Title Poverty and the Quest for Life: Spiritual and Material Striving in Rural India
Book Condition New
Jacket Condition New
Publisher New Delhi, India Oxford University Press 2015
0199459665 / 9780199459667
Seller ID 110220
The Indian subdistrict of Shahabad, located in the dwindling forests of the southeastern tip of Rajasthan, is an area of extreme poverty. Beset by droughts and food shortages in recent years, it is the home of the Sahariyas, former bonded laborers, officially classified as Rajasthan`s only `primitive tribe`. From afar, we might consider this the bleakest of the bleak, but in Poverty and the Quest for Life, Bhrigupati Singh asks us to reconsider just what quality of life means. He shows how the Sahariyas conceive of aspiration, advancement and vitality in both material and spiritual terms and how such bridging can engender new possibilities of life. Singh organizes his study around two themes - power and ethics, through which he explores a complex terrain of material and spiritual forces. Authority remains contested, whether in divine or human forms - the state is both despised and desired, high and low castes negotiate new ways of living together, in conflict but also cooperation - new gods move across rival social groups, animals and plants leave their tracks on human subjectivity and religiosity and the potential for vitality persists even as natural resources steadily disappear. Studying this milieu, Singh offers new ways of thinking beyond the religion-secularism and nature-culture dichotomies, juxtaposing questions about quality of life with political theologies of sovereignty, neighborliness and ethics, in the process painting a rich portrait of perseverance and fragility in contemporary rural India. Printed Pages: 348.
Poverty and the Quest for Life: Spiritual and Material Striving in Rural India Bhrigupati Singh