Shikwa-e-Hind: The Political Future of Indian Muslims

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Shikwa-e-Hind: The Political Future of Indian Muslims

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Shikwa-e-Hind: The Political Future of Indian Muslims, published by Simon and Schuster in 2024, offers a comprehensive exploration of the political trajectory and challenges faced by Indian Muslims. Endorsed by esteemed scholars like Prof. Christopher Jaffrelot, Prof. Barbara Metcalf, and Prof. Amrita Basu, the book is timely and significant.

Overview of Indian Muslim Politics
Mujibur Rehman examines the political history of Indian Muslims through three major “political moments”:
1. The post-1857 colonial era.
2. The constitutional equality post-Partition in 1947.
3. The rise of the Hindu Right since 2014 with the BJP’s dominance.

Rehman argues that while Indian Muslims have historically faced political challenges, the current climate represents an unprecedented shift towards marginalization.

Key Themes and Insights
1. Historical Context and Political Moments: Rehman traces how Indian Muslims navigated British rule, embraced constitutional equality after Partition, and now face exclusion under the BJP’s rule.
2. Contemporary Challenges: The book highlights the increasing perception of Indian Muslims as a threat, their exclusion from the political mainstream, and their socio-economic vulnerabilities.
3. Diverse and Complex Identities: Despite their internal diversity, Muslims are often homogenized as a threat to the idea of a Hindu Rashtra, affecting their social and political standing.
4. Path Forward: Rehman advocates for Indian Muslims to assert their democratic rights and human dignity, emphasizing active political participation as key to their economic and cultural futures.

Critical Analyses
Rehman discusses significant events and reports, such as the Shaheen Bagh protests, Hindu-Muslim riots, the unique challenges faced by Muslim women, and the Sachar Committee Report on Muslim backwardness. These are presented with nuance and a global perspective, making the book relevant beyond India.

Scholarly Endorsements
The endorsements from Jaffrelot, Metcalf, and Basu underscore the book’s scholarly rigor and importance, highlighting its contribution to understanding the intersection of religion, politics, and minority rights in India.

Shikwa-e-Hind: The Political Future of Indian Muslims is an essential read for anyone interested in democracy, minority rights, and India’s socio-political landscape. Available in bookstores and on Amazon, it is a crucial resource for academics, policymakers, and anyone concerned with the future of Indian Muslims in the world’s largest democracy.