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Stateless in South Asia: The Making of the India-Bangladesh Enclaves Author(s): Willem van Schendel Reviewed work

(s): Source: The Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. 61, No. 1 (Feb., 2002), pp. 115-147 Published by: Association for Asian Studies Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2700191 . Accessed: 26/11/2011 04:54
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in Stateless SouthAsia: The Making of the IndiaBangladeshEnclaves
WILLEM VAN SCHENDEL
"NLY IN THE EYES OF THE LAW ARE WE INDIANS." With these words Anu the Chairman sketched positionoftensofthousands peoplelivingbeyond reach of the of stateand nationin dozensof enclavesin SouthAsia.I Much of the recent wave of an literature the nationis concerned on withcritiquing earlier generation scholars of who tended to assume a correspondence betweennationsand states. In the new literature, connections the among nation,state,territory, sovereignty, history, and in are constructed many identity all problematized. Nationsare seenas beingsocially different ways.Thus, thereare nationswithoutstates,new nationsthatare invented beforeour eyes while older ones disintegrate, older diasporicnationsthat are and communities. being joined by a hostofnew transnational Nationsare nowconceived thaneverbefore. as morefluid, malleable,and unpredictable If thereis a common assumptionin this new literature, is the notion of it territorial Almostall nationsare imagined, constructed, connection or in contiguity. witha specific areaof theglobe,a homelandin whichthatnationis naturally rooted by meansof a "divinecartography" (Krishna 1999). In the nationalist imagination, and in the scholarlyliterature about it, this homelandis seen as uninterrupted, homogeneous,and bounded. Unlike the world map of states-with its clearly demarcated,contiguous,and fairlystable units-the world map of nations is imaginedas made up of units that spill overstateborders, overlapeach other,and are continually nationalspace. pushingfortheirown,exclusive This article arguesthatbothmapsareincomplete. contiguous, The uninterrupted the homelandis a fiction, is obviousfrom factthatmanynationsand stateshave as
Willem van Schendelis Professor ModernAsian Historyat the University Amsterof of Instituteof Social History,Amsterdam.His email address is dam and the International vanschendel@pscw.uva.nl. of I would like to thankthe staff the National Archivesof Bangladesh(especiallyDr. Sharifuddin Ahmed and Md. HashanuzzamanHydary),as well as Mrs. Manjit Kaur Janeja (Calcutta),Kubra (Rajshahi),and BrendanWhyte(Melbourne)fortheirhelp, and two anonSpecial thanksare due to Dr. Md. MahbubarRahman ymousreviewers theircomments. for (Rajshahi) and his former studentMd. Ahsan Habib (Panchagarh)fortheircompanyand supportduringour visitsto enclaves. " in an I"Shudhu ainerhishebe amraIndian. Interview Dohala Khagrabari, Indianenclavein withDr. Md. MahbubarRahwerecarried jointly out Bangladesh, February 2000. Interviews man; translations mine. are The Journal Asian Studies no. 1 (February of 61, 2002):1 15-147. for C) 2002 by the Association Asian Studies,Inc.
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(e.g., theUnitedStateswithitsdetached learned live withdiscontinuous to territories arrangements even morebewildering territorial stateof Alaska). Thereare,however, about thecontiguity national of space.This thatrequire to reconsider us assumptions small articlelooks at the extreme (and perhapsunique) case of almosttwo hundred have existedoutsidethe worldstatesystem. territories that,foroverhalfa century, For the inhabitants territories of beyondthe orbitof any state,the nationand the and complicatednotions.What group identities they do stateare highlycontested develop? Do these escape the categoryof nation? And how do neighboring punctuatingthe contiguity their own of nationalisms deal with such territories imaginedhomeland?2 This articleexaminesthesequestions.

True Enclaves
that An enclaves. enclaveis a portion The territories I refer areunadministered to enclaves ofone statecompletely surrounded theterritory another by of state.3 Suchtrue a that referred as to shouldbe distinguished from rangeof territories are commonly terms available.4 are enclavesbut forwhichothertechnical Althoughthereis a small to on literature enclaves,it has no connections the new literature nationsand on or curiosities, as nationalism. Most writings enclavestreattheseas geographical on administration. The international law, and efficient problemsof state sovereignty, statist. contains It on very littleinformation howsocial literature enclaves highly on is waysof are by lifein enclavesevolves, whatidentities created enclavepeople,or their copingwithideologiesof the nationand citizenship.5 in of They were oftenan expression Enclaveshave occurred frequently history. decentralizedformsof rule that tolerateddiscontinuousholdings. With state In consolidation. WesternEurope,a partof the world centralization came territorial as that was particularly rich in enclaves,manywere eliminatedprogressively state were linked increasingly territorial to and continuity. sovereignty nationalidentity
of of 2Foran exploration thesequestionsforthe small Spanishstronghold Melilla on the coast,see Driessen(1992). NorthAfrican is 3Fromthe point of view of the state to which it belongs,such a territory an exclave. As From the point of view of the state in which it is located,it is an enclave. enclaveis the term,I opt forit here. better-known 4 Notably enclavestates, an In and coastal territories, pene-enclaves. enclave states, entire examplesareLesotho(surof state.Contemporary by stateis surrounded the territory another by and rounded SouthAfrica), San Marinoand VaticanCity(bothsurrounded Italy).Coastal by by territories portionsof one statesurrounded anotherbut with a coastlinethat makes it are of the crossing territory thesurroundtheir"homestate"without possibleto accessthemfrom of examplesare the Spanish territories Melilla and Ceuta on the ing state. Contemporary of by Mediterranean coast (surrounded Morocco),the East Timoreseterritory Ocussi Ambeno on of and theBruneidistrict Temburong theSouth on theSavu Sea (surrounded Indonesia), by are (or China Sea (surrounded Malaysia).And pene-enclaves proruptions) partsofthe territory by the of over conveniently land onlythrough territory another ofone statethatcan be approached state. Contemporary examples are Point Roberts (Washington State, United States; road For see Germany). typologies, Robinson (Austria, roadthrough through Canada) and Jungholz uses of with variousmetaphorical (1959); Catudal (1974). In this articleI am not concerned (e.g., patterns and settlement currently popular in the studyof ethnicity the termenclave, "ethnicenclave,""urbanenclave"). on 5The burgeoningliterature bordersand identitiespoints the way to new ways of enclaves, althoughso farit has nottakenenclaveson board.See Donnan and Wilson studying (1999); Baud and van Schendel(1997).

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was consolidation virtually By the timeof the CongressofVienna (1815), territorial in abolisheditslast whichformally exceptGermany, complete all Europeancountries 196 enclavesin 1928 (Krenz 1961).6 Today about 250 enclavessurvivein the world,and theyare foundmainlyin and Sovietempire, SouthAsia.7 of Europe,thefringes theformer three areas:Western of places:theSpanishterritory Llivia existin three In Western Europe,singleenclaves and Switzerland, of in southern France,the Germanterritory Biisingenin northern A area Switzerland. fourth is the of theItalianterritory Campioned'Italia in southern wherethirty eight are borderland, tinyenclavesintermingle: Netherlands-Belgium (Catudal 1979; are Dutch (Baarle-Nassau)and twenty-two Belgian (Baarle-Hertog) statesto theSovietUnion have 1965; Ragas 1999). Some ofthesuccessor Brekelmans territories.8 enclavesin one another's can be foundin a small The great majority the world'senclaves,however, of are of where123 Indianenclaves surrounded borderland, section theIndia-Bangladesh enclavesare locatedin India. In their complexity, by Bangladeshand 74 Bangladeshi theyhave no parallel in the and number, political significance, social eccentricity, form identities, they on and national world.Largely ignored theliterature enclaves by the topicof thisarticle.

of Archipelago The Creation a Landlocked
Strewnalong the northern borderof Bangladesh,the 197 enclaveslook like a from theirWest European groupof islandsof unequal size (see map 1).9They differ enclaves:theycame in not counterparts manyrespects, least in thattheyare modern and in into existence 1947 when BritishIndia disintegrated the statesof Pakistan in During the worldwideprocessof decolonization the and India were formed.10 thatwere the independent statesretained boundaries century, mostnewly twentieth
enclavesin one statesthathad numerous 6Germany grewout of manyGerman-speaking another'sterritories. These enclaveswere allowed to persistuntil 1928 when the German themwith the federated them. statesurrounding government amalgamated 7In 1974, Catudal (119) counted 255 true enclaves,but his figures South Asia are for approximate. and Artsvashen NagornoKarabagh.The 8There twoArmenian are enclavesin Azerbaijan: republic.There statusof the latteris undetermined, it has declareditselfan independent as are also threeAzerbaijanenclavesin Armenia:Azatamut,Yukari Askipara,and Kyarki/Tigranashen.Similarly, thereare a numberof enclavesbetweenTajikistan,Uzbekistan,and all valley:two Tajikistanenclavesin Kyrgystan Kyrgyzstan, of themlocatedin the Ferghana and four Uzbekistanenclavesin Kyrgyzstan (two (one namedVorukh)and one in Uzbekistan, In about enclaves, of themnamed Sokh and Shakhimardan). additionto these "post-Soviet" is which verylittle information available,thereis one enclave in the Arabianpeninsulaof by Madha, a small territory belongingto Oman and surrounded the territory the United Arab Emirates. 9This map shows the largestenclavesand some of the smallerones. Positionsand sizes are approximate sinceno map ofthe enclaveshas everbeenpublished.The maps in thisarticle colonialdistrict maps and district gazetteers. are based on a variety sources, of especially and 10By contrast, surviving the Europeanenclavesall came into being in the sixteenth seventeenth centuries: (1698). Campione (1512), Baarle (1579), Llivia (1660), and Btisingen Of course,manyenclaveshave come into existence since thenbut none survive today.In the duringwars (e.g., the many enclavesthat twentieth century, enclavesoccurredfrequently in wars(e.g., West appearedwhenYugoslavia fragmented the 1990s), or theyemergedfrom Berlin,1945-1991).

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Tista
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borderland. Map 1. The enclavesof the India-Bangladesh Khan) Putimari;(2) Garati, Enclaves mentionedthetext: (Chand in (1) and BalaparaKhagrabari Shahebbari/Haluapara; Dohala Khagrabari, (3) (5) Kotbhajni;(4) Dohogram(-Angorpota); DhabalshutiChhit Panishala;(7) Falnapur;(8) Nolgram;(9) Mirgipur; Bhotmari, (6) (11) Karala; (12) Moshaldanga. Batrigachh; (10) Shibproshad Mustafi; border areas:(d-1) Khudipara;(d-2) Berubari. Disputed established apart duringcolonialrule. India and Pakistanwereunusual in splitting at the momentof decolonization, creatingcompletelynew international borders at betweenthem.The enclaveswerecreated the same time."1 At this time the old regionof Bengal, in which the enclavesare located,was divided betweenIndia (whichreceivedWest Bengal) and Pakistan(whichreceived East Bengal,soon renamed East Pakistan--in 1971 East Pakistanwould secedefrom state of Bangladesh).The new international Pakistan to become the independent border between India and East Pakistan was drawn quickly by a Boundary Commissionthat based itselfon districtmaps ratherthan fieldsurveys (Chatterji 1999). The enclaveswere all in one sectionof the borderwhereprecolonialstate combinedto two patternsof colonial rule, and uneven decolonization formation, producethem. Precolonial Roots In thelate seventeenth the Bengal century, Mughal stateexpandedintonorthern but was unable to occupythe kingdomof Cooch Behar (Hunter 1876, 8:316-17,
"1Allenclaveswere on the borderbetweenthe easternwing of Pakistan(East Pakistan) and India. In 1947, therewere 130 Indian enclavesand 95 Pakistanienclaves.By 1965, as a theirnumberwas reducedto 123 Indian and 74 Pakistani resultof boundaryagreements, in enclaves("Two Issues" 1965; Karan 1966; Majumdar 1977, 5). Today, officials India and these enclavesbut thebasisfor Bangladeshsometimes speakof 111 Indianand 51 Bangladeshi reducedfigures unclear. is

