Re-imagining Border Studies in South Asia 9780367337155, 9780367337186, 9780429321467

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Re-imagining Border Studies in South Asia
 9780367337155, 9780367337186, 9780429321467

Table of contents :
Half Title
List of tables
List of abbreviations
Section I Theorising borders: the South Asian perspective
1 Introduction
2 The Chinese concept of sovereignty and the India-China border dispute
3 The dialectics of mental borders in South Asia: a literary perspective
4 Theorising borders: an Islamic alternative
Section II Borders: regional economy and connectivity
5 India’s quest for connectivity with Central and Southeast Asia
6 Sri Lankan maritime dynamics: feasibility of Indo-Sri Lanka mutually beneficial collaboration at the Palk Strait
7 South Asian trans-border energy connectivity and cooperation: problems and prospects
8 The economic border: a lens to understand cross-border trade and investment (non)cooperation in South Asia
Section III Borderlands
9 Paradox of development: emerging changes and contestations among Tawang Monpas in Arunachal Pradesh
10 Borderland people and the rise of the state: a case study of Thar Desert
11 Many lives of a border: mentalities, subjectivities of the nation-state at the India-Bangladesh Border Haats
Section IV Securitisation and borders
12 Conflicts, cooperation, and territoriality: understanding borders and security at the regional level
13 Heterogeneous security complex: a framework for the analysis of the China-India water conflict and South Asia
14 Globalisation, Internet, and nation-states: theoretical exploration of the new borders of globalisation

Citation preview


This book presents a radical rethinking of Border Studies. Framing the discipline beyond conventional topics of spatiality and territoriality, it presents a distinctly South Asian perspective  – a post-colonial and post-partition region where most borders were drawn with political motives, ignoring the socio-cultural realities of the region and economic necessities of the people. The authors argue that while securing borders is an essential function of the state, in this interconnected world, crossing borders and border cooperation is also necessary. The book examines contemporaneous and topical themes like disputes of identity and nationhood, the impact of social media on Border Studies, transborder cooperation, water sharing between countries, and resolution of border problems in the age of liberalisation and globalisation. It also suggests ways of enhancing cross-border economic cooperation and connectivity, and reviews security issues from a new perspective. Well supplemented with case studies, the book will serve as an indispensable text for scholars and researchers of Border Studies, military and strategic studies, international relations, geopolitics, and South Asian studies. It will also be of great interest to think tanks and government agencies, especially those dealing with foreign relations. Dhananjay Tripathi is Senior Assistant Professor at the Department of International Relations, South Asian University, New Delhi, India.


Edited by Dhananjay Tripathi

First published 2021 by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN and by Routledge 52 Vanderbilt Avenue, New York, NY 10017 Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business © 2021 selection and editorial matter, Dhananjay Tripathi; individual chapters, the contributors The right of Dhananjay Tripathi to be identified as the author of the editorial material, and of the authors for their individual chapters, has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Trademark notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe. British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data A catalog record for this book has been requested ISBN: 978-0-367-33715-5 (hbk) ISBN: 978-0-367-33718-6 (pbk) ISBN: 978-0-429-32146-7 (ebk) Typeset in Bembo by Apex CoVantage, LLC

To My Respected Mother (Smt. Sushila Devi) (1948–2017)


List of tablesx Contributorsxi Acknowledgementsxiii Forewordxv List of abbreviations xx SECTION I

Theorising borders: the South Asian perspective


 1 Introduction Dhananjay Tripathi


  2 The Chinese concept of sovereignty and the India-China border dispute Sriparna Pathak


  3 The dialectics of mental borders in South Asia: a literary perspective34 Vaishali Raghuvanshi   4 Theorising borders: an Islamic alternative Syed Murtaza Mushtaq


viii Contents


Borders: regional economy and connectivity


  5 India’s quest for connectivity with Central and Southeast Asia Dhananjay Tripathi and R. Madhav Krishnan


  6 Sri Lankan maritime dynamics: feasibility of Indo-Sri Lanka mutually beneficial collaboration at the Palk Strait Mohit Nayal


  7 South Asian trans-border energy connectivity and cooperation: problems and prospects Sankalp Gurjar


  8 The economic border: a lens to understand cross-border trade and investment (non)cooperation in South Asia Monica Verma



Borderlands125   9 Paradox of development: emerging changes and contestations among Tawang Monpas in Arunachal Pradesh Sourina Bej and Nasima Khatoon 10 Borderland people and the rise of the state: a case study of Thar Desert Bharat Hun



11 Many lives of a border: mentalities, subjectivities of the nation-state at the India-Bangladesh Border Haats155 Jigme Wangdi SECTION IV

Securitisation and borders


12 Conflicts, cooperation, and territoriality: understanding borders and security at the regional level Sachin N. Pardhe


Contents  ix

13 Heterogeneous security complex: a framework for the analysis of the China-India water conflict and South Asia Anjan Kumar Sahu


14 Globalisation, Internet, and nation-states: theoretical exploration of the new borders of globalisation Shubham Dwivedi




5.1 Central Asia/India statistics on freight and passengers carried to and from India (including Afghanistan) 5.2 Connectivity projects in Northeast India 5.3 Distance comparison between India and MIEC countries (with and without MIEC) 5.4 Indian exports to ASEAN countries ( January–April 2017–2018) (values in US$ millions) 5.5 Indian imports from ASEAN countries ( January–April  2017–2018) (values in US$ millions) 8.1 A glance at India-led projects to improve connectivity in the BBIN subregion 13.1 Transformation from traditional security complex to heterogeneous security complex

66 68 70 71 71 117 196


Sourina Bej, Project Associate, School of Conflict and Security Studies, National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bengaluru.

Shubham Dwivedi, Research Scholar, Department of International Studies, South Asian University, New Delhi, India. Sankalp Gurjar, Research Fellow, Indian Council of World Affairs, New Delhi, India. Bharat Hun, Research Scholar and Teaching Assistant, Sociology  & Social Anthropology, Department of Humanities & Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, India. Nasima Khatoon, Research Associate, Centre for Air Power Studies (CAPS), New Delhi. R. Madhav Krishnan, Pursuing B.Tech (civil engineering) from National Institute of Technology Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, India. Syed Murtaza Mushtaq, Research Scholar, Department of International Relations, South Asian University, New Delhi, India. Mohit Nayal, Research Fellow, National Maritime Foundation, New Delhi, India. Sachin N. Pardhe, Assistant Professor, Department of Civics and Politics, University of Mumbai, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.

xii Contributors

Sriparna Pathak, Assistant Professor and Assistant Dean, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India. Vaishali Raghuvanshi, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, MMV, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India. Anjan Kumar Sahu, Assistant Professor, Department of Public Policy, Law and Governance (PPLG), School of Social Sciences, Central University of Rajasthan, Ajmer, Rajasthan. Monica Verma, Former Journalist, successfully defended PhD thesis, Department of International Relations, South Asian University, New Delhi, India. Jigme Wangdi, Assistant Professor, Department of History, Jogesh Chandra Chaudhuri College, Kolkata, West Bengal, India.


At the outset, I would like to thank all the contributors to this volume. Without their efforts, we would not have achieved this. Thanks to my colleagues in the department  – Jayashree, Soumita, Nabarun, Medha, and Shweta for extending every possible support to my research and other academic initiatives. Special thanks to Prof. Sanjay Chaturvedi, Chairperson, Department of International Relations and Dean-Faculty of Social Sciences. A reputed Border Studies scholar, Prof. Chaturvedi always gives me constructive comments and warm encouragement. I am deeply grateful to the South Asian University administration for providing necessary support to my projects. Also, my sincere thanks to the office staff of the IR department and the IT department of the SAU. Prof. Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly is a source of inspiration for Border Studies scholars. Advice and comments given by Prof. Emmanuel have been a great help in my research. Thank you, Prof. Emmanuel. I would like to acknowledge that the Association for Borderlands Studies (ABS) and Borders in Globalization (BIG) are two organisations that are taking a keen interest in the expansion of Border Studies in South Asia. ABS and BIG have provided financial support to many conferences and workshops organised by the Department of International Relations of the SAU. The scholars who contributed to this volume also participated in some of these conferences and workshops. In brief, this edited volume would not have materialised without the generous endorsement of the ABS and BIG. I owe a very important debt to all those who always support me in my personal and professional life. This list is long, so I  would just like to mention a few names: Prof. Gulshan Sachdeva, Late. Dr. D.P. Tripathi, Prof. Rajen Harshe,

xiv Acknowledgements

Kamala Bhasin, Parimal, Roshan Kishore, Zico, Subhanil, Ashok Tiwari, Prasenjit Bose, Prof. V.K. Jain, and Prof. R.P. I would like to offer my special thanks to all my students. Thanks to my parents and siblings who taught me some initial lessons of life. Thanks to Bittu, Ashu, Om, Kushi, Hashi, and Afreen. My deep and sincere gratitude to my wife, daughter, and son for their unparalleled love, help and support. Dhananjay Tripathi 3 July 2020 New Delhi


Borders around the world are studied by scholars across many social science and humanities disciplines; at its core, the prime focus of research bridges history, geography, politics, law and economics, as well as some key subdisciplines such as geopolitics, international trade and migration, and cultural studies. Although the ‘World of States’ as we know it today, only really emerged after the Second World War, it is a product of decolonisation and a relatively stable and long period of internationalisation, and subsequent development of institutions of international cooperation. As a result, most contemporary border scholars tend to see the world ‘like a state’ (Scott, 2020) (i.e. Border Studies is often seen as a smaller interdisciplinary area from within a Realist or Neo-realist perspective of the world: a world of states). Yet, 21st-century boundaries cut across the communities, people, languages and cultures, and the borderlands and border regions that pre-existed most 21stcentury states and the United Nations and affiliated institutions. And, at the beginning of the 21st century those are regions of great instability, and, since the early 1800s are the prime cause of wars (Hensel and McLaughlin 2015), something too many contemporary governments forget as their politics is informed by the next electoral deadline. The recent history of Border Studies points to two periods of intense research, publications and discoveries: the 1900 to 1950s, and the 1990 to today; and one period of loss of interest and stagnation in knowledge production during the 1950 to 1990s. The first period starts just before the First World War at a time when 19th-century empires are further implementing nationalist agendas through, among other things, language and education policies. It is also a time when people and political communities around the world were just starting to question the military and intellectual supremacy of the

xvi Foreword

western European powers ( Judt and Snyder 2012). Then, leading scholarship interests were about understanding issues of stability of boundary lines and issues of delineation (Brunet-Jailly, 2015). At the time, Western powers had started dividing their colonial possessions along very long lines. These were the ideas of a boundary, as drawn by Mark Sykes and Francois Georges-Picot in 1915–6, to divide the Arab peninsula between France and the United Kingdom. Similar ideas are also found with the boundary lines known by the name of their drafters: Henry Mortimer Durand (set in 1896), the Henry McMahon (set in 1914) or the Cyril Radcliffe (set in 1947) that (respectively) divide India from Afghanistan (India, Pakistan and Afghanistan); India and China; and India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh (Mishra 2009). All emerged at a time when both the Sextan and the Harrison chronometer had revolutionised the measurements of latitude and longitude, and, while only used on ships since the 1820s, were subsequently extensively used during the negotiations of the Treaty of Versailles held in Paris in 1919 (MacMillan 2003). These very particular Paris negotiations were a turning point as maps became a new technology alongside legal-texts when powers were establishing and delineating boundary lines. All the territories of the Western European kingdoms and empires were being fully documented both in law and maps, and many parties were introducing their claims to the Paris Convention using aggrandised maps. The Treaty of Versailles, in that sense, is a historical moment but also a time when the power of geography redrafted the territorial possessions of the many people and political communities that had lost the war. At the time, monitoring and enforcing the ‘line’ was still a ‘farfetched’ idea, and so was the idea of controlling borderland communities (i.e. the movement of the people whose livelihoods had been cut by an international boundary line drafted in Paris thanks to embassies going back and forth from Paris to the world to document those new boundaries in a treaty). This was possibly a time that drafted boundaries for a World of States as we know it today. It was also a world that set many boundaries that are still contested to this day. Indeed, the early 20th-century literature focused on natural and human-made borders: Semple suggested they are ‘natural’ when humans cannot settle in the border region, Holdich (1916) and Lyde (1915) focused on good or bad borders that prevent wars, Brigham (1919)’s economist views of trade-balanced economic power on each side of the borders, and Spykman (1942) suggested that borders strengthen state power, an idea further contended by Peattie (1944) and Jones (1959). In the end, it was border function that was key (Boggs, 1940). During the 1950s to 1990s, the study of borders lost its prime and receded behind the general study of geopolitics and security studies; the works of the United Nations on decolonisation had been very successful and new states’ elites were keen to establish their new sovereign powers in the international community. However, self-determination, Woodrow Wilson’s important idea dismissed during the 1919 Paris Convention, was in a way coming back on the scenes of

Foreword  xvii

the international community with revenge (Gordon, 1971). Many new political communities wanted to gain self-determination, sovereignty and establish clear international boundaries. The 1980s were even less productive years because globalisation, the idea that neoliberal deregulation worldwide led to a world of free trade, without boundary lines, gained tremendous clout. Francis Fukuyama’s The Origins of Political Orders endorsed the idea of the end-of-history (i.e. that the liberal-order had won) (Fukuyama, 2014). Today, realists still have a strong claim to the 21st century’s world of states, but we know that globalisation has not taken over the world. Yet, today the study of borders, borderlands, border regions and international boundaries is stronger than ever. Borderland communities in many regions of the world contest the sovereign boundaries that cut through their ancestral lands. Obviously, there are extraordinary differences between cultural and geopolitical regions across the world. The European region is possibly the most peaceful of all. But across the Americas, First-Nations and indigenous people have been contesting States and the presence of international corporations on their ancestral lands for more than seven generations (Borrows 2008). In most cases this is a legal fight, but at times these fights lead to deaths of people both in the south and the north of the Americas (Butt et al. 2019). In Africa, international boundaries are continually crossed over by violent political movements that undermine the stability and integrity, and sometimes the existence, of young states (OECD/SWAC 2020) – states that emerged during the post-Second World War and post-decolonisation era through the 1964 Cairo agreement and the principles that enshrined colonial borders. In Asia, and even more recently, the 1991 disintegration of the Soviet Union created numerous new republics: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. Russia and China, in addition, were engaged in territorial disputes until 2005. And today numerous disputes remain unresolved regarding islands in the seas shared among China, and Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam in the South China Sea, and among Japan, Russia, South Korea and Taiwan in the East and Yellow Seas. Finally, as very well documented in this book, South Asia and in particular India is not immune to complex relations along its 15,106 kilometres of land borders. In all, only few of its 29 states have no international boundaries with a neighbouring state: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan, and all share a boundary line with India. Only one, Bhutan and India, share an open border without any contestations today. Clearly, cross-border relations are tense on many accounts, despite the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). It is maybe this that explains why Border Studies are of ever-more relevance, as illustrated in this beautifully edited text. Led and edited by Dhananjay Tripathi, of the South Asian University, young and ambitious scholars review and question both Western and South Asian theorisation of Border Studies as well as four areas of focus to discuss and analyse

xviii Foreword

how India has understood, and understands, its own boundaries, borderlands and the diverse people living in those border-regions. Through studies of the identities of borderland people, the economic nature of borderlands as bridges between mercantilist and nationalists, and the current Indian ambition to weave connectivity infrastructures beyond the control of SAARC states, or the security role of borders, those authors describe the many regions of India that are continually adapting to local and global tensions between tradition and modernity, between liberalism and communitarianism, and between market and nationalists perspectives: a fascinating analysis that will go a long way in providing 21stcentury scholars, public officials and the well-read public with a first ‘companion in Border Studies’ for South Asia. Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly University of Victoria BC, Canada

References Boggs, Whittemore. 1940. International Boundaries, A Study of Boundary Functions and Problems. New York: Columbia University Press. Borrows, John. 2008. Seven Generations, Seven Teachings: Ending the Indian Act. Research Paper for the National Center for Frist Nation Governance. ncfng_research/john_borrows.pdf. Brigham, Albert Perry. 1919. “Principles in the Determination of Boundaries.” Geographical Review 7: 201–19. Brunet-Jailly, Emmanuel. 2015. Encyclopedia of Border Disputes. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-Clio. Butt, Nathali, Lambrick Frances, Menton Mary, and Renwick Anna. 2019. “The Supply Chain of Violence.” Nature 2: 742–47. Fukuyama, Francis. 2014. The Origins of Political Order. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Gordon, David. 1971. Self-Determination and History in the Third World. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Hensel, P., and Michel S. McLaughlin. 2015. “Lessons from the Issue Correlates of War (ICOW) Project.” Journal of Peace Research 52 (1): 116–19. 43314546177. Holdich, Thomas H. 1916. Political Frontiers and Boundary Making. London: Palgrave Macmillan. Jones, Stephen B. 1959. “Boundary Concepts in the Setting of Place and Time.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 49: 241–55. Judt, Tony, and Timothy Snyder. 2012. Thinking the Twentieth Century. London: The Penguin Press. Lyde, Lionel William. 1915. Some Frontiers of Tomorrow: An Aspiration for Europe. London: A.&C. Black. MacMillan, Margaret. 2003. Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World. New York: Random House. Mishra, Atul. 2009. “Boundaries and Territoriality in South Asia: From Historical Comparison to Theoretical Considerations.” International Studies 45 (2): 105–32. https://doi. org/10.1177%2F002088170804500202.

Foreword  xix

OECD/SWAC, Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development/Sahel and West Africa Club Secretariat. 2020. The Geography of Conflict in North and West Africa. Paris: West African Studies, OECD Publishing. Peattie, Roderick. 1944. Look to the Frontiers: A  Geography of the Peace Table. New York: Harper. Scott, James. 2020. Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed, Veritas Paperbacks. New Haven, Yale University Press. Spykman, Nicholas John. 1942. “Frontiers, Security and International Organization.” Geographical Review 32: 430–45.



Association for Borderlands Studies Asian Development Bank African Development Bank Association of Southeast Asian Nations Border Area Development Programme Bangladesh Bhutan India Nepal initiative Buddhist Culture Preservation Society Borders in Globalization Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation Bangladesh-Myanmar-India Bangladeshi National Party Belt and Road Initiative Border Road Organisation Border Road Task Force Border Studies Border Security Force Central Asia-South Asia Chinese Communist Party China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Exclusive Economic Zone Ecological Task Force European Union Foreign Direct Investment Free Trade Agreements Gross Domestic Product Grand Western Water Diversion

Abbreviations  xxi


Human Development Index Hong Kong Special Administrative Region heterogeneous security complex International Borders Integrated Check Post Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis International Energy Association India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway International North-South Transport Corridor Indian Ocean Tuna Commission Iran-Pakistan-India Indian Peace Keeping Force international relations Indus River Basin Indus River System Internet Service Providers International Union for Conservation of Nature Indus Waters Treaty Joint Working Group Kuomintang Kaladan Multimodal Transit Transport Project Line of Actual Control Land Boundary Agreement Least Developing Country Lama Lobsang Gyatso Line of Control Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam Mekong-India Economic Corridor Member of the Legislative Assembly Military Operation Other Than War Memorandum of Understanding Motor Vehicles Agreement Maritime Zones of India National Democratic Alliance North Eastern-Council North-East Frontier Agency National River Linking Project Nuclear Suppliers Group New York Times One Belt One Road People’s Armed Police Force Prophet People’s Liberation Army People’s Republic of China

xxii Abbreviations


South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation South Asian Free Trade Agreement South Asia Growth Quadrangle State Administration of Press, Radio, Film, and Television South Asian Preferential Trade Agreement Special Accelerated Road Development Programme for the Northeast South Asian Subregional Economic Cooperation SAARC Energy Centre Small and Medium Enterprises Save Mon Regional Federation South-North Western Diversion Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India Tamu-Kalewa-Kalemyo United Kingdom United Nations General Assembly United Nations Security Council United States of America United States Dollar Union of Soviet Socialist Republics Very High Frequency World Food and Agriculture Organisation Weapon of Mass Destruction World Trade Organization World Wide Web


Theorising borders The South Asian perspective

1 INTRODUCTION Dhananjay Tripathi

I: Introduction: borders in international relations Human familiarity with borders, territoriality and connectivity is not a modern phenomenon. Research has established that ‘prehistoric humans possessed surprisingly elaborate territorial arrangements. Rather than wandering aimlessly, huntergathering groups likely operated within relatively stable local or regional foraging ranges, or what might be best described as networks of foraging sites’ (Diener and Hagen 2012, 19–20). Still, territorial demarcations were not fixed and rigid like today’s national borders. It was only after the advent of the nation-state system, generally associated with the Peace of Westphalia (1648) that borders became immovable. Subsequently, different international treaties provided legal validity to the control of territories. Soon, nothing remained unoccupied. Every open and free space is marked and divided between nation-states, unless there are some contestations. We have land borders, maritime borders and also airspaces of different countries. Borders are the biggest reality of the contemporary international system. So much is the acceptance of borders that we normally believe ‘borders are order’ and it is an irreversible part of our political life. Theoretically, borders are permanent, unchallenged and sacrosanct lines, defining limits of sovereignty and a critical feature of a nation-state system. The concept of sovereignty in a way gives legal sanctity to borders. It will not be wrong to say that borders are an accepted fact of the international political system. Thus, the study of borders is important; it will unravel several knots of international politics. Since they have an intrinsic relationship with the state, borders are an important issue in the discipline of International Relations (IR), although borders were mainly viewed through a security lens because maintaining territorial integrity is a fundamental duty of the state. For the Realist school of thought that remains obsessed with the idea of anarchy and power, the state shall be making every

4  Dhananjay Tripathi

possible effort to protect borders. A realist remains sceptical of endeavours to make permissible borders and negates the possibility of integration – regional and global, that in a way reduces political and economic gaps between states, making borders obsolete if not redundant. Notably, both regionalism and globalisation challenge the centrality of sovereignty and a pristine border. Thus, a realist will calculate costs and benefits before taking a call on cooperation and integration related to regionalism/globalisation. What motivates a state to cooperate/integrate is ‘relative gains’. According to Grieco, ‘[i]f the two states are worried or uncertain about relative achievements of gains, then each will prefer a less durable cooperative arrangement’ (Grieco 1988, 506). Realist political economist Gilpin views integration at the regional level as a way to safeguard national interest from the volatility of global politics. Gilpin endorses regional integration but without diluting the basic functions of the state (Gilpin 2001). Thus, the study of borders for a realist is mostly about security/border management. Similar to the Realist school of thought, overcoming anarchy is a major research quest for liberals. Although, unlike a realist, a liberal has faith in cooperation between states. Liberals are of the view that international and regional organisations create politically conducive conditions for collaboration. These organisations function on agreed rules and regulations that over time mould the behaviour of states – much like regimes. Systematised in a particular framework, defection of a state from regional and international organisations is difficult. ‘Regimes may be maintained, and may continue to foster cooperation, even under conditions that would not be sufficiently benign to bring about their creation’ (Keohane 1984, 50). For liberals cross-border cooperation is possible provided there are some agreed and established rules that are trusted by states. Working on the European integration process, Andrew Moravcsik emphasised the role of domestic actors who primarily for economic reasons supported cross-border cooperation and regional integration (Moravcsik 1998). In post-war Europe, states facilitated this cooperation as desired by domestic actors and created regional organisations. The regional organisation legalises economic transactions. Liberals in this regard are more open to cross-border cooperation, primarily for economic reasons, under the supervision of an organisation that in the long run develops interdependence between states. Still, liberals’ reading of the border is state-centric, and there is an emphasis on institutions. More than realists and liberals, it is the liberal political economists who are supportive of cross-border cooperation. They are reformist in their understanding of borders and support cross-border economic connections. The political economy added new dynamics to the study of IR in the post-Cold War phase. Economic globalisation and revolution in informational technology started questioning the pertinence of sovereignty (Friedman 2005). The globalist emphatically declared the world as borderless. There was a period of euphoria for globalisation from classrooms to boardrooms. Along with globalisation, we have witnessed a spurt in the number of regional economic bodies and Free Trade Agreements (FTAs).

Introduction  5

All of these testify to how the world underwent a change in the post-Cold War phase (Schiff and Winters 2003). So much was the enthusiasm and expectation from globalisation that even regionalism was viewed as a hurdle in the path of a borderless globalised world (Bhagwati 1993). Globalisation brought the issue of borders to the forefront of every academic debate. One of the prominent research agendas of academic themes dealing with globalisation is to reduce barriers to trade and promote cross-border economic ties. This has helped scholars interested in studying borders from the perspective of trade and commerce. Realism, Liberalism, and political-economic approaches give space to study borders but also draw limits. This is because borders are not the centre of curiosity for these theoretical approaches, although less so in the case of political economy. The centrality of state inhibits the study of other different dimensions of borders. Undoubtedly, there is a scope to academically engage with borders, going beyond the domain of state from a political-economic perspective; still, the focus is narrow. A  political economist may not be interested in socio-cultural divisions that also define borders. A change is witnessed with a new theoretical turn in International Relations. Constructivism, for the first time, challenged the materialistic base of Realism and Liberalism and started interrogating the ‘social construction’ of issues. The pioneering work of Alexander Wendt compelled students of IR to think beyond the conventional boundary of the discipline. To both Realist and Liberal theories, the Constructivists raised some fundamental questions on basic assumptions. For a Constructivist, ‘[A]narchy is what states make of it’ (Wendt 1992, 395). Wendt explains that our perception of enemy and friends makes a difference. ‘U.S. military power has a different significance for Canada than for Cuba, despite their similar “structural” positions, just as British missiles have a different significance for the United States than do Soviet missiles’ (Wendt 1992, 397). Constructivism was initially challenged, but at present it influences the IR scholarship. Constructivism establishes that ‘beliefs, expectations and interpretations are inescapable’ (Hurd 2008, 301). Constructivism gave a new outlook to the study of borders by expanding the canvas of investigation with inclusion of people and ideas. Moreover, Anderson’s explanation of nation-states as ‘imagined communities’ (Anderson 1983) also explicitly raised questions on physical borders. Critical theory brought another major change in the study of IR. Critical theory brings individuals to the centre of academic inquiry. It is regarded as an emancipatory theory and associated with the Frankfurt School of Thought. The Critical theory, has three components, a normative inquiry into the meaning of emancipation and universalism, a historical sociological inquiry into the conditions of emancipation and a praxeological inquiry into the means of emancipation in any given order and in particular the present. (Shapcott 2008, 328)

6  Dhananjay Tripathi

Critical theory also engages with other disciplines and is multidisciplinary in its orientation. With Critical theory, International Relations must now account for the ‘plurality of forms of states expressing different configurations of state/society complexes’ as well as a broader understanding of domestic ‘social forces’ and their relationship to the development of state structures and world orders. (Hoffman 2009, 230) Critical theory unlocked new research agendas and made it easier for IR scholars interested in borders to undertake their studies. International Relations scholars in a way always remain interested in borders. There are different theoretical approaches to study borders, and one can go beyond the state-centric viewpoints. A student of borders can opt for Constructivist and Critical theory approaches that will make research more elaborate and comprehensive. The obvious question now is what is the relationship between IR and Border Studies (BS). In the next section, I will try to answer this question, giving reasons as to why IR scholars shall engage more with BS.

