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Building HistoriesThe Archival and Affective Lives of Five Monuments in Modern Delhi$
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Mrinalini Rajagopalan

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226283470

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226331898.001.0001

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Secular Nations and Specters of Iconoclasm

Secular Nations and Specters of Iconoclasm

(p.155) Secular Nations and Specters of Iconoclasm
Building Histories

Mrinalini Rajagopalan

University of Chicago Press

This chapter traces the representation of iconoclasm in the Qutb Minar and the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque from the colonial past to the postcolonial present. As a group of Islamic monuments built from the fragments of Hindu and Jain structures, modern histories of the Qutb complex have cast it as symbolic of the violent intrusion of Islam into the subcontinent. Such representations, articulated variously by colonial authorities, global preservation bodies, Hindu nationalists, and the secular nation-state, have positioned the Qutb Complex precariously between national and international reverence and religious reclamations that appear as modern iconoclasms themselves.

Keywords:   Qutb Minar, Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque, World Heritage Monument, UNESCO, iconoclasm, Hindutva, Babri Masjid, Somanatha

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