Spatial Demography

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 159–178 | Cite as

Bangladeshi and Inter-state Migrants: Differential Adaptation and Acceptance by the Locals in West Bengal, India

  • Bhaswati DasEmail author
  • Rabiul Ansary


Naturalization of foreign nationals following the legal procedure is extremely difficult in India as it has complex constitutional prohibitions. Current study is based on a primary survey conducted on 653 Bengali speaking Hindu households migrated from Bangladesh mostly after 1980 and a control group of 130 non-Bengali-speaking households of internal migrants. India has experienced two phases of refugee flow coming from current country, Bangladesh, (1) in 1947, after India experienced partition of the country and acquired Independence and (2) in 1971, when East Pakistan was separated from west in order to create Bangladesh. The selected study time-period carefully avoided the political refugees and paid attention to study the slow infiltration. The study revealed that both the groups have equal access in entitlement and amenities provided by India. All the migrants from Bangladesh are undocumented migrants. Sympathy of the Bengalis of West Bengal allowed the dislocated Hindus from Bangladesh to settle by protecting them from deportation. Local Bengalis are socio-culturally more nearer to the Bangladeshis than any non-Bengali speaking internal migrants. This study based on interview of the households, informants’ interview and observations revealed that older generations’ heartfelt sympathy has politically crafted.


International migration Bangladeshi migrants Migrant’s coping mechanism Cultural affinity Amenities Entitlement 



We acknowledge the assistance we received from the key informants and to Jawaharlal Nehru University for providing academic infrastructure to conduct the research.


We acknowledge the financial support provided by the Indian Council for Social Science Research (ICSSR) for this research.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The author solely declares that there are no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the present study, its authorship and publication of this article.


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for the Study of Regional Development, School of Social SciencesJawaharlal Nehru UniversityNew DelhiIndia

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