Defence

Message To China On Independence Day: Sarpanches Of 662 Border Villages Along LAC Invited To Red Fort Event

Swarajya Staff

Aug 14, 2023, 02:35 PM | Updated 02:36 PM IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the nation on the occasion of 71st Independence Day celebrations at the Red Fort in New Delhi. (Raj K Raj/Hindustan Times via GettyImages)  
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the nation on the occasion of 71st Independence Day celebrations at the Red Fort in New Delhi. (Raj K Raj/Hindustan Times via GettyImages)  

The Indian government is poised to deliver a resolute message to China this Independence Day by extending a warm invitation to the sarpanches (local village leaders) from approximately 662 villages situated along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

These villages are encompassed within the ambit of the Centre's Vibrant Villages Programme (VVP), a comprehensive development initiative launched in response to the evolving border dynamics.

Against the backdrop of an ongoing tense standoff between the two nations since 2020, this strategic move seeks to underscore India's firm commitment to fortify its border regions.

The sarpanches hail from villages located in the border states of Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, and Ladakh, regions that hold strategic significance along the China-India border.

The Vibrant Villages Programme, introduced in the wake of the 2022 Budget, was conceived as a countermeasure to China's ambitious 'well-off border villages programme.'

This Chinese endeavor entails the establishment of new settlements equipped with modern infrastructure along Tibet's border with India. By encouraging migration and tourism to these areas, China aims to solidify territorial claims and consolidate its presence.

In a synchronized response, India's Vibrant Villages Programme, inaugurated by Home Minister Amit Shah in the border village of Kibithoo, Arunachal Pradesh, aims to foster holistic development across the northern border areas.

The programme spans 2,967 villages across 46 blocks in 19 districts, with 662 villages identified for the initial phase. This calculated approach is designed to not only enhance the quality of life for residents but also assert India's unwavering territorial sovereignty.

Moreover, in a strategic parallel to China's initiatives, India has decided to abolish the Inner Line Permit requirement for domestic tourists visiting certain sensitive regions in eastern Ladakh. This move is poised to foster permanent civilian presence in these areas, thwarting any incremental encroachments and ensuring territorial integrity.

Also Read: Explained: 'Vibrant Villages Programme' For The Northern Border With China And What India Wants To Achieve With It


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