Religion, Ritual and Exclusion. Reflections on Kodungallur Bharani Festival in Kerala (south India)
This article examines the festival of Kali oracles in the ancient city of Kodungallur (central Kerala – South India) in the context of social and cultural exclusion. It asks why certain religious practices of the outcastes, considered as “unmoral” and “uncivilised” by the mainstream society, can become result in people’s exclusion. It emphasises the way rituals and religion are used to preserve the caste system in modern India. By looking at the history of the festival, the article also describes the very slow progress of changes imposed by the high ranked castes in an attempt to take control and ultimately censor the unwanted practices of the lower strata of the society.
Key words: ritual, Hinduism, social exclusion, discrimination, India, Kerala, oracles, Kali, outcastes, DalitsOtwórz Artykuł