Indian locals’ firm stand against China’s aggression is commendable

The role of the locals in confronting the Chinese aggression must be appreciated. The shepherds of Ladakh, the people of Arunachal Pradesh, and other border residents are the first line of defense against the Chinese intrusion.

| Updated: 31 January, 2024 6:13 pm IST
TNI Illustration by Aman Rawat

The recent video of Indian shepherds confronting Chinese soldiers in the Chushul sector of Ladakh is a stark reminder of the ongoing border dispute between the two Asian giants. The video, shared by a local leader, shows how the brave and patriotic shepherds refused to be intimidated by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops, who arrived in a combat vehicle and tried to scare them away from their ancestral grazing lands. The shepherds told the Chinese soldiers in no uncertain terms that the area belonged to India and they should return.

This is not an isolated case of Chinese transgression into Indian territory. For decades, China has claimed large parts of Ladakh, Arunachal Pradesh, and other areas along the 3,440 km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC), the de facto border between the two countries. China has also been building roads, bridges, airstrips, and other infrastructure in the disputed areas, in violation of the agreements signed with India. In June 2020, a violent clash between Indian and Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley resulted in the death of 20 Indian soldiers and an unknown number of Chinese casualties. Since then, several rounds of talks have taken place, but the situation remains tense and unstable.

India cannot afford to let its guard down or compromise its sovereignty and territorial integrity. China is a powerful and ambitious rival, with a history of expansionism and aggression. China has also been flexing its muscles in the South China Sea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and other regions, challenging the rules-based international order and the interests of democratic nations. India must stand firm against China’s bullying and coercion, and defend its borders with all its might and resources.

At the same time, the role of the locals in confronting the Chinese aggression must be appreciated. The shepherds of Ladakh, the people of Arunachal Pradesh, and other border residents are the first line of defence against the Chinese intrusion. They are the custodians of India’s land, culture, and history and have shown courage, resilience, and patriotism in the face of adversity. India gained valuable information about the aggression of Pakistani soldiers in Indian territory through the observations of local shepherds. This played a crucial role in identifying the onset of the Kargil intrusion. They deserve the respect and gratitude of the nation and the assistance and protection of the government.

India is a proud and sovereign nation, with a strong and capable army while being a peace-loving and responsible nation, with a commitment to dialogue and diplomacy. India does not seek confrontation or conflict with China, but it will not tolerate any infringement of its rights or interests.

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