The Bengal Diaspora

Rethinking Muslim migration

Author: Claire Alexander,Joya Chatterji,Annu Jalais

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317335929

Category: History

Page: 304

View: 5903

India’s partition in 1947 and the creation of Bangladesh in 1971 saw the displacement and resettling of millions of Muslims and Hindus, resulting in profound transformations across the region. A third of the region’s population sought shelter across new borders, almost all of them resettling in the Bengal delta itself. A similar number were internally displaced, while others moved to the Middle East, North America and Europe. Using a creative interdisciplinary approach combining historical, sociological and anthropological approaches to migration and diaspora this book explores the experiences of Bengali Muslim migrants through this period of upheaval and transformation. It draws on over 200 interviews conducted in Britain, India, and Bangladesh, tracing migration and settlement within, and from, the Bengal delta region in the period after 1947. Focussing on migration and diaspora ‘from below’, it teases out fascinating ‘hidden’ migrant stories, including those of women, refugees, and displaced people. It reveals surprising similarities, and important differences, in the experience of Muslim migrants in widely different contexts and places, whether in the towns and hamlets of Bengal delta, or in the cities of Britain. Counter-posing accounts of the structures that frame migration with the textures of how migrants shape their own movement, it examines what it means to make new homes in a context of diaspora. The book is also unique in its focus on the experiences of those who stayed behind, and in its analysis of ruptures in the migration process. Importantly, the book seeks to challenge crude attitudes to ‘Muslim’ migrants, which assume their cultural and religious homogeneity, and to humanize contemporary discourses around global migration. This ground-breaking new research offers an essential contribution to the field of South Asian Studies, Diaspora Studies, and Society and Culture Studies.

Routledge Handbook of the South Asian Diaspora

Author: Joya Chatterji,David Washbrook

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1136018247

Category: History

Page: 430

View: 6021

South Asia’s diaspora is among the world’s largest and most widespread, and it is growing exponentially. It is estimated that over 25 million persons of Indian descent live abroad; and many more millions have roots in other countries of the subcontinent, in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. There are 3 million South Asians in the UK and approximately the same number resides in North America. South Asians are an extremely significant presence in Southeast Asia and Africa, and increasingly visible in the Middle East. This inter-disciplinary handbook on the South Asian diaspora brings together contributions by leading scholars and rising stars on different aspects of its history, anthropology and geography, as well as its contemporary political and socio-cultural implications. The Handbook is split into five main sections, with chapters looking at mobile South Asians in the early modern world before moving on to discuss diaspora in relation to empire, nation, nation state and the neighbourhood, and globalisation and culture. Contributors highlight how South Asian diaspora has influenced politics, business, labour, marriage, family and culture. This much needed and pioneering venture provides an invaluable reference work for students, scholars and policy makers interested in South Asian Studies.

The Spoils of Partition

Bengal and India, 1947–1967

Author: Joya Chatterji

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1139468308

Category: History

Page: N.A

View: 9375

The partition of India in 1947 was a seminal event of the twentieth century. Much has been written about the Punjab and the creation of West Pakistan; by contrast, little is known about the partition of Bengal. This remarkable book by an acknowledged expert on the subject assesses the social, economic and political consequences of partition. Using compelling sources, the book, which was originally published in 2007, shows how and why the borders were redrawn, how the creation of new nation states led to unprecedented upheavals, massive shifts in population and wholly unexpected transformations of the political landscape in both Bengal and India. The book also reveals how the spoils of partition, which the Congress in Bengal had expected from the new boundaries, were squandered over the twenty years which followed. This is an intriguing and challenging work whose findings change our understanding and its consequences for the history of the subcontinent.

