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Vol. 10 No. 1 | 2023 Edition

Violet Geinger

Strange Intimacies: Indo-Afghan Relations
and the End of the War on Terror


Dr. Mou Banerjee

Riding the Afghan tiger has always been an incredibly risky venture, as history is witness, and getting off safely has almost always been impossible. There is no reason to believe that the new political dispensation in Afghanistan will not experience or exercise more violent changes in the near future. This is a tinderbox situation, and as always, Afghanistan is serving as a proxy for external neo-imperial ideologies and political maneuvers. This genealogical pattern is not unfamiliar to historians—Afghanistan served the same purpose in the nineteenth century between Britain and Russia, in the twentieth century between the USSR and the United States at the height of the Cold War, and in the twenty-first century between the so-called enlightened and liberal Western world order led by the United States and the dark forces of “jihadi” terrorism. China, India, and Pakistan are perhaps setting the board for a new iteration of this eternal “Great Game.” 


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Dr. Mou Banerjee is Assistant Professor of History at UW–Madison. She holds a M.A. and Ph.D. in History from Harvard University. She is a historian of modern South Asia. Her research interests include religion and politics in India, especially on the evolution of the concepts of private faith and political identity in the public sphere. Her first book, The Disinherited: Christianity and Conversion in Colonial India, 1813-1907 is forthcoming from Harvard University Press.

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