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The process of industrialization has resulted in spread and dissemination of science and practical knowledge that has attacked religion and superstition. The miracles of holy rivers have been gradually replaced by scientific explanations. This paper explores the nuances that industrialization is mired with, in relation to the rivers, associated large infrastructure and rivers attributed sacredness. The paper uses the case of river Kshipra flowing in the city of Ujjain to explain the shifting attribution of ‘sacred’ from natural things like rivers to materialistic things like money. The paper discusses the change in the significance of river during a world famous festival of Hindus for holy dip Simhastha. The paper explains the shift in focus of Simhastha from holy dip to crowd control, space allocation, crass commercialisation and unchecked competition. It explains using the theory of sacred and profane of Durkheim and Eliade, how in the modern time's secularisation of religion and sacralisation of secular has created the sacred/profane distinction which is making the rivers only the source for consumption forgetting their actual significance.
Article DOI : 10.5958/2347-6869.2017.00013.9
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