Being Bengali

At Home and in the World

Author: Mridula Nath Chakraborty

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317818903

Category: Social Science

Page: 236

View: 9186

Bengal has long been one of the key centres of civilisation and culture in the Indian subcontinent. However, Bengali identity – "Bengaliness" – is complicated by its long history of evolution, the fact that Bengal is now divided between India and Bangladesh, and by virtue of a very large international diaspora from both parts of Bengal. This book explores a wide range of issues connected with Bengali identity. Amongst other subjects, it considers the special problems arising as a result of the division of Bengal, and concludes by demonstrating that there are many factors which make for the idea of a Bengali identity.

Crossing the Bay of Bengal

Author: Sunil S. Amrith

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674728475

Category: History

Page: N.A

View: 3853

For centuries the Bay of Bengal served as a maritime highway between India and China, and as a battleground for European empires, while being shaped by monsoons and human migration. Integrating environmental history and mining a wealth of sources, Sunil S. Amrith offers insights to the many challenges facing Asia in the decades ahead.

Forest of Tigers

People, Politics and Environment in the Sundarbans

Author: Annu Jalais

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1136198687

Category: Social Science

Page: 268

View: 6253

Acclaimed for its unique ecosystem and Royal Bengal tigers, the mangrove islands that comprise the Sundarbans area of the Bengal delta are the setting for this pioneering anthropological work. The key question that the author explores is: what do tigers mean for the islanders of the Sundarbans? The diverse origins and current occupations of the local population produce different answers to this question – but for all, ‘the tiger question’ is a significant social marker. Far more than through caste, tribe or religion, the Sundarbans islanders articulate their social locations and interactions by reference to the non-human world – the forest and its terrifying protagonist, the man-eating tiger. The book combines rich ethnography on a little-known region with contemporary theoretical insights to provide a new frame of reference to understand social relations in the Indian subcontinent. It will be of interest to scholars and students of anthropology, sociology, development studies, religion and cultural studies, as well as those working on environment, conservation, the state and issues relating to discrimination and marginality.

Migration and Diaspora in Modern Asia

Author: Sunil S. Amrith

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1139497030

Category: History

Page: N.A

View: 8376

Migration is at the heart of Asian history. For centuries migrants have tracked the routes and seas of their ancestors - merchants, pilgrims, soldiers and sailors - along the Silk Road and across the Indian Ocean and the China Sea. Over the last 150 years, however, migration within Asia and beyond has been greater than at any other time in history. Sunil S. Amrith's engaging and deeply informative book crosses a vast terrain, from the Middle East to India and China, tracing the history of modern migration. Animated by the voices of Asian migrants, it tells the stories of those forced to flee from war and revolution, and those who left their homes and their families in search of a better life. These stories of Asian diasporas can be joyful or poignant, but they all speak of an engagement with new landscapes and new peoples.

Women, Religion and the Body in South Asia

Living with Bengali Bauls

Author: Kristin Hanssen

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 135135759X

Category: Social Science

Page: 214

View: 1058

Noted for their haunting melodies and enigmatic lyrics, Bauls have been portrayed as spiritually enlightened troubadours traveling around the countryside in West Bengal in India and in Bangladesh. As emblems of Bengali culture, Bauls have long been a subject of scholarly debates which center on their esoteric practices, and middle class imaginaries of the category Baul. Adding to this literature, the intimate ethnography presented in this book recounts the life stories of members from a single family, shining light on their past and present tribulations bound up with being poor and of a lowly caste. It shows that taking up the Baul path is a means of softening the stigma of their lower caste identity in that religious practice, where women play a key role, renders the body pure. The path is also a source of monetary income in that begging is considered part of their vocation. For women, the Baul path has the added implication of lessening constraints of gender. While the book describes a family of singers, it also portrays the wider society in which they live, showing how their lives connect and interlace with other villagers, a theme not previously explored in literature on Bauls. A novel approach to the study of women, the body and religion, this book will be of interest to undergraduates and graduates in the field of the anthropology. In addition, it will appeal to students of everyday religious lives as experienced by the poor, through case studies in South Asia. The book provides further evidence that renunciation in South Asia is not a uniform path, despite claims to the contrary. There is also a special interest in Bauls among those familiar with the Bengali speaking region. While this book speaks to that interest, its wider appeal lies in the light it sheds on religion, the body, life histories, and poverty.

