatized, the structural differentiation of institutions (religion, economy, science, etc.) “no longer holds,” so the idea of secularization fails

*180-Habermas had pointed out “the central importance of the public sphere for modern liberal society”, but others have pointed out how that public sphere has excluded groups (cf Habermas and the Public)—similar to the critiques of pluralism (cf A critique of Pure tolerance and The Ethos of Pluralism)—and liberals respond that it’s not perfect but still an ideal, but “the point here is that the public sphere is a space necessarily (not just contingently) articulated by power. And everyone who enters it must address power’s disposition of people and things.”

-it’s not just “ability to speak, but to be heard”—“If one’s speech has no effect whatever, it can hardly be said to be in the public sphere, no matter how loudly one shouts.”; restrictions are imposed by laws (libel, copyright, etc.) and convention (secrecy for business, and morals) externally, as well as intrinsically via “the time and space it takes to build and demonstrate a particular argument”

*181-need to look at how “the experience of religion in the ‘private’ spaces of home and school is crucial to the formation of subjects who will eventually endorse a particular public culture.”

*-and so, “if the adherents of a religion enter the public sphere, can their entry leave the preexisting discursive structure intact?”’ “Thus the introduction of new discourses may result in the disruption of established assumptions structuring debates in the public sphere. More strongly, they may have to disrupt existing assumptions in order to be heard.” And may “threaten the authority of existing assumptions. And if this is the case, what is meant by demanding that any resulting change must be carried out by moral suasion and negotiation and never by manipulation or force?”

*-and questions why secularists think religion shouldn’t play a part in personal choices while politics does, especially through the law—even if we take for granted that there is a “secular self” that law liberates and religion coerces (the secular view), how can we prove only religion coerces---“the juridification of all interpersonal relations constrains the scope for moral suasion in public culture.”

*182-and representatives of deprivatized religion must act similar to politicians—target a peoples’ morals, “desires and anxieties”

183-can nationalism be looked at as religion? And “Is that how religious spokespersons can derive their authority in the public sphere, by invoking the national community as though it were a religious one?”—this idea was presented as early as 1926 by Carlton Hayes in essays on Nationalism

*-though Asad thinks religion is distinct from politics; politics (184) emerged from religion, but, more importantly, it has been treated differently (eg what separated church and state in 17th ce Europe was Tractarian and Ultramontanism insistence that church needed freedom from “the constrains of an earthly power”)—which also created “a redefinition of the essence of religion as well as national politics”

*185-the new def of rel emerged in 19th ce with the idea of “society”: “that all-inclusive singular space that we distinguish conceptually from variables like ‘religion,’ ‘state,’ ‘national economy,’ [etc.]”—a concept that didn’t exist prior to 19th ce (cf making a social Body p. 7—says 18th ce ideas of “body politic” combined with “the great body of the people”

*-so we should not just generalize and say secularism is just a new Christianity, we should see how it emerged with the specific idea that it would be a new morality for all “dives ‘religious’ allegiances”, must put it into context

-Grnealogy of secularism goes back to Renaissance doctrine of Humanism, then to Hegel who thought it was “a harmony between the objective and subjective conditions for human life resulting from ‘the painful struggles of History’”—for Hegel the Secular was the “embodiment of Truth” (in The Philosophy of History)

186-originally, the word saecularisatio meant the “legal transition from monastic life (regularis) to the life of canons (saecularis)”, after Reformation it meant “the transfer of ecclesiastical real property to laypersons, that is, to the ‘freeing’ of property from church hands into the hands of private owners, and thence into market circulation.” (cf Geschichtiliche Grundbegriffe v. 5, p. 789)

*-but the modern idea is the true “ground from which theological discourse was generated”; though in the past secularism produced religion which was oppressive, while modern secularism makes “enlightened and tolerant religion”—so separation between religious and secular is “paradoxical” because “the latter continually produces the former”

-the idea of Nationalism needs the modern concept of secular, in which people “make and own their history”; though it’s not a “truth revealed through the human senses”; (187) As Benedict Anderson pointed out nationalism is in an ideological construct “no less ideological than the one it replaces”, but it takes Christian ideas of time and the hierarchy of spaces, which are “broken down by the modern doctrine of secularism into a duality; a world of self-authenticating things in which we really live as social beings and a religious world that exists only in our imagination.”—and “is presented as commonsensical, that is, as accessible to all members of the nation”

