This article reflects on the significance of genealogy for Sayyids and other Muslim elites in British North India by exploring some literary productions and political endeavours of the Aligarh movement. At the end of the nineteenth century, poems recalling the extra-Indian origins of Muslim elites became increasingly popular, as Altaf Husain Hali's Musaddas best exemplified. Translating an anxiety of seeing their power and influence reduced in the colonial world, such nostalgic discourse, intertwin…
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