This innovative, interdisciplinary collection of essays by scholars based in Europe and the United States offers stimulating approaches to the role played by religion in present-day South Asia.
This book explores the representation of Hinduism through myth and discourse in urban Hindi theatre in the period 1880-1960. It discusses representative works of seven influential playwrights and looks into the ways they have imagined and re-imagined Hindu traditions. Diana Dimitrova examines the intersections of Hinduism and Hindi theatre, emphasizing the important role that both myth and discourse play in the representation of Hindu traditions in the works of Bharatendu Harishcandra, Jayshankar Prasad, Lakshminarayan Mishra, Jagdishcandra Mathur, Bhuvaneshvar, Upendranath Ashk, and Mohan Rakesh. Dimitrova'a analysis suggests either a traditionalist or a more modernist stance toward religious issues. She emphasizes the absence of Hindi-speaking authors who deal with issues implicit to the Muslim or Sikh or Jain, etc. traditions. This prompts her to suggest that Hindi theatre of the period 1880-1960, as represented in the works of the seven dramatists discussed, should be seen as truly `Hindu-Hindi' theatre.
This book brings together several important essays examining the interface between identity, culture, and literature within the issue of cultural identity in South Asian literature. The book explores how one imagines national identity and how this concept is revealed in the narratives of the nation and the production of various cultural discourses. The collection of essays examines questions related to the interpretation of the Indian past and present, the meanings of ancient and venerated cultural symbols in ancient times and modern, while discussing the ideological implications of the interpretation of identity and "Indianness" and how they reflect and influence the power-structures of contemporary societies in South Asia. Thus, the book studies the various aspects of the on-going process of constructing, imagining, re-imagining, and narrating "Indianness", as revealed in the literatures and cultures of India.