Tuesday, Nov 29, 2022
Outlook.com
opinion

Why Maps Can’t Redraw The Truth

India’s citizenship laws were ambivalent on cross-border migration. Assam bears the brunt of it.

Why Maps Can’t Redraw The Truth
Dhruba J. Dutta
Why Maps Can’t Redraw The Truth
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Since the outbreak of violence in western Assam this summer, some commentators have cited census figures to bolster their argument that “illegal immigration” of Bangladeshis to Assam is a myth. But others have inferred from the same set of data that illegal immigration is out of control, and that the Bodoland violence is its effect. However, the binary opposition between myth and reality that frames this discussion is problematic. Myths and reality tend to be more intertwined in human affairs.

Most commentaries on the Assam crisis seem to be incapable of seeing through the foundational myths of the post-Partition Indian state. Terms like “Bangladeshi” and “illegal immigrants”—and the assumption that the meaning of these terms is obvious—tend to focus on one part of the story of cross-border migration. Willingly or unwillingly, it ignores another equally important part: the persistent confusion about the people who cross the Indo-Bangladesh border without documentation.

Outlook Newsletters

Read More from Outlook

Lament Of Separation: Songs Of Habba Khatun, Last Queen Of Kashmir, Still Echo In Valley

Lament Of Separation: Songs Of Habba Khatun, Last Queen Of Kashmir, Still Echo In Valley

In happy times and sad, Habba Khatun’s sensuous songs make both young and old emotional. With the never-ending conflict bringing tragedies to every doorstep, Habba’s lyrics of separation amplify their mourning.

How Indian Laws Govern People’s Right To Love And Live

How Indian Laws Govern People’s Right To Love And Live

In India, only those relationships between a man and a woman are considered to be legitimate when there is a marriage between the two.

Kohli Quits Test Captaincy, Leaves Leadership Vacuum

Kohli Quits Test Captaincy, Leaves Leadership Vacuum

Virat Kohli, 33, had recently stepped down as India's T20I captain and was subsequently removed as the ODI captain.

UP Elections 2022: How Congress Is Harnessing Power Of 'Persecuted' Women To Counter BJP

UP Elections 2022: How Congress Is Harnessing Power Of 'Persecuted' Women To Counter BJP

A Mahila Congress leader, who is the face of the ‘Ladki Hoon, Lad Sakti Hoon’ campaign, however, has accused the party of anti-women bias after she was denied a ticket.