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thatkingdomretained landlords from of lands 10:405-30). Powerful possession their either holdingout againsttheinvading in theareadominated theMughalstate, by by intoallianceswiththem.Similarly, troopsor by entering landlords from Mughal the area wereable to hang on to landedestateswithinCooch Behar.Like mostestatesin Bengal, thesewere fragmented into manyscattered plots. Such holdingsdetached from parentestatewerethenknownas chhit the mohol Bengali; thistermcame to in mean "enclave"after1947. These small territories paid taxesto one statebut were surrounded theterritory theother by of state.Sovereignty expressed so much was not in terms territorial of contiguity in terms jurisdiction tax flows. as of and Indirect Colonial Rule and of Over time,theMughal statedisintegrated theprovincial governor Bengal becamethe defactorulerof Bengal. When the BritishEast India Companyreplaced him in the mid-eighteenth the borderwith Cooch Behar marked the century, In northernmost limit of British territory. 1772, however,a British expedition CoochBehar.The kingdom invadedand conquered was incorporated theprovince into of Bengal, but the British decided to rule it indirectly: the Maharaja and his administration were retained underthe controlof a Britishpoliticalagent. In this as ruleddistricts, way,Cooch Beharsurvived a Princely State,surrounded directly by till the end of colonialrule(Hunter1876, 10:414-16; Majumdar1977). Two-Step Partition In 1947, the politicalpokergame betweenthe leadersof the Indian nationalist India. "British movement theBritish and authorities endedin thedecisionto partition that of was India," the directly ruledterritory coveredthree-fifthsthe subcontinent, the territory actuallypartitioned. The restof the subcontinent, subdividedinto 565 States(also called Native or IndianStates), was neither nor Princely partitioned given in independence 1947. The onlyoptionsthe rulersof thesestateshad were to join Pakistanor to join India. Cooch Behar Cooch Beharwas one of thesestates.When the Britishwithdrew, East Pakistanand India. One hundred thirty CoochBehar and laywedgedin between in enclaveswerelocatedin East Pakistanand fifty-one India.'2 Two yearslater,the Maharajaof Cooch Behar mergedhis statewith India."3The enclavesthenbecame Indian territories. enclavesin East Pakistanbecametrueinternational The enclaves, thosesurrounded India weresoon merged in whereas withthedistrict whichthey by 14 were located. Conversely,the Pakistani enclaves in Cooch Behar were now
of 12Cooch Behar enclavescould be foundin the districts Dinajpur and Rangpur(East Pakistan)and Jalpaiguri (West Bengal, India). "3For the textof the MergerAgreement 28 August 1949, see Majumdar(1977, 40of to 42). To complicate matters, quite unrelated theenclaves, Maharajacontinued be and to the Chaka substantial landlord(zamindar) East Pakistan.He ownedthelargeand fragmented in and (Ranglajat Estate,whichhad its own tax offices Debigonj (Dinajpurdistrict) Patgram at his tenants theabolition till purdistrict), his estatestaff and collectedland taxesfrom Pakistani of zamindari rightsin East Pakistanin 1952 (Government East Bengal, Home IPoliticall, of as Confidential abbreviated CR1 1V-6/50 {141--71,June Records,B. Proceedings[hereafter are of 19541. These records in the National Archives Bangladesh). and theyweretransferred 14All Cooch Behar enclavesin India lay in Jalpaiguri district, see to the jurisdiction that districtin 1952 and 1955. For the text of the notifications, of Majumdar(1977, 3-5).

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surrounded India and had therefore become international by also enclaves.In short, the Mughal outliers Cooch Beharhad becomepartof BritishIndia and thenpart in of Pakistan,whereasthe Cooch Beharoutliersin Mughal territory becomepart had of the Princely Stateand thenpartof India. Unlike much boundary-making the colonialworld,the borderbetweenEast in Pakistan (Bangladesh) and India owed little to "modern" concepts of spatial rationality.'5 newinternational The border was anything a straight but line; it snaked through the countryside an irregular in zigzag pattern.And nowhere was it more tortuous and unpredictable thanin the regionwherethe enclaveswerelocated.Map 2 showsthe bizarre in shapeof theborder the Patgramsectionofthisregion, well as as the locationof nineBangladeshi and twenty-four Indian enclaves.
"5Since eighteenth the century, Europeanmodelsofordering politicalspace haveincreasinglyinfluenced boundary makingin the colonialworld.Europeans thought politicalspace of as a kind of checkerboard whicheverystatesharedfixedborders in with others withoutany "politicalvoids"; in whichtherewas a broadcorrespondence betweenstatesand peoples;and in which state sovereignty manifested itselfequally at the political marginsand the centre of (Nugent 1996). Such ideasdid notgo unchallenged. Edney(1997) provides examples British attempts convert to Indians to "rational"Europeanconceptions space, and of Indians' reof sistanceagainst mapping as a way of inscribing imperialspace. Nonetheless, an European modelsofspace eventually helpedshape muchoftheworld.Theybecameso deeplyrootedin our geopoliticalimagination that alternatives oftenoverlooked. are For example,when Anderson(1996, 12-36) analysesthe "international in frontier historical and theoretical perhe an from RomanEmpirevia the spective," constructs intellectual tradition running straight medievalEurope and the "Frenchexample"to the modernstatesystem. ignoresthe role He ofvariousnon-European traditions cartography boundary of and makingin theshapingofthe modern world(e.g., Gole 1989; Thongchai1994; Suairez 1999). It is truethatcolonialborders resulted morefrom than localconcepts Europeanpoliticaland bureaucratic considerations from of ordering followed"rational"meridian politicalspace. Many colonial borders parallelsand In mathematical lines (arcs,curves)or major geographical features. Africa, three-quarters of the bordersare straight lines or curves(Sautter1982), and otherwell-known examplesare foundin Northand SouthAmerica, and Australia, New Guinea.The administrative rationality of such borders considered lie in the factthat theyreducethe zone of contactbetween is to to two sovereignterritories the absolute minimum,making it relatively easy and cheap to to not police them.But it is important realizethatmany(post)colonial borders, leastin Asia, are the outcomeof long dialogues and struggles betweenlocal and Europeanspatial imaginations.And yet this interplay imaginations of has hardlybeen studied comparatively for Asian borders, borders unlike,e.g., African (Asiwaju and Adenyi1989; Nugent and Asiwaju 1996). For threereasons, India-EastPakistan/Bangladesh the border, althougha late colonial of and one, owes littleto such considerations bureaucratic rationality economy. First,it was a In a Bennew international border created inside defunct colonialterritory. British completely to internal administrative gal, there had never beena needrigorously policeand to "rationalize" whichoften ones. Second,theBengal Boundary Commission's boundaries, overlay precolonial the brief was to partition territory thebasis ofMuslimand non-Muslim on majority areas,and wereavailableonlyfor units(subdivisions, districts other and administrative populationfigures the whose shapes owed much to precolonialdemarcations. thanas, mouzas) Not surprisingly, it Commissionopted to followthe boundaries theseunitswherever could. Third,political of in to for partiesweregiven the opportunity lobby intensively inclusionof territory the profor to statesofPakistanand India, makingit impossible theCommission makegrand spective in partinggestures the name ofspatialrationality (Chatterji1999). In thefewplaceswhereit did draw a shortstraightline across the landscape in orderto link two sectionsof older and line (as in thecase ofBerubari, below),thisled to protracted stillunresolved see boundary states.Partition modernborder conflict betweenthe successor imposedan amazinglyerratic thatproveddifficult costlyto police. Today, a meandering line of over4,200 kilometers and encircles Bangladesh,a territory only the size of the stateof Wisconsin.This is the longest states. borderthatIndia shareswithanyof its neighboring

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3

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at border Patgram. Map 2. The India-Bangladesh enclave(Bangladesh);(2) Tin Bigha corridor (1) Dohogram(-Angorpota) (India); (3) Chengrabandha (Indian border checkpost); Burimari (4) (Bangladeshicheckpost).

Regulating Territorial Discontinuity
were the Fromthemoment theycame intoexistence, statesofIndia and Pakistan the termswith each other.Having suffered stateequivalentof a messy on strained whocould the divorce, powerelitesofthetwostatesbecameuncomfortable neighbors thatsimultaneously theborderland over notavoid frictions their gardenfence, joined and separatedthem.The exact locationof the new borderitselfbecame a point of mediationand severaltreaties, contention. Despite international important partsof and volatileeventoday.The newborder remain theborder contested, undemarcated, the bothreflecting inter-state becamea crucialsiteofforeign policy, dynamic-which that fluctuated betweensuspenseand open confrontation-andproducingconflicts that affected dynamic.16
appeared periodin 1971-72 whenthe border of 16Since 1947 (withthe exception a short have disappearedin the wake of the BangladeshLiberationWar), scuffles to have virtually and Bangladeshi of feature borderlife,claimingthe lives ofIndian,Pakistani, been a regular example(April 2001), Bangladeshiborder borderguardsand manylocal people. In a recent to that guardsoccupiedthe bordervillage of Padua/Pyrdiwah theyconsidered be in "adverse partofthe borderby possession"by India. Indian bordertroopsresponded invadinganother

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betweenIndia and the the Figure 1. Pillar marking boundary are on The villagers standing a road Bangladeshienclaveof Noigrmm the who is in Indian territory, lookingtowards photographer author'scollection. standingon Bangladeshisoil. Photo from borderland. Theirfatewas tied The enclaveswerelocatedin thishighlysensitive up with the uneasy and unproductiverelationshipbetween the state elites. Neitherstatedared therewas neverany questionof theirannexation. Importantly, between evenduringwarsfought the take the stepof annexing enclavesof the other, the India and Pakistanin 1948, 1965,and 1971 17 On the contrary, legalityof the enclaves' status quo was reaffirmed meetings. during numeroushigh-levelofficial had of Neitherstatedisputedthearea and boundaries the enclaves:in 1934, a survey betweenBritishIndia with concrete and demarcated established pillars the borders and Cooch Behar.These pillarsare still in place today.Figure 1 showsone of these pillars, which differsin shape from those marking the India-Pakistan (now Bangladesh)borderthatwas createdin 1947.
fromtheirBangladeshicolleagues. In this fight, resistance land, only to be met with fierce people wereinjured. guardswerekilled,and several Indianand two Bangladeshiborder sixteen (Ahmed 2001). This betweenthe two countries in This led to a majordeterioration relations of for clash also had repercussions the inhabitants some Bangladeshienclaves.Accordingto dug bunkers, to guardsmovedartillery theenclaves, Indian border Bangladeshipressreports, and did not allow them "to step outside the demarcatedpillars that harassedinhabitants, India" (Haq 2001). separatethe enclavesfrom 17A different fatebefellthe enclavesof Dadra and Nagar (H)aveli, partof the Portuguese of demandeda return thesedomainsin domains in WesternIndia. The Indian government rightsof 1950, sealed the enclaves in 1954, foughta legal battle with Portugalregarding annexedthe Portugueseterritories, and finally Court ofJustice, passage in the International includingthe enclaves,in 1961. See Krenz (1961); Catudal (1979).

