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Border-Crossings, Displacements and Diasporas


Aparna Rayaprol

INTERNAL DISPLACEMENT IN SOUTH ASIA
Edited by Paula Banerjee , Sabyasachi Basu Ray Chaudhry and Samir Kumar Das 
Sage Publications, Delhi, 2005, pp. 370, Rs. 350.00

OVERSEAS INDIANS: THE GLOBAL FAMILY
By Shubha Singh
Shipra Publications, Delhi and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies, Kolkata, 2005, pp. 223, Rs. 495.00

THE ITINERANT INDIAN
Edited by Aruna Nambiar
Unisun Publications, Bangalore, 2005, pp. 234, Rs. 295.00

THE INDIAN DIASPORA
Edited by N. Jayaram
Sage Publications, Delhi, 2004, pp. 244, Rs. 340.00

INDIA ABROAD: DIASPORIC CULTURES OF POST-WAR AMERICA AND ENGLAND
By Sandhya Shukla
Orient Longman, New Delhi, 2003, pp. 322, Rs. 395.00

VOLUME XXIX NUMBER 12 December 2005

When The Book Review editors asked me to review five books on Indians abroad I was intrigued and challenged as they were not only from different disciplines but deal with a common theme of migration and settlement or displacement of people of South Asian origin from very distinct perspectives. From political exile and displacement because of natural disasters, one is looking at voluntary migration for purely economic and personal fulfillment reasons. The books under review are all looking at movements of people, from forced to voluntary migrations, and with historical, political science, economic, sociological and literary perspectives.   Internal Displacement in South Asia looks at displacement including that caused by natural disasters as well as conflict-induced displacement in seven countries in South Asia including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nepal, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. The Calcutta Research Group (CRG) composed of academics, journalists, gender specialists, lawyers and refugee experts has been contributing to the international effort to develop an efficient system of dealing with internal displacement in South Asia. The papers in this volume were an outcome of the research conducted by specialists and presented at a workshop held in Columbo in 2003. The collection of essays is a sequel to the earlier Sage volume Refugees and the State and this one is an analysis of the seven countries within the context of the United Nations’ Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement. David Fisher’s detailed discussion of the Guiding Principles of the UN on Internal Displacement highlights interesting facts about forced migrations, refugees and legal rights of these displaced people. The document is also supposed to serve as a guide to nations who have been challenged with all kinds of internal displacement. Many nations such as Angola, Burundi, Columbia and Liberia have referred to them in their domestic laws.   The book also looks at how women’s experiences of displacement are quite different from that of men. In Afghanistan displacement of women means a total restriction of their freedom and mobility even in the refugee camps. Mossarat Quadeem has presented the perspectives of women who have not only have had to cope with loss but also deal with various kinds of harassment as a consequence of displacement. Paula Banerjee attempts to assess the ways in which the countries of South Asia have integrated gender sensitivity into the programs for displaced communities. Women’s experiences of destitution, evictions, trafficking, and sexual assault by police ...


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