187-“To insist that nationalism should be seen as religion, or even as having been shaped by religion is, in my view, to miss the nature and consequence of the revolution brought about by the Enlightenment doctrine of secularism…”, and just “draws on” religious language; “How could it be otherwise?” [PROB—does not see the connection and has a strict def of rel—calls it the “vernacular” meaning]; says Enlightenment thinkers say causes are “felt” differently, and nationalism doesn’t “feel” like religion

-“…religion consists of particular ideas, sentiments, practices, institutions, traditions—as well as followers who instantiate, maintain, or alter them.”—we must understand and their meaning and do the same with secularism

188-people have been referring to the contemporary Islamic revival (as-sahwa, “the awakening”) as “cultural nationalism”, a “continuation of the familiar story of Third World nationalism”’ ignoring muslim claims to religious foundations

-though there are overlaps with Arab nationalists—opposition to the “West”—(189) but they have different values for conduct

*190-the Islamic society (ummah) “is ideologically not ‘a society’ onto which state, economy, and religion can be mapped. It is not limited nor sovereign: not limited, for unlike Arab nationalism’s notion of al-umma al-arabiyya [“Arab nation”], it can and eventually should embrace all of humanity, and not sovereign, for it is subject to God’s authority. It is therefore a mistake to regard it as an ‘archaic (because ‘religious’) community that predates the modern nation.”

-though admits not all muslims have this pure classical view, and they translate it into contemporary political situations—but it still marks them off from Arab nationalists and other western-derived discourses—eg they don’t have “individual’s right to the pursuit of happiness and self-creation”

-though Islamism “seeks to work through the nation-state which has become so central to the predicament of all Muslims. It is this statist project and not the fusion of religious and political ideas that gives Islamism a nationalist cast.”, note #26 says idea of Islamic state is not in beginning of Islamic history, cf Asad’s article in muslim world 87 (1997): 183-195.

*191-secularims says religion msut only be private and make “no demands on life”; while secularism and thus the nation-state, through laws that regulate every aspect of life, from birth to death, make all social space “defined, ordered, and regulated” and therefore all is political. So attempts “by Muslim activists to ameliorate social conditions—through, say, the establishment of clinics or schools in underserviced areas—must seriously risk provoking the charge of political illegitimacy and being classified Islamist” and when Muslim political groups are democratically elected, they are called antidemocratic (eg in Algeria 1992 and Turkey in 1997)

-“Islam cannot be reduced to nationalism” even though it is in a secular world

192-religion is separated from the state in modern constitutions, (though note #28 says it’s not in US constitution, only in its Supreme Court interpretations, cf The Myth of Separation); but its place in society ‘has to be continually redefined by the law because the reproduction of secular life within and beyond the nation0state continually affects the clarity of that space.”—it “undermines established boundaries”

193-Asad calls for “An anthropology of the secular as practical experience”

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Mines, Mattison. “Courts of Law and Styles of Self in Eighteenth-Century Madras: From Hybrid to Colonial Self,

Mines, Mattison. “Courts of Law and Styles of Self in Eighteenth-Century Madras: From Hybrid to Colonial Self,” Modern Asian Studies 35, 1 (2001): 33-74.

Summary: 33-“public representations of individuals and how these were affected by British East Indian Company courts judicial proceedings, and the law in Madras city during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Company records reveal that this was a period of dramatic transformation in self-representation, just as it also was in Company rule. My purpose is to trace the transformation of the manner in which individuals represented themselves and others and what this process reveals about the constitution of Madras society and Company rule by and after the establishment of an independent judiciary at the end of the eighteenth century. Most particularly, in this paper I seek to demonstrate how the transformation of E. Indian Company courts of judicature from interested courts, strictly controlled by the Company, to independent courts is associated with changes that greatly affect the manner in which individuals—both British and Indian—thought of themselves and others in Madras city public life. This transformation was of a piece with the establishment of independent judiciaries in England and North American at the time and indicates how Madras too was influenced by these political developments.”

-“the self exposes the dialogical processes of its history, which are always expressive of how a person fits and interacts within a set of relationships that sustain his or her self awareness. Self representation, therefore, voices an individual’s explanation of his or her social relations in a particular context and at a particular moment and presents that person’s perspective on the social rules that govern them. A self-representation, then, always expresses a point of view, a piece of argument uttered for a purpose, and so is, in a sense, a ‘still-life’ that pre-serves traces of co-respondents, the person or persons the individual is addressing, and of the counter interpretations that the representation is designed to address…[It is] a component of the dialogical heteroglossia [cf Bakhtin 1981] that characterizes ordinary life, including arguments about the ‘rules of the game’.”