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Staterepresentatives the local level,however, at weresometimes inclinedto less respect defined the enclaves.In January 1949, whenit had becomeclearthatCooch Behar would accede to India, Pakistanpolice and Ansars(paramilitary personnel) entered someCoochBeharenclaves and reportedly declared "thatchhit lands[enclaves] in thestatehavebecomepartofPakistanand Pakistanlaws [arel in force chhit in land of the state."Protests the Cooch Beharauthorities a from the by triggered telegram "I in local police chiefin Pakistan, stating, do not thinkyou have anyindependence Pakistanas you haveaccededto India." In response, Cooch Behardemandedthatthe local authorities reprimanded theirsuperiors.'8 be by In thefirst years their of independence, Pakistan and India maneuvered cautiously a the Both realizedthatit was impossible to to find modus vivendi regarding enclaves. play powerpolitics.Any action directedagainstthe other'senclaveswas bound to have repercussions one's own enclavesin the othercountry.'9 on Instead,theytried in to impress upon each othertheirsharedinterest takingcontrol thesedetached of and intothehandsof"Communists and territories thuspreventing themfrom falling "20 criminals. A two-step line ofactionwas agreedupon,first regulate to the ordinary the rightofpassageand thento eliminate problemby exchanging enclaves. the Right of Passage Talks on communication between the enclaves and their "mainlands" were initiatedright afterIndependence,but it would take until August 1950 for a procedure be agreedupon.21 to Under the agreement, district officials wereallowed to visitenclaves they if had a photograph cardand iftheir visitwas announced identity no back by telegram less thanfifteen days in advance.They would thenbe escorted and forth soil. Police officials also could visit the enclaves,provided acrossforeign and into theyworeuniforms wentunarmed.Certaingoods could be transferred the enclavesonce a month, and tax revenues could be collectedonce every months.22 six
are concerned. This fact 18"No question of 'claim' is involvedso faras the State chhits of (CR officers Dinajpur (East Bengal) forthwith" 3Cshouldbe impressed upon the district the of afterwards, policechief Debigonj (Dinajpur) 6/49[1273-329, November19501). Shortly wrote:"I do not command[my armedpatrolparties]to enterinto the pockets[i.e., three of Indian enclaves]and theyalso do not and I know thatthe S. P., D. I. B. [Superintendent not of Branch]Dinajpurhas pass order, to crosstheborder Indian Police, DistrictIntelligence Territory" (CR 1V-6/50 [141-7 1, June 19541). not respected. The tinyIndian enclaveof 19Only in one case was an enclave'sintegrity Chand Khan Putimariin the farwest straddledthe road betweentwo townsin Bangladesh, When this road was metalled,the fewhundredmetersthrough Dinajpur, and Panchagarh. Indian territory weresimplymetalled,too. 1961). 20CR3C-6/49 (1273-329, November1950); CR 3C1-4/50 (September to sent a telegram Cooch Behar sug2l1n February 1948, the East Bengal Government armedpolice of both sides should be allowed to carry gestingthat "by mutual agreement, in armsacrossthe other'sterritory orderto enterand leave theenclaves."Cooch Beharagreed the a statingthat"the East but laterthatyearreceived letterfrom East Bengal Government in (CR Bengal Government not willingto enterintoanymutualagreement thisrespect" was met 3C-6/49 [1273-329, November19501). When the ChiefSecretaries in April 1949, they mentioned by agreedthat "nothingcould forthe presentbe done to removethe difficulties taken theChief at Secretaries' held on Cooch Behar" (Decisions Conference at Calcutta the7-9 April 1949, SixthConference:in: CR 3C1-4/50 [September 5; 19611). and medicalappliances mustard kerosene sugar,matches, oil, cloth,medicine, 22Only oil, could be imported the to could be moved betweenmainlandand enclaves:i.e., commodities to enclaves localproduce(esp. jute,paddy,and tobacco)could notbe exported themainland but Secretaries' Conference at Dacca on the29 and 30 August, held (Decisions taken the17th Chief at 1950: 4; in: CR 3C2-5/50 [2237-55, March 19531).

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about the transitof privatecitizensor about Nothing was agreed,however, tradingenclaveproduceoutsidethe enclaves.In otherwords,it was an agreement thatcompletely ignoredtheeconomic statebureaucracies betweentwo self-absorbed and officials interests the people livingin the enclaves.Each stateallowed certain of their enclave people the stateto enter ownenclaves barred but goodsfrom neighboring in from participating the regionaleconomy.Since enclavepeople could not legally sell theirown produceoutsidethe enclave,it was unclearhow theywereto generate by offered mainlandmerchants. the income to pay taxes and to buy commodities enclavepeoplewho ownedland outsidetheenclavecould no longerlegally Moreover, the criminalized enclavepeople's daily cultivateit.21 In otherwords,the agreement theyhad to If themanyalternatives. theywereto survive, routines withoutoffering as and ignorethe agreement to facethe perilof being defined smugglers. were to Officials and difficult implement. also the Bureaucrats found accordshaky oftenrefused access to theirown state's enclaves,and therewas no more than a For state presencein the enclaves.24 example,in early haphazardand intermittent triedto carry populationcensus.When theenumerators 1951, Pakistanheld its first and arrested out the censusin Pakistanienclavesin Cooch Behar,theywereharassed As by Indian borderpolice.25 a result,the populationof all enclaveswas excluded all from thatcensus,and from censuses sincethen. and to At first, citizensof India neededno traveldocuments visitEast Pakistan, and passport the agreedto introduce vice versa.In 1952, however, two governments of and This agreement of made no mention theinhabitants theenclaves visa controls. in lockingthem a for situation them:it resulted formally thereby created Kafka-esque without up in theirenclaves("Pakistan" 1952).26 They could not acquirepassports in enclaveoffices the enclaves, actingagainstthe law. Since therewereno passport who wanteda passport had to crossforeign territory illegallyto reachtheir dwellers of one few checkposts.The authorities theparent statethrough ofvery official parent state would then have to allow them in withouta passport,again illegally.Once If could they to to state,they could try get a passport. successful, admitted theparent of away,fora visa to approachthe consulateof the otherstate,hundreds kilometers In the had return home.Once thevisa expired, illegalprocedure to be repeated. effect, the bothIndia and Pakistan the agreement, by omitting enclavepeoplefrom passport could notleavewithout Maroonedin their they enclaves, abandonedthemas citizens. the infringing laws of bothcountries.
23Peopleliving in a Pakistanienclave could own land nearbyin India, and vice versa. AlthoughtheywerePakistanicitizens(and as enclavepeople did notpay taxesto thePakistan overtheir plots in India. Such crossthey government), paid land tax to theIndianauthorities land holdingcame to an abruptend in 1965 whenbothIndia and Pakistanconfiscated border war of 1965 ("Kazirhat" 1992). in "enemyproperty" the wake of the Indo-Pakistan betweenthe Chief had about the agreement 24Timeand again, officials to be reminded As of Secretaries. a result,transcripts the rulescan be foundin, e.g., CR 1V-6/50 [141-71, June 19541; CR 31-436/53 [714-17, August 19541; CR 1B3-16/53 [74, November19541). of of of tourprogramme" officers the CentralExcise Department India, subFor a "tentative in mittedforapprovalto the Pakistanauthorities December 1951, see CR 1V-6/50 (141-71, being refused entryto "their"enclaves,see CR 1V-6/50 (141-71, June 1954). On officers 1955); CR 31-436/53 (714-7, August 1954). June 1954); CR 1B2-3/53 (2057-84, January inspector treating 25CR8C1-1/51 (76-83, May 1953). For the case ofan Indian sanitary a case of smallpoxin the Indian enclaveof Kotbhajni in Pakistanin April 1950 and being detainedon the way back,see CR 10-1/50 (899-903, March 1953). to 26For unsuccessful an attemptby the East Bengal government finda solutionto the see had been reached, CR 31-436/53(714-17, August 1954). the problemafter agreement

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for The situation was even morecomplicated thosewho lived in enclaveswithin e.g., an Indianenclaveknownas Garatiin enclaves. Thereare several suchsituations, previously Dinajpur) containsa BangladeshisubBangladesh(Panchagarh district, of of enclaveknownas Haluapara.The inhabitants Haluaparaarecitizens Bangladesh of of is but cannotlicitlyavail themselves the services theirstate:theirsub-enclave border crossing from completely surrounded an Indianenclave.Thereis no official by the the sub-enclave the enclaveand nonefrom enclaveto themainland.For these to four crossings. in inhabitants, simplygoing to market Bangladeshnecessitates border neither hold passports are These crossings doublyillegal becausetheseBangladeshis norcrossat a designated checkpost.27 This visaswerenow required. For stateofficials wishingto visit"their"enclaves, a given created new barrier easyaccess.By themid-1950s,bothstateshad largely to in theirauthority to collecttaxesin enclavessituated their and to up trying establish withinthe orbitof its parent neighbor's territory. Only a single enclaveremained state. This enclave,Dohogram,was situatedless than a hundredmetersfromthe Pakistan mainland. A Pakistani police post was maintainedthere. The enclave a all followed historical trajectory its own and would turnintoone ofthe mosthotly contested territorial issuesbetweenIndia and Pakistan/Bangladesh below). (see

Exchanging the Enclaves of the High functionaries India and Pakistanbegandiscussing idea ofexchanging this idea also enclavessoon afterCooch Behar mergedwith India.28Immediately, Three yearslater, became part of the public political discoursein both countries. an thatno actionhad been taken: reported however, Indian newspaper of It has morethan once been suggested spokesmen the [Indian]Union by that the the Minister, theonly inwhich problem way Government, including Prime Indiaand Pakistan. it But of enclaves between is can be solved byexchange these in has been doesnotappear thePakistan that Government yet regard. approached this it of on As thesituation beensteadily has logical thepart worsening,wouldbe only of to the without boththeGovernmentsIndiaandPakistan settle matter delay. Comment" 1953) ("Short It would take anotherfiveyearsforthe two Prime Ministersto agree "to an and enclaves of CoochBeharStatein Pakistan Pakistan of exchange enclaves theformer
2000. SimFebruary Garati/Haluapara, withKhwaja Moinuddinand others, 27Interview (in and of enclaves Batrigachh Moshaldanga CoochBehar,India) contain ilarly, Bangladeshi the Khagrabari) in Some Indianenclaves Bangladesh(Kotbhajniand Barapara Indiansub-enclaves. of belongingto the district of belong to the district Cooch Behar but containsub-enclaves (India). Jalpaiguri to of 28TheChiefSecretaries East Bengal and West Bengal "agreedto recommend their convenience the question of of that in the interest administrative Governments respective at exchangeof theseenclavesshould be considered a veryearlydate. For thispurposethetwo with a view to a detailedjoint suggestions should exchangetheirpreliminary Governments taken the at at and possiblyalso a joint local inspection a laterdate" (Decisions examination Conference: 4; on 21 held Conference at Calcutta the and 22 April1950, Fourteenth Chief Secretaries' in: CR 26A-1/50 [1050-69, December 19521; cf.CR 31-68/52[102-6, January 19541).

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It was neverimplemented. becamea sensitive in India.''29 However,the agreement partiesbrandedit an "unconstitutional political issue in India, whereoppositional up act" and an appeal case was fought to the SupremeCourt,stallinganyexchange Courtdecidedto dismisstheappeal,India foryears. thetimetheIndian Supreme By up and Pakistanwereon the brinkof the 1965 war; icy relations to the breakupof A after that.30 secondchance the of Pakistanin 1971 obstructed exchange theenclaves stateof Bangladesh.In East Pakistanbecame the independent presented itselfafter metand agreed, undertheIndiraof 1974, thePrimeMinisters India and Bangladesh as possible.This agreement ratified was to the as Mujib treaty, exchange enclaves soon Like its not tabled in the Indian parliament. but by the Bangladeshparliament was a dead letter. has theexchange theenclaves been of it Sincethen, precursor, remained has but a standard itemon the agenda betweenthe two countries, no progress been it. made towards implementing policy devisedby India and Pakistanin the early 1950s Clearly,the two-step on An turnedout to be a completefailure. earlyagreement the rightof passagefell by into disuse afterit was overtaken new passportand visa rules in 1952. The betweenthe enclavesand the outside agreement was neverrenewedand all traffic becameillegal. Severalhigh-level weremade to exchange worldtherefore agreements the enclaves, but noneof themcould be implemented. of In short, enclaves a symbol theinability thesestatesto cometo terms the are of territorial to unadministered withtheir discontinuity. allowingtheenclaves persist By of the foroverhalfa century, stateshave createda landlockedarchipelago stateless territories inhabitedby tens of thousandsof individualswho are, in practice,also if would be completely stateless. The livelihoodof theseindividuals impossible they as and illicit.In did not routinely engagein actionsthatthesestatesdefine criminal have becomeveryrareand a worldparcelledout betweenstates,stateless territories The India-Bangladesh enclavesprovidea those that exist tend to be uninhabited. of in to societies attempting survive the interstices the unique exampleof miniature It modern worldstatesystem. is to thesesocietiesthatwe now turn.

