India/Bangladesh – The world’s worst border
JAY: Welcome to Map Men.
MARK: We’re the men,
JAY: And here’s the map. ♫ ♫ Map Men, Map Men
♫ ♫ Map Map Map, Men Men MARK: Today’s map is a 2015 map of the border between India and Bangladesh. An area riddled with ‘enclaves’.
JAY: An enclave is a piece of country, wholly surrounded by another country. Like a TicTac inside a Polo. This is a piece of Bangladesh which is in India.
MARK: And this is a ‘2nd Order enclave’, a piece of India which is in Bangladesh which is in India. JAY: And this is the world’s only 3rd order enclave in the world, a piece of India which is in Bangladesh which is in India which is in Bangladesh which is insane. MARK: Like a TicTac inside a Polo inside a bagel inside Bangladesh. *munch* JAY: The problem for people living in smaller enclaves is they often lack access to basic resources. With the two countries often unwilling to share. MARK: Worse still, with many enclaves too small to support their own emergency services, neighbouring paramedics awkwardly refuse to cross borders. “Heeeeelp! I’m having a heart attack! I just need a defibrillator! C-can somebody help me please?” “Ahhhhhhh!” JAY: The cruel irony is that in order to leave their enclave, residents need a visa, which they can only get by travelling to their embassy, which they can only do if they have a visa which they don’t. MARK: So how did we end up in this ludicrous situation? Amazingly, historians aren’t really sure. All they know, is that it was the result of a confused end to a war in 1713 between various princes Who couldn’t be bothered to use a MAP TO DRAW A CLEAR BORDER. JAY: Calm down Mark.
MARK: I’m fine but they should’ve used a map. JAY: Back in the 18th century, these patches of who owned what didn’t matter like they do today. It was only when, you guessed it, the British came and went that the two provinces became separate countries. Who, incidentally, hate each other. MARK: The simple thing to do would be to swap these enclaves over, but for India, this was a problem, because it would send out the wrong message. *phone ringing*
BANGLADESH: Hello Pakistan? It’s Bangladesh. India are giving land away. PAKISTAN: India are giving land away?!?! CHINA: Hello?
PAKISTAN: Hello China it’s Pakistan, India are giving land away! CHINA: India are giving LAND AWAY?!?!? MARK: But, in 1974, enclave dwellers were offered hope, When the two sides put together an agreement to swap their stray bits of land. Both sides signed it, and then Bangladesh ratified it. And India, didn’t. BANGLADESH: Augh! Augh! So rude! Augh! Augh! JAY: India decided they weren’t happy with the small print. And the dispute continued, “Heeeeeeelp!” JAY: For another 40 years. BUT! As recently as 2015, India finally decided to put people first. MARK: And they ratified the agreement. JAY: On August the 1th, 2015, 161 enclaves were ceded to the country that contained them. Setting thousands of people free. MARK: And so we must pay our respects, to this once great map. Now sadly consigned to history. JAY: Mark!… …Save some for me.