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On Uncertain GroundDisplaced Kashmiri Pandits in Jammu and Kashmir$
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Ankur Datta

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199466771

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199466771.001.0001

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Being a Kashmiri Pandit Migrant

Being a Kashmiri Pandit Migrant

Caste, Class, and Religious Identity

(p.129) 5 Being a Kashmiri Pandit Migrant
On Uncertain Ground

Ankur Datta

Oxford University Press

A dominant image of the forced migrant is to be associated with loss that is both material and existential. The Kashmiri Pandits as an upper-caste Hindu minority have historically been associated with power in the region. The exodus is regarded by many Pandits to result in a loss of their status in the region. This discussion is situated in the context of a historical construction of the popular Kashmiri Pandit stereotype which forms a benchmark against which life in the present as migrants is compared. Critical to the stereotype is the role of class, caste, and religious identity. These categories consequently refract how the past contributes to the pain of the present. While most studies of displaced peoples focus on the marginalized, this chapter explores how the once privileged experience marginalization. The chapter will also argue for situating displacement in South Asia in the context of caste and class.

Keywords:   dispossession, caste, class, religion, history, status, power

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