Category Archives: Khilafat Movement

The Emergence of Socialist Thought Among North Indian Muslims, 1917-1947

The reconciliation of basic Islamic principles with modernity has been a major challenge for Muslims over the last two centuries. This study uncovers the responses of Indian Muslims who were drawn to socialist ideas between the Bolshevik Revolution and Partition. From the Pan-Islamist muhajirin, who migrated to Soviet Central Asia during the Khilafat agitation of 1919-24, to the upper-class literary radicals of the Progressive Writers Movement of the 1930s and 1940s, socialism provided Muslim radicals with an intellectual toolkit for analysing their own society and constructing strategies for emancipation from Western oppression. In fact, the principles of liberty, equality, and fraternity that existed within Islamic ideology encouraged Muslim socialists to embrace a secular mode of thinking. Continue reading