Fisherfolk, Nations and Borders in South Asia
Routledge India – 2008 – 228 pages
This book is about the tragic journeys and livelihood insecurities of coastal fisherfolk jailed by India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh for having entered each other’s territorial waters. While reflecting on national anxieties and the deleterious politics of boundaries, it reveals how these fisherfolk create alternative maps and a new world of ‘debordering’.
These fishworkers and coastal conflicts have been subjects of everyday news, but never a subject of serious study. A first of its kind, the present book breaks new ground by examining the journeys of these fisherfolk and coastal conflicts in South Asia from several overlapping but distinct perspectives: declining sea resources, security and border anxieties, suffering of the fisherfolk, their ambiguous identities and transnational movements. The book is also innovative in terms of methodology: it is fisherfolk-centric as it marginalizes the concerns of the state from the perspective of security; it questions the very basis of security and argues for a shift in its perspective.
1. Introduction 2. Beyond Borders: The Indian Ocean Region in South Asia 3. Fisherfolk as ‘Prisoners of War’: India and Pakistan 4. The Killing Waters: India and Sri Lanka 5. Ironies of Identities: India and Bangladesh 6. ‘Unruly’ Fisherfolk in the Eyes of Law 7. Conclusion. Notes and References. Index