POLI 322 4/2/14 4:01 PM
Lecture 1: Peoples and Cultures in South East Asia
• 7 major Countries in S.E Asia
India à 1.2 Billion population (17% of the worlds population)
• Geographyà somewhat cordoned off by the rest of the world by a
discontinuous mountain range (the Himalayas) and seas. Links with
other regions happened through mountains, seas, conquests and
trade. More recently in historical times, this region was ruled by the
British. British rule started in the eastern regions in the mid 18th
century and consolidated in the mid 19 century and lasted till the 20
• British rule in S.A distinguishes it from other regions.
• Some features of South Asia:
-High share of world population
-Poverty à has the largest total number of poor people in the world.
The world bank estimated that about 600 million people in SA is poor,
based on income. Anyone who lives on $1.25 is poor. By this standard,
some 43% of the worlds poor live in SA. The largest number of middle-
classed people also live there.
-Cultural diversityà much difference in terms of religion, sect, caste,
region, language, extensive cultural differences, varied social life,
ongoing cultural exchange.
-Sustained Democracyà SA has seen sustained democracy for a
reasonable amount of time esp. in India and Sri Lanka since they
became independent. In Sri Lanka, elected governments have been in
power all the time except for when there was a major civil war in the
-Ethnic and Religious Politicsà region in which ethnic and religious
politics have been strong for a fair amount of time.
• Peoples and Cultures of South Asia
There are quite a few cultural variations:
When centralized states were formed in the 18 century, cultures on
the ground remained more fluid than states imagined them to me. In some ways, if governments stuck people in various cultural boxes,
sometimes people came to see themselves as belonging in those
boxes. In societies in SA, where colonial rulers played a key role in
forming centralized states, that played a key role in the formation and
consolation of cultures. They felt culture was a major way in which
they had to understand in order to govern colonized societies. Census
is an important way in which states try to take into account the various
socio-economic activities. In former colonies, censuses gave colonies
-Religion à more important basis of classification in colonial India than
the way in which censuses took place in Britain. The more people were
classified on a religious basis, the more they began to see themselves
as belonging to exclusive categories. Such forms of classification of
people encourage social movements in political parties to mobilize
members of particular religious groups, sects, castes etc.
• An important cultural difference is that of religion. Hindus and Muslims
account for a majority of cultural groups. Hindus are more
concentrated in some statesà India and Nepal. They are a significant
miniroty in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Bhutan.
• Muslims are vast majority in Pakistan, Bangladesh.
• Christians are a minority of the population in significant states but they
account for a majority of population in northern India and Sri Lanka.
• Buddhists are a majority in Sri Lanka and Bhutan. A minority in Bhutan
and other countries.
• In the case of Sri Lanka, no censuses were conducted there in the
• In Bangladesh, 10% Hindus and 90% Muslims.
• In Pakistan, there are 95 % because a minority sect, Ahmedis are not
incorporated. There is pressure on government to take into account
both majorities and minorities.
• Among the countries of S.A the accommodation of minorities goes
furthest in India, which claims to be a secular state, with a Hindu
• Minorities are least accommodated in Bhutan and Nepal where their
governments are theocratic. • in Sri Lanka and Bangladeshà conflict between the minorities and
majorities and within these groups
• In Pakistan and the Maldivesà the relationship between religious
groups is not an important part of government.
• Formulation of Religious groups:
Hinduism: This term is used to refer to loosely related belief systems
of S.Asian origin. The term Hindu is used to refer to people who are
not part of a major religion in India
-Islam: entered S.A through trade, migration, conquest and
conversion. Came through from the Arab world and Central Asia(land
route) into Southern India.
Christianity: came through two wavesà through the Arabian Sea along
the West coast and then through European colonization.
Buddhism and Sikhism emerged as alternatives to Hindu practices of
caste system and ritualism. Buddhism was influential in many parts of
India and Nepal. Buddhism has had a minor rebirth in India more
• Religion and National identity
-Majority religion associated with national identity-officially and
-Pakistan, Maldives, Bangladesh: Islam
-Sri Lanka, Bhutan: Buddhism
-India: official secularism; yet, Hindu touch
à Lecture 2: January 14 ’ 14
à Language groups
• India: multi-polar;14 major groups; largest: Hindi (25% to 41%);
others: 1% to 8%
• Pakistan: multi-polar;5 major groups: largest: Punjabi (48% to 58%).
