For most of the seventy-one years of his life, Asghar Ali Engineer has been a tireless soldier to the cause of national integration and communal harmony. Well-known today as a reformist, an activist and Islamic scholar, Asghar Ali Engineer received the Right Livelihood, or the ‘Alternative Nobel’, award in 2004 ‘. . . for promoting over many years in South Asia the values of religious and communal co-existence, tolerance and mutual understanding’. [Rightlivelihood.org]
Written with the simplicity that perhaps describes the man himself, is an extensive autobiographical account of Asghar Ali Engineer’s commitment to building an inclusive society and his inter-pretation of Islam as a modernist. It chronicles the personal, social and political events that shaped his life and views, his struggle against the orthodox Bohra priesthood and his rise as a leader of social and religious reform. It also documents his interactions with religious and political leaders of various hues across the world in the attempt to create a society that embraces all faiths.
Through the reminiscences of a life that has been lived for truth, depicts a journey—from violence to peace, from prejudice to acceptance, from politics of power and religion to the power of humanity—one that continues unheeded, against all odds.
Foreword by Mushirul Hasan
PART I My Life, My Struggle
One: My Growing-up Years
Two: Understanding the Divide: Within and Outside
Three: Towards Truth: My Struggle Begins...
Four: The Bohra Reform Movement
Five: The Communal Challenge Continues: Amidst Politics, Power and the People
PART II Beyond Boundaries: My Travels Abroad
Six: The United Kingdom
Seven: The Indian Sub-Continent
Ten: The Americas
Eleven: Middle-East and Central Asia
PART III The Journey So Far...
Looking Back, Looking Ahead
- Economic and Political Weekly
- Paul R. Brass, University of Washington, Seattle
- Mushirul Hasan, Director-General, National Archives of India