This panel examines the plurality and historical variability of Muslim societies and cultures in South Asia by looking at the production and transformation of Muslim subjectivity in South Asia through the category of the minority.
This panel examines the plurality and historical variability of Muslim societies and cultures in South Asia by looking at the production of Muslim subjectivity through the category of the minority. It attempts to open up the category of 'Muslim Subject' by illustrating the varied and changeable boundaries of minority subjectivities within the South Asian context, be these drawn by state-imposed definitions, internally-defined community discourses or practices or medial representations of majority and minority in colonial and postcolonial South Asia. The panel will deal with the larger question of the shifting trajectories of the 'Muslim as a minority' problematic and how the category of the minority has been historically transformed in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Indeed postcolonial states have been imagined through the production and defining of minorities. The panel will also focus on minority and marginal subjectivities within the category of South Asian Muslims, for example subjectivities of women, Muslim sects or the interaction of religious with ethnic identity. It looks at moments of transition where boundaries of majority/minority are re-negotiated within new political and societal realities, be these transitions from the colonial to the post colonial or other periods of transition that contained potential for the creative articulation of a minority perspective and the re-negotiation of the state, the community and Muslim selfhood.