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

Mushirul HasanSubscribe to Mushirul Hasan

Muslims in South Asia

Islam and Muslim History in South Asia by Francis Robinson; Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2000; Rs 595, pp viii+299.

Memories of a Fragmented Nation-Rewriting the Histories of India s Partition

In order to explore those aspects and areas which directly or indirectly impinged on the sudden and total breakdown of long-standing inter-community networks and alliances, it is necessary to locate the partition debates outside the paradigms set by the two-nation theory or the rhetoric of Indian nationalism and, in the process, set to rest those speculative theories that are designed to lend respectability to British colonialism. Fifty years after independence is an opportune moment to revise and reconsider established theories on partition, introduce a more nuanced discourse and stay clear of the conventional wisdom on the theme of 'communal ' politics. Contrary to the exaggerated claims made in both the countries, most people were either indifferent to or unconcerned with the national borders or the newly-created geographical territories that were being laboriously created. Creative writings of a host of novelists and poets on the partition especially expose the inadequacy of numerous narratives on independence and partition, and compel us to explore fresh themes and adopt new approaches that have eluded the grasp of social scientists. If histories of partition are to be re-written, then creative writings provide a foundation for developing an alternative discourse to current expositions of a general theory on inter-community relations.

Aligarh s Notre eminent contemporain-Assessing Syed Ahmad Khan s Reformist Agenda

Assessing Syed Ahmad Khan's Reformist Agenda Mushirul Hasan IN the 1860s, Syed Ahmad Khan (1817-98) made a tryst with his co-religionists to change their image in the eyes of the colonial government, sensitise them to the importance of western education, and persuade them to change their lazy habits. Today, a century after his death, this would appear to be a rather limited agenda. But it was not so then. Cast in the mould of a crusader, Aligarh's grand old man met with stiff opposition and encountered numerous difficulties in forefronting a liberal, reformist agenda in the public discourses.

Pathways of Political Leadership in South Asia-Limits and Possibilities

Pathways of Political Leadership in South Asia Limits and Possibilities. Mushirul Hasan The differences in the social base, ideological orientation and contrasting styles of leadership in India and Pakistan left their imprint on the course of events after independence. Although the structures and social composition of format political parties mattered substantially, the striking contrast between India and Pakistan us also between the military rulers in West Pakistan and the Awami League leaders in East Pakistan (later Bangladesh) was the charisma, popular appeal and moral authority of individual Congress leaders and their extraordinary legitimacy in many parts of the country and among different sections of society. Today if the critique of the Gandhian and Nehruvian legacies carries weight and conviction, the responsibility rests primarily with the Congress Party. It has failed to harness its own ideological resources to mobilise the minorities, the backward castes and the dalits.

Traditional Rites and Contested Meanings-Sectarian Strife in Colonial Lucknow

Sectarian Strife in Colonial Lucknow Mushirul Hasan In the early 19th century in northern India, especially in Lucknow, Muslim culture was characterised by the intermixing of religio-cultural strands and the fusion of various religious beliefs and practices. Yet by the end of the century, representations of unity gave way to symbols of discord as heightened sectarian consciousness and disharmony between Sunnis andShias took hold. This paper traces the political reasons for the growing sectarian division among Muslims in the late colonial period.

Muslim Intellectuals, Institutions, and the Post-Colonial Predicament

Muslim Intellectuals, Institutions, and the Post-Colonial Predicament Mushirul Hasan Much research on Muslims since independence is still conducted within the framework bequeathed by the British and some nationalist writers. It is assumed that orthodoxy represents true Islam and that liberal currents are secondary. Much more research is needed on ' heterodox' trends, to discover schools of thought among Muslims that placed Indian Islam in its specific Indian environment. This study of the debates that took place, especially in and around Jamia Millia Islamia and Afigarh Muslim University, in the post-independence period, is a step in this direction.

In Search of Integration and Identity-Indian Muslims since Independence

Indian Muslims since Independence Mushirul Hasan After forty years of independence India's secular experiment needs to be reviewed as a pointer to other plural societies in Asia and Africa endeavouring to tackle their ethnic, regional and religious problems, and its results assessed in relation to Indian Muslims who form the largest minority segment in the country. Jawaharlal Nehru's secular model and the strategy of multi-national integration, the author argues, may still be the answer to India's communal impasse, for the secular state and society has far more than an even chance of survival in India.

The Muslim Mass Contact Campaign-An Attempt at Political Mobilisation

An Attempt at Political Mobilisation Mushirul Hasan The Muslim mass contact campaign, conceived after the 1936 elections in which the Congress fared poorly in Muslim constituencies, constituted the last serious attempt of the Congress to mobilise the Muslims in a joint struggle against colonial rule. Though based on a set of assumptions which did not adequately take into account the presence of the 'third party' and the complexity of the communal problem, it was nevertheless conceived at a crucial historical juncture and was a significant move in the right direction. Pursued purposefully, it had the potential of weaning large sections of the Muslim community away from the Muslim League. In letting the mass contact campaign peter out, the Congress allowed Jinnah, perhaps involuntarily, to take advantage of the deteriorating communal relations and rally his community around the divisive symbol of a separate Muslim homeland.

Pan-Islamism versus Indian Nationalism-A Reappraisal

A Reappraisal Mushirul Hasan It is simplistic to regard the ulama as standard-bearers of Muslim orthodoxy and conservatism whose concerns were limited to regulating the religious and educational life of the Muslim community. Such a view ignores the range of their involvement in other spheres, especially in organising, conducting and leading some vitally important political movements in the first four decades of the twentieth century.

Religion and Politics- The Ulama and Khilafat Movement

Religion and Politics The Ulama and Khilafat Movement Mushirul Hasan The religious and political concerns of many Indian Muslims were reflected in the upsurge over the Khilafat issue and in the movement leading to the partition of India. These trends were not mutually exclusive.

Communalism in the Provinces A Case Study of Bengal and the Punjab, 1922-26

Communalism in the Provinces: A Case Study of Bengal and the Punjab, 1922-26 Mushirul Hasan Relative communal harmony, a feature of Indian politics during the Khilafat and the early phase of the non-co-operation movement, broke down in the mid-1920s, to be succeeded by communal antagonisms which frequently took the shape of gruesome communal killings. To attribute these unpleasant realities to mere 'false consciousness' on the part of Indians or to the British policy of 'divide and rule' is only a partial explanation of the phenomenon; the growth of communalism has to be related more fundamentally to the structural changes in the polity and the uneven development of various communities in British India.
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