Virtual worship platforms in Hinduism both resemble and alter the traditional surroundings/liturgical context of a pūjā (personal worship). Recently, within India, social media and apps have become viable methods of worship. In Bengal, during Durgā pūjā—a pan-Indian celebration of a warrior goddess—the government facilitates digital worship practices by encouraging adherents to download an app to find the ten best Durgā pandals (temporary worship structures) and/or Instagram their Durgā pūjā.
The site explores the fashioning of digital publics in South Asia through an exploration of the online Hindu ritual sites, apps, social media, etc. I also explore the digitization of material elements of worship as well as the role of the state in “standardizing” worship platforms while branding these sites in the process. In doing so, they help fashion a “saleable” Hindu identity which, in some ways, elides the diversity of practice integral to the tradition.