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

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Seventeen Blind (Wo)Men and an Elusive Elephant

Contemporary India – Transitions,
Peter Ronald deSouza (ed);
Sage Publications, New Delhi, 2000;
pp 388, Rs 475.

Shadow of Afghan War

The events of September 11 have not only led to the reconfiguration of some aspects of Indonesia's and Malaysia's domestic politics, but also enhanced Malaysia's role as a moderate Islamic state in the global war against international terrorism. But the most enduring impact is at the individual level - Muslims in these two countries are being constantly reminded through many different ways, some unpalatable, of their communal identity and are increasingly being identified as potential 'terrorists'.

Neo-imperialism, the West and Islam

The idea that the Koran and its contemporary interpretation primarily explain the social and political dynamics of diverse Islamic societies is unsupported by any theory or historical evidence. The apparently uniform and narrow theological convictions prevalent in a number of countries is really a product of the neo-imperialist attempt to control the fate of Islamic societies by specific acts of patronage and financial sponsorship. Escape from neo-imperialism is thus the first step, before socio-economic changes create the basis of new possibilities.

Madarsas: Need for a Fresh Look

The importance of modernisation and universalisation of education among Muslims in India is borne out by their poor performance in various fields. It is a matter of gratification, therefore, that there is growing convergence of views on the need for modernisation of madarsas and bringing the education imparted in them into the mainstream of universal trends in education.

Foreign Investment in Retail Trade

Fear of foreign investment in trade is irrational. It could help to improve productivity and competitiveness. It is unlikely to have adverse effects on employment and might make existing trade more efficient and profitable.

Muslims in Public Service

The success ratio of aspiring candidates to the IAS exams from one of the premier Muslim educational institutions in the country, AMU, remains abysmally low. Amending the reservation quota is widely seen as an exercise in political manipulation; far-reaching results, it is felt, can best be obtained by introducing steps and encouraging NGOs to improve the quality of education at primary levels, and making students equally familiar with English as with Urdu.

Gujarati Business Communities in East African Diaspora

Gujarati emigrants to East Africa were central to the economic development of that region both before and during European colonial rule. Not the undifferentiated mass of 'Indians' or 'Asians' recorded by the colonial powers, the Gujaratis were both internally divided by caste, community, and religion, and bound together by common ties of language an orientation towards business. It was those ties, and the carefully maintained kinship and community networks, which the various communities utilised to build their economic fortunes in their new lands. Thus it is to those networks that attention must be turned to understand both the foundations of Gujarati success in East Africa as well as their continuing links back to Gujarat.

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