The history of British rule in the Indian Himalaya exemplifies the mutual enforcement of social identities and political cultures in modern South Asia. For the Khas ethnic majority of the Himachal Pradesh–Uttarakhand borderland, the colonial power’s differentiation between “secular” and “religious” authorities engendered the division of substantially commensurable groups into “caste Hindu” and “tribal” societies. In demarcating borders along the “natural Barrier” between the states, the British had severed a politically potent grassroots theocracy from its underlings, consolidated the fragmentation of the Shimla Hill States, and ultimately encouraged the development of a composite political cultures that complemented Khas traditions with Brahmanical creeds from the plains.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
Copyright © The Association for Asian Studies, Inc. 2019.
- Devta ka raj
- Himachal pradesh
- State formation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies