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International Dialogue | 

Forced Migration in South Asia

Election Campaign
Displaced Rohingya refugees in Myanmar, till date around one million of them fled to neighbouring Bangladesh. (Photo: DFID)

Mahanirban Calcutta Research Group | Since India’s independence, the states of Bihar and West Bengal have seen the emergence of various socio-political movements. Although many of them decisively influenced the course of Indian politics, the social context which allowed them to emerge is still poorly understood.

MCRG’s goal is to analyse the political logic and social context of popular social-political movements in Bihar and West Bengal. The research covers the refugee rights movement in the 1950ies, the Bihar Movement led by Jayaprakash Narayan, and the militant movement for land, crops and dignity led by poor Dalit peasants in Bihar as well as the emergence of the Naxalite Maoist movement. By looking at historical as well as contemporary examples of social movements, the research group seeks to better understand the reasons for the success or failure of popular movements and tries to map and analyse their inner structure and logic. The critical examination of popular movements in Eastern India fills an important gap in the existing research of social movements and will provide valuable insights for political activists, trade unionists and human rights campaigners.

In the past decades, an increasing number of people, especially in the global south, were forced to leave their places of origin. Armed conflicts, the search for better working and living conditions, and the impacts of climate change have led to ceaseless population flows not only in South Asia. South Asia has noted an increase in cases of humanitarian caseloads, fault lines under forced migration like gender, race, and religion, the radicalisation of refugee and migrant questions, as well as questions of statelessness and citizenship, protracted displacement and the fractured nature of protection regimes.

Our partner Mahanirban Calcutta Research Group (MCRG), has had a nearly twenty-year-long sustained engagement with the theme of forced migration in South Asia.

About Mahanirban Calcutta Research Group

The Mahanirban Calcutta Research Group was established in 1996 as a forum for political activists and intellectuals in order to campaign for lasting peace between India and Pakistan. Its founders were a group of researchers, feminist thinkers, journalists, trade unionists and lawyers. Today CRG is well-known for its research, dialogues and advocacy work. The emphasis CRG places on the East and the Northeast of India has resulted in a strong network of scholars, activists and institutions in the region.

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