Society for Advancing the History of South Asia 2
Taking the case studies of Hyderabad, Jharkhand, Kashmir, and the period of India’s Emergency regime, these papers locate processes of fracture within the Indian nation-state that reframe our understanding of state violence as a constitutive, rather than exceptional, form of power (Apter, 2018). Reading authoritarianism in this way not only uncovers new social and cultural histories of anti-state or radical democratic mobilization, but it further reveals the shifting balance of forces and crises of legitimacy that have led the Indian state towards enactments of violence. Sunil Purushotham’s work engages with a founding act of political violence in post-partition India, the invasion of Hyderabad State by the Indian military, and the anti-Muslim violence that characterized Hyderabad’s contested integration into the Indian polity. Matthew Shutzer’s paper examines the failure of land reform in India’s coal mining region of Jharkhand and the rise of a radical worker and indigenous peoples (adibasi) coalitional politics out of the ruins of the Jharkhand autonomy movement in the 1960s. Hafsa Kanjwal’s presentation looks at the making of Naya (New) Kashmir, a socio-economic development program under Bakshi Ghulam Muhammad that created an apparatus of local authoritarianism and state terror. Kristin Plys’ contribution follows the rise of totalitarianism under Prime Minister Indira Gandhi through the lens of the Indian Coffee House in New Delhi, a site of democratic resistance and deliberation under the Emergency regime (1975 – 1977).