II: Border Studies Border Studies is a new subject, but there are scholars in different regions of the world dedicatedly adding to the research on borders. The origin of BS can be traced to Europe and ‘German geographer Friedrich Ratzel (1884–1904) who drew from the theories of both Malthus and Darwin to create a holistic anthropoand politico geographical corpus that could tie both physical and human (social) elements together’ (Laine 2015, 18). Afterwards, political geography started drawing the attention of academia, and during the Cold War geopolitics and geostrategy became popular subjects. As the world underwent a change with the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989), the utility of hard political borders was questioned both theoretically and practically. Globalisation became the keyword in the political and policy documents of states. Economic necessities and requirements led to further redundancy of borders. In this period, major shifts in the political and economic structures of countries were witnessed throughout the world. Still, the most inspiring and critical of these transformations were noticed in Europe. The old divide of East and West Europe soon started disappearing with the willingness of the European Union (EU) to open its gates to accommodate East and Central European countries by extending the membership. This membership entails that former socialist economies of Europe have to take the route of capitalism and democracy, which they did readily. The economic and political borders thereby ceased to exist in Europe, although the same was not true for the physical borders. Nevertheless, Europe arrived at certain solutions; the most visible one is the Schengen region. There are other steps that were not discussed much but acted as a base of the Schengen region.

Introduction  7

The success of the Schengen region has roots in the European tradition of crossborder cooperation. There are more than 70 cross-border regions in Europe today, operating under names such as ‘Euroregions’ ‘Euregios’ or ‘Working Communities’. Although some of these initiatives date back to the 1950s, the 1990s saw a large increase in cross-border regions (CBRs) all over Europe. In fact, today there are virtually no local or regional authorities in border areas that are not somehow involved in cross-border-co-operation. (Perkmann 2003, 153) These cross-border regions could be regarded as one of the main pillars of European integration (Wastl-Walter and Kofler 2000; Tripathi 2019b). So much is the relevance of the cross-border regions that different EU institutions recognise their valuable contribution in uniting Europe, and there is a separate budget by the European Commission for this. Cross-border cooperation in a way is integral to European integration and further the interest of scholars in borders. Moreover, the freedom to move from one border to another without much restriction is a fascinating idea. Academic attention to this cross-border cooperation is obvious. Subsequently, these interests in borders and cross-border cooperation were divided into themes like borderscape, cross-border trade, border community, border culture, border ethics, state-border relations, and so on. These themes offer new avenues of research to social scientists and strengthen BS. Therefore, BS is also multidisciplinary and, in many ways, emancipatory, as it is not focused only on the state but equally on people and peripheries. In short, BS is of interest to an economist, geographer, political scientist, international relations scholars, anthropologists, sociologists, and the list goes on (Brunet-Jailly 2005). Writing the introduction of the seminal edited volume on BS, Wilson and Donnan explain how the study of borders is now encompassing scholars and policymakers alike. This is because borders help us to understand different ‘major forces of change that seem to be sweeping the globe’; these include ‘aspects of globalization, but which may also be seen as neoliberalism, neo-imperialism, late modern capitalism, and supranationalism’ (Wilson and Donnan 2012, 1). Wilson and Donnan further add that ‘border studies scholars enter into a dialogue with all those who wish to understand new liberties, new movements, new mobilities, new identities, new citizenships, and new forms of capital, labor and consumptions’ (Wilson and Donnan 2012, 1). Even a cursory look at these keywords explains how relevant it is for International Relations to properly and robustly engage with BS. In the next few sections, we will further analyse how BS will enrich IR. Making and functions of Borders: Writing on European borders, Green looks at borders as technique and border-making as a continuous process: [b]order as an ongoing project, an activity, and a process rather than as an entity or object. Borders regarded as objects, whether symbolic or material,

8  Dhananjay Tripathi

are imagined as having thing-like qualities and are most often understood as mental or physical barriers or bridges. (Green 2013, 350) Borders in a way are rather created in the political processes and imagination, and subsequently are imposed on people. For Agnew, the contemporary world order is a part of the geopolitical imagination of rulers and states. From this point of view, the ‘modern’ world is defined by the imaginative ability to transcend the spatial limits imposed by everyday life and contemplate the world conceived and grasped as a picture. The geopolitical imagination, therefore, is a defining element of modernity. (Agnew 1998, 15) In a way, there is a general consensus amongst the scholars that borders are not originem but artificial construir and get consolidated by the politics of states. On a simple analysis, borders appear as separating lines between states, in other words, legal distribution of spaces between nation-states. Thus, borders are assumed to create order and stability. On a closer examination from the perspective of BS, underneath realities will surface. The border has a specific function; it ‘separates the wanted from the unwanted, the imagined barbarians from the civilized, and the global rich from global poor’ (Houtum 2012, 405). So the border is not about legal demarcation but has a particular political function; it divides and categorises humans into citizens, enemies, allies, and foes. Houtum regard borders not just as a ‘military defence’ but as a ‘fabricated truth’. The world outside the domain-making border will be instrumentalized by representing it symbolically as a foreign country, the competitor, the enemy, the other, or chaos, against which the unique consistent and uniform cultural identity and tradition of the own unity will be mirrored. In so doing, a window on the world is represented, an invented reality, an appealing truth. (Houtum 2011, 51) It entails that the foremost function of the border is to separate and create an identity for people that they carry for their lifetime. While other identities could change over a period of time, there is hardly an individual on the planet earth without a formal citizenship, although at times states displace people, making them stateless and depriving them of citizenship (Rajagopalan 2018). A good example is the Rohingya people, who are being forced to flee from their native state and are refugees, and unfortunately at present, many of them do not have a formal state identity. In other words, state identity can make life easier for people; its denial/ absence can lead to several socio-economic and political complications. Borders are, in a way, not only a defining point in the concept of the nation-state but are

Introduction  9

also a part of our everyday lives. They are created for specific functions by those who are in power. Thus, borders are often created by those who see themselves as acting in the interests of the collective whom they represent, be it state, the religious faith or the private country club. Borders are created by those who have the power to keep out those people and influences which are perceived, at any point in time, as being undesirable or detrimental to the home territory or group. (Newman 2011, 37) The power hierarchy is still there in the international as well as the domestic sphere. Thus, there will remain borders, separations and boundaries as long as we continue to be a part of this system. We need to know more, and this curiosity of examining borders will enrich IR. Globalisation and borders: While borders are an established and accepted truth, it is also important to mention that our survival is dependent on crossing borders on a daily basis. We cross borders for trade, learning, and tourism. We cannot survive in a closed space, as this is not a human tendency; we have to move beyond our borders continuously for different reasons. Moreover, globalisation has aided these cross-border activities, particularly in the economic sphere. Neoliberalism viewed borders as barriers to trade. In the post-Cold War phase, neoliberals openly took a position on free trade and fewer barriers, and this is supported by international institutions like the World Trade Organization (WTO) (Brunet-Jailly 2000). There was a time when ‘redundancy of sovereignty’ was the most popular phrase amongst the IR scholars. This also means hard borders were challenged, and in the developed world it is more about facilitating cross-border cooperation. This euphoria did not last long, and 9/11 terrorist attacks on the U.S.A. changed the equations for almost every border of the world. The U.S.A. declared a war on terror and targeted Afghanistan, and not long after it also attacked Iraq on the pretext of later allowing Iraq to possess Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) (Tripathi 2015). With these two wars in two different regions but on a global agenda of the ‘war on terror’, world politics underwent a change. The economic interdependence and cross-border cooperation that was advocated by the globalists has not changed much, but the political side of the border has changed. Nation-states again started putting serious efforts into securing borders. The post-Cold War euphoria of heading towards a ‘borderless world’ lost its attractiveness for states after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The trend reversed and more borders and walls started coming up as the focus shifted from easing borders to controlling borders, and we have seen the ‘return of border[s] in international relations’ (Vallet and David 2012). While borders were fortified post-9/11, the movement of capital remained unchecked, and at the same time non-state actors expanded their global network (Held et al. 1999). When discussing changing borders in globalisation, we cannot ignore social media, where almost 39 per cent

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of the world population are interacting with each other in a virtually borderless world. Thus, commerce, terror, and globalisation has influenced BS to an extent that several academic institutions are now conducting serious research and studying the relationship between globalisation and borders. These research institutes and centres are located mostly in the West.

III: Beyond Europe: Border Studies in South Asia Kathleen Staudt, in her book, discussed how borders are drawing the attention of scholars in different regions. Staudt, in her relevant work, compared different borders of the world. Beyond Europe, the U.S.A.-Mexico border is one of the most discussed borders of our times. It has its own history of conflicts and controversies and remains in the news for the wrong reasons. Notably, the U.S.A.-Mexico border is even used in the electoral politics of the United States of America, and we are aware of the position of President Donald Trump on the U.S.A.-Mexico border, as he is in the process of building a wall. Academicians and activists both have equally written about the U.S.A.-Mexico border. This border, which was termed an ‘interdependent borderland for many decades’, reflects how ‘unequal borderlands’ give rise to a flow of people in search of livelihood and in the process has acquired the shape of a political narrative (Staudt 2018). There are other borders that always remain in international news due to conflicts and violence. One such border is the Israel-Palestine where we can see that both mental and physical borders are subjected to strict state vigilance. There has been a Zionist belief that ‘knowledge of land cultivated love for the nation’. Students are educated in such a way that they acquire a ‘mental map’. ‘This salience of “knowing the land” (yedi at ha-arets) continued after the establishment of the state when geography became an important topic in schools for both Jewish and Arab’ (Ben-Ze’ev 2015, 248). This mental border helps in garnering support for militarising the physical border as we have seen also in the case of India and P ­ akistan (Tripathi 2016). In the case of Israel and Palestine, it is the occupation, war, continuous militarisation and wall of separation that defines the border. In the case of India and Pakistan, it is the post-partition rift that remains unattended. This major bone of contention between India and Pakistan, the northernmost state of the Indian Union, namely Jammu and Kashmir, is a good example of how peoples and places with distinctive histories, cultures and ethno-linguistic identities can be reduced to the status of mere ‘issues’ in the geopolitical imaginations of the intellectuals and institutions of statecraft. At the heart of the dominant Indian discourse on Kashmir lies the polemical two-nation theory. (Chaturvedi 2003, 336) The border trouble of India and Pakistan related to Jammu and Kashmir could be estimated by the fact that still there is no permanent established line; it is a Line

Introduction  11

of Control (LoC). Due to its complex and volatile past, Happymon Jacob termed this as a ‘Line on Fire’. India has a 3,323 km border with Pakistan, of which 1,125 km runs through Jammu and Kashmir ( J&K), the former princely state, the status of which is disputed between the two countries. On the Indian side the border is made up of the LoC, which is manned by the Indian Army, and the 201 km-long IB (International Border), which is primarily manned by the BSF (Border Security Force), save for a 10 km stretch manned by the army beyond the Chenab river. ( Jacob 2019, 91) Jacob, in an important contribution to BS in South Asia, examined how border shelling, intrusion, and security mentality are actually institutionalised by both India and Pakistan in the case of LoC ( Jacob 2019). Not only the India-Pakistan border, but there are other borders as well in South Asia that are troublesome. In this post-colonial region, the obsession with territoriality is visible in the everyday conduct of nation-states (Gellner 2013). This is because borders in this region were largely drawn by the British and involved violence (Schendel 2005). Most border disputes in the region are unresolved, and peace on the borders is directly dependent on the political establishments in the country. This is a reason why borders, in a way, define relations between states in South Asia (Banerjee 1998). A very good example is the India-Nepal border, which is typically known as stable and calm, but recently a set of events led to trouble, even affecting the strong Indo-Nepal ties (Tripathi 2019a). Similarly, one can easily assess the daily struggle of the borderland communities of India and Bangladesh. How people on both sides challenge the border, on the other hand state authorities use coercive different apparatuses to establish their control on border ( Jones 2018). In South Asia, borders are imagined as securitised spaces, leaving little space for cross-border trade and human mobility. Cartography of South Asia is not easy to understand; it just does not denote plain lines showing spatial divisions. It is also about political divides and conflicts. The post-colonial states of this region undertook the tedious task of nation-building. States in South Asia have to continuously explain and convince their citizens that beyond national territories there are enemies, rivals, and others. The unending political process of bordering and othering in South Asia leaves this region as one of the least integrated regions of the world (Tripathi and Chaturvedi 2019). Socially and culturally people share so much with each other across borders, yet they remain politically divided. Thus, South Asia represents several contradictions – it has had an impressive economic growth rate in the last decade, but intraregional trade is less than 5 per cent; it is an underperforming region as reflected by its position on the Human Development Index (HDI) but has two nuclear powers and so on. These paradoxes reflect the bordering processes of states. They reveal ‘cartographic anxieties’ (Krishna 1994) of South Asian states. One has to note that South

12  Dhananjay Tripathi

Asia is not merely a post-colonial but also a post-partition region. Most of the present-day South Asian borders were drawn by the British. Some of these borders were drawn hurriedly, like the one between India and Pakistan. The South Asian borders are also tales of human tragedies. ‘Today when you imagine pre-Partition India, you most likely picture the combined maps of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh’ (Ghosh 2017, 26). The line that was drawn in 1947 to divide United India into India and Pakistan was not a simple affair. Similarly, another border came up in South Asia in 1971 after the liberation of East Pakistan-Bangladesh, but this too occurred after bloodbath and violence. In the 1947 partition, ‘15 million people were displaced and one million dead’. Similarly, ‘horrifying numbers of people were killed and many hundreds of thousands of women raped in 1971’ (Ghosh 2017). Borders in South Asia, therefore, invoke a sense of insecurity and desolation. That is one of the reasons why our study of borders majorly remains centred to themes related to security and border management. This confinement restricts our study of borders; we normally do not like to theorise borders, hesitate to look at them as an impediment to regional trade/cross-border trade, ignore life and society of borderlands, and remain indifferent to other non-conventional security problems. In short, we desperately need to re-imagine borders in this part of the world. There are noteworthy works on Indian and South Asian borders, like the work of Sanghamitra Misra who traced how the life of people changed in Northeastern India during the colonial period and what it means to become a borderland (Misra 2015). Similarly, Nimmi Kurian, in her seminal work on India-China borderlands, presented how the border community is usually ignored by the power centres (Kurian 2014). In an equally relevant work, Paula Banerjee and Anasua Basu Roy Chaudhury brought the voices of Indian women from borderland to the fore (Banerjee and Chudhury 2011). These academic works on South Asian borders bring to our attention that borders and borderlands were ignored by the state authorities. This also implies that we have to work tirelessly on different border themes knowing well the problems and dominant narratives on South Asian borders. The present volume is an effort in this direction, and hopefully, we will be able to generate some interest in studying borders in South Asia.

IV: Re-imagining Border Studies in South Asia This edited volume has contributions from young scholars mostly trained in IR and Political Science who are trying to understand borders from their distinct perspectives. In this, it is important to note that all of the chapters in this volume are presenting fresh ideas on borders. Chapters in this volume are not only discussing the physical borders of the region but also are focusing on theoretical and conceptual parts. Theoretical engagement is necessary for generating an intellectual interest to re-examine borders and thereby widen the research agenda of BS in South Asia. It will open prospects for the development of BS in the region and will pave the way to have a more constructive and critical dialogue with BS scholars of other regions.

Introduction  13

Contributors to this volume are discussing borders by going beyond the conventional wisdom that is inherent in the traditional IR/Political Science departments. The major IR theories, as discussed earlier, remain overly indulgent in regard to the state, therefore reducing borders to merely a securitised space, narrowing our research agendas. Political economy, Constructivist, and Critical theories have introduced various other dimensions  – trade, actors, ideas, identities, power, individuals and so on in which BS has the potential to bring relevant insights to a student of IR. We are aware of the fact that ‘identities, border and orders are compelling us to rethink the IR theories’ (Lapid 2001). How borders are shaping our understanding of neighbours, our perception of region, trade, climate, water sharing, immigration, ideology, development projects, connectivity, and so on are now equally important themes of academic research for any IR department, thus bringing it closer to BS. Likewise, it will also be stimulating for BS scholars to know how students of IR are imagining and re-imagining borders in South Asia. The present volume, due to the intellectual inclinations of its contributors, is likely to energise BS in South Asia. The reader can very well see that this volume also discusses issues pertaining to borders from a state-centric position, while at the same time there are chapters questioning borders in the present form and bringing forth the issues of borderlands. BS as of now has a strong influence of Western scholarship, although there is some relevant literature from Latin America. In Asia, there are growing centres of BS in Japan and Southeast Asia, and recently in China there has been a push toward studying borders. In South Asia, most of the literature and research on borders are related to India-Pakistan and India-Bangladesh borders. This volume goes beyond these overly discussed borders, brings topics not confined to spatiality and territoriality, and could be of interest to the BS/IR scholars. For South Asia, where borders are generally imagined through a security lens, it is like re-imagining Border Studies, bringing many other themes to the table. The book is divided into four sections and has 14 chapters, including this introduction. The opening section of the book has three theoretical chapters on pertinent topics widely discussed in South Asia and beyond. These chapters bring three different interpretations of borders. The first chapter is on a subject that recently occupied international headlines. The recent India-China border standoff is viewed curiously by both experts and the general public. What explains border tension between two neighbours who have strong trade ties? The chapter by Sriparna Pathak traces the reasons for border contention between India and China. Pathak discusses the Chinese understanding of sovereignty. The chapter gives us useful insights to evaluate the nature of the border dispute between China and India. It is to be noted that China, due to its economic might and strategic depth, is drawing the attention of IR scholars. One of the often-discussed themes is how India-China relations will unravel in the future. These two Asian powers have unsettled border issues and also had a war in 1962. The chapter will offer some answers to those who are trying to analyse the India-China border dispute.

14  Dhananjay Tripathi

India-Pakistan is another critical border of South Asia. To understand some of the problems between these two neighbours, one has to look not only at the physical border but also at the mental borders. Different mediums like textbooks, movies, and fiction create specific notions and identities in the region, giving birth to mental borders between the two. It may be easier to cross the physical border but certainly not the mental borders. According to Chris Brown ‘[I]dentity is always about difference, borders and about maintaining difference’ (Brown 2001, 129). Brown also argued that the questions of identity and borders are largely ignored in the IR (Brown 2001). In South Asia, scholars have paid attention to borders but have largely ignored the bordering processes (Chatterjee 2019). The second chapter in this section is by Vaishali Raghuvanshi, and it is on mental borders in South Asia, taking the case study of India-Pakistan relations. According to Sanjay Chaturvedi, ‘otherness in the case of India and Pakistan persists in various avatars’ (Chaturvedi 2002). Vaishali in this chapter explains how political fiction is also an important source to understand mental borders between India and Pakistan. She has used two popular novels on the theme of partition: Train to Pakistan and Tamas. The last chapter by Syed Murtaza Mushtaq is on an under-researched theme. It is on religion, which strongly shapes our social and cultural identities. Mushtaq explains how borders are viewed in Islam. We all are well versed about the Westphalian notion of the nation-state that made territoriality a central question of our political life. Mushtaq presents how territoriality is interpreted in Islam. This chapter also discusses Islamic ideas of migration and asylum; these are two important themes of Border Studies. Cross-border trade and connectivity are two important themes that always challenge the conventional notion of borders. From ancient times, trade has entailed the crossing of borders. Cross-border trade is the basis of a liberal economy that has roots in the logic of comparative advantage. Liberals challenge the mercantilist notion of trade as a zero-sum game. While erecting economic borders is the prime motivation of mercantilists/nationalists, crossing borders and improving connectivity is the emphasis of liberals. This is an age-old debate in economics, and it also draws the attention of BS scholars. It is important to note that in Europe, economic imperative and connectivity issues helped in bridging divides represented by borders. Similarly, discussion on U.S.A.-Canada borders is incomplete without focusing on economic linkages between these two states. In South Asia, a discussion on borders is likely to draw our attention to cross-border economic issues and connectivity. The borders in this region are new and were mostly drawn during the colonial period. Now when South Asia is growing, it cannot avoid the question of cross-border economic partnership, and the region also needs to improve connectivity. The next section in this edited volume is on the theme of borders: regional economy and connectivity. The section has four chapters covering different pertinent topics. The first chapter of this section by Dhananjay Tripathi and R. Madhav Krishnan deals with India’s quest for connectivity with Central and Southeast Asia.

Introduction  15

The Indian economy, in the last few decades, has shown signs of impressive growth. Post-1991 India started liberalising its economy by opening it to the international market. Thereafter, it impressed the world with its consistent economic rise. After acquiring the status of an economic giant, India is presently looking to expand its economic reach to Central and Southeast Asia. India is eager to get connected to both of the regions, and this chapter focuses on the challenges and prospects of this connectivity aspiration of New Delhi. The next chapter in this section is by Mohit Nayal, dealing with critical issues of the maritime border between India and Sri Lanka. The political relations of India and Sri Lanka have a past – it is of friendship and anxiety. Taking the case of fishermen, who often remain a point of contention, Nayal argues how this long-standing issue can be resolved between the two sides. In South Asia most of the focus of academia remains on the India-Pakistan border, and this at times shadows discussions on other equally important borders. This chapter is relevant, as it engages with maritime borders between India and Sri Lanka and is likely to generate curiosity of Border Studies scholars. As argued by Tripathi and Krishnan, connectivity with other regions is now an essential requirement for the future growth of India. Likewise, growing South Asia is in need of energy, and there is a unique balance of energy surplus and energy deficit countries in the region, opening a prospect of cross-border cooperation. Sankalp Gurjar, in his chapter, explains with empirical details how trans-border energy connectivity is a possibility for South Asia. In this well researched and empirically strong chapter, Gurjar also flashes pertinent points for South Asia to get connected to other regions to fulfil the energy requirement. The last chapter in this section is by Monica Verma. While Gurjar’s chapter kindles hope, Verma’s argument is to be taken as a reality check. Verma brings back the issue of economic borders in South Asia, and this is despite a positive growth rate in the region. Any academic engagement on borders is inconclusive without studying borderlands. Borders can be properly experienced in a borderland. There is a natural disconnect between the centre and periphery in analysing and understanding borders. Border Studies should be credited for bringing the borderlands to discussion tables. The third section of the book is on borderlands, and it has three captivating chapters. The first chapter in this section is co-authored by Sourina Bej and Nasima Khatoon. The chapter brings the details of development projects in the border district of Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh. This chapter critically analyses how development projects in the bordering district are affecting the normal habitation and are resisted from the ground. The border communities are rarely consulted in policy making even if that is going to have a bearing on everyday life. Separated from the development of the mainland, borderland communities successfully maintained their socio-economic system, which is now undergoing a change caused by pressure coming from the mainland. It is all about development and securitisation that have little consideration for the borderland communities. Taking the case study of the Thar Desert, Bharat Hun adds to the points raised in the earlier chapter. According to Hun, Thar’s borderland is undergoing a change due to the policies of

16  Dhananjay Tripathi

the state. Both India and Pakistan on their sides of Thar are looking at economic opportunities, negating the fallout of such policies on the socio-cultural life of people. The concluding chapter of the section by Jigme Wangdi presents some contrasting images of state policies in the borderland. Taking the case study of Border Haat (local market), Wangdi presents a positive side of Border Haat as it connects the people of India and Bangladesh. The chapter also highlights the hesitations of the state, even when it officially promotes Border Haat. The last section of the edited volume is on securitisation and borders. Since its inception, studies on and of borders are engrossed by different themes of security and territoriality. The first chapter in this section, by Sachin N. Pardhe, draws our attention towards conflict, cooperation, and territoriality and how they shape the regional understanding of borders. This is a pertinent chapter for those who would like to look for answers to South Asian integration. Several experts have offered their explanations on lack of integration in South Asia. Pardhe’s chapter offers an answer from the viewpoint of Border Studies. The chapter by Anjan Kumar Sahu points towards one such potential point of conflict between China and India, and it is about water sharing in South Asia. Bringing in Pakistan and Bangladesh, Sahu emphasises how cross-border water sharing is a potential flashpoint in South Asia. The modern world has changed the notion of security, and it is no longer a concept entwined with territoriality. There are subjects that are not even remotely connected to physical borders, like cyberspace, although they are extremely critical for the nation-state. The last chapter of this section and the edited volume is by Shubham Dwivedi, who looks into the future borders of the world. Dwivedi counters the myth that the Internet is an example of a borderless world. This is certainly not the case with China, as it is creating borders in the virtual world. Epistemologically, the Internet is the most sophisticated child of neoliberalism, but ontologically it too gets caught up in the ‘territorial anxieties’ of the nation-state. This chapter helps us to understand the new bordering practice in cyberspace.

Conclusion Although, there are acclaimed Border Studies scholars from the region, and there is some commendable work, still, as a subject it remains limited to a few centres in the region. Growing South Asia urgently needs to mediate with the idea of securitised borders and has to look at various possibilities of connectivity so that it shall ease the economic borders. Life near the border is also an important site of research, and we have to be more sensitive in our approach to accommodate these complexities. Also, in this, we cannot forget that providing security is one of the main functions of the border, and there is a need to keep an eye on the changes in this field of border security. This edited volume covers these pertinent themes by bringing new imaginations on the South Asian borders.

Introduction  17

References Agnew, John. 1998. Geopolitics Re-Visioning World Politics. London: Routledge Publication. Anderson, Benedict. 1983. Imagined Communities. New York: Verso Books. Banerjee, Paula. 1998. “Borders as Unsettled Markers in South Asia: A Case Study of the Sino-Indian Border.” International Studies 35 (2): 180–91. Banerjee, Paula, and Anasua Ray Basu Chaudhury. 2011. Women in Indian Borderlands. New Delhi: Sage Publication. Ben-Ze’ev, Efrat. 2015. “Blurring the Geo-Body: Mental Maps of Israel/Palestine.” Middle East Journal 69 (2): 237–54. Bhagwati, Jagdish. 1993. “Regionalism and Multilateralism: An Overview.” In New Dimensions in Regional Integration, edited by Jaime de Melo and Arvind Panagariya, 22–46. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Brown, Chris. 2001. “Borders and Identity in International Political Theory.” In Identities, Borders, Orders Rethinking International Relations Theory, edited by Mathias Albert, David Jacobson, and Yosef Lapid. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Brunet-Jailly, Emmanuel. 2000. “Globalization, Integration, and Cross Border Relations in the Metropolitan Area of Detroit (USA) and Windsor (Canada).” International Journal of Economic Development 2 (3): 379–401. ———. 2005. “Theorizing Borders: An Interdisciplinary Perspective.” Geopolitics 10 (4): 633–49. Chatterjee, Shibashis. 2019. India’s Spatial Imaginations of South Asia Power, Commerce and Community. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. Chaturvedi, Sanjay. 2002. “Process of Othering in the Case of India and Pakistan.” Tijdschrift Voor Economische en Sociale Geografie 93 (2): 149–59. ———. 2003. “Indian Geopolitics: Unity in Diversity or Diversity of Unity?” Ekistics 70 (422/423): 327–39. Diener, Alexander C., and Joshua Hagen. 2012. Borders a Very Short Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press. Friedman, Thomas L. 2005. The World is Flat, A Brief History of the Twenty First Century. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Gellner, David N. 2013. “Northern South Asia’s Diverse Borders, from Kachchh to Mizoram.” In Borderland Lives in Northern South Asia, edited by David N. Gellner. New Delhi: Orient BlackSwan. Ghosh, Bishwanath. 2017. Gazing at Neighbours Travels Along the Line That Partitioned India. New Delhi: Tranquebar Press. Gilpin, Robert. 2001. Global Political Economy Understanding the International Economic Order. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Green, Sarah. 2013. “Border and the Relocation of Europe.” Annual Review of Anthropology 42: 345–61. Grieco, Joseph M. 1988. “Anarchy and the Limits of Cooperation: A Realist Critique of the Newest Liberal Institutionalism.” International Organization 42 (3): 485–507. Held, David, Anthony McGrew, David Goldblatt, and Jonathan Perraton. 1999. “Globalization.” Global Governance 5 (4): 483–96. Hoffman, Mark. 2009. “Critical Theory and the Inter-Paradigm Debate.” In Critical Theory and International Relations, edited by Steven C. Roach. New York: Routledge Publication. Houtum, Henk Van. 2011. “The Mask of Border.” In The Ashgate Research Companion to Border Studies, edited by Doris Wastl-Walter, 49–62. Surrey: Ashgate Publishing Limited.

