Three points merit attention in a study on refugees in India. First, the Partition of the country or the fragmentation of India’s colonial state structure at the moment of decolonization triggered large population movements. Second, India is not a signatory to the major international agreements on displaced people, the United Nations Convention (1951) and the Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees (1967). Finally, the Indian state’s treatment meted out to refugees has not been consistent. As the study shows, state responses to cross-border displacement have varied, both regarding different groups of displaced people and regarding the same group over time. This chapter studies state–refugee relations against this backdrop and within a specific theoretical and conceptual framework.
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