How the India-Bangladesh Enclaves Problem Was Jump-Started in 2007 Towards its 2015 Solution: A Case Study of Academic Impact on Policy

How the India-Bangladesh Enclaves Problem Was Jump-Started in 2007 Towards its 2015 Solution: A Case Study of Academic Impact on Policy

by

Subroto Roy, with Brendan Whyte

Progress on the complex problem of India-Bangladesh enclaves started slightly in 1958 and especially 1974, then came to be stalled completely.  In May 2007 press reports said a joint delegation was doing some survey work.

That same month, I as Contributing Editor at The Statesman newspaper (biding my time away from a corrupted academia) stumbled on the excellent doctoral work done by a young researcher in Australia on what seemed at the time the impossibly intractable problem of India-Bangladesh enclaves.

I wrote to the newspaper’s Editor on 9 May 2007,

Dear Ravi, You may know that there is an incredibly complex problem between India and Bangladesh relating to enclaves between them, some dating back to Cooch Behar and Mughal enclaves 200 years ago. An Australian researcher named Brendan Whyte at the Univ of Melbourne has done the definitive study of the problem. I think we should invite him to produce a 2000-2500 word two parter on his work which would be very helpful to both governments and to public discussion. If you agree, I can write to him and invite him or you can do so directly. I will have to find his email. Regards Suby

I enclosed a published abstract of Whyte’s work:

“Waiting for the Esquimo: An historical and documentary study of the Cooch Behar enclaves of India and Bangladesh. Whyte, Dr Brendan (2002) “Waiting for the Esquimo: An historical and documentary study of the Cooch Behar enclaves of India and Bangladesh” School of Anthropology, Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Melbourne

“Enclaves are defined as a fragment of one country totally surrounded by one other. A list of the world’s current enclaves and a review of the literature about them reveals a geographical bias that has left enclaves outside western Europe almost untouched. This bias is particularly noticeable in the almost complete absence of information on the Cooch Behar enclaves, along Bangladesh’s northern border with India. The Cooch Behar enclaves number almost 200. This total includes about two dozen counter-enclaves (enclaves within enclaves), and the world’s only counter-counter-enclave. Together, these enclaves represent 80% of the total number of enclaves existing in the world since the 1950s, and have been at the centre of Indo-East Pakistani and then Indo-Bangladeshi boundary disputes since Cooch Behar acceded to India in 1949.

The incredibly complex Cooch Behar sector of the Indo-Bangladesh boundary is investigated in detail for the first time, from historical, political and geographical perspectives. The history of the enclaves is traced, from their origin c.1713 until the present, in an attempt to understand their genesis and survival under a succession of states, from the Kingdom of Cooch Behar and the Mughal Empire in the 1700s, to Bangladesh and the Republic of India today. The difficulties of the enclaves’ existence for their residents and the two countries today is contrasted with their peaceful, albeit administratively inconvenient, existence until 1947, to prove that the enclaves themselves are not the cause of border tensions in the area, but are rather a focus for other cross-border disputes.

The current situation of the enclaves is described, highlighting the abandonment of the enclave residents by each country, which refuse to allow the other to administer its exclaves. India’s inability to implement a 1958 treaty with Pakistan, and its continued delay in ratifying a subsequent 1974 treaty with Bangladesh to exchange the enclaves is highlighted as the major factor impeding resolution of the enclave dispute. That the delays have been rooted in Indian internal politics is demonstrated. Highly disparate official and media reports as to the number, area and population of the enclaves are analysed to determine the true extent of the enclave problem, and the first ever large-scale map of the enclaves is published, locating and naming each enclave.”

The Statesman‘s Editor agreed, and I went about trying to locate Dr Whyte. I think I phoned Australia, asked after him, and learnt he was a New Zealander teaching at a university in Thailand.  On 10 May, I wrote to his former department head, Ian Rutherfurd:

Dear Dr Rutherfurd, I am Contributing Editor at The Statesman of Calcutta and New Delhi, and would like to be in touch with your colleague Brendon Whyte but there is no email for him at your site. Please tell him we much wish him to write a two-part article on the editorial page (over two days) for us of less than 2500 words in total on his important research on the India-Bangladesh enclaves. There would be a relatively tiny honorarium probably from the Editor but a large impact on policy and public discussion in both countries. The Statesman is India’s oldest and most eminent newspaper. It may be seen at http://www.thestatesman.net and I am to be found at http://www.independentindian.com Many thanks,  Subroto Roy, PhD (Cantab.), BScEcon (London), Contributing Editor

Brendan Whyte replied the same day:

Dear Dr Roy, I have received your message, and am honoured to be asked to write a piece for your paper. I now work in Thailand. Are there any further details regarding this assignment in addition to your information below? For example, is there a deadline, and if so, when? Do you want/can you accept maps/photos and if so how to send them to you? Can the text be sent to you be email or do you prefer a printed version instead of/in addition to an email? Regarding email should the text be in the body of an email or do you prefer an attachment in Word/RTF or other format? Do you prefer a Word document, or should the text be in the body of an email Thank you very much Brendan Whyte, PhD, Faculty of Management Science,Ubon Ratchathani University, THAILAND

I wrote back the same day

Dear Dr Whyte, Many thanks for the quick reply, and our thanks to your colleagues for locating you. The Statesman’s editorial page is as influential a place as there can be in serious Indian public discussion, though I have to say there is far too little such discussion in the country. At my suggestion, the Editor has invited a 2500 word two-part article (over two days); I have said you may have done the definitive work in the area. I know nothing of the subject and am reluctant to suggest any further guidelines, and leave to you to say what you wish once you get a sense of the audience and likely impact. I have in recent months published numerous special articles in The Statesman, and these may be seen at http://www.independentindian.com to give you a sense of the kind of quality you may aim at — though certainly we are a newspaper and not a technical journal. Regarding graphs, each article would have an illustration a few inches square and if you felt you could squeeze the relevant data into two such articles for the two days it would be excellent. Do drop by Calcutta when you can. The honorarium will be a few thousand rupees I expect though the Editor has not specified it yet. No there is no time rush; I accidentally found your work through a wordpress.com blog on strange maps. On second thoughts, if your articles generated invitations from geography departments in India or other invitations to give lectures on the subject, that too would be a worthwhile aim. Best regards Suby Roy

Brendan sent his proposed article a month later in June.

I replied:

Hello, I have reduced it by 300 words without reducing any substance. I hope you may agree. Can you please try to reduce another 200 words, eg of the Belgian/Dutch case? I normally don’t allow anyone to touch my stuff so if you would like to try to reduce it all yourself, that’s fine. Also, 198 is not equal to 106+91+3+1. Please send all the graphics you may think suitable, and people here will try to figure out what to use. It may all go on one day on the Op-Ed page, I have no iodea what the Editor may decide. Also add your PhD University Thanks for this. The work is excellent and I hope it brings you the publicity you deserve. Suby Roy

Brendan sent his final draft on 16 July 2007

Hi Suby, My apologies that this has taken me so long, but the teaching year has been so busy! I have reduced it to 2274 words, about 10% below your limit of 2500. It is attached as a Word file, and appended below as plain text. I hope to send some illustrations separately in the next day or two. Let me know if the revised article is ok or not. Thanks, Brendan

I wrote to the Editor again the same day:

Subject: India-Bangladesh Enclaves: A Major Foreign Policy Problem Solved

Dear Ravi, Apropos our correspondence two months ago, Dr Brendan Whyte has at our request produced an excellent analysis of one of the trickiest and longest-standing problems between India and Bangladesh, viz. enclaves. Dr Whyte is a political geographer from New Zealand who worked on this subject for his doctoral thesis at the University of Melbourne, Australia. He apparently teaches in Thailand at present. By publishing this, we will be doing the MEA a very big favour, besides of course contributing to an important yet neglected public problem relevant to Eastern India. I recommend it for a Saturday night-Sunday night two-parter, rather than the Perspective page, given its close factual basis. Sincerely, Suby.

