Ascetic Games: Sadhus, Akharas and the Making of the Hindu Vote by Dhirendra K Jha
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Overview: The world of the naga sadhus is collapsing. Some might say it has been reduced to a spectacle. Dhirendra K. Jha spent over a decade tunnelling his way into the highly secretive world of the sadhus. What he finds is explosive: the story of how political groups have infiltrated the community, and of how akharas across northern India have been repurposed for inflaming the Babri masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi issue. He finds fraud and murder, money and power games, and a shrinking of the space for spiritual asceticism. Hearteningly, he also finds that a section among the sadhus is now pushing back. Deeply researched and finely nuanced, this is investigative reporting at its best. It is also a human story, told with empathy.
Genre: Non-Fiction > General