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———. 2012. “Remapping Borders.” In A Companion to Border Studies, edited by Thomas M. Wilson and Hastings Donnan. Sussex: Blackwell Publishing. Hurd, Ian. 2008. “Constructivism.” In The Oxford Handbook of International Relations, edited by Christian Reus-Smit and Duncan Snidal. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Jacob, Happymon. 2019. Line on Fire Ceasefire Violations and India-Pakistan Escalation Dynamics. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. Jones, Reece. 2018. “Spaces of Refusal Rethinking Sovereign Power and Resistance at the Border.” In Borders and Mobility in South Asia and Beyond, edited by Reece Jones and Md. Azmeary Ferdoush. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. Keohane, Robert O. 1984. After Hegemony Cooperation and Discord in the World Political Economy. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Krishna, Sankaran. 1994. “Cartographic Anxiety: Mapping the Body Politics in India.” Alternatives: Global, Local, Political 19 (4): 507–21. Kurian, Nimmi. 2014. India-China Borderlands: Conversations Beyond the Centre. New Delhi: Sage Publication. Laine, Jussi P. 2015. “A Historical View on the Study of Borders.” In Introduction to Border Studies, edited by Sergei V. Sevastianov, Jussi P. Laine, and Anton A. Kireev, 14–32. Vladivostok: Far Eastern Federal University. Lapid, Yosef. 2001. “Identities, Borders, Orders: Nudging International Relations Theory in a New Direction.” In Identities, Borders, Orders Rethinking International Relations Theory, edited by Mathias Albert, David Jacobson, and Yosef Lapid. London: University of Minnesota Press. Misra, Sanghamitra. 2015. Becoming a Borderland the Politics of Space and Identity in Colonial Northeastern India. New Delhi: Routledge Publication. Moravcsik, Andrew. 1998. The Choice for Europe Social Purpose and State Power from Messina to Maastricht. New York: Cornell University Press. Newman, David. 2011. “Contemporary Research Agendas in Border Studies: An Overview.” In The Ashgate Research Companion to Border Studies, edited by Doris Wastl-Walter. Surrey: Ashgate Publication. Perkmann, Markus. 2003. “Cross-Border Regions in Europe: Significance and Drivers of Regional Cross-Border Co-operation.” European Urban and Regional Studies 10 (2): 153–71. Rajagopalan, Kavitha. 2018. “Of Insiders, Outsiders, and Infiltrators, the Politics of Citizenship and Inclusion in Contemporary South Asia.” In Borders and Mobility in South Asia and Beyond, edited by Reece Jones and Azmeary Ferdoush. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. Schendel, Willam van. 2005. The Bengal Borderland: Beyond State and Nation in South Asia. London: Anthem Press. Schiff, Maurice, and Alan L. Winters. 2003. Regional Integration and Development. Washington: The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Shapcott, Richard. 2008. “Critical Theory.” In The Oxford Handbook of International Relations, edited by Christian Reus-Smit and Duncan Snidal. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Staudt, Kathleen. 2018. Border Politics in a Global Era Comparative Perspective. London: Rowman & Littlefield. Tripathi, Dhananjay. 2015. “US Role in Afghanistan a Critical Overview.” In Afghanistan Post-2014: Power Configurations and Evolving Trajectories, edited by Rajen Harshe and Dhananjay Tripathi. New Delhi: Routledge Publication. ———. 2016. “Creating Borders in Young Minds a Case Study of Indian and Pakistani School Textbooks.” Region & Cohesion 6 (1): 52–71.

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———. 2019a. “Influence of Borders on Bilateral Ties in South Asia: A Study of Contemporary India-Nepal Relations.” International Studies 56 (2–3): 186–200. ———. 2019b. “Regional Integration: The European Model and the South Asian Experience.” In Challenges in Europe: Indian Perspectives, edited by Gulshan Sachdeva, 341–57. Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan. Tripathi, Dhananjay, and Sanjay Chaturvedi. 2019. “South Asia: Boundaries, Borders and Beyond.” Journal of Borderlands Studies 35 (2): 173–181. Vallet, Elisabeth, and Charles- Philippe David. 2012. “Introduction: The (re)building of the Wall in International Relations.” Journal of Borderland Studies 27 (2): 111–19. Wastl-Walter, Doris, and Andrea Ch. Kofler. 2000. “European Integration and BorderRelated Institutions: A Practical Guide.” Journal of Borderlands Studies 15 (1): 85–106. Wendt, Alexander. 1992. “Anarchy is What States Make of it: The Social Construction of Power Politics.” International Organization 46 (2): 391–425. Wilson, Thomas M., and Hastings Donnan. 2012. “Borders and Border Studies.” In A Companion to Border Studies, edited by Hastings Donnan and Thomas M. Wilson. Sussex: Blackwell Publishing.


I: Introduction Any discussion on India-China relations invariably has the looming backdrop of a historical boundary dispute between the two. While the origins of the dispute date back to pre-independence and pre-liberation times respectively, the fact remains that the resolution of the dispute is yet to take place. What has been a constant is China’s persistent emphasis on its need to safeguard China’s security and territorial integrity along with ensuring peaceful development. This has found a mention in China’s national party congresses, and in his speech at the 19th Party Congress in 2017, Chinese President Xi Jinping mentioned ‘sovereignty’ four times and stated that China will do more to safeguard its sovereignty, security, and development interests and that China will enhance capacity-building for national security and resolutely safeguard China’s sovereignty, security, and development interests. He added that China will fulfil its constitutional responsibility of safeguarding China’s sovereignty and reiterated that the Party stands firm in safeguarding China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity (China Daily, November 4, 2017). Sovereignty, therefore, is clearly a dear concept for China, and hyper-nationalism over boundaries is set to increase. The concept of sovereignty in political science contains four aspects consisting of territory, population, authority, and recognition (Biersteker and Weber 1996, 46). Territory in turn hinges upon linear boundaries. Since the late 19th century, it has been assumed that regardless of place or context, territories must have borders, ideally consisting of precise one-dimensional points on the earth’s surface, connected by straight lines. The linear ideal of borders and the practices of border delimitation and demarcation have fundamentally affected virtually all territorial politics, from post-war peace settlements to territorial partitions (Goettlich 2018, 204). This is no different in the case of the border between India and China.

The Chinese concept of sovereignty  21

However, what is worthy of analysis is what China’s stance on the borders has been through history. With a change in time periods, and prevailing domestic and international situations, China’s emphasis on securing its borders has been changing. This becomes a precursor to understanding the tactics China has used at the border, which range from the 1962 border skirmish to more modern forms of psychological warfare. This chapter outlines events leading to the border skirmish followed by an understanding of China’s approach to sovereignty ranging from the middle of the 19th century, when Western powers arrived in China, to Xi Jinping’s emphasis on protection of sovereignty at the 19th Party Congress in 2017. The next section is briefly about the tools used by China in the current period to keep the issue of the contentious border alive. This section becomes pertinent to understand the extensive measures China is willing to take to safeguard what it sees as its sovereign borders.

II: The boundary dispute China, with the third largest territory in the world, also has the largest number of neighbours – 14 to be precise; and India is its third largest neighbour. The two share about 3,488 km of land border. (Ministry of Home Affairs 2016) Currently, China claims 92,000 square kilometres of Indian territory, which can be divided into the eastern, middle, and western sectors. The eastern sector includes the McMahon Line which runs from the tri-junction between India, China and Bhutan from the West to Brahmaputra River in the East, largely along the crest of the Himalayas. The dispute in this sector is in the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. It is an area of about 90,000 km (Raghuvanshi 2015). The middle sector starts from the tri-junction between the southwestern area of Ngari Prefecture, Tibet, La Dwags, and Punjab to the tri-junction between China, India and Nepal. Its border is about 450 km long, with about 2,000 km of land under dispute. The disputed area in the middle sector on the other hand is much smaller, involving only several pockets. The western sector starts with the pass of Karakoram in the North to the tri-junction between Tibet’s Ngari Prefecture, La dwags, and Himachal Pradesh, running along 600 km. The disputed area, known as Aksai Chin to the outsiders, occupies about 33,500 km of land and is under Chinese control. There are around 20 places along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) where the claims of both the countries overlap, besides Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai China. So far, 21 rounds of talks have been held between India and China to resolve the dispute. Even when the militaries of the two sides were locked in a 73-day-long standoff at Doklam (2017), the special representatives from the two sides (i.e. Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi) met as decided. Negotiations on the border began in 1981 at the vice-ministerial level, and a total of eight rounds of bilateral meetings took place till 1987. In 1988 a Joint Working Group ( JWG) was constituted to expedite the resolution of the conflict. By 2003,

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the JWG had met 14 times. In 2003 special representatives were appointed by the two governments to explore from the political perspective of the overall bilateral relationship (Pant and Das 2018). As stated by Pant and Das (2018), on the one hand there is an increasing feeling in India that the negotiations have dragged on for too long; frequent and strident Chinese claims and intrusions across the LAC in India’s northern sector of Ladakh and India’s Northeast have become a norm rather than an exception (Pant and Das 2018). Chinese troops not only transgress the boundary but undertake incursions as well. In a transgression Chinese troops cross over into Indian territory and eventually retreat into their own side. Intrusion, on the other hand, means crossing over the boundary and staying put in Indian territory. In such ways, China asserts its perceived core interests. In this context, it becomes pertinent to note how May 1951 became an important watershed in the history of relations between India and China in the context of the border question. In May of that year, left with no alternative, Tibetan officials signed a 17-point agreement with China in Beijing. The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) had invaded Tibet a few months earlier, and with the agreement signed, Tibet became an autonomous region of China. For the first time in 50 years, India was not a party to an accord between Tibet and Beijing. Three years later, another agreement was signed: the Panchsheel agreement. This time, it was signed between India and China, and Delhi for the first time acknowledged that China was now its neighbour, not Tibet. In the meantime, PLA began trespassing into India territory (Arpi 2011). Soon after, in June 1952, Zhou Enlai told then Indian Ambassador to China K.M. Pannikar that he presumed that India had no intention of claiming special rights arising from the ‘unequal treaties’ of the past and was prepared to negotiate a new and permanent relationship safeguarding legitimate interests (Arpi 2011). The question of the ‘unequal treaties’, a reference to Henry Kissinger’s account of the 1912–1914 Shimla Conference, convened by the British with the Chinese and the Tibetan authorities, becomes pertinent. The Chinese delegate at the conference cited his country’s weakened condition at that stage when the agreement on the McMahon Line was initiated, and did not sign the agreement, thereby keeping the border dispute open (Mohan 2011). Despite the fact that a Chinese representative was present at the Shimla Conference, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) government apparently ‘learned’ about the McMahon Line in 1952 after the newly formed branch office of China’s Foreign Ministry absorbed the former foreign office of the Kashag government and acquired its archival documents ( Jiang 2011, 374). On August 21, 1950, the Foreign Minister of China in a note had stated that the Chinese government was happy to hear about the Indian government’s desire to stabilise the border. The Government of India, in a response three days later, stated that the recognised boundary between India and Tibet should remain inviolate. This was proof enough that the boundary was well known and recognised by both sides (Gopalachari 1963, 37–38).

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In 1954, as stated by Li Jianglin (2018), Premier Zhou Enlai issued a directive on the border issue, which stated, China’s Indian policy should be striving for co-existence with India based on the Five Principles, striving to make it anti-US aggression and anti-war. India is still under British and American influence, so we want to win it over. As for the border issue, issues regarding areas such as Tawang-Lhoyul that had been excluded by the McMahon Line, and issues regarding the ownership of other places, should be solved in future at the appropriate time due to insufficient documents now. The stronger China is, the more solid national unity is, the more India’s attitude will change. A change in China’s attitude to the border and to the McMahon Line was to soon follow. In October 1954, during his talks with Zhou Enlai, India’s Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru pointed out that he had recently seen some maps published in China which had incorrect borders drawn between the two countries. He added that he presumed this was by some error and that as far as India was concerned, he was not worried about the matter because the boundaries between the two are quite clear and were not a matter of disagreement (Gopalachari 1963, 33). To this Premier Zhou replied that the maps were old reproductions of Kuomintang (KMT) maps and that the PRC government had had no time to revise them (Sandhu, Shankar, and Dwivedi 2015, 15). Zhou Enlai changed his narrative in 1956 when he said that although he thought that the McMahon Line was established by British imperialists and was not fair, nevertheless it was an accomplished fact, and because friendly relations existed between India and Burma, the Chinese government was of the opinion that they should give recognition to the line. (Gopalachari 1963, 33). However, as things currently stand, China calls the McMahon Line a product of imperialism and does not recognise it as the boundary between India and China. China’s supposed aversion to imperialism and anything emanating from it has implications for its understanding of legal principles, particularly relating to boundaries, and has been since expansionist Western powers arrived in China in the middle of the 19th century. According to Erie, the fact that sovereignty is the key component of Chinese nationalism is evident. On issues relating to both territorial integrity – whether it be the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), Taiwan, Xinjiang, or Tibet – sovereignty remains foremost on China’s domestic and foreign agenda (Erie 2012, 12). The position China takes on issues of boundaries or sovereignty as a whole is rooted to a large extent in its colonial experience and the intellectual response of thinkers of the time.

III: China’s experience with the introduction of the Western notion of sovereignty Sovereignty is a basis of Chinese nationalism and a linchpin of the state system. The Chinese nation-state and the corollaries of nationalism and patriotism have

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been mainstays in China. The Chinese hypersensitivity to sovereignty in China is an offshoot of it marrying nationalism with sovereignty; and sovereignty in turn has been impacted to an extent by the colonial experience of the country. China was never colonised outright by Western powers, but beginning with the Opium War of 1840–42 and its loss to Great Britain, China began slowly losing territories to colonial powers. In the initial phases of its conflicts with the West, China then under the Qing Dynasty of the Manchus still envisaged itself as the Middle Kingdom and as the cultural centre of the world. The British government’s understanding of a sovereign state led it to not consider the Qing Empire as an independent state and as an equal member of the international system. Thus, it did not concede to China the rights of a sovereign state and instead established by force extraterritorial rights in China. The Treaty of Nanjing which brought the Opium War to an end was the first of the unequal treaties which denied China any sovereign status and bestowed legal protection on British subjects living in China from any action that could be taken by the Qing Empire. At that time the notion of sovereignty was alien to the Chinese. In the prevailing order of the Chinese system at that time there was only the Emperor, and political autonomy for aliens or non-Chinese was not even a consideration. China’s foreign relations were managed under an indigenous system known as the tributary system whereby China, occupying the patriarchal position, assumed the role of the leader, and in return tributary states came into contact with China as part of the Chinese family of nations, but in a subordinate position. Under such a Sino-centric system, only China (i.e. the Middle Kingdom) enjoyed full sovereignty and there was no such thing as equality of sovereignty between China and the tributary states. The onset of Western powers in China broke down the Sino-centric world order, which was replaced with an unequal treaty regime, and the Middle Kingdom at the centre of the universe was downgraded to a semi-colonial society at the hands of foreign imperialism (Shan 2008, 57). It was only when the Chinese first began studying international law years later that they understood the implications of sovereignty, and it was this realisation which stimulated Chinese nationalism. Post this kind of humiliation at the hands of Western powers the resolve to protect its rights not just as a sovereign state but to acquire all its glory that it had as the Middle Kingdom became a permanent feature of Chinese international politics. This is seen even in policy pronouncements today, and examples include that of the China dream, and Xi Jinping’s speech at the 19th Party Congress when he said that the theme of 2017’s Congress was to never forget the Party’s founding purpose, which now includes the ‘great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation’ (Swaine, 2017). However, the Chinese hyper-obsession with sovereignty has other determinants as well and is not rooted in its colonial experience alone. As stated by Stokes (2019), Beijing makes expansive and, in certain cases, revisionist territorial claims under the banner of protecting its sovereignty. These include the case of Taiwan, as well as maritime claims in the East and South China

The Chinese concept of sovereignty  25

Seas and along its border with India (Stokes 2019). Beyond the shadow of a doubt, sovereignty is extremely dear to China. However, Beijing’s actions across the globe evince a much looser definition for what comprises a violation of sovereignty when it comes to other countries. China’s law enforcement and intelligence agencies frequently act in ways that violate other countries’ sovereignty. As stated by Stokes (2019), China uses organisations including its United Front Work Department to carry out influencing activities that range from what is essentially a non-transparent political organisation to outright espionage on behalf of Beijing’s policy goals (Stokes 2019). This has been the case with the India-China border as well, wherein actions taken by China range from incursions to transgressions to the 1962 border clash to psychological warfare. At the very least China’s claims with respect to its borders have been changing over a period of time as exemplified earlier in Zhou Enlai’s various statements on the India-China border. These changes have been corresponding to its own view of its powers and status in the international system and are also deeply rooted in its ever-evolving communist ideology. The importance of borders for China is evident in the resources it spends on projecting and protecting what it sees as its sovereign boundaries.

IV: China’s tactics and the India-China border As recent as May  2019, China burned maps that portrayed the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh as part of India. Maps represent a country’s sovereign boundaries and hold political and scientific as well as legal significance. While the burning of the maps is China’s way of publicly rejecting the fact that Arunachal Pradesh is a part of India, the fact remains that this also has psychological undertones. Symbolism has always been a part of Chinese society and politics, and actions taken by China to imply the destruction of anything that impinges on what it sees as its sovereign borders also send psychological messages to the adversary of its physical might. Sun Tzu stated in The Art of Warfare that the supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting. Therefore, psychologically overpowering the adversary becomes necessary in his strategy to waging a war. Even in the tactics China uses at its borders, China uses historic knowledge and wisdom. Over and above this, in 2003, the Communist Party’s Central Committee and the Central Military Commission approved a new warfare concept for the PLA, the ‘three warfares’ (三中战法) san zhong zhanfa (Mei 2004). These are: 1 2 3

Public opinion or media warfare (舆论战)(yulun zhan); Psychological warfare (心理战) (xinli zhan); and Legal warfare (法律战) (falu zhan).

The ‘three warfare’ doctrine is part of the PLA regulations for the conduct of ‘political work’. While conducting psychological warfare, the PLA aims at undermining the will of foreign civil populations as well as the enemy’s ability for combat

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operations. The goals of such kind of warfare include demoralisation of not just the adversary’s military personnel but also their countrymen at home (Wortzel 2014, 30). In the past the PLA targeted Nationalist forces and the Japanese with psychological operations and used them in the Korean War as well as the 1962 border conflict with India. In its psychological warfare operations, the PLA may target an enemy’s values, its motivation for fighting, and, in peacetime or wartime, the logic of an adversary’s foreign policy, security policy, or national decisions (Zhu and Chen 1999, 349–50). Thus, psychological operations could target an adversary’s civil populace and its leaders, as well as military personnel. When the PLA conducts border patrols or the Chinese maritime or coastal patrol organisations stage incidents with foreign navies or fishing fleets, they are simply engaging in psychological operations while constantly asserting their boundary claims. Such actions aim to intimidate other claimants to disputed territories. The message that is sent out through such actions is that acting counter to China’s interests or desires will cause China to resort to the use of force. Much of the PLA’s campaigns in this context, whether in public opinion and media warfare or psychological warfare, depend on the free press and civil societies in the countries with which it has disputes. The PLA constantly broadcasts the message in the English media press which gets picked up and is reported in the adversary’s press. The aim of the PLA in this is using repetition to impact the psyche of the adversary. The usage of deception is an important tenet in psychological operations. In the context of the build-up to the skirmish in 1962, it is pertinent to note how deception was used to ensure India remains unprepared for an attack by the PLA. On May 15, 1959, Chairman Mao added a few words to a letter from the Chinese Foreign Ministry to India’s Foreign Ministry which led India to believe that a military confrontation was in no way likely even though since August 1954, the two sides had begun exchanging notes, memos, and letters on the border dispute, which was beginning to escalate tensions between the two sides. (Ministry of External Affairs 1960) Mao’s words in the letter were as follows: China’s main attention and principle of struggle is focused on the east, the West Pacific region, on the ferocious American imperialism, not on India, the southeast or south Asian countries at all. . . . China will not be so stupid as to make enemies with the US in the east, and make enemies with India in the west. Pacification of rebellion and implementing democratic reform in Tibet would pose no threat to India whatsoever. (Mao 1959, 268–69) An assurance from Mao himself led India to believe that China would not take border disputes to the level of military confrontation. Jianglin Li states that at the time Mao made this statement, infantry division 11 of the PLA was fighting Tibetan resistance forces in the Chamdo area, and less than four years later, this

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battle-hardened division was to fight at the Namka Chu, the first border clash with India. (Li 2018, 3). The deceptive letter had so much of a psychological impact that despite repeated warnings from then intelligence chief Bhola Nath Mullik about Chinese manoeuvres along and across the border, PM Nehru refused to believe that the Chinese were actually in preparations for a war against India (Tibetan Review 2017). Ten days later, on March  25, Mao convened a meeting of top leaders for a discussion on the situation in Tibet, wherein he blamed India for the unrest and declared that China would not condemn India openly but would instead give India ‘enough rope to hang itself ’ (Krishnan 2012). In line with the approach outlined by Mao, Chinese leaders maintained the appearance of good relations with India, and the Foreign Ministry in a note to the Indian government on March 29 even said that it welcomes Nehru’s statement of not interfering in China’s internal affairs. It stated that China has never interfered in India’s internal affairs, never discussed India’s internal affairs in its National People’s Congress or in its Standing Committee because it was impolite and improper to discuss internal affairs of a ‘friendly country’ (Krishnan 2012). While Prime Minister Nehru’s forward policy is often cited as a reason for the PLA’s attack on India in 1962, the reason for the clash lies in developments much before any forward movement from India took place. In line with Krishnan’s account, as stated by Bertil Lintner, India was a ‘soft target’ as it had, in 1959, granted the Dalai Lama asylum after he fled Tibet following a ‘failed uprising’ against Chinese occupation of the region (Lintner 2018, 14). Also, by 1961, it was increasingly clear that Mao’s policies of Great Leap Forward were a clear failure. By 1961, anywhere between 17 and 45 million people had died because of Mao’s policies, which had caused a famine rather than, as intended, any rapid industrialisation (First Post 2017). For Mao, the best way to regain power was by unifying the nation, especially the armed forces, against an outside enemy. Lintner’s argument is confirmed by Li, who has stated earlier details on how China used Tibet as a training ground for the eventual attack by the PLA on India. A transcript released by the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars confirms the same. The transcription is of the meeting between Soviet Union Premier Nikita Khrushchev and Chinese leaders, including Mao Zedong and Chinese Premier and Foreign Minister Zhou Enlai on October  2, 1959. The  transcript reveals how China was adamant about proving India and Nehru wrong even when it was not able to convince Nikita Khrushchev of its words, motives, and action. When Krushchev asked about why Indians had to be killed on the border, Mao replied that India attacked first and fired for 12 hours, to which Krushchev replied that no Chinese had been killed, even if it were to be believed that India attacked first. On the contrary, numerous Indians lost their lives. Zhou Enlai’s response to Krushchev’s disagreement with the methods used was that (i.e. the Party leadership did not know till recently about the border incident) the local authorities undertook all the measures there without authorisation from the centre (Woodrow

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Wilson Centre 1959). This is clearly not in conformity with Mao’s statement of the knowledge he had of India attacking first and firing for 12 hours! Therefore, it can be stated that the issue of the India-China border in the late 1950s was more than just a matter of sovereignty and had other underpinnings ranging from utilisation of a soft target to consolidation of political power to strengthen China’s position geopolitically among the newly independent nations in Asia and Africa and to block India’s emergence as a leader of the developing world. China’s claim on Arunachal Pradesh is a relatively recent phenomenon. China’s initial claims extended only to Tawang, a part of Arunachal Pradesh, and not the entire state of Arunachal Pradesh itself. The sixth Dalai Lama is said to have been born in Tawang. Nevertheless, since the 2000s, China has been laying claims to the entire state in its entirety. India has been exercising sovereignty over it since 1955, post-independence, and the state became a Union Territory in 1972, followed by being granted full statehood in 1987. The changed Chinese stance on Arunachal Pradesh is motivated by its desire to put a lid on Tibetan nationalism which has been growing since the 2000s. China since times immemorial has believed it is fuelled by Indian support. The state of Arunachal Pradesh is of strategic importance as well – located at the convergence of the borders of the PRC, Bhutan and Myanmar. The extension of Chinese claims to the entire state just reveals the changing underlying reasons for Chinese claims on territories between India and China. In popular Chinese conception, China’s boundaries extend up to Indian states that do not share borders with China. An example is often appearing in articles on Chinese social media, which state that people from Manipur are Chinese and wish to be reunited with their motherland China. This is in line with China’s perception of itself as the Middle Kingdom with territories encompassing faraway lands. The usage of media – be it social media or state-run media – is important in the conduct of psychological warfare. In 2017, after the Dalai Lama’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh, the state-run China Daily carried an article on how the people of Arunachal Pradesh are unhappy under the ‘illegal’ rule of India (Varma 2017). This is done to keep up the psychological pressure on India. Deception continues to be another important tool for China – be it in 1962 or in 2017 – during the Doklam standoff. In 2017, China’s top diplomat on the boundary issue Wang Wenli lied to a visiting Indian media delegation that Bhutan conveyed to Beijing through diplomatic channels that the area of its standoff belongs to China and is not its territory (Indian Express 2017). In response, a day later, the Government of Bhutan categorically refuted the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s bluff that Bhutan had conveyed through diplomatic channels to China that the trilateral border standoff in Doklam is not its territory (Indian Express 2017). Previously, the Bhutanese government had categorically stated in a press release that construction of the road in the Doklam area by the Chinese military is inside Bhutanese territory (Economic Times 2017). During the standoff in 2017 between the Indian Army and the PLA, strengthening its hard-line rhetoric with a video titled ‘Seven Sins of India’, the official

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Chinese news media Xinhua followed up with another video which apparently was part of a series called ‘Talk India’ (Zee Media Bureau 2017). Throughout the Doklam standoff, the Chinese media, as well as its officials, engaged in a play of words in condemning India. As far as the rationale is concerned, first, this can be attributed to the expectation that the parroting of the same story of China being the victim will lead to an actual validation of the claim. Such a behaviour can be linked to the illusory truth effect in psychology, wherein the idea is that repetition of something often enough will slowly make others believe it (Fazio et al. 2015, 993). The effects of repetition have strong effects. The second reason is the government’s usage of media as a loudspeaker. In doing so, it simultaneously attempted to project its own position as a peaceful country which has been attacked wrongly by India. This is reminiscent of 1959’s meeting between Krushchev, Mao, and Zhou Enlai, when Mao Zedong in a response to Krushchev’s disapproval of Indians killed on the border said that India attacked first! Another plausible reason behind the Chinese media’s ratchet during the standoff is the fact that as compared to the Cold War period, diplomacy in the 21st century also witnesses influence of domestic politics through targeting its civil society directly. The state-controlled Chinese media sought to apply this on the Indian civil society with the hope that the audience would put pressure on its domestic government, as was done by the American civil society, which pressured its government to pull its troops out of Vietnam about 20 years ago. Besides these tactics, China has also renamed places in Arunachal Pradesh in its attempts to affect the Indian psyche. In ‘Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes’, Jacques Ellul describes psychological warfare as a policy practice between countries as a form of indirect aggression, which drains public opinion of an opposing regime by stripping away power on public opinion (Ellul 1973, 28). This form of aggression is hard to defend against because it cannot be legally adjudicated. In the past, the PLA has also planted their flag in Indian territory and left or left behind cigarette butts or packets of noodles as tell-tale marks of their presence and to reinforce their claims. The issuance of stapled Chinese visas to Indian citizens from Arunachal Pradesh is another unique Chinese tactic to keep the pressure on the border issue high. In short, China keeps up the pressure at the border through some tactic or the other, symbolising the immense importance territorial acquisition has for China.

