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Chakma Refugees in Arunachal Pradesh: Their Inclusion and Setback

Refugee Crises and Third-World Economies

ISBN: 978-1-83982-191-2, eISBN: 978-1-83982-190-5

Publication date: 18 June 2020

Abstract

In 2015, the Supreme Court of India directed the Government of India to confer the citizenship right to the Chakma refugees, who settled in North-Eastern States in India. Arunachal Pradesh, the former North Eastern Frontier Agency, holds a large number of Chakma refugees who had migrated to India from the erstwhile East Pakistan during the late 1960s. The present benevolent approach of the Government of India towards this ethno-refugee community is having domestic as well as external implication in the backdrop of rampant deportation of refugees from its neighbouring state, Bangladesh. Mere citizenship right may result in the administrative integration of the Chakmas but could not resolve their crises as alien versus indigenous debate intensifies the refugee crises today. Over the decades, political alienation of the Chakma refugees extended their sense of deprivation and marginalization. A separate perspective is required to assess the Chakmas’ claim that they are after all not alien to India since their ancestral land Chittagong Hill Tracts were under Indian territory and they have had a deep allegiance to this territory because of India's accommodative pluralistic outlook and multi-ethnic characters. Permanent means of livelihood, legal rights over land holding and bridging social capital would help ethnic integration, not merely ‘limited’ citizenship right. This study from ethno-political perspective would assess the crises of the Chakma refugees in Arunachal Pradesh in India.

Keywords

Citation

Debnath, K. and Debnath, K. (2020), "Chakma Refugees in Arunachal Pradesh: Their Inclusion and Setback", Das, S.K. and Chowdhary, N. (Ed.) Refugee Crises and Third-World Economies, Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 137-148. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-83982-190-520201015

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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