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Philippa Williams

In: Development Failure and Identity Politics in Uttar Pradesh

Chapter 9: Working Narratives of Intercommunity Harmony in Varanasi's Silk Sari Industry*

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Working Narratives of Intercommunity Harmony in Varanasi's Silk Sari Industry*
Working narratives of intercommunity harmony in Varanasi's silk sari industry
PhilippaWilliams
Introduction

Varanasi … is the city where Hindus and Muslims … are interwoven like threads as in the lovely silk saris for which Kashi (Varanasi) is so famous for (Puniyani, 2006).

Walking through the lanes of Varanasi's silk market at Kunj gali one afternoon I came across a frenzy of activity around Kishan Lal's sari gaddī (shop); it appeared as if someone important was visiting the market. After making enquiries with a neighbouring gaddī owner it transpired that reclined on the bolsters inside the shop was the state of Rajasthan's tourism Minister and her sister. The ladies were purchasing gifts and ceremonial attire for the Minister's daughter's Hindu ...

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