Death and Dying in India

Ageing and End-Of-Life Care of the Elderly

Author: Suhita Chopra Chatterjee

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

ISBN: 1351857487

Category:

Page: N.A

View: 2077

Most aged in India are experiencing a highly protracted death in hospitals, entangled in tubes and machines. Such 'medicalised death' entails huge psychological, social and financial costs for both patients and their caregivers. There are also many who are dying in abject neglect. However, Government response to end-of-life care has been almost negligible and there is an acute information deficit on dying matters. This book examines different settings where elderly die, including hospitals, family homes and palliative set-ups. The discourse is set in the backdrop of international attempts to restructure and reconfigure the health delivery system for ageing population. It makes critical commentaries on global developments, offers state-of-art reviews of recent advances, substantiates and corroborates facts by personal narratives and case histories. The book overcomes a segmental understanding of the field by weaving various sociological, medical, legal and cultural issues together. Finally, the authors critically examine biomedicine's potential to meet the complex needs of the dying elderly. In an attempt to bring cultural sensitivity in end-of-life care, they explore the lost Indic 'art of dying' which has the potential to de- medicalise death. Increasing public sensitivity to poor dying conditions of the elderly in India and facilitating changes to improve care systems, this book also demonstrates the limitations of the western specialization of death. It will be of interest to academics in the field of Medical Sociology/Anthropology, Medicine, Palliative care, Public Health and Social Work, Social Policy and Asian Studies.

Being Young in Super-Aging Japan

Formative Events and Cultural Reactions

Author: Patrick Heinrich,Christian Galan

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 135102504X

Category: Social Science

Page: 230

View: 4439

Japan is not only the oldest society in the world today, but also the oldest society to have ever existed. This aging trend, however, presents many challenges to contemporary Japan, as it permeates all areas of life, from the economy and welfare to social cohesion and population decline. Nobody is more affected by these changes than the young generation. This book studies Japanese youth in the aging society in detail. It analyses formative events and cultural reactions. Themes include employment, parenthood, sexuality, but also art, literature and language, thus demonstrating how the younger generation can provide insights into the future of Japanese society more generally. This book argues that the prolonged crisis resulted in a commonly shared destabilization of thoughts and attitudes and that this has shaped a new generation that is unlike any other in post-war Japan. Presenting an inter-disciplinary approach to the study of the aging trend and what it implies for young Japanese, this book will be useful to students and scholars of Japanese culture and society, as well cultural anthropology and demography.

Employment, Poverty and Rights in India

Author: Dayabati Roy

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1351065408

Category: Social Science

Page: 194

View: 8227

In comparison to other social groups, India’s rural poor – and particularly Adivasis and Dalits - have seen little benefit from the country’s economic growth over the last three decades. Though economists and statisticians are able to model the form and extent of this inequality, their work is rarely concerned with identifying possible causes. Employment, Poverty and Rights in India analyses unemployment in India and explains why the issues of employment and unemployment should be the appropriate prism to understand the status of wellbeing in India. The author provides a historical analysis of policy interventions on behalf of the colonial and postcolonial state with regard to the alleviation of unemployment and poverty in India and in West Bengal in particular. Arguing that, as long as poverty - either as a concept or as an empirical condition - remains as a technical issue to be managed by governmental technologies, the ‘poor’ will be held responsible for their own fate and the extent of poverty will continue to increase. The book contends that rural unemployment in India is not just an economic issue but a political process that has consistently been shaped by various socio-economic, political and cultural factors since the colonial period. The analysis which depends mainly on ethnography extends to the implementation of the ‘New Rights Agenda’, such as the MGNREGA, at the rural margin. Challenging the dominant approach to poverty, this book will be of interest to scholars working in the fields of South Asian studies, Indian Political Economy, contemporary political theories, poverty studies, neo-liberalism, sociology and social anthropology as well as development studies.

