The Everyday Axomiya Canopy : A Study Among the Indigenous Assamese Muslims

Monday, 11 July 2016: 09:30
Location: Hörsaal 48 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Alimpana GOSWAMI, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Guwahati Campus, India
The cosmopolitan attitude in Assam leads to consensus as well as contestations at times. It is very important to look into the pre-conditions of cosmopolitanism because it has undergone diverse interpretations and applications. The study would try to look beyond the normative understanding of cosmopolitanism as universalism or ‘global citizen’. It basically intends to look into the lived experiences of the inter-faith relations between the Assamese Hindus and “indigenous Assamese Muslims” of the state of Assam and consequences after the coming of the Bangladeshi Muslim settlers. It will focus on instances of proscription when at times hampers the cosmopolitan setting and at other times benefits the interfaith relations. An attempt shall be made to look into the significant religious practices, everyday habits like food and dress, most importantly, gender relations among the specific groups in the selected field. The spread of Islam, unlike the Hindu tradition, is with a world view of monotheism. We see that the indigenous Assamese Muslims have associated with the religion and culture of Shankardev and have also taken initiation at the Neo-Vaishnavite cultural institutions. The study will put an effort to look into which class or section of people are engaged in such ritual crossings (where a Muslim plays the role of Raam), and their relationships in the everyday setting. It is to figure out whether such integration is a forced one or a voluntary one.