Conclusion Borders are the sacrosanct feature of the notion of sovereignty. For China, however, the idea of borders goes a step forward and forms the crux of its nationalism. China’s borders have been ever expanding be it the claims on the India-China border or in the South China Sea. In the beginning, the notion of sovereignty as understood by the treaty of Westphalia was an alien one as China saw itself as the centre of the world; the Middle Kingdom operated the tributary system. Its

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experience with colonialism and the stripping away of its powers and status led it to guard its borders with even more vigour, and the idea of the vast extent of its borders became an integral part of nationalism. Any disagreement with its perceived borders leads to a flurry of hyper-nationalistic reactions ranging from incursions, transgressions, vigorous border patrols, and usage of state-run and social media for broadcasting jingoistic sentiments to renaming places within the adversaries’ borders or even building artificial islands, as has been the case in the South China Sea. Hyper-aggressive responses have mostly been China’s answer to any question on what it imagines as its sovereign borders, and this is exemplified by its rejection of the Hague Tribunal’s ruling regarding the lack of any legal basis to Chinese claims in the South China Sea. It is also exemplified by the PLA’s attack on India in 1962 and the standoff between the Indian Army and the PLA when it was confronted about it pushing boundaries into Bhutan’s territory. In its usage of psychological warfare, in times of conflict as well as during peace, the constant usage of media pronouncements, social media, and other tactics, such as burning of Indian maps or renaming Indian territories, shows how constant the expansion of territorial claims is in the Chinese psyche. However, what is also observed is that beyond the symbolic, psychological, cultural, and nationalistic importance borders have for China, China has been making expansive claims regarding its boundary directly in correlation with its increased economic and political might in the international system. Also, as seen in the case of Arunachal Pradesh, Chinese claims regarding its boundary have been expanding given the situation the country finds itself in, which in the case of its claim to Arunachal Pradesh has been the desperate need to rein in Tibetan nationalism. The interesting point in China’s usage of its history and culture in its understanding of borders is that while it reiterates the historic inequality practised by Western colonial powers and the unjust attempts at redrawing Chinese boundaries, Beijing also uses the same Western notions of sovereignty in its arguments against the intrusion into its so-called sovereign borders. The Chinese understanding of borders therefore is a clever mix of Western notions of sovereignty and its own imagined cultural and historic boundaries. This becomes even more pronounced in the case of Tibet. As stated by Anand (2009), the PRC focuses on historical imperial ties to legitimise its control over Tibet. The fact that it uses the modern concept of sovereignty, which is a product of European universalisation through imperialism, shows the importance of Western imperialist trajectory in scripting borders of modern Tibet. He adds that China saw Tibet’s relations with the Mongols and Manchus as a domestic matter of China, and this emerged at the beginning of the 20th century when nationalism emerged as a strong force in China (Anand 2009, 229). The peculiar aspect was that while China saw the territorial legacy of the Qing Empire as legitimate in delineating its boundaries, it maintained a schizophrenic attitude toward its imperial past, especially towards the Wing and Manchus, who were

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responsible for the decline of the great Han civilisation and for failing to counter the colonial European powers. This understanding of its boundaries has not undergone much change and is visible in China’s approach to its border disputes. Given that China has emerged as an important player in the international system, with considerable economic and political clout, its aims at regaining its lost glory as the centre of the world are bound to increase. A glimpse of it has been the most recent Party Congresses. A common theme in the 17th, 18th and the 19th Party Congresses was of China’s needs to safeguard China’s security and territorial integrity. The emphasis on protecting China’s sovereignty and rights is central to the concept of weiquan [维权] or ‘rights protection’, which the Xi Jinping regime has now placed alongside the long-standing concept of weiwen [维稳] or ‘stability maintenance’. Given this, the usage of psychological warfare is only going to increase in the near future, and it becomes essential for countries with border disputes with China, which includes India, to analyse and understand the motives behind the methods used, while finding better ways of negotiating the border disputes with China. Also, in any negotiations on the border question, what needs to be kept in mind is China’s dual utilisation of Western notions of sovereignty along with its historiccultural imagination of its borders, as this will help in understanding diplomatic double speak better and could lead to clearer outcomes.

References 2017. “Bhutan Acknowledges That Doklam Belongs to China: Chinese Official.” The Indian Express, August  8. 2017. “Bhutan Rejects Beijing’s Claim That Doklam Belongs to China.” The Indian Express, August  10. jings-claim-that-doklam-belongs-to-china/articleshow/60005814.cms. 2017. “Doklam: How Chinese State Media Spreads Lies on Bhutanese Position.” August 12. 2017. “Full Text of Xi Jinping’s Report at 19th CPC National Congress.” China Daily, November 4. 2017. “Mao’s Power Politics to Blame for the 1962 War with India.” Tibetan Review. Accessed May 22, 2019. 2017. “Mao Zedong Declared War on India in 1962 Because He Saw New Delhi as a ‘Soft Target’, Claims New Book.” First Post, December  24. 2017. “Won’t Dignify it with Comment, Says MEA on China ‘Racist Video’.” Zee Media Bureau, August  18. Anand, Dibyesh. 2009. “Strategic Hypocrisy: The British Imperial Scripting of Tibet’s Geopolitical Identity.” The Journal of Asian Studies 68 (1): 227–25.

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Arpi, Claude. 2011. “Chinese Incursions Now and Then.” Indian Defence Review 24 (4): October–December  2009. Biersteker, Thomas, and Weber Cynthia. 1996. State Sovereignty as Social Construct. Cambridge Studies in International Relations. London: Cambridge University Press. Ellul, Jacques. 1973. Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes. New York: Random House. Erie, Matthew. 2012. “Sovereignty, Internationalism and the Chinese in Between.” East West Center Working Papers, No. 2, International Graduate Student Conference Series, Hawaii. Fazio, Lisa K., Keith B. Payne, Nadia M. Brashier, and Elizabeth J. Marsh. 2015. “Knowledge Does Not Protect Against Illusory Truth.” Journal of Experimental Psychology 144 (5): 993–1002. Gopalachari, K. 1963. “The India-China Boundary Question.” International Studies 1 and 2: 33–42. Jiang Bian, Jiacuo. 2011. Zhou en lai yu xizang de heping jiefang (周恩来与西藏的和平解放) [Zhou Enlai and the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet]. Beijing: Social Science Literature Publishing House. Kerry Goettlich. 2018. “The Rise of Linear Borders in World Politics.” European Journal of International Relations 25 (1): 203–28. Krishnan, Ananth. 2012. “From Tibet to Tawang, a Legacy of Suspicions.” The Hindu, October  22. Li, Jianglin. 2018. “Suppressing Rebellion in Tibet, and the China- India Border War.” Accessed May  4, 2019. Tibet_and_the_China-India_Border_War Lintner, Bertil. 2018. China’s India War. London: Oxford University Press. Mao, Zedong. 1959. Jianguo yilai Mao Zedong wengao (建国以来毛泽东文稿) [Mao Zedong’s Manuscripts After the Founding of the People’s Republic of China, Vol. 8]. Beijing: Central Literature. Mei, Yushen. 2004. “Shenyang Junqu Mou Jituanjun Lakai ‘San Zhan’ Xumu (沈阳军区 某集团军拉开‘三站’) [A Certain Shenyang Military Region Group Army Opens the Curtain on ‘Three Warfares’].” China Youth Daily, July 17.– 07/17/content_910023.htm. Ministry of External Affairs. 1960. Notes, Memoranda and Letters Exchanged and Agreements Signed Between the Governments of India and China, 1954–1959 White Paper. New Delhi: Ministry of External Affairs. Ministry of Home Affairs. 2016. “Management of Indo-China Border.” Department of Border Management, Government of India. Accessed August 8, 2018. in/sites/default/files/INDO_China_16022018.pdf Mohan, Ajit. 2011. “Panorama: Kissinger’s China, India’s Neighbour.” Wall Street Journal, September  23. Pant, Harsh, and Pushan Das. 2018. “China’s Military Rise and the Indian Challenge.” Observer Research Foundation, April 19. Raghuvanshi, Vivek. 2015. “India China Border Talks Make No Headway.” Defense News, May  23. india-china-border-dispute-summit-talks-lac-tibet-pakistan/27601373/.

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Sandhu, P. J. S., Vinay Shankar, and G. G. Dwivedi. 2015. 1962: A View from the Other Side of the Hill. New Delhi: Vij Books. Shan, Wenhua. 2008. “Redefining the Chinese Concept of Sovereignty.” In China and the New International Order, edited by Wang Gungwu and Zheng Yongnian, 53–80. London: Routledge. Swaine, Michael D. 2017. “The 19th Party Congress and Chinese Foreign Policy.” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, October  16. 2017/10/16/19th-party-congress-and-chinese-foreign-policy-pub-73432 Stokes, Jacob. 2019. “Does China Really Respect Sovereignty?” The Diplomat, May  23. Varma, K. J. M. 2017. “People of Arunachal Pradesh Unhappy Under India’s ‘Illegal’ Rule: China Daily.” Live Mint, April  12. UKmgGO/People-of-Arunachal-Pradesh-unhappy-under-Indias-illegal.html. Woodrow Wilson Centre. “October  02, 1959 Discussion between N.S. Khrushchev and Mao Zedong.” Wortzel, Larry M. 2014. The Chinese People’s Liberations Army and Information Warfare. Strategic Studies Institute and U.S. Army War College Press. https://publications.armywarcol Zhu Wenquan, and Chen Taiyi. 1999. Xinxi Zuozhan (信息作战) [Information Warfare]. Beijing: National Defense University Press.

3 THE DIALECTICS OF MENTAL BORDERS IN SOUTH ASIA A literary perspective Vaishali Raghuvanshi

I: Introduction Border Studies is considered to be a significant interdisciplinary field of study in the social sciences. In the traditional sense of the term, borders are considered to be tantamount to spatial boundaries. However, the epistemological and ontological underpinnings of Border Studies have witnessed constant evolution in the past century. From a mere spatial dimension in colonial times it has widened to encompass social, cultural, and economic dimensions in the contemporary times. The advent of postmodernism has been accompanied by a cultural turn in Border Studies. The cultural turn in Border Studies marked by the post-structuralist philosophy has shifted the focus from the where to the how of borders. In this regard, symbols, narratives, fictional and non-fictional representations have gained prime importance in the understanding of borders. The post-modernist philosophy aims at decoding and deconstructing day-to-day phenomena. This chapter aims to examine the India-Pakistan border from the point of view of fictional narratives. Through the deconstruction of these narratives the chapter tries to analyse the process of exclusion and inclusion with regards to the India-Pakistan border. Fictional narratives have a profound impact on the mental map of the border. According to Migdal, mental maps are important constructs that determine the functioning of borders (Migdal 2004). This chapter probes the fictional construct on mental maps regarding the India-Pakistan border by using the medium of novels written on the theme of partition of the subcontinent. The South Asian region is one of the least integrated in the world. Countries of South Asia are more integrated with the world at large than among themselves. The absence of a nurturing ecosystem for regional connectivity and interchange is despite the fact that there are several cultural commonalities. The lack of regional connectivity can be understood by taking mental borders as a departure point.

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This chapter shall limit the discussion only to Indian and Pakistan as they are the two biggest stake holders in the region. The Indo-Pakistan border came into existence along with the event of partition which was marred by ‘[M]indless violence, brutalities, atrocities on women and children and complete chaos’ (Pandey 2002; Menon and Bhasin 2000; Tripathi and Raghuvanshi 2019, 3). [b]y one account, over 8 million refugees poured across borders to regions completely foreign to them, while other accounts state that 7 million people migrated to Pakistan from India and vice versa. By another estimate, Partition resulted in the forced movement of 20 million people (Hindus and Sikhs to India and Muslims to Pakistan). (Tripathi and Raghuvanshi 2019, 3) Partition was a significant event in the history of India and Pakistan as its repercussions in the bilateral ties of the two countries can be seen to this day. The process of mental border creation between the two nations can be seen to be emanating from partition. Fictional works have the unique ability to narrate the human side of a historical event. Here, the process of meaning creation is largely embedded in linguistics and is derived from people’s experiences. The deconstruction of these texts leads to the understanding of its socio-psychological implications. The literary space is an allegorical synthesis of key socio-political forces of its time. It thus acts as a data set to understand social processes. It is for this reason that this chapter explores the process of mental border creation between India and Pakistan by probing the event of partition from the point of view of two prominent novels written on the theme of partition, namely Train to Pakistan (1956) and Tamas (1972).

II: The concept of borders in international relations Territorial border of the state is considered as an important factor in international relations (IR). There are four important elements of state viz. territory, population, sovereignty and government. Territory is defined by the border of a state. Border demarcates the territorial limit of the state. Pertaining to this border it holds an important place in IR literature. Border is viewed as a line of defence, a line that denotes citizenship, and this dominates our discussion when we speak of borders in IR. In this regard, Border Studies is multidisciplinary and encompasses almost every aspect of borders and is still in the process of evolution and constant theorisation in IR. New approaches and constant theorisation are gaining attention with the passage of time. This section will discuss different theoretical approaches related to borders in IR. It will bring about different types of borders based on different paradigms of IR. Malcom Anderson defines borders as a dynamic component of state. He has discussed three attributes of borders. At first borders were theatres where state policies found manifestations. An example of this is the change in contours of

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borders by states for specific domestic or international purposes. Secondly, the nature of borders – porous or permeable – determines the depth of control that a state may have over that border. Lastly, borders define national identities (Anderson 1996, 2). Michael Foucher defines borders in light of their fundamental function. He states that borders are sites which represent division of space and time, and they are also a place where synthesis of political, economic, military relations, and ideology happens. His interpretation of borders entails its significance in analysing world politics (Foucher 1991, 36–37). Most scholars interpret the border as an element which drives international relations today. While making a statement about the scope of research in IR today, Daniel Colard brings about the relation between war and peace and effects of transnational forces and any other activity which moves beyond state borders (Colard 1999, 5). Philippe Braillard, in the same manner, states that IR is about bordercrossing and about politically inclined relations between communities (Braillard 1999, 31–32). Going by a systemic approach to interpret borders, Moraczewska looks at the border as part of the setup of a state. Borders define the spatial limits of a country’s sovereignty. They may be permeable or impermeable depending on the degree of state control over the border (Moraczewska 2010). In the current times, the nature and functions of borders have undergone many changes. These days the international relations are dynamic and mediated by many players such as regional blocks and international organisations. New groups and organisations bring about changes in borders to suit the needs of the new setup. Thus, the physical borders become less rigid, and the concept of sovereignty is looked at with flexibility. However, since the international environment is always in a flux, the functional transition of borders also is a continuing process. ‘One also witnesses a change in the perception of borders, as Anderson contends: from a line to a zone, from a physical border to an intangible cultural intersection, one perceived spatially to one viewed functionally, from impermeable to permeable or the other way around’ (Anderson 1996, 2). According to David Newman, ‘[A]ll borders share a common function to the extent that they include some and exclude many others’. He further argues that, [B]y creating ‘otherness’, we create separate identities through the maintenance of the border. The location of the boundary may change through time, as some groups or territories expand and others decline, but they will always demarcate the parameters within which identities are conceived, perceived, perpetuated and reshaped. (Newman 2003, 15) Borders are artificial entities created in order to accentuate the prevalent fissures. Physical borders may just remain a symbolic demarcating line if the divisions cease to exist. Physical infrastructure in terms of military build-up may not always be

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sufficient to legitimise the border. It is the mental borders that provide the significance and purpose to the physical one. We may not necessarily see the lines, but they order our daily life practices, strengthening our belonging to, and identity with, places and groups, while at one and the same time perpetuating notion of difference and othering . . . but it is not possible to imagine a world which is borderless of deterritorialized. (Newman 2003, 143) Scholars defined borders as ‘not just hard territorial lines – they are the institution that result from bordering policies – they are thus about people’ ( Jailly 2011). This is more evident in South Asia, where states have a preference for securitised borders (Tripathi 2015). The question arises as to what makes people support such a strong line of divisions. The unquestioned support from the people to the state for such a security-centric approach towards the neighbourhood is only possible by mental borders. Cognitive confinement of citizens is the fundamental proposition of mental borders.

III: The mental construct of the India-Pakistan border: a perspective from political fiction The mental borders with regard to India and Pakistan emanate from the event of partition which was a culmination of the two-nation theory. The two-nation theory propounds that Hindus and Muslims are two different nations which cannot coexist. It was based on identity politics and mutual othering of two communities. During the freedom struggle, it was the British whose policy of ‘divide and rule’ sowed the seeds of communalism in India. The history of the subcontinent reveals the chain of events and the forces that, ultimately, culminated into the bifurcation of the subcontinent. The Indian subcontinent became home to both Hindus and Muslims since the advent of Islam in India. By the time of colonisation of India by the Imperialist forces, Hindus and Muslims had co-existed in India. The imperial policies of the British finally led to a situation where the Indian Muslims began to see themselves as a weak minority. They found themselves in a lose-lose situation in the context of power-sharing in a democratic setup. The British approach was grounded in the policy of divide and rule. The Hindu revivalist movement also contributed to relegating Muslims to an inferior position. It deepened the differences between Hindus and Muslims. The revivalists were also not very appreciative of Muslims as the former rulers of India and considered them outsiders. By the decade of the 1870s, the British were again playing their cards to win over Muslims so as to develop this minority community into a significant ‘other’ in the eyes of Hindus. They helped Muslims set up the Mohammedan Anglo Oriental College at Aligarh and played an active

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part in successfully conducting the All India Muslim Conference. These were the original institutions from where the leaders of the Muslim League and the idea of a separate Muslim state of Pakistan emerged (Keen 1998). Further damage was done to the Hindu-Muslim equation when the British came with separate electorates in 1909. The Muslim insecurity deepened with the arrival of the act of 1935. It was at this point in time that the Muslim League contemplated a separate nation for Muslims. The idea of a separate Muslim state was given by Muhammad Iqbal in 1930, but his thoughts were rejected. In 1933, Chaudhary Rehmat Ali, a Cambridge student, invented the word Pakistan. Slowly and gradually the idea of Pakistan began to win the support of Muslims and the leaders of the Muslim League. As various attempts at conciliation and constitutional reforms continued to fail, the Muslim League became more and more desperate and observed direct action day on August 16, 1946. The division of the country was inevitable by this time, and it was during the tenure of Lord Mountbatten that India was divided between two nations. The partition and the following riots exacerbated the sensitive communal situations. It is since then that the two nations have fought three full wars and the conflict has emerged as an international problem. Partition became a source of bitterness between the two countries and the sole reason for where the dispute between the two countries began. When the emotional baggage of partition, which had already drawn a dividing line in the imagination of people of both countries, became politicised, it found manifestation in constant friction and hard borders. Border skirmishes between the two nations are a frequent occurrence in the disputed states of Jammu and Kashmir. Thus, the ‘partition wound’ is still unattended. There is a permanent scar of partition, revisited at times of war and whenever the two sides indulge in warmongering. This is like a mental border with which the majority of people in India and Pakistan live. The image of the enemy is in the minds of the people; there is a feeling of ‘otherness’. This mental border helps the cause of belligerent state actors, and different mediums are used to fortify it. The ‘partition scar’ on the borders of India and Pakistan can be discerned easily (Staudt 2018; Tripathi and Raghuvanshi 2019). The memories of partition and the emotional baggage from those times became instruments that developed a sense of mistrust between the two countries. The fundamentalists in both countries kept the memories alive for their narrow ends. Thus, the Delhi riots of 1984, the Bhagalpur riots of 1989, the Babri mosque demolition, the Mumbai riots of 1993, and the Gujarat communal riots are all somehow concurrent with the sad memories of partition. In all of these riots partition stories were selectively used to develop hatred and hostilities among people. Even after 65 years of partition, the developments between India and Pakistan are not devoid of the legacy of partition (Butalia 2000). In the words of Suvir Kaul ‘[T] he destructive legacies and nightmarish memories of Partition – its afterlife – still guide our public policy and inhibit our “progress” from colonial state to postcolonial democracies’ (Kaul 2001).

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It is evident that the event of partition preceded by the two-nation theory marks a mental construct in the minds of the people. The Radcliffe line between India and Pakistan was drawn in 1947. However, it forms only the physical border between the two nations. The process of a mental border far precedes the drawing of a cartographic line. The process of mental border creation was initiated by the two-nation theory in colonial times and was sustained by the event of partition in post-colonial times. In order to fully comprehend the dynamics of the mental border with regards to India and Pakistan, it is important to delve into the peoples’ perspectives during the times of partition. This chapter utilises the medium of novels in order to understand the peoples’ perspectives in the process of mental border creation. Novels are the literary tools in the hands of a writer which she uses to present a viewpoint. The novels written on the India-Pakistan relationship have focused on people. These works present the face of partition that is related to the common man. These works are bereft of the larger political intricacies on the decisionmaking level of government. They have rather focused on unheard stories of personal and social experiences in some forgotten corners of the country. The novels provide the experiences of the masses and the impact of politics at the grassroots level. Novelists have been forthcoming in the depiction of the partition of the Indian subcontinent. Various novels in the genre of political fiction have been written to portray the event of partition of the Indian subcontinent. Novels such as Azadi, Tamas, Midnight Children, Train to Pakistan and so on have beautifully painted the conditions and the socio-psychological environment of their times. Bapsi Sidhwa and Urvashi Butalia maintain that the international border drawn between India and Pakistan by the British indeed acts as the most vulnerable fault line between the two countries in decolonised South Asia. While narrating the various facets of social life, the stories and characters also reveal the process of drawing of lines not only on the ground but also in the minds of people. This chapter attempts to understand the process of border formation between India and Pakistan by looking at two novels, namely – Tamas (1972) by Bhism Sahani and Train to Pakistan (1956) by Khushwant Singh. Tamas: The novel has been written based on the personal experiences of the author – Bhism Sahani. The author has beautifully used the tool of fiction to relive the violent days of partition. The scene of violence is described from the viewpoint of different characters and gives a very real account of atrocities. Sahani has also used the real names in many places which makes the novel closer to reality. The novel also explores petty politics at the ground level where local leaders try their best to make the most of the turbulent situation. The novel begins with the character of Nathu, who is used by some fanatics to kill a pig. The dead pig is later found at the footsteps of the mosque. This incites Muslims and riots start in the peaceful town. The opening chapter of the novel reveals the chilling effect of the incidence of a dead pig being found on the footsteps of a mosque. The local congress leaders are shocked at the incident and

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a palpable tension is ubiquitous. The local Congress Party leaders are confronted by a group of Muslim leaders who stop them to enter the Muslim areas, blaming congress to be a representative of Indian Hindus. One of the Muslim leaders says, ‘[T]he freedom of Hindustan will be for the Hindus; Muslims will only be free in a free Pakistan’. In a later sequence while the congress leaders are expressing their bewilderment at the carcass of the dead pig on the footsteps of the mosque, they witness a cow being chased by a man. The local congress leader Bakshi ji exclaims in a monologue ‘it seems vultures will fly over the city. The signs are very bad’. The significance of the pig and cow is immense in the opening sequence. Pork is forbidden in Islam, and the Hindus revere the cow. The novel later mentions a rumour of a dead cow being found outside a temple. The symbolism is clear. Before a physical border could be drawn in the ground, the mental division between the people is being exploited. The difference between Hindus and Muslims comes to the fore in the two opening chapters. Such developments would later lead to riots in the city and complete the process of psychological alienation of Hindus and Muslims before the formation of a concrete border. As the novel progresses, the Hindus are shown to be discussing the situation in their executive committee session. It is reported there that all sorts of weapons are being amassed in the Jama Masjid. A gentleman at the session opines, ‘I think the work of teaching the youth how to use a lathi should begin immediately! Let’s order two hundred lathis today and distribute them!’ The executive committee is worried about the deteriorating situation and alarmed at the fact that Muslims are amassing weapons. Again, a tale of two separate identities wary of each other is highlighted. Another member of the committee states that After the riots of 26, the Hindus became more alert and built two or three new neighbourhoods, such as Naya Mohalla, Rajpura, and so on that only had Hindu and Sikh homes; otherwise the Muslims have slipped into all the rest of them. Such dialogues are indicative of the evolution of a separate identity on the part of both Muslims and Hindus, who had become suspicious of one another. In another sequence Munshiram questions Babu Prithmichand: ‘[A]nd what if Pakistan is created’. Prithmichand replies, ‘[T]hese are just machinations of politicians’. However, Munshiram is well aware of the ground realities and retorts, ‘Muslims won’t live in Hindu mohallas anymore, and Hindus won’t live in Muslim mohallas. You can consider that written in stone. Whether or not there’s Pakistan, mohallas will now be separated, that much is clear’. The dialogue of Munshiram is a sordid portrayal of the realities of those times. Although the real border has not yet been drawn, the people have drawn their own mental borders and are unwilling to live together. The events and the dialogues in the novel aptly narrate the grim realities of the times of partition. The British policy of divide and rule compounded by the

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two-nation theory was finally reaching a culmination point during the event of partition. By this time, the cognitive bifurcation of people had already reached an advanced level, and the formation of physical borders had only officially endorsed what was already accepted by the masses. Train to Pakistan: The novel marks a seminal work in fictional writings based on the partition. It is set in the time of communal hatred and hostility and tells the story of the peaceful village of Mano Majra. The novel keeps partition at its heart and depicts the bureaucratic as well as the social dynamics during the time of partition. The focus of the novel is on the lower class of the country, which was the worst hit due to wide-scale violence and migration. The village of Mano Majra is a peaceful place whose people have fine-tuned their lifestyles according to the whistles of the trains passing by. However, the ambience in the village changes completely when a train from Pakistan brings the dead bodies. The novel paints Jagga as the main character. He gets arrested for a murder in the village. Some elements in the village incite the people to send a train with corpses to Pakistan. But ultimately, Jagga heroically saves the lives of many people, including his beloved Nooran. The novel is a tale of the role played by communal identities and their impact on mental borders. The situation in Mano Majra is unique as the Muslim and Sikh residents of the village do not only live in harmony but are also uninterested in national politics. The novel beautifully builds up the process by which the residents get integrated into the ongoing communal environment and become conscious of their respective religious identities. The dilemma with regards to identity is presented by the character of Iqbal whose religion is unclear and whose characterisation would solely depend upon whether he is a Muslim or a Sikh. Nobody in the village of Mano Majra knows what Pakistan is like or what it would mean as a separate nation-state, yet slowly their hatred towards Pakistan begins to build as the events unfold. The carnage done by the Sikhs and Hindus coming to India from the other side of the border makes the villagers suspicious of their own neighbours who have done nothing wrong and lived within the village peacefully for centuries. Thus, a mental border slowly takes shape which has the potential to sustain the physical borders in the times to come. The situation in the village is aptly described by the police inspector when he says, [H]ere we are on the border with Muslims living in Sikh villages as if nothing had happened. Every morning and evening the muezzin calls for prayer in the heart of a village like Mano Majra. You ask the Sikhs why they allow it and the answer that the Muslims are their brothers. In another conversation a Muslim villager asks Iqbal, ‘Well, Babuji, tell us something. What is happening in the world? What is all this about Pakistan and Hindustan?’ The lambardar follows and says, ‘We live in this little village and know nothing. Babuji, tell us, why did the English leave?’ Various such dialogues and the

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theme of the novel in the first half represent how the village of Mano Majra was apolitical and devoid of any communal feeling. However, the events that were to unfold would lead to complete reversal of the social mood. The first hint of the characterisation of Muslims comes when Iqbal and Jagga are being taken to the police station. The novel has depicted the personnel of the administrative machinery as better informed and more prejudiced than the rest of the village. In this sequence one of the constables narrates his version of Muslims. ‘On the day of Independence, the Superintendent sahib disarmed all Muslim policemen and they fled. Their intentions were evil. Muslims are like that. You can never trust them’. Another constable adds to this, saying, ‘it was the Muslim police taking sides which made the difference in the riots. Hindu boys of Lahore would have given the Muslims hell if it had not been for their police. They did a lot of zulum’. Such a negative image of Muslim and Pakistan would slowly creep into the village when the first train full of Hindu and Sikh corpses came to Mano Majra. As the villagers become privy to the first such train, the landscape of the novel shifts towards a tenser direction. The significance of this event is aptly portrayed in the line, ‘That evening, for the first time in the memory of Mano Majra, Imam Baksh’s sonorous cry did not rise to the heavens to proclaim the glory of God’. As a head constable comes to the village enquiring about the suspicious activities of Iqbal, the villagers suddenly become conscious of the gravity of the situation. Their mental state is narrated in the novel in the following manner: Muslims sat and moped in their houses. Rumours of atrocities committed by Sikhs on Muslims in Patiala, Ambala and Kapurthala, which they had heard and dismissed, came back to their minds. They had heard of gentlewomen having their veils taken off, being stripped and marched down crowded streets to be raped in the marketplace. Many had eluded their would-be ravishers by killing themselves. They had heard of mosques being desecrated by the slaughter of pigs on the premises, and of copies of the holy Quran being torn up by infidels. Quite suddenly, every Sikh in Mano Majra became a stranger with an evil intent. His long hair and beard appeared barbarous, his kirpan menacingly anti-Muslim. For the first time, the name Pakistan came to mean something to them – a refuge where there were no Sikhs. Once the suspicion had been built, the Sikhs were also furious towards the Muslims. Such fury and rage were always in the background of the knowledge that their Muslim neighbours have done them no harm. An emotional dilemmatic situation arises when Muslims of their village have to finally leave. The novel portrays how a feeling of otherness takes shape in the human psyche even though they are neither part of the violence nor have their own neighbours wronged them. The village of Mano Majra is a microcosm of the Indian subcontinent. The developments surrounding the event of partition give rise to a mental border that is always there to stay and complement the lines drawn on the map of the subcontinent.

