A people of migrants

A people of migrants

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Since Pakistan was established in the name of Islam, religion has always played a major role in the construction of a national ideology. This ideology has been challenged by several ethnic groups ever since the day of independence. Most fascinating in this respect are the mohakirs, migrants from India, who for several decades championed the national ideology, but are recently involved in a process of becoming an ethnic group. Using a historical actor-oriented approach, Verkaaik discusses how this change of identity had altered mohajirs' interpretation of both pre- and post-independence history of Pakistan. Their claim to be a separate people calls for a new culture, a new set of traditions, symbols, heroes, as well as a revised reading of religion. He argues that this construction of a culture is an eclectic process that can only be understood by taking into account the modern, political context of Karachi and Pakistan.That lunch in Karachia#39;s poshest five-star hotel never took place, but Aqeel, my guide and interpreter, and I did accept the invitation of a former ... They lived in Defence Colony, one of the richest parts of Karachi, close to the beach. At first Aqeel was bewildered by the hugeness of their residence, the Pajero and the Mercedes in the garage, and the whiskey offered, but after we had left he was amused.

Title:A people of migrants
Author:Oskar Verkaaik
Publisher:Vu University Press - 1994


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