A year ago, these Indians were Bangladeshi citizens. A little over a year ago, Bangladesh and India shared one of the most complicated borders in the world; complicated because on either side of the border, were leftover pockets of land (enclaves) that didn’t belong to the country it was in. There were Indian patches of land inside Bangladesh, and vice versa.
It isn’t too difficult to move freely between India and Bangladesh, but even so, how does a citizen in an enclave apply for a passport to do so? How does a government even govern these citizens in another nation? Who would provide these people with basic amenities, and utilities? These were tough questions that both countries didn’t have any answers to, till last year when the Land Bills Act was implemented. Both countries swapped these pockets of land, and the ‘enclave islands’ ceased to exist.
Citizens were given a choice – stay back and assume the nationality of the country the enclave was situated in, or go back to their homeland. Most citizens stayed back, and changed their nationalities. We’re telling their stories. And the story of Jihad Hussein Obama, a boy from the enclaves whose birth sparked the revolution for the people who lived there.
This story was originally published on 101india.