This research paper focuses on the question of citizenship on the basis of the case of former enclave dwellers in the Indian-Bangladesh borderland. This research investigates the Land Boundary Agreement which was signed in 2015. It provided the former enclave inhabitants the choice of nationality, India or Bangladesh. My focus is on the former enclave inhabitants who took Indian citizenship. I argue in this paper that they have acquired legal citizenship but their social rights are not settled completely. The research uses an analytical framework of citizenship in relation to territory, security, identity and rights on the backdrop of political narrative of BJP’s security and territorial concern and their politics on citizenship. This paper discusses the narrative created by BJP in differentiating a Bangladeshi infiltrators against Bangladeshi refugees and its implication on the Land Boundary Agreement. It also analyses the historical trajectory of the enclave formation and its effect on the lives of the new citizens. The research employs Bacchi’s WPR method to dissect the LBA to understand the grounds on which the agreement was signed and the basis on which legal citizenship is provided to the people and its effect on the rights of the new citizens. The findings of the research also suggest that the marginal position of the new citizens remains intact even after getting Indian citizenship as their experiences of citizenship in relation to land rights remain unresolved.

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Huijsmans, Roy
Social Policy for Development (SPD)
International Institute of Social Studies

Rupsha, Paul. (2020, December 18). ‘Settled legally but not socially’: citizenship experiences of former enclave dwellers who became the new citizens of India. Social Policy for Development (SPD). Retrieved from