ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Cloudy Spring

India's Muslim Spring: Why Is Nobody Talking About It? by Hasan Suroor; New Delhi: Rupa Publications, 2014; pp 200, Rs 395.

The year 1991, when India adopted economic reforms, also marked the pinnacle of the Ayodhya movement led by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). The next year Indian politics demonstrated the effect that majoritarianism could produce. A mob fuelled by the Ram Janmabhoomi campaign destroyed the structure of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya. Since then, social scientists have been working to capture the effect this incident has had on Indian Muslims. The late A A Engineer argued that the demolition of the mosque had awakened the community. There has been an increase in the demand for education, in order to stand up against the propaganda.

Other analyses, however, point to the negative impact. For instance, Irfan Ahmad (2010) argues that “Radicalisation of Indian Muslim lies in the field of modern politics. It is unfolded as a response to Hindutva politics and State compliance with anti-Muslim violence”   (p 166). Saran and Nair (2011: 175) reacted similarly: “Radicalisation of the community is the response to the condition derived by the rise of Hindutva force.” Rollie Lal (2004) argued that the Babri Masjid demolition was one of the major factors expediting the rise of radical Islam in India. The worst picture of an Indian Muslim psychology, though, was presented by Tarek Fateh during his visit to India in 2013. In an interview, he asserted that “India does have an Islamo-fascism problem” (Singh 2013).

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