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Delhi's Meatscapes : Muslim Butchers in a Transforming Mega City - by Zarin Ahmad (Hardcover)
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This work is about the Qureshi Muslim butchers of Delhi-an endogamous group among Muslims in India, traditionally involved in the Islamic Halaal slaughtering and selling of animal meat. Ethnographic studies on Qureshi Muslims in India have been rare. The aim of this work is to add to the small and scattered literature on social diversities among Indian Muslims. It looks at the lives of an urban occupational people who are engaged in the meat sector, the commodity meat, and the socio-political, economic, and cultural spaces that meat occupies in urban areas. In doing so, the author follows the transformation of the animal to diverse commodities and their trajectory from the farm to the meat shop. The author argues that the meat sector itself has undergone significant technological changes, mechanizing many of the tasks that were earlier performed manually. This has signalled a huge socio-economic shift for butchers and as well as the meat trade. The domain of the butchers it is argued was already polarized and problematized due to the complexities of meat in the Indian religious, political, and social landscape. This study thus aims to understand and document these shifts and contextualize the changing identities of a marginalized community.