Rethinking the cartography of colonialism in the context of Kashmir/Palestine
(University of Warwick)
Paper short abstract:
This paper argues for an analytic shift from postcolonial categories of colonialism and postcoloniality toward contemporary practices of state sovereignty. This shift might point toward a different cartography of contemporary colonial geopolitics in relation to India/Israel and Kashmir/Palestine.
Paper long abstract:
In the last two decades since the Oslo agreement (1993) regarding Israel's occupation of Palestine, India has been signing military treaties with Israel. The latest move in this alliance is the Indian state's plan to buy armed drones. India has already been using Israeli-made UAVs (Unarmed Aerial Vehicles) for use of surveillance in Kashmir and at the 'borders' of India and Pakistan (Migliani 2015). In the context of academic scholarship, studies regarding India continue to draw on analytic categories instituted by postcolonial studies, which emphasises a history of European colonialism and its postcolonial legacies. Yet, the circular logic of colonialism, postcolonialism, neocolonialism and decoloniality becomes difficult to sustain as it continually reinvigorates the binary between the 'west' and the 'rest'. Whilst not entirely rejecting postcolonial scholarship, with regard to the manner in which colonial political and legal infrastructures are being used by the Indian state for its occupation of Kashmir, this paper argues for an analytic shift toward thinking through contemporary practices of state sovereignty. This shift might point toward a different cartography of contemporary colonial geopolitics.
The military alliance between India and Israel is also inseparable from dominant secular/religious nationalisms in those nation-states in relation to Palestine and Kashmir. In such a context, this paper argues for a diagnosis of the practices of state sovereignty, which characterize the Israel - India alliance, and in doing so argues for remapping contemporary zones of occupation, which may yield a more contemporary cartography of colonialism.
Liberating Kashmir from the 'South Asian' past and identity