Sikh Refugee Contribution towards Khalistani Nationalism
It has been said that ethno-national identity, despite being ‘psychological’ in constitution, is territorialized in place. Indeed it is virtually impossible to conceive of any identity, particularly one that is ethno-national in variety, which does not contain a strong territorial underpinning. Yet refugees that are driven out from their homeland on account of their ethno-national identity are typically considered to constitute a de-territorialized group. However, refugees do not necessarily lose a sense of ethno-national identity after being de-territorialized. This paper contends that de-territorialized refugees, upon arrival into their host societies, endeavour to re-territorialize their persecuted identity and that such a process will likely prompt the rise of ethno-national conflict. This claim will be demonstrated with reference to the Sikh refugees that arrived from the territories of to-be/newly established West Pakistan into the eastern portion of Punjab that had remained part of India following the partition of the country in 1947.
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