35-article looks at 2 18th and 1 19th century representations—2 represent 2 eras—when court was administered by Company, then, after Recorder’s Court (est 1798) which was superseded by Supreme Court (est 1802), there were professional lawyers and judges and other regulations changed the Company—putting it more “in the role of an administration of law and Company employees in the role of government servants.”

-18th century portrayals are in testimony of judicial proceedings (1730 and 1790), (36) 3rd is autobiography of an Indian businessman and civic leader of the Beeri Chetty caste from 1889. All are texts of influential Indians with British of Madras

36-Says in that area, until late 18th century, “constituted a kind of frontier society, where Zamindari rule and a rough, merchant’s sense of common law combined, and where social (37) contracts allowed for a significant degree of individualization, as suited the needs of trade and manufacture. Weakly administered, society was highly personalized, antagonisms were rife, and relationships constantly in flux, a product of personal competition and opportunistic alliances between individuals rather than of Company hegemony or even local social hierarchy, although elements of these were also part of the administrative potpourri…there was no clear and consistent social divide that set British against Indian as increasingly characterized the period after 1790.” (cf Dodwell 1926)

37-“Pre-1790, the British traded, regulated the peace, and administered through the mechanism of alliances and partnerships with Indians.” (cf Brimmes 1993, Bayly 1988), “Consequently allies and enemies were where individuals and groups made them, w/ both British and Indian needing the other, and expressions of personal eminence and respect were likely to conform to Indian custom, as context and relationships required.” (cf Salmon 1744)

-prominent British usually had Indian partner (called a dubash) who helped broker deals—“no more than a few hundred” total—and Madras society was organized around them (cf Dodwell 1926); dubash was ostensibly British servant, but (38) he could do stuff in his own interest and British was depended on him—and either of their success or failure affected both—so their relationship was built on a “shared ethical sense of social order”—“preserved in understandings of self and other.”—“and the locus of much social control was located in them. Thus, what institutional power there was…was in some large part founded on such alliances, not in bureaucratic procedures and structures, nor in formal law.”

38-as the Company developed more institutional means to control city life, “it increasingly withdrew from its pragmatic alliances with local leaders”; in the 1770s Company began to develop and implement in Madras a “municipal structure including a small police force, whose early duty it was to control the prices of basic necessities such as food stuffs, tobacco, and betel” (cf Love 1913) which “competed with and undercut the personal authority and discretion of headmen”

-Acts of Parliament also changed British-Indian relations: Regulating Act of 1773—established Calcutta as a Company capital and Warren Hastings as Indian’s first Governor General; more importantly was the Pitt Act of 1784 “which settled the system of Company government as it largely was to remain to its end in 1858.” (cf Holdsworth 1938, Fawcett 1934); “These acts sought to end abuses by Company servants by curtailing the opportunities for corruption that (39) self-interested trade and British-Indian alliances were thought to engender. Central to this effort was the establishment of an independent judiciary whose design it was that no Company servant be above the law nor able arbitrarily to control its administration.”—warren hastings was even impeached

39-“in 1790 Cornwallis excluded Indians from henceforth serving in the army’s officer corps, while simultaneously, Indian civil servants were excluded from offices in government with salaries above [500 pounds] per year.” (cf Wolpert 1993); and “in 1800, the Madras government prohibited all covenanted servants except Commercial Residents from engaging in trade.”

-so by 1790 British and Indian lives were separated, segregated and “sense of the self were sustained within relationships that were in part defined in the law rather than largely within social relationships expressed as attributes of reputation, friendship, and enmity, trust and distrust and the strong emotions attendant on these…it meant that the criteria by which social relations were estimated and regulated were no longer internal to its constituting relationships and their concomitant emotions…Interestingly, one expression of this transition from the personal to the impersonal is that the use of strong emotion and affect such as disgust, indignation, and outrage, is a defining feature of seventeenth and eighteenth-century representations of self—British and Indian alike—but is a feature missing from nineteenth-century (40) descriptions.”

*40-this created “a new hybrid Indian subject, one that might be labeled culturally, but not racially, Anglo-Indian.”; “Ironically, much of what scholars today regard as Orientalist and racist about British colonial administration had its origins here in policies and law designed to end Company abuses and the individual corruption that private trade, Company courts, and British/Indian alliances were believed to have engendered, a law designed to be impartial, to protect individual rights, but also to regulate in part by means of racial distinction.”

