TODAY -

The Boundary Problem - A high agenda for the North-East

Moirangcha Roshan *



Seven sisters' geographical region is unique as it is surrounded by different countries in almost all sides. When we have a look to a world Political map the region looks like a separate country between India and Myanmar- and indeed the region is just like a frontier zone which India occupies large area of the territory.

Most of the seven sisters' international boundaries are not yet demarcated because for India there seem to be no good reason for this costly extraordinarily difficult task. But now as the rights and obligations of government increased and due to rapidly expanding pressure of population on land, it became necessary to draw boundaries with ever greater precision.

As a result of negligence from the past in the border management, now India has to face lots of border-related problems - social, economic and political and the countries on the other side are Bangladesh, Myanmar and China. For India, it is important to solve all these problems before inviting more issues born out of look east policy.

So, India started giving efforts to resolve the boundary issue on every sides - but if fail, can be a great advantage for neighbouring countries in the war of Geopolitics of North-Eastern. It is true that so many confusing and unclear things come up when we have a serious look to the so called international boundary in the region. Let me pick up the short Meghalaya section of the Indo-Bangladesh boundary as a case study to highlight some of the problems and prospects.

We know that success of a boundary issue may be judged with the level of dispute and friction between the two sides. And the most visited state in our side, Meghalaya (abode of clouds) and Bangladesh share 443 km long border stretch in which more than half of the total border area is under dispute especially in the Khasi and Jaintia Hills involving an estimated three hundred villages.

Although, the sudden rise of structural platforms of the Meghalaya plateau from the Sylhet plain make some natural demarcation, problems still exist in many areas of this Ri war region (the southern part of Meghalaya). Sometimes, boundary pillar stand in the middle of many Khasi villages and there are many unidentified crossing points where there are no officials to check illegal infiltration. Security persons, of course are present in plenty along the border roads and town, but not in the interiors.

And moreover, in many areas of this 443 km long border, there are many 'Rio Grande' which flow down from the Central upland zone of Meghalaya plateau. These rivers mark the boundary line at many sites on their way to Meghna and problem arises in the identification of mid point due to frequent change in the position of banks on either sides.

Again the mid point (equal distance from both banks of the river) often coincides with the Navigable channels. Moreover, the southern part of Meghalaya is very high rainfall zone of the world and so can have a sudden change in the speed and volume of water for many streams.

In the Umngot river near Dawki (border town in Jaintia hills) many Bangladeshi just dip near the demarcating middle line and take out big stones wildly and extensively which we don't see to which side they move and act. It seems, they don't have any respect to this demarcating river.

Ultimately the under water current has been accelerated due to sudden fall of Thalweg (river bed). This can be an artificial factor for decreasing the volume of river water on the Indian side. Can they do such things in front of our BSF, or can they act like this to a place too close to the mid point.

The Khasis concept of the river is of sustainable and are not aggressive like those of Bangladeshi. Umngot river is not flowing in a single broad stream near Dawki but in a series of interlinking channel among which it is difficult to define the principal channel.

The problem of identification of exact position of the river bank on the Bangladesh side, and the presence of Khasi villages in the form of riverine islands make it difficult to establish a median line. For such a 'braided river' I think we need large stretch of water for 'no-man's land' and we should also keep in our mind that the international boundary line means not only the line on the surface but also under water, under ground and above the surface.

The strong christian religion position in all the villages of this southern region of Meghalaya does not permit anyone from Bangladesh or elsewhere to settle easily. But like boundaries of Indo-Myanmar side, the paucity of troops and the porous nature of the border is making the task of checking illegal infiltration difficult.

On the land surface, there are sites which people on both sides don't settle or use so boundary become a zone instead of a line. I think Sir Radcliffe used little time (three months period) in drawing the two famous blue lines to the west and the east. And the boundary lines said to have drawn during colonial times are not precise and have not been everywhere accepted by post-colonial states.

Boundary demarcations and its subsequent guarding, of course, is not an easy task especially in this part of the world and require a long period. One will encounter with many difficulties such as insects, mosquitos, snake besides heavy rainfall, hilly terrain, thick jungle (tropical mixed vegetation) cyclonic storm etc, etc.

But Meghalaya is relatively peaceful state in the N-E region and don't have serious internal problem that needs priority, so the priority should be the border management which require not only heavy military deployment but also to find out the ways for bringing a better relationship in the borderland's life on both sides.

Stephen Jones (Washington D.C.) mentioned that "the major source of serious boundary friction lie in the general situation rather than in the line itself. Hence, it is too much to expect that any shift in boundary sites can guarantee peace".

Indeed, problems are very less on the line of 49th parallel mostly because of friendly relationships between the US and Canada. We already have military advantage of nesting on higher reaches and this natural division is not good enough for an acceptable blue line. We need a modern, new and final demarcation.




* Moirangcha Roshan wrote this article for The Sangai Express. This article was webcasted on June 27, 2010.

* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • Krishna Janma @ISKCON :: Gallery
  • Natural Body Building #4 :: Gallery
  • The struggle so far...
  • Shadowy Lies :: Poem
  • Time for Modi to release all jailed militant..
  • Students, agitation & symptomatic treatment
  • The Killing Fields :: News Timeline
  • A Political Messiah Has Come to Nagaland
  • Nungbi Khullen, Ukhrul #2 :: Gallery
  • Protest in Kangpokpi District :: Gallery
  • Cirrhosis: Basics & laboratory diagnosis
  • Impact of television in rural development
  • The Echoing Hills :: Poem
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand : Timeline
  • Nagaland CM respond to Dr. SL's bureau
  • Unauthorized CEC meeting
  • Student leaders detained for mobilizing ILPS
  • Earning our keeps
  • Meira Rally on Patriots' Day #2 :: Gallery
  • ... All The Flowers Gone? #2 :: Gallery
  • Shri Shri Govindaji Temple #1 :: 360 ° View
  • My Japanlan memoir after 4 score yrs
  • Traffic jam and 13th August
  • Manipur District Demand :: Articles / Photos
  • The Law is Mightier Than The Pen
  • Let the law decide
  • ...health insurance scheme for scribes
  • Absurd 1 Village, 1 Denomination decree
  • Singcha Wuya Won (flower) #3:: Gallery
  • Sunday Cup Football @Lamshang :: Gallery
  • Gurmayum Robert wins gold at World Event
  • Loktak Project & corporate unaccountability
  • Supremacy Of The Party :: NPF
  • Binding the wound: The district row
  • Admission Notice - AiTC, Imphal
  • 'Sexuality & Internet' at Digital Summit
  • Zeliang welcomed support from NPF Minority
  • NSU site and undue communal overtones
  • Tripartite Talk: GOI/GOM/UNC :: Gallery
  • Governor's Cup Fencing :: Gallery
  • 13 Aug @Kangla & BT Park :: Gallery
  • Bruce Dickinson: "son-rise" of Iron Maiden
  • Biren should learn from Mamata Banerjee
  • The globe is in your fist
  • AR I-Day festivities with Myanmar army
  • AR celebrates 71st Independence day
  • Unconstitutionality of TR Government
  • Stadium upgrade for I-League
  • NE film festival in Delhi from Aug 18
  • Myanmarese advised to follow traffic rules
  • The human torch and AFSPA
  • The real taste of Independence Day
  • Mission XI football @ Andro :: Gallery
  • Krishna Janma @ Mahabali :: Gallery
  • Blood Donation for 13 August:: Gallery
  • Mahabali Temple , Imphal :: 360 ° View
  • Graphic & plastic arts of Zeliangrong #3
  • Silence :: Poem
  • Sport Univ: Promises kept but corruption?
  • Job requirements at SKY Hospital
  • Jobs @ National Informatics Centre (NIC)
  • I-Day Celebration at BJP State Office
  • Celebrations amid militant boycott call
  • 3 Manipur terrorists arrested in Delhi
  • NSCN/GPRN condemns raid
  • NSCN-K signing hinges on cross-border..
  • Meira Rally on Patriots' Day #1 :: Gallery
  • Patriots' Day @ Kolkata :: Gallery
  • 26th NAMA Convention Report, Houston, TX
  • Forming Plurals in Manipuri Language
  • Mammography and frequently ask question
  • Indo-Naga Talks 2017 :: News Timeline
  • NPF Office Bearers reaffirm support
  • DAN Co-ordination Meeting Resolutions
  • India and China: From rivalry to enmity
  • For better tomorrows
  • Security forces round up NSCN (IM) cadres
  • 13 August @Hicham Yaichampat :: Gallery
  • Achingliu, Haokhulan, Hiyaichenbi: eMing
  • Patriots' Day @ Hojai, Assam :: Gallery
  • Protest: malpractices of MPSC :: Gallery
  • On MPSC scam & people defending it
  • 126th Patriots' Day observed in Delhi
  • 126th Patriots' Day observed in Hojai
  • Lajong U-12 to represent India in BRICS
  • Learn something from 2015 experience
  • The district creation headache
  • State Thang-Ta Competition :: Gallery
  • Search operation [Aug 12] :: Gallery
  • 13 August Patriots' Day : Read all about it
  • Thangal General : The Patriot
  • Proxy examination and Wrong politics
  • Women should not live in fear ....
  • Summer Thoughts :: Poem
  • NPF Youth serve Ultimatum to Rio
  • A slap on the face of Christianity
  • U-Morok @ Shirarakhong :: Gallery
  • Dangers of 'Trial by Media' & the MPSC
  • Is Culture of insensible activism taking root
  • Meiteilon never been Tibeto-Burman
  • Mechanized threshing of foodgrains #2
  • ZSUB Foundation Day, Fresher's Meeting
  • Sadar Hills District Demand: News Timeline
  • Breaking the barrier
  • National Handloom Day @ GHY :: Gallery
  • Chirom Indira shine in hearts of NE Weavers
  • Investigate killings as ordered by SC