I wrote to Brendan:

Hello, Your article looks to me first-rate. The basis of a Government White Paper on this side or that. I have forwarded it to the Editor with my recommendation. Please send me any illustrations asap, as he may go with it any day though likely not before the weekend. Best wishes SR

Brendan Whyte’s 16 July 2007 final draft was this:

“The Enclave Problem: India and Bangladesh can and must solve this 300 year problem!

There are 198 “enclaves” (chhit-mahals) between India and Bangladesh. Cooch Behar district has 106 enclaves in Bangladesh, and Bangladesh has 92 enclaves in India: 88 in Cooch Behar, 3 in Jalpaiguri, and 1 between Cooch Behar and Assam’s Dhubri district. The enclaves vary from clusters of villages to individual fields. The smallest Indian enclave may be Panisala, only 0.1093 ha; the smallest Bangladeshi enclave is Upan Chowki Bhajni #24 at 0.2870 ha. The largest are India’s Balapara Khagrabari at 25.95 sq. km, and Bangladesh’s 18.68 sq. km Dahagram-Angarpota. The 198 enclaves also include 3 Indian and 21 Bangladeshi counter-enclaves (enclaves within enclaves). India also possesses the world’s only counter-counter-enclave: a 0.69 ha jute field inside a Bangladeshi enclave inside an Indian enclave inside Bangladesh! Enclave populations-sizes are unknown. The last censuses to include enclaves were in 1951, although the Pakistani enumeration was incomplete. The population today is probably under 100,000 persons in total, 60% living in Indian enclaves in Bangladesh, the rest in Bangladeshi enclaves in India.

The enclaves are 300 years old, originating during the Mughal wars against Cooch Behar in the late 1600s. A treaty was concluded in 1711 in which the Mughals obtained three chaklas from Cooch Behar, but the Subahdar of Bengal rejected the treaty and forced Cooch Behar to cede further lands in 1713, reducing it to about its present borders. This second treaty is the origin of the enclaves: as in feudal Europe, the holdings of kings and their vassals were not contiguous wholes but rather a patchwork of land parcels, so the ceded chaklas included lands inside the unceded areas and vice versa. The East India Company fixed the Bengal-Cooch Behar boundary about 1773, and by 1814 noted that the enclaves were safe havens for bandits. Yet the Company itself created more enclaves in 1817 when it adjudicated a territorial dispute between Cooch Behar and Bhutan, creating Cooch Behari enclaves in then-Bhutanese territory (now Alipar Duar district of Jalpaiguri). These enclaves remained when the British annexed the Bhutanese lands in 1865.

The British quashed the bandit menace but proliferation of liquor, ganja and opium shops in the enclaves became an excise problem between Bengal and Cooch Behar. After discussions, the main boundary of Cooch Behar became the customs and excise boundary. All Cooch Behar enclaves in British India fell under British excise control while all British enclaves in Cooch Behar fell under Cooch Behari excise control. This practical solution to the problem in hand left the sovereignty of the enclaves intact.

A full exchange of enclaves was suggested by the British in the early 1930s, to reduce the costs of the upcoming survey and demarcation of the Cooch Behar boundary but the idea was dropped in face of strong local objections, and all the enclaves were surveyed and demarcated with pillars by the late 1930s.

Partition and independence in 1947, and the subsequent accession of Cooch Behar to India in 1949, elevated the enclaves to the international level. Initially this was unproblematic, with India and Pakistan concluding agreements on cross-border trade and movement in the enclave areas. Censuses in 1951 included the enclaves. But Pakistan’s unilateral 1952 introduction of visas requirements, and immediate Indian reciprocation sealed the fate of the enclave dwellers. High-level politics subordinated the needs of enclave dwellers on both sides.

Full exchange was again agreed upon by the 1958 Nehru-Noon Accord, and this was reiterated in modified form in the 1974 Indira-Mujib Agreement between India and Bangladesh (Bangladesh would keep its largest enclave, Dahagram-Angarpota, to guarantee access to which, India would lease it a short corridor. But a succession of mainly Indian legal challenges regarding the constitutionality of both accords prevented implementation until 1992, when the Tin Bigha corridor was finally opened. The exchange of the remaining enclaves, agreed in 1958 and 1974 and cleared of legal challenged by 1990 remains unimplemented, despite constant Bangladeshi calls for India to implement the agreements fully.

Meanwhile, since the 1950s the chhit mahalis, or enclave dwellers, have been effectively rendered stateless by the two governments abandoning responsibility for them.

India’s fencing of its border with Bangladesh has added a physical dimension to the political isolation of its own enclaves. The chhit mahalis on both sides are unable to vote, to attend schools or markets, to be helped by NGOs working in either country, or to seek police help or medical attention. Each country claims its original citizens have been forced out of their enclaves by the population of the other country surrounding them, and so each country refuses to extend its governmental responsibilities to the supposed invaders. Simultaneously each denies it can legally assist the populations of the other country’s enclaves inside its own territory. Abandoned by both sides, the chhit mahalis struggle to survive without the ability to protect their rights, homes or lives. Bandits once more make use of the enclaves to escape the jurisdiction of the surrounding state.

The problem is one of India and Bangladesh’s own making but it is not unique. Since 1996, when the Lithuanian enclave of Pogiry in Belarus (population: three) was exchanged for equivalent land, 259 enclaves have remained on the world map. Besides India-Bangladesh, there are 61 enclaves affecting 21 countries as owners or hosts. Most consist of a single farm, or a village and its surrounding farmland, inside a neighbouring country. Some approach the complexity of the Cooch Behar enclaves, such as 30 enclaves (including 8 counter-enclaves) belonging to Belgium and the Netherlands in the village of Baarle (population 8500).

The Belgian-Dutch enclaves originated in a feudal agreement c.1198, and emerged at the international level when Belgium declared independence from the Netherlands in 1830. The enclaves were an annoyance to customs, police and foreign ministry officials; but arrangements allowed goods to pass into and through the enclaves, paying tax only if they were destined for the other country or its enclaves. Nevertheless, smuggling brought prosperity to a village on the economic and political periphery of both countries. Today the village park boasts a statue honouring the smugglers. The economic union of Belgium and the Netherlands and the subsequent European Union have eliminated the profitabililty of smuggling without the need for policing or fences. Differences in tax rates and national laws remain, so that some types of business, such as sex or fireworks shops can only operate in one country and its enclaves, and not in the other. Yet the village happily contains both sorts of shops, each in the permitting country, but serving customers from both. Different planning laws, educational syllabii, post offices, town halls, and churches exist side by side. Several businesses and houses straddle the enclave boundaries, enjoying two postal address and two telephone connections. The policemen from each country share an office. The fire departments work together with special hose-coupling devices. Utilities, sewerage, road maintenance and rubbish collection are conducted by one country or  he other for the population of both. Where a national law unduly inconveniences the enclaves, an exception is granted. Thus while Sunday shopping is illegal in the Netherlands, the shops in Baarle’s Dutch enclaves may open on Sundays to compete with the Belgian shops, and the village has a thriving Sunday market, drawing crowds from both countries. Before the Euro was introduced, all shopkeepers and government offices accepted both national currencies. Overall the village has boomed as a border market, increasingly tourism-oriented, marketing its enclaves as a tourist attraction. Without the enclaves Baarle would be a small unimportant village. The enclaves have allowed it to surpass its neighbouring villages in size and prosperity.

Other enclaves are often placed inside the customs, postal or telephone jurisdiction of the surrounding country. Switzerland tolerates a casino in the Italian tax-haven enclave of Campione d’Italia, on condition that Swiss citizens have a daily betting limit. Germany’s village of Büsingen, also inside Switzerland, is inside the Swiss customs and currency area, not that of the EU. Passage from the UAE into the Omani enclave of Madha and into the UAE’s counter-enclave of Dahwa inside remain free of controls for locals and foreigners alike. On Cyprus, locals from two villages enclaved inside the British territory (and military base) of Dhekelia move about freely, and farm land under both British and Cypriot sovereignty.