-Originally British East Indian Company’s interests “were to trade and to make fortunes, not spend money on administration, defense, or conquest”

-Company leased Madras c. 1640; in 1711 Madras’ Governor in Council explicitly said “quarrels” with natives “destroy” the Company’s “ends”—(41) to it was still a “suzerain power”

41-“The Company sought to encourage what it hoped would be the self-interested involvement among the local population, Armenians, Portuguese, Jews, Hindus, Muslims, and others, reasoning that a well-governed Town facilitated trade and so would be attractive to all. In pursuit of this shared government, the Company incorporated the Town in 1688 with a Mayor, Mayor’s Court, and Corporation…and all the other paraphernalia of an English municipality in the seventeenth century.” (cf Fawcett 1934)

-but the residents didn’t really want to serve, so “madras remained at best only weakly integrated by institutions of government” (cf Neild 1976), (42) police were protection for-hire

42-“Under these organizational circumstances, personal relationships and reputation were essential to success, and recognizing this, the Company was ever vigilant to maintain trust in dealings and agreements under its seal. Similarly, in interpersonal relationships a reputation for reliability in contracts was equally necessary. A man who broke his trust with a powerful other might find himself sued in the Mayor’s Court, but more importantly find his name forevermore degraded and his opportunities for contracts denied.” (cf Mines 1992)—“this is not to say that all manner of extortion and crime didn’t occur, for they did, of course. Rather, it is to say that a reputation for fulfilling one’s contracts and meeting expectations was essential within a relationship for that relationship to continue.” And “there were merchants [British and Indian] who went to great lengths, including illegal ones, to gain advantage or to ruin a rival; yet within a merchant’s own relations, whether British or other, it was essential to maintain the trust of one’s partners or be wrecked.”—(43) though some men of influence expected “gifts” from trading partners

43-and if a preeminent person died or left, the success of his friends was attacked and ended

-to reflect this, personal relations were often called friendships, and other common things in 18th century were rivalry, enmity and fear of murder (documented in Company’s records)

44-success relied on ties with London, Indians, dubash, other traders, and local aristocracy—a “big-man society par excellence”, “personalities loom large”, and reflected “The weakness and undeveloped nature of bureaucratically regulated institutionalized power”—even the Governor had to watch how he behaved (in 1721 a governor was removed)

45-Company had 3 sources of authority: English charter, local suzerains had authority over Indians, and the Company name (based on its trustworthiness)—men were linked in hierarchy of personal relationships (including castes and moieties)

46-first example: Chitteramah Chittee (a poor orphan of the dubash of a former governor), made a claim against a governor who was at that time just stepping down—James Macrae—in the Mayor’s Court; (147) which was judged by free merchants who from time to time used the Court to further their own factional and business interests to the disadvantage of the Company, the Governor, and the men of the Council’s so Chittee could have had a sympathetic ear

48-says Chittew was familiar with British through his father and living around several, and the fact that his accounts are “laced with emotion”, he probably gave the accounts, not his lawyer (and macrae’s response was “calm and concise”)—also at time “it was a lawyer’s responsibility to present a complaint and defense as his client represented it” (cf Paul 1991); concludes that view points are Chittee’s but the rhetoric is British—his self awareness includes “certain British understandings mixed with ‘native’ perspectives…”

51-in the court narrative, mines says Chittee “draws on the resource of the Mayor’s Court and on his knowledge of the rules of British daily practice in Madras to condemn the actions and so also the honor and integrity of the E. India Company’s highest officer…[his] complaint contains a skillful, economical argument in which he laid out in a seemingly natural manner the measure by which his father’s relationship with Macrae was to be judged”—friendship—“a relationship that carried with it the common expectations of the day about what constituted moral behavior between friends.”—and Chittee’s complaint has a “strong sense of indignation and condemnation”

*-“This evoking of common understandings of relational expectations, I argue, would have been in keeping with the attitude of the tiems, when social control was located more within the rules of practice governing social relations than within legal behavior and law. In fact, the Court makes no mention of legal technicalities or of any statute. Instead, common sense was the (52) standard of the Court. The Orator’s complaint, therefore, although it was designed to convict in part on the basis of what happened, more importantly was designed to persuade by demonstrating that Macrae was an immoral man…”

53-“in the context of the Mayor’s Court, clearly what mattered were British sentiments”

54-Ft. St. George was divided into what was called the “white” and “black” side of town and Chittee lived in the “white” part, “and it is no surprise, therefore, that his sense of self incorporated British relationships and ideas about social rules, including friendship.”, though he also noted “an Indian subaltern’s view” in calling the relationship a “tie between client and patron”; “From an Indian perspective, this embodies an ethic almost as compelling as that of friendship” [this is all PROBLEMATIC—assumes he’s not lying; assumes these ethics are not felt on both sides, assumes only Indian sees patron/client relationship, assumes b/c he lives in white town that he must think white, does not take into account indv personality or class]

-Since we know british also expressed honor in Indian terms (like having Indian leader style entourages), “The evidence suggests, therefore, that the elite expressed honor according to situation in the manner appropriate to the public context in which they find themselves.”