  • MSTC CMD met with CM of Manipur
  • Conspiracy behind the toppling game
  • Armed groups attack..a human right abuse
  • Drawing Competition at Khengjoi, Chandel
  • Save the indigenous people cry : Valley..
  • A matter need to ponder
  • Earthen wares of Ningthemcha Karong
  • Indigenous Wrestling @ SPT #2 :: Gallery
  • Awunching Biodiversity Park #3 :: 360 ° View
  • XXVIII State Thang-Ta Competition 2017
  • India's HLPF review of SDGs & Manipur
  • Robotics as career options
  • International Day of Indigenous People
  • Rejoinder Issued By Shurhozelie Liezietsu
  • Hard facts of political crisis (Nagaland)
  • Viewing through one's community
  • Darkening shadows of doubt
  • Ziumi village, Maram Landscape:: Gallery
  • Inter School Handball Tournament :: Gallery
  • The Proud Bamboo Tree :: Folk Tale
  • Populated Attitudes :: Poem
  • Marijuana, Mahadev and Maneka
  • Notice for MSc Biochemistry Admissions
  • Assam edition of NE India Fashion Week
  • Being different from Cong Govt
  • Cracking down on fraudulence
  • Hanuba-hanubi paan thaba :: Funga Wari
  • ... All The Flowers Gone? #1 :: Gallery
  • Need to bust racket running inside MPSC
  • Will PM Modi betray Assam in No ST, no rest
  • State Level Essay Writing Competition
  • RIST Condolence Function at MU
  • When we stumble and fall
  • Customer Care Executive @ basicP, Imphal
  • Petition for Disqualification of 10 MLAs
  • Cracking down on fraudulence
  • Rape of small newspaper
  • Landscape of Ukhrul District #2:: Gallery
  • Jhulon Nupi Pala Phamsak :: Gallery
  • TR is CM by technicality sans Legality
  • One Day in Heaven :: Poem
  • Libraries Vs Google: Are we heading there
  • ..for electrical distribution rearrangement
  • Lessons to learn from CCpur: public hygiene
  • Angaoba Film Scenes #1 :: eRang
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • The dawn of cricket in Manipur
  • Lumbini Leikolda Shat-houba Leirang
  • Workshop on MU Reservations held
  • Job posting at C-DAC Silchar
  • Lafikul murdered to stir communal tension
  • Wayward rules of law
  • Indigenous Wrestling @ SPT #1 :: Gallery
  • Tourist Watch Tower, Khongjom #4 :: 360 °
  • Admission for B.Ed at Manipur University
  • The Evening Blues :: Poem
  • A village called Nbena :: Book Review
  • Employment Generating Hands on Skill
  • Unnatural death of Sainik School student
  • Condemns killing of KNO/KNLF leader
  • AR conducts Pre Recruitment Training
  • Makeshift sheds at Lamphel
  • For a clean future generation
  • Mr Maipak Body Building #2:: Gallery
  • CM referring to ST Comm is ultra vires
  • VIP culture out, VVVIP culture in
  • Be an unchained raindrop :: Poem
  • Holistic education : Trends & challenges
  • Jobs - Going Officers Pamjei
  • Providing Various Health Benefit Plans
  • larification to Tokheho's recollections
  • SoO groups in the news for wrong reasons
  • Confession
  • Nongbrang, bank of Thoubal River :: Gallery
  • Pukpha Fest @Tamenglong :: Gallery
  • Binalakshmi Nepram at UN, NYC : 1 Aug
  • Free Computer Course by KEN @ Imphal
  • Where is the justice in mob justice
  • Ishu : Feature Film in Assamese :: Review
  • Flood: State efforts are too little too late
  • Crisis within NPF unfortunate : KG Kenye
  • decision-making body of NPF resolve: 2 Aug
  • NPF Legislature Party Statement : 2 Aug
  • ..honoring martyrs by raising Tri-colour
  • ..strong Opposition: Cong MLA striving hard
  • Battle Of Khongjom & Manipuris in 1891 #3
  • Khongjom War Memorial #2 :: 360 ° View
  • Oops! They've Done It Again!
  • Photography: Career through lenses
  • Mega Marathon Manipur : Download Form
  • Chemical Ecology: Info for college/Univs
  • Jobs - Nursing Aides in Singapore
  • NPF responds to MLAs' demand
  • Overlooking one's own Cabinet decision
  • Potential of our state
  • Drinking joints in a dry State : Liquor tragedy
  • Landscape of Manipur #7: Wallpaper
  • Singcha Wayawon opening #2:: Gallery
  • Manung Kangjeibung, Kangla :: 360 ° View
  • 1st Mao Market day @Nagamapal:: Gallery
  • ILP : Students protest [27 July] :: Gallery
  • Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon #2 :: Gallery
  • Ethoi Oinam (Actress) #2 :: eRang Photos
  • Echum Lairembi, Khurkhul #3:: Gallery
  • Tapta :: Funga Wari
  • Featured Photo for 2017 #3 :: Gallery
  • Lai Khong Chingba @Thangjing #4
  • Manipur Sangai Festival 2016 #5 : Ooba
  • SPONSORED ADS