What can India and Bangladesh learn from these foreign enclave cases? They have three main options. The worst is to maintain the status quo, each country refusing to properly govern its own enclaves while also forbidding the other to govern its enclaves across the intervening territory. This “dog-in-the-manger” attitude has reduced the enclaves to poverty and despair, countenanced violence and oppression, fostered corruption, and encourages the problems of criminal dens and drug-cultivation in the enclaves.

The second option is an enclave exchange. Inhabitants should be given two independent options concerning citizenship and relocation. For up to two years after the enclave exchange, they should have the option to choose whether to retain their current citizenship or to become citizens of the other country. They should also have the independent option to remain owning and farming the land they occupy after its tranfer to the other country, or of being resettled on land of equivalent value, size and productive capacity in their original country. There is no reason why they should not be able to choose to stay in situ and retain their old citizenship, nor why they could not hold both citizenships: dual nationality is an increasingly common occurrence worldwide.

The problems with this policy include a requirement for equivalent land for the resettlement of those wishing to relocate, and the need for each country to recognise the inhabitants of its enclaves as its own citizens before exchange. An imbalance in the numbers on each side desiring resettlement will cause difficulties. But it would only repeat the injustices of the 1947 partition if an exchange was made without addressing the needs of the enclave inhabitants, and allowing them some input into the process. The enclaves also form the world’s most complicated boundary, and include the world’s only counter-counter-enclave: so another problem with exchange is heritage loss. Finally, an exchange of enclaves is also an admittance of failure.

Enclave exchange will remove a cartographic anomaly but it will not solve the underlying tensions in bilateral relations. The enclaves are not a problem in themselves but are simply a focus point for distrust and tension created elsewhere. Exchange may not improve the lives of the chhit mahalis, who may end up marginalised, landless and dispossessed by the exchange process. Even if able to remain on their lands, they will still be living in an economically and politically peripheral location. Therefore any exchange should be entered into only with the will of, and in full consultation with, the people involved, so as not to become a further injustice.

A third policy is to retain the enclaves but improve their situation. The 30 enclaves of Belgium and the Netherlands at Baarle, along with other enclaves of Europe and the Middle East, are a good model for this. The advantages are many. It would put the enclave dwellers in charge of their own destiny, leaving them on their lands, but able to engage fully as citizens of their own country.

The distances between each country and its own enclaves are small, often less than one kilometre, rarely more than two or three. Designated access routes, for foot, cart and motorised traffic, could be easily set up and policed. This would allow enclave dwellers to traverse the intervening country to reach the nearest schools and markets of their own country. The local district commissioners should be granted authority to meet frequently and at will to discuss any problems and work out local solutions, without having to refer to New Delhi or Dhaka. Officials such as teachers, doctors, district officials, electoral officers, census enumerators and police should also be permitted visa-free access on demand. Which country’s currency, excise laws, and postal system, electricity and other services are used in an enclave should be based on principles of efficiency, not on chauvinistic nationalism.

There is no reason why exchange of enclaves for customs and excise purposes made in the 1930s could not be readopted. Indian enclaves could be alcohol-free like surrounding Bangladesh, and Bangladeshi enclaves could be prohibited from slaughtering cows as in India. This is no more a threat to the sovereignty of either country than is the differing alcohol and tax regimes of the Indian states and territories. The unique border situation of the enclaves would encourage tourism to this forgotten region in both countries, offering new economic possibilities to an area devoid of industrial capability and development.

India and Bangladesh are not alone in wrestling with the problem of enclaves. Similar problems have been solved in most other enclaves around the world. The long-delayed exchange of the Cooch Behar enclaves, mooted since 1910 and agreed upon in 1958 may simplify the border itself, but it is unlikely to improve bilateral relations, assist economic development of the area or improve the lives of the enclave dwellers. The needs and desires of the chhit-mahalis must be taken into account, but action must be taken to remove their current effective statelessness. The examples of successful enclaves elsewhere in the world suggest that even if relations between two countries are not completely harmonious, enclaves can exist and be beneficial to the economic potential of the area and the prosperity of its inhabitants. These two aspects are the raison d’etre of government, hence it behoves the governments concerned to ensure that any solution to the enclave problem addresses these issues and not merely cartographic simplification, which may only cement the 1947 division more firmly.”

Brendan’s article was published in two parts on Sunday and Monday  July 22 2007 &  July 23 2007 with very slight alteration –except the splendid maps he had sent failed to be published!

“The Enclave Problem India, Bangladesh can and must solve this 300-year-old issue! By BRENDANWHYTE

