Paper: Politics of Protection: A Study of India's Response as a Host State

Paper details

Paper authors Madhusmita Jena
In panel on Humanitarianism and Inequality
Paper presenter(s) will be presenting In-Person / Online


Committed to the doctrine of peaceful co-existence and brotherhood of humankind, historically India has provided space to thousands of refugees for centuries. These assimilating cultures notwithstanding refugees in India neither have any legal status, nor any clear protection regime to turn for help. In the absence of any national law for refugees, India deals with them at the political and administrative level. The refugees are, therefore, dependent on the benevolence of the state rather than on the regime of rights to reconstruct their lives in dignity. Nevertheless protection and assistance is offered to the refugees, void of any legal sanction. In the absence of any refugee specific law, it treats refugees based on their national origin and political considerations, questioning the uniformity of rights and privileges granted to refugee community (Nair 2008). This has often led to discriminatory response to different refugee groups and for the same group over a period of time on its territory. Against this backdrop, the present paper endeavours to explore the response of India as a host state to different refugee groups. The empirical focus of the study is India’s response to the Tibetan refugees and the recent arrival of the Rohingyas on its territory.



Madhusmita Jena