‘China Can Rename Whatever It Wants, Arunachalis Firmly With India’

Arun Jyoti Bora, an Itanagar-based journalist, says it is business as usual for Arunachal citizens as they are largely unaware of Chinese renaming spree. His observations:

Whenever a leader from New Delhi or anywhere else in India comes to Arunachal Pradesh, China, compulsively, raises much hue and cry. This is a ritualistic and repetitive reaction from Beijing. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited Arunachal Pradesh when Congress was ruling in Delhi – they opposed the visit. Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the border state two times – they, yet again, opposed it. Recently, Union Home Minister Amit Shah visited the state – they have once again opposed it strongly. However, this time they have gone a bit too far.

China has always maintained that Arunachal Pradesh is a part of Tibet and hence a part of Chinese territory. India has always contested this position emphatically while reinstating that the state is an integral part of India, that it was, it is and it will always be an inseparable part of India. This has been yet again stated by all concerned, including the current chief minister of the state.

However, what has come as a new surprise is the sudden Chinese assertion that it has renamed around 11places in Arunachal with its own names, and it claims that these are the original names of these locations. This is a totally new development.

Ironically, the people who live in these places have had no clue of these developments. Newspapers don’t come to these remote areas. There are TV channels and through social media, people get news. Once the media reports trickled in about the Chinese claims of new names, the people were really surprised and taken aback. They said that they have never heard of these names before!

Besides, people who live in these 11 places in Arunachal Pradesh are all committed patriots, who believe totally in Indian democracy, and who are fully integrated with India as citizens. They have no desire to be identified at all with China. Undoubtedly, this is a social and political phenomenon across the entire state, including in the border areas.

People in the state have no fear of the Chinese army. There is no tension or fear here at this moment. After the skirmish among the two armies in the border last year, there was a bit of tension, but it passed away soon after. People feel secure with the Indian army in the border, they feel protected, and they believe in the Indian army. They are committed citizens of India and believe in their rights as Indian citizens and in the sovereignty of the country.

Indeed, even now, people remember and pay homage to the martyrs of the India-China war of 1962, when China waged war and invaded India through Arunachal Pradesh. That memory remains etched till this day.

(The narrator works as a special correspondent for Dainik Purvoday, a leading Hindi Daily published from Guwahati, Assam)

As told to Amit Sengupta

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Techi Ako
Techi Ako
1 year ago


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