Confronting Saffron Demography
(Three Essays, Rs 200)
by Patricia and Roger Jeffery falls back on twenty solid years of field research in the rural areas of Uttar Pradesh to bust some of the negative stereotypes about Indian Muslims. The findings clearly indicate that the idea of Muslims as a “backward” community often stems from organized attempts to compound the differences between the two communities and keep them divided. This is an important book and comes at a time when blaming Muslims for the country’s ills has become quite fashionable. However, the essays could have had a wider reach had it been written in a less pedantic manner.