Bureaucracy, community, and land: The resettlement of Meos in Mewat, 1949-50
journal contributionposted on 18.12.2018, 13:30 by Rakesh AnkitRakesh Ankit
This article documents in detail hitherto unavailable what Shail Mayaram called an “onslaught by the modern bureaucracy of the postcolonial state” on the liminally placed Meo community in the Mewat region comprising the former princely states of Alwar and Bharatpur and the Gurgaon district of the former province of East Punjab. A people well-described as “in-between Hinduism and Islam,” Meos found themselves, at a time of “two-nation” theory and consequent “partition politics,” a misfit. This article begins from where the existing accounts of the story of Meos end i.e. 1949 and trace the fraught process of their reterritorialization on their own land, now part of a partitioned nation-state. Given the current ascendant culturally nationalist Indian state-society, it revisits the Mewat of 1949-50, representing it as a community lab of the early Indian nation-state, tests its claims of parity, equality and freedom and provides a ‘pre-history’ of the contemporary violence there.
- Social Sciences and Humanities
- Politics and International Studies