Identities Transterritorial
in surprise. by The creation theenclaves 1947 tooktheirinhabitants complete of an In the wordsofMd. Bokhtaruddin, inhabitant the Indian enclaveof Bhotmari of in Bangladesh:
withtheJoint 1958 (together of Agreement 10 September as 29Known theIndo-Pakistan of 1958), it also statedthatIndia Communiqueor theNehru-NoonAgreement 12 September to Conference for would not receivecompensation extraarea going to Pakistan.A Ministerial in on Agreement BorderDisputes (whichresulted the Indo-Pakistan flesh thisagreement out did not mentionthe enclavesor theirexchange(Appadorai of 23 October 1959), however, 1993, 6-9, 149). 1982, 96-103; Sreedhar 30Thereasonforthe delay was at least partlybecause the exchangewas linked to the it In "Berubariaffair." the agreement was decided to divide Berubari(not an enclavebut a land held by India, see map 1) betweenIndia and Pakistan.The small areaofdisputedborder along with the generalexchangeof enclaves halfof Berubariwas to "be exchanged southern giving againstthegovernment in parties Indiaprotested and will go to Pakistan."Oppositional Indian("Protest"1960; "Appeal" 1965; Jha that awaywhattheysaw as territory was lawfully 1974, 402-4, 470-73). 1972, 170-74; Chakrabarty

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But in and about, thought were Pakistan. we we In 1947,when Pakistan so oncame to cameandstarted pester Rifles, border the then EPR [EastPakistan the militial we not that that were Pakistanis, we were us all thetime. Thenwe beganto realize authorities looked uswith on suspicion, all. the always Indians after Because Pakistan . "We arenotPakistanis.". . Theywouldnotlet us go to Pakistan we thought: If to they we territory, couldnotgo to themarket. we wanted go anywhere, would demand money. with Bhotbari 2000) enclave, February (Interview Md. Bokhtaruddin, of withthepeculiarnature stateand People in theenclaveshad to come to terms The demand fora separatestateof Pakistan in nationformation the subcontinent. a that Muslims in colonial India formed separate had been based on the assertion Partition was based on nationand thattheywereentitledto a homeland.Therefore, going to the new areas,the former majority a divisionof Muslim and non-Muslim state of Pakistan and the latterto the new state of India. In a highlycharged with the Muslims were invited to identify of atmosphere hostile nationalisms, with the "Indian nation."But in manyplaces "Pakistanination"and non-Muslims and community, national religious in Bengal,therewas a poor fitbetweenterritory, identity. There were tens of millions of Indian Muslims and East Pakistaninonvaried Muslims (Hindus, Christians,Buddhists, etc.) whose self-identification and overtime. bothbetweenindividuals enormously, that A striking of characteristic thenationalisms developedin India and Pakistan as Both after 1947 was transterritoriality. statessaw themselves being in chargeofthe of but populationsliving in theirown territory, also of a category people livingin and as of theterritory theotherstate.These twogroupscan be described citizens proxy citizens and Pakistan's proxy Thus India'sproxy weretheHindus in Pakistan, citizens. This complementary transterritoriality-backed citizens weretheMuslimsin India.3" for and institutions32-was seen as a safeguard the wellup by variousagreements but religiouscommunities, it also weakenedtheirposition.For being of minority example, Muslims in Pakistan simply were citizens of Pakistan,but Hindus in of citizens nation)as well as proxy PakistanwerecitizensofPakistan(theirterritorial as theirliminality or India (theirtransterritorial potentialnation).This highlighted of citizens nation.The questionof the loyalty proxy loyalcitizensof theirterritorial became a moot issue in the antagonisticnationalismsthat Pakistan and India proceededto build. It was in this situationthat enclavepeople had to findtheir
Sikhs,and other Christians, 3lIndia'sproxycitizensin Pakistanalso includedBuddhists, but non-Muslims, in practiceit was Hindus withwhomthe Indian statewas concerned. proof Agreement 1948, such transterritorial 32For example,underthe Inter-Dominion ComConsultative Information by tectionwas furthered the creationof an Inter-Dominion Boards,and Management Boards,Evacuee Property and DistrictMinority mittee,Provincial of meetings.In the Nehru-LiaquatAgreement 1950, the two govmonthly Inter-Dominion ernments decided to set up a joint Commissionof Enquiryinto the Bengal riotsof 1950; to areasforsuch a to each Government, remainin the affected one "deputetwo Ministers, from to of in the period as may be necessary" orderto restore confidence the minorities; include in of community the governments East Bengal (Pakistan)and of representatives the minority in Commissions East Bengal, West West Bengal and Assam (India); and to set up Minority of Bengal, and Assam in whose meetingsthe two Ministersof the governments India and of Moreover, Deputy High Commissioners India (in Dhaka) the Pakistancould participate. citizens" of actedas conduitsto bringgrievances their"proxy and Pakistan(in Calcutta)often (Appadorai1982, 80of of to the attention thegovernments Pakistanand India, respectively 93).

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In directions: theywerecitizens; footing. terms identity, of theywerepulled in three theywereproxy citizens;and theywereenclavepeople. Citizens demonstrates how the Pakistani The quotationabove fromMd. Bokhtaruddin of the authorities excludedMusliminhabitants an Indianenclavefrom Islamicnation on ofPakistan.The authorities soughtto imposean Indiannationalidentity themon the basis of theirterritorial location.Enclavepeople foundthattheirnew citizenship statethanby theirown of was drivenhome moreby representatives the surrounding deniedaccessto markets outsidetheenclave(a disaster, because state.Theywereoften whatever markets existedin theenclaves had withered away)on thegroundthatthey from enclavesto theirmainlandhad never wereforeigners.33 passageofresidents The in forced been regulated, and thisresulted enclavepeople frequently being harassed, In to pay bribes,or being arrested whentheylefttheirenclave.34 the same way,the the lack of an accordabout the passage of local produceto and from enclavesmade all trade illegal. This led to a frequent impoundingof jute, tobacco,and paddy "smuggled"out of (or into) enclaves.35 As we have seen, the state to which the enclavesbelonged had a weak and tax and periodswhenpolicemen, collectors, intermittent presence.36 Therewereshort in the listsappeared theenclave, between of underlining relationship compilers voters' link betweenthe enclaves residents and theircitizenship-but the onlycontinuing
of of 33In July1951, theDeputy Secretary theGovernment West Bengal (India) wroteto that in havereceived further reports his counterpart East Bengal (Pakistan):"thisGovernment at have announcedby beat of drumsat the borderhats[markets] the East Bengal authorities by Ambari,Mirzapur,etc. thatpeople living in Cooch Behar enclavessurrounded Pakistan in territory not be allowed to buy and sell articles the hatslocatedin Pakistanand ifany will in and suitableaction taken of them are foundmarketing thosehats,theywill be arrested the there appearsto havebeena movefor economic be againstthem. .. . If thereports correct, (CR by blockadeof Cooch Beharenclavessurrounded Pakistanterritory" 1B2-35/51 [234959, January 19551). In KendruBar340reven in the enclaveitself. October 1951, Indian policemenarrested man of Nolgram (a large Pakistanienclavein India) and demandedan "illegal gratification" overa kilometer awayand reported forhis release.Kendruwentto the main Pakistanborder frequently visitedtheenclaveand tookmoney to theborder police thattheseIndianpolicemen of (CR 1V-6/50 [141-71, June 19541; CR 1B4-16/ the underthreat arrest from inhabitants 51 [2342-48, January 19551; cf.CR 1B2-9/51 [Pt.] [1116-41, March 19541). of (an an whenBachhanMohammad, inhabitant Kharkharia Indianenclave 35For example, of seers[twenty-seven in Pakistan),"was returning home withabout thirty kilogramsl paddy three Sri in a gunnybag fromthe house of his co-villagers Ramprosadand Sri Shyamadas, him on suspicionthathe into the enclaveand arrested Pakistanarmedpolicementrespassed was smugglingpaddy fromPakistan"(CR 1B2-9/51 [1116-41, March 19541; on jute, see CR 5T-4/50 [321-36, June19521 and CR 1B5-3/50 [625-44, December19551; on tobacco, see CR 1V-6/50 [141-71, June 19541). enclaves. When it 36Often was also confused about thelocationofits own and theother's DiIndia complainedabout an incidentin Garati (an Indian enclavelocatedin Panchagarh, senta memoto thewrongdistrict, Pakistan)in 1952, the Pakistanauthorities najpurdistrict, replied: Rangpur,whichwas not surewherethe enclavewas either.The DistrictMagistrate and as such no "The locationof Garati enclaveof the Indian Dominion could not be fixed, haveno objection couldbe taken.IftheIndianGovernment stepsagainsttheallegedtrespassers a copy of theirborderplan may be sent to fixthe locationand cause enquiryabout the soif and findthe culprits any" (CR 1B2-58/51 [904-10, December 19521). called incidents

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and their statewas through land registration.37 and Economically socially, enclaves the remained integrated with the surrounding state,and the currency thatstatewas of used.38 When plots of enclaveland changedhands,however, new ownerhad to the register ownership a land registry his in in office themainland.39 Land registration in the entireregionwas decades behind; land papersshow ownership it was many as yearsago. Yet the registration land ownership of still formed backboneof most the enclavepeople's continuing connection withtheir parentstate. There was no uniformity, however,in land registration policy. The 2,500 inhabitants Garati(an Indian enclavein Bangladesh), example,ceased to have of for anycontactwiththeIndian state.40 Garati,land registration In becamea local affair, completewith local registration forms that were kept in a centralenclaveledger. Figure2 showsone such land registration document, valid in Garatibut without any legal standing outsidethattinyenclave.This unique document indicates how,in the absenceofa state,thepeople ofGaratihad created fairly a formal of legal system their own. But Garatiwas unusual. In most cases,a numberof influences inducedenclave people to identify themselves citizens. as And theydid act as citizens whentheyfiled petitions withlocal authorities their of "own"states.41 there However, weretwostrong impediments such self-identification. first thesewas proxy to The of citizenship.
37Up until the 1950s, inhabitants some enclavesmay have voted in elections their of of parentstate,but since thentheyhave not exercised thiscitizen'sright.After 1971, however, some enclavepeople managedto get registered votersin the surrounding as stateand voted thereforsome years("Dhaka" 2000; interview with SudhirRay,Nolgram enclave,February 2000). 38The police chief Debigonj (Pakistan)stated, his report a visitto thelargeIndian of in on enclaveof Dohala Khagrabariin 1950: "The Muslims of the place, no doubt, want our administration the Pakistancurrency is in use there.There is no otheralternative and also but to use Pakistancurrency there theenclaves surrounded Pakistan"(CR IV-6/50 [141as are by 71, June19541); interview withKhwaja Moinuddinand others, Garatienclave, February 2000. had to be done outsidebecausetraders Marketing wereafraid entertheenclaves, to roadswere verypoor,and markets insideenclaveswereprohibited the earlyyearsafter in 1947. Enclave people maintainedfamilylinks with the surrounding area (not with theirmainlands),and took place. In Kotbhajni(an Indian enclave),religiouscongremanycross-border marriages gationsalso providedlinks:Hindus would joinpujas in Pakistan/Bangladesh ordinary as parand Muslimsweremembers a cross-border ticipants, of mosque congregation (inter(shomaj) viewswithMaheshChairman, and Kotbhajni[Indianenclavel, Jofiruddin others, and Nolgram 2000). [Bangladeshienclavel,February 39Land prices in the enclavesfell behind those in the surrounding areas because of the of uncertainty a future exchange,the lawlessnessof enclave society,and the extracost and harassment involvedin registering land ownership the mainland.This had inducedsome in inhabitants fromthe mainlandto buy cheap land in a nearby enclave(and sometimes also to establisha house there)in the hope that the enclave would soon be amalgamatedto the mainland(interview withAbdul Khalek and others, Garatienclave,February 2000). See also footnote on "speculative 74 immigration." 40Around 1993, the BDR (Bangladeshborderguards) induced the people of Garati to hold a census:theycounted2,412 inhabitants (112 Hindus and 2,300 Muslims) (interview with Khwaja Moinuddinand others, Garati/Haluapara enclave,February 2000). 41For of in example,the inhabitants the Indian enclaveof Dasiarchhara Pakistanfileda in thatthejute grownin thatchhit petition India "praying shouldbe allowedto be transported to Indian territory." local authorities India triedto come to an agreement The in with their across the borderbut failed (CR 5T-4/50 [321-36, June 19521). It was also counterparts commonforresidents enclavesto alerttheir"own" statewhenever of from police or military the surrounding would enterthe enclaveto intimidate area people, to steal cropsor cattle,or (as in the PakistanienclaveofKarala in India) merely makea shortcut to (CR 1B2-9/51 [Pt.)

