Title

Vastu compliance: the gentrification of India's sacred spaces and the mobilities of ideas

RIS ID

114461

Publication Details

Birtchnell, T. (2016). Vastu compliance: the gentrification of India's sacred spaces and the mobilities of ideas. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 42 (14), 2345-2359.

Abstract

This article examines the mobilities of ideas in the context of sacred spaces in India and transnational flows of trends and services. Mobile subjects on the global stage are still bound by immobile concerns, such as their homes. In this article I examine the anxieties of India's globally mobile middle and elite classes through their efforts to make their gated multi-storey residences compliant with an ancient form of spatial spirituality: vastu shastra. Now common in advertisements for luxury apartments, I argue that vastu compliance is a form of liquid spirituality that is part and parcel of the privatisation of the urban landscape and the replacement of fixed or local sacred spaces and those that dwell around them: homeless or 'occupying' mendicants. In between these two polar opposite mobile subjects of the elite and the mendicant are vastu consultants who derive a living from their knowledge and practice of a form of liquid spirituality growing in popularity around the world.

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Link to publisher version (DOI)

http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1369183X.2016.1205806