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

Dalit MuslimsSubscribe to Dalit Muslims

Does Untouchability Exist among Muslims?

Untouchability forms a crucial criterion for inclusion in the list of Scheduled Castes. It is rarely discussed with reference to Muslims. A household survey was conducted in 14 districts of Uttar Pradesh to examine contradictory claims about the practice of untouchability by non-Dalit Muslims and Hindus towards Dalit Muslims in Uttar Pradesh. A section of Dalit Muslim respondents report existence of untouchability in dining relations, habitation, social interaction and access to religious places. Surprisingly, a higher proportion of non-Dalit Muslims corroborate these claims.

Contextualising Muslim Identity: Ansaris, Deobandis, Barelwis

This paper argues against a monolithic, essentialised reading of the Indian Muslim identity. Drawing from research in Mubarakpur, Azamgarh, it highlights the various schisms within the Muslim identity. Telling the story of identity through the eyes of lower caste Muslims, the paper shows that caste, class and maslaki affiliations remain important markers of identity within Muslim society. The very notion of "Islamic identity" is itself a matter of fierce interpretative debate among the Muslims. Drawing on evidence from madrasas, the paper argues that the "other" within the madrasa is not a Hindu but a fellow Muslim from another maslak.

Islamic Perspectives on Liberation and Dialogue in Contemporary India

This survey suggests that increasing numbers of Muslims, particularly from long-marginalised 'low' caste groups, are now demanding that their voices be heard, thereby seeking to challenge the established Muslim leadership as spokesmen of Islam and representatives of the community. These voices of dissent are significant in that they offer an interesting case of 'lay' perspectives on Islam that emerges from a situation of struggle against oppression. In this sense, they can be said to represent a form of what can be called an Islamic theology of liberation.
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