After Hyderaba1948 Annexation: Muslim Belonging and Histories of the Long Partition

This paper revisits the violent annexation of the erstwhile princely state of Hyderabad by the Indian army in 1948 as an inaugural moment of dispossession to reconstruct Hyderabad's twentieth century past along the axes of Muslim belonging and memory. I argue that we must situate twentieth and twenty-first century Hyderabadi Muslim migration in relation to Partition-related displacements and attempts to overcome them through economic conditions provided by migration. The partition of India prompted waves of migration—such as the later migration of Hyderabadi Muslims to the Persian Gulf in the wake of 1970s oil boom—and their sense of displacement persisted long past the mid-twentieth century, reshaping Muslim notions of belonging. The use of the nation-state as the dominant framework to analyze these shifts is insufficient for understanding Hyderabadi Muslims' sense of belonging and citizenship, which must be also contextualized in terms of upward class mobility along the axes of global and local contexts.

Sarah Waheed
Asian Affairs