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Through shrewd marketing and publicity, Hindu spiritual leaders can play powerful roles in contemporary India as businessmen and government officials. Focusing on the organizations and activities of Hindu ascetics and gurus, the author explores the complex interrelations among religion, the political economy of India and global capitalism. McKean traces the ideological and organizational antecedents to the Hindu nationalist movement. The Indian state's increasing patronage of Hindu institutions makes competition increases its support. Using materials from guru's publications, the press and extensive field research, McKean examines how participation by upper-caste ruling class groups in the Divine Life Society and other Hindu organizations further legitimates their own authority. With a selection of photographs and advertisements showing icons of spirituality used to sell commodities from textiles to cement to comic books, the work illustrates the pervasive presence of Hindu imagery in India's burgeoning market economy. It shows how gurus popularize Hindu nationalism through imagery such as the goddess, Mother India, and her martyred sons and daughters.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780226560106
ISBN-10: 0226560104
Format: Paperback
(230mm x 150mm x 24mm)
Pages: 380
Imprint: University of Chicago Press
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Publish Date: 9-May-1996
Country of Publication: United States

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