DPhil Migration Studies
Research key words: Citizenship, Statelessness, Migration, Undocumented Migration, South Asia, India
Research interests: Saha’s work focuses on critical issues surrounding citizenship in India, probing the political, bureaucratic and legal processes that determine who is an Indian and who is not, and who rightfully belongs and who doesn’t. He studies the mechanisms of citizenship determination in India and the latest amendments to the national citizenship laws. One of the primary aspects of his proposed research is to probe the crucial role that paperwork, or the lack of it, plays when the state questions the citizenship status of people, who are otherwise considered de facto citizens and long-term residents, and pushes them towards the risk of becoming stateless. The study proposes to explore the triangular relationship among documents, people and the state – how tattered but treasured pieces of paper become the crucial cornerstones of establishing citizenship and shaping the modern nation-state’s understanding of identity and belongingness. The thesis will aim to relate the developments in India to broader, global questions and debates surrounding citizenship, statelessness, nationalism, bureaucracy, law, and politics.