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From Pluralism to Separatism: Qasbas in Colonial Awadh

Mushirul Hasan (Author)
Synopsis Few biographical narratives in India use the history of families to map the social and historical context of their times. In this important work, Mushirul Hasan draws on the family history of the Kidwais of Bara Banki district of the United provinces to provide an engaging and colourful account of Awadh society in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Moving away from an urban-oriented, Lucknow-centric look at Awadh, he studies the unique milieu of Qasbas-small settlements on the outskirts of Lucknow. In its exploration of Qasbati identity, and its inheritance of Indo-Persian culture, this book delves deep into syncretic traditions handed down by families and communities of the Qasbas. Hasan reconstructs the history of the Kidwai family in the light of the surrounding political, cultural and social transformations. He traces a fresh intellectual history of Awadh and takes a critical view of assumptions characteristic of historical writing on Islamic societies in South Asia. Based on a wide range of primary sources in Urdu, the book brings alive the state of intercommunity relations in the locality and highlights the pluralism and multiculturalism that characterized it. The author captures the ethos of Qasbati culture which has fast disappeared since the abolition of Zamindari in Uttar Pradesh. He describes the divisive impact of partition that left behind at best a fractured legacy of previous syncretism and boundless creativity. In the face of the resurgence of Hindu nationalism, this book illustrates yet again the diversity of influences on the history of the subcontinent. Thoroughly researched and lucidly written, this engaging book will interest students and scholars of modern Indian history, researchers on Islam in South Asia, and the lay reader following the many social and cultural shifts in colonial North India.
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About the author

Mushirul Hasan

Mushirul Hasan, renowned historian and scholar, has authored Legacy of a Divided Nation: India’s Muslims Since Independence (1997); John Company to the Republic: A Story of Modern India (2001); Islam in the Subcontinent: Muslims in a Plural Society (2002); From Pluralism to Separatism: Qasbas in Colonial Awadh (2003); A Moral Reckoning; Muslim Intellectuals in Nineteenth-century Delhi (2004); The Nehrus: Personal Histories (2006); Partners in Freedom: Jamia Millia Islamia (Niyogi Books 2006) and Wit and Humour in Colonial North India (Niyogi Books, 2007).

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Bibliographic information

Title From Pluralism to Separatism: Qasbas in Colonial Awadh
Format Softcover
Date published: 01.01.2007
Edition 2nd ed.
Language: English
isbn 195666089, 9780195693232
length viii+335p., Tables; Map; Plates; Glossary; Bibliography; 23cm.
Subjects History