The Speaking Mirror of Bharati Das

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The second phase of refugee influx into West Bengal, especially by the once powerful caste group, namashudras, continues to be ill documented in social science literature of the day. Through the narrative of a young caregiver, Bharati Das, Parimal Bhattacharya makes an important intervention in documenting these lives, as well as, through the trope of a video recording, makes marginalised voices heard.  

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Uemon and Hariprabha Takeda: Travelling into Lives (Part – II)

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Hariprabha visited Japan thrice in her lifetime. Uemon accompanied her each time. Their third visit together had coincided with the Second World War and Hariprabha jotted down her experiences of a war-torn Japan in the form of diary entries. Madhurima Mukhopadhyay, in the second part of her essay, focuses on Hariprabha’s war memories. The first part can be read here. Continue reading “Uemon and Hariprabha Takeda: Travelling into Lives (Part – II)”

Uemon and Hariprabha Takeda: Travelling into Lives

Uemon and Hariprabha Takeda

Marriage in most cases entails a shift of location for the woman as she moves from her natal home to her husband’s home. For Hariprabha Mallick, who married a Japanese migrant labourer working in a soap factory of Dhaka in 1907, matrimony entailed a trip to Japan to meet her in laws.  Madhurima Mukhopadhyay writes in two parts about Hariprabha’s extraordinary experiences in Japan. Here is the first part.

Continue reading “Uemon and Hariprabha Takeda: Travelling into Lives”

“Who leaves home if there is a choice?”: Understanding migration decisions

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Nirala’s great grandfather travelled from Jharkhand to a tea plantation in Dooars (plains in the foothills of Northern Himalayan, in West Bengal), where Nirala lives till today. Her granddaughter Madeeha has recently joined work as a domestic help in Gurgaon (in the state of Haryana). Labour migration is never a simple binary between choice and force, Supurna Banerjee explores through two such migration narratives. 

Continue reading ““Who leaves home if there is a choice?”: Understanding migration decisions”

Kolkata protests against renewed violence on Rohingyas, 04.09.2017.

In the history of Rohingya persecution in Myanmar, [for a history on the Rohingya refugees and their current situation, please check – A Report on the Rohingyas by Calcutta Research Group] this is probably the darkest hour. The intensity of violence that has been unleashed From 25 August 2017 is probably greater than the violence in 2012 when thousands had to flee to Bangladesh and other neighboring countries for shelter. In the last few years we have seen many humanitarian organisations and activists, besides international organisations like the United Nations, condemning the violence and state of statelessness of the Rohingyas. International media awareness too followed after the boat tragedies in 2015, when in trying to cross raging high seas in overcrowded rickety flotillas many were killed. However, despite efforts things have not really changed much for the Rohingyas in Mynamar, and from the last week of August, it has only worsened. According to the European Rohingya Council (ERC), in just three days, between August 25-28, nearly 3000 Rohingya Muslims were killed. Anita Schug, a spokesperson for the ERC and a doctor based in Switzerland, said, “The number of massacres carried out by the army against Muslims in Rakhine exceeds the one in 2012 and those in October last year. The situation has never been this bad. In Rakhine, we face a slow genocide,”. She added that, till now, more than 100,000 civilians have been displaced. For details of the report lease go to Nearly 3,000 Rohingya Muslims killed in the last three days.

Restless Beings, another organisation based in London and working for the rights of the Rohingyas refugees notes that, between August 25- 3 September alone, 4000 Rohingyas were indiscriminately killed in the districts of Rauthedaung, Bauthidaung and Maungdaw in Rakhine State, Mynamar. More than 65,000 have crossed over to Bangladesh in deplorable conditions while around 20, 000 are stuck in the no – man’s land. The director of the organisation, Mabrur Ahmed, claiming this is the darkest hour for the Rohingyas, has been instrumental in providing aid and relief, like tents, clothing and food to 1000 refugees in the Myanmar- Bangladesh borders. Besides organising demonstrations in various places he has also called for international condemnation of the genocide. He shares his views through this video- Event organised by organisations like Restless Beings to condemn the violence on RohingyasContinue reading “Kolkata protests against renewed violence on Rohingyas, 04.09.2017.”

The cult of gter: Remapping the political identity of Tibetans in India

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Somraj Basu

gter literary tradition, figuring in Tibetan religious schools of thought is becoming relevant again. Giving fresh vent to conceive new ways of acquiring citizenship in India, gters appear – as a) geopolitical sites b) literary works as well as c) mental states of awareness[i].

As a living space (in a particularly strong manner within the Nyingma Buddhist Tradition), their routes of realization are permanently closed to Tibetans with the occupation of Tibet. This has caused the bodily misconfiguration through the spread of unlikely health problems among the Tibetans like Tuberculosis and immediately to open the scope for discussions on gter sites as offering possible cure regimes. gter documents as well as sites are traditionally offered as solutions to seeking minds for resolving and taking care of stressful questions and situations. The answers offered are permanent and immediatebut timing is most important for its revelation. Seeking the right kind of question only can lead to the appropriate answer. Contingent on environmental, economical, political or religious contexts, this specific determining function makes it likely for gters to be considered as ‘crisis heterotopias’. Continue reading “The cult of gter: Remapping the political identity of Tibetans in India”

Germany’s ‘Legal Entry Framework for Syrian Refugees’

Germany’s resettlement and humanitarian admission programmes for Syrian refugees should not be a blueprint for future efforts to develop legal entry frameworks internationally. Although Germany offers safety to a higher numbers of Syrians than any other European Union Member State, its resettlement and humanitarian admission programmes fail to acknowledge that Syrian refugees generally qualify for refugee status. Consequently, programme beneficiaries are denied the same status, the same scope of protection, the same rights and the same guarantees as refugees who are granted refugee status following the ordinary asylum procedure.
Christoph Tometten’s insightful analysis of Germany’s resettlement and admission programme can be accessed here.

 

Livelihood Solutions for Refugees

Pradeep Kumar Panda

World Refugee Day falls on 20 June. The day was created in the year 2000 by a special United Nations General Assembly Resolution. The lead international agency coordinating refugee protection is the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

A refugee, generally speaking, is a displaced person who has been forced to cross national boundaries and who cannot return home safely. Such a person may be called an asylum seeker until granted refugee status by the contracting state or the UNHCR if they formally make a claim for asylum. As of 2015, total refugee population is 21.3 million.

The estimated population of refugees in India is approximately 36,000 of which about 19,000 are residing in New Delhi (UNHCR). They are from all nationalities including Afghanistan, Angola, Bosnia, Cameroon, China, Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Maldives, Myanmar – Chin, Myanmar – Rohingya, Pakistan, Palestine, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Uzbekistan and Yemen. Continue reading “Livelihood Solutions for Refugees”

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