There are 198 “enclaves” (chhit-mahals) between India and Bangladesh. Cooch Behar district has 106 enclaves in Bangladesh, and Bangladesh has 92 enclaves in India: 88 in Cooch Behar, 3 in Jalpaiguri, and 1 between Cooch Behar and Assam’s Dhubri district. The enclaves vary from clusters of villages to individual fields. The smallest Indian enclave may be Panisala, only 0.1093 ha; the smallest Bangladeshi enclave is Upan Chowki Bhajni #24 at 0.2870 ha. The largest are India’s Balapara Khagrabari at 25.95 sq. km, and Bangladesh’s 18.68 sq. km Dahagram-Angarpota. The 198 enclaves also include 3 Indian and 21 Bangladeshi counter-enclaves (enclaves within enclaves). India also possesses the world’s only counter-counter-enclave: a 0.69 ha jute field inside a Bangladeshi enclave inside an Indian enclave inside Bangladesh! Enclave population-sizes are unknown. The last census to include enclaves was conducted in 1951, although the Pakistani enumeration was incomplete. The population today is probably under 100,000 in total, 60% living in Indian enclaves in Bangladesh, the rest in Bangladeshi enclaves in India. The enclaves are 300 years old, originating during the Mughal wars against Cooch Behar in the late 1600s. A treaty was concluded in 1711 in which the Mughals obtained three chaklas from Cooch Behar, but the Subahdar of Bengal rejected the treaty and forced Cooch Behar to cede further lands in 1713, reducing it to about its present borders. This second treaty is the origin of the enclaves: as in feudal Europe, the holdings of kings and their vassals were not contiguous wholes but rather a patchwork of land parcels, so the ceded chaklas included lands inside the unceded areas and vice versa. The East India Company fixed the Bengal-Cooch Behar boundary about 1773, and by 1814 noted that the enclaves were safe havens for bandits. Yet the Company itself created more enclaves in 1817 when it adjudicated a territorial dispute between Cooch Behar and Bhutan, creating Cooch Behari enclaves in then-Bhutanese territory (now Alipurduar district of Jalpaiguri). These enclaves remained when the British annexed the Bhutanese lands in 1865. The British quashed the bandit menace but proliferation of liquor, ganja and opium shops in the enclaves became an excise problem between Bengal and Cooch Behar. After discussions, the main boundary of Cooch Behar became the customs and excise boundary. All Cooch Behar enclaves in British India fell under British excise control, while all British enclaves in Cooch Behar fell under Cooch Behari excise control. This practical solution to the problem in hand left the sovereignty of the enclaves intact. A full exchange of enclaves was suggested by the British in the early 1930s, to reduce the costs of the upcoming survey and demarcation of the Cooch Behar boundary but the idea was dropped in face of strong local objections, and all the enclaves were surveyed and demarcated with pillars by the late 1930s. Partition and independence in 1947, and the subsequent accession of Cooch Behar to India in 1949, elevated the enclaves to the international level. Initially this was unproblematic, with India and Pakistan concluding agreements on cross-border trade and movement in the enclave areas. The 1951 census included the enclaves. But Pakistan’s unilateral 1952 introduction of visa requirements, and immediate Indian reciprocation sealed the fate of the enclave dwellers. High-level politics subordinated the needs of enclave dwellers on both sides. Full exchange was again agreed upon by the 1958 Nehru-Noon accord, and this was reiterated in a modified form in the 1974 Indira-Mujib agreement between India and Bangladesh (Bangladesh would keep its largest enclave, Dahagram-Angarpota, to guarantee access to which, India would lease it a short corridor). But a succession of mainly Indian legal challenges regarding the constitutionality of both accords prevented implementation until 1992, when the Tin Bigha corridor was finally opened. The exchange of the remaining enclaves, agreed in 1958 and 1974 and cleared of legal challenges by 1990 remains unimplemented, despite constant Bangladeshi calls for India to implement the agreements fully. Meanwhile, since the 1950s the chhit mahalis, or enclave dwellers, have been effectively rendered stateless by the two governments abandoning responsibility for them. India’s fencing of its border with Bangladesh has added a physical dimension to the political isolation of its own enclaves. The chhit mahalis on both sides are unable to vote, to attend schools or markets, to be helped by NGOs working in either country, or to seek police help or medical attention. Each country claims its original citizens have been forced out of their enclaves by the population of the other country surrounding them, and so each country refuses to extend its governmental responsibilities to the supposed invaders. Simultaneously each denies it can legally assist the populations of the other country’s enclaves inside its own territory. Abandoned by both sides, the chhit mahalis struggle to survive without the ability to protect their rights, homes or lives. Bandits once more make use of the enclaves to escape the jurisdiction of the surrounding state. The problem is one of India and Bangladesh’s own making but it is not unique. Since 1996, when the Lithuanian enclave of Pogiry in Belarus (population: three) was exchanged for equivalent land, 259 enclaves have remained on the world map. Besides India-Bangladesh, there are 61 enclaves affecting 21 countries as owners or hosts. Most consist of a single farm, or a village and its surrounding farmland, inside a neighbouring country. Some approach the complexity of the Cooch Behar enclaves, such as 30 enclaves (including 8 counter-enclaves) belonging to Belgium and the Netherlands in the village of Baarle (population 8500). The Belgian-Dutch enclaves originated in a feudal agreement c.1198, and emerged at the international level when Belgium declared independence from the Netherlands in 1830. The enclaves were an annoyance to customs, police and foreign ministry officials; but arrangements allowed goods to pass into and through the enclaves, paying tax only if they were destined for the other country or its enclaves. Nevertheless, smuggling brought prosperity to a village on the economic and political periphery of both countries. Today the village park boasts a statue honouring the smugglers. The economic union of Belgium and the Netherlands and the subsequent European Union have eliminated the profitabililty of smuggling without the need for policing or fences. Different town halls and churches exist side by side. Several businesses and houses straddle the enclave boundaries, enjoying two postal addresses and two telephone connections. The policemen from each country share an office. The fire departments work together with special hose-coupling devices. Utilities, sewerage, road maintenance and rubbish collection are conducted by one country or the other for the population of both. Where a national law unduly inconveniences the enclaves, an exception is granted. Thus while Sunday shopping is illegal in the Netherlands, the shops in Baarle’s Dutch enclaves may open on Sundays to compete with the Belgian shops, and the village has a thriving Sunday market, drawing crowds from both countries. Before the Euro was introduced, all shopkeepers and government offices accepted both national currencies. Overall the village has boomed as a border market, increasingly tourism-oriented, marketing its enclaves as a tourist attraction. Without the enclaves Baarle would be a small unimportant village. The enclaves have allowed it to surpass its neighbouring villages in size and prosperity. Other enclaves are often placed inside the customs, postal or telephone jurisdiction of the surrounding country. Switzerland tolerates a casino in the Italian tax-haven enclave of Campione d’Italia, on condition that Swiss citizens have a daily betting limit. Germany’s village of Büsingen, also inside Switzerland, is inside the Swiss customs and currency area, not that of the EU. Passage from the UAE into the Omani enclave of Madha and into the UAE’s counter-enclave of Dahwa inside remain free of controls for locals and foreigners alike. On Cyprus, locals from two villages enclaved inside the British territory (and military base) of Dhekelia move about freely, and farm land under both British and Cypriot sovereignty. (To be concluded)

The enclave problem~II What can India and Bangladesh learn from these foreign enclave cases? They have three main options. The worst is to maintain the status quo, each country refusing to properly govern its own enclaves while also forbidding the other to govern its enclaves across the intervening territory. This “dog-in-the-manger” attitude has reduced the enclaves to poverty and despair, countenanced violence and oppression, fostered corruption, and encouraged the problems of criminal dens and drug-cultivation in the enclaves. The second option is an enclave exchange. Inhabitants should be given two independent options concerning citizenship and relocation. For up to two years after the enclave exchange, they should have the option to choose whether to retain their current citizenship or to become citizens of the other country. They should also have the independent option to remain owning and farming the land they occupy after its transfer to the other country, or of being resettled on land of equivalent value, size and productive capacity in their original country.

Dual nationality There is no reason why they should not be able to choose to stay in situ and retain their old citizenship, nor why they could not hold both citizenships: dual nationality is an increasingly common occurrence worldwide. The problems with this policy include a requirement for equivalent land for the resettlement of those wishing to relocate, and the need for each country to recognise the inhabitants of its enclaves as its own citizens before exchange. An imbalance in the numbers on each side desiring resettlement will cause difficulties. But it would only repeat the injustices of the 1947 Partition if an exchange was made without addressing the needs of the enclave inhabitants, and allowing them some input into the process. The enclaves also form the world’s most complicated boundary, and include the world’s only counter-counter-enclave: so another problem with exchange is heritage loss. Finally, an exchange of enclaves is also an admittance of failure. Enclave exchange will remove a cartographic anomaly but it will not solve the underlying tensions in bilateral relations. The enclaves are not a problem in themselves but are simply a focus point for distrust and tension created elsewhere. Exchange may not improve the lives of the chhit mahalis, who may end up marginalised, landless and dispossessed by the exchange process. Even if able to remain on their lands, they will still be living in an economically and politically peripheral location. Therefore any exchange should be entered into only with the will of, and in full consultation with, the people involved, so as not to become a further injustice. A third policy is to retain the enclaves but improve their situation. The 30 enclaves of Belgium and the Netherlands at Baarle, along with other enclaves of Europe and the Middle East, are a good model for this. The advantages are many. It would put the enclave dwellers in charge of their own destiny, leaving them on their lands, but able to engage fully as citizens of their own country. The distances between each country and its own enclaves are small, often less than one kilometre, rarely more than two or three. Designated access routes, for foot, cart and motorised traffic, could be easily set up and policed. This would allow enclave dwellers to traverse the intervening country to reach the nearest schools and markets of their own country. The local district commissioners should be granted authority to meet frequently and at will to discuss any problems and work out local solutions, without having to refer to New Delhi or Dhaka. Officials such as teachers, doctors, district officials, electoral officers, census enumerators and police should also be permitted visa-free access on demand. Which country’s currency, excise laws, and postal system, electricity and other services are used in an enclave should be based on principles of efficiency, not on chauvanistic nationalism. There is no reason why exchange of enclaves for customs and excise purposes made in the 1930s could not be readopted. Indian enclaves could be alcohol-free like surrounding Bangladesh, and Bangladeshi enclaves could be prohibited from slaughtering cows as in India. This is no more a threat to the sovereignty of either country than is the differing alcohol and tax regimes of the Indian states and territories. The unique border situation of the enclaves would encourage tourism to this forgotten region in both countries, offering new economic possibilities to an area devoid of industrial capability and development.

Economic potential

India and Bangladesh are not alone in wrestling with the problem of enclaves. Similar problems have been solved in most other enclaves around the world. The long-delayed exchange of the Cooch Behar enclaves, mooted since 1910 and agreed upon in 1958 may simplify the border itself, but it is unlikely to improve bilateral relations, assist economic development of the area or improve the lives of the enclave dwellers. The needs and desires of the chhit-mahalis must be taken into account, but action must be taken to remove their current effective statelessness. The examples of successful enclaves elsewhere in the world suggest that even if relations between two countries are not completely harmonious, enclaves can exist and be beneficial to the economic potential of the area and the prosperity of its inhabitants. These two aspects are the raison d’etre of government, hence it behooves the governments concerned to ensure that any solution to the enclave problem addresses these issues and not merely cartographic simplification, which may only cement the 1947 division more firmly.

