The Seedbed of Pakistan : Cultural Conflicts, Elite Muslim Anxieties and the Congress

The Seedbed of Pakistan : Cultural Conflicts, Elite Muslim Anxieties and the Congress

Availability: In stock
ISBN: 9789390961894

Author: Saumya Dey

Price: Rs. 525

Binding: HB


525 ₨

About the Book

Focusing on the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the book argues that Pakistan, as a concept, implicitly emerged from the cultural and political insecurities of the ashrāf, or the upper strata of the Indian Muslim society, and certain political missteps of the Congress. Once the administrative elite of the Mughal Empire, the ashrāf inhabited a cultural paradigm manifested by it—it is termed Islamicate. There was a relative decline in the worldly fortunes of the ashrāf under British rule. On the other hand, the Islamicate cultural paradigm, once hegemonic in the ashrāf-dominated qasbās, or small towns, was increasingly imperilled with Hindus aggressively asserting their own cultural symbols. The colonial state exacerbated this volatile situation by introducing local self-government. Hindus, due to their advantage in numbers, used municipal politics to push their cultural agendas in the urban spaces. Consequently, an already insecure ashrāf grew wary of franchise-based political representation and opposed the Congress when it demanded the same at the provincial and central levels of British India. To bring them around, the Congress made some initial concessions which legitimised a distinct Muslim interest in Indian politics, while it later refused to substantively engage with this interest. Resultantly, it charted its own course through the ‘Simla Deputation’, the All-India Muslim League and, finally, the idea of Pakistan.

About the Author

Saumya Dey

Saumya Dey is a professor of history at the Rashtram School of Public Leadership, Rishihood University, Sonipat, Haryana. He has done a PhD at the Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University. His primary research interests are intellectual and cultural history and the politics of colonial India. His earlier books are Becoming Hindus and Muslims: Reading the Cultural Encounter in Bengal 1342-1905 (2015), The Cultural Landscape of Hindutva and Other Essays: Historical Legitimacy of an Idea (2019) and Narrativizing Bhāratvarṣa and Other Essays (2021).

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