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Proxy Citizens We haveseen thatin post-Partition India and Pakistan, was citizenship basedon territorial locationand proxycitizenship religiouscommunity. on The populationof the enclaves,as of the surrounding areas, consistedof both Muslims and Hindus. role in identity formation. Take, Inevitably, proxycitizenship played an important forexample,a Pakistanienclavein India. It was likelyto havea mixedpopulationof werealso proxycitizensof India. They coutdbe singledout forspecial treatment by of stateas well as by nationalist enthusiasts. personnel the surrounding This is exactly whathappenedin theearly months 1950, whichsaw theviolent of of Hindus from East Pakistanand Muslimsfrom India. These "communal expulsion
[1116-41, March 1954]; CR lV-6/50 [141-71, June 1954); CR 3A6/52 [103-9, August 1953]; CR lB2-58/51 [904-10, December 1952]; "Three takenaway" 1951). Hindus and Muslims. Although all of them were Pakistani citizens, only the Hindus

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ethnic cleansing: Indian nationalist riots" turned into a form of international of flags the claimedthemforIndia by hoisting entered Pakistanienclaves, vigilantes In Muslim inhabitants.42 and proceededto remove Indian National CongressParty, theyrobbedMuslimsand drovethemaway.On Mustafi, the enclaveof Shibproshad into Moshaldangaenclave ... and trespassed 25 March 1950, Indian "volunteers flags askedMuslimsto declaretheirallegianceto Bharat[India] and hoistCongress to on theirhouses.On theirrefusal do so, theyassaultedthe Muslims with deadly in of weapons,resulting a number casualties."43 The Pakistanienclaveof DhabalshutiChhit Mirgipurwas not invadedat the were Threetimesthey intimidated. felt time,but its Musliminhabitants thoroughly and Indian territory told to leave the enclave.One day threatened Hindus from by theyfounda posteron a treejust outsidetheirenclavethatmade themrealizethat "Muslims!The day has come it was now almostsuicidal to enterIndian territory:44 A to sell yourblood to the Hindus. Hindus! Get yourmoneyready."45 monthlater, India entered enclave,sat down in the the from a groupof armedHindu volunteers and called his neighbors, told themthattheenclavehad houseof a Muslimvillager, been taken over by India. The enclave people protestedthat theyhad not heard and the "grewriotous ordered Muslim aboutthis,uponwhichthevolunteers anything it no whether belongledito Pakistan to villagers leavetheenclaveimmediately, matter the resulted "mostoftheMuslimsleft enclaveand tookshelter and orBharat."A fight They lwerelnot allowed to go back to theirown at Patgram[Pakistan)as refugees. housesby thevolunteers."46 of citizenship.Hindu residents In all these cases, proxycitizenshipoverruled a To wereleft untouched. theinvaders, Hindu livingin a Pakistani Pakistani enclaves found an twistof circumstances, enclavewas "one of us" who, through unfortunate in This or in himself herself Pakistaniterritory. was not just an exercise divide-andwiththeIndian citizensto identify extended proxy to rule,but equallyan invitation difficult position.Were theyto nation.This put enclaveHindus in an extremely Did they accept theirproxycitizenshipas a welcome the invadersas liberators? of self-identification Suchdecisions dependedon thestrength their dominant identity? to theenclaveMuslims,and theextent with their relationship as citizens Pakistan, of in the enclave,especiallyby means of which theirlives were anchoredmaterially that category, senseofbeingpartofa third It landedproperty. also dependedon their of "enclavepeople." Enclave People the of Until August 1947, therehad been nothingto distinguish residents the to local from theirneighbors future enclaves exceptthattheywentto different offices
by in occurred Indianenclavessurrounded Pakistan, 42At same time,similarinvasions the and herethe Hindus weredrivenout (CR IA3-5/50 [821-30, March 19543). Kismat (Batrigachh), of on 43For theseand similarreports thePakistanienclaves Bathirgar see Nalgram,Falnapur,and Dhabalsuti Chhit Mirgipur, CR 5M-4/50 (183-203, Bathirgar, see of of of May 1955). For reports similartreatment inhabitants Indian enclavesin Pakistan, CR 1A3-5/50 (821-30, March 1954). 44Astheyhad to in orderto go to market.Around the same time Muslims fromthe Indianmarket the PakistanienclavesofNolgramand Falnapurweredrivenawayfrom nearby becauseit was "onlymeantforHindus," norweretheyallowedto go to market ofShangarbari in Patgram(Pakistan)(CR 5M-4/50 [183-203, May 19551). taka Hindugon koribar ashiachhe. din bikroy tomader rokto nikot Hinduder 45"Musholmangon (CR 5M-4/50 [183-203, May 19551). jogarkorun" 46CR 5M-4/50 (183-203, May 1955).

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pay land tax or to reporta crime. Afterthat date, however,a new citizenship emerged-neither sought nor at firstunderstood,but thrust upon them by administrative caprice.47 old identities The basedon neighborhood, kinship, language, religion, marketing area,and class thattheysharedwithpeople outsidethe enclaves did not suddenly vanishbut werenow at odds withan ascendant based on identity After citizenship. Partition, self-identification becamea strategic dilemma:themore enclavepeople identified citizens, moretheydistancedthemselves as the from their neighbors and relatives outsidethe enclave.And the moretheyidentified proxy as citizens onlysomeofthemcould),48 morethey the distanced themselves from their (as in nationalism a problem minorities was for coresidents theenclave.If transterritorial livingin India and Pakistan,it was an even greater problemforthosewho actually lived transterritoriallythe enclaves. in It was not surprisingthat they developed a third way of thinkingabout themselves: enclave people. They soon shared an experienceof exclusionand as victimization.In addition to the treatment meted out by state personneland vigilantes, theywerealso confronted withotherproblemsthatdrewthemtogether. The absenceofthestatecertainly advantages, had especially giventhatenclavepeople no longerpaid taxes.But thereweregreater disadvantages: roadsand bridgeswere no longerkept in good repair, and therewere no healthservices, schools,markets, And of enclaves wereused as hideouts banks,mail,or electricity. worst all, several by groupsofarmedrobbers whotookadvantage theabsenceofpolice.Theycommitted of A robberies bothinsidethe enclaves and in thesurrounding countryside. local police in Debigonj (Pakistan)was readyto capture"the notorious chief dacoits[robbers] who havemade lifemiserable theinhabitants theCh{h}its,whenever for of cross they into Pakistan Territory. Unless and until we can freelyenter into the pockets can [enclaves]to catchhold of thedacoitsnothing be done.''49 enclavepeople themselves tookadvantage the absenceof statelaw of Sometimes But to enforcement become bandits or small-timemilitary entrepreneurs.50 more could be outsiders often, occupiedan enclaveforthispurpose.Then the oppression weremurdered them. severe. Sometimes enclavepeople who resisted intruders the by In suchcases,there The robbed was no courtto prosecute culprits.5' riskofgetting the in was so greatthatit affected settlement the pattern some enclaves.In such cases, people would move theirhousesto the outerrimof the enclaveand leave the center in uninhabited orderto make it easierto fleeif necessary. The sharedexperience fearand lawlessness of drewenclavepeople together, and to it. theyattempted organizeto overcome This becameeasierafter 1971 becausethe statesdecreased after demise the tensions betweenthe enclavesand the surrounding
escaped this fatebecause both Cooch 47Aswe have seen, enclavesin Jalpaiguridistrict theseenclaves weretransferred endedup in India. As a result, BeharandJalpaiguri tojalpaiguri reinforced social identities and citizenship into and integrated administratively the district: administration of is of neverdeveloped,and the history separate each other, enclaveidentities littleconcern today. 48Thatis, Muslims in Indian enclavessurrounded Pakistan,and Hindus in Pakistani by by enclavessurrounded India. to of 49CR IV-6/50 (141-71, June 1954). In thisreport October 1950, he was referring and KotBalapara Khagrabari, the threecontiguousIndian enclavesof Dohala Khagrabari, bhajni. see entrepreneur, Gallant 50CRIV-6/50 (141-71, June1954). Fortheconceptofmilitary (1999). killed the father Abul Kashem of the Indian of 5'This happenedwhen a gang of robbers 2000. withAbul Kashem,February enclaveof Panishalaaround1961. Interview

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markedlybetween of East Pakistan. However, patternsof organizationdiffered enclaves.In some of the largerones, an enclave council was set up that drew its village councils of the region and fromevolving inspiration fromthe informal in area.Thus, in the local government the surrounding structures state-sponsored of contiguous Indian enclaves of Dohala Khagrabari, Barapara Khagrabari, and three Bangladesh), the Indianterritory within form largest Kotbhajni(whichtogether wereformed, Nagorik Shomiti(Enclave Citizens'Committees) electedChhitmohol different village neighborhoods. representing of and members consisting a chairman These councilsacted as courts,organizedpublic worksthroughcorveelabor,and of negotiated behalf the enclavewiththe outsideworld.Once elected,committee on the for tendedto stayin office long periods,stabilizing positionofa tiny appointees was not possible.These mighthave a this system enclaveelite. In smallerenclaves, severalnearby single electedmemberwho was part of an enclavecouncil covering of (foreign) underthe chairman the surrounding small enclaves,or even informally villageleaders. area. Otherenclaveshad onlyinformal as self-identificationenclavepeople,although strengthened These arrangements all did comprising enclaves not it is important realizethatan overarching to identity for among develop.Therewerevariousreasons this.Therewas littlecommunication enclaves, even the ones belongingto the same state.They had not had anycontacts of withone another before 1947 and werespreadout overa distance someonehundred Giventheabsenceofpassports, poorroadand waterconnections. kilometers withvery visas, and check posts, travel between enclaves was illegal and risky. Equally each other. the of important, inhabitants enclavessaw little reasonforsupporting units.To and loweradministrative districts Their enclaveswerelocatedin different of different enclaveshad to turnto different inhabitants expresstheirgrievances, more,a commonanswerwas, authorities. When asked whytheyhad not protested to? There is strength numbers in onlyif you know "Who shouldwe have protested to anyraja [ruleri.Nobody seeksour votes." whereto go. We are of no account to enclaves notimaginethemselves did Thus, thepeople oftheIndia-Bangladesh On of homeland Chhitmoholia (Enclavia).52 thecontrary, some(discontinuous) inhabit created characteristics, developedindividual overtimetheenclaves grewapartas they linkswiththeir surroundings. individual ownsocialinstitutions, established and their of of The inhabitants each enclavewereof coursewell awareof the existence many that otherenclaves(althoughnobodyknew how manytherewere)but the identity of countedmost was that which linked them to the otherinhabitants theirown enclave. On and positivecharacteristics. This enclaveidentity basedon bothnegative was It yearsof social, the one hand, it was an injuredidentity. had grownout of fifty as and sharedsenseofvulnerability. legal, and politicalexclusion well as a pervading to patrons.They wereforced cope Enclavepeople feltabandonedby theirerstwhile without outsidehelp and withno sayin their Theyalso feltthey politicalfuture. any had come down in the world,not only in absolute terms-because of crumbling and postal services-but roads,collapsedbridges,and the loss of schools,markets, Theirland fetched muchlowerpricesthanplotsin neighboring terms. also in relative
livingin the people (and people from disputedareaofBerubari) 52By contrast, ex-enclave Committee intoan EnclaveStruggle Cooch Beharin mainlandIndia did organizethemselves which were opposed to the Shomiti)and took part in movements (ChhitmoholShonggram of (1992, see below) and werein favor of transfer Berubari(1960) and the Tin Bigha corridor enclavesto India (1974, 1981, and 1992). transferring

