Contested Coastlines: Fisherfolk, Nations and Borders in South Asia, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Contested Coastlines

Fisherfolk, Nations and Borders in South Asia, 1st Edition

By Charu Gupta, Mukul Sharma

Routledge India

228 pages

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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.

Table of Contents

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

About the Authors

Charu Gupta is Post-doctoral Fellow at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, Delhi and teaches history at the University of Delhi. She did her PhD from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Her publications include the book Sexuality, Obscenity, Community: Women, Muslims and the Hindu Public in Colonial India (2001), and several articles on gender, sexuality, fundamentalism and nationalism in various national and international journals.

Mukul Sharma is Director of Amnesty International in India. He is a journalist, writer, trade unionist and a developmental professional and writes extensively on environment, development and labour. He has authored Landscapes and Lives: Environmental Dispatches on Rural India (2001) and edited Improving People’s Lives: Lessons in Empowerment from Asia (2003).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Economic Development
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Regional Planning
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General