Ritual Revision During a Crisis: The Case of Indian Religious Rituals During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Kapoor, Vikram; Belk, Russell and Goulding, Christina. 2022. Ritual Revision During a Crisis: The Case of Indian Religious Rituals During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 41(3), pp. 277-297. ISSN 1547-7207 [Article]

[img] Text
JPPM_Vikram Kapoor.pdf - Accepted Version
Permissions: Administrator Access Only
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (824kB)
07439156221081485.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (1MB) | Preview

Abstract or Description

Rituals, particularly religious rituals, may play a significant role in times of crises. Often, these rituals undergo revision to adapt to the changing needs of the time. This article investigates recent unofficially revised Hindu religious rituals as performed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The multifarious creative interplay between Hindu tradition and change is illustrated through four cases: the religious festival of Durga Puja, the devotional songs or bhajans, the ritual of lighting lamps or diyas, and the fire rituals or havans. The authors offer a systematic discourse analysis of online news articles and YouTube posts that illuminate several aspects of ritual revision during unsettled times. They focus on the changes that were made to ritual elements: who controlled these alterations, how these modifications were made, and what potential benefits these revisions offered to the community of ritual participants. The authors highlight public policy implications regarding the involvement of diverse social actors, the creation of faith in science, the creation of feelings of unity and agency, and the amplification of local ritual modifications on a national scale.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):



Religion, rituals, festivals, traditions, COVID-19, India

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Institute of Management Studies


27 January 2022Accepted
7 April 2022Published Online
1 July 2022Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

04 Mar 2022 09:40

Last Modified:

11 Jun 2022 03:56

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)