Dismiss Notice
Welcome to IDF- Indian Defence Forum , register for free to join this friendly community of defence enthusiastic from around the world. Make your opinion heard and appreciated.

The World's Messiest Border?

Discussion in 'General History' started by VCheng, Oct 28, 2016.

  1. VCheng

    VCheng RIDER REGISTERED

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,182
    Likes Received:
    1,795
    I can find no better example of the messy borders created in South Asia than this northern portion of the Indian-Bangladeshi border:

    MessyBorder.jpg

    I had posted a story on this topic a while ago in a forum that shall not be named, but perhaps we can discuss this issue here. There have been recent attempt to rationalize this border, no?
     
    bharathp likes this.
  2. Joe Shearer

    Joe Shearer VETERAN MILITARY STRATEGIST

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2010
    Messages:
    638
    Likes Received:
    819
    @VCheng

    LOL.

    How on earth did you get here, Sir? I lived there, for the best four years and a little bit of my life. There's a tiny little river, about 20 or 30 feet across, that goes into the mighty Teesta, which in those parts was already growing to full proportions and rolling along with a swagger and a mean look in its eyes. The other shore was jungle and we could hear the coughing roar of tigers; 'we' were on the landward side of the Karala, the little river, and my Dad had his own little steel bridge to go across the Karala to his office in the Kachheri on the bank that divided Karala from Teesta. If you go into Google Maps, you can walk with me across that bridge and along the edge of the river bank, then doing a Uturn to head north along the right bank of the Teesta to get to school.

    You are talking of the Chhit Mahals, I suppose. That was due to two zamindars and their gaming habits; the loser paid in land, these little pocket hankie sized packages. So the Rangpur zamindar owned so many little patches in Jalpaiguri, the Jalpaiguri zamindar owned so many patches in Rangpur. All was fine. Then Rangpur went to East Pakistan and Jalpaiguri (trunk of a guava tree) went to West Bengal.

    The whole damn thing was sorted out two or three years ago, when two blocs of land were exchanged and everything was peaceful again.
     
    BlackOpsIndia, SpArK and VCheng like this.
  3. VCheng

    VCheng RIDER REGISTERED

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,182
    Likes Received:
    1,795
    What a story!

    The map I posted above is messy, more than just a few plots of land. How does one even begin to control such a border?
     
  4. Joe Shearer

    Joe Shearer VETERAN MILITARY STRATEGIST

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2010
    Messages:
    638
    Likes Received:
    819
    One doesn't. It was uncontrollable, totally chaotic. People were each afflicted by a purely personal set of rules, set by the neighbours, the inhabitants of the land intervening, one's own enclave police, the police of the intervening land, the border police on this side, the border police on that side.....nothing worked, nothing could. People couldn't get their citizenship acknowledged; none of the social measures extended to them - they couldn't, the administrators couldn't get through! - they led miserable lives in the phantom zone.

    The only solution was en bloc transfer, and permission to individuals to migrate or to stay and take local citizenship. India lost more land, about one-third more, than Bangladesh, but it was a resolution hugely overdue.
     
    BlackOpsIndia likes this.
  5. VCheng

    VCheng RIDER REGISTERED

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,182
    Likes Received:
    1,795
    Would you say the responsibility of rationalizing this border lies with the central government?
     
  6. Joe Shearer

    Joe Shearer VETERAN MILITARY STRATEGIST

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2010
    Messages:
    638
    Likes Received:
    819
    Unfortunately, both central governments were blocked mindlessly by the local state governments on both sides. Totally irrational behaviour.
     
    BlackOpsIndia likes this.
  7. VCheng

    VCheng RIDER REGISTERED

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,182
    Likes Received:
    1,795
    That may be the case, but isn't border defense a federal matter and not to be left to the states?
     
  8. Joe Shearer

    Joe Shearer VETERAN MILITARY STRATEGIST

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2010
    Messages:
    638
    Likes Received:
    819
    Before 1965, no. It was a state matter. There was no border force. Rustamjee set it up, wanted my father in, but Ashwini Kumar got made an IG, and the old man dug his heels in and refused to budge. In the 1965 trouble, he faced Brigadier Torgul of the EBR with seven battalions of his own, and they had a quiet little rumpus without anyone noticing. Basically both sides were about a division strong; light infantry on both sides, nothing bigger than Bren guns and 2" mortars, but he had the Eastern Frontier Rifles, tough little Gurkhas, and a little the edge; Torgul had to look after the other side, Tripura, as well, although that side gave him very little trouble. If I remember correctly, Sam was the GOC-in-C Eastern Command and hugely amused at the Gilbert and Sullivan stuff going on. He was certainly there for three years, I forget which.
     
    BlackOpsIndia likes this.
  9. VCheng

    VCheng RIDER REGISTERED

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,182
    Likes Received:
    1,795
    What about now, in the 21st century, as India rises on the world stage? India needs clear and clean borders all around, and it is up to the central government to ensure so, if India is to rise to its potential.
     
  10. Joe Shearer

    Joe Shearer VETERAN MILITARY STRATEGIST

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2010
    Messages:
    638
    Likes Received:
    819
    Rustamjee was a fire-eating Parsi from MP who built his own flying squad and went dacoit hunting. As rootin' tootin' a gun wielder as Ashwini Kumar; and therefore one reason why both got on like a house on fire.
     
  11. Joe Shearer

    Joe Shearer VETERAN MILITARY STRATEGIST

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2010
    Messages:
    638
    Likes Received:
    819
    Oh, it's cleaned up. Territories were exchanged - about two years ago, I think.
     
  12. VCheng

    VCheng RIDER REGISTERED

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,182
    Likes Received:
    1,795
    I posted the latest map as Google provides. It does not look very clean, still. Besides, what legal authority did the central government use to make the exchanges?
     
  13. Joe Shearer

    Joe Shearer VETERAN MILITARY STRATEGIST

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2010
    Messages:
    638
    Likes Received:
    819
    I have to look it up. I think there was a bill passed in Parliament, more or less saying that it was an 'exchange'. No mention of any differential favouring either side; as it happens, it was significantly in favour of Bangladesh, they got more land than they gave up. The Rangpur zamindar obviously wasn't much of a player.
     
    BlackOpsIndia likes this.
  14. Bang Galore

    Bang Galore Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2010
    Messages:
    603
    Likes Received:
    341
    VCheng and BlackOpsIndia like this.
  15. VCheng

    VCheng RIDER REGISTERED

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,182
    Likes Received:
    1,795

Share This Page