Accepted paper:

Is 'sacred commerce' becoming part of the 'sacred complex' in india?


Anjali Chauhan (Sri JNPG College, University of Lucknow)

Paper short abstract:

It examines sacred complex theory in contemporary scenario.

Paper long abstract:

The Indian Anthropological theories need to be revisited and restudied, since the society is in a stage of constant transformation.The economic progress, modernisation, globalisation, rise of materialism, all has contributed to this socio-cultural change in the last six decades. The concept of 'sacred complex' was first given by L.P.Vidyarthi(1961) who discussed it in context of Gaya (one of the holy cities in India). Ever since many social scientists have applied the concept to several famous religious spots in Indian sub-continent. But the author has found that today if one takes up religious cities in India one shall find not just the three components mentioned by Vidyarthi, namely sacred geography, sacred specialist and sacred performance but an additional element now exists in the sacred complex which may be called the 'sacred commerce'. The present paper shall analyse the sacred complex of Haridwar which is the epicentre of Hindus throughout the world. The author shall discuss the three essential elements of the sacred complex of Haridwar as well as try to prove that a fourth element i.e. the sacred commere exists in the sacred complex.

panel WMW02
Religion In contemporary south Asia