ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

CitizenshipSubscribe to Citizenship

Assam and the NRC

Deepankar Basu and Debarshi Das, in their article “Assam’s Politics and the NRC” (EPW, 1 February 2020), have raised a few critical issues regarding the fundamental flaws in the National Register of Citizens (NRC) updating process in Assam and emphasised building an alternative narrative. Their...

Discussion: 'Linking Excesses in NRC Process to Assamese Xenophobia Is Unwarranted'

The false narrative of Assamese "xenophobia" stinks, and today, except the Hindutva camp, no mainstream Assamese organisation propagates racist or communal agenda in the state.

Revisiting the City–Capital Symbiosis

The urban is related to the capital through the very notion of accumulation. What goes into building the urban, both materially and perceptively is the accumulated capital, which in turn gets both (re)produced and consumed within the same set-up. The present circulation and accumulation of global capital has resulted in the creation of First World spaces within Third World cities, heterotopias which complicate claims to urban “city”zenships. The emergence of capital-infected cities and heterotopias is explored along with differential claims to urban “city”zenship using an interface with the Indian city as a context.

Engaging with ‘a Quintessential University Person’

Conversations with Ambedkar: 10 Ambedkar Memorial Lectures edited by Valerian Rodrigues, Tulika Books and Ambedkar University Delhi, July 2019; pp 282, ₹ 750.

Who is to Blame for the Refugee Crisis?

The refugee crisis that the world is currently facing is a long-term effect of colonialism.

The Citizen Finds a Home

On a fact-finding trip to the Karbi Anglong district of Assam, the authors find that the “crisis of citizenship” is a structural phenomenon rooted in the history of capitalist development and community dynamics in the state. The current political dispensation of establishing the “Hindu” Bengali as the “citizen” is not only a breach of the universal principles of “citizenship,” but also has deeper implications for the unresolved ethnic conflicts in the state.

National Register of Citizens and the Supreme Court

The imminent withdrawal of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 by the union government in the face of strong protests by the residents of the north-eastern states is hardly a victory for constitutional principles or morality. It leaves “illegal migrants” in a continued limbo and heightens ethnic tensions in the North East. It also shifts the focus to the Supreme Court, which has taken upon itself the extremely delicate task of overseeing the preparation of the National Register of Citizens in Assam.

Does Citizenship Abate Class?

Drawing on data from a large household survey in Bengaluru, this paper explores the quality of urban citizenship. Addressing theories that have tied the depth of democracy to the quality and effectiveness of citizenship, we develop an index of citizenship and then explore the extent to which citizenship determines the quality of services and infrastructure that households enjoy. Findings show that citizenship and access to services in Bengaluru are highly differentiated, that much of what drives these differences has to do with class, but there is clear evidence that the urban poor are somewhat better in terms of the services they receive than they would be without citizenship. Citizenship, in other words, abates the effects of class.

Relative Intimacies

Described here are stories of families within the borderlands of India and Bangladesh who have kin relations on the other side of the border. They are about the continued making and maintenance of kinship ties across transnational family networks over the changing practices of border control. Officers and constables in the Indian Border Security Force, tasked with preventing all cross-border movements, recognised with sympathy the existence and emotional power of cross-border family ties. This article attempts to answer questions like what normative and emotive ideas about kin obligations and morality prevail upon individuals and families as they decide whether or not to continue investment in relations across borders. How do these sit within the larger political economy of the border itself?

Lost in Transition

The September 2015 Supreme Court judgment over the festering Chakma refugee issue turned the spotlight on one of the most intractable refugee issues in the history of post-independent India. Much like its first landmark verdict of 1996, this judgment also unequivocally upheld the refugees' right to Indian citizenship. Ironically, while the refugees have not benefited from the 1996 ruling over the last two decades, the verdict itself has come to attain the status of a "case law." This paper cogitates about the futility of a legal-centric approach to addressing an issue, which is deeply embedded in the complexity of state formation in modern South Asia. By unspooling the rather complex narrative of Chakmas' refugeehood and statelessness, it proposes a "solution of solidarity" approach that might help resolve what has until now proved irresolvable.

Homeless Migrants in Mumbai

Based on empirical work in Mumbai, this article enquires into experiences of homelessness of migrants to the city. It tries to locate these experiences within the larger processes of the neo-liberal envisioning of Mumbai as a global city, the ever-growing informalisation of labour, and displacement and inadequate resettlement of people, resulting in restricted access to affordable housing, services, workspaces and social welfare. The analyses expose how the homeless migrants perpetually suffer from the condition of suspended citizenship, lead their everyday domestic life under public gaze, face violence and also confront civil society's increasing assertion for rights over public spaces.

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