(Concluded)”

I wrote to him immediately Hello, You were published in yesterday’s Sunday Statesman and continued in this morning’s edition, as the special article on the editorial page. I am enclosing the text as it appears on the Internet edition. Through some apparent editorial mishap, the illustrattions you sent never got published, and two photographs were used. I think you could follow it up with an invited talk in Kolkata. If you wish, I can look into that possibility. Send me a cv if you are interested and I shall see what I can do. Re working with me on the China-India problem, a visit from you might enable us to talk further. I am introducing you separately to the Editor’s assistant who should help with copies, money etc. Best wishes Subroto Roy

All that was between May and July 2007.

On 6 September 2011, Dr Manmohan Singh as India’s PM on a visit to Bangladesh apparently signed what the India’s Foreign Ministry calls the “2011 Protocol”. And now a few days ago, Prime Minister Sheik Hasina, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with the agreement of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, have all signed a comprehensive landmark “Land Boundary Agreement” between India and Bangladesh, solving the 300 year problem!  All’s well that ends well…

And yes, Excellencies, PM Sheikha Hasina, PM Narendra Modi, former PM Manmohan Singh, CM Mamata Banerjee: re the Land Boundary Agreement, Dr Brendan Whyte and I and The Statesman newspaper may all take a bow after you…

Nota Bene:  The Statesman for some reason did not publish along with Dr Whyte’s excellent article these important maps which are now published here below for the first time:

Eastmainwest

A personal note: The words “enclave” and “No Man’s Land” entered my vocabulary due to my father back in January 1965 when we crossed from India through No Man’s Land into what was then East Pakistan. He was with India’s diplomatic post in Dhaka and during the 1965 war would be acting head while his friend G Parthasarathi was head of Mission in Karachi [Correction November 2015: Parthasarathi left shortly before the war, replaced in August 1965 by Kewal Singh]. Half a dozen years later in the summer of 1971, I was a schoolboy volunteer in West Dinajpur helping in small ways the innumerable refugees who had poured across the porous boundary with East Dinajpur during the tyranny West Pakistan had unleashed in East Pakistan; there was effectively no boundary distinction left then. I dedicate my part of this work to my late father MK Roy 1915-2012.

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Conversations with Kashmiris: An Ongoing Facebook Note

From Facebook:

Subroto Roy regrets getting the sisters’ names wrong earlier; they were not Kulsooma and Yasmin but Akhtara, 19, and Arifa, 17. Their killings by terrorists in Sopore, and that of young Manzoor Ahmad Magray, 22, by the Army in Handwara within the week, mark a tipping point, for myself at least.

Subroto Roy reflecting on the Lashkar-e-Toiba killing of the teenage Sopore sisters and the Indian Army killing of Manzoor Ahmad Magray in Handwara, all in one week, is reminded only of: *Where be these enemies?… See, what a scourge is laid upon your hate,…all are punish’d.*

 

 

From Facebook:

Subroto Roy says at Seema Mustafa’s Wall “Some of these comments seem to be addressed to me in a somewhat ill-mannered way.  I am due to speak in Lahore next month on Kashmir and Pakistan, and have published quite extensively over 20 years perhaps on the subject, apropos the University of Hawaii volume *Foundations of Pakistan’s Political Economy: Towards an Agenda for the 1990s* etc.

http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=247284116125&id=632437284

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=171926377284&set=a.136688412284.112038.632437284

I am quite happy to engage in any conversation with any shade of opinion from the leader of the United Jehad Council onwards. But discussion needs to be in English not pidgin English or slang, it needs to be polite and well-mannered, and it needs to be as well thought out and well-informed as possible. I may be addressed as Dr Roy or Mr Roy by people I do not know.

Subroto Roy says to Mr Changal, Apropos your “@mr roy…. i hope u carry a message that KASHMIRIS WIL NEVER LIKE TO B A PART OF INDIA”, I am given to understand that you as an individual have no wish to be an Indian national, which to me is fair enough. A lot of Indian nationals have travelled after all to the USA, Britain etc and there have gone about freely renouncing their Indian nationality and accepting that of another country. May I assume that if you, as an individual, were given such a choice by the Govt of India to formally renounce, on paper, in a private  decision with full security and no fear of repercussions, your Indian nationality, you would do so? You may then become stateless in international law, following which the Govt of India could assist you as an individual to accept the nationality of some other country for which you were eligible, e.g. the Islamic Republic of Iran or the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan or the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. If that went through properly, the Govt of India could also give you full “Green Card” or PIO status vis a vis the Indian territory you may wish to live or work etc in.

Ajmal Nazir ‎@ subroto sir…..I personally appreciate the kind of efforts you are putting to highlight the meseries that kashmiris are going through. May God succeed you in your efforts . However there are lot of realities that one need to understand before talking about Kashmir.This issue is not a demographical or political issue. This is an human issue where kashmiris suffer. Before going into any discussion , both Pakistan and India should understand that this problems is taking its toll on common kashmiri who is getting killed everyday.  Kashmir is like a beautiful prison where one can survive but cannot live freely. It looks completely normal from outside. But unfortunately you cannot see the fear that is inside the hearts of common people. You cannot see the uncertainty in the minds of those people.I wish you could have feel the fear in the mind of mothers when their kids are outside. I wish you could have feel the fear in the eyes of kids, when they see these indian forces roaming in their fields. There is a check post in every corner of the street, where it is obligatory for us to go through checking. We have to prove our identity in our own homes. It is not happening only on 26th Jan (like it happens in your states ]. It happening everyday, every-hour and every-time.I wish you could feel the fear when we have to go through these checking. Everyday, we have to make sure that we come home before 6:00 pm otherwise you will be picked up and your name will get added into hundrends and thousands of disappeared people. There are so many fake encounters happening in valley that nobody from outside world knows. Try to listen to local news here and there is a separate sections which tells you about the number of people that got killed every 24 hours. In 90’s that list was always above 20 and there was no such news outside kashmir. There is no such family in kashmir that hasn’t suffer I am not talking about mental suffering, I am talking about where somebody got killed.I wish you could have seen the pain of those mothers who lost their innocent sons, I wish you could seen the hopelessness in the minds of those fathers, who lost their only sons. There are so many half widows in kashmir, whose husbands were picked by forces and they never came back. they are still waiting for their husbands to return. In every community , there is an orphanage, where you will find the so many orphan kids. i believe you will find the most numbers orphans in kashmir than in any other state. These suffering are not visible from outside.We need to feel like kashmiris to understand these problems You need to take little pain to find the actual realities in kashmir. Every kashmir including our pandiths brothers suffer. KAshmir issue is not the political issue, neither is it regional issue. This is a human issue . This issue is not related to the geographical demographies, it is related with the people who live there.These boundaries are of no meaning for those mothers and fathers, who suffer everyday. If Indian wants kashmir, you have to win the hearts of kashmiris, Treat us like humans, Give us basic human rights . Release kashmiris from this militarized prison. Let us decide what is good for us.. Give us the freedom to express our problems. Let us bring kashmiris youth in your national media and let them discuss this issue. India is a democratic country so i believe everybody has a right to express their feelings.Highlight our miseries and punish the culprits who have killed innocent kashmiris.  How can you justify the killing of those small kids who pelt stones on the streets. Does indian constitution allow killings of kids if they pelt stones. If they damage property, arrest them but how can we kill those small kids.Even some where beaten to death.What about Tufail Matoo who got killed when he was going to tuition classes. He didn;t damage any property. There are so many untold stories in kashmir that nobody knows.

