Racializing Subalternity: Space, Caste, and Gender in Muslim Mohallas of Lucknow (1947-1993)
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The dissertation seeks to examine systems of racialization that produce the “Indian Muslim” subaltern biologically, discursively, and historically while bearing in mind the material consequences for the group circumscribed within such frameworks. In the endeavor, the dissertation implicitly strives to reconsider the legacy of colonial vocabularies that have entered the mainstream consciousness of “South Asian Studies” and to interweave the approaches and frameworks of Subaltern Studies and Critical Race Studies via the site of the Indian Muslim. In particular the dissertation focuses on the structural, legal, and civic routes by which the pluralistic South Asian Muslim community was homogenized. Between 1947-1993, the enactment of polemical laws affected local Indian Muslim language rights, property ownership, gender relations, the occurrence of mass scale police violence, and notions of spirituality in Lucknow. Simultaneously the dissertation elicits the multiple strategies by which Muslims have resisted and deflected these processes. For both historicizing caste among Muslims and developing the salience of race as a category of analysis, this dissertation seeks to stage a major intervention in South Asian studies and histories of Islam across multiple scales – local, regional, national, and transnational.