Changing Nature of Minority Politics in India since 2014


The primary objective of this paper is to scrutinize the condition of Muslim community in India, with a specific focus on analyzing the political dynamics following the year 2014. The study concentrates on five states: West Bengal, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, and Gujarat. These states have significant Muslim populations, and their voting patterns play a pivotal role in shaping the politics of these regions.  The research delves into several key aspects. Firstly, it examines the political participation of Muslim community, highlighting their internal complexities and the challenges of marginalization they encounter. Furthermore, it identifies the necessary steps for their social and economic upliftment. The paper charts the journey of these communities from being largely ignored in the political arena to gaining representation. Simultaneously, it sheds light on the rising communalism that poses a threat to the secular fabric of India.  In addition, the study uncovers the shortcomings in both central and state government policies that hinder the equal participation of Muslim minorities. As the narrative unfolds, it also underscores the emergence of identity politics, particularly the phenomenon of “Muslim Politics,” which has triggered tensions in several states.  Ultimately, the paper addresses two overarching themes. First, it analyzes how the 2014 election altered the political landscape for Muslim minorities and elevated their role and influence, impacting India’s multi-ethnic composition. Second, it highlights the gaps in political strategies and suggests a transformative path forward to foster peace and prosperity in India, emphasizing the need for inclusive policies and integration of minorities into the broader socio-political framework.


India, characterized by its rich religious, ethnic, and linguistic diversity, hosts approximately two hundred million Muslims, primarily identifying as Sunni, constituting about 15 percent of the population. India’s Muslims marked by variations in language, caste, and political-economic access, have endured persistent discrimination, prejudices, anti-Muslim sentiments and obstacles in wealth and political empowerment over the years despite the increase in welfare policies for them. Despite constitutional safeguards, controversial policies seemingly neglect Muslim rights, making them disproportionately susceptible to communal violence.

A 2019 report by the India-based NGO Common Cause and a 2022 Report by Council on Foreign Relations titled ‘India’s Muslims: An Increasingly Marginalized Population revealed that many public institutions exhibited anti-Muslim bias, hindering their intervention in crimes against Muslims. An article Desecularization in India: The resurgence of religion under Modi by Sahima Gupta puts our attention to how many foreign governments and international bodies have condemned discriminatory actions. The UN human rights office labeled the Citizenship Amendment Act as “fundamentally discriminatory,” and Muslim-majority countries lodged formal complaints against India for Islamophobic remarks by public officials. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) urged India to address the “growing spate of hatred and defamation of Islam” against Indian Muslims. The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom classified India as a “country of particular concern” in 2020. Political representation of a minority: Muslim representation in contemporary India by Adnan Farooqi also throws light on the issue of underrepresentation of Indian Muslims in parliamentary politics. The Crooked Timber of New India: Essays on a Republic in Crisis written by Parakala Prabhakar is a collection of essays on New India, politics of Hindutva and the controversial laws. The article Mounting Majoritarianism and Political Polarization in India by Niranjan Sahoo discusses the rise of political and societal polarization while the book Muslims in India edited by Zafar Imam shows no evidence of sectarian bias in Muslim politics in India today and states that Muslims have lost interest in politics altogether. All this available literature has helped shape the presented research paper unbiasedly and critically by relying on secondary data like articles, books, reports etc.

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Author: Archita Ray