(Sindhi, Urdu, Pushto and Balochi)
• Bangladesh: unipolar, Bengali (98%)
• Nepal: multi-polar; Nepali (48%) dominant
• Sri Lanka: bipolar; Sinhala (74%), Tamil (25%)
• Bhutan: bipolar; Bhote dialects (50%)
à official language of National Government
• India: Hindi (41%) and English. Constitution recognizes 26 languages.
The main opposition to replace Hindi with English came from Southern India. A loose compromise was released. The national government
continued to use English even when claiming Hindi was the sole
language of administration. Job prospects in the government made a
huge difference because language was very important there. South
India and in North-East India on the border with Indiaà was a lot of
opposition towards language policy.
• Pakistan: Urduà Official language of Pakistan because Native Urdu
Speakers whose ancestors lived in north central India led the
movement for Pakistan. Made the difference that although Punjabis
don’t claim Urdu as their native language, but they have willingly
adopted Urdu. (8% claim it to be their native language; 4%, 1947-71).
Punjabis are the language group with the majority.
• Bangladesh: Bengali (98%)
• Nepali (48%). Dominant and sole language of administration.
• Sri Lanka: Initially Sinhala (74%) and then Tamil as well (25%) since
1978. Sri Lanka freedom party in 1956 wanted to replace English with
Sinhalese. Two major languages are the two languages of
• Bhutan: Dzhongkha/Bhote (50%)
• Maldives: Dhivehi (100%)
• Most contentious: Bipolar (Sri Lanka, Bhutan) & Multi-polar (Pakistan,
• Decisions over language polities were most conflicting where there
were two or more large language groups e.g Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
In Pakistan, among Benglis and Sri Lanka among the Tamil speaking
• In countries such as Bangladesh and the Maldives where there is only
one dominant language, there is little or no conflict over language
à Caste and social structure
• Static view à static and hierarchal society. Many British and European
scholars saw caste as a fundamental aspect of South Asian culture.
This suggests there are hierarchal features in caste and has expressed
itself that are not contrary to equalization.
• what is missing in static view
• changes under colonial rule
• post-colonial society: Political mobilization, official recognition of caste
and caste & social dominance • Understanding Caste requires an understanding of Hindu texts: Varna
and Jati. It is a loosely related set of beliefs and practices (of worship
esp) that evolved in SA over the centuries. It is a fairly rigid basis for
social organization based on world view with a lot of social constraints.
• Caste is basis for social and ritual status having to do with notions of
ritual purity and pollution…what kind of religious practices you can
engage in. Whether you can learn Sanskrit, enter social spaces esp.
temples, occupation of your ancestors that you have to follow, social
and ritual rights and obligations, who has the right to enter temples,
own land, who may have access to the better sources of water,
channels coming from major rivers.
• Caste is a basis on which some groups are expected to do unpaid labor
• Two terms that get translated as castes:
• Varna (means color and pigment) Peoples varna and their pigment has
a very uncertain relationship:
-Brahman (priests; landlords)
-Kshatriya (warriors; landlords)
-Shudra (workers;peasants, artisans)
-Panchama/avarna (untouchable; agricultural workers & other low-
• Jati à thousands of jatis. More closely tied to specific
occupations…whose a barber or a drumbeater etc.
-Endogamous (They are groups within which people are supposed to
marry) /hypergamous (the man may marry someone belonging to the
same group or to a lower status women but it cannot happen vise
-Many groups have a stronger identity of their jati status than their
-in Northern and western India, there is a closer link between varna
• Involves a variety of social and economic restrictions
• lower caste groups live in segregated areas in urban and rural areas
• excluded from temples, access to wells, residential areas of higher-
• Not expected to use umbrellas, wear shoes etc.
