chapter  4
37 Pages

Reforming idolatrous Hinduism

ByRammohan Roy, Bankimchandra Chatterjee

This chapter looks at some Indian responses to the colonial discourse on idolatry, and how the ‘reform’ agenda within Hinduism was articulated in terms of this discourse. While both Rammohan Roy and Bankimchandra Chatterjee transgressed in some respects the premises of European discourse on Indian idolatry, neither were comfortable with idolatry’s relationship to folk and subaltern religious practices. Both attempted to separate ‘superstitious and idolatrous practices’ from the ‘pure spirit’ of Hinduism, but encountered significant difficulties in doing so.