The Hindu Sufis of South Asia
Partition, Shrine Culture and the Sindhis in India
Within the complex religious landscape of modern India, the community of Sindh stands out as a powerful example of interfaith relations. This Hindu community moved to India and practiced Sufism following Sindh's inclusion to Pakistan in the 1947 partition. Drawing on a close analysis of literature and poetry, interviews with key informants, and a reading of historic rituals and architectures, Michel Boivin demonstrates that this active religious minority has managed to retain its unique Hindu-Sufi identity amidst the rigidification of official religions in both India and Pakistan. Of particular significance, Boivin argues, was the creation of sacred spaces called darbars. These shrines include a religious building where the Hindu Sindhis worship Sufi saints, chant Sufi poetry and perform Sufi rituals.
In looking at this vibrant community as a trans-religious culture capable of navigating the challenges of the modern nation state, this book is an important contribution to understanding the Muslim-Hindu encounter in India.