(Self) Representation and Reception of Jews in Colonial India Cover Image

Žydų (Savi) Reprezentacija Ir Recepcija Kolonijinėje Indijoje
(Self) Representation and Reception of Jews in Colonial India

Author(s): Audrius Beinorius
Subject(s): Jewish studies, Social Philosophy, Philosophy of Religion, Ethnic Minorities Studies, Sociology of Religion
Published by: Visuomeninė organizacija »LOGOS«
Keywords: India; jews; identity; (self)representation; reception; zionism; anti-semitism;

Summary/Abstract: The article is dedicated to the Indian discourse about the Jews, who constitute one of the country’s tiniest minorities. The paper considers the Indian representations of the Jews in the context of more general issues of Indian history. It relies on the methodological tools stemming from the study of representations and of interdisciplinary discourse analysis. The author is also looks at the rhetorical representations of Jews and at the wider political and socio-religious contexts in which representations of Jews are provided. What was specific about the otherness of the Jews with respect to India? What were Indian responses to the Zionist movements and European anti-Semitism? Did European rhetoric of anti-Semitism affect the Indian discussions? The paper is based on the sources of the colonial administration, references to Jewish topics, the writings of the leaders of Indian socio-religious and nationalist movements (Dayananda Saraswati, Swami Vivekananda, Mahatma Gandhi and others), and the sources of Jews communities of India themselves. The article’s conclusion is that it was due to the advance of British rule that the Indian discourse about the Jews came into being. The different religious and socio-political groups contain a variety of diverse and even contradictory discussions of the Jews. These discussions were always mediated by wider discourses on the „other“ in the context of Indian religion and politics and used the subject of Jews as s tool in the construction of Indian identity.

  • Issue Year: 2015
  • Issue No: 83
  • Page Range: 64-77
  • Page Count: 14
  • Language: Lithuanian