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Blood and WaterThe Indus River Basin in Modern History$
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David Gilmartin

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780520285293

Published to California Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520285293.001.0001

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Community on the Waste

Community on the Waste

The Village and the Colonial Property Order

Chapter:
(p.69) 3 Community on the Waste
Source:
Blood and Water
Author(s):

David Gilmartin

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520285293.003.0003

A critical backdrop to late nineteenth-century canal expansion was the property order established by the British after Punjab’s annexation in 1849. The ordering of village property was driven by British efforts to frame two opposing forms of community on the ground: communities of production (and revenue) on the one hand and communities of blood and genealogy on the other. This chapter examines how this distinction drove the differentiation between private and common property, leading to the strong association of common property with nonproductive “waste.” The chapter discusses how this village property order also structured colonial relations with pastoralists, providing a backdrop to nomadic taxation and pressures for pastoral settlement, ultimately providing a backdrop for large-scale canal investment in the region.

Keywords:   property, village, Punjab, pastoralism, settlement, wasteland, commons, customary law

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