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Altar of Power: The Temple and the State in the Land of Jagannatha Sixteenth to Nineteenth Centuries

 
Yaaminey Mubayi (Author)
Synopsis Is it possible to remove political institutions from their cultural context? The question is a relevant one in the wake of recent debates on the role of religious and social identities in the functioning of the modern Indian state. The ritual bond between the Jagannatha Temple, Puri and the Gajapati kings of Orissa aptly demonstrates the enduring power of such a link. This book explores the evolution of this relationship since the construction of the Temple by Anantavarman Codagangadeva in AD 1147, until the takeover of Orissa by the British East India Company in 1803. When this link was taken over by the colonial regime we see a fundamental shift in the premise underlying the Temple-State relationship. Certain institutions were retained to promote the notion of the 'Compact Ideal'. Yet these were bereft of their contextual framework. The Gajapati raja was removed from the throne but was given authority over Temple functioning. The Temple was de-linked from the networks of resource distribution that connected it with the land. Yet it was circumscribed and denoted as a 'separate' sacred entity, removed from the State, an expression of the Company regime's benevolent tolerance of local customs and beliefs. The unique situations of conflict and contradictions that marked the clash between 'traditional' and 'modern' systems of governance of social institutions, form the substance of this study of the Jagannatha Temple.
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About the author

Yaaminey Mubayi

Yaaminey Mubayi is a development consultant with experience in exploring the social and cultural context of governance institutions. Having graduated Magna cum Laude from Mount Holyoke College, USA, she completed her Doctorate in History from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi as well as an MSc in Social Policy from the London School of Economics. She worked as a member of the Culture team at UNESCO, New Delhi, and is now working with NGOs on issues of urban governance.

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Bibliographic information

Title Altar of Power: The Temple and the State in the Land of Jagannatha Sixteenth to Nineteenth Centuries
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2005
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 9788173045868
length 262p., Notes; Bibliography; Index; 23cm.
Subjects History