What motivated you to write this book?
The primary thing that motivates me is my journalism, my political views, my sense of curiosity and not a religious identity. I am privileged and am not a victim of anything. But I can see it happening to others. I travelled for two years for my fieldwork (1993-94) and wrote the book this year. What I would have written at that time would have been little reports. Now I have been able to give it some shape and perspective.
You grew up in a Christian-Muslim family, yet the Muslim identity seems to have played a stronger role. Why?
I was always identified by others as a Muslim because of my name. When I saw the kind of polarisation that was happening around Muslim issues and identity, I became as Muslim as it was possible for someone like me. It happened along the journey. The book has been a fascinating journey of how identities come to be formulated, imposed by others and the politics of the country.