Sikkim - A Model Of Stability, Bolsters India’s Defences

In the summer of 2017, the Doklam incident could have taken a dramatic turn for India but fortunately, it ended well with the withdrawal of the Chinese and Indian armies from an area near the trijunction between Sikkim, Tibet and Bhutan. However, in early 2018, several media reports mentioned fast-paced road construction activities in the area, particularly a 12-km-long stretch from Yatung, in Chumbi Valley, to Doklam, being built by China.

A crucial factor in India’s favour has been the strategic and political stability of the border state of Sikkim. For several reasons, it is vital for India’s security that it remains so. First, Denjong or the Valley of Rice, as Sikkim is traditionally known, is a prosperous state; that the charismatic Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling has become the longest serving Indian Chief Minister in 2018 is a clear sign of its stability.

In terms of India’s security, Sikkim remains a trend-setter and a model; India can’t afford to have insecure and unhappy borders, when the northern neighbour is always ready to change the status quo. Another welcome change has been the disenclavement of the state.

This is valid for other Himalayan states which too have their long-pending demands which are often ignored by Delhi. It is true for Ladakh, for Arunachal Pradesh and also for Himachal and Uttarakhand. India needs to satisfy the basic aspirations of the local populations and give them the freedom to develop according to their own genius.