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Indian Muslims Or Muslim Indians? (Approx. 1947–2002)

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Chapter Summary

The restructuring of the Indian administrative body, the supposed lack of political guidance, and increased industrialisation eventually forced the impoverished self-dependent Muslim artisans, weavers and lower middle class Indian Muslims to engage in occupations that did not pose a challenge to the Hindu majority. The isolation of the Muslims from the Hindu majority, which both sides fostered, in an ontological twist, translated into a master narrative of the under-representation of Muslims in the public sector, military, trade and the economy. It is argued that the major problem for Indian Muslims was the lack of intellectual leadership, and of a powerful organic integration figure. Religion thus has a major impact on the collective Muslim mind such as can be seen in the wake of the mobilisation in the case of the Shah Bano affair, the issue of Salman Rushdie and Babri-Masjid.

Keywords: Hindu; Indian Muslims; Salman Rushdie; Shah Bano



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