Border regions and communities, some of them far from the heartland, constitute India’s first line of defence, a critical link in its national security. India’s 15,000-km borders touch seven neighbouring countries: Afghanistan (abutting Gilgit), Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, China, Bangladesh, Myanmar. Border regions have their own local dynamics, often shaped by subnational and religious identities that do not necessarily align neatly with political borders. Some also serve as flourishing corridors for illegal smuggling of goods and humans. Technology plays an important role in better protecting borders, but in some cases it has made borders obsolete. Despite their importance, border regions do not receive the full attention of the Indian mainstream, except when border tensions arise.
With India distracted in the Kashmir Valley, the critical border region of Ladakh has become a target of Chinese attention. Beijing appears to be exploiting Buddhist sectarian rivalries as it did in Tibet
In this special episode, Professor M.D. Nalapat joins us to discuss the current border stand-off between India and China, sharing a unique glimpse into the policy psyche of India, China and the United States.