At more than 150 million people, Muslims are the largest Indian minority but are facing a significant decline in socio-economic as well as political terms--while waves of communal violence have affected them over the last twenty-five years.
In India's cities, these developments find contrasting expressions. While Muslims are lagging behind, local syncretic cultures have proved to be resilient in the South and in the East (Bangalore, Calicut, Cuttack). In the Hindi belt and in the North, Muslims have met a different fate, especially in
riot-prone areas (Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Jaipur, Aligarh) and in the former capitals of Muslim states (Delhi, Hyderabad, Bhopal, Lucknow).
These developments have resulted in the formation of Muslim ghettos and Muslim slums in places like Ahmedabad and Mumbai. But (self-)segregation also played a role in the making of Muslim enclaves, like in Delhi and Aligarh, where traditional elites and the new Muslim middle class searched for
physical as well as cultural protection through their regrouping.
This book supplements an ethnographic approach to Muslims in eleven Indian cities with a quantitative methodology in order to give a first-hand account of this untold story.