54-originally ruled in favor of chittee, but was overturned “without consideration of a point of law or a question of new evidence”

55-1746-49, France captured and occupied Madras; around that time Madras was placed under control of the administration of Bengal; the India Act of 1784 (from England) “removed ultimate authority from the Company’s court of Directors and transferred it to the Crown’s new Board of Control, had begun the process of turning the Company Merchants into government servants.”, and Company government in Madras was much bigger than in 1730, “and was poised at the ledge of a dramatic shift from mercantile hybridity of interests and relations to colonial separation” though still (56) “Madras was a city of personalities, alliances, and reputation; and the dominant style of leadership was still the hybrid form of the Indian big-man, seemingly little different from sixty or even one hundred years before.”

-Example 2: in 1790 Suncoo was “one of the leading Indian businessmen of the city” who, with an agreement from the Company, rented tobacco and betel farm and supplied those at a “fixed price”, also was a headman of the Komati business caste, and caste’s properties were held in his name, (57) was supposed to keep supplied warehouses for distribution

57-accused of not meeting any of his obligations, selling bad product, charging too high of prices, rarely having good warehouses, and bribing the Governor and other Board members—so petition was made to indict him

58-he said charges were trumped up

59-investigators found out the guys who started the petition wanted to take control of the beetle and tobacco trade, and petitions were dismissed, but not the charges

60-at trial, Suncoo gave no evidence besides his character: “He did not attempt to disprove the allegations against him. Such an approach would have indicated his understanding that his actions were to be judged by legal standards that were independent of constituting relationships and motivations.” (what he thought the social order was based on)

-but was found guilty, opponents and judges were “Exasperated by his weak defense”, though they did not have “solid evidence” either; and he was imprisoned for 9 years (61) until his death, and Company took his property and that of the caste “which it mistook for his personal property. All this was done illegally according to the Company’s own assessment made some thirty years later”—and the governor that dealt with Suncoo resigned

-Mines says “this case marks London’s new policy designed to quash what the new Board of Control saw as the corrupting influence of Company servants engaged in trade and personalized ties these entanglements generated”; removing Governor from being the “principal merchant of Madras and his Council members all traders”, and the criticism of the action 30 years later (62) was in the time of the “high colonial period of Company Raj” with a “well-established” independent court system

62-“In Madras, the effects of the 1784 Act become readily apparent only after 1802 when the establishment of the Supreme Court and Company records reveal that relations with Indians were now increasingly routinized by bureaucratic codes enforced by an independent court of law.”

-Suncoo’s rival had 2 examples of self representation that showed a mixture of Indian and British forms—especially by establishing public acknowledgement that he would be the patron of the Hindu social god—public, government acknowledgement was a new british institution

*65-“In fact, this new kind of society could not allow for racial mixing without obscuring its distinction between Indian subject and British ruler.”—gone were the ethical standards of personal relationships, “now Indians were to be judged by the British who from their position of institutionalized superiority could reward or ruin them.”

-Example 3: in an auto-biography written by P. Somoosoonthrum Chetty in 1889, (66) he never “addresses the British as if he and they shared the same ethical space and so could judge one another by the same criteria.”, and relationships are seen as employee/employer and heated emotions aren’t explicit though they “do seethe beneath [his] words”

69-his account stresses justice and law—not trust and friendship, emotions or enmity

70-Conclusions: in 18th century there is “a shared notion of what is appropriate”—compared to 19th ce which are “emotions are suppressed beneath a routinized order of law and public civility” (they are there, but “no outpouring” of it), and in Hindu temples where personalities still rueld, there was much corruption, and the identity of a “big-man” was limited to temple patronage

*71-“sense of self was of course still sustained in social relationships, but now these were publically regulated not by personal moral obligation and emotions, but by the impersonal rule of law and bureaucratic structures—even, we see, extending to the protection of individual rights against the collective interests of family”

*-“the self is not a fixed understanding…it is a dialogical historical process, importantly configured by the ruels of relationships and so by changes in public law and government administration.”, “the individual has a diminished role in construing social order.”

72-concludes: “Here was a clear motivation for seeking independence.”

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sahu, Sunil K. “Religion and Politics in India: The Emergence of Hindu Nationalism and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP),” in Religion and Politics in

Sahu, Sunil K. “Religion and Politics in India: The Emergence of Hindu Nationalism and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP),” in Religion and Politics in Comparative Perspective: The One, the Few, and the Many, eds. Ted Gerard Jelen and Clyde Wicox (Cambridge, UK; NY: Cambridge University Press 2002), 243-265.