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Conclusion It is understood that the India-Pakistan border is not just a cartographic line on the map but has a history of its own. When the process of border formation is situated in the larger framework of the two-nation theory and partition, the intricacies of mental border creation emerges. While such concepts have been researched in mainstream history and political science, this chapter takes a unique perspective on the issue by probing it from one of the more important forms of popular culture: novels. The two novels taken for the purpose of the study narrate the events from peoples’ perspectives. They are thus helpful in understanding the nuances of mental border formation. While the novel Tamas is largely related to the times just before the partition, Train to Pakistan is set in a time when partition has occurred and the process of migration is going on. The discourse analysis done with regards to the novels reveals how the formation of the Radcliffe line was accompanied by various other factors related to identity and societal fabric which aids the process of mental border creation.

References Anderson, Malcolm. 1996. Frontiers: Territory and State Formation in the Modern World. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons. Braillard, P.  1999. “Les Relations Internationales: Une Nouvelle Discipline.” Trimestre du Monde 3: 31–32. Butalia, Urvashi. 2000. The Other Side of Violence: Voices from the Partition of India. London: Duke University Press. Colard, Daniel. 1999. Les relations internationales de 1945 à nos jours. VIII ed., 5. Paris: Masson Editeur. Foucher, Michel. 1991. Fronts et frontiéres. Un tour du monde géopolitique, 36–37. Paris: Fayard. Jailly, B. E. 2011. “Special Section: Borders, Borderlands and Theory: An Introduction.” Geopolitics 16 (1): 1–6. Kaul, Suvir. 2001. The Partition of Memory: The Afterlife of the division of India. New Delhi: Permanent Black. Keen, Shirin. 1998. Partition of India. Spring. Accessed February 12, 2019. http://postcolo Khushwant, Singh. 1956 Train to Pakistan. New Delhi: Chatto & Windus. Menon, R., and K. Bhasin. 2000. Borders and Boundaries: Women in India’s Partition. New Delhi: Kali for Women. Migdal, J. S. 2004. Boundaries and Belonging: State and Societies in the Struggle to Shape Identities and Local Practices. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Moraczewska, Anna. 2010. “The Changing Interpretation of Border Functions in International Relations.” Revista Română de Geografie Politică XII (2): 329–40. Newman, D. 2003. “On Borders and Power: A Theoretical Framework.” Journal of Borderlands Studies 18 (1): 13–25. Pandey, G. 2002. “India and Pakistan, 1947–2002.” Economic and Political Weekly 37 (11): 1027–33. Sahani, Bhishma. 1972. Tamas. New Delhi: Rajkamal Prakashan Pvt. Ltd.

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Staudt, K. 2018. Border Politics in a Global Era Comparative Perspectives. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield. Tripathi, D. 2015. “Interrogating Linkages Between Borders, Regions, Border Studies.” Journal of Borderland Studies 30 (2): 189–201. Tripathi, D., and Raghuvanshi Vaishali. 2019. “Portraying ‘the Other’ in Textbooks and Movies: The Mental Borders and Its Implication on India-Pakistan Relations.” Journal of Borderland Studies 35(2): 195–210.

4 THEORISING BORDERS An Islamic alternative Syed Murtaza Mushtaq

I: Introduction The urge to find alternative knowledge systems in contemporary times gives birth to the post-modern and post-colonial theories in social sciences. It was argued that the knowledge system was hegemonised by the West. With industrial development and colonial advancement, the West not only dominated the world politically but also declared its own worldview as a ‘common sense of the age’. It justified its domination through the dictums: ‘mission to civilize’ and ‘white man’s burden’. During the early 19th century, Muslim scholars such as Allama Iqbal, Maulana Maududi, Ayatullah Muttahari, Ali Shariati, and Sayid Qutub, in one way or the other, wrote in response to Western political and philosophical traditions. However, it was in the mid-1970s that scholars openly advocated the idea of creating an alternative knowledge-building space, which could in due course of time be used as a launching pad for mainstreaming Islam as a knowledge system. These scholars argued that the teachings and canons of Islam carried all the essentials of social, political, and economic thought. In this backdrop, the project ‘Islamization of Knowledge’ was started. By this process, they managed to look at social, political, and economic questions through a different epistemic basis: Tawheed (the essential teachings of eastern philosophy – that God is per se a necessary being, that He has no associates, and that He is the Creator of everything; that everything besides Him comprises the contingent ontological sphere and has emanated from His perfect essence; and that His knowledge of objects is the cause of their coming into being). (Davutoglu 1990, 70)

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At the end of the Cold War, Francis Fukuyama argued for the triumph of liberal democracy and proposed that mankind had reached the pinnacle of political consciousness, and the only way forward for human civilisation was in the liberal democratic model (Fukuyama 1992). Saudi Scholar, AbuSulayman Abdul Hamid, partly in response to Fukuyama, came up with a book, Towards an Islamic Theory of International Relations: New Directions for Methodology and Thought, which in a way set the benchmark for future scholarship on Islam and international relations (AbuSulayman 2010). In his work, ‘The Clash of Civilizations’, Samuel P. Huntington wrote of a possible ‘clash of civilizations’, particularly Islam and Christendom. He argued that Islam had ‘bloody borders’ (Huntington 1996). The argument in many ways is supported by the Jihadist propaganda, which asks for the revival of classical dar ul islam and dar ul harb proposition (Abdullah Azzam’s book, In The Defense of Muslim Lands, is the classic example in this case). Wislon argued that, Border Studies today are a ‘field’ made up of many fields and yet no one field in particular. Border Studies are akin to what we study: rooted in space and time they are also about process and fluidity. They reflect intellectual convergence as well as scholarly differentiation, and through them we can begin to see not only interstices of nations and states, but those of a new world understanding of scholarship, where academics increasingly seek cooperation, collaboration and intellectual fellowship across those same borders we are drawn to study. (Wislon 2012, 4) Border studies is an interdisciplinary field that examines, questions, and asks for a prescription of problems (social, political, economic, geographic) related to the people living on the territorial edge of their respective states. The range of scholars showing interest in Border Studies varies from anthropology to economics and so on. The need of the hour, however, is to engage the idea of borders with other weltanschauungs. This is where I would like to engage with Border Studies from an Islamic perspective. Islam, as many scholars would claim, is a worldview in itself, a complete way of life (Maududi 1966).

II: Modern Nation-State and the Idea of ‘Islamic State’ The word ‘state’ has been extensively used over the last few centuries. Steinberger mentions Skinner in finding the origin of the modern state. He quotes, Skinner argues persuasively that the sixteenth century saw a fundamental change in the use of the term state. Whereas earlier writers employed the term largely to describe either ‘the state or condition in which the ruler finds himself ’ or else the general state of the nation, Sixteenth-century writers gave it a modern and more abstract meaning. (Steinberger 2004, 10)

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The term state can be used to ‘refer to a bewildering range of things: a collection of institutions, a territorial unit, a historical entity, a philosophical idea and so on’ (Heywood 2004, 75). The term has often been confused with the govern ment, although the government is but the apparatus of state. State is an ‘inclusive association, embraces the entire community and encompasses those institutions that constitute the public sphere’ (Heywood 2004, 77). The word ‘state’ as it operates in contemporary political discourse is issued characteristically in two quite different and fundamentally incompatible ways: one corresponding roughly to prudential, the other to philosophical, modes of theorising. Of course, what is true of theories is also true of words: observing and attending carefully to (in this case terminological) differences are a minimal requirement  – too often unmet  – for thinking clearly and perspicuously about politics and the state (Steinberger 2004, 8). Max Weber views states as those having the ‘monopoly of legitimate use of force within a common territory’ (Weber 1946). Rajeev Bhargava questions, ‘Did the state mean something to people in other ages and times as it does to us right now?’ (Das 2016, 173). Conceptual history suggests that ‘words may not change, but their significance does, depending on historical and social contexts’ (Das 2016, 171). While Marx saw the state as a means of economic domination of one class by another, Kelsen sees it as a legal phenomenon, Schmitt and Gramsci looked at it as the example of the political and hegemonic system respectively, while Foucault and the poststructuralists contend that it is inescapable from culture (Hallaq 2013, 20). It is not necessary that a form of government suitable for a country at one time should suit another country at another time. Political theorists and scientists in Europe have given consideration to every kind of political institution and theory, but they have not been able to prescribe a particular form of government which could be conveniently adopted in every country at all times. Thus, there exist today different kinds of governments, viz., kingship, parliamentary democracy, presidential form, dictatorship, and communism. Geographical conditions, the will of the people, and special temporal circumstances have also been detrimental in the choice of the type of government that has been adopted. ‘The concept of the state as an impersonal institution emerged in Europe from the 16th century onwards and eventually passed to the Middle East. In the 19th century, the Muslims gave it the Arabic name of Dawla (Persian dowlat, Turkish dculet), and this is now the standard word in West Asia for a state in both senses of the word’ (Crone 2004, 4). Islam as Muslims accept it is a universal message. Islam, according to them, is not a religion for any particular region nor is it a programme for a particular time only. It is for all regions and for all ages. Therefore, while forming a government, its followers have to take into consideration various factors, viz., geographical setting, social milieu, historical background, demands of time, changeability of the society, advantages to be derived, acceptability by the people, and so on. The history of the conduct of the state by Muslim rulers is therefore to be studied too (Rehman 1984, 389). Rashid Ghanouchi states that, ‘The foundation of Islam has embodied both state and religion since its inception; the Prophet (pbuh) is the founder of both the religion and the state at the same time. The first bay’a (acclamation) was by the group

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that came from Yathreb (present-day Medina) to Mecca, and was a religious bay’a involving the belief in God and His Prophet (pbuh)’. ‘The second bay’a by a group of Medina companions was political and vowed to protect the Prophet (pbuh) and his companions when he was among them, even with their swords, if the city was attacked. The name of this city is very important here, since the city that was once called Yathreb had its name changed to Al-Madina (the city), a clear indication that Islam is not only a religion but also has civil and urban connotations’(Ghanouchi 2013, 166). To adapt to changing circumstances, Asma Afsaruddin states that the need to find proper desirability of good governance and the necessity of establishing some form of government or another is both an old and new issue within Islamic thought. Various idealized and contested conceptualizations of the institution of the caliphate (also referred to as the imamate) exist in medieval sources. Classical Sunni, Shia and Khariji views differ dramatically on the requirements and parameters of the office. Some, especially Muatazili (Rationalists), thinkers were of the opinion that the whole office could be dispensed with; the righteous Muslim society is after all capable of self-governance, equipped as it is with the necessary moral and ethical directives through revelation. (Afsarudin 2015, 56) Yousuf Al Qardawi states that, an Islamic state is not a theocratic state that determines the fate of people’s conscience or their bodies in the name of law of divine right. It is not a state of priests or religious people who pretend to be representatives of the will of the creator or heaven’s intention for the inhabitants of earth. Rather it is a civilian state ruled by Islam. It is formed by pledge of allegiance and consultation. Persons who are selected to run an Islamic state are strong, trustworthy, defenders of citizens. If anyone lacks these attributes, he is not a correct choice, except in dire necessity, for necessity knows no laws. (Qardawi 2004, 34) According to Maududi, the Quran is the guide for Muslims; personal and communal devotion to God; it provides clear injections for the establishment of Sharia and the proper structure of Islamic state, for Islam does make no distinction between religious and political realms. (Maududi 1971, 44) An Islamic state is to be realised through an Islamic transformation of the institutions of the society. Maududi insisted that the Islamic state would be democratic

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because its leadership would be duly elected and bound by the writ of divine law. He captured the gist of this argument in the terms, ‘democratic caliphate’ and ‘theo-democracy’, which he coined to describe how the Islamic state would work. (Nasr 1996, 84). Ayatullah Baqir al Sadr describes ‘three types of Islamic states: “infallible”, “fallible”, and “deviating-fallible” ’. The infallible state is a theoretical construct: an ideal state in which all legislation enacted is derived and applied correctly from Islam. This ideal state can only be implemented with an infallible person as its leader; even then, it is never fully realizable: an Islamic society and state will have its imperfections, and must continually strive to grow and improve, with justice, equality, freedom and other such noble values only fully realizable in the hereafter. (Rikabi 2012, 22) As defined earlier, politics was always there in Islam, but it was State, as understood in the modern sense for which the unit of Islam aspired. From much of Islamic literature, it seems whatever the notion of political Islam carried, or whatever political system to which Islam aspired, it can never be a ‘Modern Nation State’. Wael B. Hallaq, in his path-breaking book, The Impossible State, has clearly argued that ‘the Islamic State, judged by any standard definition of what the modern state represents, is both impossible and a contradiction in terms’ (Hallaq 2013, 1). Wael B. Hallaq talks of five form-properties possessed by the modern state, without which it cannot, at this point in history, be properly conceived in the Islamic political system. The properties he talks about are: (1) its constitution as a historical experience that is fairly specific and local; (2) its sovereignty and the metaphysics to which it has given rise; (3) its legislative monopoly and the related feature of monopoly over so-called legitimate violence; (4) its bureaucratic machinery; and (5) its cultural hegemonic engagement in the social order, including its production of the national subject (Hallaq 2013, 23). Irfan Ahmad says that ‘the reason why the state became central to Islam is not because Islam theologically entails it, but it was because of socio cultural circumstance of that time’ (Ahmad 2009, 53). He traces the origins of such movements to colonialism. The main point Talal Assad underlines is that ‘Islamism’s preoccupation with state power is the result not of its commitment to nationalist ideas but of the modern nation-state’s enforced claim to constitute legitimate social identities and arenas’ (Assad 2003, 200).

III: Islam and borders Borders have been central to the formation of modern nation-states. They are not merely demarcations; they are physical barriers which have attained the status of permanence in today’s context. Michiel Baud argues, ‘[N]ational borders are political constructs, imagined projections of territorial power. Although they appear on maps in deceptively precise forms, they reflect, at least initially, merely the mental images of politicians, lawyers, and intellectuals’ (Baud and Schendel 1997, 212).

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The understanding of the English School of International Relations (IR) on borders goes as follows: Borders establish and define sovereign ownership of territory and jurisdictional authority. State territory ought to be inviolable, whether by secession, irredentism or annexation, or by coercive interference in the state’s affairs. These principles; territorial integrity and non-intervention, are vital goals states that hope to fulfill through membership of the states-system. Both presuppose borders as delimiters of sovereign territory, inextricable from the foundational principle of sovereignty. (Williams 2002, 739) In the next section we will discuss how this idea of a border is in contrast with how Islam conceptualises it. The idea of Ummah: Ummah’s essential features can be summarised as, firstly, the identity of believers constitute a solid unity among themselves and against those who reject the faith; secondly, Islam, which gives identity to the Ummah, obliges it to be universal rather than particularistic; thirdly, it is organic in nature and characterized by cohesion among its component parts, which is closely linked to the concept of brotherhood; fourthly, the organic nature of the Ummah does not mean it espouses the evils of collectivism; finally, its political expression in the political system attempts to actualize the Divine will. (Tadjbakhsh 2010, 192) Nasseef Manabilang Adiong, while arguing on the Islamist understanding of Ummah, argues that Islamists foresee an international order which shall comprise a commonwealth of nations, which accept racial diversity and ever-changing geographical demarcations only for facility and aptitude of reference, and not as a constraint on the social sphere of its members. Ummah in their thought is not limited by national boundaries, racial configurations or geographical demarcations, but is an ideologically based community. (Adiong 2013, 139) Putting this content into the broader social science discussion, it can also be assumed that the understanding of concept may be forwarded as Adiong specifies in the following passage: Ummah is considered as an imagined space of community where people believe they are part of that space. In the modern context, a nation-state is also considered as an imagined community where people think and feel they

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are affiliated within the boundary of that community. Thus, nation-state and Ummah are similar at a certain degree of understanding, while they could be interpreted in various ways. (Adiong 2013, 143) Early Islamic scholars like Abul Hassan Mawardi had divided the territorial world into different categories; dar ul islam, dar ul harb, dar ul ahad’ (the abodes of Islam, war, and treaty respectively). The terminology, Asghar Ali Kazemi believes, was not based on the original sources of Islam and reflected the conditions of the time, that is, the early centuries of the Islamic era. Although the terms are obsolete, it is useful to apply the concept dar ul-Islam because of the high level of unity and interaction found throughout the Muslim world. This society was not held together by a single political order or a single language of culture. Yet it did remain, consciously and effectively, a single historical whole. The most important unifying factors are adherence to the Quran and the Sunnah (tradition) of the Prophet Muhammad and the application of Islamic law (Sharia). (Kazemi 1986, 14) Despite the emergence of various schools of jurisprudence, the commonalities were much more than the difference even in the case of most Shiites. The sense of belonging to Ummah Muslima (Islamic community) was another factor. This loyalty was not only a spiritual but a social virtue; in one sense a political virtue (Kazemi 1986, 12). The pre-Westphalian; Islamic International society of nations seems to provide an alternative path to world order that needs to be added to those considered by Hedley Bull in his classical work. (Kazemi 1986, 14; Bull 2000) Ummah offers comradeship, a sense of mission, and an integrative force to Muslim groups. It can also be an influence on Muslim political elites and communities in the formulation and implementation of foreign policy. Ummah is a unique concept and there is no equivalent term in Western languages. (Tadjbakhsh 2010, 195) It offers a different but interesting and plausible concept of cooperation between states, and especially the vulnerable West Asia. Territoriality in Islam: Islamic State or Caliphate or Ummah, as most of the Islamic scholars present and as much of literature suggest, is not necessarily a territorial entity. When one talks of Ummah, it de-territorialises the concept.

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AbuSulayman states, ‘Ummah exceeds territorial boundaries. Ummah signifies the global social order that Islam desires to develop’ (AbuSulayman 2010, 51). Sayid Qutub in his description of de-territoriality of the Islamic state notes that, ‘this marvelous civilization was not Arabic civilization, even for a single day; it was purely an Islamic civilization. It was never a nationality but always a community of belief ’ (Mura 2010, 35). In traditional terms the Islamic conception of territoriality was articulated through the notion of dar al-Islam (the domain of Islam ‘also referred to as abode of belief ’). Sayid Qutub says that a ‘Muslim has no country except that part of the earth where the Shariah of God is established. A Muslim has no nationality except his belief, which makes him a member of the Muslim community in Dar-ul-Islam’ (Mura 2010, 119). He also talked about the pan Islamic nature of the Islamic polity, how ‘nationalities don’t matter because the fighters are fighting for the glory of Islam’ (Qutub 2005, 44). He states, ‘The Jihad of Islam is to secure complete freedom for every man throughout the world by releasing him from servitude to other human beings so that he may serve his God, Who is “One” and “Who” has no associates’. This is in itself a sufficient reason for Jihad. These were the only reasons in the hearts of Muslim warriors. If they had been asked the question, ‘Why are you fighting?’ none would have answered, My country is in danger; I am fighting for its defense or The Persians and the Romans have come upon us, or, We want to extend our dominion and want more spoils. (Qutub 2005, 44–45) This excerpt makes it clear that in the case of Qutub, territoriality or nationality as understood in the modern sense does not have any role to play in Islamic polity. In the extension of the same idea, Maulana Maududi says, Islam wants to fashion man’s entire life according to the principles revealed by the God. Politics studies the relationship of man with the state, and of man with the man. In Islam this domain is of religion, because it comprehends all aspects of life. Islam wants to conduct politics in accordance with the guidance provided by the religion and use state as the servant of God. (Maududi 1966, 4) In his understanding, Islam desires the entire earth, not only a particular part. He also stated that Islam needs the earth, not just a part of it ( Jackson 2011). Migration in Islam: One of the defining events in the Islamic history has been the Hijrah, or Prophet Mohammad’s migration from Mecca to Medina. Nearly 13  years after Nabuwatt (proclaiming himself Prophet of God), it is believed that God gave Prophet Mohammad the directive to leave his birthplace for the place where his father was buried; Yathrab (presently known by the name given by Prophet Mohammad: Medina). Even before Hijrah, some companions

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of Prophet Mohammad had migrated to Abyssinia. The loosely bound Muslim community, which had been persecuted at Mecca, found a new home and huge support. They formed a city-state, according to directives in Quranic verses, which were revealed during that time. Hence, migration since then has been taken in high esteem, and it has been termed as a virtue. There has been a debate as to whether migration is Fard ayn (Individual duty) or Fard Kifayah (Collective duty). It is mostly agreed that it could be done at both levels: individual and collective. Ayatullah Murtaddha Muttahari defines immigration/migration as Immigration (hijrah) means leaving one’s home, people, and homeland, for a new place of abode, with a view to saving one’s faith from being compromised. In many Quranic verses, one would notice that both words are mentioned beside each other. ‘Those who believe, and adopt exile, and fight for the Faith, in the cause of Allah as well as those who give (them) asylum and aid – these are (all) in very truth the Believers: for them is the forgiveness of sins and a provision most generous’ (8/74). (Muttahari 2003, 7) Javed Ahmad Ghamidi in one of his lectures argues that it is upon all states, particularly Muslim States to let in all those human beings, who are facing persecution in any part of the world. He uses historical events and certain Quranic verses for the justification of this argument. He further argues, the ban on migration is against the basic human rights of human beings and denying the same would amount to basic human rights violation (Ghamidi).1 In support of his argument Ghamidi quotes the following verse of Quran, He who forsakes his home in the cause of Allah, finds in the earth Many a refuge, wide and spacious: Should he die as a refugee from home for Allah and His Messenger, His reward becomes due and sure with Allah: And Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. (Quran 4:100) Citizenship and the question of asylum: The basic premise of any political system across history has been the question of citizenship. Aristotle started this debate, and this has been going on since. The othering of what Fanon would call ‘one species of human beings by other’ has always been there. The question of who qualifies to be a citizen of the Muslim State has been in the midst of Muslim scholars throughout the history of the caliphate or Islamic state. Among the contemporary scholars, Hassan al Turabi (Suddanese Islamist revolutionary leader) has given quite a bit of thought to this subject. Turabi argues that, the Islamic community of believers is unitary and integrated, but it is a structured association with complex bonds and balances that give it coherence

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and equilibrium, assuring therein the embodiment of the Islamic values of freedom, unity and justice among men. (Turabi 1992, 609) He further states, [C]itizenship in a particular country constitutes a special bond entailing special privileges and obligations, but it should not be an absolute bar in the face of Muslims or other humans beyond country borders. Fellow-Muslims living in alien countries have to be supported, albeit never in contravention of any treaty obligation. Nationality and religious denomination are not absolute standards of discrimination. There are higher religious and human values that guarantee equal status and basic rights of human beings without regard to domicile or denomination. (Turabi 1992, 610) Ayatullah Murthadha Mutahhari states in one of his best reads, Pluralism in Islam, that Islam seeks for peaceful coexistence and mutual tolerance between the people of different religions and cultures. Among the three Abrahamic religions, it is only Islam which has accorded recognition to Judaism and Christianity. Judaism does not recognize Jesus as the awaited Messiah or the Prophet; and Christianity does not recognize Prophet Muhammad as the true Prophet and Messenger of God. (Muttahari 2006, 4) Asylum: The Arabic equivalent of the English word ‘asylum’ has been used in multiple instances in the Quran and Hadith (Sayings of Prophet Mohammad). Most of the time, it is being used to depict some sort of immunity from injustice and persecution. Prof. Ahmed Abou-el-Wafa, in his argument for the defence of the right to be given to asylum, states that ‘The custom of aman (safety) implies the protection of asylum-seekers, whether they are believers or non-believers. This is clearly stated in Surat ‘Al-Tawba’ (repentance): And if anyone of the Mushrikin (polytheists, idolaters, pagans, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah) seeks your protection, then grant him protection so that he may hear the Word of Allah (the Qur’an), and then escort him to a place where he can be secure, that is because they are men who know not (Quran 8:6). (Abou-el-Wafa 2009, 43). In view of Dr. Hamiduuah, The residents of a state which has friendly relations (through treaty) with the Muslim state could enter the Islamic territory without any prior permission.

Theorising borders  55

It is quite evident from the practice of the Prophet (SAW). Once a nonMuslim foreigner came to Madinah with a herd of sheep and goats, apparently on the basis of previous permission. There was no objection from the Prophet (SAW). Instead, he purchased goats from him. If there is no treaty but relations are cordial, the Muslim state can permit and this permission may also be given in future. The permission may be given individually and collectively. Collective permission will be given by the ruler (Imam) of the Islamic state. A Muslim is entitled to give permission in individual capacity but a non-Muslim has no such right. (Hamidullah 1961, 43)

Conclusion The earlier discussion suggests that the Islamic principles and exegesis could very well be used in the fields of political theory, international relations theory, and Border Studies. In today’s context, where a large chunk of the population is migrating to developed countries in search of economic opportunities, and where a large section of the population is being forcefully (because of wars) displaced from one state to another, there is a need to develop a more humane approach. The liberal model did provide an option to a certain degree; however, over the last two decades, the rise of Islamophobia and nativism in the developed world (West) has resulted in the stagnation of this progress. The rise of populism in the liberal world has also been a cause of concern in this regard. The victory of the Republican Donald Trump and Brexit (referendum on British exit from the EU) also suggest the same trend. The story in West Asia is no different. The states which have not directly been affected by war have not been able to accommodate the displaced populace. In the name of geopolitics and national security, these states have put a certain bar on citizenship, even in the movement of foreign nationals. Although these states claim to be based on Islamic principles, they are the least concerned about the commandments of their canonical texts. The studies like this chapter shall help to unmask the double standards of such states and may force the attention of scholars and the international community on this basic human rights violation. The concern for a national security-related argument also has no doctrinal validation, since there is no space for pre-emptive assumption in Islamic doctrines. Another argument that one might come across is why the present-day nationstates in West Asia have yet to come up with an idea of Ummah or a structure like that. The possible answer to this question may be in history. The entire region during empires was not under a single one; however, the region enjoyed a sense of belongingness since it was mostly ruled by the same kings with more or less the same doctrines. However, the fall of the Ottoman Empire resulted in the formation of multiple nation-states. The idea of nation-states failed for different reasons, particularly because the scheme of things was directed by the British Empire. The idea of belonging had yet to be developed, and nation-states were created without actually taking into consideration the identity factor. Kurds, for example, have been

56  Syed Murtaza Mushtaq

divided among three different states. In Iraq there is no clear identity for nationals to hold on to. The same is true for most of the West Asian region. Scholars like Tariq Ramadhan and Muqtedar Khan, who have written extensively on the issues related to Muslims living in the minority, need to be engaged with. The classical theory fails to explain the fate of such Muslims. There is, however, sufficient material related to non-Muslims living as the minority in Muslim States, through the doctrines of the rights of ‘dhimmies’. The Quran clearly states, O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things) (49:13). Since globalisation has left hardly anything untouched, Islam is no exception. From militant Islamist groups to rationalists, all of them actually have found a platform to launch their propaganda. There are a lot of transnational Muslim organisations, particularly Tablighi Jamaat, who travel to Europe for religious purposes. These organisations are hardly ever targeted. This premise brings in the argument that those Muslims or organisations which carry political objectives are taken as a threat to the idea of a ‘Liberal Europe’. There is a need to move beyond West-dominated paradigms and look for other alternatives. It has been established in the chapter that there are sufficient principles in Islamic texts and commentaries that could be engaged with. This engagement will certainly enrich Border Studies.

