The West has become obsessed with Muslims, constantly classifying them as either 'moderate' or 'extreme'. Reacting against this dehumanising tendency, Jeremy Seabrook and Imran Ahmed Siddiqui show us the daily life of poor Muslims in India and sheds light on what lies behind India's 'economic miracle'.
The authors examine life in Muslim communities in Kolkata, home to some of the most disadvantaged people in India, giving a voice to their views, values and feelings. We see that Muslims are no different from those of other faiths - work, family and survival are the overwhelming preoccupations of the vast majority. Although most are observant in their religion, there is no trace of the malevolence or poverty-fuelled extremism attributed to them.
This enlightening and elegantly written book will be of great interest to students and practitioners of development and anyone who wants a more realistic picture of Muslim life and modern India.
Jeremy Seabrook is a journalist and writer. He has written for the New Statesman, Guardian, Times and Independent. He writes plays for stage and TV and is the author of numerous books including Pauperland (Hurst, 2013), The Song of the Shirt (Hurst, 2015) and Cut Out (Pluto, 2016). Imran Ahmed Siddiqui is a writer and journalist. He works at the Telegraph newspaper in Kolkata. He is the co-author of People Without History (Pluto, 2011).
Introduction 1. Topsia I. The Landscape II. Untreated Sickness III. Poverty - a Constant Companion VI. Women's Work 2 Injustice I. The Temptations of Injustice II. False Cases III. Aftab Alam Ansari 3. Beniapukur I. The Police Thana II. Government Service III. The Sex Trade VI. Muslim and Gay 4.Defining Slums I. The Poor Have No Biography 5. Tiljala Road I. Legality and Illegality II. The Reformed Addict III. The Chorus of Market Women IV. Modernised Poverty 6. Victimisation 7. Tangra I. The Tannery II. The Restaurant III. India's Gaza 8. Postscript: A Servant's Story Notes Index