(First published in Untold Stories)
Like nearly every village in South Asia, Allahpur, in the east Indian state of Bihar, is geographically divided on the lines of caste. On one side of a dirt track live the upper-caste Muslims (Syeds, Sheikhs and Pathans) and on the other side live the lower-caste Muslims (Ansaris, Dhunias and Raains). There are only four Hindu families in Allahpur, and they are all lower castes, their houses amid the low-caste Muslim houses.
For five years now, the low caste Muslims have been praying at a ramshackle mosque they built, boycotting the mosque in the upper-caste Muslim area, a stone’s throw away.