Historical Dictionary of the Bengalis

Author: Kunal Chakrabarti,Shubhra Chakrabarti

Publisher: Scarecrow Press

ISBN: 0810880245

Category: History

Page: 604

View: 1190

The Historical Dictionary of the Bengalis provides an overview of the Bengalis across the world from the earliest Chalcolithic cultures to the present. This is done through a chronology, an introductory essay, and an extensive bibliography. The dictionary section has over 750 cross-referenced dictionary entries on politicians, educators and entrepreneurs, leaders of religious and secular institutions, writers, painters, actors and other cultural figures, and more generally, on the economy, education, political parties, religions, women and minorities, literature, art and architecture, music, cinema and other major sectors. This book is an excellent access point for students, researchers, and anyone wanting to know more about the Bengalis.

Provincial Globalization in India

Transregional Mobilities and Development Politics

Author: Carol Upadhya,Mario Rutten,Leah Koskimaki

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1351631071

Category: Social Science

Page: 194

View: 4868

The movement of people from small towns and villages of India to places outside the country raises a number of questions– about the networks that enable their mobility, the aspirations that motivate them, what they give back to their home regions, and how their provincial home worlds engage with and absorb the consequent transnational flows of money, ideas, influence and care. This book analyzes the social consequences of the transmission of migrant resources to provincial places in India. Bringing together case studies from four regions, it demonstrates that these flows are very diverse, are inflected by regional histories of mobility and development, and may reinforce local power structures or instigate social change in unexpected ways. The chapters collected in this volume examine conflicts over migrant-funded education or rural development projects, how migrants from Dalit, Muslim and other marginalized groups use their new wealth to promote social progress or equality in their home regions, and why migrants invest in property in provincial India or return regularly to their ancestral homes to revitalize ritual traditions. These studies also demonstrate that diaspora philanthropy is routed largely through social networks based on caste, community or kinship ties, thereby extending them spatially, and illustrate how migrant efforts to ‘develop’ their home regions may become entangled in local politics or influence state policies. This collection of eight original ethnographic field studies develops new theoretical insights into the diverse outcomes of international migration and the influences of regional diasporas within India. These collected studies illustrate the various ways in which migrants remain socially, economical and politically influential in their home regions. The book develops a fresh perspective on the connections between transnational migration and processes of development, revealing how provincial India has become deeply globalized. It will be of interest to academics and students in the fields of anthropology, geography, transnational and diaspora studies, and South Asian studies.

Revelry, Rivalry, and Longing for the Goddesses of Bengal

The Fortunes of Hindu Festivals

Author: Rachel Fell McDermott

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 023112919X

Category: Religion

Page: 372

View: 6242

Annually during the months of autumn, Bengal hosts three interlinked festivals to honor its most important goddesses: Durga, Kali, and Jagaddhatri. While each of these deities possesses a distinct iconography, myth, and character, they are all martial. Durga, Kali, and Jagaddhatri often demand blood sacrifice as part of their worship and offer material and spiritual benefits to their votaries. Richly represented in straw, clay, paint, and decoration, they are similarly displayed in elaborately festooned temples, thronged by thousands of admirers. The first book to recount the history of these festivals and their revelry, rivalry, and nostalgic power, this volume marks an unprecedented achievement in the mapping of a major public event. Rachel Fell McDermott describes the festivals' origins and growth under British rule. She identifies their iconographic conventions and carnivalesque qualities and their relationship to the fierce, Tantric sides of ritual practice. McDermott confronts controversies over the tradition of blood sacrifice and the status-seekers who compete for symbolic capital. Expanding her narrative, she takes readers beyond Bengal's borders to trace the transformation of the goddesses and their festivals across the world. McDermott's work underscores the role of holidays in cultural memory, specifically the Bengali evocation of an ideal, culturally rich past. Under the thrall of the goddess, the social, political, economic, and religious identity of Bengalis takes shape.

