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

Indian MuslimsSubscribe to Indian Muslims

Deconstructing Muslim Identity

Making a Muslim: Reading Publics and Contesting Identities in Nineteenth Century North India by S Akbar Zaidi, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2021; pp 269, `950 (hardback).

Lakshadweep and the Land Question: Historicising the Present Crisis

Tracing the history of land reforms in the island group shows how the previous administrations had addressed the question of bringing change into the islands. Two important features in relation to land in Lakshadweep are tenancy and matrilineal property. It is important to take a look at the ways in which previous administrations dealt with these sensitive issues.

Beyond Personal Laws

Successive governments have sided with the minority conservative opinion, which on important occasions has reframed and reconstituted the identity of the community only as a religious minority. This top-down construction of identity has had an important connotation in reference to the identity structure of Indian Muslims, as religious identity continued to occupy a place of priority and as a result came to be asserted more often. Insofar as Muslims continue to manifest personal laws as an indispensable part of their socio-religious identity and as a part of their right to live as a religious minority, an abrupt transition from personal laws to the Uniform Civil Code, politically, remains inexpedient.

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.

Politics and Self-representation of Online Muslim Youth

This article is an exploration into the self-representation of online Muslim youth and their engagement with contemporary politics. It is based on an analysis of responses to tweets on the recent Bihar assembly election.

Identity and Status of the Indian Muslim

Indian Muslim(s) after Liberalization by Maidul Islam, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2019; pp xxi + 313, ₹ 995.

Muslim Minorities and UPA Regime

The Struggle for Equality: India’s Muslims and Rethinking the UPA Experience by Heewon Kim, Cambridge University Press, 2019; pp 260, ₹ 695.

Compelling Anatomy of Communalism and Power

Gujarat Files: Anatomy of a Cover Up by Rana Ayyub, published by Rana Ayyub, 2016; pp 204, ₹295.

Secularising the 'Secular'

The Taj Mahal can also be seen as a religious place of worship, as the local Muslim community is allowed to offer prayers at the mosque situated inside the Taj complex. The monument is also privy to two kinds of publics - a congregation that offers prayers at the mosque, paying no attention to the central building, and a "public", which stays at the central building and seems to follow the given official meanings of the Taj as a world heritage site. Is it possible to look at the Taj merely as a secular historical monument? If yes, how can we respond to the religious meanings embedded in the very architectural composition of the buildings? Are Muslims, as a religious minority, entitled to use spaces such as the mosque in the Taj Mahal to offer congregational prayers? This article explores these questions to understand the practice and politics of "secularism" in postcolonial India.

Contextualising Muslim Identity: Ansaris, Deobandis, Barelwis

This paper argues against a monolithic, essentialised reading of the Indian Muslim identity. Drawing from research in Mubarakpur, Azamgarh, it highlights the various schisms within the Muslim identity. Telling the story of identity through the eyes of lower caste Muslims, the paper shows that caste, class and maslaki affiliations remain important markers of identity within Muslim society. The very notion of "Islamic identity" is itself a matter of fierce interpretative debate among the Muslims. Drawing on evidence from madrasas, the paper argues that the "other" within the madrasa is not a Hindu but a fellow Muslim from another maslak.

An Exercise in Nostalgia

Locating Home: Hyderabadis Abroad by Karen Isaksen Leonard; Oxford University Press (South Asian reprint), 2007; pp 416, Rs 750 (hardback).

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