Tamil Muslims are Tamils who practice Islam and Muslims who consider themselves as "Tamils". The community is at least 4.5 million people in India, primarily in the state of Tamil Nadu. The Tamil-speaking Muslims are descendants of marriages between early West Asian Muslims and Tamil women as well as local converts. Tiruvannamalai, the heritage town has a population of 14% of Tamil Muslims. During the 17th century, Tiruvannamalai came under the dominion of the Nawab of the Carnatic. As the Mughal empire came to an end, the Nawab lost control of the town, with confusion and chaos ensuing after 1753. Subsequently, there were periods of both Hindu and Muslim stewardship of the temple, with Muraru Raya, Krishna Raya, Mrithis Ali Khan, and Burkat Ullakhan besieging the temple in succession. This image of a Muslim leather seller was shot in Tiruvannamalai by Abul Kalam Azad in 2012.
Leather seller, 2012
Abul Kalam Azad is an Indian visual artist and photographer based in Kerala. His works are largely personal explorations and documentation of experiences, and memories of his native land, people, and their culture. They deal with issues of identity, ethics, micro/macro history, and eroticism. His works have exhibited Nationally/Internationally in reputed museums and galleries. He has received Charles Wallace Award in the year 1996 and recognized by the French government through a scholarship grant. He is a recipient of grants from the Government of India and India Foundation for the Arts (IFA). He is the founder of Ekalokam Trust for Photography and Editor-in-chief of PhotoMail Online magazine.