South Asia

Organized Panel Session

3 - Caste, Body and the Nonhuman: Indian ‘Environmental’ Revivalism and its Deep Contradictions

Friday, July 6
2:40 PM - 4:10 PM
Location: Juniper, New Building

Over the last decade, we have seen the emergence of an Indian revivalism of “nature” – one that is steeped in notions of Vedic philosophies and expressed in the Indian middle-class’ keenness in consuming ayurvedic products and practices. These have been branded and repackaged as authentically ‘Hindu’, whether these be practices (fasting, yoga, astrology, vastu sastra, etc to help couples have ‘designer babies’, avoid mishaps, build homes, or plan travels), or byproducts (such as those by Patanjali, Dabur India ltd, Sri Sri Ayurveda, etc believed to be natural and ancient and therefore beneficial for the body) and lapped up by an avid middle class. This has happened along with this class’ urge to be portrayed as a people who have tapped into their spiritual inner selves, ridding themselves of colonial legacies, to finally arrive on the world stage as ‘brand India’.


This use of ‘nature’ in contemporary middle-class India contrasts with the ways in which modes of engaged multi-species environments and environmental ethics are and have been lived out by the non-urban majority of Indians. Highlighting the recent ethnographic contributions on the debates over environmentalism and caste to talk about the body, this paper would like to critically examine why beef and its consumption has become such an issue in certain parts of India. This will lead to an analyses of the Indian middle classes’ contradictions and paradoxes when it comes to thinking about the body and the care of nonhumans, and how these contradictions and paradoxes plague discussions about caste.

Send Email for Annu Jalais


Assets

3 - Caste, Body and the Nonhuman: Indian ‘Environmental’ Revivalism and its Deep Contradictions



Attendees who have favorited this

Please enter your access key

The asset you are trying to access is locked. Please enter your access key to unlock.

Send Email for Caste, Body and the Nonhuman: Indian ‘Environmental’ Revivalism and its Deep Contradictions