Meghalaya-Sylhet: A border without history or logic

A border without history or logic

The partition of India was one of the 20th century's most tragically audacious experiments in social engineering, one that denied millennia of history at the stroke of a pen. Though Partition has been the subject of considerable research, the focus has generally been its study as either a macro-political event, or as a cultural (and personal) disaster. Little work has been done on the individuals, communities and regions that straddle the artificially created borders.

If you take the Northeast of India as a unit, then fully 98 percent of its frontiers are international borders, with the remaining two percent comprising the Chicken's Neck corridor near Siliguri in West Bengal. The international boundaries of the northeastern region all encompass communities that continue across into neighbouring countries, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma and Tibet/China. These divided communities, as elsewhere in the region, share long histories of kindred language, ethnicity, culture and economic interdependence.

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Himal Southasian