Self-Dissolution, Politics and the Work of Affect
The life and death of Sufi Baba
Delhi School of Economics, India, Department of Sociology
This article presents the biography of a mystic, known as Sufi Baba, who was a member of the Ansari weavers of Barabanki, a district in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. In presenting his life story and the circumstances of his death, the article argues that the mystic’s mode of worship was conditioned by the affects produced by the demolition of the Babri mosque in December 1992. The article first describes the mode of worship and then shows the range of affects by which this mode was recast. In this recasting the singularity of the mystic’s practices could not be substituted. As a result, the article describes a world that was lost following the demolition of the mosque.
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