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Bureaucracy, community, and land: The resettlement of Meos in Mewat, 1949-50

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journal contribution
posted on 18.12.2018, 13:30 authored 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.

History

School

  • Social Sciences and Humanities

Department

  • Politics and International Studies

Published in

Journal of Social History

Volume

54

Issue

1

Pages

306–329

Citation

ANKIT, R., 2019. Bureaucracy, community, and land: The resettlement of Meos in Mewat, 1949-50. Journal of Social History, doi:10.1093/jsh/shy119.

Publisher

Oxford University Press © The Author

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in Journal of Social History following peer review. The version of record ANKIT, R., 2019. Bureaucracy, community, and land: The resettlement of Meos in Mewat, 1949-50. Journal of Social History, 54(1), pp. 306–329 is available online at: https://academic.oup.com/jsh/advance-article/doi/10.1093/jsh/shy119/5366885 and https://doi.org/10.1093/jsh/shy119.

Acceptance date

06/11/2018

Publication date

2019-02-28

Copyright date

2020

ISSN

0022-4529

eISSN

1527-1897

Language

en