Borders, Histories, Existences: Gender and Beyond by Paula Banerjee

By Paula Banerjee

Borders, Histories, Existences: Gender and past contends that borders are, through definition, traces of inclusion and exclusion validated by means of the country. It analyses how states build borders and check out to lead them to static and inflexible and the way bordered existences, similar to ladies, migrant staff and sufferers of human trafficking, destabilise the inflexible constructs. It explores the political stipulations that experience made borders tricky in post-colonial South Asia and the way those borders became areas of utmost keep watch over or violence.

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In the last decade a few studies have tried to address these issues. 46 This book is also meant to be part of that genre where borders are analysed not from the perspective of the state or security but from the perspective of the people who inhabit, who cross them, make them insignificant and try to appropriate the borders themselves. But whether they are able to transcend from being bordered existences is a later story. For now, in the next few chapters, we will see how borders are formed—be they geographical, ethnic at legal.

R. Roy (Calcutta: Institute of Historical Studies, 1986). 37. , Reflections of Partition in the East (New Delhi: Vikas, 1997). 38. Romila Thapar, ‘Seminar on Ideas in the 18th and 19th Centuries— A Report,’ Enquiry 1 no. 3 (Winter, 1964): 114–30. 39. Jawaharlal Nehru, The Discovery of India (Calcutta: John Day Company, 1946), 538–39. 40. Sudipto Kaviraj, ‘A Critique of the Passive Revolution,’ in State and Politics in India, ed. Partha Chatterjee (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1997), 45–88. 41.

4 Borders, Histories, Existences Hence, a plethora of acts began appearing on immigration and emigration. If foreigners were the ‘others’ then refugees were the markers of that ‘otherness’ inside. Attitude towards refugees was evolved on this notion of difference/alien/‘other’. Thus even today asylum seekers are often convicted under the jurisdiction of the Foreigners Act of 1946. Therefore, to understand practices towards refugees it is essential to explore how notions of foreign and alien evolved and merged into the project of state building.

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