Zainab Ramahi

Towards an environmentally-conservative, gender-equitable, economically just property law system in Indian-administered Kashmir

Mughal emperor Jahangir once described Kashmir as a paradise on earth. Today, Kashmir is a territory violently disputed by three nuclear powers. The resistance to Indian occupation, and the resulting political incapacity, has led to exploitation of regulatory regimes in the state, including unchecked residential and commercial development and mass privatization of public, environmentally-sensitive lands. The Indian government has undertaken a project of transfer and re-settlement of Hindu Indian nationals in Kashmir. Purportedly responding to a need to preserve the demographic integrity of Kashmir, the real property rights of women who marry non-state subjects have been threatened.

Kashmir is the most heavily militarized zone in the world and faces a neo-colonial occupation that remains a destabilizing force in civil life. This project will analyze the ways in which property law impacts and insufficiently protects the rights of Kashmiris and is shaped by the political conflict. This project aims to engage socio-cultural norms, the political and historical context of the region, and contemporary challenges relating to real property use and transfer. Investigation of the implications of the existing property law system and its competing goals is critical to begin conceptualizing a gender-equitable and environmentally sustainable regime in Kashmir under Indian occupation.

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