• Labor and service obligations towards landlords and temples • Frequency of violence and sexual abuse
• Untouchability literal in some regions… had to cleanse themselves
through various rituals
• Lower status caste had to keep a certain number of paces away from
the upper caste. This existed until the 20 thcentury in south west india
• About 16% of Indian population include groups who experience
untoucability but many members of the lower caste also receive the
same treatment. None of the other SA states other than India count
these groups. Nepal 20%, Sri Lanka 15%
• ‘Scehduled Castes’, Harijan (children of God)…used by Gandhi. Lower
castes find this term very patronizing, Dalits (broken or oppressed
à Missing in static/ scriptural view of caste
• Scope for change in status : Upwardly mobile groups joined priests and
gained higher status. This kind of mobility was not individual mobility.
• Blurred lines between categories: Jatis didn’t always know which varna
they belonged to and some of them didn’t care. The rights and
restrictions that groups had was a gradual change as we move down a
• Regional variations: Variety of things e.g how castes interact with
other basis of social organization e.g lineage and clan matter as much
as caste but they interact with each other to shape our social identity
• Caste and occupation don’t coincide: there’s no one to one relationship
between the two. But it may have something to do with social class in
a broader sense. The lower class are largely poor and are agrarian
groups while the upper class vary more in social class. Among the
middle class, you get the biggest industrialists, mercantile groups, etc.
• in northern and central India in the planes associated with the two big
rivers, that’s the region where you have the earliest regions of classic
texture caste is more solid.
• Agriculture : the caste structure is more rigid in regions of large scale
agriculture and more fluid with less regular access to water
• The social arenas in which caste play a role have also changed. Today
it matters less to some arenas than before. It has become more fluid.
It continues to exist though e.g in marriage alliances. • Caste is begun to be important in the political arenaà state health
insurance schemes etc. makes a difference to political associations.
• While caste appears in Hindu phenomena, it exists in other
• In Sri Lanka, caste exists between the Hindus and the Buddhists.
• Among Muslims, its different. Caste or something like caste is linked to
midst of origin whether the ancestors have emerged from western or
central India. The closer you are to this region, the higher your status.
• Caste is a form of SA stratification and has association to religious
norms one claims
à Changes under colonial rule
• Caste is part of this larger aspect called tradition
• Caste in its contemporary form is clearly a product of colonial rule…its
recreated caste in its contemporary form and made caste relations
more rigid rather than more fluid. It changed more than somewhat the
older view suggested.
Pre-colonial caste have more of a continuing presence than what the
newer view suggested. Already existed in the 17 - 18th thcentury.
• Reified caste, aiming to preserve tradition:
-Some routes to mobility closed off: British were trying to understand
and preserve tradition which depends on who tells you what tradition is
and how you choose to interpret it. They spoke to more upper caste
views which made it more rigid view. They consulted people who were
specialized in religious texts which also made it more rigid and
heirarchal. One effect of this is that the control of the upper caste over
institutions e.g temples made it more rigid. One way in which people
could move up was by gaining political power by building small states.
Another way in which tradition had an effect was that Varna, that
larger category, people more often understood caste as varna (the
creature of the text-bigger category) rather than by jati (the reality of
the streets-smaller category)à This made things more rigid.
-At the same time, other changes introduced in the colonial rule made
things more fluid. Farmers, educationalists and some from the middle
class and lower class managed to gain some and make their way up.
-Way to get a higher status interacting with members of other castes
e.g having a meal together -Tenant farmers were less socially and economically constrained than
sharecroppers. Tenant farmers had a more commercial relationship
with their landholders
-Legal recognition of caste privilege
• ‘Modernizing’ Changes : Colonialism brought modernization.
-Christian proselytization & responses
From the middle of the 19 thcentury, British introduced preferential
policies mainly based on caste to enable the entry of more middle class
and lower caste status into western education and professions. It
helped them gain more voice. lure people from lower caste into
education. To the extent that British rulers were willing to listen to
demands based on traditional identity and since caste identity was one
form of traditional identity so more people formed caste associations.
Caste associations did 2 things: claimed higher status for their castes
and sometimes they were more pressing focused and demanded more
resources approximately proportional to our share of the population. In
principle, they were saying that peoples rights to their resources don’t
depend on caste associations, they depend on their numbers is what
they were trying to say and challenging the caste system while still
mobilizing along caste lines and speaking the language of caste. Some
reformist movements responded to the growth of Christian and Muslim
conversion to Christianity and Islam by trying to build a homogenous
Hinduism uniting various caste groups, building a Hindu community
that would have the solidarity that the Muslim and Christian groups
had. This was when the caste system became less hierarchal.
