Nick Tackes
Nick Tackes, visiting assistant professor of religious studies, published an article titled “The View from Mathura: Nationalist Projections in Local Perspective” in a 2024 special issue of Contemporary South Asia.

The special issue is dedicated to matters of religious jurisprudence in India following a Supreme Court verdict allowing the construction of a Hindu temple on the site of a mosque razed by Hindu militants in 1992. Tackes’ contribution focuses on a parallel series of developments unfolding in the North Indian city of Mathura.

Mathura is a city famous as the birthplace of the Hindu deity Krishna, yet the temple complex dedicated to this birth site shares a boundary wall with a mosque. Since 2020, Hindus have attempted to remove the seventeenth-century mosque and its courtyard through a series of litigations and media stunts.

Tackes, who conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Mathura in 2019, 2020, and 2023, attends to the consequences of religious stake claiming in the region. “The very threat of removing the Shahi Idgah has material consequences on Muslims living in Mathura,” Tackes argues. “Police barricades and perpetual court cases foreclose opportunities for local Muslims to feel at home in their hometown.”

Tackes will present a version of his article in Atlanta this April at the ASIANetwork annual conference. ASIANetwork is a consortium of over 100 liberal arts colleges, including Hamilton College, dedicated to enriching Asian Studies programming for undergraduates.

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