How do we make sense of the Muslims of India? Do they form a political community? Does the imagined conflict between Islam 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 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 these queries. 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 separation.
Hilal Ahmed, associate professor, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), New Delhi, writes regularly on the nature of Muslim political discourse. He is the associate editor, South Asian Studies, journal of the British Association of South Asian Studies.