Languages of Belonging

Languages of Belonging

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Description

Despite its centrality to the political life of India and Pakistan, Kashmir has met with rather perfunctory treatment from historians of South Asia. The few works of history and politics that have appeared on this region, moreover, insist on defining Kashmiri culture, history, and identity in terms of the ahistorical concept of Kashmiriyat, or a uniquely Kashmiri cultural identity. This book, in contrast, questions the notion of any transcendent cultural uniqueness and Kashmiriyat by returning Kashmir to the mainstream of South Asian historiography. It examines the hundred-year impact of indirect colonial rule on Kashmirs class formation. It studies the uses (and abuses) made of Kashmirs political elites by the state. It looks at the responses of Kashmirs society to social and economic restructuring. It shows that while all these historical changes had a profound impact on the political culture of the Kashmir Valley, there is nothing very inevitable or quite definite about the 'political regionalism' and 'Islamic particularism' of this area. Using local language sources and every important archive, this major history of the formation of Kashmir shows precisely how the Kashmir Valley assumed the position it has come to occupy in postcolonial South Asia.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 138.7 x 225 x 34.8mm | 612.36g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195219392
  • 9780195219395

Review quote

"This is an outstanding book. Based on massive archival research in Delhi, Jammu and Srinagar and the unearthing of rare Kashmiri literary sources, it skillfully uncovers the religious sensibilities that underlay the formation of Kashmir's regional identity in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century... Languages of Belonging will light up new ways of understanding the formation of identities in South Asia's regions." --Sugata Bose, Harvard University"Zutshi examines the development of Kashmir's intellectual, economic, cultural, and religious history over the "long duree" to illustrate the shifting nature of Kashmiri identity(ies) in the last two hundred years....The book is significant in its interweaving of heretofore untapped sources, especially Kashmiri poetry, to describe the development of Kashmiri political consciousness. Recommended"--CHOICE"Zutshi arrives at [her] conclusions with...attention to nuance and detail...[Zutshi's] study of the working of Dogra rule suggests the need for a careful examination of what, if any, meaning the notion of a 'Hindu state' may have actually had to contemporaries...Notions of a homogenous Kashmirir Muslim identity, Zutshi's analysis suggests, need to be tempered by an understanding of the working of caste, class, and ideology."--American Historical Review..".nuance[d] and detail[ed]."--American Historical Review"Languages of Belonging is a quantum leap forward in Kashmir studies and will make one of the best histories of 'regional' identities and economies in India yet produced. The work brings forward a great deal of new and important material and provides for a new framework for understanding regional identities in South Asia."--C.A. Bayly, Cambridge University"Rarely has Kasimir received sustained scholarly attention that goes beyond the issues of rival territorial claims and policy studies. Drawing on a rich vein of sources, this book breaks new ground...A monograph of exceptional rigour and insight, a must for specialist and lay person alike." --Mahesh Rangarajan, Visiting Assistant Professor at Cornell Universityshow more

About Zutshi

Chitralekha C. Zutshi is Assistant Professor of History at the College of William and Mary.show more

Rating details

12 ratings
4.08 out of 5 stars
5 25% (3)
4 58% (7)
3 17% (2)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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