It ain’t your hippie parent’s Hinduism anymore. Or is it?
The internet ad above for a residential township outside Bangalore is quite amazing. Just check out how they’re selling the project: “Divinity meets modernity” … “Enlightened living” … “an integrated township where ancient culture coexists with modern amenities”! Get your modern Hinduism on! But they never explicitly mention Hinduism even once. And the spaces are so modern and “secular”. It’s great!
Seriously though, the ad indicates the diverse and complex ways that Hinduism is being sold and promoted these days. The “International Vedic Village” is obviously aimed at Hindus, and so fits with the current trend of communally segregated real estate placements.
But visually the sales pitch has nothing overtly Hindu, or “traditional” for that matter. Instead it’s visually very modern, and the “ancient culture” part is left to the individual imagination, to be filled in by residents as they in their infinite divine enlightened wisdom see fit. “Temples” and “meditation centers” are mentioned, but no indication is given as to what those spaces might look like.
Capitalism co-opts everything, including religion, but in very specific ways, and in this case the religiosity is toned down completely, but religion is still the central USP. It’s really fascinating to ponder the specific clientele this ad is aimed at!
The ad below is from another blog, so I don’t know exactly where it’s from, but a similar toned-down, non-explicit Hindu sales pitch is used for a building that on the face of it has nothing different from the thousands of other residential projects being built throughout India. This would indicate that implicit in the advertising pitch is the notion that the residents of these projects will be exclusively Hindu, without explicitly mentioning that fact. Very interesting!