1st Edition

Begging, Street Politics and Power The Religious and Secular Regulation of Begging in India and Pakistan

By Sheba Saeed Copyright 2023

    Begging, Street Politics and Power explores the complex phenomenon of begging in the context of two different religions and societies in South Asia. Focusing on India and Pakistan, the book provides an in-depth examination of the religious and secular laws regulating begging along with discussion of the power dynamics involved. Drawing on textual analysis and qualitative field research, the chapters consider the notion of charity within Hinduism and Islam, the transaction of giving and receiving, and the political structures at play in the locations studied. The book engages with the conflicting compassionate and criminal sides of begging and reveals some of the commonalities and differences in religion and society within South Asia. It will be of interest to scholars working across the fields of religious studies, social science, law and Asian studies.


    1 The role of charity in religion and religious regulation of begging in Hinduism and Islam

    2 Secular legal and political structures that regulate begging



    Sheba Saeed is a lecturer in the School of Communication and Design at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Vietnam. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Birmingham, UK, and has previously practiced as a solicitor.