Borders’ dwellers are “strategic assets”

In fact, it really requires courage , grit and endurance to live along borders and that too on the ones which always remain vulnerable. Any movement initiated against the country from the other side of the border has its immediate impact on the people living near by which we cannot mask or trivialise but appreciate and reach out to them not only in hour of need but otherwise too. At critical junctures, they are exposed to all types of risks and dangers even while causing frustration and checkmating the treacherous vanguard of enemy sponsored infiltration and other types of mischief on and through borders. How can we forget the role of the brave patriotic border dwellers in the Ladakh region about being the first in giving pointed information to the authorities about Pakistan’s infiltration into Kargil. However, whatever attention all these years has been expended from the Government on the border dwellers , it has more or less remained concentrated on the borders in Jammu and Kashmir with Pakistan or at best in Ladakh region bordering China only while our north east has not received attention on parity.
It is not the question of the border dwellers of the North East or now, ‘ new North East ‘ but the entire North East region in itself being neglected till 2014 and with the change of guard at the Centre and Narendra Modi getting elected as Prime Minister , this region started coming into limelight . In fact, the Prime Minister has envisaged that road to “New India” runs through a “new North East”. Arunachal Pradesh has of late , acquired the distinction of being in the forefront of the much required development and that is why, currently proposals are under active consideration of the Union Government for making the dream of a North East corridor to develop Arunachal Pradesh as a land bridge for South East Asia, turn into a reality. Several other plans for improving connectivity in border areas, a tunnel at Sela pass, constructing airports and establishing more railway links are under active consideration of the Government .The fact of the matter is that the entire North East is important for the country strategically hence calling for the requisite attention from all concerned.
Arunachal Pradesh, in particular being surrounded by three countries acts as a gateway for ASEAN countries and South East Asia. How could this state not receive its due preferred attention for too many years is quite baffling. With this strategic state , there has been a problem, though in vacuum but of no ordinary rating which , however, does not emanate from within. That problem is occasional claptrap by China ‘staking claim’ on majority of its territory as ‘part’ of South Tibet while we on this side trace the origin of the ‘dispute’ to Aksai Chin area occupied by China in 1962 conflict. Whatever the veracity of the claim of China , the fact is that several rounds of talks have taken place between the two countries to settle amicably the boundary dispute.This scenario created by China but equally resisted by India especially during the last five years does have , as a natural corollary, some psychological effect on the patriotic and brave border dwellers in this region who have maintained their traditions, strengthened their cultural base, grown highly patriotic and are heading towards becoming a role model for other states in the country.
Since right from the Prime Minister to his other cabinet ministers are regularly paying visits to this region intermittently , it does send signals in proper measure about the firm policy of the Central Government to not only China but for blending such measures which resulted in the turnaround of the economic development of the North East region. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh during his recent visit to Arunachal Pradesh described people living on borders as “no ordinary citizens but India’s strategic asserts”.