There were some brownies here that suggested people in our Northern frontier were fleeing into that sh1t hole nation call India, well lets see . . . I think Not! Well "regretting being Indian" I ask, who wouldn't . . . . lol
China's progress provokes border envy in India
By James Lamont in New Delhi
Published: January 4 2010 02:00 | Last updated: January 4 2010 02:00
Indians living in border areas neighbouring China are beginning to envy fast-paced development brought by Beijing to the point of regretting being Indian, a senior member of India's ruling Congress party has warned.
Mani Shankar Aiyar, a former senior diplomat and cabinet minister with responsibility for India's volatile north-east region, described the development that China was bringing to its south-west and Tibet as "simply spectacular".
He said impoverished people in India's north-east were asking themselves: "What is the mistake we have made by being Indians [rather than Chinese]?" He also warned of the consequences of families divided by the colonial-era border "beginning to hear stories about the kind of progress happening on the other [Chinese] side".
India is highly sensitive to Chinese encroachment on its borders. China and India fought a war in 1962 over disputed border territory, and China has in the past year become more strident about its claims to the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, which it considers to be South Tibet.
The friction has manifested itself in disputes over Chinese visas for residents of Arunachal Pradesh and Kashmir, obstacles to multilateral lending programmes and a protest by Beijing over the visit by Manmohan Singh, India's prime minister, to Arunachal Pradesh before a state election.
Mr Singh shared some of his concerns with the US Council on Foreign Relations in November, saying he feared that China had become more "assertive" in the region.
China's aims in south Asia have continued to be a sore point in the new year. S.M. Krishna, India's foreign minister, has expressed New Delhi's unhappiness at China's assistance to neighbouring Pakistan and called Beijing-backed projects on the Pakistan side of the line of control in disputed Kashmir "illegal".
Some senior Indian analysts claim that India has deliberately withheld infrastructure development from its border regions to prevent China from being able to penetrate deeply into India in case of an invasion across the Himalayas. But Mr Aiyar, a close associate of Rajiv Gandhi, the assassinated former premier, criticised successive Indian governments over the "complete neglect of infrastructure development" in Arunachal Pradesh, saying that its absence was "much to the disappointment of the people over there".
Over the past six decades, he said, the north-east had been "transformed from the second richest part of British India to the laggard region it is today". Indian visitors to Tibet are struck by the modernisation that has taken place in Lhasa, the region's capital, road-building projects and a high-altitude railway link to China's main network, in spite of their reservations at Beijing's erosion of Tibetan culture and Buddhist religious practice.
A member of parliament from India's north-eastern state of Meghalaya, however, said China made itself felt across the border not with its physical infrastructure or military might but by a flood of competitive consumer goods. He said cheap Chinese goods were freely available, with imported telephone accessories sold at a tenth of the price of Indian equivalents.