Contesting Communalism(s): Preliminary Reflections on Pasmanda Muslim Narratives from North India

  • Khalid Anis Ansari Glocal University

Abstract

The purpose of this study is not to contribute directly to questions of why, how or what of communalism but rather to employ the extant body of knowledge to represent and interpret the articulations advanced by activists associated with the Pasmanda movement—a movement of subordinated caste Muslims in India. The movement aspires to organize various subordinated Muslim castes, which form about eighty percent of India’s largest Muslim minority, in order to challenge the hegemony of the high caste ashrāf or sharīf Muslims. The Pasmanda movement has complicated the politics around Islam and Muslim (minority) identity, which has been seen as monolithic in public discourse. The movement, claiming to represent the concerns of Bahujan Muslims drawn mostly from the artisan or working-class background, has challenged the fascination of old Muslim elite with cultural and symbolic issues. In marked contrast, the Pasmanda activists have foregrounded organic social issues related to everyday struggles for survival thereby creating a new counterhegemonic discursive space.


 

Author Biography

Khalid Anis Ansari, Glocal University

Director, Dr Ambedkar Centre for Exclusion Studies & Transformative Action (ACESTA)

Senior Assistant Professor (Sociology)

Published
2018-05-15
How to Cite
ANSARI, Khalid Anis. Contesting Communalism(s): Preliminary Reflections on Pasmanda Muslim Narratives from North India. Prabuddha: Journal of Social Equality, [S.l.], v. 1, n. 1, p. 78-104, may 2018. ISSN 2576-2079. Available at: <http://prabuddha.us/index.php/pjse/article/view/17>. Date accessed: 03 oct. 2022.
Section
Research Paper