SOURCE: Joydeep Ghosh / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
What is Happening
Where is it
Since the past few weeks a lot is being said about the Doklam plateau standoff between India and China. So why is the plateau so important to India when it is actually a territory controlled, administered by Bhutan. Many things are being said about the standoff with most placing the area right at end of funnel (above pic) when in reality Doklam plateau is on the right , a little above in the hump.
Why China wants it
China wants to control Doklam plateau as controlling the flat area will allow its long range rocket artillery units to move around swiftly and counter the imposing presence & complete dominance of Indian Army in west and south and Bhutan in east. It will also allow China PLA to target the Siliguri corridor, a scary proposition for India as that will potentially cut off the entire North East India from Rest of India.
What is India doing
Though previously India had stood silently supporting Bhutan in border disputes between Bhutan and China; it is practically the first time that India is openly supporting Bhutan even though officially it’s silent since the territory in question is Bhutanese.
What if China Attacks Siliguri Corridor
China wants to control Doklam plateau as it allow its long range rocket artillery to choke up the Chicken’s Neck or Siliguri Corridor and if ever situation leads seriously to war, it will actually over in first few hours. That is why India wants to stop China tooth and nail from to control Doklam plateau. As such keeping it in mind the scenarios have also been war gamed for correct response.
What Can be Done on East & West of Siliguri Corridor or Chickens Neck
Even though there is enough back up for Indian Army mountain divisions spread out in the Siliguri Corridor or Chickens Neck with apt backup from Indian Air Force with airbases on both sides of the corridor, a lot more can be done.
Negotiate Land Deal with Bangladesh
Now that territorial disputes with Bangladesh have been finished after the exchange of Chitmahal or enclaves; India can seriously think of negotiating with Bangladesh to buy patches of land in Rangpur division more specifically Rangpur & Dinajpur district. If the deal is done It will help widen the Siliguri Corridor or Chickens Neck on the eastern flank. Not just that may well help control the illegal arms trade, drug trafficking and fake currency racket that comes into Murshidabad, Malda, North/South Dinajpur districts of India.
Negotiate Land Deal with Nepal
India needs to seriously think of negotiating with Nepal to buy patches of land more specifically the Province 1. The reason is simple it will not only help widen the Siliguri Corridor or Chickens Neck on the western flank but will allow the state of Sikkim, a alternate land route to connect to rest of India via the state of Bihar, completely bypassing the Darjeeling hill areas. As is known Sikkim is at mercy of connectivity from Darjeeling, and any kind of agitation by Gorkha populace of Darjeeling hill tract; cuts it off from the rest of India. It is bcoz of this helplessness, Sikkim CM PK Chamling is reportedly being forced to support the creation of Gorkha state in Darjeeling so as to end the misery his state has been subjected to for past few decades. As it is known Sikkim CM PK Chamling is planning to file a case of Rs 60000 crore in compensation, from West Bengal due to economic loss suffered by his state.
Some may argue that Nepal is Gorkha area afterall, but no. While Gorkhas dominate the mountainous western & central Nepal, the province 1 & 2 of Nepal are terai plains, an area dominated by madeshi people of Nepal who are ethnically Indians; who may be more than happy to be part of India. So a lot of options are available, its upto India which one of them is suitable.
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