Contesting Colonialism and Separatism
Muslims of Muzaffarpur Since 1857
2014, xviii + 266pp, Hb
This study is presented in three segments: (a) the political evolution of the area during the colonial era through an exploration of the subregional socio-political setting; (b) the participation of the Muslims of this area in the Congress-led movements till the 1930s, narrating the largely untold story of Muslim resistance to the Muslim League's politics of territorial separatism, despite their grievances against and alienation from the Congress during 1937-47; and (c) their post-independence experiences and political anxieties, problems and prospects.
This book attempts to look at history from both a national as well as local perspectives, describing the broader events of Indian politics in the context of the local political system as it evolved, and the participation as well as location of the Muslim communities in those events and processes. Intercommunity cooperation and harmony prevailed over divisive politics even during the most vitiated atmosphere of 1946-7. Tracing the trajectory of Muslim communities all the way up to the post-independence era, this book analyses Muslim adjustment in the post-partition era, their engagement with the evolving secular democracy, as they sought educational avenues, and political empowerment through language politics (rather than insisting on the politics of religious identity) taking care not to confine their politics only to sectional issues/groups. It also looks at the growing assertion of subordinated Muslim communities.
Mohammad Sajjad is Assistant Professor at the Centre of Advanced Study in History, Aligarh Muslim University, where he teaches late-colonial and post-independence Indian history.