Researching India’s Muslims: Identities, methods, politics

Hilal Ahmed


This article maps out the relationship between the academic/intellectual work and political positioning of a Muslim researcher in contemporary India. It is divided into three parts. In the first part, I raise conceptual and methodological questions, especially in relation to my ongoing research on the politics of Muslim political representation. Through these questions I make an attempt to share my own anxieties and the problems that I encounter while engaging with the issues of Muslim identity. In the second part of the article, I discuss the methodological moves which I make or intend to make to deal with these questions. These moves are primarily organized as self-clarifications. In the final section, I make a broad argument for what I call intellectual politics.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/711892