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Indian Muslims


There are books on Indian Muslims like M. Mujeeb’s The Indian Muslims (George Allen & Unwin, London, 1967) and Ram Gopal’s Indian Muslims (Asia Publishing House, Bombay, 1959). There are journals, Articles, and ‘Letters to the Editor’ on Indian Muslims or Muslim Indians. But who are these Indian Muslims?

M. Mujeeb answers: ‘whoever they may be, and wherever they may be in India, the Indian Muslims take themselves for granted’ (p.9). It is indeed not necessary to attempt a meticulous definition of Indian Muslims because they are so keen on asserting their identity that one cannot mistake them wherever they may be. Mujeeb further adds: ‘It is the author’s firm belief that the Indian Muslims have, in their religion of Islam, and in the true representatives of the moral and spiritual values of Islam the most reliable standards of judgement, and they need not look elsewhere to discover how high or low they stand’ (P.24).

Inspite of this declaration, the moral and spiritual values of Islam and the actions of their true representatives, have been studied by many scholars in India and abroad, more abroad than in India. We shall therefore not concern ourselves with these values here. We shall confine our study to processes of how Indian Muslims came into being and how they have grown in numbers to form the largest minority in India. Ours is a study only in the demography of Indian Muslims.

July, 1990

K.S. Lal