By Steven Wesley Ramey
This multi-sited ethnography considers the impression of contested definitions at the studies and representations of Sindhi Hindus. Ramey acknowledges how the dominant definitions of Hinduism, Islam, and Sikhism problem groups who defy such understandings and analyzes the methods Sindhi Hindus have validated their unconventional practices and historical past within the context in their diaspora. through reading concrete examples of the construction of a background within the context of migration, this ebook considers the consequences of representations of religions for Sindhi Hindus and different related groups.
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Additional resources for Hindu, Sufi, or Sikh: contested practices and identifications of Sindhi Hindus in India and beyond
This organization created a school that incorporated traditional Islamic scholarship with aspects of an English education to empower the ulama to address contemporary situations (Robinson 1997b, 274–275). At the turn of the twenty-first century, this school continued to attract Muslims to Lucknow. Spurred by the patronage of the Nawabs, Lucknow boasted a culture of hospitality and refinement. Muzaffar Alam connects this hospitality and interreligious tolerance to the Sufi concept of Wahdat-al-Wujud (Unity of Being) that was prevalent in the empire of the Nawabs.
However, the city is better known in modern history for its role in Islamic empires and society. Under the Mughal emperor Akbar, Lucknow became an administrative center for one portion of Awadh, a region that stretched across the Gangetic plain from Lucknow to Ayodhya. In the eighteenth century, the regional rulers of Awadh, the Nawab dynasty, played a significant role in the politics of the Mughal Empire. Ironically, when Nadir Shah and his Persian forces invaded Sindh in 1739, they faced a Mughal army under the command of the governor of Awadh, Sa’adat Khan, who founded the Nawab dynasty.
For example, during my fieldwork tens of thousands of Dalits publicly converted to Buddhism in protest against “upper caste Hindu hegemony” (Mukul 2001, 6). Beyond its more specific political assertions, this conversion clearly recognized Buddhism as distinct from Hinduism. Most important for the purposes of this study, many Sikhs, reiterating the ideology of the Khalsa (the Pure, referring to Sikhs who have taken initiation according to traditions associated with Gobind Singh), forcefully argued for the recognition of Sikhism as a distinct religion from Hinduism.
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