Professor J.J. Roy Burman, who currently teaches at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) in Mumbai/Bombay, India has been a crucial guide and advisor on the current phase of The Idea Of India project.
I was first introduced to Professor Roy Burman’s anthropological over a dinner conversation with the ever resourceful Rajib Das who not only told me about the painstaking footwork done by Professor Burman to find and write about the many shared shrines and temples across the region of Gujarat and Maharashstra, but went out of his way to find and buy this work for me.
I have since met with Professor Burman and spent some wonderful days in his comany at his home in Airoli on the outskirts of Mumbai/Bombay. A reticent and very private individual, Professor Roy Burmam generously invited me to stay with him and gave me many hours of his time to discuss the intentions and content of my project. His advice and continued support remains crucial to my ability to complete this work as his anthropological work is the foundation of my own explorations during the Fulbright phase and I am thrilled that he has continued to remain in contact and act as a guide and support.
This book is a crucial starting point for exploring Gujarat’s living heritage of pluralism and syncretism. There is an extensive bibliography that points you towards further readings on topics such as the history of Gujarat’s various Muslim communities, the Bhakti movement in Gujarat and its resonance with the Sufi traditions, and so on.