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The «Great Muslim Invasion of Assam». Anti-Migrant/Muslim Politics and its Resistance in Colonial Assam, c.1920s-1947

The «Great Muslim Invasion of Assam» Anti-Migrant/Muslim Politics and its Resistance in Colonial Assam, c.1920s-1947


Dr. Layli Uddin (Queen Mary University of London)

Datum und Zeit

23. Mai 2024, 16:15 - 18:00


Rämistrasse 71, CH-80062 Zürich, Raum KOL-F-123


As partition loomed over the subcontinent, fears of a Muslim ‘invasion’ afoot in colonial Assam were ratcheted up. East Bengali Muslim migrant cultivators were accused of plotting to displace the indigenous inhabitants of Assam. Cartographical representations of the invasion were found, Gandhi intervened to save Assam and the Chief Minister demanded troop reinforcements from the Eastern Command to halt the Muslim plot. The invasion, however, never materialised.
Drawing on a range of official and vernacular material, this paper examines how East Bengali migrant sharecroppers and peasants came to be perceived as ‘settler colonialists’. I argue that a combination of caste, capitalism and global racial politics produced antimigrant/Muslim politics. The paper examines the resistance that came from figures such as Maulana Bhashani, Bengali peasant and worker leader, who produced a more expansive idea of what belonging could look like. The paper reflects on the loss of these ideas of Muslim belonging for postcolonial India.
Students, staff and everyone interested is cordially invited. Prof. Dr. Nicolas Martin, Dr. Julien Levesque


Asien-Orient-Institut - Indologie

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