China renamed 11 Indian places in Arunachal Pradesh.
Amit Shah launched the vibrant villages programme in Arunachal Pradesh.
The Union Home Minister targeted China’s attempt to rename Indian territory.
China renamed 11 Indian places: China is the worst neighbour that any country could have. The dragon believes that it has a heavenly right to claim any land as Chinese territory. Funny right! But that is the unfortunate reality. China has border disputes with as many as 13 countries. For a long time, it has exploited every country. India too faced problems because of Chinese territorial as well as cartographic aggression. But the latest statement of Union Home Minister Amit Shah is winning hearts as he showed firm commitment to protecting Indian territory.
A lot of things have happened lately around China and its diplomacy, but what concerns India most is Beijing’s controversial move of naming Indian regions in Mandarin and Tibetan and claiming them as a part of China.
According to the list, Arunachal Pradesh is referred to as Zangnan. The list locates Arunachal Pradesh as the southern part of Tibet. This is not the first time that China has published this type of senseless and baseless list. Back in 2017, Beijing issued the first list of renaming six Indian places as Chinese. Later in 2021, it again issued a futile list naming 15 Indian places as Chinese territory. Well! At this pace of claiming another country’s territory, Xi Jinping will soon pass KP Sharma Oli’s excellence.
China renamed 11 Indian places: Amit Shah asserts Arunachal Pradesh’s Indianness
India has rejected China’s attempt to rename Indian places in Arunachal Pradesh and reaffirmed that the state has always been and will continue to be an essential part of India. India also emphasised that giving invented names to places does not change the state’s status. On the other hand, Chinese experts cited by The Global Times argued that assigning names is a lawful action and that China has a legitimate right to standardise geographic names.
After the official statement by the Indian government, the Union Minister also took charge. Addressing a public gathering in Arunachal Pradesh, Amit Shah sent a strong message to China. He firmly said that “nobody can take even a pin’s worth of our land.”
Amit Shah launched the Vibrant Village Programme from Kibithoo village in Anjaw district of Arunachal Pradesh. The village is situated about 11 kilometres from the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China and approximately 40 kilometres from the tri-junction of India, China, and Myanmar.
Shah said, “Gone are those days when people could encroach on our land. They cannot even take a pin’s tip worth of our land.”
It is worth noting that the government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has sanctioned the ‘Vibrant Villages Programme’ with a budget of 48 billion rupees, including 25 billion exclusively for road connectivity, for the financial years 2022–23 to 2025–26.
The initiative aims to bring comprehensive development to 2967 villages located in 46 blocks of 19 districts situated near the northern border in the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, and Himachal Pradesh, along with the Union Territories of Ladakh. 662 villages have been selected for priority coverage in the first phase, with 455 of them located in Arunachal Pradesh.
The approach of the Modi government regarding Arunachal
China renamed 11 Indian places controversy speaks volumes about the focus of the government on Arunachal Pradesh. Actually, the villages along the border were always referred to as the last villages of India, but the Narendra Modi government has a different perspective on things.
This government tags those villages as not the last but the first ones. This implies that they require special attention from the government. To that extent, this programme has a two-way impact. First is the strong hold and constant border presence at the border by which Chinese aggression can be countered. The second is the development of the last habitation.
The objective of the Vibrant Village programme is to improve the living standards and provide better opportunities for the people residing in these areas. The government considers the development of the border regions a priority and will continue to take steps towards their growth.
The Home Minister emphasised that the BJP-led central government considers the border regions as its topmost priority, citing the infrastructure and other developmental activities accomplished in Northeast India. He further stated that the Modi government has undertaken more border area development than the Congress did in its 12 terms.
Other infrastructure development projects near LAC
Additionally, this is not the only programme that the government of India is working on to develop infrastructure along the LAC. Upgrading of the Tawang-Bomdila road and construction of the Bailey Bridge over the Siang River are the road connectivity projects in Arunachal Pradesh.
There is immense bridge infrastructure being developed in the region. This includes Serati Bridge over the Lohit River, Mago-Thingbu Bridge over the Kameng River, Gelling Bridge over the Siang River, and Bumla Pass Bridge over the Namka Chu River.
Apart from that, railway connectivity is also enhanced in the region. The construction of the Missamari-Tenga-Tawang railway line, the Pasighat-Tezu-Rupai railway line, and the Murkongselek-Pasighat-Bame-Silapathar railway line in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh are among the top projects.
India is also developing military bases, airfields, patrol roads, and dams. These are obviously an indigestible development for Beijing, which always dreams of annexing Indian territories. Moreover, the resolution passed in the US Senate that acknowledges Arunachal Pradesh as an integral part of India also came as a shock to China.
So what Xi’s leadership is trying to do is create an unnecessary diplomatic ruckus so as to flare up India. More importantly, the move by the Chinese authoritarian government is inspired by a desire to maintain a relevant say in matters related to Arunachal Pradesh because moves like these are the basis of future claims to the territory of neighbours.
It is just a hollow move made merely for Chinese diplomatic paperwork. Nothing more than that. Amit Shah’s statement is indeed a strong message to the dragon, but it also suggests that India needs to increase the infrastructural and habitat presence in each and every corner of Arunachal Pradesh as soon as possible.
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