Institute for Social and Economic Change

Working Paper: 458

State, Religion and Society: Changing Roles of
Faith-Based Organisations in Kerala

Abdul Raoof



The Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have sometimes acted as developmental agent through social welfare services and on other occasions as socio-political mobilising force for civil rights. In general, CSOs include non-governmental organisations, Trade Unions, socio-cultural and political organisations and faith-based organisations. Many scholars have noted that unlike religious organisations, FBOs also have been adopting developmental and mobilisational roles in recent times. This necessitates looking into newly-assuming roles of faith community and its various offshoots in the contemporary socio-political landscape. The paper examines three cases which show the divergence of FBOs to mediating role which are new forms of social interventions in Kerala. Thus, the paper delineates how FBOs appropriate the mediative roles between the state and the public in Kerala or elsewhere at large? What motivates FBOs to move beyond the former/past roles like collaboration, contestation, and mobilisation etc.?

Working Papers