The social space of Muslim leadership in India
The social space of Muslim leadership in India: profiles, trajectories, and networks of office-bearers in Muslim organizations (N. Belorgey, L. Gautier and J. Levesque)
Who speaks for Muslims in India? Who are the leaders of the so-called “Muslim organizations”? Where do they come from? What is their family background and educational training? What are their similarities and differences? Do they form a closely interlinked network, or are they conversely loosely connected? This presentation hopes to answer some of these questions by presenting a unique biographical database and the results of statistical treatments (multi-correspondence analysis) of this data. This database includes the office-bearers of a selected set of organizations that make representative claims in the name of Muslims in India. Our analysis thus delineates the contours of the social space of Muslim leadership in India and describes how it is structured. We will highlight the important distinctions that exist among these “Muslim leaders”, such as the opposition between secular figures and religious scholars, the political sphere and the educational sphere, and between central power and regional dynamics. This analysis in turn allows us to ask the question of the representativeness of the leaders of organizations that make representative claims in the name of Indian Muslims.