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  • Print publication year: 2010
  • Online publication date: June 2012

8 - Hinduism and Poverty

The relationship between poverty and morality, and Hinduism, can be analyzed diachronically as well as synchronically. When it is analyzed diachronically, the economic history of India comes into play. When it is analyzed synchronically, the overarching templates of Hinduism and its understanding of the role of the state help frame the issue. On the basis of certain Hindu normative texts such as the Manusmṛti, one could initially argue that the lowest class, referred to generally as Śūdras, would fall into the high-risk group, and so also would include women. The elimination of poverty and the alleviation of poverty are not dichotomized in traditional Hinduism. It is a matter of resources and agency. The responsibility for removing poverty seems to rest on oneself, on others, and on the state, according to Hinduism. The activist interpretation of karma emphasizes one's economic well-being.
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Poverty and Morality
  • Online ISBN: 9780511779084
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