The Life of Law in Modern India

Janaki Nair

in Iterations of Law

Published in print December 2017 | ISBN: 9780199477791
Published online April 2018 | e-ISBN: 9780199091096 | DOI:
The Life of Law in Modern India

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  • Asian History
  • Social and Cultural History


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The increasing attraction of non-state legal institutions as courts of appeal for a quick and summary justice bears scrutiny. How have sectarian religious institutions, which formerly patrolled the boundaries of caste and gender, been adapted in the present to exert an influence far beyond the specific circle of adherents to offer the possibility of justice to a wide range of groups and causes? The matha court at Sirigere, Karnataka, is a far cry from its late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century predecessor, both in its performance of the law, and in its ambitious reach. The chapter explores how successfully it has responded to the desire for law deploying the moral authority of the Swamiji in resolving a range of disputes, and to communities and castes on issues and problems which exceed the confines of the sectarian.

Keywords: of non-state legal institutions; sectarian religious institutions; matha court; Sirigere; Karnataka; Swamiji; caste and gender

Chapter.  14622 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Asian History ; Social and Cultural History

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