LSE Human Rights and the South Asia Solidarity Group invites you to the launch of Hafsa Kanjwal’s Colonizing Kashmir: state-building under Indian occupation (SUP 2023). The launch inaugurates LSE Human Rights’ Global Anti/Colonialisms, a new series of events that seeks to push the temporal, geographic, and other boundaries of critical scholarship on colonialism, empire, and resistance to both.
The Indian government, touted as the world's largest democracy, often repeats that Jammu and Kashmir—its only Muslim-majority state—is "an integral part of India." The region, which is disputed between India and Pakistan, and is considered the world's most militarized zone, has been occupied by India for over seventy-five years. In this book, Kanjwal interrogates how Kashmir was made "integral" to India through a study of the decade long rule (1953-1963) of Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad, the second Prime Minister of the State of Jammu and Kashmir. Challenging the binaries of colonial and postcolonial, Kanjwal historicize India's occupation of Kashmir through processes of emotional integration, development, normalization, and empowerment to highlight the new hierarchies of power and domination that emerged in the aftermath of decolonization. In doing so, she urges us to question triumphalist narratives of India's state-formation, as well as the sovereignty claims of the modern nation-state.
Kanjwal will be in conversation with Waseem Bhat, Mezna Qato, and Goldie Osuri.
Meet the speakers:
Hafsa Kanjwal is an assistant professor of South Asian History in the Department of History at Lafayette College where she teaches courses on the history of the modern world, South Asian history, and Islam in the Modern World. As a historian of modern Kashmir, she is the author of Colonizing Kashmir: State-building Under Indian Occupation (Stanford University Press, 2023), which examines how the Indian and Kashmir governments utilized state-building to entrench India’s colonial occupation of Kashmir in the aftermath of Partition. Hafsa has written and spoken on her research for a variety of news outlets including The Washington Post, Al Jazeera English, and the BBC.
Goldie Osuri is Professor of Sociology at the University of Warwick, UK. Her current research addresses the relationship between sovereignty (political authority) and colonialism and occupation in (post) colonial contexts. She has recently published some of this work in Third World Quarterly, Third World Thematics, and Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power. She is author of Religious Freedom in India: Sovereignty and (Anti) Conversion (Routledge, 2013).
Mezna Qato is a historian of Palestine and Palestinians at the University of Cambridge. Her work is concerned with the social lives of postwar societies, particularly refugee and exile communities. She is currently completing a book on the history of education for Palestinians, and is con-convenor of the Archives of the Disappeared Research Initiative. She is also the co-author of Past is Present: Settler Colonialism in Palestine (2012).
Waseem Bhat is a historian of political thought at Queen Mary University of London. His research focuses on the history of ideas about politics, economics and international order in the twentieth century.
Meet the chair:
Dr Mahvish Ahmad is an Assistant Professor in Human Rights and Politics. Prior to joining LSE, she held the position of A.W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for Humanities Research, University of the Western Cape. Her doctoral studies in Sociology were completed at Cambridge University. Earlier in her career, Dr Ahmad worked as a journalist, where she focused on reporting military and insurgent violence in the Pakistan-Afghanistan region. Additionally, she co-founded the bilingual Urdu/English magazine Tanqeed with Madiha Tahir.
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