West indian countries

MoS Nityanand Rai – The New Indian Express

By PTI

NEW DELHI: Union Minister Nityanand Rai said on Friday that some neighboring enemy countries have fueled “fanatical” religious and separatist sentiments among India’s border population who have not been fully integrated into the national mainstream as people were forced to migrate due to lack of basic amenities.

The Minister of State for Home Affairs said the government is “concerned” about the migration from the forward areas and with this in mind, the Modi government has launched various programs for their welfare.

The “Vibrant Villages” program for border areas, which was announced in the 2022 budget, was part of this larger initiative, he said.

“The more than 15,106 km long Indian border that runs along seven countries is difficult and inaccessible due to the lack of basic facilities like education and healthcare. It is not fully integrated into the national mainstream .

“The level of education of the border population is low. A GoM (group of ministers) on improving the national security apparatus had stated in its report in 2001 that people living along the international borders of the India, especially along the land borders, face a number of problems and are deprived of basic amenities.Lacking adequate facilities, some people from these areas migrate for a better way of life and opportunities. jobs and because of this, the border population has not been fully integrated into the mainstream of the nation,” he said.

Taking advantage of this sense of “disparity” among the locals, some of our enemy neighboring countries, out of greed and conspiracy, have fueled outright religious and separatist sentiments, he said.

Some neighboring countries have made a “big plot” to increase the strength of the border population on their side…they are doing a number of things for this (increasing the population along their borders)…, a- he said without naming any country.

“We will have to think about it…we have good intentions. We don’t want anyone to migrate from any part of our country due to lack of basic amenities.

“Therefore, it is important that people living along Indian borders are integrated into the national mainstream. The border population is very important in keeping our borders secure,” Rai said.

Calling the country’s border population “brave and patriotic”, Rai said it was also in India’s strategic interest that “we connect with them”.

He said this while delivering his keynote address at the Rustamji Memorial Lecture organized by the BSF.

The annual conference is organized in memory of the first chief and founding father of the BSF, KF Rustamji.

The Border Security Force (BSF) was established in 1965 and is primarily responsible for guarding India’s border with Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Rai said the central government, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had “redefined” border management with a focus on local people.

A lot of work has been done in this direction, but migration is still taking place and it is a cause for concern, he said.

“Seventy-five years ago when India gained independence, it was thought that different communities, values, history, language, religion and culture would be nurtured together, but that somehow weakened. But in 2014, when the Modi government came it launched the policy of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas and Sabka Prayas’ and now we are moving forward with the philosophy of ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’,” he said.

The minister said that the economic and social development of the border population is the top priority of the government.

Apart from seeking a better life and job opportunities, Rai said other reasons for the migration of the border population could be attributed to bad weather and lack of food for livestock, among others.

“Even if those who have migrated plan to return, a large part do not return to their lands,” the minister said.

He backed up his point by quoting a speech by Union Home Minister Amit Shah last November in Kutch, Gujarat, saying that the border population should enjoy the same benefits as those living in the cities.

The minister asked forces like the BSF, which is sometimes the only government agency in these remote areas, “to identify the problems of the inhabitants and make their lives easier and better”.

“The government is very concerned about this issue and the Union Home Office is very vigilant…all agencies need to work in a coordinated manner. We will provide all funds and regular monitoring will be done,” said- he declared.

Recounting his recent visit to a border village in Ladakh, Rai said he found there was no hand pump for locals.

He said that the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, which monitors the India-China LAC, drilled and the migration from this village comprising 26 to 27 houses was stopped.


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