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

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Between Haquq and Taaleem

Muslim Women’s Activism in Contemporary Hyderabad

An examination of Muslim women's activism related to family dispute resolution, education and community work in Hyderabad suggests that establishing oneself as a Muslim woman activist requires one to be knowledgeable, tenacious and demonstrably committed to building the community. Based on a series of interviews and discussions with Muslim women working in different institutional set-ups over a period of two years, this study argues that we should pay more attention to their subjectivity, i e, ways in which they inhabit, attempt and change established social practices in the given conditions rather than on the oppositions or challenges to the "religion" and "state" or "feminism" that such activisms pose. Taking a close look at the activist trajectories, perspectives and work of Muslim women activists in Hyderabad, it argues that their articulation of rights and education is predicated on self-reliance which is posited as a prerequisite for the contemporary Muslim woman to inhabit the space of the Muslim community and citizenship.

I am grateful to V Geetha for the long and engaged discussion on this paper. I thank R Srivatsan, Susie Tharu, K Sitaram, Shahrukh Alam and Tejaswini Niranjana for their comments and suggestions. The sual disclaimers apply.

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