A talk by Prithvi Datta Chandra Shobhi, a social historian of medieval South India, with a specific focus on dissenting cultures.
This talk will focus on a controversial demand by Lingayats seeking the status of minority religion, which is accorded by the Registrar General of Census, Government of India. This demand has led to a vertical split within the community, with Virashaivas claiming affinity with Hindus and rejecting the Lingayat demand for minority status. Dr. Shobhi's talk will outline this controversy and explore its historiographical as well as political implications.
Prithvi Datta Chandra Shobhi works on the social history of medieval south india, with a specific focus on dissenting cultures. He studied history and literature at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and at the University of Chicago, from where he obtained a Ph.D. He was also a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Chicago, visiting fellow at CSDS, Delhi, and was on the faculty of Humanities at the San Francisco State University. He is the editor of three books and has published widely on the literature, culture and politics of Karnataka, both in scholarly forums and popular media. His doctoral work on the relationship of vachana poetry and Virashaiva-Lingayat community is forthcoming. At present, he teaches history at the Karnataka State Open University, Mysore and is a columnist for ThePrint.