The book explores how Muslims in Mumbai and Ahmedabad coped with the aftermath of the violence directed against them in 1993 and 2002 respectively, and how they responded to the ethnic carnages of which they were the victims, highlighting the importance of the context and the history of the place where such violence occurred.
Unlike other studies on ethnic violence which have a short-term focus, in dealing with its immediate aftermath, this book examines what happens to the victims over time and how they negotiate a ‘new normal’ and get on with their lives. Using empirical material based on field work in Mumbai and Ahmedabad, the book shows that while poverty, education and employment remain important elements in the recovery process, the most crucial issue is that of justice and the need to reclaim citizenship. A significant section of the book is devoted to the relationship between Muslim faith-based organisations and the victims of ethnic violence.
Social science research and popular discourse on 'religion and public life' have gradually moved away from binaries such as communal–secular, tradition–modern, or community–individual. It is now widely recognised that religion and cultural traditions do not simply disappear from public life with economic development. In countries like India, this shift has also been reinforced by the emerging social and political trends where issues relating to citizenship are raised through identity movements of historically deprived categories such as the Dalits, Adivasis, and religious minorities such as the Muslims, for inclusive and just development.
This ‘positive’ view of religion parallels changing attitudes in other parts of the world as well where there is growing interest on religious communities and faith-based organisations and their potential role in enhancing development and service delivery. While this has led to a renewed interest in the study of religion, rigorous social science research on ‘religion and citizenship’ is still at a nascent stage.
This series attempts to fill the gap by bringing together scholarly writing on this important and rapidly expanding area of research in the social sciences.