Qiaopi Trade and Transnational Networks in the Chinese Diaspora

Author: Gregor Benton,Hong Liu,Huimei Zhang

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781138081062

Category: Emigrant remittances

Page: 184

View: 3518

Originating in the 1820s and used for 150 years thereafter, qiaopi is the name given in Chinese to letters written home by Chinese emigrants to accompany remittances. Their key function was to preserve family ties. Although such correspondence focused principally on the provision of economic support, the qiaopi also touched on cultural, political, educational, and gender themes. This book therefore seeks to examine the qiaopi from two interconnected perspectives. One views qiaopi from a political and institutional angle, the other from a financial and social angle. Bringing together the extensive research of a group of international scholars, this multi-authored volume sheds light on the larger significance of the qiaopi for modern China. Taking an empirical, evidence-driven approach, the contributors employ a wide range of primary sources in both Chinese and English and relate their findings to scholarship in both the Chinese-speaking world and in non-Chinese interdisciplinary fields. In so doing, this book helps to bridge the gap between Chinese- and English-speaking researchers in the field of qiaopi studies. As one of the first books in English on the qiaopi trade and its significance, this book will appeal to students and scholars of Chinese history and Chinese migration, as well in Migration Studies and Diaspora Studies more generally.

Routledge Handbook of the South Asian Diaspora

Author: Joya Chatterji,David Washbrook

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1136018247

Category: History

Page: 430

View: 8460

South Asia’s diaspora is among the world’s largest and most widespread, and it is growing exponentially. It is estimated that over 25 million persons of Indian descent live abroad; and many more millions have roots in other countries of the subcontinent, in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. There are 3 million South Asians in the UK and approximately the same number resides in North America. South Asians are an extremely significant presence in Southeast Asia and Africa, and increasingly visible in the Middle East. This inter-disciplinary handbook on the South Asian diaspora brings together contributions by leading scholars and rising stars on different aspects of its history, anthropology and geography, as well as its contemporary political and socio-cultural implications. The Handbook is split into five main sections, with chapters looking at mobile South Asians in the early modern world before moving on to discuss diaspora in relation to empire, nation, nation state and the neighbourhood, and globalisation and culture. Contributors highlight how South Asian diaspora has influenced politics, business, labour, marriage, family and culture. This much needed and pioneering venture provides an invaluable reference work for students, scholars and policy makers interested in South Asian Studies.

Muslims in Motion

Islam and National Identity in the Bangladeshi Diaspora

Author: Nazli Kibria

Publisher: Rutgers University Press

ISBN: 0813550556

Category: Social Science

Page: 167

View: 5780

In Muslims in Motion, Nazli Kibria provides a comparative look at Bangladeshi Muslims in different global contexts--including Britain, the U.S., the Middle East, and Malaysia. Kibria examines international migrant flows from Bangladesh, and considers how such migrations continue to shape Islamization in these areas. Having conducted more than 200 in-depth interviews, she explores how, in societies as different as these, migrant Muslims, in their everyday lives, strive to achieve economic gains, sustain community and family life, and realize a sense of dignity and honor. Muslims in Motion offers fresh insights into the prominence of Islam in these communities, especially an Islam defined by fundamentalist movements and ideologies. Kibria also focuses on the complex significance of nationality--with rich analyses of the diaspora, the role of gender and class, and the multiple identities of the migrants, she shows how nationality can be both a critical source of support and also of difficulty for many in their efforts to attain lives of dignity. By bringing to life a vast range of experiences, this book challenges prevailing stereotypes of Muslims.

Bengali Harlem and the Lost Histories of South Asian America

Author: Vivek Bald

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674070402

Category: History

Page: 318

View: 8833

Nineteenth-century Muslim peddlers arrived at Ellis Island, bags heavy with embroidered silks from their villages in Bengal. Demand for “Oriental goods” took these migrants on a curious path, from New Jersey’s boardwalks into the segregated South. Bald’s history reveals cross-racial affinities below the surface of early twentieth-century America.