Subroto Roy says to Mr Nazir, Thank you for the lengthy and pertinent statement which clearly reflects your experience as well as your hopes and fears. I have no hesitation in accepting your saying the situation in recent times has become intolerable for ordinary people. I believe it is the outcome of a process which has evolved over decades in which the peoples and Governments of India, the peoples and Governments of Pakistan, and the peoples and Governments of J&K too, have all contributed. It is something for which *everyone* is responsible, no single person or country or community can be said to be exempt (other than perhaps the gentle people of Laddakh). And all the facts of history and the present have to be understood, and yes felt as well — each and every clear fact. I hope to show how this may be done during my Lahore lectures next month. Cordial regards and thanking you once more.

Subroto Roy says to Mr Changal, Thank you for the reply though you may have made a mistake with my identity: I am not Mr Subroto who has been a senior minister in Indonesia, but rather Dr Roy or Mr Roy as you please. No I do not think I am or would want to be blind to any atrocities by armed forces on civilians in any country, my own included. Apropos your statement “we reject the illegal n forceful occupation of kashmir by the cruel hindu india”, I shall be glad to hear the basis of your opinion. Re Hindus and Muslims and my opinion thereof, there is a lot of material to be found at my site and among my Notes. Cordially, SR

Sajad Malik I just wud humbly like to ask you a question sir, Do you deny the disputed nature of kashmir?

Subroto Roy Mr Malik, Thank you for the question. I think it was I who said *twenty years ago*, when I was almost as young as some of you are now “The core of the continuing dispute between Pakistan and India has been Kashmir, where vast resources have been drained from the budgets of both countries by two large armies facing one another for decades over a disputed boundary”. I do not think the Govt of Pakistan had used the word “core” until that time. Please see p 15 of the book

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=171926377284&set=a.136688412284.112038.632437284

Subroto Roy says to Mr Changal, I cannot know but perhaps you speak from terrible personal experiences as an individual at the hands of governmental machinery; I know what that can be like.

I would agree it is important in this grave and mortal matter to go into the whole history piece by piece, frankly and candidly, with scientific honesty and freedom of inquiry and thought.  That is the only real way to aim for complete agreement across the political spectrum in the subcontinent. Such an agreement is possible too, and the only real way forward for all, especially the people of J&K, your generation and the future. I am sure my Lahore lectures will be public immediately after they are delivered next month, which you may find of interest.

Clearly we have a number of factual questions for one another whose answers may emerge in time. Rape is an evil thing, and I find what you mention is discussed here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kunan_Poshpora_incident

Thank you for your comment and suggestion. The solution I have proposed since 2005 is far better than the plebiscite idea you mention. But I am afraid you will have to make a study of my publications here at FB or at my site or in my books, or wait until the Lahore lectures. I also wonder if you are aware that Sheikh Abdullah and Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad *offered a plebiscite* when it was first mentioned in 1948 during the Pashtun tribal invasion from Pakistan but Pakistan balked.

Subroto Roy says the solution he has proposed since 2005 is far better than the plebiscite idea often mentioned. Many are also unaware that Sheikh Abdullah and Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad *offered a plebiscite* when it was first mentioned in 1948 during the Pashtun tribal invasion from Pakistan but Pakistan balked.

Ganai Danish:  It was pandit nehru,who in 1952 addressed the public gathering in lal chowk sgr,promised that the people of jk will be given a chance to decide their future whether they want to be part of india or accede with pakistan.It is worth mentioning that it was india itself who took the case of disputed nature of kashmir to UN by passing a resolution in 1948.But 63 years passed, india is yet to fulfull its promise and has mulishly held on to the uncompromising stance that jk is an integral part of india.

Subroto Roy:  Mr Danish, Thank you for the comment. Pandit Nehru’s Lal Chowk speech may have been 1947/48 during the Pashtun invasion. There is a small pic at my site here https://independentindian.com/2009/03/28/india-is-not-a-monarchy-and-urgently-needs-to-universalize-the-french-concept-of-citoyen-some-personal-thoughts/

By 1952, Sheikh Abdullah had pioneered the J&K Constitution

http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=244956301112

Ganai Danish Respected Dr Roy,1952 or 1948,that isn’t the question.The question is why india uses its military might to crush our movement.By calling itself the world’s largest democrac<z>y,its democracy is buried in kashmir.Our movement is indegenious,peaceful,genuine,and non violent and we will take it to its conclusion

Subroto Roy Mr Danish, Thank you for the comment. The difference between 1948 and 1952 is vital because that is the time Kashmir *made its decision*, and it was a *democratic* decision led by Sheikh-Sahib who had — practically single-handedly — awoken the Muslim masses from their slumber and oppression under the Dogras. Sheikh Abdullah paid the penalty for that most heavily– being jailed by the Dogras numerous times because of it. But even so I think you have raised a critically important question — which is how it is that your generation has become so utterly alienated and disaffected with their political experience of repression, war, terrorism etc that they want to free themselves of it.

Ganai Danish It is very true that late sheikh abdullah traitor fought against dogra rule but he did such a blunder that whatever happened in kashmir since 1989 to 2010,sheikh is responsible for this.He sold kashmir to india and sold the blood of martyrs that were in favour of accession to pakistan.It was the same traitor’s son farooq abdullah who signed noozle to Shaheed Maqbool bhat,the first martyr of kashmir.It was the same farooq abdullah’s leadership in 1989 who killed 1 lac kashmiris and brought POTA,AFSPA,PSA and so on in kashmir.It was the same traitors son omer abdullah who killed 112 innocents in kashmir in just 4 months.So far as the imprisonment is concerned.,It is Syed Ali shah geelani,a vetern leader of kashmir,who spent more than 22 years in jail and is still under house arrest.

Subroto Roy says to Mr Danish, Thanks for this point of view of which I know less than I should. I am glad we have reached a stage so quickly where we may discuss different interpretations of factual events. I reaoet what I have said to Mr Nazir, that I have no hesitation in accepting your saying the situation in recent times has become intolerable for ordinary people. I believe it is the outcome of a process which has evolved over decades in which the peoples and Governments of India, the peoples and Governments of Pakistan, and the peoples and Governments of J&K too, have all contributed. It is something for which *everyone* is responsible, no single person or country or community can be said to be exempt (other than perhaps the gentle people of Laddakh). And all the facts of history and the present have to be understood, and yes felt as well — each and every clear fact. I hope to show how this may be done during my Lahore lectures next month. Cordial regards and thanking you once more.

Sajad Malik ‎@ Mr. Roy, you mean Sheikh Abdullah “offered” Plebiscite? well this is a news to me; as i am wondering on what authority wud they do that? All i have been knowing till now is, Plebiscite was in the offing, had Nehru not insisted that the tribes men from NWFP leave Kashmir and at the same time Jinnah insisting that for the plebiscite to happen, Indian forces need to be out of kashmir first.

Subroto Roy says to Mr Malik, Yes, Sheikh Abdullah and Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad *offered* a plebiscite when it was first mentioned and it was the Pakistanis who balked.

Re. “disputed territory” and “core issue”, as I said yesterday, I do not have to *admit* it because I may have been the first to say so *twenty years ago* when I was almost as young as some of you are now “The core of the continuing dispute between Pakistan and India has been Kashmir, where vast resources have been drained from the budgets of both countries by two large armies facing one another for decades over a disputed boundary”. I do not think the Govt of Pakistan had used the word “core” until that time. Please see p 15 of the book

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=171926377284&set=a.136688412284.112038.632437284

You may perhaps see that it is a leap of logic from saying Pakistan and India have a disputed boundary to saying as you suggest “So what is the problem if a Kashmiri asks Azadi sir?”. 🙂

Subroto Roy says to Mr Malik: Mr Malik, Indeed as I have said Sheikh-Sahib and Bakshi did so; you would have to know how ghastly and vicious the tribal invasion from Pakistan was starting on October 22 1947, and how the Rape of Baramulla had proceeded (with Kashmiri women of all communities, Muslim, Sikh and Hindu, being abducted by lorry en masse to be sold in markets in Peshawar etc), to know that Sheikh Abdullah and Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad could confidently predict the outcome at the time of any such plebiscite, which would explain why Liaquat Ali Khan (who had condemned Sheikh as a “Quisling of India”) would have ignored it. I say this having read reports from the original newspapers at the time, and have today asked the editor of that national newspaper to produce a set of reprints of all articles published from, say, the 1946 Cabinet Mission to the Jan-Feb 1949 ceasefire, since all this material is unknown by all the parties, and making it known would contribute to resolving this grave and mortal problem. Do please explain what you mean or Sheikh meant by “Siyasi Awaragardi”; also I would certainly be grateful to learn of your view and that of your friends on the history of J&K between, say, 1952 and the 1965 War.

