Canine counterinsurgency in Indian-occupied Kashmir

Mona Bhan, Purnima Bose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


In this article, we analyze contemporary discourses of counterinsurgency in relation to dogs in Kashmir, the disputed northernmost Himalayan territory of Jammu and Kashmir, and the site of a prolonged military occupation. We are interested in the widespread presence of street dogs in Kashmir as both embodiments and instruments of military terror. We consider the competing narratives of how canines function variously in Kashmiri perceptions of counterinsurgency and in Indian nationalist discourses. Through ethnographic and cultural analyses, we track how street dogs appear in various cultural and public narratives as the Indian military’s “first line of defense,” and the ways in which their overwhelming presence produces deep anxieties about the nature and extent of the military occupation of Kashmir.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-363
Number of pages23
JournalCritique of Anthropology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020


  • Counterinsurgency
  • Indian occupation
  • Kashmir
  • Military Working Dogs
  • dog terror
  • street dogs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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