Note 1 See more on (accessed August 10, 2017).

References Abou-el-Wafa, Ahmed. 2009. The Right to Asylum between Islamic Shari’ah and International Refugee Law. Naif: Printing Press of Naif Arab University for Security Sciences. AbuSulayman, A. A. 2010. Towards an Islamic Theory of International Relations: New Directions for Methodology and Thought. New Delhi: Al Itehaad Publications. Adiong, N. M. 2013. “Accommodating Islam into IR: The Case on Nation-State.” In International Relations and Islam: Diverse Perspectives, edited by N. M. Adiong, 139–44. New Castle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Afsaruddin, A. 2015. Contemporary Issues in Islam. Eidenburg: Eidenburg University Press. Ahmad, I. 2009. “Genealogy of Islamic State: Reflections on Mawdudi’s Political thought and Islamism.” The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 15: 145–162. Assad, T. 2003. Formations of the Secular: Christianity, Islam and Modernity. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

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Baud, Michiel, and Schendel William. 1997. “Toward a Comparative History of Borderlands.” Journal of World History 8 (2) (Fall): 211–42. Bull, H. 2000. Hedley Bull on International Society. London: Palgrave Macmillan. Crone, P. 2004. God’s Rule: Government and Islam. Eidenburg: Eidenburg University Press. Das, S. 2016. “The State.” In Political Theory: An Introduction, edited by R. Bhargava. Noida: Pearson India. Davutoglu, A. 1994. Alternative Paradigms: The Impact of Islamic and Western Weltanschauungs on Political Theory. MD: University Press of America. Fukuyama, F. 1992. The End of History and The Last Man. New York: Free Press Publishers. Ghanouchi, R. 2013. “The State and Religion in the Fundamentals of Islam and Contemporary Interpretation.” Contemporary Arab Affairs: 164–71. Hallaq, W. B. 2013. The Impossible State. Columbia: Columbia University Press. Hamidullah, Muhammad. 1961. Muslim Conduct of State. Lahore: Mohammad Ashraf Publishers. Heywood, A. 2004. Political Theory: An Introduction. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Huntington, S. P. 1996. The Clash of Civilization and the Remaking of the World Order. New York: Simon and Schuster. Jackson, R. 2011. Mawlana Mawdudi and Political Islam. New York: Routledge and Taylor & Francis. Kazemi, A. A. 1986. “Religion, Politics and War: Islam and Belligerency. Maududi, M. S. A. A. 1966. The Islamic Law and Constitution. Lahore: Islamic Publications Pvt. Limited. ———. 1971. Introduction to the Study of Quran. New Delhi: Markazi Maktaba Jamaat-iIslami Hind. Muttahari, A. M. 2003. Immigration and Jihad. London: Dar Al-Hadi Publication. ———. 2006. Islam and Religious Pluralism. Middlesex: World Federation of Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheri Muslim Communities. Mura, A. 2010. “The Inclusive Dynamics of Islamic Universalism: From The Vantage Point of Sayid Qutub’s Critical Philosophy.” Comparative Philosophy 5 1(2014): 29–54. Nasr, S. V. R. 1996. Mawdudi and the Making of Islamic Revivalism. New York: Oxford University Press. Qardawi, Y. A. 2004. State in Islam. Cairo: Al-Falah Foundation for Translation and Publication. Qutub, S. 2005. Milestone. Qutb, Milestone: SIME Journal. Rehman, S. A. 1984. “Islamic State in Theory and Practice.” Islamic Studies 23 (4): 389–417. Rikabi, J. A. 2012. “Bqir al Sadr and Islamic State.” Journal of Shia Studies 5 (3): 249–75. Steinberger, P. J. 2004. The Idea of the State. London: Cambridge University Press. Tadjbakhsh, S. 2010. “International Relations Theory and Islamic World View.” In Non Western International Relations Theory: Perspectives on and Beyond Asia, edited by A. A. A. B. Buzan, 174–96. New York: Routledge. Turabi, Hasaan. 1992. “Islam as a Pan-national Movement Author(s).” RSA Journal 140 (5432) (August/September): 608–19. Weber, M., Hans Greth, and C Wright. Mills. 1946. From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology. New York: Oxford University Press. Williams, John. 2002. “Territorial Borders, Toleration and the English School Author(s).” Review of International Studies 28 (4) (October): 737–58. Wilson, T. M. and Hastings Donnan. 2012. “Borders and Border Studies.” In A Companion to Border Studies, edited by T. M. Wilson and Hastings Donnan. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


Borders Regional economy and connectivity


I: Introduction As discussed in the introductory chapter, and subsequently reiterated, borders in South Asia are largely associated with a sense of security, strongly guarded to monitor the flow of goods and people. The story of borders is one of fascination in the Indian subcontinent, and much of it was imposed by the British. In short, borders in the Indian subcontinent, neutrally termed as South Asia, are the result of colonialism, imposed modernity, and post-colonial political contestations on territories. The Westphalian order gave birth to the modern system of nation-states that initially influenced Europe, and subsequently European colonial powers carried it to the rest of the world. Colonised spaces were organised on the basis of the Westphalian model giving relevance to territory over social systems. The colonisers who were bereft of socio-cultural history and bounding of these regions, started to draw lines for political-administrative purposes and strategic reasons. These colonised spaces with drawing of borders became easy to administer, to meet the political ends and to attain strategic goals. A good example of the political-administrative reason is the partition of Bengal in 1905. This partition, according to Lord Curzon (then British viceroy in India), was to divide Bengal for administrative imperatives, although the ulterior motive was to break the Hindu-Muslim unity in order to weaken the national freedom movement. The Durand Line, established in 1893, was to safeguard British strategic and colonial interests. Drafted as a result of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Mortimer Durand and Afghan Emir Abdur Rahman Khan, it was primarily to avert other imperial powers from entering the Indian subcontinent, giving pre-eminence to the British (Omrani 2009). These lines, though drawn by outsiders, were readily imbibed by the postcolonial South Asian states. Interestingly, South Asian states also acquired security

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concerns from the British and had shown strong determination to make their borders safe and secure. This obsession with border security could be justified under the impression that post-colonial South Asia was committed to preserve the hard-earned sovereignty. Also, post-colonial South Asia witnessed partition and bloodshed that added further worries to border security. This ‘territorial anxiety’ makes states uncomfortable with the idea of open borders. The fortified borders in South Asia are considered a barrier to the movement of goods and people. The ‘controlled border principle’ has internationally lost its appeal after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Globalisation in this regard stands opposed to the idea of borders. So, while the right of the state to militarily secure the borders is unquestioned, there is strong acceptability for easing the movement of goods and people. South Asia, despite its keen commitment to globalisation, fails to replicate the same enthusiasm for regionalism, and the borders in South Asia are mostly about fences, security, and violence. For India, the largest constituent of South Asia and one of the fastest-growing economies of the world, the story is not much different when it comes to regional connectivity. Indian economic success is largely derived from being connected to the world economy, albeit its regional and intraregional connectivity fail to match its aspirations to become a world power and an economic powerhouse. In this chapter, we will discuss Indian ambition to connect with energy-rich Central Asia and economically strong Southeast Asia and analyse how a number of issues continue to dampen its plans to reach these two regions.

II: India-Central Asia: reviving the traditional connection Economic growth in India has given it a renewed sense of strength. Marching on the path of free market reforms, India has improved its economic status and added richness to its vault. While there are issues of acute disparity related to the neoliberal economic reforms in India and it is indeed a matter of concern, still, the economic buoyancy has added wealth to a section, creating a strong consumer base and a league of entrepreneurs who are willing to expand their horizons in search of profit. In addition to the number of consumers with an increased appetite for products and services, the first thing that comes under stress is India’s energy requirements. Secondly, the noteworthy economic ambition of India requires it to get connected to other parts of the world where it can reap an advantage. These two necessities make it imperative for India to step out of the traditional frame of border policy and to look for accessibility in newer regions. In this quest, Central Asia and Southeast Asia fit into the overall requirements of India. Central Asia is an energy-rich region, and Southeast Asia serves as a destination for the aspiring business class of India. Both of these require connectivity, a passage for easy and fast movement in a bid to make things cost effective. In this chapter we will delve into these dimensions from the perspective of Border Studies. The chapter extensively focuses on connectivity issues.

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The connection between India and Central Asia dates back to time immemorial, with both regions being part of the ancient Silk Route. The imprint of this connection is visible even to this day on art, culture, and culinary of both Central Asia and India. This flow of people, trade, and culture was stalled after India was colonised and specific borders were created. Afghanistan was established as a buffer state by the British as part of the ‘Great Game’ with Russia, thereby separating India from Central Asia. While the British left the Indian subcontinent in 1947, the borders they created remain unaltered in the region, as well as largely unquestioned and securitised. Moreover, United India was also divided into India and Pakistan, and unfortunately both remain indulged in a territorial dispute. Likewise, Pakistan and Afghanistan too have border controversies in relation to the Durand Line. The modern nation-states system evolved in South Asia both during colonial and post-colonial periods, but unfortunately it restricted the movement of people and goods. Moreover, Central Asia was incorporated as a part of the Soviet Union, and also the political transition in China (coming from a communist regime) affected the Silk Route (Radhu 2017). These developments slowly erased the public memory of the Silk Route until China swung into action. China recently began making a daunting effort to revive the old Silk Route, renaming it the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). On a simple reading, the BRI is an attractive project, but with the advent of the nation-state system, the spaces have changed to territories, demarcated by borders and controlled by governments. In this regard, the BRI is contingent on participation of nation-states, whereas the old Silk Route was not strictly controlled by the states. The political tensions are evident when nation-states take their call on BRI (Macaes 2019). Therefore, Pakistan has too readily accepted the BRI, even at the cost of ignoring the environmental concerns. On the other hand, India is reluctant to be a participant in BRI over concerns of sovereignty. After the collapse of the Soviet Union (1991), the geopolitics of Central Asia were altered and it is now represented by five Republics – Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. India rose to the occasion and established diplomatic relations with all five republics after their independence. It was expected that India would emerge as an immediate partner of Central Asia, but soon these beliefs dissipated. While India struggled, China and Russia successfully involved themselves in Central Asia, both in terms of economics and politics, making India a distant partner. As per estimations, Central Asia does $30 billion in trade with China and around $18  billion with Russia, whereas India marks $2 billion. As per the Ministry of Commerce, Government of India, though there is a significant increase from the previous figures of $1.8 million (2017), the trade deficit between the region and India has risen to $1.1 billion (2018) from around $850 million (2017). These figures are significant as they show that the Indian trade ratio with the Central Asian Republics is not reaching its potential despite several bilateral and multilateral agreements. Moreover, staggering projects and rigid tariff regimes and policies of the Republics have induced significant losses to India. It is

64  Dhananjay Tripathi and R. Madhav Krishnan

also to be noted that the cumulative percentage of the share of trade of India with the Republics only amounts to 0.13% and has remained constant with no improvement since 2018 in regard to exports. With respect to imports, India’s share has fallen from 0.19% in 2018 to 0.18% in 2019 (until April 2017) (Ministry of Commerce and Industry 2019). There are structural and institutional problems in enhancing India-Central Asia trade, and this goes with the fact that historical ties and cultural affiliations are not translating into robust commercial ties. While there are economic reasons, as discussed earlier, infrastructure deficits add to the overall concern. In the case of infrastructure, the biggest issue is how to physically reach Central Asia. With reservations to BRI, India has also opted not to reach Central Asia by utilising the pathway laid by China. Likewise, reaching Central Asia through Pakistan and Afghanistan would have made things easy, but the India-Pakistan conundrum related to the geopolitical conflict and mistrust fades any prospects of this preferred, easy, and traditional route (Kaushiki 2013). India, therefore, has initiated numerous projects to partner with other countries to get connected to Central Asia. India’s ‘Connect Central Asia’ policy is a bedrock and is consistently working on a number of projects. ‘The policy was publicly articulated in June 2012 and is based on a pro-active political, economic, strategic, and cultural policy with people-to-people engagement and some flagship projects’ (Bisaria 2013, 186). ‘Connect Central Asia’ is for all possible attempts to reach Central Asia and also to find alternatives to the traditional India-Pakistan-Afghanistan route. ‘In the prevailing situation the next best option is through Iran’ ( Joshi 2014, 87). Realising the relevance of Iran, India invested in Chabahar port of Iran to facilitate the trade of goods to Central Asia and Afghanistan. As per the agreement, India operates two berths in Chabahar port phase – I with capital investment of $85.21 million and annual revenue expenditure of around $22.95 million (PTI 2019). The plan is for Indian shipments to be offloaded at Chabahar port, where cargo would be loaded onto trucks and trains to Zahedan and onward to Zaranj in Afghanistan. Goods can be transported then to any part of Afghanistan via the Ring Road, even beyond, to the CARs. Likewise, goods from Afghanistan and the CARs – the latter have trains that are already linked with the Iranian rail network – reaching Zahedan would be transported overland to Chabahar, from where ships would carry the cargo to India and other countries. (Ramachandran 2019) Along with this, India is a partner in many other connectivity projects like the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) that was originally signed between India, Iran, Oman, and the Russian Federation in 2000. Later INSTC was expanded to include 11 new members  – Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kazakhstan,

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Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Ukraine, Belarus, Oman, Syria, and Bulgaria (observer) (INSTC 2019). The INSTC and Chabahar port have the potential to link India closely with Central Asia and will allow it to bypass Pakistan. According to Central Asian expert P. Stobdan, there are several projects and proposals that could make it easy for the Indian business community to approach Central Asia and vice versa. Some of these are as follows: 1 The extension of 75 km Hairatan (bordering with Uzbekistan) and Mazar-iSharif rail track to Herat. ‘Herat is a gateway to Iran and once this trans-Afghan corridor project is completed, it will eventually enable both Afghanistan and Uzbekistan to get a direct link to sea ports and send cargoes to and from Chabahar’ (Stobdan 2017). 2 ‘For India the proposed Chabahar-Iranshahr-Zahedan-Mashad corridor is the most ideal route to connect to Sarakhs on the Trukmen border. India is committed to build a 610-kilometre north-south railway (Chabahar to Zahedan). It has already completed the 218 Kilometre road from Deleram, Afghanistan, to Zaranj on the Iran-Afghanistan border’ (Stobdan 2018). 3 The Ashgabat agreement has further added to India’s effort to reach Central Asia. This is a multimodal transport agreement. It was signed in 2011 between Iran, Oman, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Qatar (it later withdrew from the agreement). India formally joined this agreement in 2018, and at present its members include – Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Pakistan, India, and Oman. Accession to the Ashgabat agreement enables India to utilise the existing transport and transit corridor to facilitate trade and commercial interactions with the Eurasian region. Further this would synchronise with India’s efforts to implement the INSTC for enhanced connectivity. Along with several important rail, road, and port projects, India is willing to establish India and Central Asia air freight corridor to make a fast connection with Central Asia republics (Tuteja 2019). The freight corridor will help in the trade of perishable goods like fruits that suffer due to lack of direct road connectivity between India and Central Asia. India and Central Asia must also undertake efforts to improve the overall air connectivity. Central Asia is recently emerging as a wellsought-after destination by the Indian tourists, and a number of Indian students are enrolled in medical colleges in Central Asia. These entail improved air connectivity between India and Central Asia. At present Central Asia freight and passenger traffic is less than 1%. The percentage of total passenger volume between India and Central Asia to the overall passenger transport from India is 0.609%, likewise the figure for freight is 0.589%. See Table 5.1, which follows: The discussion on India-Central Asia connectivity establishes how the creation of a modern nation-state system, which also brought the concept of borders, shattered the traditional routes. Efforts to revive the old linkages are facing constraints. Thus, there are plans and projects, but it will take some more time

66  Dhananjay Tripathi and R. Madhav Krishnan TABLE 5.1 Central Asia/India statistics on freight and passengers carried to and from India

(including Afghanistan) Country

Passengers to Passengers Total India from India

Afghanistan 152,416 Kazakhstan 51716 Kyrgyzstan 16379 Turkmenistan 45362 Tajikistan 5535 Uzbekistan 52489 TOTAL (excluding 171,481 Afghanistan) TOTAL 323897

Freight to India (ton)

Freight from India (ton)


145,989 53984 23004 45383 5836 52780 180987

298402 891.1 105700 22.90 39383 13.6 90745 6.9 11371 6.0 105269 3,755.2 352468 3804.6

4258.3 638.2 244.5 322.5 166.0 5400.6 11030.1

5149.4 661.1 258.1 329.4 172.0 9155.8 10576.4






Source: Cumulative data compiled from DGCA, India (2019 (2017). Accessed on 5 July 2019. https://

before India finally succeeds in re-establishing the old socio-economic relations with Central Asia.

III: Southeast Asia and India’s quest to reach East The case of Southeast Asia and India can be addressed similarly to that of Central Asia. There have been traditional ties between the two sides, reflected in the terms of Buddhist religions and tales of Ramayana (Indian mythological text) popular in many of the Southeast Asian countries. There were established routes between India and Southeast Asia in the past that were modified, curtailed and to an extent abandoned with the advent of the modern system of nation-state in this part of the world. There were generally two-routes of such exchanges: one, the land-based route from India to Indo-China (Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam) through Myanmar, and other, the sea-based route through sailors and commercial cargoes led by trader (Bay of Bengal through South China Sea). (Muni and Mishra 2019, 11) Post-colonial India, under the leadership of the first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, made an attempt to establish its own identity in world politics. India opted to remain out of the dominant bloc politics of the post-Second World War period, and while this helped India in some ways, it also hampered possibilities of maturing the traditional ties that were broken during the colonial phase. Thus, due to the non-alignment policy, and later a tilt towards the Soviet Union, India remained reserved towards Southeast Asia, and, despite having a natural advantage of an

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ancient relationship, failed to build a close contact during the Cold War period. ‘There was no real acrimony, but many political problems hampered closer ties’ (Dutt 2007, 210). The ideological divide of the Cold War ceased to exist after the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989), and this opened prospects for India and Southeast Asia to politically invest to revive the old links and create a new synergy in the relationship. Southeast Asia also had done well in terms of economic growth and showed some excellent records of regional integration outside Europe. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was a recipient of well-deserved praise for its efforts to unify the region. In this respect it is important to note that ‘[w]hen Myanmar became a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 1997, India came to share a 1,500 kilometre contagious borders with ASEAN’ (Yahya 2003, 80). Hence, it is was strategically important for India to engage with ASEAN; moreover, ‘[T]he immediate factors contributing to the emergence of India’s ‘Look East’ policy had much to with the India’s domestic economic liberalisation drive, which was forced upon the Rao government (1991–96) by harsh domestic economic and political realities’ (Acharya 2018, 456). ‘Look East’ created a buzz within the policy circles and academia, but implementation was slow. The Modi government made an effort to provide further momentum to India’s drive to connect with the Southeast region. Thus ‘Look East’ was given a more dynamic name, ‘Act East’; still there is not much change in the overall Indian approach, and the shortfall is quite evident (Karl 2016). The ‘Look East’ policy was aimed to reengage with Southeast Asia in the light of new international realities (Limaye 2003). There was also an inclination amongst a few ASEAN member states for rapprochement with India, the foremost being ­Singapore. The two realised the relevance of walking together for common economic requirements and also for geopolitical considerations. The rise of China and its overarching influence in Southeast Asia is a discomfort for some ASEAN members. These members are interested in inculcating ties with India as a balance to China, although unhappy with the inconsistency and delivery deficit of India on several proposed plans and projects (Karl 2016). The most important point is the sluggish progress on different connectivity projects and also the weak infrastructure within the Northeast region of India. Due to a number of factors, connectivity within the Northeast is not to the mark, and it is also considered as an impediment to Indian ambition to reach Southeast Asia. There are a number of reasons, ranging from economic, political, and strategic, as to why New Delhi kept its eyes away from the Northeast for a long period of time. Now with the focus on Southeast Asia, it is necessary that India should first address the connectivity issue internally (Northeast) as it is said that ‘all roads to Southeast Asia pass through Northeast India’. There has indeed been a realisation of the relevance of the Northeast, very well in the context of India’s ambitious policies of ‘Act East’ and ‘Neighbourhood First’. In terms of projects, these policies have a substantial overlap with each other. For instance, India’s relations with Myanmar come under both the Act East


Dhananjay Tripathi and R. Madhav Krishnan

Policy and the Neighbourhood First Policy, while Myanmar is also considered as India’s gateway to ASEAN. (Singh 2017, 9) In Northeast India, the government is working on three levels to improve connectivity: air, land, and railways. Table 5.2, which follows, is a list of major connectivity projects in Northeast India. TABLE 5.2 Connectivity projects in Northeast India

Air connectivity

Road connectivity

Railway connectivity

Pakyong Airport – 32 kms south of Gangtok, Sikkim. Inaugurated in September 2018 by PM Narendra Modi. First commercial airlines started in October 2018. Tezu Airport is located in Tezu, Arunachal Pradesh. This airport is likely to link districts like the lower Dibang valley, Anjaw, Namsai, Dibang valley. This airport was upgraded in February 2019. There is a project to extend the runway of the Shillong Airport from the present 6000 ft to a 8000-ft runway.

The North East Road Development Scheme (NERDS) was launched in 2015–16 and is already extended till 2020.

The Bogibeel Bridge (India’s largest railway bridge) inaugurated in 2018. This bridge will link Dibrugarh in Assam with Dhemaji, a district bordering Arunachal Pradesh. Construction of a broadgauge railway line connecting Bairabi (Assam) and Sairang (Mizoram). The Government of India has a plan to connect all the capital cities of the Northeast by 2020.

The NERDS project includes: Doimukh – Harmuti; Tura – Mankachar and Wokha – Merapani-Golaghat of 85 kms.

The Trans-Arunachal Highway (NH13) is under construction, an ambitious project by New Delhi. This two-lane highway extends from Tawang to Kanubari, covering 1559 km. This highway is also going to connect 16 district headquarters. The remaining districts will get connected to the Trans-Arunachal Highway via link roads. The project is underway and consists of an express highway covering 1300 kms. It will be developed along the Brahmaputra River of Assam.

Source: Compiled based on the information in an article (accessed on 5 July 2019. guide/post/a-look-at-infrastructural-developments-in-north-eastern-states-of-india

India’s quest for connectivity  69

These projects of connectivity in Northeast India should be considered as the backbone of India’s ‘Act East’ policy. Without proper established links domestically, India’s attempt to reach Southeast Asia may not materialise to its full potential. In the next part of this section, we will discuss the number of connectivity projects and proposals from India to Southeast Asia. The Cold War ideological differences kept India and Southeast Asia apart. Once natural partners, attached culturally and socially, in the post-colonial phase they got entangled with world politics and thus maintained a distance from each other. While Southeast Asian countries took on a different regional route of integration, revamped their economy, and attained the title of ‘Asian Tigers’, India, despite her strategic depth, demographical, and geopolitical advantages, lagged behind economically. Thus, when India opened up for the international market, it realised the price of isolation and thereafter showed determination to relink itself with this resource-rich region. India also acquired a reputation as a strong democratic state with a huge customer base, which cannot be ignored by any important economy of the world. The connection between India and Southeast Asia, therefore, became the need of the hour, natural and almost inevitable. This eagerness to convert the present borders into a friendly interactive space for the people, and ease for the transportation of goods, is well reflected in the proposals of connectivity that exist between India and Southeast Asia. In fact, all possible connections are proposed: land, water, air, and railway (Chaudhury and Basu 2015). In the next section, we will mention these connectivity projects.

IV: Different connectivity projects The India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway (IMTTH): This is the most ambitious project, stretching 1360  kms, linking Moreh in India with Mae Sot in Thailand through Bagan and Mandalay (in Myanmar). Due to connectivity prospect attached to this project it is termed as a ‘land-bridge between South and Southeast Asia’ (De 2014). IMTTH gives strength to the India-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (FTA), although the project is delayed and likely to be completed by 2021. India-Myanmar Friendship Road: Built with Indian government assistance, running from the border at Tamu/Moreh to Kalemyo and Kalewa, it was inaugurated in 2001. This road, which also forms the first segment of the IMTTH, was resurfaced and handed over to the Myanmar government in 2009. Though the road has helped improve movement between Tamu and Kalewa in Myanmar’s Sagiang region bordering India, traffic remains low because of poor road conditions from Kalewa to Mandalay, Myanmar’s second largest city. In 2012, during then PM Manmohan Singh’s visit to Myanmar, India agreed to undertake the task of the repair and upgrade of 71 bridges along this Friendship Road.

70  Dhananjay Tripathi and R. Madhav Krishnan

The Stilwell Road: This is the World War II road constructed by the America general Joseph Stilwell. This 1726  km road links India to China, via Myanmar; 61 km of this road falls on the Indian side. This road is one with great potential. Traders from Northeast India are demanding the reopening of this route, as they would be the primary beneficiaries (Bhaumik 2011). The Mekong-India Economic Corridor (MIEC): The MIEC involves integrating the four Greater Mekong countries viz. Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam with India. It will join Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) with Dawei (Myanmar) via Bangkok (Thailand) and Phnom Penh (Cambodia) to Chennai in India (ERIA 2009). Table 5.3, which follows, will explain how MIEC will add value to the effort of India and ASEAN to reduce the travel time between the two sides. The Kaladan Multimodal Transit Transport Project (KMTTP): Another important connectivity project between India and Southeast Asia is KMTTP. The KMTTP will connect India ports (Kolkatta) to the Sittwe port in Myanmar and at the same time connect road and inland waterway links from Sittwe to India’s Northeast region. This agreement regarding KMTTP was signed between India and Myanmar in 2008 (De 2014). The Delhi-Hanoi Railway Link: The proposed Delhi-Hanoi train connectivity proposal could be a game-changer. Once implemented, this will link trains from India to Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore. This conceptualised rail connectivity will add to the tourism industry and also make freight between the two sides cheap. All of these connectivity projects are of relevance and required to be implemented soon. The need for expedited implementation of these projects arises from the fact that India and ASEAN trade is on the rise, and better connectivity will boost it further. Tables 5.4 and 5.5, which follow, will make this more clear.

V: The road ahead The chapter explains how connectivity is the emphasis of the Indian government at the present. The irony is that India was well connected to both regions in the TABLE 5.3 Distance comparison between India and MIEC countries (with and without

MIEC) Country

Approximate current travel distance between India and MIEC countries (km)

Approximate expected travel distance between India and MIEC countries (km)

Thailand Cambodia Vietnam

4,500 4,200 4,200

2,500 3,000 3,500

Source: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA): Accessed on 5 July 2019. www.

