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A Question of Citizenship:Migration among the Pakistani Hindus in Jodhpur Rajasthan
The Indian borderlands are considered as ‘transitional zones’ with specific territorial and spatial facets. More often than not they are lines of contestation between nation-states. The India and Pakistan border falls in the same category along with being highly militarized. The present research looks at citizenship struggles and displacement amongst ‘Pakistani-Hindu’ migrants that is Hindu Bhils who reside in these contested spaces at the borderland. The focus of the study is displacement that has occurred across the international border of India and Pakistan on the western frontier consistently post the 1965 Indo-Pak war and continues till date. The western borderlands remain understudied when porosity of borders and flows of population is discussed within the Indian context. The ethnographic study is an attempt to understand the struggles of the Pakistani-Hindu migrants (not yet assigned the refugee status) who have ‘re-settled’ in the western borderlands of Rajasthan. The flow that occurs physically is on account of the strong sense of belonging, ‘shared culture and tradition’ to the Indian side of the border. The legal and social assimilation of these migrants involve complexities and negotiations vis-à-vis identity, livelihood, and every-day practices. The present study is located in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, a city that has become an entry point for migrants from bordering districts of Pakistan’s Punjab and Sindh province. The migrants have neither a citizenship status nor access to State services, and reside as ‘foreign nationals’ in India.
Cross border, Migration, Borderland, Pakistan-Hindu, Citizenship.
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