The Regulation of Religion and the Making of Hinduism in Colonial Trinidad

By Alexander Rocklin | Go to book overview

Postscript

I am a modern Hindu.

—Seepersad Naipaul, 1933

The goddess Kali was going to kill the Trinidad Guardian’s reporter. Only blood could sate Her thirst for revenge for his slight. What was a modern Hindu to do?

A Trinidad Guardian article in 1933 reported that “amazing superstitious practices among Indians” were a major factor hindering local authorities in Caroni, in the northwest of central Trinidad, from stemming the spread of paralytic rabies among animals. Rather than seeking out medico-scientific remedies, villages were reportedly organizing animal sacrifices for the fierce goddess Kali as an antidote.1 The article was written by Seepersad Naipaul, an author and the Guardian’s correspondent for central Trinidad in the early 1930s (as well as being the father of eventual Nobel laureate V. S. Naipaul). Almost two weeks later, another article appeared in the Sunday Guardian entitled “Guardian Reporter Threatened with Death!” Naipaul wrote that after the publication of his article calling Kali worship “superstition,” he received an anonymous letter from a Kali devotee telling him he had offended the goddess and predicting his untimely demise the following Sunday if he did not perform a goat sacrifice to Her. In this subsequent article, Naipaul went on to refer to Kali worship as “a species of ju-ju.”2 “Ju-ju” in colonial comparative religion terminology referred to West African fetish worship and meant “superstition” in discourse more broadly.3 Naipaul was in effect here calling Kali worship obeah.4

In the following days, there was a series of somewhat farcical articles on the goddess’s threat, debating whether or not Naipaul should capitulate to Her alleged demands. Naipaul was an Arya Samaji, a follower of the iconoclastic and monotheistic Hindu movement the Arya Samaj, which he referred to as “modern” or “reformed” Hinduism and which was also opposed to animal sacrifice. Reflecting middle-class discomfort with poor and working-class, often combinative, modes of interacting with superhuman beings, Naipaul called Kali worship not “religion” but a “cult.” In a somewhat

-231-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Regulation of Religion and the Making of Hinduism in Colonial Trinidad
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - Crossing the Dark Water 19
  • Part I - Religion 35
  • 2 - Converting Religion 37
  • 3 - Regulating Religion 73
  • 4 - Outlawing Religion 110
  • Part II - Hinduism 149
  • 5 - Standardizing Sanatana Dharma 151
  • 6 - Making World Religions 192
  • Postscript 231
  • Notes 239
  • Bibliography 271
  • Index 291
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 298

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.