4 2 2016

The political as a practice: the sadhus' art of self-fashioning

Yubraj Aryal


This paper examines the sadhus’ ways of fashioning the ‘self’ and body, creating ‘a style of existence’ by one’s relation to oneself as a model of life-style politics. The sadhu as non-sovereign subject, constitutes a new power relation in relation to himself, which Foucault calls ‘self-fashioning’ one’s own existence, marking the radical impossibility of domination and control by the coercive institutions of society and state. This paper focuses mainly on questions of life-style politics as concomitant forms of politics, rendering dominant power relations ineffective in ruling over life, as well as how the sadhus’ non-sovereign mode of life ‘becomes resistance to power when power takes life as its object’ (Deleuze 1988).

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