Internal Displacement in South Asia 
Edited by Paula Banerjee, Sabyasachi Basu Ray Chaudhury, Samir Kumar Das
(Sage Publications, New Delhi, 2004 on behalf of CRG)
This book deals with the situation of internally displaced people - those who have been forcibly displaced by natural disasters or development projects. Each chapter is a case study authored by specialists from seven countries - India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Mayanmar and Afghanistan. The latter two countries have been included for their shared ethnic continuities with people of the neighbouring countries. The authors provide recommendations on how to minimize the insecurity of the displaced, as well as suggesting early warning systems as preventive measures to forestall displacement at the outset.



Research Paper 

Policies and Practices 16
The Draft National Rehabilitation Policy: A Critique

The Draft National Rehabilitation Policy (2006): A Critique is published as part of the 16 Policies and Practices that CRG brings out regularly. It has two sections; Section I traces the evolution of the draft and brings it to its present status under the UPA Government. Under it, The sub-sections i - iii deal with the specificities of NRP 2006. The first sub section argues that the principle of eminent domain has its legal roots in the colonial times. The second subsection focuses more on the draft itself and points out its shortcomings. The third sub section continues with the critique and raises the larger question of political will – or more accurately the lack of it that is held responsible for the shortcomings outlined in the second part. In Section II we have provided a short critique of the Communal Violence (Prevention, Control and Rehabilitation of Victims) Bill, 2005. The study then attempts to conclude the combined critique of the bill and the NRP Policy. Though the bill and the policy are not on the same platform for being different by nature and their potential enforceability, we have included it in this study as both the bill and the policy seek to deal with the question of relief and rehabilitation. More importantly both the drafts, if studied in a comparative way will enlighten the reader about the rationality of nation building and rebuilding and the instrument(s) though which the state makes such attempts according to this logic.

Essays by Walter Fernandes, Priyanca Mathur Velath, Madhuresh Kumar, Ishita Dey, Sanam Roohi and Samir Kumar Das

Policies and Practices 15
Conflict, War & Displacement: Accounts of Chhattisgarh & Batticaloa

The two studies presented here are based on a unique understanding of the lives of people displaced due to conflict in Indian subcontinent. Both these studies try to understand the situation of the camps, internal camp politics and issues of right to return and its implications.

Subhas Mohapatra in his study Conflict-Induced Displacement in Chhattisgarh: Analysis and Situation Report on The Displacement Camps tries to understand the condition of the internally displaced persons through an analysis of relief the six relief camps Dornapal, Erabore, Injrem, Konta, Pollampalli and Mariguda. The findings of the study focus on situation of the displaced within the camps and also on situation of those displaced outside the camps. One of the interesting dimensions of the study is how people have been forced to migrate to camps from conflict torn villages and how these camps are become sites of “state” power. Chathuri Jayasooriya in her study The ‘Right to Return’: Commentary on the Return of the IDPs in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka focuses only on the returns which took place to Vaharai in East Batticaloa and Vellaveli in West Batticaloa. Batticaloa is the only Tamil majority district in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka. Over the years, it has been the site of multiple displacements, housing a large number of IDPs on the run for decades, displaced and re-displaced on multiple accounts. In her study, she examines conduciveness of return sites, options presented to the returnees, the psycho-social impacts of displacement, gendering of conflict and post-conflict situations, empowerment of the IDPs and their participation in decision-making processes and various other dimensions.

Essays by Subash Mohapatra and Chathuri Jayasooriya

Policies and Practices 12

A Status Report on Displacement in Assam & Manipur


While inter-ethnic conflicts have by no means been rare in India’s Northeast, population displacement induced by such conflicts is sharply on the rise particularly since the 1980s. Conflicts and violence confined in the past mainly to the armed groups and the security forces of the state seldom triggered off population displacement of such scale and magnitude as one notices now. It is important that we take note of the changing dynamics of conflicts and violence in the region. Conflicts today have acquired a truly mass character in the sense that they show an alarming propensity of engulfing an ever-greater number of people involved in them. In this situation, it is ironic that the two rights of home and homeland run at cross-purposes. This has its implications for the politics, ecology and topography of the region. Mixed areas with historically practised exchanges and transactions between communities are at peril. And, thus for instance, never before in its history has Manipur been so much divided as it is now. Internal displacements sparked off by conflicts are a product of many a hidden partition in the society seldom officially acknowledged. This study on fifty years of population displacement in Manipur tells us the story of a society that has hit almost a blind alley with little clue as to how to cross the divides and negotiate its rapidly changing ethnic landscape. We need to complement it with many other stories. As various stories marked by these divides unfold, they reveal a surprisingly similar structure – a structure that constantly reminds us of how violence once initiated eventually gathers its own momentum and takes its toll on each one of us – big or small, powerful or powerless. The essay on Assam prods us to think in terms of formulating an agenda that takes us beyond the given fault lines. It underlines the need for dialogues as a means of addressing the issues of rights and justice. We cannot ignore the fact that the development-induced displacement against this backdrop of ethnic tensions has complicated the problem related to rights and justice in India’s Northeast even more.

Essays by Monirul Hussain and Pradip Phanjoubam