Education occupies an intersecting space located between the economic and cultural spheres. It also mediates between society and its culture, on one hand, and the modern state on the other. The study of a minority school for Muslim girls offers an opportunity to examine the complex interplay of sociocultural forces involved in the shaping of religious and gender identities. The inquiry presented in this book is concerned with this space. It attempts to trace and examine the formation of religious and gender identities among poor Muslim girls in the context of their schooling. The confluence of gender and religious identities makes an absorbing area of inquiry because it helps us understand the dichotomies of social and personal lives of girls. No matter how we define the term ‘community’, gendering of girls across different communities in India implies preparation for carrying a special responsibility to maintain cultural norms and practices (Dube 1996). My study demonstrates that while a community may be based on wider forces like religious faith, occupation and income, it forms an ethos which is essentially local in character. It is through the ethos that a community carries out the socializing function so essential for its own survival. As a modern institution, the school has the choice to share the ethos of a community or form its own. A lot depends on this choice.