Causes and impact of displacement

Causes and impact of displacement

Causes of Displacement

In India, the following are causes of displacement:

i) Political causes, including secessionist movements

a) Since independence, north-east India has witnessed two major armed conflicts: the Naga movement primarily led by the national Socialist Council of Nagaland, and the Assam movement led by the All Assam students Union and largely taken over by the extremist United Liberation Front of Assam. The violence and retaliatory responses from the government and other forces opposed to secessionists continue to generate a steady flow of displaced people.

b) In Kashmir’s ‘war’ between state forces and militants, the killing of Kashmiri Pandits by fundamentalist secessionist groups, the widespread anarchy created by political instability and the continuous violation of fundamental human rights by both the state and militant
groups, have led to large scale displacement mainly of Kashmiri pundits (estimated at 250,000), to Jammu and cities like Delhi.

2.Identity-based autonomy movements

Identity-based autonomy movements, have also led to violence and displacement. This has happened in Punjab and more recently in the Bodo Autonomous Council area of western Assam. ‘Cleansing’ of non-Bodo communities by the Bodos, through plunder, arson, massacre and persecution, has forced a large number of non-Bodos to flee. They now live in camps.

3. Localized Violence

Internal displacement has also arisen from caste disputes (as in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh), religious fundamentalism (as in urban riots in Bombay, Coimbatore, Bhagalpur and Aligarh) and aggressive denial of residency and employment rights to non-indigenous groups by supporters of the ‘sonof- the soil policy’ (as in Meghalaya by the Khasi students and in Arunachal Pradesh against the Chakmas).

4. Environmental and development induced displacement

In order to achieve rapid economic growth, India has invested in industrial projects, dams, roads, mines, power plants and new cities which have been made possible only through massive acquisition of land and subsequent displacement of people.

5. Disaster-induced displacement

Natural disasters have caused major loss of life and widespread social, economic, and environmental destruction over the last decade. Usually, it is less-developed countries and/or regions that are affected most, with those most vulnerable in such areas at higher risk. Disasters affect men and women differently and also have a different impact depending on the cultural and socio-economic context. This is important for disaster reduction approaches and sustainable development. Women, due to their greater marginalization and gender inequalities, are thought to be more at risk, although there is a
lack of gender-sensitive statistics. Their vulnerability arises from their unequal work burden, due to productive and reproductive responsibilities, their lack of control over resources, restricted mobility, and limited education and employment opportunities.