Migration Studies (2022 cohort)
Saha’s work focuses on citizenship determination processes and laws in India. He studies the mechanisms of citizenship determination in India and the latest amendments to the national citizenship laws. One of the primary aspects of his proposed research is to probe the crucial role that paperwork, or the lack of it, plays when the state questions the citizenship status of people, who are otherwise considered de facto citizens and long-term residents, and pushes them towards the risk of becoming stateless. The study proposes to explore the triangular relationship among documents, people and the state – how tattered but treasured pieces of paper become the crucial cornerstones of establishing citizenship and shaping the modern nation-state’s understanding of identity and belongingness. The thesis will aim to relate the developments in India to broader, global questions and debates surrounding citizenship, statelessness, nationalism, bureaucracy, law, and politics.
Abhishek Saha is a DPhil candidate at Oxford, researching citizenship issues in India.
Saha has worked as a journalist in India. He reported from Kashmir for the Hindustan Times (2015-18) and from India's Northeast for the Indian Express (2018-21). His debut book, No Land's People: The Untold Story of Assam's NRC Crisis, a reportage-driven account of the humanitarian crises caused by citizenship determination exercises in the Indian northeastern state of Assam, was published by Harper Collins in 2021.
Born and raised in Assam, Saha graduated as a civil engineer from Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, Ranchi before switching to journalism. He studied print journalism at the Asian College of Journalism, Chennai. He completed the MSc in Migration Studies at Oxford in 2022.
Saha won the prestigious Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Award for his coverage of the Kashmir unrest of 2016. No Land’s People was shortlisted for the Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar 2022.