What It Means To Be A Hindu
Malvika Maheshwari
PUBLIC HINDUISMS by John Zavos, Pralay Kanungo, Deepa S. Reddy, Maya Warrier, Raymond Brady Williams Sage Publications, 2013, 507 pp., 950
May 2013, volume 37, No 5

The book under review Public Hinduisms has a captivating title and an even more engaging set of questions that it seeks to explore: ‘How does Hinduism become public? What forms of translation or disciplinary processes inform the passage of ideas about what it means to be a Hindu as they are expressed in a range of different public environments? Who feels empowered by such transitions, and who feels dispossessed?’ With these evidently broad and complex set of questions for a single edited volume of 500 and odd pages, it gives an impression of being many books in one. There are also five thematically ordered sections and each section with a different editor. For instance, John Zavos is the editor of the first section on ‘Research Public Hinduisms, Pralay Kanungo has edited the section on ‘Community Mobilizations,’ Deepa S. Reddy for ‘Mediating Hinduisms’ and so on. However, this first impression of the book being too unrestricted is soon dispelled after a few pages into it; in fact the book is extremely manageable and clear in its approach.

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