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

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Locating Elite Muslims’ India through Their Writings

Autobiographies and memoirs of Ashraf Muslims reveal that in their perception and presentation of the issues of Muslims vis-à-vis the state/democracy, secularism becomes a dominant concern, while the question of caste among Muslims is pushed to oblivion.


Since 2014, a spree of redefining each aspect of India’s society, politics and culture has been launched by the Hindutva forces in India. In line with that, Muslims’ “Tryst with Destiny” in India is also getting redefined. Hindutva entities have nursed a long grudge against the Congress government who according to them left Muslims and their laws untouched while forcing its way against Hindus. Abolition of triple talaq, Uniform Civil Code (UCC), construction of Ram temple at the site of Babri mosque, change in Articles 370 and 35(A) and other such agenda were taken up to straighten up whatever odds accumulated under the functioning of “pseudo-secular” government. In the process, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) tried to touch upon the caste issue among the Indian Muslims as well, albeit for a short moment.

In Odisha in 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a two-day national meet of the BJP asked party workers to reach to poor and backward Muslims who have not benefited yet. Sabir Ali, former Janata Dal (United)—JD(U)—Member of Parliament (MP), was inducted into the BJP. He organised a Pasmanda (backwards) rally in favour of BJP. But, due to the apparent objection from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), his party’s membership was cancelled. In 2016, Modi was the chief guest of the World Sufi Conference held in New Delhi. The major followers of Barelvi sect are backward and lower caste Muslims. A tendency among the Pasmanda activists to move towards right-wing political parties has been noticed. “It is true that BJP is aggressively wooing the pasmanda communities ... Like all communities there are politically ambitious individuals and organisations within the Pasmanda communities as well who may align with right-wing forces,” writes Ansari (2017).

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Updated On : 23rd Jan, 2021
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