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Title: State formation and the establishment of non Muslim hegemony in the post-Mughal nineteenth century Panjab
Author: Singh, Rishi
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2009
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This thesis examines the state formation process in Panjab and the qualitative change in the hegemony of elites from Muslims to non Muslims in the first half of the nineteenth centuiy. The work argues that after the emergence of the Sikh faith in the fifteenth century there appeared on the social fabric of elites two distinct categories Muslim and the non Muslim, The emergence and expansion of the Sikh religious ethos and the political ambitions of its leadership influenced the political scenario in Panjab under the Mughal rulers. It is the argument here that even though Muslim and Sikh religious leaderships engaged with each other, the conversion of Panjabis both from Hindu and Muslim backgrounds to Sikhism began to create problems for the Muslim elites in Panjab. The religious group of Muslims existed w ith that of the Sikh and the Hindus but at the time of political tensions, clear allegiances were formed between the two groups, especially at the moments when the call of Jehad {a religious call to war for the followers of Islam) was given by the Muslim elites. The vision of a state not controlled by the Muslim elites, who were Mughals or Afghans, became fundamental for the new non Muslim elites of the Panjab. The particular case studies of Multan, Kashmir and Peshawar, examine the process of change from the Muslim elites to the non Muslim elites. It is postulated in the work that though the ideology of Islam as the common factor became instrumental in the aligning together of many tribal elites, it could not sustain the alliance against the non Muslims, in the region beyond the river Indus, due to various inter rivalries between different Muslim groups. The thesis examines the reasons behind the sustenance of the state under Ranjit Singh and the policies adopted by him which gave him the right to establish his legitimate domination over his majority Muslim subjects. This aspect of deriving legitimacy from Muslim subjects by Ranjit Singh has been examined in five different areas of governance, namely religious policy, justice, army, agrarian policy and the formation of new Muslim elites.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral