Resisting Occupation in KashmirUniversity of Pennsylvania Press The Ethnography of Political Violence
The last decade has been a transformative period in Kashmir, the hotly contested and densely militarized border territory located high in the Himalayan mountains between India and Pakistan. Suppressed and unheard, Kashmiri political aspirations were subordinated to larger geopolitical concerns—by opposing governments laying claim to Kashmir, by security experts promoting bilateral peace settlements in the region, and by academic researchers studying the conflict. But since 2008, Kashmiris who grew up in the midst of armed insurgency and counterinsurgency warfare have been deploying new strategies for challenging India's state and military apparatus and projecting their legal and political claims for freedom from Indian rule to global audiences. Resisting Occupation in Kashmir analyzes the social and legal logic of India's occupation of Kashmir in relation to colonialism, militarization, power, democracy, and sovereignty. It also traces how Kashmiri youth are drawing on the region's long history of armed rebellion against Indian domination to reimagine the freedom struggle in the twenty-first century.
Resisting Occupation in Kashmir presents new ways of thinking and writing about Kashmir that cross conventional boundaries and point toward alternative ways of conceptualizing the past, present, and future of the region. The volume brings together junior and senior scholars from various disciplinary backgrounds who have conducted extensive fieldwork during the past decade in various regions of Kashmir. The contributors, many of whom were born and raised during the peak of the conflict in the 1990s, offer ethnographically grounded perspectives on contemporary social, legal, and political life in ways that demonstrate the multiplicity of experiences of Kashmiri communities. The essays highlight the ways in which this scholarly orientation—built through collaboration and dialogue across different kinds of borders—offers a new critical approach to Kashmir studies at this transformative and generative moment.
Contributors: Mona Bhan, Haley Duschinski, Farrukh Faheem, Gowhar Fazili, Bruce Hoffman, Mohamad Junaid, Seema Kazi, Ershad Mahmud, Cynthia Mahmood, Saiba Varma, Ather Zia.
Introduction. "Rebels of the Streets": Violence, Protest, and Freedom in Kashmir
—Mona Bhan, Haley Duschinski, and Ather Zia
Chapter 1. Contesting the Law, Contesting the State: Jurisdictional Authority of the Majlis-e-Mushawarat in Kashmir
—Haley Duschinski and Bruce Hoffman
Chapter 2. "In Search of the Aryan Seed": Race, Religion, and Sexuality in Indian-Occupied Kashmir
Chapter 3. The Killable Kashmiri Body: The Life and Execution of Afzal Guru
Chapter 4. From "Terrorist" to "Terrorized": How Trauma Became the Language of Suffering in Kashmir
Chapter 5. Sexual Crimes and the Struggle for Justice in Kashmir
Chapter 6. Police Subjectivity in Occupied Kashmir: Reflections on an Account of a Police Officer
Chapter 7. The Contingencies of Everyday Life in Azad Jammu and Kashmir
Chapter 8. Interrogating the Ordinary: Everyday Politics and the Struggle for Azadi in Kashmir
Chapter 9. Epitaphs as Counterhistories: Martyrdom, Commemoration, and the Work of Graveyards in Kashmir
Chapter 10. Perturbations of Violence in Kashmir
List of Contributors
"Resisting Occupation in Kashmir is a significant intervention in the literature on the insurgency in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir...[B]y unraveling the complexities of the impact of the intractable Kashmir dispute on the inhabitants of the region—which forces them to participate in their own repression and that of their neighbors and friends—Resisting Occupation in Kashmir is a sobering reminder that the time for a resolution to this conflict might wellnigh be past."—The Journal of Asian Studies
"[T]his edited volume commendably brings back the focus to where it should matter, Kashmir and its people, and presents the snapshots, voices and insights from the Valley...By remaining oblivious of everyday realities of Kashmiris, people outside are doing a disservice to their own reality of nationhood. We require more such ethnographic studies to acquire the deeper meaning of militarisation and resistance in Kashmir."—Social Change
"At last anthropology comes to Kashmir. And its entry is dazzling. Each of the essays in this volume takes us in directions never traversed before in any book on Kashmir."—Mridu Rai, Presidency University, Kolkata
"Resisting Occupation in Kashmir marks a radical departure from the conventional scholarship on Kashmir both in terms of methodology and perspective. Using ethnography and contributions predominantly authored by Kashmiri scholars and academics, this edited volume examines different modes of resistance to the Indian occupation of Kashmir as it gives the foreground to the voice of the Kashmiri people...For scholars interested in understanding and examining resistance movements, Resisting Occupation in Kashmir is as an enlightening contribution to the existing literature. For those beginning to engage with the everyday life in Kashmir, this volume is a must read, as it probes widespread implications of occupation across regions of the divided territory."—Contemporary South Asia
"Resisting Occupation in Kashmir offers intimate insights into the conditions and effects of the Indian regime. In contrast to many other volumes which focus mostly on the history of the Kashmir dispute or issues of international law and the relations between India and Pakistan, most contributions to this book take an ethnographic perspective, analyzing the social and cultural effects of the Indian occupation, recentering the social experiences of resisters."—Humanity & Society
"With its grounding in long-term fieldwork, willingness to engage with Kashmiris as expert interpreters of their own historical experiences and political conditions, and comparison of a multiplicity of Kashmiri communities, Resisting Occupation in Kashmir makes a unique contribution."—Cabeiri Robinson, University of Washington