21 August, 2012

Marga: Ways of Liberation, Empowerment, and Social Change in Maharashtra

Marga: Ways of Liberation, Empowerment, and Social Change in Maharashtra

By- M. Naito, I. Shima and H. Kotani (eds.)

This volume which provides a comprehensive overview to Maharashtrian culture and society is divided into four sections.

Section I includes articles dealing with sant tradition of Maharashtra, life and thinking of Jnanesvara (Dnyaneshwar) and Eknath in particular, and in a figurative sense, that of B.R. Ambedkar as an admirer of the sant tradition, especially of Tukaram.

Three articles in Section II discuss the cultural problems involving languages, specifically the relationships between the high (elite) languages, such as Sanskrit, Persian and English, and a popular language like Marathi. How the elite languages and the culture based on them were related to the way of life of ordinary people is the focal point. Other articles in Section II
deal with ideologies and movements for social reform in modern Maharashtra including the problem of women’s emancipation.

Section III contains articles dealing with politico-social and politico-cultural movements in modern and contemporary Maharashtra, a symbolic concept of which is satyagraha, though the implications of the term are multifarious.

Articles in Section IV explore the religious practices of Maharashtrians in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, such as all-India level pilgrimage like tristhaliyatra (pilgrimage to Varanasi, Gaya and Prayaga) as well as local-level ones like those to Pandharpur and more minor sacred places in Maharashtra.

The volume will be indispensable for scholars working on South Asian religion and culture.

Masao Naito is Professor in the Department of History, Senshu University, Tokyo. He has specialized in modern thoughts and political movements based on them in Maharashtra, including those of the Dalits.

Iwao Shima was Professor, Faculty of Humanities, Kanazawa University, specializing in Hindu philosophy with main focus on Sankara and Jnanesvara. He died all of a sudden on 21 May 2007.

Hiroyuki Kotani is Member of the Science Council of Japan and Professor Emeritus of
Tokyo Metropolitan University.

ISBN  81-7304-762-6    2008   4740p.   Rs.1175/ pounds 65

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