South Asia Seminar Series
Thu, April 16, 2009 • 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM • Meyerson Conference Room (WCH 4.118)
The SAI seminar series features lectures by distinguished South Asian specialists from UT and abroad. Regular seminars occur on Thursdays at 3:30 pm, preceded by a reception at 3:00 pm, in the Meyerson Conference Room (WCH 4.118).Citizenship practices in the Indian state of Assam have a serious fault line. The government appears uninterested in policing borders and enforcing the citizen/alien distinction. This has drawn the ire of even the Indian Supreme Court. Certain ambiguities about citizenship in post-Partition India explain these practices. Pragmatic politicians have adapted to the reality of a post-Partition space that does not conform to the ideal-type of a bounded national territory with a clearly defined community of citizens. However, the tensions between the national order of things and the reality of a transnational space have consequences: they adversely affect governmental legitimacy. In such a context policies premised on the fiction of hard national borders that are fundamentally at odds with ground realities, cannot provide the foundation for a stable legitimate political order.