Crushing Defeat of Hindutva attempts to saffronize Californian textbooks

jkirk jkirk at SPRO.NET
Fri Mar 10 20:17:30 UTC 2006

On the other hand, if one takes into consideration the differences between 
women's religious practices and those of men in India, and village practices 
as well as urban sophisticated practices, we often, even if not usually, 
find that village women are very polytheistic in their religious ceremonies, 
rituals, and beliefs,  rarely saying that they are "worshipping God (Ishwar, 
or whomever)," unless some ideologue has gotten to them. The same, by the 
way, used to apply to Muslim village women in Bangladesh, who observed 
ritual practices of appeasement to local deities having nothing to do with 
Islam (I don't refer to Muslim saints here).
By this time, however, with the highly funded influence over the past thirty 
years of Wahhabist Islam in Bangladesh, the villagers have probably by now 
changed their ways.
Joanna Kirkpatrick
> Jan,
> I think you have touched on an important issue.  I tell my
> undergraduates that, while there are certainly many "gods" in that
> complex family of religious traditions that we have labeled
> "Hinduism," for any given Hindu, there is one and only one supreme
> being. Obviously, if you talk to different Hindus from differing
> theological traditions, you will discover a number of different
> supreme beings (God or Goddess, capital "G").  But if we draw
> conclusions from this about a religion called "Hinduism" we can
> easily be mislead.
> All best wishes,
> Lance

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