This is a preprint of a review whose final and definite form has been published in The Book Review; see entry in my publication list. The book itself is here

Accumulation by Segregation: Muslim localities in Delhi. By Ghazala Jamil. Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2017, pp. 244, Rs 750

This is a preprint of a review whose final and definite form has been published in Commonwealth & Comparative Politics © Taylor & Francis; see publisher's version and entry in my publication list. The book itself is here

India’s Muslim spring: why is nobody talking about it?, by Hasan Suroor, New Delhi, Rupa, 2014, xv + 200 pp., £13.99 (hardback), ISBN 9788129130983

Since the destruction of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya in 1992, increasing Hindu-Muslim polarisation and subsequent Muslim marginalisation seemed inevitable in India - until the UPA government elected in 2004 made the fate of the country’s largest religious minority a political priority again. The presentation of the Sachar Committee Report on Muslims’ social, economic and educational status to India’s parliament in late 2006 engendered a powerful re-imagination of Muslim Indians as citizens who are primarily poor and only secondarily a religious minority (the usual dialectic reifications and homogenisations notwithstanding). With its almost Foucauldian politics of enumeration, the report countered pervasive doubts and suspicions about an allegedly unruly and alien segment of India’s population with a solid statistical grasp of ‘hard’ economic facts. While the report was widely acclaimed for opening up new avenues of academic inquiry and political intervention, India’s Muslim spring by Hasan Suroor now demonstrates that this ‘rationalisation’ indeed succeeded in redefining elite perception as well.

This is a preprint of a review whose final and definite form has been published in Contemporary South Asia © Taylor & Francis; see publisher's version and entry in my publication list. The book itself is here

Islamic reform in South Asia, edited by Filippo Osella and Caroline Osella, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2013, xxviii + 509 pp., ISBN 978-11-0703-175-3

The following book review first appeared in ASIEN / The German Journal on Contemporary Asia 131 (see entry in my publication list) and is reprinted here with permission. The book itself is here.

K. Hackenbroch: The Spatiality of Livelihoods. Negotiations of Access to Public Space in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2013, 396 S., EUR 56,00

Through a mixed-method study of spatial claim-making in two low-income neighbourhoods in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Kirsten Hackenbroch unveils the thoroughly political nature of everyday life. The key contribution of her ethnography is to highlight "informality from above", that is the deep implication of the state in what many geographers and urban planners continue to discuss as a depoliticized, "informal" process of urban growth. This insight gains considerable weight from painstaking and thorough long-term fieldwork; "The spatiality of livelihoods" thus also stands as an example of what can be gained from this increasingly unpopular endeavour.

After newspapers, online open access is unsurprisingly the second quickest medium in which reviews of my book appear. And since I am these days so embroiled in writing the first big draft of my research on Lucknow, this blog is poised to turn into a tool of quick and dirty self-promotion (though a post on Lucknow's real estate boom is in the pipeline, keep watching!). This is Jack David Eller, writing for the Anthropology Review Database:

We can only hope that the message of Muslim diversity and ambivalence reaches the ears of the public and of policy-makers and that more anthropologists will be inspired to explore and describe how religion actually moves, or does not move, particular Islamic - and other religions' - individual members, groups, and parties. (read the whole review online)

And here comes Kalathmika Natarajan, writing for the impressive new LSE Review of books (do subscribe to their RSS feeds or follow @LSEReviewBooks if you haven't already), with a more critical note: