ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Narrative of Non-existence

Lost in Transition

The September 2015 Supreme Court judgment over the festering Chakma refugee issue turned the spotlight on one of the most intractable refugee issues in the history of post-independent India. Much like its first landmark verdict of 1996, this judgment also unequivocally upheld the refugees' right to Indian citizenship. Ironically, while the refugees have not benefited from the 1996 ruling over the last two decades, the verdict itself has come to attain the status of a "case law." This paper cogitates about the futility of a legal-centric approach to addressing an issue, which is deeply embedded in the complexity of state formation in modern South Asia. By unspooling the rather complex narrative of Chakmas' refugeehood and statelessness, it proposes a "solution of solidarity" approach that might help resolve what has until now proved irresolvable.

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