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Mapping faith-based development activities in contemporary Maharashtra, India

Jodhka, Surinder, S. and Bora, Pradyumna (2009) Mapping faith-based development activities in contemporary Maharashtra, India. Working Paper. University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK.

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URL of Published Version: http://www.religionsanddevelopment.org/files/resourcesmodule/@random454f80f60b3f4/1249395995_working_paper_28.pdf

Identification Number/DOI: ISBN: 0704427672/ 9780704427679


Despite apparent commitment to secular political and development models, over the last six decades in India, the presence of religion in the public sphere has expanded. Whilst religious organizations' involvement in welfare and charitable activities has a long history, the objectives of the religion reform movements and faith-based organizations that emerged during the colonial era were to strengthen their respective faith communities, drawing clearer boundaries between them, fighting against perceived 'social evils', and gaining legitimacy vis-a-vis the colonial state. The nationalist struggles and coming of independence significantly changed this social context. After independence, a state-centred development model, whilst it did not displace religious organizations from some of their traditional spheres of operation, deterred further growth in the numbers of FBOs.

The new communitarian and religious consciousness that has emerged since the 1980s has, however, resulted in growing numbers of FBOs that participate in the so-called 'secular spheres', including education, health and community development. Little systematic information in available on the extent and characteristics of these organizations and their activities. This preliminary study therefore sought to 'map' the scale and characteristics of FBOs and to provide an overview of their engagement in development activities in contemporary India. Limited resources led to a focus on the cities of Pune and Nagpur in Maharashtra, an Indian state with a large Hindu majority and a number of religious minorities - a typical religious demography. Using a snowball sampling approach, and despite definitional difficulties and the contentious nature of the label 'faith-based' in India, 133 organizations were identified and interviewed. While this is not necessarily a representative sample, it reveals some of the organizations' key characteristics.

Type of Work:Monograph (Working Paper)
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Number of Pages:40
Department:International Development Department
Projects:Religions and Development Research Programme
Series/Collection Name:RaD Working Papers Series
Keywords:Religion, Development, FBOs, India
Subjects:H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Related URLs:
Copyright Status:University of Birmingham, 2009
Copyright Holders:University of Birmingham
ID Code:1657

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