The Aligarh Era: Muslim Politics in North India, 1860-1910

Case, Margaret H.

     Shortly after the Indian mutiny and rebellion of 1857, the name of Sayyid Ahmad Khan became associated with efforts to restore the social and political prominence enjoyed by north Indian Muslims before the mutiny. During the 1860's and 1870's Sayyid Ahmad, a Muslim in the British judicial service, attracted to his cause a number of Muslims and Englishmen with similar concerns. These men and their institutions -- most famously, a college at Aligarh -- are generally referred to as the Aligarh movement. It is the purpose of this dissertation to examine the political aspects of this movement.
     The organization of this work is chronological. The dissertation begins with a brief summary of Sayyid Ahmad Khan's family and personal background, and a description of late Mughal Delhi, where he grew up. . . . During the next ten years the main directions of the Aligarh movement were set, although Sayyid Ahmad was not yet permanently established in Aligarh (Chapter 2). The next chapter describes Sayyid Ahmad's visit to England in 1869, and the resulting developments in his outlook. Chapter 4 deals with his founding of the newspaper Tahzib-ul-Akhlaq and the school and college at Aligarh and also describes other opportunities for political and social consciousness that were developing at that time. Then Sayyid Ahmad's brief and effective foray into agitational politics, not against the British, but against the Hindus is described. A chapter on Sayyid Ahmad's period of withdrawal from public life concludes with his death. The final part of this dissertation describes Theodore Beck's role in the Aligarh movement, and the resurgence of political activism under the leadership of Viqar-ul-Mulk.

Bernard S. Cohn