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Kelly Alley is Associate Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work at Auburn University. She has spent over seven years studying how various cultural and occupational groups in the Ganga (Ganges) River basin interpret the intersections of wastewater and the river Ganga. She has published articles in Ethnology, Modern Asian Studies, City and Society, and Urban Anthropology, among others, and chapters in edited volumes. She has just completed a book titled On the Banks of the Ganga: Wastescapes and Ideologies of Transformation.


Abstract of paper given at Hinduism and Ecology conference:
Separate Domains: Hinduism, Politics and Environmental Pollution

Because religion and politics are areas of dynamic interchange in India, social scientists have neglected to examine areas of conflict and debate in which religion and politics are deliberately held apart. This paper asks: why do Hindu religious leaders avoid connecting their spiritual or organizational agendas to the ideology of combating river pollution? I present a case from the colonial period in which Indian nationalists and Hindu religious leaders agitated to prevent government exploitation of the river Ganga. This is contrasted with recent discussions with religious leaders and members of religious organizations to explain why Hindus today are not publicizing the problem of environmental pollution, and in particular, river pollution.

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Hinduism and Ecology conference participants