This book is an ethnographic study of Muslim
survivors of ethnic strife in Mumbai and two major cities of Gujarat. Based on
narratives of and interviews with Muslim men and women it tries to understand the
world and worldviews of those who have seen and lived through one or several
violent confrontations and episodes in their lives. Through engagements with
these survivors the book weaves several stories of devastating loss the painful
and never absolute process of recovery and battles for survival and redress from
By giving space to the voices of both women and men, to survivors
of communal violence on the one hand and religious leaders and the non-laity on
the other the book provides numerous insights; how Muslims construct their
identity in such conditions; how Muslim voices in Mumbai are different from those
in Gujarat; and how women's narratives are tinged with personal sadness but
men's recollections are couched in more abstract terms. The author explores
troubling issues like the ways in which the memories of violence bring about shifts
in everyday practices of living and the understanding of what it means to be
Muslim in India today; and how the victims of violence perceive their neighbours,
their land, their own selves, and their practices, which have been violated during
times of violence.
Categorized as the other and widely perceived as a
terrorist, the Muslim in India today has become a shadowy and frightening figure.
This book seeks to demystify this stereotyping by entering into the everyday lives
of ordinary urban Muslims, listening to their practices, which have been violated
and allowing their lives to leave and impress on the reader.
theory of everyday life and the narrative method, the author uncovers in the voices
of men and in particular women the daily and pitiless battles they wage in the face
of displacement and devastating and multiple losses. besides students and
scholars of anthropology, sociology, Islam and religious studies, this important
and disturbing book will be widely read by all those who want to understand the
Muslim in contemporary India .
About the Author
Rowena Robinson is Associate Professor in
Sociology, department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of
Technology , Mumbai. She has taught at the University of Delhi. She author of
Conversion, continuity and change: Lived Christianity in Southern Goa and
Christians of India and editor of Religious Conversion in India: Modes,
Motivations and Meanings and Sociology of Religious in India.
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