India’s quest for connectivity  71 TABLE 5.4 Indian exports to ASEAN countries ( January–April 2017–2018) (values in US$

millions) ASEAN countries

Jan-Apr 2017

Jan-Apr 2018



Singapore Vietnam  Malaysia Indonesia Thailand Philippines Myanmar Cambodia Brunei Laos Cumulative

6964.16 5335.72 4198.75 2780.21 2479.83 1198.35 866.73 86.69 35.17 20.19 23966.52

8438.90 6619.64 4733.44 3131.23 2952.51 1395.05 799.32 97.11 39.37 20.55 28227.11

21.18 24.06 12.73 12.63 19.06 16.41 –7.78 12.02 11.94 –1.70 17.78

3.40 2.67 1.91 1.26 1.19 0.56 0.32 0.04 0.02 0.01 11.37

Source: Department of Commerce, Government of India: Accessed on 5 July 2019: asp

TABLE 5.5 Indian imports from ASEAN countries ( January–April 2017–2018) (values in

US$ millions) ASEAN Countries

Jan-Apr 2017

Jan-Apr 2018



Singapore Vietnam Malaysia Indonesia Thailand Philippines Myanmar Cambodia Brunei Laos Cumulative

5781.66 2769.97 7319.36 10623.54 4449.72 413.48 954.69 29.23 457.25 143.84 32942.74

6056.44 3844.35 7376.29 13848.59 5769.36 630.32 603.17 44.75 354.47 153.20 38680.92

4.75 38.79 0.78 30.36 29.66 52.44 -36.82 53.10 -22.48 6.51 17.42

1.58 1.00 1.92 3.60 1.50 0.16 0.16 0.01 0.09 0.04 10.06

Source: Department of Commerce, Government of India. Accessed on 5 July 2019: asp

past. It was only after the arrival of the British that India got disconnected from these regions. This also entailed that the creation and consolidation of nationstates had only added to the segmentation of the world. To an extent, the segregation of the spaces into territories, with the drawing of the border, was mended by the rise of regionalism during and after the Cold War (Hettne and Soderbaum 2002). On this account also it is not a very positive picture due to India’s hesitation to support regionalism. Initially, there were fewer attempts by the Indian

72  Dhananjay Tripathi and R. Madhav Krishnan

state to look beyond its borders and boundaries in the region. No wonder South Asia is one of the least integrated regions of the world, with strong border control and numerous visible boundaries (Tripathi 2019). South Asian borders remain a part of the problem and act as a hurdle in the path of Indian ambition to reach Central and Southeast Asia. India has to share the blame as it has largely ignored the regional integration of South Asia, although there are a number of other geopolitical issues equally responsible for the same. An integrated South Asia would have easily connected with the other regions. New Delhi, due to the policy paralysis and the number of political-economic and strategic factors, remained quite passive in South Asia; it cannot change the region instantly, albeit it now wants to. New Delhi has lately realised that it has to take a proactive role in promoting regional integration in South Asia since it will help it to attain its foreign policy goals (Tripathi 2016). India wants to integrate in the neighbourhood and to get linked to other proximate regions. Further, it is economically unviable for India to pursue the old policy of fencing and separation. Therefore, trying to focus on South Asia, while at the same time looking for opportunities to get connected with the other regions, is the way forward. In this regard, India desperately needs to get linked to energy-rich Central Asia and economically strong Southeast Asia. Reviving the traditional connections and mending the borders in a way that will facilitate this process through a number of connectivity projects involving India must be of prime concern. As discussed in the opening chapter, the study of borders in India and in South Asia was more about security, but now the scope has widened with much to learn, examine, and analyse. While at present many Border Studies scholars are engaged in working on different connectivity projects, the days are not far off when scholars will be engaged with the study of impacts of these projects from different perspectives: regionalism, ecological balance, borderlands, border regions, and border aesthetics. To conclude these different connectivity projects as flagged in this chapter are opening a new path for Border Studies in India.

References Acharya, Amitav. 2018. “India’s ‘Look East’ Policy.” In The Oxford Handbook of Indian Foreign Policy, edited by David M Malone, Raja C. Mohan, and Srinath Raghavan. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. Bhaumik, Subir. 2011. Will the famous Indian WWII Stilwell road reopen?. Feburary 8. Accessed March 2019. Bisaria, Ajay. 2013. “Connect Central Asia Policy.” In Perspectives on Bilateral and Regional Cooperation South and Central Asia, edited by Rashpal Malhotra, Sucha Singh Gill, and Neetu Gaur. Chandigarh: Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development. Chaudhury, Anasua Basu Ray, and Pratnashree Basu. 2015. India-Myanmar Connectivity: Possibilities and Challenges. New Delhi: Observer Research Foundation. De, Prabir. 2014. India’s Emerging Connectivity Southeast Asia: Progress and Prospects. Tokyo: Asian Development Bank Institute.

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Dutt, V. P. 2007. India’s Foreign Policy. New Delhi: National Book Trust. ERIA. 2009. “Mekong -India Economic Corridor Development”. Accessed on 29 June 2019. Hettne, Bjorn, and Fredrik Söderbaum. 2002. “Theorising the Rise of Regionness.” In New Regionalisms in the Global Political Economy Theories and Cases, edited by Shaun Breslin, Christopher W. Hughes, Nicola Phillips, and Ben Rosamond, 33–47. London: Routledge Publication. INSTC. 2019. INSTC. Accessed March 2019. Joshi, Nirmala. 2014. “Enhancing India’s Economic Engagement with the Central Asian Republics.” In Enhancing India’s Central Asia Engagement Prospects and Issues, edited by Nirmala Joshi. New Delhi: Vij Books. Karl, David J. 2016. “India and the East Connectivity Begins at Home.” In Heading East Security, Trade, and Environment between India and Southeast Asia, edited by Karen Stoll Farrell and Sumit Ganguly. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. Kaushiki, Nishtha. 2013. “The New Great Game and India’s Connect Central Asia Policy: Strategic Perspectives and Challenges.” Journal of International and Area Studies 20 (2): 83–100. Limaye, Satu P. 2003. “India’s Relations with Southeast Asia Take a Wing.” Southeast Asian Affairs 39–51. Macaes, Bruno. 2019. Belt and Road a Chinese World Order. Gurgaon: Penguin Random House. Ministry of Commerce and Industry. 2019. Accessed June 2019. InnerContent.aspx?Type=TradeStatisticsmenu&Id=254 Muni, S. D., and Rahul Mishra. 2019. India’s Eastward Engagement from Antiquity to Act East Policy. New Delhi: Sage Publication. Omrani, Bijan. 2009. “The Durand Line: History and Problems of the Afghan-Pakistan Border.” Asian Affairs 40 (2): 177–95. PTI. 2019. “India Takes Over Operations of Part of Chabahar Port in Iran.” January  7. Accessed March  27, 2019. itics-and-nation/india-takes-over-operations-of-part-of-chabahar-port-in-iran/arti cleshow/67424219.cms?from=mdr Radhu, Abdul Wahid. 2017. Tibetan Caravans Journeys from Leh to Lhasa. Noida: Speaking Tiger. Ramachandran, Sudha. 2019. “India Double Down on Chabahar Gambit.” January  14. Accessed March  2019. Singh, Antara Ghosal. 2017. “India’s Vision for Connectivity: A  Discourse Analysis.” In India and Connectivity Frameworks, edited by Sanjay Pulipaka, Ghosal Antara Singh, and Saranya Sircar. New Delhi: Delhi Policy Group. Stobdan, P.  2017. “To Make Chabahar a ‘Game Changer’ Central Asian States Need to Be Roped.” December  12. Accessed May  2019. to-make-chabahar-a-game-changer-central-asian-states_pstobdan_121217. ———. 2018. “India’s Economic Opportunities in Central Asia.” September  17. Accessed March  2019. Tripathi, Dhananjay. 2016. “Indian Aspirations and South Asian Realities: Perceived Hegemon or Emerging Leader?” In Global and Regional Leadership of BRICS Countries, edited by Stephen Kingah and Cintia Quiliconi, 147–68. London: Springer International Publishing.

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———. 2019. “Regional Integration: The European Model and the South Asian Experience.” In Challenges in Europe: Indian Perspectives, edited by Gulshan Sachdeva, 341–57. Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan. Tuteja, Ashok. 2019. “Sushma Swaraj Proposes Air Freight Corridor Between India and Central Asia.” January 13. Accessed March 2019. Yahya, Faizal. 2003. “India and Southeast Asia: Revisited.” Contemporary Southeast Asia 25 (1): 79–103.

6 SRI LANKAN MARITIME DYNAMICS Feasibility of Indo-Sri Lanka mutually beneficial collaboration at the Palk Strait Mohit Nayal

I: Introduction The ‘Neighbour First Policy’ is vanguardist in India’s foreign policy. Successive Indian governments had congruously attempted perseveration of this idealistic philosophy and have consecrated towards its Realism. Even the present government has quite vehemently asserted this belief while formulating the foreign policy of India (Moorthy 2019). Mainly, this remarkable faith supporting the construct is in the legacy of India’s enriched past through various centuries, where there were efforts to reach out to the neighbouring nations, not with the intent to govern them, but to develop trade, create religious awareness, share old languages and cultures and increase people-to-people exchanges for greater amalgamation, with the ideas of inclusivity. This ideological belief that originated in India is called ‘Vasudeva Kutumbakam’ (that the world is one family) and has laid a strong foundation of vast commonality within the region.1 Therefore, irrespective of the periodic interruptions in this approach due to events marked with security concerns, the inclusivity process due to its mass appeal beyond the national boundaries has literally forced the policy formulators within the region to work in this construct. Due to this rationale, India has always been a proactive contributor in regional organisations like the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), and so on. Interestingly, almost all of India’s neighbours, even with their existing differences with India, have faith in its ‘Neighbours First Policy’, which is indeed a commendable success. In light of this line of argument, it becomes imperative to look into specific nations within the South Asian region and discuss the specific issue of concern: to understand the present validity of this principle showcased by India.

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As part of the developing world, there are unprecedented growth opportunities for both India and Sri Lanka in the near future. Some of these development options will be infused internally by realigning the present available human and material resources under a planned approach. In addition, external assistance, especially in terms of technology and fund allocation, will be a welcomed step to enhanced growth opportunities. Here, quite rationally, any nation will prioritise its engagements on the basis of these benefits that they are likely to draw from such bilateral collaboration. In accordance, Sri Lanka in the recent past has welcomed investments and other economic engagements from countries like the United States of America, India, Japan, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and China. In 2018, Sri Lanka was hopeful to reach $2.5 billion US dollars in terms of its Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), which is a significant increase in its foreign economic partnership (IANS 2018). However, in comparison to all other nations, India has greater advantages for being favoured by Sri Lanka for such economic engagements, being its immediate neighbour. However, it is equally important for both nations to amicably resolve all anomalies which are a common cause of concern. The Palk Strait fishing issue is one such unresolved issue. The chapter intends to address the issue of Palk Strait under the maritime domain for a permanent solution, which will be of mutual advantages to both countries and will be of substantial interest to academia and those in policy formulation within the governments.

II: Historical background of maritime relations between India and Sri Lanka Both India and Sri Lanka gained their independence almost in the same era. However, Sri Lanka had the dominion status within the Commonwealth, until it finally became an independent state on 22 May 1972 (Wilson 1999). Due to their colonial past, the initial political leadership on both sides lacked administrative experience and had to gradually evolve various policy issues, especially those regarding the sovereign jurisdiction of the state. In this regard, the maritime boundary between both countries lacked clear demarcation, with Dhanushkodi on the Tamil Nadu coast in India only 32 kilometres away from Talaimanar in Jaffna Peninsula in Sri Lanka (Kasim 2015). This gave opportunity to the citizens with dubious intentions from both sides to cross over to each other’s territory without the control mechanism of the law enforcement agencies. Over time, it created the menace of a large number of illegal activities with adverse impact on the economy and coastal security, objurgated by India and Sri Lanka. Finally after years of negotiation, in 1974 and further in 1976, the maritime boundary agreement for demarcating the areas of jurisdiction was signed by both countries (Chaudhury 1999). In the initial agreement of 1974, the issue of an immediate security concern regarding Adam’s Bridge and the Palk Strait was covered. Subsequently, in 1976 the second agreement covered the maritime boundary between both countries in the Gulf of Mannar and the Bay of Bengal

Sri Lankan maritime dynamics  77

(Vivekanandan 2010). In fact, Maldives maritime boundary in the Gulf of Mannar, along with the other two neighbours, was also resolved in the same year, mainly to avoid any ambiguity regarding the claim of any affected state within the region (Kaye 2010).

III: Current area of maritime conflict in the Palk Strait With the bilateral maritime border agreements in place, ideally all maritime disputes between India and Sri Lanka should have been resolved. However, as law enforcement agencies on both sides lacked the capability to effectively monitor the area, frequently the fishermen crossed their territorial waters for better fish catching. Over the years, the situation became more complex, as a number of fishing trawlers from the Indian side started operating in this area, adversely impacting the fish-catching capacity of the Sri Lankan fishermen, who lacked such modern fishing resources. Sri Lanka demanded a complete ban on the activities of these trawls, whereas India only wanted to regulate the movement. As per India, the complete ban on the trawling activities would lead to major commercial losses for those involved in the business for their sustenance. However, with acquiescence to resolve the issue of illegal fishing, a Joint Working Group ( JWG) was constituted between both countries on 31 December 2016; still, not much progress has been achieved by the JWG (Special Correspondent 2016). As a result, the instances of fishermen on both sides crossing the maritime boundary continue to be frequently reported. The resentment, especially on the Sri Lankan side, is far greater, and there have been instances in which the Sri Lankan Navy has opened fire on some of the Indian fishermen who were accused of crossing into the waters under Sri Lankan jurisdiction. In 2015, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka Ranil Wickremesinghe, quite against the spirit of joint approach on issues of concern between both countries, had rather openly supported the aggressive stand of the Sri Lanka Navy (Haidar 2015). Quite obviously he was fulminated for his statement both internally and in India. As the economic pressure due to illegal fishing continued, adversely impacting the Sri Lankan fishermen, Sri Lanka imposed heavy fines on boats fishing in its area. As per the Indian sentiments, especially in the state of Tamil Nadu, such acerbic alternatives will not be in the best interest of both countries, as many of these fishermen are innocent citizens who at times accidently cross over the territorial waters or else are desperate to knowingly violate rules to make a sustainable income through their fish catches. In addition, at the psychological level, many of these fishermen from generations have undertaken fishing activities in the Palk Strait, and the issue of a maritime boundary between nations does not seem to them to be a hurdle. All such arguments and counterarguments from both sides indicate one common factor: to resolve the problem of illegal fishing, there is a need to look at the issue from the human complexity and closely observe the concerns of the fishermen communities on both sides.

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IV: Legal position in India over the fishing activities undertaken in Palk Strait However, before going any further into the details of likely intentions involved in such violations, the rule position over the fishing activities, especially by the use of trawls, must be covered in greater detail. As per Section 5 of Maritime Zones of India (MZI) Act 1981 and Section  7 of Maritime Zones of India (MZI) Rules 1982, the trawls need a permit for fishing activities, and any violation of the rules would call for legal actions.2 Many of these trawls are owned by the foreign operator’s charter company, or the local affluent individuals with political clouds and are either self-run or taken on lease for fishing activities by the local company or individuals. The MZI Act 1981 has provisions for regulation of fishing by foreign vessels covered in detail, where any violation by the operator will call for imprisonment, penalty, and even confiscation of the trawls and the items on board (Gangai and Ramachandran 2010). In addition, the licence for operating in India can also be cancelled. The master of the ship, along with the company or the local individual hiring the trawl, is also liable for legal proceedings. In addition, the Indian legal position regarding other illegal activities through the sea route, including illegal fishing by the smaller vessels, is also quite well promulgated. Apart from the illegal fishing, the other illegal activities are kept under legal check by effective implementation of the Sea Customs Act, 1878, Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, The Opium Act 1978, and the Import and Export Act 1947 (Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation 2013, 2). Albeit, even though the rule position is well institutionalised, ironically, there are frequent violations at the international maritime borders.

V: Causes for resentment from the Indian side As stated earlier, the human angle to the problem is important to understand. Mere rules and regulations may not be enough to address the issue. Much due to the prolonged military operations against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) by the Government of Sri Lanka, the public sentiments on the Indian side corollary to violence, especially in the state of Tamil Nadu, have been quite against the neighbouring state. Before the 2014 election, which brought the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to power with a sweeping majority, the centre was quite dependent on the support of regional parties in Tamil Nadu, which had their vote bank agenda priorities, over the foreign policy of the nation. Therefore, the adverse impact on the sentiments of eight crore Tamils due to the Tamil discourse in Sri Lanka was always given precedence in the foreign policy framing with India’s neighbour (Aliff 2015). Even today, the ground realities, especially in terms of illegal fishing activities, are not very encouraging, especially from the Indian side. As the management of

Sri Lankan maritime dynamics  79

the local fishermen is under close monitoring and control of the state government, the mere activities of the central law enforcement agencies may not be adequate to prevent all deliberate violations. Therefore, apart from the legal framework and coordination with Sri Lanka, there are more initiatives at the fishermen community level that need to be undertaken. Many of the Indian fishermen communities engaged in the Palk Strait feel that the actions of the Sri Lankan fishermen are equally avaricious as they too indulge in crossing over the maritime boundary and undertake fishing on the Indian side. There is definitely some truth to this accusation; however, the numbers of maritime border violations are more from the Indian side. In addition to the fishing activities, the Sri Lankan fishermen community is also accused of pearl diving, oyster catches, and illegal transhipment of goods, much in disregard to the boundary sanctity. There is also resentment amongst the Indian fishermen operating in the Palk Strait as some of their boats and vessels have been confiscated by the Sri Lanka Navy, and the same continues to happen quite frequently, leading to huge financial losses. As per the fishermen of Tamil Nadu, they have traditionally enjoyed the rights of fishing near the waters of the island of Katchatheevu, and the same was further legitimised by the state government of Madras by an order issued on 11 Aug 1949 (Hegde 2016). This factual position was not taken into consideration by either the Governemnt of India or Sri Lanka while demarcating the maritime boundary. This error has led to the island of Katchatheevu coming under the legal jurisdiction of Sri Lanka. However, Article 5 of the agreement of 1974 further stated that the Indian fishermen and the pilgrims will enjoy the right to visit Katchatheevu and will not require a visa from the Government of Sri Lanka (Ministry of External Affairs 1974). Further, Article 6 of the agreement stated that the fishermen on both sides will have the freedom of vessel movement in each other’s territorial waters (Ministry of External Affairs 1974). Contrary to the provisions of these articles, on 23 March 1976, the office of Indian Foreign Ministry corresponded with its counterparts in Sri Lanka that with immediate effect the Indian fishermen will not venture in the territorial waters of Sri Lanka, including the Palk Strait or its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), and similar adherence is to be made from the Sri Lankan side.3 The sanity of these orders was challenged on the ground that contrary to the provisions of the Constitution, the executive instructions were not with the prior approval of the Honourable President of India. Therefore, as per this interpretation, much due to the technical flaw attached to the fresh executive direction, the agreement of 1974 stood ultra vires. However, the Sri Lankan side, as per those opposing, has taken advantage of this executive commitment from the Indian side and has empowered its law enforcement agencies, including their coast guard and the navy, to take action against the Indian fishermen operating in their part of the Palk Strait. The frequency of apprehending the contumacious Indian fishermen has increased over the years due to actions

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from the Sri Lankan side, causing huge levels of resentment amongst the people of Tamil Nadu. Here it becomes equally important to understand the perspective of the Government of India for the issue of such an amendment to the agreement of 1974. The decision was guided by the will to maintain the sanity of the maritime boundary between both the nations and daunt illegal activities, quite unfavourable to India’s coastal economy and also compromising India’s national security. Thus, a conflict of interest between the central and the state clearly emerged in the entire issue of illegal fishing in the region of Palk Strait. As long as the national narrative from the Indian side lacks clarity, there is little scope for the resolution of the conflict.

VI: Measures by India to avoid conflict at sea In all reasonableness, rather than the conflict over the specific region for fishing by the Indian fishermen, the more critical aspect is the prospect of sustainable commercial fishing for their livelihood. Therefore, the Government of India needs to seriously explore the option of long-term fishery potential within its territorial waters for the fishermen from Tamil Nadu, and only then will the issue of illegal fishing activities in the Palk Strait on the Sri Lankan side get resolved. In the recent past, the Government of India has taken some precautionary measures, with frequent interaction with their counterparts, to ensure that the Indian fishermen are not subjected to any form of interjection by the Sri Lanka Navy. This has assisted to formulate better joint standing operating procedures. Much focus has also been given to the confidence-building mechanism between both states, so there is less friction in terms of law enforcement activities. Whenever there have been any arrests of the Indian fishermen or confiscation of their vessels and equipment, the Government of India has involved itself in the early release of the individuals and their fishing assets. To address the common concerns of both sides regarding illegal fishing activities, a Indo-Sri Lanka Joint Commission was established (Special Correspondent 2016). In regard to the important relation between both nations, a periodic ministerial-level meeting mechanism has also been initiated for constructive contribution. To counter the perplexity of illegal fishing in the Palk Strait from the Indian side, at the state level, as per the policy of Tamil Nadu, any vessel that is found violating the orders and crossing international water is likely to lose its subsidy provided by the state. India also intends to place transponders and navigational devices on all vessels operating in the region, so that the vessels can communicate in times of distress while at sea and can navigate without violation of the maritime boundary. However, the present communication through Very High Frequency (VHF) due to the restricted range is not quite reliable (FICCI 2017). Therefore, an alternative mechanism with the use of satellite phones is also under serious consideration.

Sri Lankan maritime dynamics  81

VII: Sri Lankan concerns in the Palk Strait Over the years, the Government of Sri Lanka has been addressing very specific issues in regard to conflicts of interest in the Palk Strait covering the Gulf of Mannar and Palk Bay region, which they expect their counterparts in the Indian government to accord priority. During the ministerial meeting, the Sri Lankan officials demanded that the bottom trawling activities need to be completely stopped by the vessels coming into their area from the Indian side. The bottom trawling mechanism leads to endangering the maritime environment with long-term ramifications. The general capacity of catches in the bottom trawling with the present vessels in use is nearly 6000 feet below sea level (Merrett and Haedrich 1997). Many times, the fishes and the sea animals as catches are not commercially valuable, and these lives are lost, which is avoidable. The practice of releasing the sea animals back into the waters is also not effective, as many of them die due to the extreme conditions they get subjected to during the entire process. In addition, many of the fishes caught are too small for sale, and their low survivability during the catch compounds the problem of their proper breeding, which is very vicious for marine life. Out of all the trawling mechanisms in use, shrimp trawling has the most adverse impact as the compressed configuration of the net does not provide scope for the smaller fishes to escape back into the waters (Stevenson 2003). In addition, the metal doors attached on the bottom trawl for providing a wider entry passage are far too heavy and thus damage the ocean floor, stretching huge distances. The trawling activities not only impact the marine environment adversely but have led to fewer catches for the other smaller fishing boats which have been traditionally fishing in the area. Shrimp trawling has been mainly used for catching prawns. Much due to the frequent maritime boundary violations, Sri Lanka alleges huge financial losses due to this illegal catch of prawns from its waters. In addition, many times, incidences have been reported wherein the movement of the trawls has led to damage to the fishing gillnets of the other smaller fishing vessels and also endangered their safety. Here it becomes important to mention that some of these trawls can sustain operating at night but have serious concerns of visibility and may cause damage to other vessels which also venture out during the same hours. In 2010, there were nearly 2,500 trawls which were operating in the region, and the strength of these trawls has increased further over the years.4 As far as Sri Lanka is concerned, it has banned the use of bottom trawls in its northern territorial waters and therefore does not take any counter activities of trawling on the Indian side of the maritime boundary. In fact, in acknowledgement of the adverse impact of fishing activities with use of trawls, the same has been banned by the World Food and Agriculture Organisation (WFAO) and even the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) (Lewison et al. 2004). In addition to the problem posed by the bottom trawl, the other issue is the volumetric bulk of the smaller fishing vessels registered in Tamil Nadu, which

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quite often cross over the international waters. Thus, the chances of a few of these vessels going into the territorial waters of Sri Lanka drastically increases. At present, the Sri Lanka Coast Guard does not have the technological support mechanism to identify all of the perpetrators, and even patrolling along the sovereign waters is being undertaken by the Sri Lanka Navy. However, in the event of technological up-gradation, this status quo is soon likely to change, and the Indian side needs to be mindful of this issue of frequent breach from its side. To safeguard its interests in terms of the legal mechanism, Sri Lanka in July 2017 made more strict laws to handle any perpetrators inside their territorial waters (Nath 2018). Many of the Indian fishermen lack cognisance of these stricter rules, and thus some of them are under the custody of the Sri Lankan authorities, waiting for their trials to commence. The Indian side has protested the decision of the Sri Lankan government, as the Sri Lankan fishermen crossing over to the Indian side are not subjected to such harsh regulations. The fishing activities in the Palk Strait have become an important issue for Sri Lanka over the past few years. Much of the realignment from the Sri Lankan side in regard to the maritime issue, especially illegal fishing activities, is due to the fact that while the country was involved in the civil war, no impetus was given to such economic activities. Rather the fishing activity from the Sri Lankan side was almost negligible. And therefore, the fishermen from the Indian side vanquished in the Palk Strait, especially in the Sri Lankan territorial waters. However, once the civil war was over in 2009, the Government of Sri Lanka had to align the economic interest of the fishing community in the northern region and also had to safeguard against exploitation of its natural marine resources. Much due to the prolonged internal conflict within Sri Lanka, even the Indian government did not address the issue of its citizens’ frequent violation of the maritime international boundaries. However, as the situation exists today, a more comprehensive approach to work out the suitability for both parties in regard to fishing activities needs to be initiated. Any procrastination will further complicate the situation. Ironically, some indicators in this regard are already visible. For instance, in the recent past, Chinese fishing vessels have been involved in the northern territorial waters of Sri Lanka. Few Chinese fishing companies have signed an agreement with the Sri Lankan board of investment for fishing activities in their EEZ (Kelegama 2014). As per the terms of the agreement, 90 percent of the fishing catches will be exported to China on the ground that the Chinese company is selling the fishes in the local Sri Lankan market at a very competitive rate, which is difficult to match. If the malicious activity continues, then in the times to come, the domestic demand for fishes will be completely dependent on the Chinese companies. The more intense the Sri Lanka-China engagement becomes in the region, the more complex the issue will be, to be addressed at the bilateral level between India and Sri Lanka.

