Muslim Writings on Hinduism in Colonial India
Ali Altaf Mian [+]
University of Florida
Carl Ernst’s scholarship on Hindu-Muslim interactions in pre-colonial South Asia enables us to theorize the broader “hermeneutical structures” that underpin Muslim writings on “Hinduism” in the modern period. Building on Ernst’s work, I examine the multiple discursive registers Muslims used to construct “Hinduism” in colonial India. I argue that while colonialism and communalism were important socio-political processes in colonial India, contemporary textual records point us to consider the significance of numerous additional socio-political factors. Hindu-Muslim encounters in colonial India were therefore articulated and embodied in multiple ways, including those that challenge both Hindu fundamentalism and Muslim separatism.