ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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‘Divine’ Power, Social Cohesion and Hierarchy in Himachal Pradesh

Cast(e) on the Hill

Caste has often been viewed as a system of hierarchy based on the religious ideology of the Hindus with a common structure across the subcontinent. Based on an extensive empirical study of Himachal Pradesh, this paper shows how caste actively articulates with the given realities of ecology, economy and the local histories of political regimes. Even though inequality and untouchability exist, their structures have specific regional forms. While it documents the everyday practices of faith and their local specificities, the ethnographic accounts presented in the paper also have implications for our understanding of Hinduism in the present-day context.

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