Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on 10 September remembered Captain Vikram Batra, posthumous Param Vir Chakra Awardee, on his 46th birthday. Batra was all of 24 years when he fell to enemy bullets in the icy heights of the Himalayas. “My respectful homage to Captain Vikram Batra who sacrificed his life to defend the borders of Mother India”, Khandu said in a message.
If there is one takeaway from the latest misadventure of China in Arunachal Pradesh — where a PLA patrol party took five local boys in custody and have not released them yet — it is the patriotism displayed by the inhabitants of the north-eastern border state which was the main theatre of the war between India and China in 1962.
While China claims that the region is southern Tibet and thus a part of China, India has won the battle over the hearts and minds of the people of the territory hands down.
“Who the hell is the Communist Party of China to recognise Arunachal Pradesh? Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India and we are proud to be Indians,” Ninong Ering, Congress MLA and former Lok Sabha member from Arunachal Pradesh told The Tribune while responding to a recent statement by the Chinese Foreign Ministry claiming Arunachal Pradesh to be a part of China.
Talking from the capital Itanagar, All Arunachal Pradesh Students Union (AAPSU) president Hawa Bagang said, “People of Arunachal Pradesh are proud Indians and patriots. China should forget about Arunachal Pradesh and mind its own business.
While some of the sister states of the north-east region including Hindu-majority Assam and Manipur have a strong presence of separatist insurgents, the phenomenon it does not exist in the Indian state.
“The policy of Jawaharlal Nehru, who was ably assisted by English anthropologist Verrier Elwin, played a key role in building the foundation for the psychological integration of Arunachal Pradesh with the rest of India”, said W Tiken, an Imphal-based senior journalist, who also has a scholarly interest in various ethnic and political issues prevalent in the NE states.
Bagang rued “weak response to recurring advances by the PLA in Arunachal Pradesh”, which has, according to him, “greatly emboldened the Chinese forces”.