Rohit Singh has a PhD in Religious Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Middle Tennessee State University. He is the author of Reimagining Tibet through the Lens of Tibetan Muslim History and Identity in The Oxford Handbooks Online (2015) and his current research focuses on historical and contemporary Buddhist-Muslim interactions in South Asia and the Tibetan Cultural Sphere.
Drawing on ethnographic data, this article argues that the Shia in Leh, Ladakh employ religious ceremonies such as Eid al-Ghadeer to construct a sense of sacred community and a sanctified minority status within the Himalayan ummah. Religious discourses pertaining to minority-hood are central to how locals define and redefine themselves in the context of modernity in the Himalaya. Further, the ceremonial embrace of their minority status engenders discourses through which the Shia define their relationships to local Buddhists, local Sunnis, and broader global audiences.
The author would like to thank the American Institute of Indian Studies for funding this research. He would also like to thank numerous local Ladakhi groups who assisted him in this project.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.
Singh, Rohit. 2018. Sanctifying Minority Status in the Himalayan Ummah: Eid al-Ghadeer Commemorations among the Shia in Leh, Ladakh. HIMALAYA 38(2).
Available at: https://digitalcommons.macalester.edu/himalaya/vol38/iss2/11