Developing ‘a fine balance’: Secularism, religion, and minority politics in rohinton mistry’s Family matters

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Abstract

This paper intervenes in the debate over whether secularism can protect religious minorities in India or whether alternative models are needed. I explore this issue by examining Rohinton Mistry’s novel Family Matters, which focuses on religious extremism within the minority Parsi community. The novel suggests that the individual needs to maintain ‘a fine balance’ between religious beliefs and personal rights. It recognises that secularisation has shaped modern religious identity and, consequently, facilitated religious extremism. By de-coupling religion from secularisation, Mistry demonstrates that religion need not be rigid and can adapt to different social circumstances, while continuing to provide moral strength.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-70
Number of pages17
JournalSouth Asia: Journal of South Asia Studies
Volume40
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2 2017

Keywords

  • Family matters
  • India
  • Minority
  • Mistry
  • Parsis
  • Postsecularism
  • Religion
  • Secularisation
  • Secularism
  • South Asia
  • Zoroastrianism

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