SUMMARY: Examines the rise of BJP’s power in Indian government. Gives details about the history of the party, and the historical factors that are in play in Indian politics since the late 19th century. Conclusion predicts that, despite the BJP’s ostensible affiliation with Hinduism, Indian government will remain secular.

243-“…the official ideology of the early Indian state, and of the dominant Congress party, was secular nationalism. Hindu nationalist parties and organizations [e.g. BJP, the Ram Rajya Parishad, and the RSS]…were of marginal importance before and after India’s independence.”, and for 50 years after as well

-but since the 1980s, “…there has been a resurgence of Hindu nationalist ideology made manifest by the [BJP], and a concomitant decline in the consensus on secular nationalism.”

-BJP got 2 seats in 1984 parliamentary election, and “161 seats in the Lok Sabha (the lower house of parliament) in 1996, and formed a government that lasted only thirteen days. In March 1998, the BJP formed a minority government after winning 178 seats in the Lok Sabha. In elections held in October 1999, the BJP increased its numbers to 182 seats, and with its allies it secured a comfortable majority (302) in the Lok Sabha.”

-“These three elections over a four-year period have changed the nature of party politics in India. The (244) Congress party is in a state of disarray, suffering a humiliating defeat in the election of 1999, when it won only 114 seats in the Lok Sabha. In the golden jubilee year of India’s independence, Atal Bihari Vajpayee became the first prime minister since independence who was not associated with the Congress party…1998 will go down in history as the year of ‘Hindu Restoration’ in India.”—with the BJP for the first time giving the country “a conservative rightist alternative to the liberal centrist national governments”

244-India: greater than 82% are Hindu, 12% Muslim, Christians and Sikhs are 2% each; Buddhist and Jains are less than 1%; “India’s Muslim population is the fourth largest in the world”

-Muslims and Sikhs “have feared being overwhelmed” by the Hindu majority—that’s why Pakistan was created

245-Muslims and Hindus “lived side by side for more than one thousand years, but in the first half of the twentieth century there were hundreds of communal riots before independence and intense violence between the two following the partition of India in 1947. There after, the two communities lived in relative peace until the mid-1960s. Since the Muslims had lost most of their political leaders to Pakistan, Indian Muslims supported and voted for the secular Congress party on the understanding that the Congress government would maintain Muslim Personal Law and other aspects of Muslim culture. However, with the emergence of political action along religious and ethnic lines in the late 1960s, the Hindu-Muslim conflict escalated and violence against Muslims increase, culminating in the destruction of Babur’s mosque by a mob of Hindu fanatics on December 6, 1992.”

-Hinduism started around 2000 BCE and is “one of the most complex religions in the world”

-It’s the source of Jainism and Buddism—reform movements from the 6th century BCE; and Sikhism from 15th century

-no “identifiable founder or religious text”; 3 main deities: “Brahma (the creator of the universe), Vishnu (its preserver), and Shiva (its destroyer), but beyond the core is a bewildering diversity.”

-“There are regional variations as each cultural-linguistic area has its own tradition and local gods. Hindus worship different gods and goddesses, which are limited portrayals of the unlimited – ultimate reality that is formless, nameless, and without personality. Not all Hindus believe in the same things: some worship one god, others many; some go to the temple to worship, others to small shrines in their homes; some revere holy men and saints (yogis and gurus), others particular trees, animals, and stones.”

-all have “a core of common beliefs…based on ancient scriptures and sacred writings such as the four Vedas, the Upanishads, and the tow great epics, Ramayana and Mahaabharata.”

-believe in “doctrine of birth, rebirth and reincarnation or transmigration of souls.”

-“The Upanishads talk about the unity of the individual soul (atma) with the ultimate reality (Brahman). The goal of Hindus is to escape from the bondage of individual existence, which is temporary and painful and to be one with the Brahman.”

-karma (action) is “the moral law of causation” that “determines the sequence of rebirth”

246-to get free from rebirth, they follow the rules of dharma (duty or conduct) which is related to their caste; there are four castes which are hierarchical in the law of spiritual progression and social relations. From high to low: Brahmanas (priests and scholars), Kshatriyas (political rulers and soldiers), Vaishyas (merchants and cultivators), and Sudras (artisans and laborers)—and the castes are subdivided into greater than 3 thousand occupational groups; outside caste is untouchables: around 150 Million, subjected to oppression

-Islam “is far more unified than Hinduism”

-brought to India in early eighth century, “well-entrenched” by the 13th when the Delhi Sultanate was founded (1206)”

-16th century, Mughals—dynasty of Turkish rulers, ruled most of India from 1526—1707, formally ending with British rule in mid 19th century

-like Hinduism, it’s “an all-encompassing way of life”

247-“During the Mogul era, many Muslim rulers forced Hindus to convert to Islam, destroyed and desecrated Hindu temples and schools, and forbade public worship of Hindu idols and the building of new temples or repair of old ones…there was mutual hostility between religious leaders of both communities, but there was mutual acceptance among ordinary citizens.”