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Evenmorevexing, goodsand services. had to paymorefor and they mainland villages, up all aroundthem that new opportunities had opened theyhad been excludedfrom a water education, safe institutional credit, healthfacilities, particularly overtheyears, In elderlywoman: "Even if we supply,and electricity. the wordsof one indignant They types,theyturnus away and call us 'foreigners.' approachthosedevelopment life." havemade us miss out on modern with theirown enclaveforpositivereasonsas well as Enclavepeople identified crises in of pointedto a sharedhistory creativity stavingoff negative. Some proudly a institutions such as enclave citizens' committees, land and in developinglocal of corveelabor.Others system, some semblance public worksthrough or registration thanthatwhich a moreintensesenseofcommunity arguedthattheyhad developed could hold their headshighbecausethere existedoutsidetheenclave.Some said they or wereno powerful bureaucrats policemento lordoverthem.Most ofall, theywere "We people of the enclavecan cope withanything." of theirresilience: proud in of With thebirth Bangladesh 1971, lifebecameeasierfortheenclave-dwellers society. Some eventook withthesurrounding as theyreestablished someconnections of on two identities, in theenclaveand one outside.Residents an Indianenclave one and thusit becamepossibleforthemto send their would use a Bangladeshiaddress, in and to mail, to get treatment a hospital, children schoolin Bangladesh, receive to A marriages. fewenclavepeople with land both inside and outside the to register line in orderto get access to state enclavebuilt theirhouses acrossthe boundary 3. An can be seen in figure In this services, e.g., electricity. exampleof thispractice the some residents the enclavewereable to overcome sharpest of edges of their way, as and statelessness, this actuallygave supportto theiridentity enclavepeople. In 2000, when we asked enclavepeople in a numberof enclavesin both India and none repliedthat theywere citizensof either Bangladeshabout theircitizenship, The usual answerwas, "Amrachhitmoholer (We are citizensof the nagorik" country. outsidethe enclavewho considered enclave),to whichtheyadded thatit was others statelessness becomea unifying had To themto be Indianor Bangladeshi. them,their identity. Crisis and Transterritorial Identity of inhabitants the enclavesexpressedtheir century, By the early twenty-first This sharedexperience exclusionmainlyin termsof a distinctenclaveidentity. of however, providedthem little supportin times of sudden crisis.When identity, attacked fromoutside, they had neitherthe organizationnor the arms to keep at intruders bay. South In May 2000, a Hindu girl from India eloped witha Muslim youthfrom On a enclavein India.53 11 May 2000, a crowdofIndians Moshaldanga, Bangladeshi enteredthe enclaveand looted fivehouses.They also abductedtwo men who were of thousand rupees.A week later,the enclave laterreleasedagainsta ransom twenty houses, was once more invaded by hundredsof Indians who set fireto fifty-five and lootedcattleand valuables.Newspaper woundedten peopie and abductedfour, in the reports Bangladeshidentified leadersof the invasionby name-they were West Bengal Minister), armed and of relatives thegirl,local politicians (one a former of Theyweresaid to havebeenbackedbyIndianstatepersonnel theCentral gangsters.
in to bothwereIndianswho tookshelter theenclave("Mash53According severalreports, aldanga" 2000).

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metn meitl,teDaaatoiis

ogdasrn

rts

ihteIda

of Figure3. The chairman an Indian enclavein Bangladeshposes in front his house. His leftfootis in India, his rightfootin Bangladesh. of He has extended houseinto Bangladeshin orderto acquire his and electricity a postaladdressin thatcountry. Photo from author's collection. ReservePolice Force(CRPF) and Border Force.Over the nextfewdays,more Security than fourhundredinhabitants Moshaldangaand surrounding of enclavesfledto the Bangladesh mainland,speakingof Indian siege and occupation,gang rape, more and forcible of arson, kidnappings, harvesting standing crops.Theyweregivenshelter in an impromptu Some ofthemfiled casesin Bangladesh refugee campin a schoolyard. who had intruded into the enclave. againstseveralIndian nationals TensionsbetweenIndia and Bangladeshescalatedrapidly;both statesreinforced theirt-roops alnong bordr. Whepn Ind,ianatoiesrfedton thep t-he hld, a flagr

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government. Finally, flag meetingswere held. Although India neitherallowed Bangladeshi officials visit the enclave nor to distributereliefgoods there,an to agreement was reachedto restore peace and to allow the refugees return to home ("Chhitmohole" 2000; Islam 2000a, 2000b; "450 People" 2000). This case demonstrates extreme the vulnerability people livingin the Indiaof Bangladeshenclaves. Withinthesenon-state territories, there wereno mechanisms to regulate violence,let alone to monopolizeit. The small size of theenclavesand their populationsand the loose structure theirinternal of made them easy organization targets.54 theirhour of need, the people of Moshaldangahad recourse their In to Bangladeshi citizenship. Hundredsresorted thesafety theBangladeshmainland to of and attempted mobilizethe military, to and diplomatic, judicial,relief, information capabilities thatstate.Theywerefairly of successful, theparentstateprovedto be for of some use to themduringthe immediate crisis-but not beyondit. Statepressure helped,however vicariously, stop theinvasion Moshaldanga, once again the to of but statefailedto installitselfas a presencein the enclave.It appearsthat,forenclave people, citizenship had become an episodic identity that mightbe in abeyancefor yearsor even decades, to be mobilized only in extreme circumstances only if and combinedwithflight the mainland.55 to

The Odd One Out: Dohogram and the Tin Bigha Affair
another route.In theenclaveofDohogram, Onlyone enclavefollowed citizenship triumphed overenclaveidentity. Dohogramcame into being just like theother196 turnedit into a politicalcause celebre.56 enclaves,but its geographical peculiarities It was the largest Pakistanienclavein India, almosttouchingits mainland.It lay in theembrace themighty treacherous and a of Tista River,and it almostcut off portion of Indian territory from restof India. Map 3 illustrates the (Kuchlibari) Dohogram's geographicalcomplexity. Moreover,Pakistan initiallyand publicly claimed that Dohogramwas connected Pakistan,but in 1953 foundout that it had based its to claimon a faulty In the mainland from Pakistan map.57 fact, Dohogramwas separated that meters Indian territory becameknownas theTin Bigha of by about eighty-five
54Attacks enclaves notvery on are well documented they but haveoccurred fairly regularly. For example,in December 1970, the East Pakistangovernment claimed thatthreehundred inhabitants Batrigachhenclavewere killed and seven hundredwounded in an attackby of Indian intruders. India denied the chargeand said that thirty "miscreants" had enteredthe enclave("Far EasternRound-Up" 1970). 55The vulnerability enclavepeople was notnecessarily of greater thanthatofpeopleliving in villagesin the mainlandsurrounding enclaves, but was structured differently. absence The of police or armed forcesmade fora power vacuum in enclavesthat did not exist outside enclaves.On the otherhand,it also precludedthe collusionbetween police and local military or to entrepreneurs (knownas mostan, gunda[in colonial-era English,goondaJ, dakat [dacoitJ) whichotherborderland villagesso often weresubjected.For theemergence "mostanocracy" of of (or gangster rule) in the borderland India and Bangladesh,see van Schendel(1993). 56The enclavehas also been knownas Tista Nodir Payosthi, and is commonly referred to as Dahagram-Angorpota In becauseit is madeup oftwocontiguous enclaves. 2000, inhabitants estimatedits size at 18 square kilometers and its population at 12,500 (group interview, Dohogram,February 2000). 57CR 1B2-28/52 (85-89, July1955); cf.CR 1B2-3/53 (2057-84, January 1955).

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Mejklgonj

o

Patgram

The enclaveof Map 3. Dohogramenclaveand the Tin Bigha Corridor. is from its Dohogram,whichbelongsto Bangladesh, separated stripofIndian territory knownas theTin Bigha "mainland" a narrow by from Bangladesh corridor. Since 1992 India allows traffic intermittent accessto Dohogram. (One Acre)58 Corridor. theearly1950s, Dohogramand Tin Bigha had passedinto By enclaves, Dohogram on Unliketheother nationalist discourse bothsidesoftheborder. was to stretch overdecades was wortha fight bothIndia and Pakistan.That fight to and confrontations. and involvedsymbolic, infrastructural, physical Dohogram was the only enclave in which the state was present.Pakistani and of policemenwere stationedtherewith the permission the Indian authorities, would was given.In thatcase,policemen without permission whenno "routepermit" simplyrun fromthe Pakistanimainlandto the enclaveand, if theywereunlucky, over on Residents Dohogramalso crossed of Indianpolicemen wouldopen fire them."9 risky and to mainlandPakistanforshopping, land registration, so on,whichwas very The presence armed of when armedIndian policemenwere posted in the corridor. police was an indication the fluctuating of tensionbetweenIndia and Pakistan.For claimson the other came to blows overterritorial example,when the two countries side of the subcontinent early1965 (the Rann of Kutch disputeUha 1972]), the in effects thisclashwerefeltimmediately Dohogram.PakistanallegedthatIndian of in the troopswerebeing amassedaroundDohogram,and thattheyhad entered enclave and occupiedit. India deniedthesecharges, concentration complained abouttheheavy of Pakistani troopsalong the borderfacingDohogram,and accused Pakistan of the expellingHindus from enclave("Unprovoked"1965;Jha 1972). Soon, intensive firing brokeout in the Dohogramarea,whichled to casualtieson bothsidesand the
of A 58Literally, "threebighas." bigha is one-third an acre. in 59See,e.g., the shootingincidentof May 1953 reported CR 1B2-3/53 (2057-84, January 1955). Cf. CR 1V-6/50 (141-71, June 1954).

