Dr Santhosh Raghavan Nair

UK Host Institution: University of Sussex
Project status

Articulations of Communal Harmony Among Muslims of Kerala, South India: an Ethnographic Inquiry

This study examines how Muslims in the South Indian state of Kerala are increasingly resorting to the discourses on communal harmony by highlighting their centuries-old peaceful co-existence with other religions and the pacifist nature of Islam. This articulation can be seen as a novel way of legitimizing their citizenship in light of a hegemonic rise of Hindu majoritarianism in India that depicts them as the ‘other’ of the Indian national self. Through ethnographic research, the study examines one of the oldest mosques and a nineteenth-century Dargha in Kerala to understand how these places of worship are refashioned through the appropriation of myths, legends and liberal secular arguments to foreground communal harmony as a critical discourse in the state. In the process, the study also addresses more significant questions related to the distinctions, negotiations and elisions between the categories of the secular and the religious among Muslims of Kerala.

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