Dandekar, Deepra. (2019) The Subhedar’s Son. A Narrative of Brahmin-Christian Conversion from Nineteenth-century Mahrashtra. New York: Oxford University Press. [ISBN 978-0-19091-405-9] Hard Copy. Pages i-xliv+222.

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Goolam Vahed

Abstract

Deepra Dandekar’s annotated translation of The Subhedar's Son, a novel published in 1895 by the Reverend Dinkar Shankar Sawarkar in Marathi as Subhedārachā Putra, is an outstanding contribution to the literature on Hindu conversion to Christianity. The book relates the story of the 1849 conversion of Sawarkar’s father, Shankar Nana (1819-1884), a Brahmin Hindu, at the Church Missionary Society (CMS) in Nasik in northern Maharashtra. The Reverend Nana was an early Brahmin convert of the CMS and served the mission and the Anglican Church for over four decades as a priest, catechist, evangelist and Marathi teacher. His conversion took place at a key historical moment, when power was being transferred from the Maratha Empire to the British administration, and the novel reveals the profound social, cultural and religious changes taking place in Maharashtra around this time. This is a story of an individual conversion but it provides insight more generally into the journey of a Brahmin to conversion, and the experiences of those who were a product of different faiths, caste, and (Marathi) identity, trying to live a Christian life.

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How to Cite
Vahed, G. (2019). Dandekar, Deepra. (2019) The Subhedar’s Son. A Narrative of Brahmin-Christian Conversion from Nineteenth-century Mahrashtra. New York: Oxford University Press. [ISBN 978-0-19091-405-9] Hard Copy. Pages i-xliv+222. International Journal for Indian Studies, 4(2), 151-155. Retrieved from https://journals.ukzn.ac.za/index.php/Nidan/article/view/1462
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Book Reviews