Religious Giving Outside the Law in New Delhi

Erica Bornstein

in Sacred Aid

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199916023
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199950447 | DOI:
Religious Giving Outside the Law in New Delhi

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This chapter explains how and why religious charity and secular humanitarianism have been legally separated into two distinctive fields in India. It first describes the nature and extent of religious giving in India, and notes that $92 million is donated annually to Hindu shrines. It then looks at three legislative contexts that helped in forming the divide, namely the British Trust law, the formation of the secular constitution of early postindependence India and Personal Law, and the control of modern nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) through Tax Law. It presents a summary of the scope and practice of Hindu religious giving, and then studies how distinctions between secular and religious giving were legally recorded during a period of colonial “noninterference” in Indian custom and religion.

Keywords: religious charity; secular humanitarianism; religious giving; Hindu shrines; legislative contexts; divide; British Trust law; Tax Law; colonial noninterference

Chapter.  10962 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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