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India is projected to have the world’s largest Muslim population surpassing Pakistan and Indonesia by the middle of this century. This book makes a compelling case that Indian Muslims have not been equal beneficiaries of India’s economic growth. Their status now is not very different from that of the lowest-ranked Dalits in Indian society. The evidence shows that socio-economic status of the Indian Muslim community has been slipping for a long time. The book challenges the dominant image among majority Hindus that Muslims are innately prone to religious fundamentalism, militancy and extremism. Using information from official reports and data from a survey of Muslims from ten Indian states, the book explores the architecture of Muslim religiosity, the status of Muslim women, social and political attitudes and their socio-economic well-being. The evidence defies the myth of religious orthodoxy and shows that Indian Muslims are less orthodox and patriarchal than their co-religionists from Muslim majority countries. Theoretically informed and empirically grounded analysis and discussion in the book offers fresh insights into the social, political and economic conditions of Indian Muslims in the current context of rising Islamophobia and anti-Muslim rhetoric in India. This is undermining the constitutionally mandated promise of equality of citizenship and opportunity to all Indian citizens including minorities.
Publisher: VANGUARD BOOKS