Nullification of citizenship: negotiating authority without identity documents in coastal Odisha, India

Chhotray, Vasudha (2018) Nullification of citizenship: negotiating authority without identity documents in coastal Odisha, India. Contemporary South Asia, 26 (2). pp. 175-190. ISSN 0958-4935

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This paper discusses the case of a community of Bengali immigrant settlers along the coast of Odisha in India at the centre of a unique citizenship controversy. Families have arrived here gradually over the years since 1947, and have generally acquired a range of identity documents from Indian state agencies. These documents certify to a range of rights that signal social and political participation within India: land ownership, voting rights and the receipt of official welfare subsidies. With little warning, a 2005 order by the state government following a high court directive led to the production of a list of 1551 persons, declaring such persons as ‘infiltrators’. The list ostensibly comprises those who have entered India illegally after 1971 or born to parents who entered illegally. While no deportation, as originally intended, has taken place, the nullification of their various documents of citizenship has created a void in their lives. This paper examines the wider politics of the case, especially focusing on how those with nullified documents negotiate the authority of the local state and actors within their own society, and what this reveals about the ever contested nature of citizenship in post-partition India.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: citizenship,identity documents,refugees,immigrants,india,sdg 16 - peace, justice and strong institutions ,/dk/atira/pure/sustainabledevelopmentgoals/peace_justice_and_strong_institutions
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of International Development
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Global Environmental Justice
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > The State, Governance and Conflict
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Centres > Water Security Research Centre
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2017 01:45
Last Modified: 12 May 2023 00:06
DOI: 10.1080/09584935.2017.1303445

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