New Delhi: Partition
affected the Indian Muslims adversely, especially those in the
country's northern and eastern regions, and its socio-economic
impact remains understudied, said Vice President Hamid Ansari
"Partition (1947) affected the Indian Muslims adversely,
especially in the northern and eastern regions, and its
socio-economic impact remains understudied," he said while
releasing a book titled "Muslims in Indian Cities: Trajectories of
Marginalisation", edited by Laurent Gayer and Christophe Jaffrelot,
According to Ansari, the book will add useful empirical data to
the Sachar panel report, which is used by the government to press
the case for affirmative action for the community.
"The socio-logical study in 11 urban centres explores the pattern
of segregation and argues that Muslims are losing ground," noted
But this remains contested, he said, adding any generalisations in
the matter may be hazardous as Indian Muslims are not a homogenous
"New elites have sprung up in the community," said Ansari.
Jaffrelot, who teaches South Asian politics and history at
Sciences Po (Paris), as well as at Kings College, London,
responded by saying "the purpose of the study was to go beyond
Pointing out an emerging trend, Gayer, co-editor of the book who
is currently posted at the Centre de Sciences Humaines, Delhi,
said it was difficult for the Muslims to find housing options in
Amitabh Kundu, who teaches social sciences at the Jawaharlal Nehru
University, said that the gap between the Muslims and the
non-Muslims was more in urban areas than rural parts of the
"There is discrimination in labour, land and capital markets
against Muslims," he said.
The Indian edition has been published by Harper Collins
Combining first hand testimony with critical analysis, the book
follows urban Muslim life in 11 Indian cities, providing uncommon
insight into a little-known subject of immense importance and
consequence, said the publishers.
According to the book, while the quality of Muslim life may lag
behind that of the Hindus nationally, local and inclusive cultures
have been resilient in the south and the east.
In the Hindi belt and the north, Muslims have known less peace,
especially in the riot-prone areas of Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Jaipur
and Aligarh and in capitals of former Muslim states like Delhi,
Hyderabad, Bhopal and Lucknow, which are rife with Muslim ghettos,