South Asia and Migration

In a new review at the JCA publisher’s website, Diotima Chattoraj reviews Borders and Mobility in South Asia and Beyond edited by Reece Jones and Md. Azmeary Ferdoush. The book is published by Amsterdam University Press.

Chattoraj begins with the observation that the collection “does what it says in its title, investigating the story of borders and migration in South Asia in the twenty-first century by emphasising the experiences of the South Asian migrants, their journeys to new homes and ‘diasporic representations of mobility and borders’.” This, she says, is welcome as literature of this kind remains relatively thin.

At 278 pages, the collection cover a wide range of related topics. In three parts and including an editors’ introduction, the first part, comprises three chapters that focus on “the lingering impact of the 1947 Partition for borders and its impact on the lives of the people residing in the borderlands.” A second section, of five chapters, “discusses long distance migrations, both within South Asia and to the Middle East and Europe.” The third part with three chapters “narrates the experiences of South Asian diaspora in Africa, Europe and Fiji through literature and memories.” It is followed by an editors’ conclusion.

Chattoraj concludes the review, stating:

The collection brings together a varied group of international and social scientists. Together they contribute to a growing literature on borders in South Asia by focusing on the migrants’ daily encounters and how their lives are affected each time they move across a border. The collection contributes to the literature on place-making, arguing that the South Asian diaspora is in a constant process of relating both to present and past homes. And, of course, as more South Asians join the global diaspora, the relevance of this book will increase.

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