This book presents a systematic study of the transformation of the specific socio-political identity of the Muslims in Assam. It discusses the issues of Muslims under India’s ‘indigenous secularism’, Hindu nationalism and the rise of majoritarian politics; Muslim immigration into Assam after Independence; the Assam Movement and the shift of Muslims from being a vote bank to an autonomous force in the post-Partition politics of Assam; the role of Jamiat; and the divide between Assamese and the neo-Assamese. It explores the history and contemporary politics of the state to show how they shape the new context of Muslim identity in Assam, where previously an Assamese identity often prevailed over religious and linguistic identity. With the current debates on illegal immigration, the National Register of Citizens of India (NRC) and the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019, this book will be a timely addition to the existing literature on Muslim minority politics in Assam and northeast India.
This book will be useful to scholars and researchers of political science, sociology, political sociology, minority studies, northeast India studies, demography and immigration studies, and development studies. It will interest those concerned with minority politics, communal politics, identity politics, migration, citizenship issues, and South Asian studies.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Muslim Question in India’s Northeast
- Muslims in Assam till Independence
- After Independence: Social and Political Alliance of Muslims
- The Assam Movement: Muslims as the Issue
- After Assam Movement: Muslim Political Mobilisation and Demographic Change
- The Divides: Electoral Dominance, Citizenship and the Idea of ‘Assamese’
Conclusion: The Question of Identity among the Assam Muslims
Monoj Kumar Nath is Associate Professor at the Department of Political Science, Dibrugarh University, Assam, India. He has earlier taught at Nowgong College, Nagaon, Assam (2003-19). He received his postgraduate degree from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and completed his PhD from Gauhati University, Assam. His publications include research papers in journals such as Economic and Political Weekly, Strategic Analysis, Studies in Indian Politics and Dialogue Quaterly. His areas of interest include minority politics, ethnic politics in northeast India and identity politics.