What’s Your Ism? Ep 10. feat Khalid Aniz Ansari on anti-caste mobilisation within Muslims

What’s Your Ism? Ep 10. feat Khalid Aniz Ansari on anti-caste mobilisation within Muslims

Caste and untouchability are widely perceived as a Hindu phenomenon – orthodoxically, they are categorised as “illegitimate” in the Muslim community. But the Dalit Muslims facing caste oppression strive for legitimacy. So, what is the complex history and dynamics of castes among Muslims? How is it perceived in the political economy amid scarcity mongering around reservations? 

In this two-part episode on What's Your Ism, Sudipto Mondal speaks to Ambedkarite author Shalin Maria Lawrence and sociologist-professor Khalid Aniz Ansari about the complexities of anti-caste politics  among Christians and Muslims in South Asia.

In part two, Ansari sheds light on the history of Dalit Muslims, religious nationalism, the anti-caste movement in pre-partition India, the caste census, and anti-caste mobilisation within Muslims.   

On the Muslim imagination of a sovereign nation, Ansari says, “I think there are also regional histories.” He adds, “The experience of a Kashmiri Gujjar Muslim is very different from the experience of a Shia Muslim or the ones in the Valley. Caste is written all across…There are all kinds of cleavages and contradictions.”    

Watch. 

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