-Logic of Hindu association: Muslims and Christians against the caste
system therefore gave Hindus the motivation to associate and unify.
- One of the motivations of mobilization is ideas from enlightenment
about social equality. Another motivation is the growth of Christian
missionary conversion (especially extensive among the students) that
focused on lower classes and class discrimination as a reason why they
should mobilize. They had some success. The conversion created some
anxieties among the Hindu caste groups and made them feel what
they are doing is that Muslims and Christians don’t have castes and
therefore they hung together better. à if Hindus are to achieve what
they want, they have to build that solidarity as a way of gaining control over India because that is how Muslims defeated Hindus and gained
control of India and Christians (the British) gained control of India. For
some people, it wasn’t as much as a grand historical reconstruction. It
was more about trying to retain some control over historically
subordinate groups by giving them a slightly higher status.
- In regions where you had more large scale agriculture, there was a
tendency to have a more rigid caste system.
-Where Varna was more real, it wasn’t necessarily the place where
caste was more rigid.
Lecture 3: January 16 2014
à Caste associations emerged… middle and lower classed people became
more politicized. This is one of the reasons why it is easier to express
caste in a democratic government
• Political caste is broader than social castes.
à caste and dominance
• Caste still axis of social dominance: poverty, segregation,
• Changes in mentalities and power
• caste and class: greater overlap at top and bottom of spectrum.
• The middle and the lower castes got mobilized in India than in Sri
Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Happened more among Hindus than
• The recognition of caste changed most in India. The government
introduced more widespread preferential policies. Government gave
fellowships, introduced quotas. After independence, these quotas were
expanded. Was proportional to lower caste…the share is 16%. The
central government gave the lower caste quotas in higher education
and employment proportional to their population (of lower caste)
• quotas were also introduced in political representation. Everyone votes
for these candidates. To win they need support from their own castes
as well as others. All of this was meant to enable greater political
• The effect is that these preferences have aided the upward mobility of
lower castes. 3% got jobs on the basis of quotas.
• There was more mobility in education than employment. More
positions are available in education than government. • The government left it up to the government of particular states to
introduce quotas for middle class. Was introduced in southern and
• These preferences were temporary and would be in place till the socio-
economic conditions of these groups got better.
• However, the conditions were not getting better.
• Untouchability was deemed illegal and became punishable by law and
various laws to protect the civil rights were strengthened in the 1980’s.
benefited in the areas where the groups were stronger.
• Many government officials still continued to discriminate against these
• In regions where they are politically stronger, they have been able to
use these laws to some extent.
• About three quarters of the lower class are landless workers and live in
de facto neighborhoods
• housing segregation is strong in rural India and in various parts of Sri
Lanka and Nepal
• some changes that cut against this are that mentalities have changed
in terms of the ways in which the average member of the lower caste
feels about caste based dominance.
à Relationship between cultural boundaries
• In SA societies where you have different types of cultural preferences
but how they interact depends on the extent to which they overlap
• Sects which share a religion and a language need not weaken sect
based antagonisms but if you have more cross cutting boundaries, it is
easier to reduce ethnic conflict
• In SA identities cross cut more in India, Nepal and Pakistan and
overlap in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh
• In Pakistan, there is not much religious difference but muslims
themselves speak different languages, belong to different sects etc.
• In Bangladesh, majority speak the same language and belong to
different religions. The small language minority also belong to different
• In Sri Lanka, 3 of the 4 largest groups are linguistically distinct. The
Buddhists speak Sinhalese, the Hindus and the Muslims speak Tamil
and Christians are both Sinhalese and Tamil speaking
• the caste structure is rather similar so that creates a minor affinity. à Colonial institutions
• East India company : Monopoly authorized by the British crown to
conduct trade in 1857. “The great mutiny” was a rebellion militarily
and socially. After that the British Crown decided they ought to rule
India directly. Once direct British rule was established, the bureaucracy
was the strongest institution. The upper reaches of the Bureaucracy
was dominated by the British. Initially in the late 18 thand early 19 th
• Bureaucracy in Command
• Military: Played an important role in dictatorships. They worked with
stereotypes as being m
• Representative institutions
• Princely states
• The initial formation of state boundaries had some influences in
determining what happened afterwards. When democracies were
established, they were based on the British model.
