Djinn Worship in Delhi
83 images Created 10 Feb 2015
Firoz Shah Kotla in Delhi is thronged weekly with thousands of supplicants seeking favour from supernatural beings of smokeless fire, - Djinns. ‘The presence of the jinn-saints in the ruins of a fourteenth-century royal palace, a location of precolonial Islamic sovereignty, is an image, a counter-memory of precolonial ideas of justice flashing up against the violence and illegibility of the postcolonial state.’ writes Anthropologist Anand V. Taneja, an assistant professor of religious studies and anthropology at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee in a paper here: http://www.haujournal.org/index.php/hau/article/view/hau3.3.007/690. He continues: ‘In stories told in contemporary Delhi, long-lived jinn act as transmitters connecting human beings centuries apart in time. In petitions deposited to jinn-saints medieval ideas of justice come together with modern bureaucratic techniques. Both stories and rituals attest to a theological newness intricately entwined with the transformations of the postcolonial city’s spiritual and physical landscapes’. For over a year I documented this unusual mode of witnessing, as Taneja describes it, ‘against the empty, homogenous time of the bureaucratically constituted present’.