- Reading level: 2+ years
- Hardcover: 280 pages
- Publisher: Context (20 February 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9789386850515
- ISBN-13: 978-9386850515
- ASIN: 9386850516
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.5 x 21 cm
- Average Customer Review: 25 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #12,511 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
An Ordinary Man's Guide to Radicalism: Growing up Muslim in India Hardcover – 20 Feb 2018
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About the Author
Neyaz Farooquee is a journalist based in Delhi. He was a fellow at the New India Foundation and Sarai-CSDS. He was previously a staff writer at Hindustan Times, and has contributed to the New York Times, Al Jazeera and Tehelka.
From the Publisher
Excerpt from an Ordinary Man’s Guide to Radicalism
It’s been over a decade since the encounter, but the questions remain. Were they really terrorists? If not, then gross injustice was done to them, their families, their friends. If yes, then there was gross injustice done to Inspector Sharma, his family, his friends, and those killed in the bomb blasts. In what circumstances was the inspector shot? Was he shot by the men inside the flat? Was he shot in friendly fire? The track record of the police team involved in the encounter, the special cell of the Delhi police, was hardly spotless, if one were to go by media reports. There had been several allegations of the cell’s involvement in questionable encounters.
What’s the complete truth? No one knows. Truths are as diverse as the narrators are.
Even now, every so often, plainclothes policemen appear in Jamia Nagar, driving cars with no number plates. Often at midnight. When residents oppose them, even manhandling the policemen sometimes, the police say they are there to 9 pick up a chain snatcher, or an auto thief or a Bangladeshi. Even now, almost a decade later, such highhandedness only adds to people’s doubts about the genuineness of the encounter in 2008.
Over the years, I went through a transformation without realising it. This village kid from a religious family grew up into a city-dwelling young man with a sense of gnawing victimhood – real and perceived. I made friends of all hues, watched birds, enjoyed the beauty of the mountains, jungles and lakes, made sense of religion, and learnt that you can’t clap with one hand. And also unlearnt many things.
The encounter had driven me nearly berserk, like it did many youths in Jamia Nagar. I was on the brink of breaking down. In frustration, I thought about ways to deal with what I – we – were facing. It set me wondering about why the youth in disturbed areas took up arms. Why, and also how? What made them so desperate that they felt the need to do that?
In the bomb blasts and other terrorist attacks in Delhi and across the country, and the counterterror operations that followed these, innocent people have suffered beyond measure, and my small struggles are by no means comparable to theirs. But the many stories of small sufferings, small achievements, small men in Jamia Nagar that are lost in the noise still need to be heard. You have heard the news, but there is so much that never makes it to newspapers and television studios.
My own story is one of a kid who came to Delhi with many hopes; of a young man who lost his way; and then, if I might say so, of someone like you.
Will you read my story?
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25 customer reviews
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In the process of inquiring into the constitution and location of the Muslim (citizen) subject in modern India, the book reveals and seeks to break the many, many walls that separate and isolate people from one another. It does so by highlighting the many painful and happy memories that people across communities and nations share despite differences in beliefs and practices.
The book has quite a few typos and errors of referencing, though. I hope these will be corrected in its future editions that certainly deserve to be published.
An easy, yet engaging narrative of one person’s “transformation” growing up Muslim in India.