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A Joint EnterpriseIndian Elites and the Making of British Bombay$
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Preeti Chopra

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816670369

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816670369.001.0001

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Of Gods and Mortal Heroes: Conundrums of the Secular Landscape of Colonial Bombay

Of Gods and Mortal Heroes: Conundrums of the Secular Landscape of Colonial Bombay

Chapter:
(p.191) 6 Of Gods and Mortal Heroes: Conundrums of the Secular Landscape of Colonial Bombay
Source:
A Joint Enterprise
Author(s):

Preeti Chopra

Publisher:
University of Minnesota Press
DOI:10.5749/minnesota/9780816670369.003.0006

This chapter examines the secularization of Indian religious structures by the British, and the accommodation of the religious by Indians into the secular public landscape. The British redirected some associations of monuments by converting certain places of worship to secular use, such as for a governor's residence or as a protected public monument. Public buildings and spaces were meant to accommodate British worthies and underscore the benefits of colonial rule, thereby upholding the myths of the colonizer's civil religion. However, the local population redirected the meanings associated with secular colonial public buildings and public gardens by introducing religious buildings and rituals into these sites. Moreover, through acts of philanthropy, the Indian elite ensured that there was space for both British and Indian worthies at these sites.

Keywords:   religion, joint enterprise, public buildings, secularization, religious structures, colonial rule, philanthropy

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