SASNET Brown Bag Lunch Seminar: “Nationalism/s and Colonialism/s in the Kashmir Region After the Revocation of Articles 35A and 370”
SASNET invites you to our recurring Brown Bag Lunch Seminar. Join us for a seminar on a specific subject, this time presented by Professor Dibyesh Anand and Doctor Emma Brännlund.
About the seminar
This seminar will be shared by two speakers; Dibyesh Anand (University of Westminster, UK) and Dr Emma Brännlund (Mid Sweden University).
Colonial Nationalisms and Kashmir
Prof. Dibyesh Anand: At the heart of contemporary post-colonial nation-states lies an unresolved relation between coloniality, militarism and bodies. While these states claim to be products of anti-colonial struggle, their focus on territorial sovereignty and integrity is dependent on colonial forms of militarism and violence over bodies of all people they occupy and administer.
By using the case of Indian and Pakistani control over Kashmir, the paper will argue that this postcolonial sovereignty assertion includes colonial violence. Colonialism and colonisation involve systemic and structural dominance and subservience, asymmetrical relations between the coloniser and the colonised, political rule by a foreign power, control over narrative through which the rule is perceived and experienced, economic exploitation, militarisation, differential value of lives, development as a means of control, cultural transformation, denial of rights, surveillance, and everyday epistemic and corporeal violence. Prof. Anand would argue that all these aspects of colonialism are evident when we look at Indian and Pakistani rule over Kashmiris.
Securing water in Ladakh
Dr Emma Brännlund: In this paper Dr Brännlund explore recent developments in water security in Ladakh by drawing on a participatory arts-based project in a rural area where villages experience a range of water insecurities. Brännlund view water security as an “ecology”, that includes both larger structural forces (e.g., global warming; capitalism; government policy) as well as indigenous belief systems, knowledges, and practices of caring. One such policy is the “Jal Jeevan Mission”, which aims to bring drinking water to every rural household and has involved large-scale infrastructural projects implemented with limited local consultation.
Brännlund is specifically interested in the intersection of discourses of nationalism, colonialism, and security in the justification and implementation of the Jal Jeevan Mission in the wake of the constitutional amendments post-August 2019, as well as in how village populations are resisting these in their own efforts in caring for their water resources and reconstituting Ladakhi identity.
About the participants
Professor Dibyesh Anand is the Head of the School of Social Sciences at the University of Westminster. He is a co-chair of University EDI Committee and of Black and Minority Ethnic Staff Network. He is also the Chair of London Higher’s EDI Network and International Studies Association's LGBTQA Caucus. He is the author of monographs "Geopolitical Exotica: Tibet in Western Imagination”, “Hindu Nationalism in India and the Politics of Fear” and several other articles and book chapters in the area of postcolonial politics and international relations. He is on Twitter @dibyeshanand
Dr Emma Brännlund works as a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the Mid Sweden University. She is involved in a number of research projects focused on the Kashmir region, including the Art of Healing in Kashmir (funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, UK) and the Kashmir-Palestine Scholars Solidarity Network (funded by the British Academy). Her research interests include postcolonial feminism and gender studies, international relations, South Asia, and research methods (particularly around narratives).