Distinctive Citizenship: Refugees, Citizens and Postcolonial State in India's Partition

Ravinder Kaur

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The refugee, in India's Partition history, appears as an enigmatic construct - part pitiful, part heroic, though mostly shorn of agency - representing the surface of the human tragedy of Partition. Yet this archetype masks the undercurrent of social distinctions that produced hierarchies of post-colonial citizenship within the mass of refugees. The core principle of the official resettlement policy was self-rehabilitation, that is, the ability to become a productive citizen of the new nation state without state intervention. Thus, the onus of performing a successful transition - from refugee to citizen - lay on the resourcefulness of the refugees rather than the state. This article traces the differing historical trajectories followed by 'state-dependent' and 'self-reliant' refugees in the making of modern citizenry in post-colonial India
Original languageEnglish
JournalCultural and Social History
Volume6
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)429-446
Number of pages18
ISSN1478-0038
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Keywords

  • Refugees
  • Citizens
  • Post-colonial state
  • Social Class
  • Partition
  • India

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