Boundaries of the Mind

Boundaries left behind by Colonial forces have perhaps had the greatest impact on future generations. The imaginary lines which were arbitrarily drawn without the consent of the people have only re-enforced the concept of the European Westphalian state. The Westphalian state has with statecraft only ensured that the boundaries have become real and divisive. The ideology behind the Westphalian State has meant the state assumes monopoly over boundaries and in the process made certain that boundaries are created in peoples’ hearts. Today, the boundaries that exist are not the lines that we see in the map, but are in peoples hearts and minds, and are lived day after day.      
The question of boundaries in the north east is no different. Given the political and historical context of the region, it is quite evident how state boundaries have been manipulated in decisively breaking down political communities into narrow rigid state identification. The consequence of such politics has demonstrated how state-people conflicts have been diverted into people-people conflicts, to the point of causing gross internal contradictions.
The violence of state boundaries is evident and in the world over, it have been the unrepresented peoples who have had to languish under state boundaries neither of their making nor of their choice. The monopolistic nature of the state to organize political space has been an issue that has given rise to many conflicts in the world. Unfortunately, the lack of any significant international non-state forums to uphold the rights of unrepresented peoples has only given space for state-centered organizations like the United Nations to legitimize existing state boundaries, even at the cost of denying ‘equal rights to all peoples,’ thereby violating its own principles.  
What is tragic is the growing realization that these state boundaries are succeeding in fragmenting the harmonious and dignified historical relationship shared between different political communities. The growing issues over territorial boundaries are indicators that statecraft has indeed been thriving in creating a wedge between different political communities, and therefore enabling the state to maintain the status quo. The present acrimony over frontier lands is therefore grossly misrepresented, unless the intent of statecraft and the politics of state boundaries are put into perspective. It would not be possible to evolve sustainable solutions to this problem of boundaries unless the broader issues of territory, people and rights are addressed with.  
The violence of boundaries has given rise to a number of contradictions that have intensified strife primarily because some political communities have already been entrapped within the state boundaries. Experience has shown that political communities which have benefited from the arbitrary state boundaries have unwittingly contradicted their own political aspiration by affirming the existing state boundaries. In the process, they become actively responsible in obstructing the rights and aspirations of a fellow political community, to the extent of denying their basic existence. Consequently what was fundamentally a conflict of interest between the state and a political community is diverted into a conflict between two political communities. In the final analysis it is the state that benefits most, while the political communities have most to lose.