Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Pilgrimage and PowerThe Kumbh Mela in Allahabad, 1765-1954$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Kama Maclean

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195338942

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195338942.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 05 December 2019

 The Sarkari Mela

 The Sarkari Mela

The Allahabad Kumbh, 1954

(p.191) 6 The Sarkari Mela
Pilgrimage and Power

Kama Maclean (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The newly independent government took a prominent role in encouraging people to attend the first Kumbh after independence, which was held in a spirit of celebration. If critics of the British administration of the festival had pointed to its heavy handedness and a sense of dismissiveness of the “heathen beliefs” that were enacted at the mela, the Indian administration of it was to be characterised by a more encouraging ethos. Sadly, hundreds of pilgrims died on the biggest bathing day, largely as a result of crowd mismanagement, which the subsequent inquiry blamed largely on the aggressive actions of a band of sadhus. The findings of the official inquiry were not well accepted, as attested to by a thriving oral tradition which maintains that there was a cover-up in the inquiry. This chapter examines closely the Kumbh Tragedy, examining a range of evidence, analysing the recriminations and debates and that attempted to reimagine the relationship between the state and religious events. The chapter concludes with a brief overview of government-mela interactions since independence.

Keywords:   postcolonialism, nation, peasants, modernity, pilgrims, risk management, Hindu politics, Kambh Tragedy

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .