In this book, a study of the population processes of two castes in north India, the authors ask why fertility levels are higher among the Muslim Sheikhs than the Hindu Jats. They conclude that explanations can only partly be attributed to gender and religion, and that economic and political status is a defining factor. The book has implications for the understanding of population and politics in India generally, and will be invaluable to students of the region and anyone interested in the demography of developing countries.
' ... presents an enormous amount of information on the (Indian) context of (Indian) demographic behaviour. The present study deals with a politically sensitive topic, the reasons behind higher fertility among Muslims in the research area ... The authors take a very strong stand in stating that Islam per se, as a cultural factor, is not a causal factor for higher fertility among Indian Muslims. Higher fertility is not due to religion but tp factors such as the economic and political situation in which Muslims live ... the book is a 'must' for researchers and students in population studies, especially those who are interested in South Asia and in micro-approaches to demographic research.' Inge Hutter, European Journal of Population