Claiming Citizenship and Nation by Dr Aishwarya Pandit

Hindu-Muslim Massive Eye-Opener: ‘Claiming Citizenship and Nation’ by Dr Aishwarya Pandit

Dr. Aishwarya Pandit’s book titled “Claiming Citizenship and Nation” – Muslim Politics and State Building in North India, 1947-1986 published by Routledge was launched today at the India International Centre, New Delhi.

The launch ceremony was attended by many leading personalities including Rajya Sabha MP Vivek Tankha, Rajya Sabha MP Rakesh Sinha, and former Rajya Sabha MP KC Tyagi, along with Haryana Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

A panel discussion moderated by Professor MD Nalapat, Editorial Director, The Sunday Guardian with Shahid Siddiqui, National Vice President, Rasthriya Lok Dal; Dr. Seshadri Chari, Chairman, China Study Centre, Manipal Academy of Higher Education and the author, Dr. Aishwarya Pandit, was conducted.

The book provides insight into the changing nature of Muslim politics and the ideas of citizenship in independent India. It studies the electoral mobilization of minority groups across North India, particularly in Uttar Pradesh where Muslims have been demographically dominant in various constituencies.

The volume discusses themes such as the making and unmaking of the ‘Congress heartland’ and the threat of revival of ‘Muslim communalism’, alongside issues of representation, property, language politics, rehabilitation and citizenship, politics of Waqf, personal law and Hindu counter-mobilization. The author utilizes previously unused government and institutional files, private archives, interviews and oral resources to address questions central to Indian politics and society.

An important intervention, this book will be useful for scholars and researchers of politics, Indian history, minority studies, law, political studies, nationalism, electoral politics, partition studies, political sociology, sociology and South Asian Studies.

Speaking at the book launch, Aishwarya Pandit said, ” This book has been a subject of my research at Cambridge. It discusses many important issues which are the heart of the contemporary Indian Politics, mainly the UP and the Muslim politics which are relevant for everyone today. It is relevant to all kinds of readers, from students to journalists and politicians. I’ve put in a lot of work in this book with research which is archival, so I am hoping for a good reception of the book.”

Speaking at the book launch, Prof Nalapat said, “Partition was a very consequential event in the 5000 years long history of India. And the consequences are still being felt, not only in India but across the world. This book claims citizenship and nation, is extremely helpful in understanding some of the psychology that caused the partition and also why that trauma is still lingering in our country. This is a must read for those who want to see a strong and a united India.”

Speaking at the book launch, Seshadri Chari said, “It is a very important book, especially on a very sensitive and important subject. What’s even more interesting is the idea that the book draws, not only from the historical facts, but also the conclusions about how politics has affected two socially strong majority and minority community. So I would suggest that every research scholar should read this book and be able to proceed from where the book stops.”

Speaking at the book launch Shahid Siddiqui said, “”This book is important because UP has always been one of the most crucial state in India, before and after Independence.  The left and right divide, communal divides, everything has happened here. So UP has dominated Indian politics quite evidently, so to make the reader understand Uttar Pradesh politics better.”

Dr. Aishwarya Pandit Sharma is a first class BA (Hons) graduate in History from Miranda House, University of Delhi, in 2008. Dr. Pandit pursued her Master’s degree in the History of International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science, London between 2008 and 2009. An assistant professor teaching legal history at Jindal Global Law School, O.P. Jindal Global University, Dr Pandit is also the tour de force of academic initiatives at the edutech platform First In Class. She was awarded the BRICS-CCI Trailblazer Felicitation for Philanthropy in April of this year. She was previously a visiting fellow at the Centre for Developing Societies, New Delhi, India. She has also taught at the Indian Institute of Management, Indore.

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