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Indias Muslim Spring : Why is Nobody Talking about It?

Indias Muslim Spring : Why is Nobody Talking about It?

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Rs.395 Rs.352Save: 11% off
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  • 5 Units in Stock
  • Author: Hasan Suroor
  • Published By:Rupa Publications
  • Language: English
  • Binding: Hardbound
  • Year of Publication:2014
  • ISBN No: 812913098X, 9788129130983

A new publication may tell you all you want to know about Indian Muslims: "India's Muslim Spring (Why is nobody talking about it?)" by Hasan Suroor.

"When my parents arrived in Delhi from Lucknow in the early 1950s, the Muslim-majority areas of old Delhi were the natural habitat of Muslims, for the simple reason that these were still early days after the Partition riots and Hindu-Muslim relations were tense, to put mildly. Muslims were neither welcome nor felt secure in the new suburban neighbourhoods (the so-called 'colonies' populated by Hindu refugees from Pakistan). After failing to find a flat in New Delhi, my parents ended up in one of the many glorified Muslim ghettoes in the walled city.

"It was thus that I spent the early years of my life in Ballimaran, a maze of narrow lanes and by-lanes just down the road from 'Ghalib Ki Haveli', where the great 19th century Urdu poet Mirza Ghalib had lived.

When I look back, the thing that strikes me the most is that despite a culture that verged on social and cultural fundamentalism (Muslim women, like my mother, who didn't wear burqa faced abuse and had their morals questioned), there was very little religious fervour among the denizens of Ballimaran outside a small circle of 'mullahs'. Near-deserted mosques and idle imams bore testimony to a distinct lack of religiosity among Muslims, especially the young who deliberately avoided mosques around prayer time for fear of being dragged in by their elders.

"Yet, today, when I go to Ballimaran I have to struggle to find a young Muslim who doesn't have a beard. 'Hijab' has replaced the burqa, and Muslim women insist that they wear it of their own volition, often in the face of opposition from their mothers who fought against the veil. At prayer time, mosques are spilling over with young Muslims who have taken time off from work to offer namaz. And this is happening not only in Billimaran. Long-neglected masjids all over Delhi - and in cities and towns across India - are attracting bigger, newer and younger congregations.

"Being a Muslim these days means wearing your 'Muslim-ness' on your sleeve. And this extends to the way Muslims greet each other. I grew up in a culture where the more secular 'adaab' was the norm, but these days they insist on 'salaam-alekum' (God is great) and regard it 'un-Islamic' if you don't respond with 'walle-kum-assalm'. My mother never quite got used to 'this naya fasion', as she called it. I still instinctively say 'adaab', and often get dirty looks for it.

"Muslims have also become more fussy about what they eat. It was always the case that they ate only 'halal' meat at home, but when dining out - for instance at weddings or parties - they let their guard down. Nobody ever asked where the meat came from; or how the lamb or the chicken was slaughtered. Pork was the only no-go area. But the newly devout Muslim is so paranoid that he/she might make the blunder of eating non-halal meat that they stick to a strict vegetarian diet while travelling or eating out. I know people who would rather starve then eat a vegetarian meal at home, but are suddenly transformed into a pure vegetarian when eating out."


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