17 July, 2015 was a historical day for the people living in 162 enclaves of India and Bangladesh. They got a chance to choose their nation.
In May, India’s parliament approved a key agreement with Bangladesh enabling the two countries to exchange control of areas of land on each other’s territory. This was done to provide public services which they lacked before.
Under the new agreement, more than 50,000 villagers from both sides will be given the option to choose where they want to live and which nationality they would prefer.
Earlier this month officials of two countries began asking the residents of the enclaves which nationality they want to opt for after the exchange of enclaves.
People living in Indian enclaves inside Bangladesh are officially Indian citizens and those living in Bangladeshi areas inside India are Bangladeshis. The enclaves will cease to exist on 31 July.
Expected a total of 51,584 people in 162 enclaves will chose their nationalities by the end of July. These enclaves are a legacy of colonial times and have been a contentious issue between the two nations for decades.
Reports say the two sides will finalize the list by the end of July and arrange for the rehabilitation of the citizens in the country of their choice.
All in all it is a good move for the people of enclaves, well that’s my view. Let’s see what India’s youth thinks.