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Begging, Street Politics and Power: Secular and Religious Laws
Published by Routledge
Begging is a complex phenomenon, and its causes are multi-dimensional, ranging from religion, to socio-economic crime and politics. Likewise, the beggar does not belong to a homogenous group. Beggars are heterogenous in nature belonging to many different categories, from children, to adults, to the elderly. Begging, Street Politics and Power focuses on the concepts of begging, street politics, religion and power in two different contexts: India and Pakistan. Considering both religious and secular begging regulation, and drawing on Hindu and Islamic engagements with begging as well as laws regulating begging in both geographical contexts, the book brings to the debate a wider social scientific critique of the power relationships inherent in this phenomenon. In doing so, the book will also unravel many of the commonalities and differences in religion and society within South Asia. Therefore, this book will be of interest to scholars working across the fields of religious studies, social science, law and South Asian studies.
Introduction Part 1 1 The role of charity in religion: Hinduism and Islam 2 Religious regulation of begging and power dynamics created in society through religious donor-recipient relationship Part 2 3 Reasons for secular begging (perceptions of beggars) 4 Legal Regulation of begging 5 Street Politics: Power relationships between beggar, donor and state on the streets Conclusion
Sheba Saeed is an assistant professor at the Institute of Business Administration, (IBA), Karachi, Pakistan and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Birmingham, UK. Prior to her career in academia, Sheba practiced as a solicitor in the UK. For her doctoral research she provided a critique on the regulation of begging in Mumbai using religious and secular laws in an audio-visual format with a written thesis. Her debut documentary was Beggars of Lahore . The film has screened at International Conferences and Film Festivals.
Reviewer: Paul Doolan
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