Border Community and Border Management: A Case of Tawang Tract
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Security and management of the international border are increasingly being viewed as a shared responsibility between the union government and the local community. However, given that the border areas are at the periphery of a state and often remote, the local people are, more often than not, subjected to powerful centrifugal forces. The situation is compounded further if the border areas are underdeveloped and the quality of life is poor. Tawang is of immense importance for India because of its strategic location as well as Chinese claims on it. Even though Tawang was administered by the Tibetans for centuries and Indian administration was established only in 1951, the Monpas has steadfastly remained loyal to India. The Indian government has also tried to instil a sense of loyalty among them through various training programmes. But in recent years, a sense of neglect is creeping among the local people given the pervasive underdevelopment in their area. They have started demanding separate autonomous district council to preserve their identity. Indian government needs to be mindful of this sense of neglect among local people and redouble its efforts to win back their trust by sustained developmental work and building a healthy relationship with the local people.
KeywordsBorder management Border community India–China border Tawang
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