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From Pluralism to Separatism

Mushirul Hasan

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9780195693232
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081882 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195693232.001.0001
From Pluralism to Separatism

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Drawing on the family history of the Kidwais who lived in the little village of Masauli and its neighbouring areas in Bara Banki district in the United Provinces, this book provides a colourful account of the qasbati life in colonial Awadh and highlights the pluralism and multiculturalism that characterized it. Moreover, it explores the nature and strength of the social ties that have united the Kidwais and the social effects of these ties. In an attempt to present a social-family history, the book situates Wilayat Ali Kidwai (1885–1918) and his family in the qasbas, Muslim settlements that functioned as major centres of cultural and social activities in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The qasba is where life was ‘lived’, where literature, music, and poetry flourished, and the fusion of cultures took place. The book examines the communal aspect of qasba life, together with its manifestations in religion, rituals and festivities, fairs, inter-community relations, and the routines of everyday life. Finally, it discusses how popular culture influenced assimilative thought and liberal convictions, focusing on the particular and the specific of ‘composite culture’ and ‘pluralism’, and seeks to recover an important fragment of Awadh’s historical past.

Keywords: Kidwais; family history; Masauli; Bara Banki district; United Provinces; pluralism; multiculturalism; qasbas; Awadh; popular culture

Book.  344 pages.  Illustrated.

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Table of Contents

Introduction in From Pluralism to Separatism

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A Family Saga in From Pluralism to Separatism

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In Allah’s Own Country in From Pluralism to Separatism

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In the Shadow of Partition in From Pluralism to Separatism

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Gardish-e-dauran: Vicissitudes of Fortune in From Pluralism to Separatism

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