Author Biography

Leah Koskimaki (PhD, Sociocultural Anthropology, University of Washington, 2011) is currently a Research Fellow at the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) and the Department of Political Studies at the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town, South Africa. Previous to this, she worked as a Research Fellow with the Provincial Globalisation Programme at the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) in Bangalore, India, affiliated with the University of Amsterdam, Netherlands.


This essay discusses the formation of political youth publics in the late colonial period in Kumaun and Garhwal in the northwestern Himalayan region of India. More specifically, it highlights forms of address to youth and students in the Hindi press in the period of nationalist mobilization. In published speeches and editorials, educated youth were a target audience for newly fashioned political roles; they were asked to spread regional awareness over rights, to travel to the countryside, to make sacrifices, to make use of time, and to demonstrate their duty towards national causes. Overall, the paper argues that the notion of youth as a form of solidarity and as a distinct public emerged in Uttarakhand at this time, drawing from a regional imaginary. This vocabulary of politics continued in later forms of youth mobilization in the region post-independence.


The author would like to thank K. Sivaramakrishnan, who guided this work from its beginning. In addition, the content of the essay also developed greatly due to insightful comments by Catherine Warner, Arik Moran and an anonymous reviewer. All errors and omissions are the author’s own.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.