-some Muslim rulers (especially Akbar) had policy of tolerance

-both cultures “deeply influencing each other”, eg Indian Muslims developed “their own form of occupation-based caste distinction”; Muslim culture influenced Indian “art and architecture, literature and cuisine, and, more recently, cinema and popular culture.”—by early British rule, they were living peacefully side by side

-but in late 19th century, Hindu reform and revivalist movements and Hindu extremism created tensions; Hindu and Muslim religious symbols were used (even by the Congress party) to mobilize people

-“The British policy of divide and rule increased religious hostility, by introducing a system of ‘communal’ and ‘special’ representation, and separate electorates had sown the seeds of communal politics, which seriously undermined the congress’s effort to speak for Hindus as well as Muslims and become the sole voice of Indian nationalism. The disproportionate benefits derived by Hindus but not by Muslims from the introduction of English education further contributed to the problem.”

248-Sikhs “demanded a creation of a Punjabi-speaking province in the 1960s and a separatist movement for Khalistan (Land of the Pure) in the 1980s.

-Sikhism was established by Guru Nanak (a Hindu) at beginning of 16th century when Muslims were securing power. It’s reformist and monotheistic; emphasized unity of Godhead, forbids worship of idols, opposes caste system—though closer to Hinduism than Islam

-Mughals persecuted them and executed 2 gurus—leading to a Sikh martial tradition

-Sikh gurus were also rulers of kingdoms so there’s no separation of religion and state in its tradition; Brit annexed Sikh kingdom in the 19th century and Sikhs were loyal to British—getting them land and jobs

-After the Amritsar Massacre (1919)—379 Indians killed and 1200 wounded by British troops—Sikhs started supporting the Congress

-w/ reforms of 1947, Sikhs lost the previous British privileges—and “Because they were not adequately compensated for their losses, this grievance gave birth to the agitation for a separate Punjabi-speaking province…”, (249) this movement was politically led by the organization Akali Dal who based the demand on linguistic and ethnic, not religious, differences. A move “consistent with the Congress government effort, in the 1950s and early 1960s, to reorganize states along linguistic lines.”

249-But the successionist movement of the 1980s differed because violent radicals emphasized faith—and a faith-based state in a constitutionally secular India was unacceptable—Sikh violence in Punjab “was India’s most important political issue in the mid-1980s”

-The Congress tried to divide and weaken Akali Dal, but they reacted by mobilizing w/ violence and civil disorder

-Sikh terrorism killed 20-50 people per month from 1982-87 so Mrs. Gandhi ordered a raid on their holiest shrine to flush out terrorists and weapons—576 people killed and parts of the temple destroyed—so they assassinated her on 10/31/84, got her own sikh bodyguards to do it—sparking violence throughout India

250-her son, Rajiv Gandhi, became prime minister, signed accord in 1985, but many more years until peace was established

-the British had intentionally polarized Indians along “religious and communal lines”—separate electorates for Muslims in 1909, 1919, 1935; so Congress sought to end this; violence after partition took around 1 million lives

-44th amendment (1976) says all people get equal rights, and “neutrality” toward religion, but supports Hindu and Muslim temples and education institutions, and subsidy for hajj

-but religious freedom was institutionalized in some cases, (251) in others it had government involvement (eg Hindu temples had to be open to untouchables), and while Constitution says state won’t discriminate based on many things, including caste, there were reserved seats for scheduled castes and tribes federal and state legislatures, and the Hindu Code Bill (1955-56) codified law for Hindus but not Muslims and Christians (in “marriage, succession, guardianship, adoption, and maintenance”)

251-the Nehru/secular view was similar to Gandhi’s Hindu-based, non-violent and equality view, but the “militant” RSS saw Gandhi’s view as “appeasement” and though the government gave non-Hindus special protection—former RSS member killed Gandhi in 1948 and after that they were marginalized

252-RSS “is at the core of Hindu nationalism”, est 1925, “drew its ideology from the writings of V. D. Savarkar, who argued that ‘virtually everyone who has ancestral roots in India is a Hindu and collectively they constitute a nation.’”—saw Muslims and British as the Other; diversity within Hinduism is “either downplayed or completely ignored”