Sajad Malik: Mr Roy, I have been lately reading a piece done by Haroon Rashid. He pens down all that Kashmiri’s suffered at the hands of tribesmen..looting and arson, even killing of a lady running a convent. He outrightly rejects rape, (anyway thats altogether a diffrent debate). Sheikh Abdullah, wen released from the prison (Imprisoned by Nehru,for taking the plebscite front) scorned his ownself for taking up Plebscite front and termed it as “Siyasi-Awaragardi” (Political Intrigue). For your further enlightment here Mr. Roy;- 1951: Indian holds elections and tries to impose its democratic institution in Kashmir. It is opposed by the United Nations. They pass a resolution to declare elections void and stress on plebiscite. India ignores the opposition blatantly. Sheikh Abdullah wins unopposed and rumors of election rigging plague Kashmiri politics. 1952: Sheikh Abdullah signs the Delhi Agreement on July, 1952. It chalks out state-centre sharing of power and gives abidance to Kashmir to have its own flag. Sheikh Abdullah creates Kashmir centric land reforms which create resentment among the people of Jammu and Ladakh. Delhi Agreement provides the first genuine erosion in international resolution of Kashmir.  Nehru’s Speech: ”On August1952, Jawahar Lal Nehru gives a negating speech contradicting the settlement provided in the Delhi Agreement: “Ultimately – I say this with all deference to this Parliament – the decision will be made in the hearts and minds of the men and women of Kashmir; neither in this Parliament, nor in the United Nations nor by anybody else”  1953-1954: Sheikh Abdullah takes U turns and procrastinates in conforming the accession of Kashmir to India. Sheikh Abdullah is jailed. In August, Bakhshi Ghulam Muhammad is installed in place of Sheikh Abdullah. He officially ratifies Kashmir’s accession with India. On April, 1954, India & Pakistan both agree in appointment of a Plebiscite Administrator.  1956-1957: On 30th October, 1956, J&K Constituent Assembly adopts a fresh constitution, and dissolves the Constituent Assembly, which further defines the relationship of Kashmir with the Indian Dominion. UN strongly condemns the developments and passes a resolution stating such attempts will not result in any final resolution. On 26th January, 1957, the new constitution is made enforceable. Kashmir is now a Republican-Democratic state under Indian Union. 1964: Sheikh Abdullah is released from jail. Jawahar Lal Nehru sends Sheikh Abdullah with a delegation to Pakistan in an effort to find a resolution discourse for Kashmir. In the meantime, masses in Kashmir protest against the implementation of Article 356 & 357, which allows Indian central authority over constituting legislative powers in Kashmir. The special status of Kashmir continues to get eroded. 1965-1971: The nomenclature is changed from ‘Sadr-e-Riyasat’ to Governor and from Prime Minister to Chief Minister. The Governor is now no longer elected locally, and is installed as per the orders of the President of India. This amendment lightens off Kashmir from its special titles. Free & fair elections in the guise of democracy are championed as just causes, and Indian mainstream parties are allowed to contest in the elections. However, these elections aren’t well received by the public. In many cases, international watchdogs accuse India of rigging elections. In 1967, Jammu Autonomy Forum is constituted with the aim of institutionalizing regional autonomy. Excerpts, “chronology of Kashmir conflict” by Naveed Qazi”

Subroto Roy says to Mr Sajad Malik: thank you for this brief chronology which I shall certainly study more carefully. Am I to understand that you and perhaps others with you deny the Rape of Baramullah? Perhaps you mean that the thousands, but thousands, of Kashmiri women of all three communities who were abducted against their will by the tribesmen in lorries and later sold in Peshawar and other markets were not raped but taken in matrimony at their new destinations?

Sajad Malik: Mr Roy, I am not denying anything. All I am saying is that Haroon Rashid (BBC) is rejecting it and that I maintain, its a separate debate. The thing which we are discussing here is that India has no legitimate authority over Kashmir. It’s military might, deciept, savagery has not been able to turn a leaf in Kashmir, despite tens of thousands been killed, despite all the laws it sought from the “once wicked” Britian. I am not a political analyst nor a strategist but with full conviction Mr. Roy, m telling you Kashmir can never be India. Smell our land it smells saffron, m not sure what it smells in India. Comment not intended to hurt your or any Indian’s emotions Mr. Roy. If it inadvertently does, I apologise.

Subroto Roy: Mr Malik, Thank you; no not at all, there is *absolutely* no need for you to apologise in this discussion for anything. Clearly there are many factual disagreements here, as to what happened precisely, who said and did what precisely, and so on, and an exchange of views and references is always constructive. From what you say, you may find of interest these two articles of mine from 2006; the former is “History of J&K” and the latter contains a Brief History of Gilgit too:

http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=152343836125

http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=152345826125

You may also like to see my FB Note giving Sheikh Abdullah in his own words for you and others to judge, here

http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=244956301125

and also Sheikh-Sahib, and Dr Zakir Hussain and Maulana Azad and others here:

http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=153977181125

Your statement “Kashmir can never be India” is perhaps intended to be controversial as it appears to beg the question, though of course you may agree *some* Kashmiris are Indians and wish to be Indians, and I may agree *some* Kashmiris are not Indians and do not wish to be Indians and also *some* Kashmiris are Indians and do not wish to be Indians; there may also be *some* Kashmiris who are not Indians but who wish to be Indians. Cordially.

Subroto Roy

Mr Malik, you are quoting from perhaps Dr Zakir Hussain or Sheikh Abdullah, not from my words. Secondly, are you saying Pakistan did not invade J&K in 1947? Britain did? I would agree there was a British-induced coup d’etat in Gilgit, but I trust you do not deny the whole history of the (then new) Pakistan’s military and political forces causing the vicious and ghastly Pashtun invasion along the Nowshera Road commencing October 22 1947. Modern Pakistan’s most eminent historians may agree with me I am afraid as to what happened as a matter of fact! You and I may not be able to progress much with conversation at this rate if our factual histories are so far apart as at present.. 🙂 But rest assured, all may become clear after my Lahore lectures next month, or at least all of my analysis and assessment of what happened and prescription of what may be best done now for everyone. I shall try to comment further on your statement later in the day.

Sajad Malik Sir, I am not saying Britian carried out the invasion *laughs*. All, m saying is, General Gracey was heading the Pak army at the time of invasion and there has been no evidence so far, to establish a link b/n Pak army and the tribes men. I can furnish to you the reference of what I assert. shall inshallah pray for your lahore lecture, and hope our thinking and understanding converge as per the aspirations of me, the prime stake holder..and a kashmiri. (smiles)

Subroto Roy  Mr Malik, I am grateful for the clarification 🙂 — though as I have said, there *was* a British-induced coup in Gilgit, and you may also find my article “Pakistan’s Allies” of interest about the US and UK seeing themselves in battle against the old USSR etc.

