By David Lelyveld
The booklet explores the character of Muslim cultural id in 19th century India and the adjustments it underwent via colonial rule. It exhibits how one establishment, The Mohammadan Anglo Oriental university, with its founders and early scholars mediated those adjustments in the course of the first 25 years of its life, and advanced tools of adapting to the demanding situations of colonialism and nationalism.
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Extra resources for Aligarh's first generation: Muslim solidarity in British India
Some were cattle fairs, not far removed from those long held in India, but at which “improved” breeds of animals were displayed for the admiration of—and possible purchase by—landholders and wealthier peasant farmers. Others, taking agriculture as the strategic site for Indian improvement, were displays of agricultural machinery—iron plows, harrows, machines for cleaning cotton or crushing sugarcane—usually accompanied by trials to show skeptical landhold- 26â•‡ c h a p t e r o n e ers and doubting peasants how efficient and cost-effective such devices could be.
As early as the 1850s Singer had recognized the limits of US domestic demand and systematically set out to capture overseas markets. Initially the company faced tough competition from such British firms as Willcox and Gibbs, whose machines appear in many photographs of European domestic scenes in late nineteenth-century India. It also competed with the American company Wheeler and Wilson, which was the first sewing-machine manufacturer to establish itself in India, but which was eventually taken over by Singer in 1907.
Poorly supplied with public transport, the vast expanses of the new imperial capital, New Delhi, necessitated the grant of bicycle advances and loans for government employees to get to and from their places of work. Bicycles were also stolen or obtained by fraud in significant numbers. In Madras city in the mid-1930s cycle thefts averaged around 230 a year; by 1938 that number had risen to 440 (admittedly only a tiny percentage of the estimated 33,000 bicycles in Madras at the time). 24 In some places organized gangs of bicycle thieves were at work; in others cycles taken out on loan were never returned.
Aligarh's first generation: Muslim solidarity in British India by David Lelyveld