Nationalisation of festivals: Dichotomy about Muslim identity recognition in public sphere

Sectarian radicalism through cultural allocation is a sign of rising or pitching demands for the exclusion of religious dissenters against traditions of tolerance. Being a Gujarati and also Muslim ‘Navratri’ is one of my favourite fest and I know very well to play ‘Garba’ because I owned culture as living at the location since childhood. My concern for an article is certainly not notes on harmony and or goodies guaranteed recognition by a nation-state, there are many scholars (s) who had already done, instead, I would like to draw a contemporary format of pursuing nationalisation through majoritarian religious identity to prove divisional pride in front of ‘Other’ as a less-nationalist. During the ‘nav(Nine)- ratri(Nights) days, I have observed on social media like Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp status are full of national energy with an amalgamation of the cultural(folk) fest as many players wore the colours of the Indian National Flag and at the end of the last day at ‘Garba Ground’ players were chanting Vande-Matram with long length ‘National Flag’, which is uncommon.

Usually, ‘Navratri’ is seen to be a worship day(s) for goddesses. Hence, Gujarat as a moderate state of Hindutva has no end with the vibrant idea of cultural segregation although the political units generated cutting insights between cultural gatherings where many places in Ahmedabad and Surat before entry the Identity proof by a government-recognised document has been checked to prohibit Muslims players. So major study about the term ‘Cultural Tolerance’ is associated with identity since the idea of the public sphere comes to the door of every modern society where political, social, religious and economic (primarily capitalist) efforts to resist collective sense or majoritarian are either trivialised or distorted. And for that, as an example, German, Jews and Nazis’ cold-blooded atrocities are enough to understand.  Here, I look at the identity of a particular religion, of course, Islam and some specific claims with identity in the public sphere along with one of the core values ‘Cultural Tolerance’ in the history of the contemporary context of India.

The dichotomy of Modi-Shah for Muslim Identity and their Gujarat Model for the whole of India still fundamentally categorised or excluded f to minorities and specifically Muslims, as Ahmedabad city legally entailed with ‘Disturb Area Act’, to as a confirmation that Muslims are violent and core reason of communal violence with (in)tolerate capacity in the society to disturb social harmony.   

Today, as a Muslim, I need to start with Islam as a religion with many values as other religions held in socio-polity structure. I tend to think in particular cases and situations rather than otherwise generalities. I am not convinced whether that in a subject or the relationship between practising and political Islam when tolerance exists in moral relations and because of this moral relation define by ‘Social Contract’ it appears as the thought of imminent as in inside of it is a part, neither have dubious reasons to justify the importance of values in any religion, certainly not on renewed within the whole world for Islam or by Islam because political parties thus playing peek-a-boo with the word “secularism” in a space of contemporary re-distribution and representation for Muslims but not fully by the Muslims. Hence, my primary concern about every phenomenon where Muslim as an identity is characterised rather than conceptualised on the bases of ‘Location’ and the distinctive role of particular liberal durability.

Well, the very warm welcomed theory of the modern state is that all religions should be tolerated, as long as they do not disturb the peace or otherwise infringe on the secular laws of the country; the conceptual definition is usually called in the term (In India) ‘Nehruvian Secularism’ where a claim of genuine religious toleration still behold under the curtain of violence. The dynamics of tolerance depend upon Belief(s), Actions and Practice, whereas the Indo-Islamic version of Islam usually cultivates wisdom from ‘Imaan’ (Faith), barely from fundamental written texts in Islam, such as when trying to look into the fumbling question of why tolerance is constantly being questioned for Muslims while discrimination via state-promoted communal violence has occurred in the sphere of India since the partition. 

Minority as a Subject to confirming Majoritarian Public Sphere ‘Safe’

In a secular state, tolerance in a political sense is a politics of recognising politics as an autonomous sphere not subject to religious institutional governance. It is not as if the stigmatization of and tolerance against Muslims occurred after 2014, certainly not in every state of India but moreover in northern India would have been presented into the public sphere before that, and hence one of the aspects to emphasise as an expression here try to amplify that why the format of tolerance is in indifference for Muslims then the other religious communities in India, especially after 2014.

 A secular political order may be one in which spiritual practice along with the Freedom of speech, as we say, can flourish. So, it’s distinct from the philosophical understanding of secularism, here, I would like to add that secularism is thus always subject to be reflected by the majoritarian population, unlike has to prove patriotism by minorities of the country. Secondly, secularism is not just a context of separate religious and state contests but is also parallel or analogous, as professor Upendra Baxi said, ‘Subject to Cultural Right(s)’.

The question of cultural sub-commissions attempted to define ‘faith’ or ‘belief’ not to grant extremist temperaments but better as mutual recognition means ‘Positive Tolerance’. A similar concern is to preserve minorities’ rights, culture and religious values, yet it is also evident that the subjects of practising religion could be an essential condition to understand differences between individual involvement of complexity through the nation, upbringing, stands over western systemised education where the state of nature has to transfer rights to the sovereign for citizens but in this specific relation of social normalities to political disagreements having a liberal notion where moral sentiments measured as individual self-interest. However, the reference to the ‘Emile’ character from Rousseau keep sustains liberate dutiful society in a crucial role between Religious to Social, which means ‘Modern’.

It remains the human ability to ‘progress’ and those not in the same lineage would be considered under social construction, and such a concept allegedly performed by ‘Hindutva’ as a sigma rectory whereas their idea of social construction is a glory of religion in front of Muslims or Muslims Rulers of India as a reviver core method more after 2014. For instance – land-jihad, love-jihad, hijab-ban, Gyanvapi etc.  

Contemporary Social – Status of Muslims and its Question of ‘Visibility’

In some accounts, epochal change in Gujarat’s public sphere carried a very powerful argument with a question ‘Which indication of religion as an identity is dissolving the essential structure of modernity? However, as Professor Hilal Ahmad at CSDS centre – New Delhi articulate in his very famous book ‘Siyasi Muslim’ Muslims have been seen as a ‘Homogeneous Community’ with the everyday ground discourse of Pan-Islamism in terms of Social- Political as well as fundamentalist constraints too, which means less-tolerate temperament for any remark on ‘Islam’. Meanwhile, fundamentalism is a new term for negative energy that is exclusively associated with Islam in ‘New Enemies’ of modern-secular societies, invented in 1920 by protestant circles in the United States.

Just like conservatism, fundamentalism is a latecomer in the scene. The author of the book ‘Good Muslim – Bad Muslim’ Professor Mamdani is written that ‘fundamentalism is a religious phenomenon where the matter of recognition is rendered within the social hegemony’. Religious fundamentalism is akin to a counter-culture which tries to criticised particular practices, not a political movement intended to respond to the problem of using the term ‘Fundamentalism’ but the political contexts through the ‘Cultural Exclusion’ to prohibit Muslims to Play Garba and sense it as a ‘Faith Disturbance’. It obscures their doctrinal enchantment and inhabitation, including the place of violence in religious doctrine.


So, this article consists of perspective, it is concerned with the place of religion in the public sphere of Gujarat in the everyday lives of the ‘Model’ of the state in India. Primarily Muslim Communities relate to what they perceive as religious minorities and what differences does make to their lives in comparison to other religious communities in the public sphere! This question is, and always has been, central to the anthropological agenda until recently.

Sociological promotional research locked insight into just Violence and Riots. In Modern State where Homi Bhabha might be caught the cause and he writes ‘There is no universal objective morality where individuals and institutions are already blurring the line between public and private with pressing political movements.’ There is always a distinguished approach from difficult structural reforms to populist and politically controversial measures, but the logic of polemics would not nudge an identity to resolve the tension between internal violence and tolerance manifests in the public sphere and these proponents argue for political to a social culture which takes Muslim as an identity ‘Burden’ of social condition.

Tasnim Bharmal is a research and teaching assistant at Ahmedabad University.



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