In a time of dominant Hindu nationalism and rising Islamophobia in India, Urdu poetry is the medium in which an alternative political theology finds popular articulation, questioning the “normative horizon” of the nation-state. The political theology being articulated through Urdu poetry is one that is concerned not with the state, but with the constitution of the self through a network of thick relations to locality. The vision articulated by this alternate political theology — which draws on both long-standing Indo-Islamic traditions and the lived experience of Indian democracy — calls for a radical reimagining of intimate relations as the basis of belonging and the forming of political community.

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