Dogra State, Colonial Intervention and a Fractured Modernity in Jammu and Kashmir (1846-1931)

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Dr Altaf Hussain Para


The ascendance of the Dogra dynasty on the political horizon of the newly founded Princely state of Jammu and Kashmir in 1846, under the tutelage of British East India Company, saw the climax of the feudal atrocity in the state and more particularly in the Valley of Kashmir. The British intervention guided by her own colonial compulsions, beginning at the end of the nineteenth century, only generated a fractured modernity; where on the one hand modern communications, bureaucratized administration, modern education and health services and modern industry were introduced in the state, but on the other hand in the absence of a state with a progressive outlook, the forces of modernity only worsened the conditions of the people. The paradox thus necessitated a democratic movement of the newly emerged middle class [a product of ‘reformative’ project in itself] to negotiate between the modernity and the feudal/colonial political setup. This paper is an attempt to understand the nature of colonial modernity project in Jammu and Kashmir which began at the end of nineteenth century.

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