Belkacem Belmekki: Muslim Volte-Face. The Politicization of the Muslim Cause in British India


The post-1857 revolt era represents one of the highly eventful phases in the history of the Muslims in British India. Perhaps the most striking event was the U-turn that occurred in the minds of the Muslim elite by the turn of the century whereby they became convinced that the old advice preached by the late community leader, Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan, regarding aloofness from politics was no longer helpful to the cause of their co-religionists. This change of heart was, in fact, spurred by new challenges that the Muslims of India were facing in the light of the new context in the Indian subcontinent. Therefore, the aim of this work is to look into these challenges which brought the followers of Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan face to face with the option of entering politics, as an inevitable move in order to survive.

[British Raj, Indian Muslims, Hindus, colonial reforms, Bengal partition, Lord Curzon, Swadeshi]