Inter-area/Border Crossing

Organized Panel Session

3 - "Blood and Water Cannot Flow Together": The Indus Water Treaty and Its Afterlife in Kashmir

Friday, March 23
12:45 PM - 2:45 PM
Location: Thurgood Marshall West, Mezzanine

After the Uri attack in Sep‘16, Prime Minister Modi threatened to revoke the Indus Water Treaty with Pakistan, claiming that “blood and water [could not] flow together.” For Kashmiris fighting to free their homeland from Indian occupation since 1989, the blood in Modi’s remarks, they claimed, was undoubtedly not theirs. In fact India’s prolonged counterinsurgency war against Kashmiris and the fast-tracked construction of dams on Kashmir’s rivers ensured that blood and water had indeed flown together. Drawing from extended fieldwork in Gurez and Bandipora, the two areas most impacted by the Kishanganga dam in Indian-controlled Kashmir, I situate the politics around “blood” and “water” within the everyday violence of displacements and dispossessions around dam-building. I examine how the partitioning of lands and rivers in 1947 created new land forms - muhajareen zameen - that once belonged to refugees but after partition came under the state’s trusteeship. Such land forms embodied familial and blood relationships that partition had severed. Gurezis continued to cultivate the muhajareen land until 2015 after which the urgencies associated with land acquisition resurrected colonial regimes of classification and documentation and enforced new modes of proprietary rights. To claim muhajareen land and earn rights to cultivate it, many Gurezi families began searching for “missing” relatives in Pakistan and elsewhere. The politics that ensued illuminates how the partitioning of land and water continue to shape affective links between blood and borders, not sufficiently captured by the treaty or the debates around hydraulic infrastructures.

Mona Bhan

DePauw University, Illinois

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Mona Bhan


Assets

3 - "Blood and Water Cannot Flow Together": The Indus Water Treaty and Its Afterlife in Kashmir



Attendees who have favorited this

Please enter your access key

The asset you are trying to access is locked. Please enter your access key to unlock.

Send Email for "Blood and Water Cannot Flow Together": The Indus Water Treaty and Its Afterlife in Kashmir