Kashmiri Nationalism: Women, Class and Plebiscite
The chapter maps the origin of an alternative political consciousness of Kashmiri people and constructs a women’s history of political resistance against the Dogra rule of Kashmir. The consciousness allows us a pedestal on which a parallel history of women’s resistance since early nineteenth century is placed and after which many of its resurgences in the postcolonial period are traced. The chapter juxtaposes the political agency of elite Kashmiri nationalist, with the cadre-based ordinary women’s political action. In the chapter, early Kashmiri nationalism, which was epitomised in the Plebiscite Front movement, is investigated in light of critical narratives of women. These narratives show how class politics deflects the nationalist cause and furthermore deflates the finality of Kashmir’s accession to India. This was done by indicting the early Kashmiri nationalist leadership of misusing the public sentiment to consolidate an Indian state in Kashmir. These narratives also map the limits of the Indian state’s intervention and fraught nature of early modernity consolidated through espousing Indian cultural imperialism.
KeywordsDogra rule Plebiscite Front Class Kashmiri nationalism Accession Women
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