Books

Marginalisation of Indian Muslims

Book: Muslims in Indian Cities: Trajectories of Marginalisation
Editors: Laurent Gayer and Christophe Jaffrelot
Year: 2012
Publishers: C. Hurst & Co.
Pages: 320
ISBN: 978-0-231-70308-6
Price: $40.00

Numbering more than 180 million, Muslims constitute the largest minority in India, yet they suffer the most politically and socioeconomically. Forced to contend with severe and persistent prejudice, India’s Muslims are often targets of violence and collective acts of murder.

While the quality of Muslim life may lag behind that of Hindus nationally, local and inclusive cultures have been resilient in the south and the east. Within India’s cities, however, the challenges Muslims face can be harder to read. In the Hindi belt and in the north, Muslims have known less peace, especially in the riot-prone areas of Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Jaipur, and Aligarh, and in the capitals of former Muslim states—Delhi, Hyderabad, Bhopal, and Lucknow. These cities are rife with Muslim ghettos and slums. However, self-segregation has also played a part in forming Muslim enclaves, such as in Delhi and Aligarh, where traditional elites and a new Muslim middle class have regrouped for physical and cultural protection. Combining firsthand testimony with sound critical analysis, this volume follows urban Muslim life in eleven Indian cities, providing uncommon insight into a little-known but highly consequential subject.

Laurent Gayer is a research fellow at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), while Christophe Jaffrelot is research director at CNRS and teaches South Asian politics and history at Sciences Po (Paris), as well as at King’s College, London.    

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-30 June 2012 on page no. 21

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