Sangeeta Krishnan (aka Ashtoreth), an Indian Wiccan, has written in to let me know that she (and the religion of Wicca) has been been profiled twice in the last week. First for the Mumbai Age (link to full article, here), and then for the Times of India (link to full article, here).
A clipping from the Times of India article.
“Sangeeta Krishnan, whose collective is called Astral Hub, screens films like “The Secret”, plans day trips to Madh Island with psychic games and Maypole dances, and initiates debates like the forthcoming one called Harry Potter versus Real Witches. “Wicca is a calling and I’d say there are about 50 dedicated Wiccans in Bombay,” she says. And the headcount may keep growing as Wiccans bravely come out on social networking sites.”
The article also gives credit to Ipsita Roy Chakraverti (whom I’ve covered at this blog previously) with bringing Wicca in India out of the “Indian broom closet” in the 1980s, and interviews an Indian Wiccan who received her initial training from the US-based Witch School. While the number of Indian Wiccans is still very small, the tone of these articles very much reminds me of the early profiles of Wicca in Britain and America, and we all know how our population exploded in the years after the faith was introduced in those countries.
Will later generations of Wiccans in India look towards Chakraverti and Krishnan the way we now look at figures like Alex Sanders or Starhawk? Whatever the outcome, it looks certain that modern Paganism has indeed found fertile soil among this predominately Hindu country (which brings up all sorts of interesting questions about Indian Pagans and Western Indo-Pagans), and that Wicca has truly become a world religion, with thriving communities of practitioners located across the globe (in Brazil, South Africa, India, Russia, Australia, and Mexico for instance). When the modern Pagans go to the Parliament of World Religions in Melbourne this December, they can truly claim that they have a personal stake in what happens outside the Western countries we are normally associated with.