Identity, Religion and Difference in the Borderland District of Poonch, Jammu and Kashmir
This article (part of a special section on South Asian border studies) is an exploration of a multi-religious ethnic group in the borderland district of Poonch in Jammu and Kashmir, India. The work focuses on the Pahari ethnicity and looks at how prominent religious identities within this group have been continuously aligning themselves along religious lines in the post-partition era. Partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947 acted as a major disruption in the construction of identities. The evolution of national and ethnic identities went hand in hand with the evolution of religious identities, with the latter being more pronounced than the former. Such a fixation along religious lines in the socio-cultural and political sphere led to changes in everyday inter-community relations. Through oral histories and other accounts, this ethnography understands the new set of interactions that emerged in Poonch which have been shaping identities, while also analysing identity construction and its impact on the social organisation of space and neighbourhoods in general in the post-partition era.
Key Words: Borderland, Border, Boundaries, Community, Communalism, Difference, Ethnicity, Identity, Inter-community interaction, Nation, Nation-State, Othering, Religion
Copyright (c) 2021 Malvika Sharma
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