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Handbook of Religion and the Asian CityAspiration and Urbanization in the Twenty-First Century$
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Peter van der Veer

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780520281226

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520281226.001.0001

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date: 28 February 2021

The Muharram Procession of Mumbai

The Muharram Procession of Mumbai

From Seafront to Cemetery

(p.89) 5 The Muharram Procession of Mumbai
Handbook of Religion and the Asian City

Reza Masoudi Nejad

University of California Press

This chapter examines the Muharram procession of Mumbai as part of the process of urbanization that transformed Mumbai into a cosmopolitan city. Over the last two centuries, the Muharram ritual has been constantly changed and reinvented in Mumbai. The ritual, as practiced today, is constituted through an intensive interaction and tension between diverse social and religious groups that have come to Mumbai. The main procession was directed toward seafronts in the eighteenth century, but now goes toward Rahmetabad Cemetery in Mazgan. This chapter considers how religious diversity among urban communities in Mumbai contributed to the Muharram ritual and its changes, giving rise to a complex social organization that cannot be simplified based on Muslim-Hindu or Shi'a-Sunni divisions.

Keywords:   urbanization, Muharram procession, Mumbai, cosmopolitan city, ritual, religious groups, seafronts, Rahmetabad Cemetery, religious diversity, social organization

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