chapter  5
23 Pages

Social Stratifi cation among the Muslims of Kerala

WithP. R. G. Mathur

Crooke (1896) and Risley (1891) deliberately referred to Muslim groups, occupational or otherwise, as ‘castes’, whereas Ibbetson (1883) referred to them as ‘classes’. More recent authors like Hutton (1969), Smith (1947), Bose (1951) and Srinivas (1968) took the view that caste or some of its elements could be observed among the Muslims of India. Hutton refers to the Momins as Muslim weavers, Lalkhanis as Muslim Rajputs, Gaddis as Muslim graziers, Mirasis as Muslim minstrels, identifying them on the basis of their respective occupations, as is the case among Hindu ‘castes’; he specifi cally considers the Turkiya Banjara (1969: 121) and the Khojas and Memons (ibid.: 38-40) as ‘castes’.