Population Movement in the Fluid, Fragile and Contentious Borderland between Bangladesh and India

Afsar, Rita

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Bangladesh inherited disputed border relation with India as a legacy of the partition of the subcontinent in 1947. Apart from historic fallacies rooted in the religious basis of drawing the border which was impossible to achieve, the two countries are heavily motivated politically. Indian government branded all sorts of cross-border migration as illegal and Bangladeshi government refuses to acknowledge illegal movements by Bangladeshi nationals. Drawing from available sources predominantly emanating from India which are largely based on educated guess and often politically biased, the paper examines critically problems associated with fluid, fragile and contentious border, lack of reliable data and migration management problems. It also examines the causes and consequences of transnational migration and documents how economies and lives of millions on both sides of the borderland depend on such migration, trade and smuggling. It argues that no barbed wire and draconian legal measures so far could stop cross-border population movements. Given the economic bottom-line, political sensitivity, cultural and socioreligious complications, Sylhet broder should be opened up for trade links and communication channels for Bangladesh and Indian North-Eastern states. This may provide Bangladesh an opportunity to make-up for the unfavourable trade balance with India, and help India to facilitate development in that part of the country which may in turn help reduce the separatist movements.

Document type: Conference Item
Date: 2008
Version: Primary publication
Date Deposited: 31 Jul 2008 16:38
Faculties / Institutes: Research Organisations / Academies > Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies <Dhaka>
DDC-classification: Social sciences
Controlled Keywords: Bangladesch, Indien, Migration, Geschichte 1947-
Uncontrolled Keywords: Bangladesch, Indien , Migration , Bevölkerungswanderung , Regionale Mobilität, Bangladesh , India , Borderland , Population Movement , Migration
Subject (classification): Sociology
Countries/Regions: Bangladesh
Additional Information: Vortrag, gehalten auf der 20th ECMSAS, Panel 24: Migration in South Asia: Causes, Patterns and Consequences