Mobility and the Region: Pathways of Travel within and beyond Central Gujarat

Publication Type:

Journal Articles


Journal of South Asian Development, Volume 12, Issue 2, p.112-135 (2017)



A rich body of historical and anthropological scholarship has critically interrogated the making and remaking of ‘Gujarat’, exploring not only the political and social contestations around the formation of Gujarat as regional territory but also the articulation of distinct regional identities in various parts of the region and by various ‘minority’ communities. This article contributes to these discussions through a case study of a transnational community of Gujarati Muslims, Sunni Vohras from Charotar in central Gujarat, drawing on travel-along ethnographic research with a migrant visiting his ‘homeland’. The tensions brought about by the unfolding politics of Hindu nationalism in post-2002 Gujarat have influenced how mobile members of this group reproduce social relations in a transnational social field and cultivate social and material ties to the region. Conceptualizing the region as constituted by various kinds of mobilities, and paying special attention to social relations and social–economic practices, the article demonstrates how a regional homeland can be uncovered through ‘travel-along’ ethnographic research