Publication Type:

Conference papers


Raphael Susewind


British Association for South Asian Studies, April 6-8, Cambridge (2016)




Many scholars have argued that discrimination against Muslims is widespread in urban Indian housing markets, fueled by histories of communal violence, and leading to permanent 'ghettoization'. This perspective is supported by sound ethnographic evidence in many places, but has been hard to substantiate in quantitative ways for lack of appropriately fine-grained demographic data. My paper resolves this problem by exploiting the religious connotations of voters' names on electoral rolls, replacing coarse Census figures with several hundred times more detailed data. This allows me to map and quantitatively compare the extent of religious segregation across all eleven cities studied in the seminal volume on 'Muslims in Indian cities' edited by Laurent Gayer and Christophe Jaffrelot (Hurst 2012). This reveals that the statistically most segregated cities are not necessarily those considered most 'ghettoized' and vice versa, reinforcing how important the means, rather than mere extent, of segregation are for processes of 'ghettoization'.