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Beyond Hindu and Muslim: Multiple Identity in Narratives by Peter Gottschalk

By Peter Gottschalk

Wondering the normal depiction of India as a kingdom divided among non secular groups, Gottschalk exhibits that people dwelling in India have a number of identities, a few of which reduce throughout non secular limitations. The tales narrated by way of villagers residing within the northern country of Bihar depict daily social interactions that go beyond the straightforward divide of Hindu and Muslim.

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A Hindu renunciant who lives an ascetic life in pursuit of release from the cycle of rebirth. 49. Van der Veer, pp. 45–46. 50. , p. 50. 51. , p. 25. For an in-depth examination of these efforts in Banaras, see Vasudha Dalmia. The Nationalization of Hindu Traditions: Bharatendu Hari:chandra and Nineteenth-Century Banaras. Calcutta: Oxford University Press, 1997. 52. A Muslim mystic who may or may not belong to a lineage of spiritual teachers. Multiple Identities, Singular Representations 23 the advances made by Muslim military leaders.

1. 8. Harider Baweji, “Interview” in India Today International (June 15, 1998), p. 36. 9. Manoj Joshi, “Nuclear Shock Waves” in India Today International (May 25, 1998), p. 12. 10. The day is Vai:akh :ukla fifteen. S. B. Singh, Fairs and Festivals in Rural India: A Geospatial Study of Belief Systems. Varanasi: Tara Book Agency, 1989, p. 48. Many Hindus consider Gautam Buddha as the eighth avatar of the god Shiv. 11. Joshi, p. 12. ”13 The Sanskrit term :akti not only connotes power and strength but also refers to the energy of the Goddess.

Muslims in Vijayanagara? Certainly, but Western historiography often identifies each kingdom according to the religious tradition of its politically ruling dynasty. The religious lives of one family supposedly determined the character of a kingdom and the space that it inhabits. The spatial division of South Asia according to religious identifications culminated ultimately in the actual partition of the Subcontinent into India and Pakistan by the retreating British in 1947. 78 This left Jinnah complaining of a “moth-eaten” Pakistan with its two “wings” geographically discontiguous and deprived of the Gangetic heartland of South Asian Muslim culture.

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