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The Unwanted Offering. Ubiquity And Success Of Failure In A Ritual Of The Hindu Right

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Chapter Summary

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) is involved in social and educational grassroots work, runs schools for economically and socially marginalized groups like the Dalit or Adivasi, in economically backward rural areas or urban slums. This chapter shows that the performance of a ritual, like Schieffelin has argued, is a risky undertaking on many levels and in various ways, vulnerable to various internal and external structural factors and contingencies. Failure is caused by and impacts on a range of social and religious agents who are directly or indirectly involved in the ritual's organisation and proceedings. The chapter describes that 'failure's presence' is ubiquitous, lingering on various levels of those religio-political rituals of the Hindu Right, and argue this on four levels of enquiry: the level of internal critique; the level of confrontation with external forces; the level of organisers and speakers of the Hindu Right; and at the level of support/mobilisation.

Keywords: Hindu Right; religious leaders; ritual failure; Schieffelin; Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP)



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