Beyond Lines of Control

Performance and Politics on the
Disputed Borders of Ladakh, India

Ravina Aggarwal


6 x 9 inches, 361pp 2007

ISBN : 9788170463177

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The Kashmir conflict, the ongoing border dispute between India and Pakistan, has sparked four wars and cost thousands of lives. In this innovative ethnography, Ravina Aggarwal moves beyond conventional understandings of the conflict—which tend to emphasize geopolitical security concerns and religious essentialisms—to consider how it is experienced by those living in the border zones along the Line of Control, the 435-mile boundary separating India and Pakistan. She focuses on Ladakh, the largest region in northern India’s state of Jammu and Kashmir. Located high in the Himalayan and Karakoram ranges, Ladakh borders Pakistan to the west and Tibet to the east. Revealing how the shadow of war affects the lives of Buddhist and Muslim communities in Ladakh, Beyond Lines of Control is an impassioned call for the inclusion of the region’s cultural history and politics in discussions about the status of Kashmir. 

Ravina Aggarwal is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Smith College. She is the editor and translator of Forsaking Paradise: Stories from Ladakh (2001) and the editor of Into the High Ranges: The Penguin Anthology of Mountain Writing (2002). She was a founding editor of the journal Meridiens.


Culture Studies