The Muslims of British India

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Seeking re-election, the ruling party demonizes migrants from Bangladesh.

About Access. Article History Version of record: 5 May The Muslims of British India , by P.

History of underrepresentation

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Search for the article through your library website or visit the journal's indexing page to see alternative hosting platforms that you may have access to. When the news of his death spread, the boys said that the mob returned and demanded his body so that they could desecrate it.


The doctor hid the corpse in the hospital basement, and a police unit moved the boys to another hospital for their safety. When the brothers were in stable enough condition to go back to Jaishingpur, hundreds of people arrived from their village and neighboring ones to escort them home. The B. These electoral losses have little to do with a backlash against right-wing Hindu nationalism.

Peter Gottschalk

Instead, they reveal growing dissatisfaction with the failure of Modi and the B. In , most Indians voted for Modi in the hopes that he would lift their economic status. Yet, under Modi, growth is lower than promised and India is facing its highest rate of unemployment in forty-five years. Over the past several weeks, Modi has announced a new round of economic measures designed to placate frustrated voters, including delivering cash handouts to struggling farmers.

Some analysts worry that he will try to distract voters from the slowing economy by doubling down on nationalist rhetoric. Many critics argue that the rhetoric espoused by Modi and the B. In February, forty Indian soldiers were killed by a suicide bomber, who blew himself up by driving into a paramilitary convoy. The bomber claimed to be a local man named Aadil Ahmad Dar, who, in the past year, had left home to join the militant group Jaish-e-Muhammad, which is based in Pakistan. Pakistan subsequently shot down at least one Indian jet, further heightening tensions.

The ostensible purpose of the measures is to shield Hindus from aggressive Christian proselytizing, or to protect them from Islam. The Bajrang Dal also cited the statutes as a justification for attacks against Muslims and Christians. In , in Uttar Pradesh, the Bajrang Dal falsely accused a pastor of forcibly converting Hindus to Christianity, shaved his head, and paraded him through town on a donkey. Modi has made several high-profile visits to the U.

India’s Government Considers a ‘Muslim Ban’

For the international community, the dominant narrative of India under Modi has been a story of economic success, not an account of religious violence and repression. Kundu has documented that, although caste-based discrimination has fallen considerably in the last few decades, discrimination against Muslims is on the rise. Despite an influx of people into urban centers across India, the rate of Muslim migration to large cities is decreasing, because they are largely shut out of the labor market. Their names are also frequently removed from voter rolls.

In , Hindu nationalist groups called for a ban on public prayer by Muslims in parks in Gurgaon, which led to vicious mob attacks in the name of enforcement.

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After speaking with Kundu, I visited Sarim Naved, a young Muslim lawyer, in his windowless, basement office in a law firm in south Delhi. Naved works on human-rights cases involving mob killings, and police brutality, against Muslims. He had left a job at a high-profile bank and committed himself to advocacy in part because he had grown up in an era of rising Islamophobia in India. He was a child in , when the Babri Mosque was demolished, and images of its destruction have stayed with him.

On a recent afternoon, I visited Irshad and Arif, the brothers who survived the mob attack, in their home village with local human-rights activists.

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  6. In an open courtyard, a buffalo grazed on a tether; a goat and three kids pressed their heads against a wall, trying to warm themselves in the winter sun. Irshad dragged his bed into the sunshine so that we could sit down. Irshad and Arif told me that the attack had ruined their lives, not only because they had grown up wealthy and were now facing poverty but also because of the shame associated with being attacked by a mob. During the medieval times, when Europe was going through an age of intellectual and moral regression, Islamic culture thrived and flourished under the Abbasids, Ottomans and Mughals.

    India from 1900 to 1947

    Muslims ruled over India for more than six centuries; despite that, at the time of the independence of India and Pakistan in , Hindus outnumbered Muslims three to one there were only million Muslims in the population of million Indians in By comparison, the Red Indians of America and the Aborigines of Australia were reduced to a tiny minority of those continents after the European invasions. The Sultanate of Delhi and the Mughal Empire were regarded as benevolent rulers by ancient historians. In the nineteenth century, the newly established British education system in India deliberately portrayed Muslim rulers of India as marauders, rapists and looters in order to malign them.

    By contrast, the British rule in India was portrayed in a positive light: that the British Empire built roads and railways and established schools, colleges and hospitals in India. If we were to compare the British and Muslim rules in India, the Muslim rulers at least resided in India and shared their wealth and fortune with their subjects.

    The British rule, on the other hand, was a foreign rule; the affairs of the state were run by viceroys and governors on the behalf of the monarchs of England who resided thousands of miles away in London.

    A Summary of British Rule in India

    A small number of European colonizers in India treated their subjects as untouchables; they traded raw materials for pennies and sent finished goods back to the Indian market with huge profits, thus enriching themselves and the British Empire. Up until , the Hindus and Muslims of India were united enough to rise up in arms together against the British colonizers under the nominal command of the last Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar.

    But after that, the British education system introduced by Lord Macaulay in India entrenched communal divisions and made it virtually impossible for Hindus and Muslims to understand each other, even though both religious communities were the victims of exploitation of foreign rule. Regarding the notion peddled by the Orientalist historians that Muslims or Islam were somehow foreign to India, we need to settle on the definition of nativity first. If an Indian settles in the US, for instance, how would you define such a first generation immigrant? Since he was brought up in India and subsequently migrated to a Western country, therefore such a first generation Indian-American would have more in common with Indians than Americans, as such.

    But how would you identify the children of an immigrant who have been brought up and educated in the West? The second generation Indian-Americans, for all practical purposes, would be more American than Indian in their outlooks.

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