'On the run at home: the State, Internally Displaced People and River-bank erosion in Assam, India'

International Institute of Social Studies
Start date

Wednesday, 19 Sep 2018, 13:00

End date

Wednesday, 19 Sep 2018, 14:00

Room 1.31
International Institute of Social Studies
Mausumi Chetia
Mausumi Chetia

On 19 September, as part of the Migration Seminar Series, PhD researcher Mausumi Chetia will talk about people in Assam, India who are internally displaced due to riverbank erosion.

About the seminar

Riverbank erosion destroys an annual average of about 8,000 hectares of riparian land along the Brahmaputra. This erosion causes hundreds of thousands of people to be displaced every year in Assam.

‘Displaced’ persons are displaced not simply from their homes or places of habitual residence but from the world of law that establishes the principle of equality for the citizens and treats them at par with each other. This alienates the displaced people from accessing any associated entitlements and rights; provided by the state as well as various non-state actors.

Given the complex context that internal displacement in relation to riverbank erosion is an empirical reality in Assam; and that, riverbank erosion is an officially recorded event (geographically), but not an officially recognized disaster; my research examines the human security status of displaced citizens within the context of urban governance and its implications on their citizenship status.

The questions I ask include:

  • Why are displaced citizens absent from state and popular discourses in India?
  • What is the status of human security of a displaced citizen, throughout the process of her displacement until she settles into a new life in an urban area?
  • How do displaced citizens take part in matters of urban governance in their everyday lives, in terms of housing and livelihood?

About the speaker

Mausumi Chetia is a PhD candidate at ISS, working within the Erasmus University Rotterdam Vital Cities and Citizens programme.

More information

ISS Migration Seminar Series

The ISS migration seminar series is a programme of informal seminar sessions which discuss cutting-edge research on a range of issues within the broad theme of migration. Please contact Katarzyna Grabska and Cathy Wilcock for more information.