ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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War, Words and Communities

Lingayats and World War I

World War I (1914–18) was a catalyst in changing and redefining political, cultural and national issues across the globe. This article argues that communities in India, based on caste/class structures, refashioned their social–political identities vis-à-vis the war. Never a party to the cause of the war, these communities’ redefinition of their self-identity was part of their desire to carve out a legitimate place in the modern public sphere filled with discourses of martial race, loyalty, discipline and nationalism. The focus is on the contours of the Lingayat community’s imagination and formation of its identity during the war and efforts to occupy a place in the military and political establishment.

An earlier version of this article was first presented, in absentia, at the international conference on “War, Words and the World: Re-presenting the Great War” organised by the Centre for Advanced Study in English, Jadavpur University, 26 to 28 February 2014.

I thank the anonymous reviewer of this article for valuable suggestions which helped me improve it. Thanks are due to Sharmila Sreekumar, Suresh Manshinde, Tharakeshwar V B and Ramesh Bairy for their suggestions and views.

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Updated On : 10th Apr, 2017
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