My original intention in studying the religions of India was to analyze the interactions between Hindus and Muslims. Although I had read various references to Hindu and Muslim participation in each other’s festivals, I found the analysis of these dynamics in contemporary India very limited. On the basis of those accounts, I had formed an assumption that the boundary separating Muslims and Hindus was clear, yet quite permeable. When I first encountered Sindhi Hindu elements at the Jhule Lal Mandir at Sindhi Ghat in Lucknow, what caught my eye was the inscription in Devanagiri (the primary script for Sanskrit and Hindi) and Nastaliq (the primary script for Arabic, Urdu, and Sindhi). Not being familiar with Jhule Lal or the Sindhi language at that time, I assumed that the inscription in two languages signified a site that attracted both Hindus and Muslims, a clear example of the harmonious interactions that I wanted to research.
KeywordsDominant Community Collective Identification Religious Identification Regional Distinctiveness Hindu Tradition
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