The Distinct Dispossessions of Indian Settler Colonialism in Kashmir: Land, Narrative and Indigeneity

Haris Zargar, Goldie Osuri

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India's annexation of Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir in August 2019 has generated debates within Critical Kashmir Studies regarding the kind of settler colonialism that is operating in this disputed Himalayan region. To illuminate the current relationship between land dispossession and narratives that legitimize land grab (for the settlement of Hindu Indian settlers), this article traces the logics and genesis of this ongoing settler project in Kashmir, going back to the historic Dogra feudal rule. The authors argue that the Hindu Dogra dispensation installed a revenue surveillance system that enabled it to engage in institutionalized land grab, and show how that extractive land administrative structure has been repurposed by the Indian state for its settler project. ​The article demonstrates how the Indian state engages in the (epistemic/discursive) erasure of local voices to ensure that the Kashmiri (Muslim) native is stripped of the position of indigeneity both over land and over the narrative of an expropriatory land grab. It further illustrates how the state strives to create facts on the ground to (re)define the ‘native’ and (re)claim the land for Indian Hindu settlers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1
Number of pages26
JournalDevelopment and Change
Issue number0
Early online date4 Jan 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Jan 2024

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© 2024 The Authors. Development and Change published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of International Institute of Social Studies.


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