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Iterations of LawLegal Histories from India$
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Aparna Balachandran, Rashmi Pant, and Bhavani Raman

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199477791

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199477791.001.0001

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The Life of Law in Modern India

The Life of Law in Modern India

A Present History of the Matha Court

(p.16) 1 The Life of Law in Modern India
Iterations of Law

Janaki Nair

Oxford University Press

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

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