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

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Muslim Communalism

While I fully agree with the editorial ("Resisting 'Sustainable' Communalism," EPW, 27 June 2015) and appreciate its urgency and concern, I must point out that there is another similarly corrosive "sustainable" communalism, and that is of a large portion of the Muslim community. It is most...

Ignored by Muslim Leaders

I was delighted to read Naseem A Zaidi’s article, “Muslims in the Civil Services” (EPW, 18 January 2014). It brings out a simple fact that has always been ignored by the so-called Muslim leaders. Forty years ago I pointed out the same in a letter published in The Hindustan Times (Delhi) of 6...

The Maulana Who Loved Krishna

This article reproduces, with English translations, the devotional poems written to the god Krishna by a maulana who was an active participant in the cultural, political and theological life of late colonial north India. Through this, the article gives a glimpse of an Islamicate literary and spiritual world which revelled in syncretism with its surrounding Hindu worlds; and which is under threat of obliteration, even as a memory, in the singular world of globalised Islam of the 21st century.

'Prophecies' in South Asian Muslim Political Discourse: The Poems of Shah Ni'matullah Wali

Three "prophetic" Persian poems ascribed to a Shah Ni'matullah Wali have been a fascinating feature in the popular political discourse of the Muslims of south Asia. For nearly two centuries these poems have circulated whenever there has been a major crisis in, what may be called, the psychic world of south Asian Muslims. The first recorded appearance was in 1850, after the "Jihad" movement of Syed Ahmad had failed in the north-west, followed by serial appearances after the debacle of 1857, the dissolution of the Ottoman Caliphate and the failure of the Khilafat and Hijrat movements in 1924, the Partition of the country and community in 1947, and the Indo-Pak war of 1971-72. Curiously, these poems have re-emerged in Pakistan in 2010, and have found wider circulation on the internet. This paper traces the evolution of these poems since 1850, contextualises their appearances and offers some explanation for their hold on the minds of the Urdu-knowing Muslims of south Asia.49

A Dissent on 'Fire'

Once the film 'Fire' was attacked, it became a liberal cause and defending artistic freedom and countering the hindutva forces claimed all the energies of progressive commentators. Most of the defenders of the film followed the lead of the protesters and pitted their own version of Hindu culture against that of their adversaries. Hardly any considered the issue as a human condition. It is now time to present a dissent on the film itself.

Popular Jokes and Political History-The Case of Akbar, Birbal and Mulla Do-Piyaza

The Case of Akbar, Birbal and Mulla Do-Piyaza C M Naim Anonymous popular tales and other folklore can contribute to our understanding of political history, so long as we do not view them as essentially a kind of commentary on it. Folktales are themselves history of a sort They are not just artefacts, but also processes aiming quite varied effects within different traditions and contexts.
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