Local Pasts

Space, Emotions and Identities in Vernacular Histories of Princely Rampur

in Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient
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This article examines the salience of space and emotions in histories of Rampur, the last Muslim-ruled princely state in the colonial United Provinces in British India. It addresses, in particular, the categories of space and subjectivity by exploring place identity (Rāmpūr/Rampūrī) and the sentiment of belonging to Rampur (Rāmpūrīyat), which convey emotional attachment of the self to space. Emotional identification and sense of place also influence spatial practices. There is a shifting relationship between space and the way inhabitants relate it to their identity (or identities), which can be analyzed historically to understand how space and emotions are socially constructed and accrue further meanings. I examine a history of emotions by exploring a literary “space of imagination” where love of and attachment to Rampur are articulated and experienced. The paper focuses on local-history writing in Urdu to map the historical and emotional aspects of identifications with Rampur. Its local histories are marked by emotions of pride, love, nostalgia, and practices of memory, remembrance, and forgetting, all of which produce its “emotional geography.” Literariness, or a self-consciously literary sensibility, limns Rampur with meaning and qualities, particularly through descriptions of its geography and environment and the qualities of its inhabitants that connect the place with its people. The paper situates in history these shared emotions and their transformation, especially amid changes during the colonial period, the Partition of British India, and the integration of the princely state of Rampur into the post-colonial Indian nation state.

Local Pasts

Space, Emotions and Identities in Vernacular Histories of Princely Rampur

in Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient

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2

M.H. FischerIndirect Rule in India: Residents and the Residency System 1764-1858 (New Delhi: Oxford University Press1998).

5

Iqbal HussainThe Rise and Decline of Ruhela Chieftaincies in 18th Century India (New Delhi: Oxford University Press1994).

13

D. Bredi“History Writing in Urdu: Hashmatuʾl-lah Khan, Kacho Sikander Khan Sikander, and the History of the Kargil District.” Annual of Urdu Studies 26 (2011): 5.

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I.H. SiddiquiIndo-Persian Historiography up to the Thirteenth Century (New Delhi: Primus Book2010); on transformations in Indo-Persian historiography see A. Anoshahr “Author of One’s Fate: Fatalism and Agency in Indo-Persian Histories.” Indian Economic and Social History Review 49 (2012): 197-224.

16

K. ChatterjeeThe Cultures of History in Early Modern India: Persianization and Mughal Culture in Bengal (New Delhi: Oxford University Press2009); P. Deshpande Creative Pasts: Historical Memory and Identity in Western India 1700-1960 (New Delhi: Permanent Black 2007); S. Guha “Speaking Historically: The Changing Voices of Historical Narration in Western India 1400-1900.” American Historical Review 109/4 (2004): 1084-1103.

17

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K. ChatterjeeThe Cultures of History in Early Modern India: Persianization and Mughal Culture in Bengal (New Delhi: Oxford University Press2009).

37

J. Ali KhanEarly Urdu Historiography (Patna: Khuda Bakhsh Oriental Public Library2005): 38-9.

38

GhanīAkhbār1: 5-6.

55

S.P. BlakeShahjahanabad: The Sovereign City in Mughal India 1639-1739 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press1991). See also S. Kavuri-Bauer Monumental Matters: The Power Subjectivity and Space of India’s Mughal Architecture (Durham nc: Duke University Press 2011).

56

M. TrivediThe Making of the Awadh Culture (New Delhi: Pirmus Books2010).

59

GhanīAkhbār2: 456. On the contemporary condition and politics of the fort in Rāmpūr see R. Khan “The Case of Falling Walls: Politics of Demolition and Preservation in Rampur” Economic and Political Weekly 49/12 (22 March 2014).

61

GhanīAkhbār2: 455.

64

M. Pernau“Male Anger and Female Malice: Emotions in Indo-Muslim Advice Literature.” History Compass 10/2 (2012): 119.

65

GhanīAkhbār2: 485-6.

69

D. LelyveldAligarh’s First Generation: Muslim Solidarity in British India (Princeton: Princeton University Press1978): 24.

70

Z. Antrim“Watan before Wataniyya: Loyalty to Land in Ayyubid and Mamluk Syria.” Al-Masaq: Islam and the Medieval Mediterranean 22/2 (2010): 177.

72

A. NajmabadiWomen with Mustaches and Men without Beards: Gender and Sexual Anxieties of Iranian Modernity (Berkeley: University of California Press2005): 98.

78

J.J.L. GommansThe Rise of the Indo-Afghan Empire c. 1710-1780 (Leiden: Brill1995): 169. Gommans writes about the shifting geographry of Roh in Indo-Afghan texts as an area corresponding to present-day Afghanistan between Iran Turan Hind and Sind.

80

D.H.A. KolffNaukar Rajput and Sepoy: The Ethnohistory of the Military Labour Market of Hindustan 1450-1850 (Cambridge: University of Cambridge Oriental Publications1990); S. Alavi The Sepoys and the Company: Tradition and Transition in Northern India 1770-1830 (New Delhi: Oxford University Press 1995).

82

GommansRise of the Indo Afghan Empire170.

83

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84

R. NicholsA History of Pashtun Migration 1775-2006 (Karachi: Oxford University Press2008):10.

93

GhanīAkhbār2: 504.

95

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96

GhanīAkhbār2: 497-9.

98

R. O’Hanlon“Issues of Masculinity in North Indian History: The Bangash Nawabs of Farrukhabad.” Indian Journal of Gender Studies 4/1 (1997): 7.

100

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101

GhanīAkhbār2: 503.

103

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104

C. LindholmGenerosity and Jealousy: The Swat Pukhtun of Northern Pakistan (New York: Columbia University Press1982).

105

GhanīAkhbār2: 506.

107

GhanīAkhbār2: 510.

109

GhanīAkhbār2: 513.

111

I.Ḥ. ṢiddīqīUrdū mēṅ taʾrīkh nigārī kī ibtidāʾ (Rampur: Raza Library2008). Commenting briefly on the Akhbār Siddiqui (2008: 287) dismisses most of the text as derivative lacking historical depth but he does commend the book as a good example of regional history (rījanal taʾrīkh nigārī).

117

M. Pickering and E. Keightley“The Modalities of Nostalgia.” Current Sociology 54/6 (November 2006): 930.

118

F. DavisYearning for Yesterday: A Sociology of Nostalgia (New York: Free Press1979): 5.

120

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121

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122

ShādānīAḥvāl: xix.

123

M.J. Milligan“Displacement and Identity Discontinuity: The Role of Nostalgia in Establishing New Identity.” Symbolic Interaction 26/3 (2003): 381.

125

ShādānīAḥvāl: xi.

132

O. Verkaaik“At Home in Karachi: Quasi-Domesticity as a Way to Know the City.” Critique of Anthropology 29 (2009): 65-80.

142

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143

ShādānīAḥvāl345-8.

148

ShādānīAḥvāl356.

149

B. AndersonImagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (London: Verso1991).

151

Ananya Jahanara KabirPartition’s Post-amnesias: 1947 1971 and Modern South Asia (New Delhi: Women Unlimited2013): 22.

Figures

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    Hamid Gate—Fort [Rampur].“Photograph of the Hamid Gate to the Fort at Rampur in Uttar Pradesh, taken by an unknown photographer in c. 1911. This photograph is from an album of views of Rampur presented to the India Office by the Festival of Empire in November 1911.”
  • View in gallery
    Graves of Rohilla ancestors in the small Neighbourhood of kaṭrā Jalāluddīn Khān, Rampur.

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