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

Hilal AhmedSubscribe to Hilal Ahmed

Muslims in Uttar Pradesh

The political parties need to redefine their engagement with Muslim communities in Uttar Pradesh and go beyond the imaginary phenomenon of “Muslim vote bank”. Instead of just limiting themselves to issues regarding their safety and security, the political parties need to take cognizance of the existing diversity within Muslims based on caste and class and address their socio-economic concerns.

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.

Muzaffarnagar 2013

The issues of weak governance and the cynical communal politics of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Samajwadi Party have been noted in the recent spate of violence in western Uttar Pradesh. This article looks at the social dynamics of caste assertions, new media technologies and the merging of the good governance and Hindutva narratives to try and understand how and why a commonplace incident of criminality transformed so quickly into such a major bout of communal violence.

Asghar Ali Engineer (1939-2013)

This tribute to Asghar Ali Engineer argues that apart from his contributions to secularism, human rights work and reform within Muslim communities, his abiding legacy would be towards establishing an emancipatory form of intellectual politics which remained analytically open but grounded on politically committed arguments.
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