South Asia

Organized Panel Session

4 - B-School Religion: Spirituality in Kolkata's Tech Hub

Thursday, March 22
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Location: Marriott Balcony B, Mezzanine Level

Kolkata is a city of many faces. The historic downtown abounds with colonial-era domed and columned buildings, large parks, and wide roads. Beyond the center, narrow streets wind through neighborhood street vendors, tram lines, and multi-family homes. As Kolkata expands, satellite towns are being built to house IT hubs, business parks, shopping malls, and gated high-rise apartment complexes. These towns are constructed on a grid system and feature modern architecture that make them interchangeable with countless other IT hubs across the globe. Religion is present in each of these urban spaces. The city proper contains the spires, minarets, and shikharas of grand churches, mosques, and temples, as well as roadside shrines. People who frequent these spaces wear tilaks and topis, or decorate their cars with accouterment in ways that expose their religious identities. In the new satellite neighborhoods, business schools and the people who frequent them sport architecture, décor, and clothing seemingly absent of religion. Yet behind the sleek glass facades, laptops, and suits, an incorporeal form of religion emerges. The religion of Kolkata’s tech townships cloaks Hindu theology behind a religion fit for global consumption – invisible, universal, and generically Indian. This religion urges business school students to be moral and productive members of the global economy while exporting “Indian spirituality” to the world.

Deonnie Moodie

University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma


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4 - B-School Religion: Spirituality in Kolkata's Tech Hub

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