Bhārat Mātā

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The name given to the geographical land of India conceived as a goddess. Apparently first appearing in this form in mid-19th century Bengal, by the early 20th century she had become a pan-Indian goddess, identified by her devotees with Devī or Durgā, and thus presented as an ancient Hindu deity. Inspiring patriotic poetry in many languages and attracting the allegiance of all types of Indian nationalists and religious revivalists, Bhārat Mātā has had temples built in her honour (notably one in Vārāṇasī housing a large relief map), has been widely depicted on posters and calendar art, and has more recently become a symbol of militant Hindu nationalism.

Subjects: Hinduism.

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