Ethics of Muslims in Contemporary India: An Ethnographic Portrait


My work is about the ethics of Muslims in contemporary Hindu Nationalist India. How do you love a country which does not love you back? One can learn this as we watch the haunting violence against Muslims over the past few years in India. “Majnun separated from Laila in their famous tale, wanders in the wilderness, but never gives up his love or his hope of being reunited with his beloved”, as my friend narrated to me. What I have noticed all through my attempts to study ethics of Muslim in Hindutva is a political theology that I have partly seen embodied in the lives, in the conversations, in the poetic words like this, in the acts of the Indian Muslims in Old Delhi (India) one can feel that despite the political odds, they are exploring and innovating both within the Indian Islamic tradition and outside the structure of the tradition, trying their best to imagine and make real a future where Indian Muslims will be equal participants in a secular India. The common topics discussed in the ethnographic encounters I had over the past few years were how to counter Hindutva hatred against Muslims. Violence will be countered by violence, as one might think, but surprisingly what I witnessed was the vision of ethics in which hatred was replaced with love against the nation and its Hindu neighbours. To be clearer, I argue that the Muslims counter the hatred with love in Hindutva India.


Shajeem Muhammed Fazal Pallikkar Veettil
Student, PhD, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Madhya Pradesh, India


Presentation Type

Workshop Presentation


The Politics of Religion



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