New Lives in Anand
Building a Muslim Hub in Western India
- PUBLISHED: July 2022
- SUBJECT LISTING: Anthropology, Asian Studies / South Asia
- BIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION: 202 Pages, 6 x 9 in, 3 b&w illus., 2 maps, 11 tables
- SERIES: Global South Asia
- ISBN: 9780295749648
- Publisher: University of Washington Press
In 2002 widespread communal violence tore apart towns and villages in rural parts of Gujarat, India. In the aftermath, many Muslims living in Hindu-majority villages sought safety in the small town of Anand. Following such dramatic displacement, the town emerged as a site of opportunity and hope. For its residents and transnational visitors, Anand’s Muslim area is not just a site of marginalization; it has become an important focal point and regional center from which they can participate in the wider community of Gujarat and reimagine society in more inclusive terms.
This compelling ethnography shows how in Anand the experience of residential segregation led not to estrangement or closure but to distinctive forms of mobility and exchange that embed Muslim residents in a variety of social networks. New Lives in Anand moves beyond established notions of ghettoization to foreground the places, practices, and narratives that are significant to the people of Anand.
New Lives in Anand is available in an open access edition through the Sustainable History Monograph Pilot, thanks to the generous support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Open access edition: DOI 10.6069/9780295749655
Authors & Contributors
Sanderien Verstappen is assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Vienna.
Sanderien Verstappen’s wonderful new book New Lives in Anand tells us that the story of Gujarati Muslims does not end with violence and displacement...[T]he book shows us how new lives and connections are made by communities who have deep ties to a region and a way of life that cannot be reduced to the word ‘Muslim.’- Moyukh Chatterjee, The Wire
This important and timely study of Indian Muslims and, in particular, Muslims of Gujarat, fills an urgent need for literature on how Muslims in India view themselves.- Farhana Ibrahim, author of From Family to Police Force: Security and Belonging on a South Asian Border
Remarkable and pioneering. The impact of communal violence on the ghettoization of the Muslims of India is assessed quantitatively and accounted for qualitatively.- Christophe Jaffrelot, coeditor of Muslims in Indian Cities: Trajectories of Marginalisation
This closely-observed, beautifully-written ethnography takes up the question of how communities learn to live together after episodes of significant violence. The answer is that, in some cases, former victims remake and reorient what have been marginal spaces into hubs of empowerment. This book makes an important contribution to our understanding of how spaces become places and of how insiders experience them quite differently than outsiders. It is an essential tool for academics, planners, and policymakers alike.- Peggy Levitt, author of Artifacts and Allegiances: How Museums Put the Nation and the World on Display