Salwa Yahya (Gerda Henkel Doctoral Fellow)
Caste-based Muslim claims on the Indian state: a study of the Pasmanda Muslim Mahaz
CASTE-BASED MUSLIM CLAIMS ON THE INDIAN STATE: A STUDY OF THE PASMANDA MUSLIM MAHAZ
The project will analyze the Pasmanda Muslim Mahaz (Backward Muslim Forum) of Bihar (1998) and its political articulations vis-à-vis the Indian state as an instance of postcolonial Muslim politics in India. ‘Pasmanda’, a Persian term which literally means ‘those left behind’, is used by the Mahazto refer to the ajlaf (intermediate) and arzal (lowest castes or Dalit) Muslims as opposed to the ashraf (upper caste/elite) Muslims in the Indian subcontinent. The Doctoral work will try to look into the ways in which the pasmanda section of the Indian Muslim community has made its claims/assertions with regards to the postcolonial Indian state. This will also involve interrogating the nature of the political claims itself with specific reference to the interplay between the religious or Islamic and civic aspects of these assertions.
First Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Dietrich Reetz