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Remembering and reflecting on the Komagata Maru incident, a fundamental question arises: How do we conceptualize the reality of people migrating, moving, from place to place, in a world that seems to be obsessed with borders?

Migration and movement have been realities since time immemorial. These have always been mediated by systems of power - those in power have thwarted efforts of communities to migrate (in the case of the Komagata Maru, for example), have forced migration (in the case of individuals fleeing the disastrous realities of colonialism, for example), or have highly regulated the lives of those who do migrated (rules on who they can marry, restrictions on ability to vote, etc.).

This section considers the context of migration and movement from pre-Komagata Maru through to today. What you will see is that some of the underlying currents remain - changing shape, becoming rougher at some points, calmer at others.