The Partition's Long Shadow: Legals, Illegals and a Hybrid Citizenship Regime in Assam, India

Baruah, Sanjib

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Lecture held at the South Asia Institute in Heidelberg on 25th November, 2008. Citizenship practices in the Indian state of Assam have a serious fault-line. The government appears uninterested in policing borders and enforcing the citizen/foreigner distinction. This has drawn the ire of even the Indian Supreme Court. However, certain ambiguities about citizenship in post-Partition India explain these practices. Pragmatic politicians have adapted to the reality of a post-Partition space that does not conform to the model of a bounded national territory with a clearly defined community of citizens. However, the tensions between the national order of things and the reality of a non-national space have consequences. They adversely affect the legitimacy of governmental institutions, and the livelihood strategies of people. Policies premised on the fiction of hard national borders cannot provide the foundation for stable political order in this part of the world. Sanjib Baruah holds professorial appointments at Bard College, New York and the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi.

Document type: Audio
Date: 2008
Version: Primary publication
Date Deposited: 11 Dec 2008 11:40
Faculties / Institutes: Universitäten / Institute > South Asia Institute / Department of Political Science
DDC-classification: Political science
Controlled Keywords: Assam, Staatsangehörigkeit
Uncontrolled Keywords: Assam , Staatszugehörigkeit , Bürgerrecht, Assam , Citizenship ,