• The British won out the local powers and other European powers.
Began by annexing East India in the 18 thCentury. Annexed Sri Lanka
and had considerable influence in Bhutan and Nepal.
à Stages in expansion of self-government
• 1880s: Started in local boards
• 1909: elections began to local and district boards based on a very
restricted franchise. At the same time, separate electorates were
introduced for Muslims. One of the two major parties, the All India
Muslim league was formed.
• 1919: Provincial governments were introduced as a minor concession
in return for India to support WW1. Response to the further growth of
• 1935: Franchise expanded to 20%. Provincial government were given
• 1946: National Assembly was elected based on the same 20%
franchise and had some power while the ultimate authority lay within
• Each step was a delayed response to British actions.
• In Sri Lanka, mass nationalism and mass mobilization were both much
weaker than in India.
• All this local self government happened in ¾ in India, Pakistan and
Bangladesh. • ¼ of the rule was princely states and local underlines that colonial
à Hindu identity politics
• Colonial Knowledge and Identity politics
• Making a Hindu Community
• Cow protection
à Making the Hindu community
• Background: Colonial censuses, Christian and Muslim missionary
activity, colonial periodization of Indian History.
• Aim: Hindu solidarity across caste lines
• Some means to build the community: Cow protection, ‘Reconversion’
à Cow protection
• Cow protection societies:
-Hindu vs. Muslim; not lower vs. Upper caste : Many Hindus esp, upper
and middle class oppose the killing of cows. These cow protectecting
societies highlighted the Islamic sacred practice of killing of cows. The
leaders of the cow protecting societies believed they ought to defend
and protect the cow. One result of this is that during Muslim religious
festivals, they would attack Muslims. This was primarily a matter of
mobilizing Hindus as a means of identity against Muslims. Muslims
reacted to this by asserting their right to public space. In some cases
they became more defined…said we’ll make sure its not sheep but
cows that we will kill and we shall do it on a large scale. This increased
further level of conflict.
-Different motives: Upper castes, other castes
-Caste and class remained relevant
• Pandey’s approach to identity mobilization:
He highlights the caste angle to the society. Caste sometimes have
tended to move up in status by adopting the norms and practice of
people higher up. The leaders of the cow protecting societies were
calling upon all members of Hindu communities including the lower and
lower middle class. Was a way to make them adopt the ways of the
upper and upper middle class. The suggestion was that if members of
the lower class join the leaders, they would in effect, move up in the
He points out that the main leaders (members of upper caste and land
elites)…these groups had different motivations. They were trying to
preempt the challenges emerging to their dominance. By the 1920’s and 30’s there was increase in mass mobilization. Included upward
mobility and mobilization of peasants. Panday said that faced with this,
gave people less attention to caste and more to religious identity so
that they would face less challenges to their dominance. They partly
succeeded to the extent that it was middle and lower caste also joined
these societies. The motivations were not exactly the same while for
the upper and upper middle class, religious identity may have been
what motivated them most. But middle and lower caste wanted to gain
a higher status, greater rise and respect.
‘-Subaltern Studies’: School of analysis which started off saying most
historians pay too much attention to elite histories, they forget about
the underprivileged groups. Want to show how subaltern groups are
-‘Multiple subject positions’ : Just because people are carrying a
certain flag doesn’t mean they become unaware of other ways in which
they become social agents. It is the combination of all the ways of
being subjects that a matrix of identies responds to ways in which you
respond to certain conflicts.
Paul Brass says cultural identity involves some agents upholding a
à Hindu identity politics and Indian nationalism
Lecture 4: January 21 st2014
à Alternative expressions of Hindu identity
• Syncretism (e.g Gandhi) à felt indian nationalism should represent all
Indians regardless of their religion. Was deeply religious and felt that
religion to some extent should have an impact on politics. Didn’t try to
reproduce the very specific features of kinship. Also highlighted the
spirituality that he found was a part of all the major religions of the
world. He came up with religious hems in which Hindu, Muslim,
Christian visions of deity were invoked. Many others gave importance
to syncretic practices e.g music. Many others believed that they
highlighted some areas of convergence of different religions. In areas
where religious groups came into conflict, they tried to come into
• Dialogue across religious boundaries.
