The Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) Gen Bipin Rawat during a recent meeting with Arunachal Pradesh Governor BD Mishra described people living on the borders as “national assets.” What made army chief to make this statement is unclear but his declaration symbolizes how people living in an air condition room in Delhi thinks of the villagers living in border areas. Describing citizens as national asset is an insult to those who are still staying in border areas despite government failing to serve them. These brave citizens create natural barrier against enemy forces. They also assist army in various ways.
If indeed the government of India considers them as an asset, they should provide all the basic necessities to them. In Arunachal still today many villagers are living in border areas despite successive govt failing to take care of their basic needs. They are helping security forces to keep the border safe. Most of the Chinese incursions inside state have been first detected by the local villagers. In return for their loyalty to nation, the govt of India only consider them as ‘asset’ and not as the citizen worthy of development. This mentality has to change.