The epicenter of the Muslim universe, Mecca attracts hundreds of thousands of believers every year. Pilgrimage, Politics and Pestilence studies the organization and meanings of the Hajj from India during colonial times and analyses it from political, commercial and medical perspectives-between 1860, the year of the first outbreak of cholera epidemic in Mecca and 1920, when the subject of holy places of Islam became a very powerful political symbol in the Indian subcontinent. The author examines the medicalization of Mecca through cholera outbreaks and the intrusion of European medical regulations. It also explores how the Indian Hajjis perceived, negotiated and resisted colonial pilgrimage and medical policies in their quest of an intense spiritual experience.
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