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evacuation border of villages.The languageofwar came intoplay: Pakistanspokeof Indian aggression, the Indian government and assuredparliament that"not an inch of our territory" would be allowed to fall into Pakistanihands ("Uproar" 1965; "Situation"1965). After was twoweeks,a ceasefire negotiated. Pakistani unitsat the borderoppositeTin Bigha hoisteda white flag;India issued permitsto Pakistani officials visitDohogram;and some fourthousand to enclavepeople returned their to heavily damagedhomes("Cease-Fire"1965; "Shooting"1965; "East Pakistan"1965). AfterBangladeshbrokeaway fromPakistan,a new opportunity regulating for accessto Dohogrampresented itself. first seemedthatthe exchange At it agreement a of 1974 would eliminate within fewyears. But Dohogramand all theother enclaves India whenthisagreement notenforced, was wereheld between separate negotiations in in and Bangladesh.These negotiations eventually resulted a curiouscompromise 1982 that was not implemented 1992: India grantedBangladeshintermittent till passagefrom mainlandto the Dohogramenclave. its Today,a narrow roadrunsfrom BangladeshitownofPatgramto theborder. the It snakesthrough lush greenpaddy fieldsand comes to a sudden halt at a thirtymeter ironfence. either On side ofthefence, paddyfields the continue uninterrupted, in but along its span, the stateis heavilyinscribed the landscape.The gated fence, stretched between two concrete boundary pillars,is Indian.On theBangladeshi side, two small offices the BangladeshRifles(BDR, the borderguardsof Bangladesh) of can be seen,as well as a red-and-green the Bangladeshi flagand a signpost indicating in distanceto Dohogram. Across the fence,Indian flagsare fluttering the breeze; of of Forcesstand guard in front theirsmall personnel the Indian BorderSecurity and even the surrounding treeshave been markedwith the saffron, outpost; white, and greenof the Indian flag.Beyondthe outposta carefully markedroad of some of meters runsacrossthefields Tin Bigha to a secondgate.This gatemarks eighty-five to the entrance Dohogram.Beyondit, an outpostof the BDR and Bangladeshiflags can be seen. At night,the gates are closed and floodlights illuminatethe corridor. During the day, the gates are openedforan hourat a time and the road becomesa corridor. and truckscan cross to and from Pedestrians, rickshaws, motorcycles, Bangladeshand the enclave,uncheckedby Indian authorities-the road is defacto an then.After hour,thegatesareclosedand no traffic allowed is Bangladeshi territory forthenexthour,after whichthegatesswingopen foranother hourofuninterrupted communication betweenBangladeshand its enclave.During the hoursin whichthe gates are closed,a small bus runson the Indian road from Mekligonjto Kuchlibari, the whichcrosses Dohogramroad(see map 3).6o a of Indiaallows The arrangement notconstitute transfer sovereignty. does Rather, the to Bangladeshthe use of its territory, Tin Bigha corridor, accessDohogram.The Indian.The gatesare operated theIndianside on its corridor itself remains firmly by the and suggestions give Bangladeshunrestricted to accessthrough Tin Bigha terms, corridor have been rejected. to The lifeline Bangladeshhas transformed Dohogram.After1992, Bangladesh fundson rehabilitating enclave'sinfrastructure, the governments spentconsiderable
or traffic it from on 60Theconstruction thisroad,and an embankment wall protecting of betweenIndia and Pakistanin 1965. Pakistaniview and fire, a majorpointofcontention was and road could be In 2000 therewas no traceof an embankment, the Mekligonj-Kuchlibari meters away("Pak Threats"1965; "Tin Bigha" easilyobserved from Bangladesh, sometwenty werereported have relaxedthe to 1965; Jha 1972, 176). In May 2001, the Indian authorities from6 A.M. to access restrictions Dohogram somewhat, to openingthe Tin Bigha corridor 7:30 P.M., with a one-hour breakat midday("India" 2000; "India Relaxes" 2001).

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schools, and buildingbridges, villages, its a roadto connect three constructingcircular because could not reachthe enclave,however, a hospital,and a market.Electricity Rifles lines to run acrossits territory. India does not allow Bangladeshielectricity againstpossible to themselves weredistributed amongtheMuslimpopulation defend werepushed out of the enclave.6' India, and most Hindu inhabitants invasionfrom imposingtaxes, the years, stateof Bangladeshclaimedthe territory, After forty-five Non-governmental organizing elections, and "normalizing"the administration. the time. also organizations entered enclaveforthe first development umbilical cord acrossTin Bigha allowed Dohogram to join the The part-time in emerged theenclave, citizenship senseofBangladeshi 1992, a strong nation.After guaranteed. appearedto be permanently and as statepatronage accessto themainland Enclave identitydid not disappear but was now nested in a national identity. unit of Bangladesh and its leaders started Dohogram became an administrative in ceasedto for withothers themainland.Proxycitizenship competing statelargesse dwindledand theIndianstateappeared of playa roleas thenumber Hindu inhabitants were But the to have nothingto offer enclaveinhabitants. still,Dohogramresidents of unlikeotherinhabitants Bangladesh.TheyknewthatIndia and Bangladeshcould in enclaves, whichcase there to their agreement exchange earlier decideto implement whether Dohogramwould be exempted.62 was no predicting

Stateless in South Asia
This of as to Enclavesare usuallytreated footnotes the history stateformation. the West Europeanenclavestoday: theirterritorial in may be correct the case of between various customs treaties "normalized" havebeenlargely through peculiarities influence the EuropeanUnion. It would of the statesas well as through integrative enclavesas a merefootnote to the be a mistake, however, consider India-Bangladesh I outlinehow theseenclavespoint to In this conclusion, briefly to stateformation. of spaces;how theyhave becomeembeddedin the nation's the importance non-state in both India and Bangladesh; how theyunsettlea well-established imagination the among territory, and historiography; how theymake us reconsider relationships nation,and identity. Non-State Spaces modelsofpoliticsin whichthe dominant enclavesqualify The India-Bangladesh entireworld is neatlyparcelledout betweenand controlledby post-Westphalian in of power Such mostly terms competing nation-states.63 modelshavebeencriticized
onlya fewHindu families 2000. According Dohogramresidents, to February 61linterview, 1947. At thattime,too,guns thoseafter 1992 resembled in remained 2000. The eventsafter to had been distributed Muslims, and Hindus had been forcedto leave the enclave.Before werethoughtto have lived in Dohogram,comparedto only 1947, about 350 Hindu families Cf. 125 Muslim families. CR 31-20/53(1-27, November1954). Dohogramwould staywith Bangladesh,even if at some 62Under the 1992 agreement, In Bangladeshwould give up its claim date the otherenclaveswereexchanged. return, future of overthe disputedterritory southBerubariunion(marked"d2" in map 1). in the 63That the typeof statethatdevelopedafter Treatyof Westphalia(1648), first is, Europe and thenin the restof the world.

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entities64 in terms theproblems and of thatstatesfacein actuallymakingtheirown societieslegible.The issueofunadministered enclaves points,however, thespatial to limitsof statesand to the importance identifying of non-state spacesin the modern world.It is unlikely thatthereare manyotherplaces on earththatcloselyresemble the India-Bangladesh enclaves.Yet, enduring, unadministered, inhabitedspacesdo occurmorefrequently thandominantmodels allow us to see. They rangefromnoand war zones to disputedislandsand the high seas. man's lands,frontier societies, They also include non-statespaces well within state territories, e.g., the high denseforests, and mountains, marshes, deserts, mangrove swampsthatallow maroon societiesto flourish (Scott 2000). Challengingthe image of contiguous statespace, theyshapethepoliciesof statesand contribute the constitution bothstatesand to of
nations.

The Nation's Imagination The spatially insignificant India-Bangladesh enclaves, whereno national flags fly, have becomeunwillingicons of sovereignty, territory, citizenship both India and in and Bangladesh, precisely becausethe enclavespose a challengeto the image of the stateand the nationas spatially For thisreasonwe can consider contiguous entities. enclaves privileged from whichto studynations. as locations Nationalpoliticalparties and national governments withno rootsin theenclaves themselves haveappropriated theenclavesas symbols the nation.In India, the issuehas been takenup especially of of bytheBharatiyaJanata Party (BJP),whichopposedthegrant theTin Bighacorridor to Bangladeshin 1992, organized agitations againstit in West Bengal,and has been an the observing annual"Tin Bigha Protest Day" on 26 June.In manyBJPwritings, enclavesas well as the disputedarea of Berubarifigure nextto the Kashmirissue as When the BJP came to power powerful symbolsof Indian territorial inviolability.65 in India in 1998, however,it was caught between its political convictionand In the of statesmanship. an open letter, president the West Bengal stateunit of the the of stand BJP reminded PrimeMinister India,Atul BehariVajpayee,ofhis party's and demandedhis intervention end the plight of the inhabitants the Indian to of thatthe enclaveinhabitants enclaves.The president werelivingin "virtual reported of bondage .. . theyfalloutsidethepurview the Indian law enforcement machinery
since there is no access route for Indian officialsto the enclaves ....

outsidetheearshot evenCalcutta,let aloneNew Delhi" ("Where of miseries remained Smuggling"1998). In April 2000, the Indian Home MinisterL. K. Advani (BJP) visitedthe Tin in He had opposed the openingof the corridor 1992. But Bigha corridor. himself that"anyparty shouldhonor now he pronounced maycomeand go but a government its predecessor's decision,so we have to ensurethe corridor's functioning smoothly" ("India" 2000).66
corporations organizations, and civil societies, underground 64For example,transnational economies. (1992). see 65For pandemonium overTin Bigha in theIndianParliament, LokSabhaDebates 66In anotherexpressionof national concern,the Indian press, quoting "intelligence sources,"has recently suggestedthat severalIndian enclavesin Bangladeshhave become "a a group(the KamtapurLiberation havenforterrorists." Accordingto thesereports, separatist statehoodforthe Cooch Behar area) has established Organization,demandingindependent to most of theirinhabitants training camps in threeIndian enclavesin Bangladesh,forcing flee(Sarkar2001).

Tales of their

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In Bangladesh,the enclavesare equally emotivesymbolsof the inviolability of In the nation'sterritory. a highlypublicizedcourtcase, the Indira-Mujibtreaty of 1974 was challengedon the groundsthatthe agreedexchangeof enclavesinvolved and intowithout cessionofBangladeshterritory was entered lawfulauthority the by executivehead of government.67 the other hand, successivegovernments On in Bangladeshhave demanded that India implementthe treaty fully.In the treaty, Bangladeshceded partofthe territory Berubari of againsta lease in perpetuity the of Indian-owned Tin Bigha corridor. Twenty-seven yearslater,India still had not kept its part of the deal, although it possessed the Berubariterritory. Urged by his the of thatthestrictly Parliament, ForeignMinister Bangladeshadmitted controlled was to accessofBangladeshis Dohogramenclavethrough Tin Bigha corridor "not the withthe 1974 treaty." informed House thathe had requested India consistent He the to ensureround-the-clock access, if need be by constructing fly-over an free a or underpass ("Implement"2001). The capacityof the enclavesto arouse intenseemotionsin theirmainlandsis relatedto the factthattheypuncture nationalspaces. directly putatively contiguous to They are an affront the nation'simagination.68 However,althoughtheyappearas bodieswithinthenation'sterritory, nationis able bymeansofits own each "foreign" enclaves to penetratethe other'sterritory. This interpenetration led the two has nationsto dance to thesame tune,lockedin a slow tangofrom whichtheyhavebeen that The the unableto extricate themselves. tuneis thatofPartition, orchestration of recreate nationalselvesby distinguishing other the foreign policieswhichconstantly that The in termsof territory, boundaries, and security.69 enclavesalso demonstrate than the nationalspace it claims: the what the nationstandsforis less important made thetangolessstrangulating a while for "Pakistan"to "Bangladesh" changefrom of was a deadlockoverthe conundrum but did not changeits score.What remained nationalspace.
RahmanversusBangladesh(legal case 26 DLR[SCJ 44, 3 67Thecase of Kazi Mukhlesur September 1974). 68Thisuneasinessmay also accountforthe factthat the enclaves-unusual foricons of popularimagination themis of rarely depicted,and therefore sovereignty territory-are and showgeographically vague. NeitherIndia norBangladeshhas everpublishedmapsaccurately ing the locationof theseenclaves,althoughmostof themcan be locatedon the basis ofpre1947 local maps. In mapping the "geo-body"of the nation,the successorstatesof British detailedknowledge reluctance allow citizensand outsiders to India have showna remarkable are evidence oftheircontours. Accurate government maps ofborderregions highlyrestricted, 1994; Thongchai1994). anxiety" (1996; cf.Gregory ofwhatKrishnahas called "cartographic In similarvein, in the absenceof scholarsventuring into the studyof the India-Bangladesh of articleof 1966), politiciansand jourenclaves(with the sole exception Karan's three-page accurateinformation. the withoutproviding nalistshave fired nation'simagination essentially gave up on rulingin theirenclavesin the 69Although two governments the of on mid-1950s,therewas continualpressure themto imaginethe inhabitants the enclaves for as members the nation.In 1996, the Memberof Parliament Cooch Behar phrasedit of thus: "The main issue [betweenIndia and Bangladesh]is about the Indian enclavesand the thousand[150,0001 For the last fifty years, about one lakh and fifty Indian citizensthereon. of by Indian citizensare livingin Indian enclavessurrounded the territory Bangladesh. . . They are livingunderthe ruleof jungle. Thereis no education;thereis no school;thereis no there thereis no food;thereis no law and order;thereis nopanchayat; drinking waterfacility; for thereis no Parliament themand thereis no repreis no election;thereis no legislature; is sentativefromthem in this august House .... But our Government still silent on this of of and issue" (LokSabhaDebates1996). The complexities anyprocess exchanging regulating by by since 1843, of attempts the Belgian and enclavesis demonstrated the repeatedfailure, to of Dutch governments parliaments agreeon an exchange theirenclaves(Ragas 1999). and

