Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Book Promotion: The Chulia in Penang (2014 Areca Books)

From Dr Lubis: I am happy to announce the publication of Khoo Salma's latest work, The Chulia in Penang. Details below. Please share this and help promote the book.

The Chulia in Penang: Patronage and Place-Making around the Kapitan Kling Mosque 1786–1957

Khoo Salma Nasution
2014. Areca Books
200+ illustrations in colour and black and white
Hardcover, 24.8 cm x 20 cm, 560 pages
ISBN 9789675719158

Tamil Muslims – once known as Chulias – prospered as traders of pelikat cloth, pepper and local products in the Straits of Malacca. In the nineteenth century, they enriched the port town of Penang with endowments for mosques, Sufi shrines, burial grounds, a water tank and an ashurkhanah, holding religious feasts and processions. The most valuable endowment in the Straits Settlements was that for a mosque and burial ground in George Town, granted in 1801 by the English East India Company. On this site, a South Indian vernacular mosque was founded by the leader of the Chulias, Kapitan Kling Cauder Mohuddeen, a Marakkayar shipowner, merchant and progenitor of the ‘Merican’ clan. In the early twentieth century, the colonial government enacted an ordinance to take back the lands and modernize the townscape. In the process, they co-opted the traditional leadership and refashioned the mosque into a grand Indo-Saracenic symbol of British patronage over its Muslim subjects.

The Chulias excelled as Malay scribes, clerks and land surveyors, and also as ship chandlers, stevedores and lighter owners in the port industry. Educated in English, Malay and Islamic schools, the local-born Chulias, called Jawi Pekan or Jawi Peranakan, became part of the cosmopolitan Muslim elite. They innovated the performing arts of Boria and Bangsawan and pioneered early Malay and Tamil print media in Penang, which helped give birth to modern vernacular discourses. Influenced by the Khilafat and Self-Respect Movements in India, they strengthened Tamil identity and started Tamil schools. For economic and political reasons, they formed the Muslim Merchants Society, the Muslim Mahajana Sabha and then the Muslim League, the last of which competed in Penang’s city and settlement elections in the 1950s. The book looks at how this diaspora community – living under the East India Company, then in the Straits Settlements and British Malaya – evolved in response to the changing terms of colonial patronage.

Khoo Salma, while providing a fascinating perspective on Chulias in Penang and the historical processes that defined their society, politics and Islam, also illustrates an important microcosm of the city and the state… The book is almost an encyclopaedia on the Chulias, with evocative images that sharply capture their Indianness and Islamic Cosmopolitanism. It is an excellent book which deserves to be at the top of the league in diasporic studies.
– Foreword by Raj Brown

List of Illustrations and Tables
A Note On Terms, Names And Orthography

A Living Place of Worship
The Port of Penang
An Entrepreneurial Diaspora
Tracing South Indian Muslim Migration
Place-Making and Endowment
Organisation of the Book
A New Port for the Chulias

1 Indian Ocean Connections
The Land of Gold
Muslim Traders from South India
A Cosmopolitan Maritime World
Chulias in the Straits of Malacca
The Chulia Trade in Aceh
Francis Light and the Chulias of Kedah

2 Early Settlers and Mosque
Precolonial Antecedents
Chulias in the Census
Chulia Settlers
Locating the Early Mosques
Destruction and Death

3 Piety and Patronage
Sufi Pioneers
The Nagore Dargah
The Tanjore Association

4 The Kapitan Kling
Captain of the Chulias
A Shipowner and Merchant from Porto Novo
Land and the Law

5 Munshis and Malay Writers
A Literary Diversion
A Petition for the Batu Uban Mosque

6 Family and Legacy
A Saintly Wife and a Royal Wife
Cauder Mohuddeen’s Will of 1834
From Seafaring Merchants To Settlers

7 Penang as a Centre of Chulia Trade
The Consolidation of Chulia Trading Activities
Mahomed Noordin, the Most Munificent Merchant
The Bountiful Penang–Aceh Trade
Diminishing Returns

8 The Jawi Peranakan
The Evolution of the Jawi Peranakan

9 Pepper and Pelikat Tycoons
The Muslim Elite
The Ariffin Clan
Dalbadalsah and Yahyah Merican
The Noordin Clan
Shaik Nathersah

10 Women with Status and Property
Royal Connections
A Woman Scorned
A Suitable House
Family Fortunes
House-Proud Jawi Peranakan

11 Diversity, Difference and Division
A Heterogenous Population
The Dato’ Koya Shrine
Riven by Rivalries
Secret Societies and the Penang Riots
Alternating Mosques

12 Cultural Expressions
The Cosmopolitan Context
Awal Muharram
Mosque, EndowmentS and Community

13 Religious Endowments
The Concept of Waqf
Tamil Muslim Waqf in Penang
Pious Endowments for Mosques
Endowments for Burial Grounds
Waqf for Water
Waqf for Education
Waqf for Feasts and Family Trusts

14 Land and Leadership in Dispute
A Pilgrim Agent
Leadership Dispute
Disputes over Land and Religious Position
Disputes over the Family Endowment
15 Reforming Muslim Endowments
A Crisis and a Commission
Courting Municipal Ambitions
Enquiry and Investigation

16 The Consultative Process
Penang Muslim Society
The Qadi Question

17 The Endowments Board
A New Ordinance for Endowments
The Endowments Board’s Mode of Operation
The Madrasah Haniah and the Madrasah Al-Mahmoodiyah

18 Urban Transformation
Towards a New Townscape
The Removal of Urban Villages
A New Phase of Urban Development

19 Reimagining Mosque Architecture
The Mosque in the Nineteenth Century
Indo-Saracenic Architecture: From India to Malaya
Remodelling the Mosque
Social Movements and Modernity

20 The Press and Pan-Islamism
The Power of the Printed Word
Empire Fever
Modest Demands

21 The Mohammedan Advisory Board
War and the Impact of the Singapore Mutiny
Establishing the Mohammedan Advisory Board
Officiating the Minaret
The Advisory Board and the Endowments Board
The Cannon from Pulau Brani

22 Religious Reformists and Rifts
The Islamic Reformist Movement in Penang
Idaran Zaman
The Mihrab Controversry
Fair or Fowl
Bumi Putra Allegation against the Kaseda
The Prophet’s Birthday

23 Social Leadership
Labour Migration and Chain Migration
Two Trade Organisations
The Khilafat Movement
The Plight of Tamil Labour
The Indian Chamber of Commerce

24 Diverging Identities
Friendly Societies and Football
Representing the Malays
Malaya for the Malays
The Self-Respect Movement
Indian Nationalist Politics
The Port Cluster

25 Business Networks
Textiles and Piece Goods
Jewellers and Gem Traders
Mamak Food
Distribution and Retail Networks
Printing Presses

26 The Penang Port
Port Ecology
Harbour Pilots, Ship Chandlers and Stevedores
Lighter Owners
Boatmen and Lightermen
Labour Strife
War and Politics

27 The Japanese Occupation
War Comes to Penang
Bombing and Destruction
Japanese Policies towards Islam
The Indian National Army
The End of Occupation

28 Post-War Politics
The Nationalist Challenge
Starting Again
The Muslim League
The Partition of India
Electoral Competition towards Independence
The Mosque, City and Port