Essential Reads | Siyasi Muslims: A Story of Political Islams in India

Editor | Politics
How do we make sense of the Muslims of India?
Do they form a political community?
Does the imagined conflict between slam and modernity affect the Muslims’ political behaviour in this country?
Are Muslim religious institutions— mosques and madrasas—directly involved in politics?
Do they instruct the community to vote strategically in all elections?
What are ‘Muslim issues’?
Is it only about triple talaq?
Are Muslims in India truly nationalists? Or do they continue to remain just an ‘other’ in India?
While these questions intrigue us, we seldom debate to find pragmatic answers to them. Examining the everydayness of Muslims in contemporary India, Hilal Ahmed offers an evocative story of politics and Islam in India, which goes beyond the given narratives of Muslim victimhood and Islamic separatism.
Yogendra Yadav, national president, Swaraj India, and former senior fellow, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, told Arrackistan: “This book restores balance to the rather charged discourse on Indian Muslims. It portrays them for what they are: neither a unified community nor a mere collection of individuals; not a pampered lot nor helpless victims; neither wily strategists nor a dumb vote bank. It invites us to view Muslims just as any other political community, albeit in a specially difficult situation.”
Journalist Ravish Kumar said: “Hilal Ahmed offers a new perspective to get acquainted with the world view of Indian Muslims, whose political ambitions are reduced to Burqa, Talaq and Namaz.”
About the author:
Hilal Ahmed, associate professor at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), New Delhi, writes regularly on the nature of Muslim political discourse. He is associate editor, South Asian Studies, the journal of the British Association for South Asian Studies.

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