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Tremors of Violence: Muslim Survivors of Ethnic Strife in Western India

Rowena Robinson (Author)
Synopsis This book is an ethnographic study of Muslim survivors of ethnic strife in Mumbai and two major cities of Gujarat. Based on narratives of and interviews with Muslim men and women, it tries to understand the world and worldviews of those who have seen and lived through one or several violent confrontations and episodes in their lives. Through engagements with these survivors, the book weaves several stories of devastating loss, the painful and never absolute process of recovery, and battles for survival and redress from the state. By giving space to the voices of both women and men, to survivors of communal violence on the one hand and religious leaders and the non-laity on the other, the book provides numerous insights: how Muslims construct their identity in such conditions; how Muslim voices in Mumbai are different from those in Gujarat; and how women’s narratives are tinged with personal sadness but men’s recollections are couched in more abstract terms. The author explores troubling issues like the ways in which the memories of violence bring about shifts in everyday practices of living and the understanding of what it means to be Muslim in India today; and hw the victims of violence perceive their neighbours, their land, their own selves, and their practices, which have been violated during times of violence. Categorized as the ‘other’ and widely perceived as a terrorist, the Muslim in India today has become a shadowy and frightening figure. This book seeks to demystify this stereotyping by entering into the everyday lives of ordinary urban Muslims, listening to their voices and allowing their lives to leave an impress on the reader. Employing the theory of everyday life and the narrative methods, the author uncovers in the voices of men and, in particular, women, the daily and pitiless battles they wage in the face of displacement and devastating and multiple losses. Besides students and scholars of anthropology, sociology, Islam and religious studies, this important and disturbing book will be widely read by all those who want to understand the Muslim in contemporary India.
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About the author

Rowena Robinson

Rowena Robinson is Associate Professor in Sociology, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Bombay. She has earlier taught at the University of Delhi. She is author of Conversion, Continuity and Change: Lived Christianity in Southern Goa and Christians of Indian, and editor of Religious Conversion in India: Modex, Motivations and Meanings and Sociology of Religion in India.

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Bibliographic information

Title Tremors of Violence: Muslim Survivors of Ethnic Strife in Western India
Format Softcover
Date published: 01.01.2005
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 0761934081
length 261p., Tables; Notes; Bibliography; Index; 22cm.
Subjects History