India Bangladesh Land Boundary Agreement

On 7 May 2015, the Indian Parliament unanimously passed a bill on the operationalization of the country-border agreement with Bangladesh. All 331 members of Parliament voted in favour of the bill, which will allow the exchange of territories between the two countries, in accordance with the agreement signed in 1974 between India and Bangladesh. The territories of Assam, West Bengal, Tripura and Meghalaya are included in the bill. Neelam Deo, director of Gateway House, comments on the landmark agreement. A. The connection with Dahagram-Angorpota through the Tin Bigha corridor has been important for Bangladesh and India since the 1974 agreement. The LBA put the paperwork on the corridor because both sides agreed that Dahagram-Angorpota would not be traded, since Bangladesh would abandon its claim to half Berubari. The LBA also included that India would lease the corridor to Bangladesh for eternity. These two factors (the corridor and Dahagram-Angorpota were excluded from the exchange) greatly influenced the idea and rhetoric of citizenship and the sense of belonging of the inhabitants of Dahagram Angorpota (Cons 2016). Unlike most of their colleagues in other enclaves, their identity and sense of belonging were not blurred.

But such a feeling and identity were not born in a vacuum. The corridor has become a centre of territorial conflict and a stimulus for nationalist sentiments in Bangladesh and India. Local and national politicians presented the opening of the corridor as an immersion of India`s sovereign power, while their Bangladeshi colleagues took advantage of the same event to reinforce nationalist sentiments by portraying India as an „enemy neighbour” (Ferdoush 2019). Such opposing views with regard to the corridor and finally a link with the „continent” through the corridor, instead of making, I would say, the choice of citizenship relatively easy for the inhabitants of Dahagram-Angorpota. A. The key, I would say, lies in the question itself. The structure of government has greatly influenced (non-) infrastructure development or, in other words, the process of state-building in these enclaves. The central government is not the supreme authority on local affairs in India.

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