H C Singh

Neglect of Arunachal

Neglect by the Central Government including by the Prime Minister is obvious and glaring, not only critics of Centre but to common citizen of Arunachal. It is strange even unpardonable that centre’s neglect of Arunachal continues even after 47 years of Chinese war in 1962 and brief occupation by China, vacating Arunachal on its own teems. Arunachal’s geography and proximity to China demanded that Centre should have developed fully, as promised by PM in Rs 24,000 crore package for 3000 MW project, Highways, roads and even railway line upto Itanagar. But unfortunately nothing, or there was little and insignificant development though PM had promised and even assured the people of Arunachal of many projects for which even money was sanctioned or promised by no less a person than Prime Minister. All these projects have remained on paper so far.

I feel, though many in government, polities and elsewhere, many disagree, that Arunachal crises developed because India welcomed Dalai Lama and hundreds of Tibetans who left Tibet and crossed into Arunachal, not realizing that Tibet was, part of China and China would resent and even get annoyed by India welcoming Dalai Lamia and his followers. Accordingly, this was the basis of China crossing McMahon Line which was recognized by British from 1914 onwards till 1947 and remained so, and even today remains so. Since then Dalai Lama, with base in India, has been going from one country to another and directly or indirectly saying and propagating against so called Chinese occupation of Tibet, ignoring that Tibet, though Buddhist, as China was before Mao Tse Tung after Long March converted into communist China which USA by its intervention on behalf of Chiang Kai Shek could not prevent.

Now coming back to India’s neglect of Eastern States of India, particularly Arunachal Pradesh. Though Arunachal has become a democratic, like other states of India, state with its own Chief Minister elected duly by free elections, it continued to be neglected. To this day infrastructure has been delayed and its delay and neglect is appalling. Though history of Arunachal particularly since 1962 War demanded that this aspect of development should have been given top most priority. PM had announced construction of Highways linking fully Arunachal with rest of India, bids were duly called but when the bids were opened a few months ago these were rejected by “Ministry of Surface Transport”. It should not have rejected all the bids outright. Had this infrastructure Project started, it would have provided employment to thousands of people of Arunachal. But that was not to be.

Similarly had the 3000 MW project come into operation hundreds of villages would have got electricity besides development in other spheres like industry. And the people of Arunachal, specially in villages and small towns would have celebrated the occasion and congratulated their Chief Minister as well as Prime Minister of India.

Many projects which were to be financed out of Rs 24000 crores package have not been even initiated what to speak of their progress or even completion of one out of many. What upset the Chief Minister was the proposal of building a new secretariat at a meager cost of 128 crores. Its bid, too, was rejected by, Dept of North East Region at centre, saying this project would get only Rs 71.73 crores.

For the neglect of Arunachal and failure of the centre to fulfil the promised development if Arunachal in many fields out of package of Rs 24,000 crores upset the Chief Minister Dorjee Khander so much that he came to Delhi along with a delegation to meet PM. He submitted a letter full of resentment over non implementation of many promised Projects and requested the PM to personally intervene.

In 1914 British India recognized Mc Mahon Line as boundary between India and Tibet-China. It continued to be after India because Independent Republic in 1947. India also signed an agreement in 1954 with China recognizing Tibet region of China. However situation in Tibet changed dramatically and drastically when there was a large scale uprising in Tibet in 1954 itself. Consequently Dalai Lama and hundreds of his followers flee Tibet and sought refugee in India through Kalimpong.

However I fail to understand as to why Pranay Sharma in an article in outlook has written “China’s stand on Taiwang lies inextricably to its suspension of India’s intention on Tibet. Even the British as far back as in 1914, after Younghusband expelition, Tibet as in alienable part of China and Arunachal, simultaneously as inalienable part of India and so drew Mc Mahon Line as boundary between China and India. Neither the British before 1947 nor India after independence in August 47 had an eye on Tibet. India only wants China to recognize Arunachal including Taiwang as inalienable part of India.

However Taiwang remains bone of contention between China and India. Taiwang falls below the Mc Mohan Line towards India. Prior to Mao Tse Tung’s communist Government, no Chinese Government including that if Chiang Kaishek created problem of Taiwang. Taiwang is part of Arunachal and so part of India, upto 1980, even after 18 years of 1962, China never raised the problem of Taiwang claiming it to be part of Tibet and therefore of China. As from 1914 to 1980, during 66 years no Chinese government raised the question of Taiwang, either during British India or after India’s independence, it is clear that China is not that serious about acquiring Taiwang by force. If communist China was really and emotionally keen to have Taiwang, it would not have vocated Taiwang and gone back to Mc Mahon Line. Once again, it is to be reiterated that China is upset over Dalai Lama’s visits to various countries and utterances against China. It is better India, for permanent friendly relations with China puts some restraint, officially or unofficially on Dalai Lama. It is noteworthy that US President Barack Obama did not or avoided meeting Dalai Lama. Even has softened its stand on Tibet, despite rebellion in Lalisa by some Tibetians. Britain earlier regarded Chinese suzerainty and have recently recognize Chinese sovereignty over Tibet. There are good examples for India and thus India should try its best to have, as stated above, most cordial and friendly relations with its great neighbour China.

It is hoped that PM, his cabinet and bureaucracy at centre will rise to the occasion and PM will in consultation with Sonia Gandhi UPA Chairperson, will issue necessary instruction to all concerned at the centre to sanction/approve the projects of Arunachal as top priority.


December 1, 2009 Posted by | India, Indian History, Political Commentary, Politics, World | , , , , , , | Leave a comment