Document Type

Honors Project

Abstract

This paper connects the rise of Sikh Fundamentalist movements in the 1980s, which sparked a widespread consciousness of a Sikh nationhood, to a history of imperialism that both led to smallholders’ economic precariousness and encouraged an exclusive, masculine Sikh identity over time. Through a process of friction, which considers a history rooted in political economy, both smallholders and young educated men joined the agitation against the central government as it refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of the demands highlighted in the Anandpur Resolution. The British first facilitated wide-scale agricultural commodification and along with urban Sikhs, advocated for an exclusive Sikh identity. The Indian state, during Import Substitution Industrialization, built on Britain’s economic institutions, favoring regions such as Bangalore and Hyderabad for the fruition of the software industry. Punjab, however, remained India’s ‘breadbasket’ as the Indian government, along with other western international actors, implemented the Green Revolution in the 1960s.

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