This book studies the engagement of various Muslim communities with Bihar politics from colonial times to present-day India. It debunks several myths in highlighting Muslim resistance to the Two-Nation theory, and counters the ‘Isolation Syndrome’ faced by Muslim communities after Independence. Using rare archival sources and hitherto unexamined Urdu texts, this book offers a nuanced exploration of complex themes such as the struggle against Bengali hegemony, communalism, regionalism and alienation before Independence, recent language politics, the political assertion of low-caste Muslims in current Bihar, as well as their quest for social and gender justice.
An important contribution to the study of South Asian Islam, this book will interest students and scholars of modern Indian history, politics, sociology, religion, gender, and minority studies.
‘Sajjad has uncovered a significant aspect of [Bihar’s] history by focusing on the response of the Muslim communities to the Two-nation theory and the demand [for] Pakistan.’ — Mushirul Hasan, Former Vice Chancellor, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
‘[The author] has made a very significant observation regarding the vast disparity that existed between the national Congress leadership and the Congress units at the grass root levels . . . [making it] helpful in understanding the role of Muslims [in] Bihar politics.’ — Kapil Kumar, Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi
‘[A] thorough study examining … the reasons for the alienation of linguistic and sectional groups . . . In his well-researched work [Sajjad] . . . explore[s] the dynamics of Bihar politics, and explode[s] many of the dominant myths in . . . existing historiography.’ — Raj Kumar Trivedi, Aligarh Muslim University
Introduction 1. Community Consensus: An Overview of Muslims in Bihar Politics until 1940 2. The Polarizing Texture of Bihar Politics: A Survey till 1940 3. From Alienation to Exodus, 1940–47 4. Muslim Resistance to the Two-Nation Theory: Bihar, 1940–47 5. Language Politics as a Tool of Empowerment: Political Landscape of Urdu in Bihar after Independence, 1947–89 6. Quest for Social and Gender Justice: Bihar Muslims since 1990s 7. Conclusion. Bibliography. About the Author. Index