Eleven thousand eight hundred migrant laborers left their homes in Jharkhand for Ladakh. They will work for Border Road Organization, (BRO) to construct roads along the LAC.
The move which is a first of its kind initiative provides employment to laborers at the border. Officials of BRO signed an agreement with Jharkhand government finishing the role of middlemen in the registration process.
Unfazed in the face of rising conflict, India sped up the humongous task of road building in the region. Previous governments neglected infrastructure in Ladakh vastly. Today it is at the center of conflict between India and China.
LAC Infrastructure Ignored?
Previous Indian governments paid little attention to the problems of the LAC. Since China was an influential player in the region past governments neglected the situation albeit having a stronger Army.
In the 1967 War of the Battle of Cho La and Nathu La, Indian Army had given the Chinese a bloody nose and successfully routed them out of Sikkim. So the Indian military expertise was not what was faulting. It was political will that was lacking for almost six decades, since the 1962 war which hit the Indian Political psyche like a shock. Before the NDA came to power in 2014, the attitude towards China had all but been the same.
Successive governments kept on ignoring entire states even, like Arunachal Pradesh that were on the LAC. Ever wondered why there were no civilian Airports or Railway tracks in Arunachal Pradesh?
Standing Up To China
India in the last six years has tried two things with regards to its hostile neighbors: Appeasement and Aggression. PM Modi’s diplomacy of attending a wedding at Nawaz Sharif’s house, or inviting Xi Jinping to Mahabalipuram were to show India’s soft side. Balakote, Doklam & Galwan are India’s tougher and harder sides.
Every decision has its own ups and downs, but with China, aggression is better than soft talk. As soon as the Indian Establishment realized that China won’t take listen to the soft talks, aggression was brought on the table.
The story of the roads built at a speed faster than ever is quite similar. A nuance is being seen in India’s approach to Ladakh and LAC regions. A welcome move that will be a game changer in the long run.