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Denial and resistance: Sylheti Partition 'refugees' in Assam

This paper uses the Partition narratives of Sylheti bhodrolok refugees from East Bengal to show that these people were displaced without experiencing direct violence or violent expulsions. Based primarily on personal accounts, using memories as well as local postcolonial texts, it tries to shed some light on a category of migrants so far marginalized in Partition historiography. The attempt here is not to point out the great inconsistencies between Partition theory and reality, but to try and identify what was 'local' about the migration to Assam. Broadly, the paper argues that 'refugee-hood' continues to be a far more pluralistic experience than assumed by popular, even academic conceptions, and it is this plurality that is in urgent need of further exploration.

Anindita Dasgupta
Contemporary South Asia, Volume 10, 2001 - Issue 3, Taylor and Francis Online