-125 thousand branches, “a youth wing and 3 thousand full-time instructor-propagandists”; (VHP), Akhil Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (largest trade union organization), and BJP—(253) all subscribe to this ideology, Hindutva

253-BJP: 17 million; RSS 2.5 M; ABKS 8 M; ABM: 4.5 M; VHP: 2.8 M

-BJP was preceeded by Bharatiy Jana Sangh (est 1951, a Hindu Nationalism group), focused on cultural issues and worked to reunite India and Pakistan; usually focused on Hindu heartland and Northern states; its head maintained ties with militant RSS, limiting its appeal to moderate Hindus and only won a few seats in parliament

254-in 1967 it joined in an anti-Indira Ghandi-coalition and got more parliamentary seats, and participating in the anti-Congress Camp in the 1970s “finally gave the party the acceptance it needed”; in 1977 it merged with three other by 1980 and the Jana Sangh contingent left the Janata party to form the BJP with the realization “that the old image of a party that gave narrow Brahminic interpretation of Hinduism had limited its appeal.”—and (255) got to expand its base to be a truly national party”

255-BJP “adopted the ideology of Gandhian socialism,” though it has shifted emphases a number of times with six distinct periods

-Phase I: the moderate BJP (1980-6); to change its image, it distanced itself from RSS and moved towards Ghandian socialism, while the Congress party started appealing for Hindu votes, campaigning against Sikh extremism

-Phase II: BJP’s tow-track strategy (1986-9); mainstream anti-Congress opposition and “carved out a base of its own through the mass mobilization of RSS and VHP.”—(256) based around the Shah Bano case and the re-opening of the Ran Jan Mabhoomi temple in 1986 after being closed for 37 years

256-Phase III: the militant BJP (1990-2): In 1989 they demanded that the Ram Jan temple “be handed over to ‘the Hindus’,” and asserted that it be re-built on the spot of a god-king’s (Rama) birthplace on which they believed Mughal emperor Babur built a mosque (Hindus have called for the temple to be torn down at least since the late 19th century); up to 110 million Indian Hindus and many other Hindus worshipped bricks and sent them there as building materials, at the same time Indian TV had TV series of (257) Indian epics, with around 100 million “devoted viewers,” creating more interest in Hinduism

257-BJP supporting the United Front government made it seem like part of the establishment—gaining support of “emerging middle class in small towns”

-1980s had big mobilizations for Muslims—Iranian Revolution, Zia ul-Haq’s Islamization of Pakistan, and conversion of Scheduled caste Hindus to Islam in Meenakshipuram in Tamil—caused uniting of Hindus w/ “shared hostility toward Muslims”

-in 1990, government stopped BJP leader from making chariot journey (like Lord Rama), so BJP withdrew support from government, they got several states in parliament in 1991 (on a Hindu, anti-Muslim platform) but because they got Uttar Pradesh (where the Ram Jan temple was), they couldn’t pressure central government to hand over Babri mosque to Hindus, so they changed their strategy

258-Phase IV: A “Responsible” national party in search for power (1992-98); Dec 1992 Hindus destroyed Babri mosque leading to “worst communal violence…since partition”; and neither BJP nor VHP could control the movement—so had to distance itself from Hindu organizations (esp RSS and VHP); in the 1993 elections it lost its states, so it backed off the Ram jan movement officially; then platform of anti-corruption and good government

-in 1996 it became the largest party in parliament, and continued to make alliances with regional parties on a middle of the road platform

259-Phase V: the BJP in Power (March 1998-99 elections); tested 5 nukes in 1998—promoting Pakistan to do the same, leading to US sanctions, though Indian public like it; banned controversial Hindu nationalist theater production and Satanic Verses, and withdrew recommendation for mandatory Sanskrit at schools—demonstrating its flexibility, of not being strict Hindu Nationalists

-Phase VI: BJP’s caretaker government and its victory in the 1999 elections; India had several good events for its image: inflation decreased, it won the Kargil war with Pakistan, (260) then it’s smaller group NDA got the majority in the Lok Sabha

261-today, Punjab is peaceful, Sikh nationalism is very low

-BJP’s appeal was not so much religious but its “superior organization” and appeal to middle and upper class groups

262-but contradictions in Constitution on secularism remain

-India conformed with the GATT treaty, liberalizing Indian economy (against the RSS’ wishes); denounced anti-Christian violence; (253) though it stil relies on RSS electoral presence

263-and it has also fragmented making it lose some power