Mar 21, 2024, 4:30 pm5:30 pm
Louis A. Simpson International Building, Room A71


Event Description
The talk will explore the emergent tension between the minority imagination and anticaste politics among India’s most significant religious minority, the Muslims. Since the late 1990s, the enactment of the Pasmanda identity by the lowered-caste Muslims has increasingly resisted the hegemony of the privileged caste Ashraf Muslims. The nascent Pasmanda counterdiscourse has contested the critical elements of the entrenched Muslim-minority discourse — identity and the religio-cultural, security and interreligious (communal) violence, and equity and affirmative action — and characterized it as a machination for reproducing elite interests. The Pasmanda narratives, in their attempt to conceive a politics beyond the dominant dyads — majority-minority, secular-communal, Islamophobia-Islamophilia — are enriching the democratic imagination and struggles in a significant way.

Khalid Anis Ansari is a sociologist interested in postcolonial modernity, democratic deepening, anti-caste movements, and transformative politics in general. He studies the anti-caste Pasmanda Muslim movement in India, emphasizing the limitations of the dominant religious lens (and associated conceptual dyads like majority-minority and secularism-communalism) in understanding contemporary minority politics.

This event is part of the 'Power, Inequality, Dissent' series, an initiative of the Chadha Center for Global India that is led by Prof. Divya Cherian (History) and Dr. Harini Kumar (History/CGI)

This event is co-sponsored by the Department of Religion, the Department of Sociology, and the Program in South Asian Studies.