Interrogating Communalism: Violence, Citizenship and Minorities in South India, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Interrogating Communalism

Violence, Citizenship and Minorities in South India, 1st Edition

By Salah Punathil

Routledge India

162 pages | 6 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2018-11-07
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This book examines conflict and violence among religious minorities and the implication on the idea of citizenship in contemporary India. Going beyond the usual Hindu-Muslim question, it situates communalism in the context of conflicts between Muslims and Christians. By tracing the long history of conflict between the Marakkayar Muslims and Mukkuvar Christians in South India, it explores the notion of ‘mobilization of religious identity’ within the discourse on communal violence in South Asia as also discusses the spatial dynamics in violent conflicts. Including rich empirical evidence from historical and ethnographic material, the author shows how the contours of violence among minorities position Muslims as more vulnerable subjects of violent conflicts.

The book will be useful to scholars and researchers of politics, political sociology, sociology and social anthropology, minority studies and South Asian studies. It will also interest those working on peace and conflict, violence, ethnicity and identity as also activists and policymakers concerned with the problems of fishing communities.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Conflict without Mobilization? 2. State Reportage, Riot Discourse and Violence among Minorities 3. Contested Space, Reified Identities and Formation of Ethnic Enclaves 4. Structural and Spectacle Violence: The Decline of Muslims as a Fishing Community 5. From Enclave to Ghetto: Violence and Identity Predicaments of Marakkayar Muslims in Beemapalli, South Kerala 6. Beyond the Frame of Communal: Spatiality, Violence and Muslim Marginality

About the Author

Salah Punathil is a Sociologist and Assistant Professor at the Centre for Regional Studies, University of Hyderabad, India. He is currently Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Göttingen, Germany. He completed his PhD from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi on violence among religious minorities in Kerala. Previously, he has taught Sociology at Tezpur University, Assam (September 2011 to June 2014) and Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi (July 2009 to May 2010). His research interest includes ethnic violence in India, migration, citizenship, Muslims in South Asia and the intersection of archives and ethnography. He has published articles in journals such as South Asia Research and Contributions to Indian Sociology. Punathil is the recipient of M.N Srinivas Award for Young Indian Sociologist, 2015.

About the Series

Religion and Citizenship

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.


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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / Civil Rights
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Minority Studies
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Freemasonry
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Developing Countries
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies