Seema Mustafa is one of the most popular South Asian print and television journalists. She is known for championing the cause of Muslims in India against systematic state oppression. Currently, she is the Editor-in-Chief of The Citizen, a digital newspaper she founded. Seema has authored four books so far, one of which is a co-authored one.
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“But strangely enough, I find all my identities under threat today. As a woman, as a journalist, as a Muslim, as a secularist, as a liberal and even as an Indian because the Idea of India as envisaged by those who led the struggle for Independence, and enshrined in the Constitution with all its guarantees and its protection, is under threat.”
A fascinating account of an audacious woman’s journey and a rapidly vanishing way of life, Azadi’s Daughter is both a personal memoir and a political commentary. Journalist Seema Mustafa writes evocatively of the secular, pluralist India of the 1960s and ’70s, chronicling her life as a Muslim woman born into the nationalist, progressive Kidwai family in Lucknow. As a child, her life was untouched by communalism, and even as she realizes that this was not the case for many, her book is a testament to the syncretic nature of secularism, in which a staunchly Muslim household was not limited to conservative interpretations of Islam.
Seema Mustafa incisively charts the events which have slowly begun to erode this tolerant, diverse ethos—the government’s handling of the Shah Bano case in the 1980s, the demolition of the Babri Masjid in the 1990s, the mass arrests and torture of Indian Muslim youth in the aftermath of the 9/11 bombings, and the Gujarat riots of the 2000s. She also examines the current state of secularism where people face marginalization and the threat of violence merely for exercising their right to religion, to livelihood and even to what they eat.
This book should set to rest lazy assumptions about Indian Muslims, and women in particular. Even as it highlights the dominant concerns of Indian Muslims—security, employment, education, housing—it also underlines their abiding faith in Indian democracy and its pluralistic ethos. A memoir that defies old assumptions and prejudices, Azadi’s Daughter is an important account of Indian Muslims in the modern world.
Publisher: Folio Books
Publishing date: July 2018
Edna Fernandes was born in Nairobi to parents of Goan origin and grew up in London, where she lives. She was special correspondent for Britain’s Mail on Sunday newspaper, foreign correspondent for the Financial Times and political correspondent for Reuters. Her first book, Holy Warriors: A Journey into the Heart of Indian Fundamentalism, was a finalist for UK’s 2008 Index on Censorship Award and was nominated for the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Best Book Award. Her second book, The Last Jews of Kerala, was shortlisted for the 2009 Crossword Book Award and was a Sunday Times Travel Book of the Year.
Karl Marx, a communist revolutionary, sociologist, historian, and economist was born on May 5, 1818 in Trier, Rhine province, Prussia. Also inspired by Hegel, Marx gave the philosophy of ‘Historical Materialism’, according to which, a person should view history dialectically, viewing the changes in material conditions as the means of influence on the society. In ‘The Condition of the Working Class in England’, ‘Communist Manifesto’ and ‘Das Kapital’, his views against capitalism found clear expression. Published in collaboration with his colleague Friedrich Engels, Marx differentiated communism from numerous other socialist movements in these books. He presented the struggle of the working class under the rule of the bourgeoisie and gave ideas for social reorganization and unification of the proletariat against capitalists. His strong views and ideas inspired communism and socialism, the two revolutionary theories which deeply affected the world socially, economically and politically. He died on March 14, 1883, in London, England.
Vijay Prashad is a professor of International Studies at Trinity College, Connecticut. He is author of fifteen books, two of them picked by the Village Voice as books of the year, as well as nine edited volumes. He writes regularly for Frontline (India), The Hindu (India), BirGün (Turkey) and Alternet (USA) and appears regularly on The Real News Network and Democracy Now. He is the Chief Editor of LeftWord Books (New Delhi). Strongmen is his first ever edited book published by a Pakistani publisher, Folio Books.
Abdelilah Bouasria is a visiting professor of Arabic studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in California. He worked for three years as a journalist at Voice of America in Washington DC and one year as an Arabic teacher and a Spanish test developer at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California.