ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Laurent GayerSubscribe to Laurent Gayer

Political Turmoil in Karachi

For the past three decades, Karachi has been subjected to various forms of collective violence. The embedding of violence in Karachi's politics makes it difficult for the city's residents to even imagine a more peaceful future. This paper analyses the history of violence in Karachi, which started on the city's campuses at the end of the 1970s, before escalating in the mid-1980s after criminal groups provoked "ethnic riots" between Pathans and mohajirs. These "riots" infused a sense of insecurity among the Urdu-speaking mohajirs, which paved the way for the Mohajir Qaumi Movement's rise at the helm of city politics. Once in power, this study explains, instead of mending its violent ways, the MQM systematised a form of violent government, later on emulated by its rivals, which was meant to ensure its domination over mohajirs, as much as to counter its political adversaries.

Delhi's Noor Masjid: Tales of a Martyred Mosque

The recent demolition of the Noor Masjid in Jangpura by the Delhi Development Authority was actually an attempt by the local residents welfare association at sanitising the area by excluding the plebeians in general and the Muslim poor in particular. It is also an example of the new patterns of segregation of India's urban population on class and ethno-religious lines albeit by using the politically correct language of landownership rights. The affected Muslims, while reacting with moral outrage, also used the language of rights, and of tenure as the main plank of their counteroffensive. This suggests that the sense of alienation of Indian Muslims is not yet complete.

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