Suppose I said to you and your friends that in fact Sheikh-Sahib (and his mentor at the time Jawaharlal Nehru) were influenced by socialism and, at one remove perhaps by Soviet communism — and *that* is why they were against the Dogra regime?  While the Hurriyat’s predecessor, Muslim Conference, were *opposed* to Sheikh Abdullah, and because the Dogras were also opposed to Sheikh-Sahib, the Muslim Conference’s Hamidullah Khan as of May 22-24 1947 said they wanted to not only preserve the Dogra regime but make him an international sovereign so he could be called “Your Majesty” instead of merely “Your Highness”? :)!  And in that they were, oddly enough, joined by many in the Hindu and Sikh minorities who saw the Dogras as protecting them from Sheikh Sahib’s secular majoritarianism, as well as by perhaps British Conservatives like Churchill as well as Mr Jinnah…. History yields some unusual and paradoxical things…. 🙂 Re your offer to furnish a reference that “there has been no evidence so far, to establish a link b/n Pak army and the tribesmen” I would be most grateful for this. The classic work on it has been by the late General Akbar Khan of the Pakistan Army who was an author of the invasion,  http://openlibrary.org/books/OL15997912M/Raiders_in_Kashmir.

I have yet to own a copy of this book though am aware of its contents.   I am most grateful for your good wishes for Lahore! I certainly need them, and I assure you, if you send me an email at my site, I shall send you a copy of what I say there as soon as possible after it is said. And indeed, I *completely* agree with you that the ordinary people of J&K of all communities have suffered most from this terrible and awful state of affairs, and their material and moral wellbeing needs most important and urgent relief. Cordially.

I wrote & publicized a document “An Economic Solution to Kashmir” in Washington back in 1993, which referred for the first time to ideas of a condominium, an Andorra solution etc….This seemed at the time a logical result of the UH Manoa Pakistan project.   But in retrospect it has seemed naive and uninformed.   I’m afraid I think Mr Kasuri has been overoptimistic about the robustness of the near-agreement he suggests was reached some years ago.  .


My 200 words on India’s Naxal guerrilla rebels that a “leading business magazine” invited but then found too hot to handle

“Public finances in India, state and Union, show appalling accounting and lack of transparency. Vast amounts of waste, fraud and malfeasance get hidden as a result. The Congress, BJP, official communists, socialists et al are all culpable for this situation having developed – over decades. So if you ask me, “Is the Indian state and polity in a healthy condition?” I would say no, it is pretty rotten. Well-informed, moneyed, mostly city-based special interest groups (especially including organised capital and organised labour) dominate government agendas at the cost of ill-informed, diffused masses of anonymous individual citizens ~ peasants, forest-dwellers, small businessmen, non-unionized workers, the destitute, etc. Demarcations of private, community and public property rights frequently remain fuzzy. Inflation causes non-paper assets to rise in value, encouraging land-grabs. And the fetish over purported growth-rates continues despite measurements being faulty, not reaching UN SNA standards, probably hiding increasing inequalities. India’s polity and economy are in poor shape for many millions of ordinary people. Armed rebellion, however, does not follow from this. Killing poor policemen and starting class-wars were failed Naxal tactics in the 1970s and remain so today. Naxals should put down their weapons and use Excel sheets and government accounting data instead.

Dr Subroto Roy, economist and adviser to Rajiv Gandhi 1990-1991.”

Revisiting “On Hindus and Muslims”

Crunch-time: Do New Delhi’s bureaucrats have guts enough to walk away from the ADB, World Bank etc? (And does India have a Plan B, or for that matter a Plan A, in dealing with Communist China?)

I have had slight experience with the so-called multilateral financial institutions — attending a conference and helping to produce a book on Asia & Latin America with the ADB back in Hawaii in the 1980s, and being a consultant for some months at the World Bank and the IMF in Washington DC in the 1990s. The institutions seemed to me gluttonous and incompetent though I did meet a dozen good economic bureaucrats and two or three who were excellent in Washington. The “Asian Development Bank” (under Japan’s sway as the Word Bank is under American sway and the IMF under European sway) was reputedly worst of the three, though the Big Daddy of wasteful intellectually corrupt international bureaucracies must be the UN itself, especially certain notorious UN-affiliates around the world.

Now there are newspapers reports the ADB has apparently voted, under Communist Chinese pressure, to prevent itself from

“formally acknowledging Arunachal Pradesh as part of India”.

This should be enough for any self-respecting Government of India to want to give notice to the ADB’s President that the Republic of India is moving out of its membership. Ongoing projects and any in the pipeline need not be affected as we would meet our debt obligations.  There is no reason after all why a treaty-defined entity may not conclude deals with non-members or former members and vice versa.

But New Delhi’s bureaucrats may not find the guts to think on these lines as they would have to overcome their personal interests involved in taking up the highly lucrative non-jobs that these places offer. They will need some political kicking from the top. Thus in 1990-91 I had said to Rajiv Gandhi that “on foreign policy we should ‘go bilateral’ with good strong ties with individual countries, and drop all the multilateral hogwash”… “We do not ask for or accept public foreign aid from foreign Governments or international organizations at “concessional” terms. Requiring annual foreign aid is an indication of economic maladjustment, having to do with the structure of imports and exports and the international price of the Indian rupee. Receiving the so-called aid of others, e.g. the so-called Aid-India Consortium or the soft-loans of the World Bank, diminishes us drastically in the eyes of the donors, who naturally push their own agendas and gain leverage in the country in various ways in return. Self-reliance from so-called foreign aid would require making certain economic adjustments in commercial and exchange-rate policies, as well as austerity in foreign-exchange spending by the Government….”

Today, nineteen years later, I would say the problem has to do less with the structure of India’s balance of payments than with trying to normalise away from the rotten state of our government accounts and public finances. I have thus said “getting on properly with the mundane business of ordinary government and commerce… may call for a gradual withdrawal of India from all or most of the fancy, corrupt international bureaucracies in New York, Washington, Geneva etc, focussing calmly but determinedly instead on improved administration and governance at home.” We need those talented and well-experienced Indian staff-members in these international bureaucracies to return to work to improve our own civil services and public finances of the Union and our more than two dozen States.

As for India developing a Plan B (or a Plan A) in dealing with Communist China, my ten articles republished here yesterday provide an outline of both.

Subroto Roy,
Kolkata

My Ten Articles on China, Tibet, Xinjiang, Taiwan in relation to India

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I have had a close interest in China ever  since the “Peking Spring” more than thirty years ago (if not from when I gave all my saved pocket money to Nehru in 1962 to fight the Chinese aggression) but I had not published anything relating to China until 2007-2008 when I published the ten articles listed below:

“Understanding China”, The Statesman Oct 22 2007

“India-US interests: Elements of a serious Indian foreign policy”, The Statesman Oct 30 2007

“China’s India Aggression”, The Statesman, Nov 5 2007,

“Surrender or Fight? War is not a cricket match or Bollywood movie. Can India fight China if it must? “ The Statesman, Dec 4 2007

“China’s Commonwealth: Freedom is the Road to Resolving Taiwan, Tibet, Sinkiang” The Statesman, December 17, 2007

“Nixon & Mao vs India: How American foreign policy did a U-turn about Communist China’s India aggression”. The Statesman, January 7 2008.

“Lessons from the 1962 War: there are distinct Tibetan, Chinese and Indian points of view that need to be mutually comprehended,” The Statesman, January 15, 2008

“China’s India Example: Tibet, Xinjiang May Not Be Assimilated Like Inner Mongolia, Manchuria”, The Statesman, March 25, 2008

“China’s force and diplomacy: The need for realism in India”, The Statesman, May 31, 2008

“Transparency and history” (with Claude Arpi), Business Standard, Dec 31 2008

With new tensions on the Tibet-India border apparently being caused by the Chinese military, these may be helpful for India to determine a Plan B, or even a Plan A, in its dealings with Communist China.

See also https://independentindian.com/1990/09/18/my-meeting-jawaharlal-nehru-2/

https://independentindian.com/2009/11/25/on-the-zenith-and-nadir-of-us-india-relations/

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The BBC retrogresses once more in its knowledge of history & geography

On March 30 this year, I was finally able to congratulate the BBC for having retracted its prevarication about Jammu & Kashmir.  Unfortunately, it has retrogressed again!  Today’s broadcast at 1530 Indian Standard Time of purported world news showed a purported map of the Indian Republic without J&K.   Time for the GoI to make some phone calls again please!

Subroto Roy