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How Many Inter-State Border Disputes Are Currently Unresolved In India?

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Recently, the Assam-Mizoram border disputes turned violent and at least five Assam’s police personnel died in the clash and several were injured. The incident raised several questions, such as who is accountable for the violence and police personnel’s death. Both the state’s governments are blaming each other for the incident.

The Central government has talked to both Chief Ministers to control the violent\ce and maintain peace in the region.

When we hear about border disputes, we usually think that it will be about the dispute with a neighbouring country, but there are currently several inter-states border disputes in the country. Assam has the maximum number of inter-state border disputes. They have border disputes with Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland.

Arunachal Pradesh, formerly known as North-East Frontier Agency, was annexed to Assam until it became a Union Territory in 1972. Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland were carved out of Assam between 1963 and 1972

Assam-Mizoram Border Dispute

Assam Mizoram border
Representative Image. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Assam and Mizoram are fighting for 193 square miles of disputed land. The dispute originated from the notification of 1875 made by THE British that differentiated the Lushai hills (today’s Kolasib district, Mizoram) from the Barak valley plains (today’s Cachar district, Assam) and another notification of 1933 that demarcates a border between the Lushai Hills and the princely state of Manipur (now part of Jiribam and Pherzawl districts in Manipur).

Assam-Meghalaya Border Dispute

The Assam-Meghalaya border dispute has claimed four lives. The issue began when Meghalaya challenged the Assam Reorganisation Act of 1971, which gave Blocks I and II of the Mikir Hills or present-day Karbi Anglong district to Assam. Meghalaya claimed that both these blocks formed part of the erstwhile United Khasi and Jaintia Hills district when it was notified in 1835.

Assam-Nagaland Border Dispute

The Assam-Nagaland border dispute is the most violent dispute in the subcontinent, with 136 reported deaths. The dispute began just after Nagaland became a state in 1963. Nagaland does not accept the boundary delineation and says the border deprives them of their rightful claim to the plains and demands that it have all Naga-dominated areas in North Cachar and Nagaon districts.

Assam-Arunachal Pradesh Border Dispute

The Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border dispute has claimed 10 lives. The latter has an objection that the re-organisation of North Eastern states unilaterally transferred several forested tracts in the plains to Assam that had traditionally belonged to hill tribal chiefs and communities.

After Arunachal Pradesh achieved statehood in 1987, a tripartite committee was appointed, recommending certain territories be transferred from Assam to Arunachal. Assam challenged this and the matter is before the Supreme Court.

Maharashtra-Karnataka Border Dispute

Highway
Representative Image.

Maharashtra and Karnataka have a decades-old border dispute over Belgaum or Belagavi. Belgaum has a sizable population of both Marathi and Kannada speaking people. Maharashtra claimed that more than 800 villages in two Karnataka border districts, Gulbarga and Belgaum, have a majority of Marathi speaking population and should have been part of the state.

The border dispute began when the State Reorganisation Act of 1956 made Belgaum and 10 talukas of Bombay state (modern-day Maharashtra) a part of the then Mysore state (modern-day Karnataka).

The government of India had constituted a commission in 1966 under the chairmanship of former Chief Justice of India Mehr Chand Mahajan at the insistence of the Maharashtra government to resolve the issue. The Commission recommended that 264 villages be transferred to Maharashtra and 247 villages remain with Karnataka but rejected the merger of Belgaum.

In 2006, the Maharashtra government filed a petition in the Supreme Court staking claim over Belgaum city. The Karnataka government has proposed making Belgaum the second capital of Karnataka. Hence, a second state administrative building Suvarna Vidhana Soudha was inaugurated in Belgaum.

Himachal Pradesh-Ladakh Border Dispute

Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh have a land dispute over the Sarchu, a region between Himachal Pradesh’s Lahaul and Spiti district and Ladakh’s Leh district.

In July 2014, the then Jammu and Kashmir police set up a check post at Sarchu. Himachal Pradesh raised objections against the Jammu and Kashmir police action and called for settlement of the dispute. The boundary at Sarchu had been drawn in 1871 by the British rulers.

Himachal Pradesh-Haryana Border Dispute-

Haryana and Himachal Pradesh have a border dispute over the Parwanoo region (currently in Himachal Pradesh), which lies next to the Panchkula district of Haryana. Haryana has claimed a large part of that region as its own.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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