Remotely Colonial: History and Politics in Balochistan

Hardcover | August 15, 2014

byNina Swidler

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Remotely Colonial is a monograph that examines tribalism and nationalism as historical processes in Kalat, which is today incorporated in the Balochistan Province of Pakistan. Kalat was "remotely colonial" in two ways. It was located on the far reaches of the Indian Empire, and Britishinterests were geostrategic rather than economic. The British designated Kalat a native state, but proceeded to marginalize the ruler in favour of sardars (chiefs) and tribal governance through jirga (tribal court) deliberations. This led to tensions between local officials dealing with events on the ground and the central government, which wasdetermined that the facade of Kalat State be maintained. Colonial subject status - tribal, client or British Protected Subject - determined rights and obligations. The fragmentation of subjecthood produced a situation in which Kalat State became a polity with situationally defined subjects. AlthoughKalat State ceased to exist in 1955, its colonial structures persist today. Sardars and jirgas have become signifiers of entrenched tradition, a tribal 'other' of the national state. This is a convenient image for the Pakistani government, enabling blame for present conditions to be pinned on thetribal sector, deflecting attention away from the state's failure to provide basic services.

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Remotely Colonial is a monograph that examines tribalism and nationalism as historical processes in Kalat, which is today incorporated in the Balochistan Province of Pakistan. Kalat was "remotely colonial" in two ways. It was located on the far reaches of the Indian Empire, and Britishinterests were geostrategic rather than economic. T...

Nina Swidler holds a Ph.D in anthropology from Columbia University, New York. She joined the Fordham University faculty in 1968, where she is presently Associate Professor Emerita. Dr. Swidler's work was supported by grants from The National Institute of Mental Health, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, and Fordham University. She is the aut...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:250 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.01 inPublished:August 15, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199068658

ISBN - 13:9780199068654

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Kalat Before the British2. The Colonial Period: The Early Years3. The Politics of Space4. The Politics of Culture5. The Space of Politics6. The Averted Gaze7. Seeking the Imaginary Balance8. The politics of Change9. Conclusion (Incomplete)BibliographyIndex