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On Uncertain GroundDisplaced Kashmiri Pandits in Jammu and Kashmir$
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Ankur Datta

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199466771

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199466771.001.0001

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Living in a Place of Exception

Living in a Place of Exception

The Politics of Place and Everyday Life in a Displaced Persons’ Camp in Jammu and Kashmir

(p.71) 3 Living in a Place of Exception
On Uncertain Ground

Ankur Datta

Oxford University Press

The forced migrant camp constitutes a significant component in imagining the experience of forced migration as a space of exception to normal life. This chapter explores camps established by the Indian state to accommodate homeless Kashmiri Pandits from 1990 until their closure in 2011. Since their establishment, the camps have evolved into thriving localities. Through close ethnographic attention to one camp, this chapter examines everyday life in that ‘place of exception’, while considering the spatial politics of the camp within the larger context of the cityscape of Jammu. The meanings of camps are refracted through the discourses and practices of state agents, political organizations, and differently-positioned residents. The chapter shows how camps seemingly transform from places of exception into sites of ordinary life. Yet, this transformation remains incomplete due to changing political contexts and their use in representing the interests of the migrants.

Keywords:   camps, Kashmiri Pandits, Jammu, state of exception, space and place, everyday, ordinary

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