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Abstract

This article questions the deliberate omissions of disadvantaged Dalit Muslim women, also known as Pasmandaa women, from feminist, Dalit, and subaltern discourses. To understand the multiplicative nature of oppression and discrimination that these women are continually subjected to, this article foregrounds the intersectionality framework to get a nuanced picture of intersecting vertices of discrimination. It argues that by excluding these severely disadvantaged women from their respective agenda, feminist and Dalit activists have contributed towards their perpetual marginality. Underlying such unaccounted absence of these women is an insouciant attitude of the Pasmandaa leaders towards them. Their approach towards the non-representation of their women and their specific concerns raises questions about the very efficacy of the Pasmandaa movement. This article has tried to seek answers to such questions by directly interrogating women of these communities through an exploratory study. Data for this article was gathered by intensive interviews of women from the community. The article draws on data from a larger ongoing study of these women in the states of UP and Bihar.

Note on the Author

Dr. Rafia Kazim is an Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, LNM University. She was earlier associated with CSD, Hyderabad, and was a Senior Lecturer at SC College, Osmania University, Hyderabad, India. She has publications in international and national peer-reviewed journals and is the author of a book on linguistic prejudices: Learning the Infidels’ Language: Muslim Women and the English Language (2020). Her areas of interest are gender and language, multilingual education, early childhood education subaltern groups, and legal pluralism.

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