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Title: Inter-religious conflict in India : the dynamics of Hindu-Muslim relations in North Malabar, 1498-1947
Author: Gabriel, Theodore Paul Christian
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 1986
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Hindu-Muslim relations in the Indian subcontinent are one of the most pervasive and long standing problems which the region faces. This thesis seeks to describe and analyse inter-religious relations in the province of Malabar, the enquiry into Hindu-Muslim relations being focused on the northern districts of the region. The opening chapters examine the nature and aetiology of religious conflict, and the religious and social idioms in which Hindu-Muslim hostility is usually expressed. It is to be seen that such manifestations centre around some symbols and issues, ideological as well as social, for example Islamic Jihad or Hindu veneration of the cow. The fourth chapter delineates the contrasts in the behaviour and communalistic attitudes of the North and South Malabar Mappilas. The second half of the thesis concerns itself with the colonial period in North Malabar, and the developments in communal relations which transpired in the region with the advent of successive colonial powers. The efforts of the Portuguese to take over the maritime trade adversely affected the status and fortunes of the Muslims, who had hitherto enjoyed a virtual monopoly of the lucrative spice trade with the Middle East and Europe. This upset the delicate symbiotic balance that had sustained communal harmony in the province, in spite of the extreme disparities in religious and social characteristics of the Hindus and Muslims. The Nysorean period, characterised by the bigotry and religious chauvinism of the Sultans, especially Tippu, witnessed the bitterest episodes of inter-religious controversy, and the alliance of the Hindus with the British against the Muslim administration and citizenry. Malabar was gradually steered to tranquillity by the British, but the introduction of religious issues into the political scene by the Khilafat non-cooperation movement, and enactment of erroneous agrarian laws, vitiated communal relations there. The result was the Mappila rebellion and consequent estrangement between the Hindu and Muslim communities. Mappila leaders of North Malabar were mainly responsible for Muslim separatism in the province. Though the distinctions between the pre-colonial and colonial periods are usually too sharply drawn, the intrusion of colonial powers, especially the Portuguese and the Mysorean, prevented the Hindus and Muslims of Malabar from maintaining the modus vivendi they had achieved earlier. The secularising effect of British rule was destroyed to a great extent by the Khilafat agitation and consequent communal separatism.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available