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Pilgrimage, Politics, and PestilenceThe Haj from the Indian Subcontinent, 1860-1920$
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Saurabh Mishra

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780198070603

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198070603.001.0001

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Politics and the Pilgrimage

Politics and the Pilgrimage

The Haj in the Early Twentieth Century

(p.111) 4 Politics and the Pilgrimage
Pilgrimage, Politics, and Pestilence

Saurabh Mishra

Oxford University Press

The last few decades of the nineteenth century heralded a period of intense anti-British Muslim politics in the subcontinent, and Mecca was at the centre of real or perceived insurgent activities. Subjects such as the pilgrimage to Mecca were discussed extensively and debated intensely, but the veneer of inactivity (in terms of the status quo maintained with regard to actual policies) camouflaged the many seething apprehensions. A close watch was kept on the pilgrimage arrangements, and the situation within ‘Arabia’ in general, but this did not appear to lead to any concrete interventionist measures. As the politics of pan-Islamism intensified, the colonial state appeared almost to be in a state of semi-paralysis as far as deeply religious subjects were concerned. This chapter explores the dynamics of this inactivity and reveals the frenzy that caused this paralysis.

Keywords:   Mecca, anti-British Muslim politics, pilgrimage, colonial state, pan-Islamism, Arabia

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