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Postcolonial Historiography A third is capacity unsettle to dominant reason taketheenclaves to seriously their in accountsof post-1947 stateand nationformation SouthAsia. The statesof India, Pakistan,and Bangladeshprovideus with a veryspecial case of postcolonialstate formation. Unlike thevastmajority coloniesgainingpoliticalindependence of during as the twentieth century, BritishIndia fragmented it decolonized.Thus the three statesof India, Pakistan,and Bangladeshsharea singlecolonialpast and have their on statesand nations rootsin a single colonialstate.70 Most theorising postcolonial divide of decolonization, terms in assumesterritorial continuity acrossthe temporal of both institutions and identities.In the case of South Asia this assumptionis and of untenable. The rearrangements, reorientations, divisions thespoils completely national wereuniquelycomplex,and theycontinueto hold swayovercontemporary and interstate politics in the region.7'The South Asian case allows us to qualify "single-colony-to-nation-state" theories,particularlyconcerningthe impact of colonialruleon postcolonial three statesand nations werefashioned from trajectories: a singlecolonyand followed distinct trajectories. It can be arguedthat the India-Bangladesh enclavessurvived into the twentyare on first century precisely becauseIndia and Bangladesh statesconstructed a single and legal legacy,thatof BritishIndia. Since the enclavesweresurveyed demarcated is either stateto disowntheir rightful during colonialperiod, the there no legalwayfor has of existence. beenan option.Nor has an exchange enclaves Thus,annexation never that have fuelled been an option, due to bittermemoriesof state fragmentation loss movements fiercely opposinganyfurther of territory. Decolonizationled not onlyto the breakupof the colonialstatebut also to the It fragmentation South Asian historiography. created a partitionedacademic of and regarding nation, citizenship, statethat community engagedwithnewdiscourses differed betweenIndia and Pakistan(and laterBangladesh).Unsurprisconsiderably on of interpretations ingly, historiography stateand nationcameto rest conflicting the of of Partition.Among the few thingsthat historians modernIndia and Pakistan event could agreeupon,however, thecataclysmic was the impactofPartition: critical that demandedthat henceforth narration state and the of of the twentieth century no nationformation a storyof binaryopposites.Therefore, blurredboundaries be could be countenanced:the new states were conceptualizedas sharplydefined, National identitieswere equally well territorially unambiguous,and antithetical. an it was unthinkable be anything either Indian or a Pakistani. to defined: but and The storyof the enclavesupsetssuch neat binaryconstructions allows the in and identities post-colonial South thatwentintothemakingofstates complexities and institutionalized ambiguous Asia to reemerge. The statesthemselves created the that without institutional the category I havecalledproxy citizenship-today,largely and interdiscourse supportof earlierdecadesbut still a coreelementin nationalist of and Bangladesh.Furthermore, inability the amongIndia, Pakistan, staterelations created unadministered the states to come to terms with transterritoriality belied populations:citizensonly in the most tenuoussensewhose liminalexistence To the simple dichotomiesbetween Indians and Pakistanis/Bangladeshis. people
could be added becauseit was a knownas Myanmar), 70Afourth state,Burma(currently provinceof BritishIndia as well. But in the late 1930s, it gained the statusof a separate a BritishBurma,and it followed separate path of decolonization. colony, in see in 7'Forsome of thesecomplexities the case of nationalidentities Bangladesh, van Schendel(2000 and 2001).

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posed of the livingin enclaves, polarizednationalisms India and Pakistan/Bangladesh hand.Inscribing different had not a threat, a temptation-Partition dealtthema very us requires to teaseapartissues historical record ontothepostcolonial their experiences and thatare usuallyinterwoven. of territory identity Fluid Identities Finally, the case of the India-Bangladeshenclaves makes us consider the of nation,and identity.Among inhabitants these connections betweenterritory, fromthat of mainlandpopulafundamentally formation differed enclaves,identity between the on tions.The literature the nationin South Asia recognizes interplay language,region, identities-based on religion, and sub-national nationalidentities and betweennational to and ethnicgroup-but it paysscantattention the interplay amongenclavepeople formation Identity identities. (or transnational transterritorial) In providesan example of the second type of interplay. the course of theirdaily contexts thatcreate a of enclavepeoplemovethrough variety transterritorial routines, The wayin of multipleforms identity. a heightened and to express need to negotiate a compelling field for which they constructthese identitiesoffers particularly of and conceptualising contextual dimensions meaningin social life.72 the exploring two of We have seen that enclavepeople were pulled among threeidentities, citizens,proxycitizens,and membersof an enclave which were transterritorial: A was community. fourthidentity,also transterritorial, that of membersof a The all neverbecameimportant.73 but thisidentity community embracing enclaves, duringthe earlypostcolonial that of citizens,imposeditselfstrongly first identity, yearsbut soon lost its impact.By the mid-1950s,mostenclavepeople realizedthat as abandonedthem,and theiridentity citizensofthatstate theirstatehad effectively their that of proxycitizensof the state surrounding waned. The second identity, enclavesand to Muslims enclave,was open onlyto Hindus in Pakistani/Bangladeshi in Indian ones. This identity peakedwiththeviolenteventsof 1950 and thenfaded that as withits counterpart, of identity citizens. After could reassert themselves We have seen that both identities episodically. and exceptin wereusuallyin abeyance citizenship the mid-1950s,citizenship proxy In theirresurgence. thefaceof rarecircumstances whenviolenceand flight triggered life-threatening violence,enclavepeople had no option but to flee,and theyhad mainland. the Thosewhocouldopt onlyfor identity safe nowhere to go exceptto their only fled outsidetheenclave.Theycould takerefuge ofcitizens violencecomingfrom in theirmainland(as in the invasion Moshaldangain 2000). Those who could also of withinthe enclave(as when of opt forthe identity proxycitizensfledviolencefrom Hindu families weredrivenout of theBangladeshienclaveofDohogram).For them, theirmainland,wherethey destinations: therewas a choice betweentwo uncertain territory (their "proxy had formalrightsbut minority status,or the surrounding
to made forborderzones by Berdahl(1999, 7), is even morepertinent 72This argument, almostalwaystransnational. are small enclaveswheredaily routines of necessity that We the of wereactuallya number optionsbetween last twocategories. found 73There in small enclaveslocated close to each other,people who had set up a joint enclavecouncil and its surwith this small group of enclaves.People livingin a sub-enclave could identify roundingenclave (as in the case of Haluapara and Garati) could develop a joint identity. Anotheroption was forpeople living in enclavesbelongingto one state to develop a joint identity to is but identity, there no evidencein ourmaterial suggestthatthiswas an important at any time.

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status.But but enjoyedmajority mainland"),wheretheywere illegal immigrants neverbecamehegemonic theenclaves: in citizenship whenever citizenship proxy and as to and people returned theirenclave,theiridentity (proxy) a crisiswas overcome citizenssoon faded. was of thatof members theirown enclavecommunity, the The thirdidentity, an thatwas not transterritorial,leastnot from enclavepointofview. at onlyidentity experiences exclusion, of after 1947 and was boostedbyshared This identity developed and victimization, coping. It becamedominantamong most enclavepeople by the lost after 1971 whencitizenship evenmore prevalent late 1950s. It becameespecially groundwith the news of a possible exchangeof enclavesbetweenIndia and newly as weakenedfurther a resultof a emergedBangladesh,and when proxycitizenship in new,less communalnationalism Bangladesh.74 the inhabitants the enclavesinvestedtheirterritorial of Over half a century, of predicament with new culturalpracticesand juggled a combination new group followed Although eachenclave and all identities, ofwhichwereproblematic unstable. enclave people as a group driftedaway fromtransterritorial its own trajectory, The identitiesand towardone based on theirown mini-territory. world outside two became the Other. In enclaveswhere invasionor ethnic cleansingoccurred, and proxy emerge among citizenship-could briefly episodicidentities-citizenship thosewho feltcompelledto leave theirenclave,onlyto be droppedagain as soon as Only one enclavedid not followthisroute:Dohogram,"the odd one theyreturned. the made a spectacular out" in whichcitizenship comebackafter enclavewas given regular accessto its mainland. enclavepeople have with multiplepost-Partition Confronted projects, identity identities basedon The richliterature community on had to find their own solutions. theseas religion, language,region,and ethnicgroup in SouthAsia usuallyanalyses But here we have as sub-national, nested within a larger national framework. and denynationalidentities thatstraddle, forms identity encountered of obfuscate, Such crosscutting constructions. and cut across the bipolar historiographical of and identities-which highlightthe arbitrariness violenceof discourses nationto (Krishna 1996)-may not be restricted hood, citizenship and sovereignty in unadministered enclaves.For example,theyare likelyto be widespread theborder zones connecting India, Bangladesh,and Pakistan,among linguisticcommunities such as Kashmir.5 and in areasofdisputedsovereignty dividedby a border, In the enclaves,then, the absence of the state is mirrored an absence of by nationalism.It is true that local formsof organizationtook on some state-like if like (mini-)states, only But did theydevelop into anything functions.76 nowhere
of the of 74The newsofa possibleexchange enclavesalso affected movement people.Before out citizenstatusto migrate oftheenclaves for had been a trend people withproxy 1971, there from In usuallyunderpressure. thisway,Hindus migrated mainland, proxy and settlein their to Indianenclaves settlein East Pakistan. enclaves settlein India,and Muslimsleft to Pakistani a Their lands were takenover by thosewho stayedbehind. After1974, however, new pheof This involvedsmall numbers Hindu settlers nomenonarose: "speculativeimmigration." Muslim cheap land in Bangladeshienclaves(and, conversely, from India buyingthe relatively in becoming from Bangladeshbuyingland in Indianenclaves) thehopeoftheseenclaves settlers in Some ofthesespeculative in integrated India and Bangladesh,respectively, the nearfuture. but gave up in disgustwhen the exchangedid not materialize, othersstayedon immigrants as predominantly enclavepeople. and now identify see of identities people in borderlands, Donnan and Wilson (1999, 750n the ambivalent 60). in 76E.g.,land registration Garati, public works by means of corveelabor in Dohala of and the administration justicein many,but not all, enclaves. Khagrabari,

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nor of redistributive functions a monopoly violence.Local because theyhad neither of a but forms identity express senseof place and local community lack the broader In and in current world, and ideology. today's of scope,cogency, symbols a nationalist populations beingboth as difficult imagine to it academicdiscourses, has becomevery to That is exactly whyit is important takecases such as the stateless and nationless. India-Bangladeshenclaves seriously.They demand that we reconsiderreceived "Only in and sovereignty identity: assumptions about the fitbetweenstate,territory, the eyesof the law are we Indians."

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