• Variants of Indian nationalism:
-Composite/dharmic: Indian= Hindu+ Muslim + Christian + Sikh. India
is an aggregate of the major religious groups. There is something natural to religious mobility…hindus likely to mobilize as hindus. These
groups could be brought together via various alliances. What would
bring them together is an opposition to colonial rule.
-Cosmopolitan/Modernist: Indian identity takes precedence over
religious identity. Saw the Indian nation as distinct from different
religions. Was associated with Nehru
• Hindu identity given primacy in both versions of Indian nationalism.
These 2 versions coexisted in the Indian National Congress. The
composite style of Indian nationalism were more comfortable with
mobilization along religious lines. Some depending on how the alliance
was to be forged, some people representing different religious
identities may have wanted more for each of their groups but wanted a
deal to be cut between these different groups.
• The composite group were not comfortable with mobilization along
religious lines. Some modernists felt that religious mobilization would
encourage backward practices.
• Panday points out that both versions of Indian nationalism actually
gave Hindu identity primacy in their understanding. If it’s a matter of
the composite groups, the biggest piece (Hindus) should have the
greatest say in defining the alliance. Panday argues that despite how it
might appear at first glace, composites believed that Hindus belonged
more to the Indian nation than other religious groups. Many people,
mainly Hindu elites, drew a distinction between the Hindus and the
other groups. Most Hindus live in South Asia so there is a natural
match between being Hindu and being Indian at the same time.
• On the other hand, the majority of Muslims and Christians were
outside South Asia. For these reasons, many apparently cosmopolitan
Indian nationalists, believed that Hindus didn’t have to prove that they
were Indian nationalists. But people belongings to other religious
groups required greater proofs. Hindus could be Indians without
transcending their national identity.
• Panday’s viewà During the 1920s the predominant of India is the
Composite view. But from the 1920s onward, that was when some
Indian nationalists started making the move towards the Cosmopolitian
à Muslim identity politics
• Brass on identity politics à different versions as to how muslim
identity got mobilized • talks about traditionalism and modernism. Talks about muslim
nationalism as a version of Islamic modernism.
• Agents- interests- choice of primacy symbol
-other symbols aligned with primacy symbol
• Religious literati (ulama): conservative Islamic law, Arabic/Urdu. Didn’t
say that law wasn’t the only thing that Islam was about. There were
other things as well.
• Professionals: gave greatest attention to the Special role of Muslims in
professions and their relationship to political power(pre-colonial
rulers/largest religious minority).
• each type of social group picks the symbol that is most conducive to
their interests. And they try to get others to accept their primary
• to the extent that particular groups are successful, they get more
people to accept their vision of their primary symbol.
• Agents: ‘Ulama’ (religious literati/leaders): wanted to get Muslims to
give added importance to what they considered orthodox rituals.
Although they themselves varied of what their particular view of
orthodoxy was. They tried to encourage people to give up syncretic
practices like the adoration of saints etc. they were also vary of
westernization and secularization. Urged parents to send their kids to
madrassas in addition to Christian schools. Wanted to immunize
Muslims from the appeal of Christians and Westernization. They felt
that the actual practices of many Muslims that included Hindu and
colonial features needed to end. They may have emphasized getting
away from different schools. Tried to equate 2 categories: sharia (path
of justice as laid down in the Quran) and Fiqh. They connected that to
the more detailed and more specific understandings of Islamic law and
the correct ways to resolve disputes among Muslims. In the name of
upholding Sharia, they also usually mobilized support for one of the 4
major schools of Sunni law, Hanfi law.
• Primary symbol: Sharia (fiqh); conservative Islamic law.
• Aspects of Islamic law got incorporated to the British Colonial system.
One of the ways they did this was that they were to govern family life
according to the laws of religion. Laws that emerged out of this was an
amalgam of British common law and Islamic legal traditions. Gave importance to language as well. Urdu became more Islamized by the
incorporation of Persian, Arabic words.
