'How Best Do We Survive?': A Modern Political History of the Tamil Muslims

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Routledge, Dec 6, 2012 - History - 270 pages

This book traces the social and political history of the Muslims of south India from the later nineteenth century to Independence in 1947, and the contours that followed. It describes a community in search of political survival amidst an ever-changing climate, and the fluctuating fortunes it had in dealing with the rise of Indian nationalism, the local political nuances of that rise, and its own changing position as part of the wider Muslim community in India.

The book argues that Partition and the foundation of Pakistan in 1947 were neither the goal nor the necessarily inescapable result of the growth of communal politics and sentiment, and analyses the post-1947 constructions of events leading to Partition. Neither the fact of Muslim communalism per se before 1947 nor the existence of separate Muslim electorates provide an explanation for Pakistan. The book advances the theory that micro-level studies of the operation of the former, and the defence of the latter, in British India can lead to a better understanding of the origins of communalism.

The book makes an important contribution to understanding and dealing with the complexities of communalism — be it Hindu, Muslim or Christian — and its often tragic consequences.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
1 The Muslims of the Madras PresidencyOrigins and History to 1901
10
2 The Politicisation of the Urdu Muslims of the Madras Presidency 19011909
35
3 Lucknow and Muslim Leadership 19091918
62
4 From Lucknow to the Reforms 19171919
82
5 Experiments and Frustration 19191921
99
6 NonCooperation and Council Entry 19201926
123
7 In Search of Muslim Political Unity
147
8 The Failure of Reconciliation
169
9 Madras Muslims and the National Movement 19341937
190
10 1937 and Beyond
210
Appendix
220
Bibliography
223
Index
240
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About the author (2012)

Kenneth McPherson was Mercator Professor at Heidelberg University, Adjunct Professor at La Trobe University and also served as President of the Australian Association for Maritime History. Later he was affiliated with the Asia Research Centre at Murdoch University in Perth.

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