Photo Credit: Marko Szilveszter Macskovich, Researcher on Forced Migration and Identity Management
Photographs taken on December 20, 2017
“Urban refugees in Delhi: Identity, entitlements and well-being” is a detailed report on the study of two connected, contemporaneous realities in India – urban refugees in India (in this case, specifically, refugees in India’s capital city of Delhi), and India’s lack of a legal framework, domestic or international, that guarantee their protection. Seeking to understand the aspirations and desires of Sikh and Christian Afghan refugees and Rohingya refugees leading incredibly precarious lives in Delhi, the study engages in an exploration of the various factors that contributed to their state of insecurity, and proposes its own take on Amartya Sen’s Capability Approach to formulate long-term, sustainable development and security goals for urban refugees based on the notion of ‘self-reliance’. The report can be accessed here.
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.
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)”
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.
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.
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”
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”
[As a part of my research on Conflict and Social Governance in North East India (Principal researcher Prof. Paula Banerjee), I went to Nagaland for 10 days between May 1 and May 10, 2017.[i] This field report, written immediately after coming back from Nagaland is based on interviews and informal conversations conducted in Dimapur and Kohima.]
It was 7pm on a Monday, when I came out of the office of Morung Express, a well circulated daily of Nagaland, after interacting with one of their journalists, Aheli Moitra. Morung Express has provided a platform to scholars and activists involved in the new protest movements within the state. It was the first day of my field visit and also the first time when fear gripped me. Completely immersed in darkness, the road ahead was deserted, with no transport in sight. Aheli was unperturbed and helped me get an auto, which charged almost double to commute back to the hotel. Answering my protests to the increased fare, the driver said in Hindi, if translated which means, “It’s not safe here madam in the evenings, and you won’t find transport to take you back, so I am charging you double”. “Why”? I asked. “Things are much better now, so why do you say it’s still unsafe”? “Madam, there is no guarantee and the people here (read Nagas) always target the outsiders like us”. The auto driver, Shambhu, was a resident of Bihar. I reflected back to my conversation with Aheli on the same evening, some time back. Aheli is a Bengali by birth, and has been raised in various parts of India, which prompted me to ask, where does she situate herself in the state? Does she feel safe being an ‘outsider’ there? Her answer was, “Of course. More than I would in Bengal. There are no problems in Nagaland, especially regarding the safety of women. There is not a single problem that I have faced in my last three years in the state. I am happy with my work here. Only at times I crave to go back to the proper city life as everything is so quiet here”. From my experience of touring Nagaland in the next ten days, I had to agree with Aheli. I was helped by every stranger I met and interacted with, although a nagging discomfort of working on a subject that rarely evokes empathy remained through out the field work. Continue reading “Through my Lens: Field Notes from a Trip to Nagaland in May 2017”