• Brass claims that Muslims wanted to build a homogenous state.
• Other symbols: Shun syncretism, purify practice, madrassa education,
Arabic/Urdu, no to cow protection
• Institutions: They build new religious institutions. In the context of
other bigger things happening, they felt if they wanted to have real
influence, they had to build strong institutions. The most important
institutions that emerged in the 19 thcentury include Darul Uloom
Deoband, Darul Uloom Manzar-e Islam (Bareilly), Jamiyat Ulama-i-
Hind. They urged people to accept the predominant interpretations of
texts within their particular groups. Some deoband ulema, just after
WW1 formed an association of Indian Ulema. Other muslim figures
spoke of a transnational Muslim community. Some leaders had links to
particular other religious scholars. The main way in which they
expressed a transnational identity was at the time of WW1 was during
the Khalifat movement when in Turkey the caliphate was overthrown.
• Alliance with Indian nationalism: in return for continued recognition of
• People were doing exactly what people in the 17 th century would have
• Agents: Professionals à western educated, mostly from landed
• The modernist leaders encouraged Muslims to approach different texts.
-Special status of Muslims (as former rulers/largest religious minority)
-Independent interpretation of religious texts (ijtihad) independent of
-Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental college, All India muslim league. Were
trying to connect Western education and Islamic traditions and giving
Islamic traditions a new understand appropriate to the new context.
• In 1906, just before elections began for local governments, the All
India muslim league established.
• Brass says that modernists supported the colonial state.
• Sir Syed Ahmed Khan supported the colonial state. Appealed to
muslims to fight for patronage by supporting the state. • Jinnah, who became the most important leader of the Pakistan
movement, participated in anti-colonial movements.
• Islamic modernists varied in their attitudes towards colonial rule.
à Muslim Nationalism
• Brass understands Muslim nationalism as a later generation of
modernists. Brass suggests that there was a strong link between
Islamic modernization and muslim nationalism. Early Islamic
modernization was done by a small elite group by landed groups.
• Agents: Later generation of Western educated professionals.
• The Pakistan movement had to build links with Ulema. Had to connect
themselves with concerns. They had to change their politics to get
connected with Muslim ulema to really effectively build a vision of a
• Focus: Muslims a distinct political community
• Institution: Muslim League
• Brass: Variant of modernism
• Does not emphasize ff. reasons for growth:
-Muslim alienation from Indian nationalism
-Alliances with religious figues
à Lecture 5: 23 January 2014
• Other Streams in Muslim Politics
• Islamic revivalism
o Pan-Islamic political community; opposed Indian and
o Main organisation that represented this vision= Jamaat-i-
§ Emphasize texts (like Deoband and the others)
§ Open to local understandings of tradition that didn’t
find support in texts
§ Greatest support among urban youth and some
§ Late colonial period—this organisation=noticed
because opposed Indian nationalist AND Pakistan
§ Resist idea of territorially-rooted idea of Muslim
ú Want global Islamic community § Once Pakistan=formed, much of organisation moved
to Pakistan because the condition there=more
conducive to their politics
§ Greater emphasis on conversion
§ Attention to getting more Muslims to become more
orthodox in practice and have more Islam in politics
§ ≠gain mass support in South Asian at any time
§ but writings of leaders became influential in Egypt
§ sometimes, conservative Islamic dictators=in power
in Pakistan and Bangladesh where organisation got
some influence over the government even without
much popular support
§ has grown in Pakistan (with growth of political islam)
but still not dominant force
o traditionalism and modernism=centered in regions of
Muslim-minority, not in Muslim-majority regions (which
§ visions of community among Muslims in majorty
regions=linked to cultures (especially predominant
language of the region)
§ Muslim leaders in these regions paid attention to
building cross-regional alliances (especially in Punjab
• Regional Muslim cultures
o Local religious figures
o Crucial to Pakistan movement’s growth in Muslim majority
o (look above)
• INDIAN NATIONALIST MOVEMENT
• Colonial Political Institutions and Nationalism
• Indian vs. other colonial nationalisms
o Strong, had engaged in extensive mass mobilisation
o Effective in building support across different religious and
ethnic groups (more than most anti-colonial movements in