Development and Urbanization
Literature about Indian cities has predominantly described the residential spaces of Muslims through the lens of ‘ghettoization’. In this presentation, I will consider a Muslim-majority neighbourhood in a small city in Gujarat from four different perspectives: the ghetto, the suburb, the regional centre, and the diasporic hometown. Each of these perspectives allows us to look at the neighbourhood in different ways. Each viewpoint offers a relevant insight into the experience of living, dwelling, and moving in an Indian Muslim area, but none is sufficient in isolation. The lenses of the ghetto and the suburb offer two distinct entries to study the position of the neighbourhood within the rest of the city, but I argue that we also have to look beyond, at the neighbourhood as a node in regional as well as transnational social networks. This presentation is based on doctoral and postdoctoral research in a Muslim residential area in Anand, a provincial town in central Gujarat, from where I have traced a set of intersecting mobilities within and beyond the neighbourhood through travel-along ethnography in India and among overseas Gujaratis in the UK and USA.