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VIII: Assessment of the situation from the Indian perspective As an outcome of the prolonged Sri Lankan Civil War, the Indian side, much due to the domestic compulsion enforced by the Tamil sentiments, disassociated itself from any active support of the Government of Sri Lanka, especially during the last two decades of the civil war. Unfortunately, the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) initiative from 1987–90, by the then Prime Minister of India Mr  Rajiv Gandhi, had proved to be a political blunder. During this time, Sri Lanka found some new partners for assistance and finally brought an end to the civil war. It led to the serious accusation against the Sri Lankan government of using brutal force in complete disregard for human rights, to exterminate the LTTE. Once again in 2009, the Indian policy was driven by the domestic factors of Tamil sentiments, and the Government of India took the initiative of supporting the reconstruction and rehabilitation activities of the people of Sri Lanka residing in the Tamil dominated areas. Notably, India still was not considered a close and reliable ally by Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka’s economy was in shambles and seriously required funds and investment. Thus, Sri Lanka turned towards China for financial and technical assistance, and the government was overtly seen as a Chinese supporter. Still, in the last decade, the myth of China being a close ally seems to have shattered amongst various groups within Sri Lanka, as the agenda of the repressive regime is clearer. Rather the public rancour against the Chinese forced the new government in Sri Lanka to reorient its policy towards India. In 2014, a majority government came to power in India, and unlike the previous governments, it was not under the coalition politics pressures, especially from Tamil Nadu. Therefore, Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi reached out to improve relations with Sri Lanka. On the other hand, the 2015 elections in Sri Lanka brought to power President Maithripala Srisena, whose government reciprocated regarding the proactive policy of India for mutual cooperation (Burke and Perera 2015). In the last five years, a lot of progress at the bilateral level has been accomplished between both of these countries. For instance, India has committed itself to collaborate with Sri Lanka in regard to the nuclear energy supply. Apart from taking the joint operation of the airport at the Hambantota port, India has also agreed to make investments in the Colombo port. In addition, many fields like satellite information, naval bilateral exercises, coast guard coordination, academic exchanges, educational programmes, cultural exchanges, tourism, and so on are being positively addressed at the highest level of both governments (Vermeer 2017). As far as the dispute at the Palk Strait is concerned, the progress achieved has not been very encouraging for either side. Rather the stalemate situation on the ground has added frustration, and therefore a few initiatives by Sri Lanka are seen to be in contradiction to good bilateral mechanisms. Considering the fact that the present government in India enjoys a huge mandate, it is the perfect time to address the illegal fishing issue at the Palk Strait. A  balanced solution

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to illegal fishing will be construed towards confidence-building between both countries and will consolidate the relations for collaboration in many fields of joint interests.

IX: Recommendations to resolve the dispute and fishing conditions in the Palk Strait To begin with, let the issue be examined from the perspective of Sri Lanka. Postcivil war, people aspired for a prosperous life. Ironically, many of them lack basic education and are grappling for skilled or semi-skilled employment. The Government of Sri Lanka has been quite aware of this situation, and therefore, from the past decade efforts have been made to encourage the northern population to fall back on their traditional business of fishing for livelihood. At the institutional level, the government has initiated some funds allocation through the banks and also invested to impart training to the locals to sustain their fishing activities. Even with these few initiatives, there is a long road ahead for those in the region to become self-reliant and prosperous. The fishermen from the Sri Lankan side still operate in smaller boats with limited capacity, and they are actually no match for the trawls coming from the Indian side in the Palk Strait. The reality is that such extensive fishing activities from the Indian side has led to tuna fishes being overfished, causing the threat of their extinction. Already the ‘thresher sharks’ have vanished due to wrong fishing practices that have been in place for a long time (BOBLME 2015). Therefore, the Government of India needs to take the following conciliatory measures. Firstly, trawls and fishing vessels from India moving illegally in the Sri Lankan waters must be completely stopped by enactment of two main mechanisms. One, the central law enforcement agencies must monitor the movement of such trawls around the clock for such unauthorised movements. Apart from human indulgence, the surveillance sensors can also be deployed at sea to keep track of the unauthorised movement of vessels in the region. Second, legal action taken against those violating the rule must be much stricter than it is at present so as to deter individuals from resorting to such activities. Once there is a political consensus to ban the trawling activities completely in the region, they can be phased out in a time-bound manner. In the interim period, alternative employment opportunities for those involved in trawling activities can be examined and initiated to ensure that there is no financial crisis attached to the overall decision of banning the trawl. Here the cooperation of the Sri Lankan law enforcement agencies must also be taken, wherein their actions against the Indian fishermen should not involve apprehension and criminal trials, but rather they must act as information providers for such breaches. For such an arrangement to happen, India’s commitment will be of utmost importance. Secondly, the Government of India must also help Sri Lanka to increase the fish availability by focusing upon the breeding of the fishes in its northern region. This

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gesture will help in further improving the relations of both countries. In addition, the Indian side also needs to create more fishing opportunities on its own side so that the Indian fishermen have no reasons to cross over to the territorial water of the other country. Sea fish breeding can be undertaken on the land itself or else more of the latest methods can be utilised to ensure that the fishes are bred and released into the ocean itself. Thirdly, India also needs to resolve the issue of interpretation of the right of fishing in the Palk Strait, as traditional rights enjoyed by the Indian fishermen legitimise their activities in the region. Fresh legislative regulations resolving this anomaly can be passed. In all logicalness, the territory under the sovereign jurisdiction of Sri Lanka must remain under its control, and India must graciously forgo claims on the basis of historical precedence. This will help to ensure the sanity of the maritime borders from both sides, or else the region will continue to remain vulnerable to so many of the illegal activities. Fourthly, the environmental issues of the region have to be addressed by both countries in a constructive and cohesive manner. Apart from the fishing issues, which have direct imperatives on economic activities, there are many more factors attached to the oceans for maintaining a balance, which too need to be prioritised or else there will be irreversible damage. Therefore, there is a scope of collaboration between the two nations to take forward this constructive approach. Development activities in the coastal regions of both countries in the years ahead are almost inevitable, and thus it becomes all the more important that environmental balance is maintained. This will also help to increase the engagement of the coastal population with environmental concerns and open many new avenues for economic activities. Perhaps artificial reefs for restoration of the environment and creating survivability of many endangered species can be taken over through such initiatives.

Conclusion The end of the civil war in Sri Lanka has once again brought the interest of its northern population toward ocean fishing. However, much of the vacuum created from the Sri Lankan side was slowly filled up by the Indian fishermen who quite frequently have been visiting the Palk Strait for fishing, especially the areas which are under the territorial jurisdiction of Sri Lanka, with an adverse impact on the livelihood of the Sri Lankan fishermen. Over the past few years, Sri Lanka has been raising the issue with their counterparts in India, which did take a few measures, but due to the regional dynamics involved, it could not progress substantially in this regard. Sri Lanka’s disappointment over the entire issue of illegal fishing in the Palk Strait has been reflected by frequent reports of their navy apprehending the Indian fishermen. In addition, the law of illegal fishing has been backed by capital punishment for the perpetrators. There are various cases of Indian fishermen who are locked in Sri Lankan prisons awaiting their trials.

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Many of these actions from the Government of Sri Lanka were also influenced by the past dynamics of both countries over the last few years, which were not very encouraging. Three occurrences have led to changes in the overall scenario of India-Sri Lanka relations, opening fresh opportunities for both nations to resolve the fishermen issue in the Palk Strait. Firstly, the Government of India in 2014 came into a full majority and has continuity of two terms, providing them fair independence in formulating foreign policy with its neighbours without the inertia of internal politics. Secondly, the Chinese influence, which had increased in Sri Lanka, had led to public resentment, making the way for India to step in for closer engagements. Finally, with the change of government in Sri Lanka in 2015, the present government is more inclined to foster better relations with India. This mutual understanding of the governments of both states has led to bilateral engagements in multiple fields, and the overall relations are once again in the correct perspective. Under these circumstances, it is the correct time to revisit the issues of conflicting interest between both countries in the Palk Strait. The resolution of the issue will go a long way in improving the relations between both countries. In addition, a secure region will also help to curb illegal activities which are very frequently routed through the Palk Strait. The only major concern is the fishermen’s interest on the Indian side. With due deliberation, along with the stakeholders and the government, the same can also be amicably resolved. Suggestions for the same have been covered in greater detail in this chapter. Sri Lanka as a neighbour is strategically very important for India, as its access to the maritime route makes it an important zone for multinational collaboration. Under this construct, if India fails to advance its partnership with Sri Lanka, it will exacerbate both from a security and economic perspective. Therefore, the need to resolve the fishing issue between both nations in the Palk Strait becomes extremely important.

Notes 1 The words वसुधैवकुटुम्बकम् (vasudhaiva kuTumbakam) come from the mantra VI-72 in Maha Upanishad which belongs to Samaveda tradition. 2 See: I)+Act+1981+and+Section+7+of+Maritime+Zone+of+India+(MZI)+Rules%2C +1982&rlz=1C1CHHZ_enIN521IN719&oq=Section+5+of+Maritime+Zones+o f+India+(MZI)+Act+1981+and+Section+7+of+Maritime+Zone+of+India+(MZ I)+Rules%2C+1982&aqs=chrome..69i57j69i60.1913j0j8&sourceid=chrome&ie= UTF-8# 3 See – ‘Agreement Between India and Sri Lanka on the Boundary in Historic Waters Between the Two Countries and Related Matters, June 26, 1974’; Agreement Between India and Sri Lanka on the Maritime Boundary Between the Two Countries in the Gulf of Mannar and the Bay of Bengal and Related Matters, March 23, 1976’, Appendix 1 and 2; V. Suryanarayan, Kachchativu and Problems of Indian Fishermen in the Palk Bay Region (Madras: T.R. Publications, 1994), 51–55. 4 See:

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References Aliff, S. M. 2015. “Indo- Sri Lanka Relations after the LTTE: Problems & Prospects.” Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies 6 (4): 321–30. BOBLME. 2015. “An Ecosystem Characterisation of the Bay of Bengal.” Accessed April 28, 2019. Burke, Jason, and Amantha Perera. 2015. “Sri Lanka’s New President Promises ‘No More Abductions, No More Censorship’.” January  10. Accessed April  2019. www.theguard Chaudhury, Rahul -Roy. 1999. “Trends in the Delimitation of India’s Maritime Boundaries.” Strategic Analysis 22 (10): 1513–24. FICCI. 2017. “Smart Border Management: Indian Coastal and Maritime Security.” FICCI, September. Accessed September  2019. der-Management-study.pdf. Gangai, Irene Divien, and S. Ramachandran. 2010. “The Role of Spatial Planning in Coastal Management  – A  Case Study of Tuticorin Coast (India).” Land Use Policy 27 (2): 518–34. Haidar, Suhasini. 2015. “India to Take up Sri Lankan PM Comments on Fishermen.” March  7. Accessed October  2019. Hegde, Venkatachala G. 2016. “India and International Settlement of Disputes.” Indian Journal of International Law 56: 1–40. IANS. 2018. “Sri Lanka Aims for $2.5bn in FDI in 2018.” Business Standard, April  10. Accessed September 14, 2019.–118041000837_1.html. Kasim, Hussain Mohamad. 2015. “Resources and Livelihoods of the Palk Bay: Information from India & Sri Lanka.” Conference Paper, August, Chennai. Kaye, Stuart. 2010. “Indian Ocean Maritime Claims.” Journal of Indian Ocean Region 6 (1): 113–28. Kelegama, Saman. 2014. “China-Sri Lanka Economic Relations: An Overview.” China Report 50 (2): 131–49. Lewison, Rebecca L., Larry B. Crowder, Andrew J. Read, and Sloan A. Freeman. 2004. “Understanding Impacts of Fisheries Bycatch on Marine Megafauna.” Trends in Ecology and Evolution 19 (11): 598–604. Merrett, N. R., and R. L. Haedrich. 1997. Deep-Sea Demersal Fish and Fisheries. London: Chapman & Hall. Ministry of External Affairs. 1974. Agreement Between the Government of India and the Government of the Republic of Sri Lanka on the Boundary in Historic Waters. New Delhi: Government of India. Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation. 2013. National Sample Survey. New Delhi: Government of India. Moorthy, M. Sathiya. 2019. “Modi 2.0 Two-Nation Southern Visit, Full of Messages and Meanings.” Observer Research Foundation, June  10. Accessed December  2019. www. Nath, Akshaya. 2018. “Indian Fishermen Being Charged Under Sri Lanka’s New Fishing Law Want to Be Pardoned.” India Today, July 12. Accessed October 7, 2019. www.india

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Special Correspondent. 2016. “India, Sri Lanka Set Up Joint Working Group to Address Fishermen Issue.” 6 November. Accessed October  2019. national/India-Sri-Lanka-set-up-Joint-Working-Group-to-address-fishermen-issue/ article16437692.ece. Stevenson, Peter. 2003. The World Trade Organization Rules: A Legal Analysis of Their Adverse Impact on Animal Welfare. Accessed September 22, 2018. docs/2005/april/tradoc_122188.pdf. Vermeer, Manuel. 2017. “Maritime Power Politics in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).” ISPSW Strategy Series: Focus on Defense and International Security, November. Accessed October 18, 2019. Vivekanandan, V. 2010. “Trawl Brawl.” Samudra Report, November 24–27. Wilson, A. Jeyaratnam. 1999. “Ceylon’s (Sri Lanka’s) Passage to Independence.” The Round Table 88 (349): 97–108.


I: Introduction In 2014, eight member states of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) agreed to a Framework Agreement for Energy Co-operation (Electricity). Although the SAARC was established in 1985, the roots of this framework agreement could be traced back to a process initiated in 2000 with the formation of the SAARC Technical Committee on Energy. Subsequently, at the Islamabad SAARC summit in 2004, it was decided to establish a Ministeriallevel Energy Forum, and it held its first meeting in 2005. A year later, in 2006, SAARC Energy Centre (SEC) in Islamabad began functioning. The negotiations for the framework agreement started in 2010 and culminated in a 2014 agreement (PIB 2014). Even though much work remains to be done in terms of implementation of this agreement, signing of the framework agreement was considered a major step towards creating an integrated South Asian regional energy market. Creation of such a regional energy market is expected to contribute to ensuring greater energy security for the region and will further promote regional cooperation among member states. For a developing region such as South Asia, energy security has emerged as a major area of concern. Energy is a key input in the process of socio-economic development, and therefore ensuring the supply of assured, affordable, accessible and clean energy is crucial for South Asian states. Consumption of energy is inextricably intertwined with the level of development of any society. For example, in the developed societies of the West, per capita energy consumption is naturally high, whereas in the case of South Asia, per capita energy consumption is significantly low (as per the International Energy Association, despite economic growth and rising consumption, India’s energy demand in 2040 will be 40 percent below the world average. See: IEA 2015India Energy Outlook. Paris: International Energy

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Agency) compared to the world average. However, as the process of development has picked up momentum in the last two decades, energy consumption in South Asia is rising at a fast pace. South Asia’s energy challenge is twofold. First, large populations in South Asian states do not have access to modern forms of energy and hence depend on traditional sources like wood and cow dung. It has a significant impact on health, education and environment-related aspects. Women are the hardest hit section of such a population as they have to spend long hours collecting and then using these energy sources for activities like cooking. Consequently, providing modern forms of adequate and inexpensive energy to such a population without further damaging the environment is a major challenge. It would also contribute to accelerating the process of development and ensuring greater societal welfare. Second, South Asian states depend heavily on imported coal, oil, and gas and spend large sums of money on them. For example, in 2016–17, India spent about $70 billion on oil imports, and it is set to rise further to about $87 billion in 2017–18 (PTI 2018). Heavy dependence on imported energy for satisfying domestic demand has obvious national security-foreign policy implications. Besides, it exposes domestic energy consumers and the process of development to the price fluctuations in the international market. Therefore, the challenge is to reduce this excessive dependence on external sources of energy without affecting economic growth. On account of these challenges, domestic and external aspects of energy security and their apparent interconnections with South Asian regional energy cooperation have assumed increasing importance in the last few years. However, it needs to be noted here that energy-rich states from neighbouring regions like West Asia (Iran), Central Asia (Turkmenistan) and Southeast Asia (Myanmar) are situated outside the South Asian region. For making available adequate energy supplies, cooperation and deeper engagement with these regions have become indispensable. Thus, national boundaries of South Asian states (like India) and then consequently boundaries of the entire South Asian region would have to be transcended in the quest for energy security. Additionally, lack of sufficient energy is a constraining factor in the process of development. By making adequate energy supplies available, the limited influence of inadequate energy supplies on economic development could be overcome. In this context, ability and willingness to overcome both of these frontiers would determine South Asia’s energy prospects in the future. This chapter is structured in seven parts. After the introduction, the second part explains the South Asian energy context with an emphasis on the energy potential of each of these eight states. The third part explains the importance of energy in fostering greater regional cooperation and the role of regional cooperation in ensuring energy security. It takes into account the experience of regional energy cooperation in Europe and Africa. The fourth and fifth parts, respectively, focus on two efforts of cross-border energy cooperation (i.e. electricity interconnections and building transnational gas pipelines) from energy-rich regions around

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South Asia. Challenges in moving forward on some of these initiatives are considered within these sections themselves. The role of a next-door external power like China has also become important in the energy politics and connectivity in and around South Asia. Therefore, the sixth section covers China’s emerging energy relationships with South Asian states. Energy-related cooperation in South Asia is not only limited to bringing in natural gas or hydropower but also includes activities like building nuclear power plants. It is also covered briefly in the sixth section. The chapter concludes by reaffirming arguments for the necessity of regional cooperation in ensuring regional energy security.

II: South Asian energy context On account of their own developmental trajectories and international energy politics, South Asia’s states are likely to witness three obvious trends regarding their energy future: increasing demand, increasing foreign dependency, and increasing prices. First, increasing demand, as South Asian states transition from agriculturebased economies to more manufacturing and service sector-led economies, energy consumption and therefore energy intensity is going to increase significantly. The International Energy Association (IEA) had estimated in 2008 that South Asia’s energy demand is going to increase by more than double in the next three decades (McMillan 2008). Continued economic growth and an increasing population would necessitate South Asian states to bring in more energy supplies. That brings us to the second trend of growing dependence on foreign sources of energy. South Asian states like Bhutan do not have any hydrocarbon reserves, and energy demand of a state like India far exceeds reserves situated within the territory (Gippner 2010). In 2008, the regional states, collectively, used to supply less than 30 percent of their oil requirements from within the region. Besides, no South Asian state is endowed with the whole range of energy resources (like coal, oil, gas, hydropower, and so on) in sufficient quantities, required to meet developmental challenges. Therefore, energy imports from foreign sources remain the only option for South Asia. Increasing prices for energy products is the third trend related to South Asia’s energy prospects. Although prices of energy products change depending on the demand-supply dynamics and international politics of energy, the overall trend points towards higher energy prices (McMillan 2008). In the context of increasing demand and prices of energy, it would be worthwhile to sketch out some of the key points of the domestic energy scenario of these eight South Asian states to set the context for further discussion. India is the largest energy player in South Asia and is the third largest energy consumer in the world after China and the United States of America (U.S.A.). India holds the third largest (12 percent) world coal reserves. Yet, due to lower quality, India imports coal from Indonesia, South Africa, and Australia. India’s oil reserves are modest (around 5.7 billion barrels), and therefore it has to rely heavily (about 80 percent) on oil imports, mostly from West Asia. In spite of apparent import dependence, India is

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a major exporter of refined petroleum products.1 Although India found large gas deposits in the Krishna-Godavari basin, in the early 2000s, domestic gas output has remained lower than expected. In the case of hydropower, wind, and solar, significant potential exists and these resources are in need of further development (IEA 2015, 30–37). Apart from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, on account of their large populations, are two other major energy consumers of South Asia. Of these two, Pakistan experienced a major energy crisis in the recent past as a result of costly fuel sources, gas and electricity shortages, and insufficient transmission systems. Just like India, Pakistan depends excessively (about 75  percent) on oil imports, and domestic production has not been able to keep pace with rising consumption. It holds sizeable (105 trillion cubic feet) shale gas reserves, but it has not yet been fully developed (EIA 2016). Bangladesh is the eighth largest gas producer in the AsiaPacific region and depends heavily on gas (about 55 percent) for its energy needs. In spite of Bangladesh’s electricity generation increasing by an annual average of 9 percent during the decade of 2004–14, about 38 percent of the population still does not have access to electricity. However, lack of access to modern energy is a major problem for all South Asian states. For example, in 2013, around 240 million people (about 20  percent of the overall population) in India and about 50  million people in Pakistan still lacked access to electricity. Bangladesh’s domestic oil production, in 2014, stood at 4,800 barrels per day (bpd), and it consumed more than 124,000 bpd, which means it had to import more than 95 percent of its oil requirements (EIA 2015). Although, the Indian Ocean island state of Sri Lanka holds no oil or gas reserves, small quantities of coal (5 million metric tonnes) are found in the country (ESCAP 2013, 15). Sri Lanka’s only major domestic source of producing energy is hydropower. Just like Sri Lanka, its next-door neighbour and a strategically located state of Maldives’ dependence on petroleum imports is 100 percent because Maldives does not produce any oil or gas domestically (17). Afghanistan, Nepal, and Bhutan each hold significant hydropower potential. Nepal’s hydropower potential is estimated to be around 84,000 MegaWatt (MW), out of which 43,000 MW is considered as economically viable (IHA 2017a). In the case of Bhutan, hydropower potential stands at around 30,000 MW, out of which, 23,760 MW are estimated to be economically viable (IHA 2017b). In 2015, the installed power capacity of Nepal and Bhutan was 753 MW and 1,615 MW respectively. Finding reliable data is a major challenge for Afghanistan; however, the country holds hydropower potential (Gross Theoretical Capacity) of 394,000 Giga Watt per hour (SAARC Energy Centre 2013). The same figure is mentioned in the UN-ESCAP report on energy cooperation in South Asia (ESCAP 2013, 16). However, Afghanistan’s installed hydropower capacity is only 316 MW. Apart from hydropower, Afghanistan also has gas reserves of about 50 billion cubic metres (bcm) (SAARC Energy Centre 2013). All South Asian states hold insufficient oil reserves, and some smaller states have more-than-sufficient gas and hydropower potential. Uneven distribution of energy

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resources and a difference in development trajectories of these states have created a situation in which, although a large potential for hydropower exists in Nepal and Bhutan, major consumer centres are located in India. Same logic holds true for gas in Bangladesh. Apart from this, South Asia’s neighbouring states in Central, Western, and Southeast Asia like Turkmenistan, Iran, and Myanmar are also well endowed with natural gas reserves. Therefore, regional and subregional energy cooperation would prove useful in addressing South Asia’s energy challenge. It would bring energy surplus producers and energy deficient consumers together to craft a mutually beneficial regional energy partnership.

III: Energy and South Asian regional cooperation Just like other sectors of an economy, regional cooperation and later integration in the domain of energy offer opportunities for development and optimum utilisation of available energy resources. Moreover, energy could act as an enabling element to further promote regional cooperation in other sectors, and in turn greater intraregional energy trade could be a result of the process of enhanced regional collaboration. As South Asia is moving gradually towards the idea of regional energy cooperation, it could follow the examples of and learn from experiments in regional energy cooperation in other parts of the world, most notably from Africa, as South Asia and Africa share similar developmental challenges. Regional energy integration in Africa has been actively supported by the African Development Bank (AfDB). The AfDB has also launched a separate policy document outlining the energy policy for Africa.2 As of now, in Africa, there are four regional power pools (in southern, western, central, and eastern parts of the continent) that are working to promote the regional energy trade. Out of these four power pools, Southern African Power Pool (established in 1995) is considered as the most advanced power pool in Africa and has been able to develop the regional competitive energy market. All four power pools are recognised as specialised institutions for their respective regional economic communities (Kambanda 2013). The European Union (EU) is also moving forward on the path of regional energy integration. The EU adopted ‘Framework Strategy for a Resilient Energy Union with a Forward-Looking Climate Change Policy’ in 2015, and crossborder coordination and integration in energy security are among its key objectives (Raines and Tomlinson 2016). According to the World Bank, ‘regional energy trade provides a win-win situation to all the participants’. It further notes that regional energy cooperation is ‘a logical and rational public policy choice’ (ESMAP 2008, xvii). There are four principal reasons for states to engage in regional energy cooperation. First, regional cooperation would be useful in the proper utilisation of unevenly distributed energy resources. Across the world, energy markets are interdependent, and therefore the policy to establish regional energy collaboration and share inherent benefits out of it holds good. Second, regional energy security depends on building secure, competent, and reliable energy systems. Regional cooperation would play a greater

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role in improving available energy infrastructure and in developing new energy systems. Third, providing access to modern energy to their respective populations is a key concern for South Asian states. Overall, only about 50% of the South Asian population is able to access modern forms of energy, and therefore regional energy cooperation would go a long way in providing necessary access and infrastructure for transmission and distribution of energy. Fourth, sustainable energy choices have assumed greater importance in the context of the challenge of climate change. Increasing energy efficiency and developing renewable energy resources would play a role in ensuring energy security and sustainability (ESCAP 2013). In addition to these four points, security of the energy supply and economic efficiency in energy trade are two additional gains of increased regional energy cooperation. For example, in the case of oil, as all South Asian states are dependent on oil imports, regional strategic petroleum reserves would be able to reduce risks associated with supply disruption and oil price fluctuations. Evidently, South Asian regional energy cooperation would contribute to addressing challenges related to energy, security, and development.

IV: South Asian electricity cooperation Access to electricity has improved significantly in South Asia in the new millennium. From 2000 to 2014, access to electricity has risen from 57 percent to 80 percent of the South Asian population. However, in spite of the marked improvement, in 2014, 343 million people (of which 270 million were in India) in South Asia were living without access to electricity. According to World Bank estimates, South Asia is expected to attain universal electricity access by 2030 (ESMAP 2017). In this context, ‘strengthening cross-border electricity cooperation in South Asia can be part of the solution for providing adequate and reliable electricity’ to a population that still remains outside the electricity grid because There are complementarities in electricity demand and resource endowments and differences in seasonal patterns of supply and demand. In addition, increased electricity cooperation and trade among countries can bring economies of scale in investments, strengthen electricity sector financing capability, enhance competition and improve sector efficiency and enable more cost-effective renewable energy co-operation. (Singh et al. 2015, 2) The size of India’s domestic electricity demand and geographic as well as economic centrality in the region make it an indispensable player in driving (and blocking) trans-border electricity cooperation. No other South Asian states share borders with each other, except Afghanistan and Pakistan, and all are connected to India. Therefore, bilateral cooperation between India and other states contributes to creating a regional grid and in effect promotes regional cooperation. Thus, in

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this section, keeping India at the centre, we attempt to take a synoptic view of efforts of energy cooperation between South Asian states. It is a well-known fact that Nepal and Bhutan are rich in hydropower resources, and therefore India’s participation in generating and importing electricity from these two countries comes as no surprise. Of these two countries, India-Nepal trans-border electricity cooperation goes back to the 1920s. Projects like The Kataiya powerhouse and Trishuli, Devighat and Phewa hydropower projects were built with financial and technical assistance from India. In 1971, Nepal and India signed a Power Purchase Agreement which allows power utilities in Nepal and India to provide electricity via trans-border electricity interconnections. Both countries agreed, in 1996, to develop the Mahakali River basin in Nepal in an integrated manner. The agreement included development of Sarada barrage, Tanakpur barrage and Pancheshwar projects as well (Singh et al. 2015, 4–5). India and Nepal signed a power trade agreement in 2014 for expanding bilateral electricity cooperation. Recently, they have completed double-circuit transmission corridors between Dhalkebar-Muzaffarnagar (90  km) and Hetauda-Duhabi (40km) (Singh et al. 2015, 4–5). As of now, there are more than 20 interconnections that are used for power exchange and power trade. Power shortages during winters in Nepal and increased demand have prompted Nepal to purchase electricity from India. Therefore, India supplies more than 350–370 MW of power to Nepal (MEA 2017). Both of these countries are also exploring possibilities to build hydropower projects of 20,000 MW in Western Nepal. All of these measures are expected to significantly increase the electricity trade between India and Nepal (Singh et al. 2015). Compared to Nepal, the India-Bhutan electricity trade is a recent phenomenon. The Indian government considers it as an example of win-win cooperation that provides a reliable source and inexpensive and clean electricity to India, generates export revenue for Bhutan, and promotes economic integration between the two countries (MEA 2018). India-Bhutan electricity cooperation began in 1961 when both countries signed the Jaldhaka Agreement. The first hydropower project, with Indian assistance, in Bhutan was commissioned in 1967. In the 1970s and 1980s, India also set up electricity connections from Assam and West Bengal to electrify bordering regions in Bhutan (Singh et  al. 2015). To date, India has built three hydropower projects3 in Bhutan that generate a total of 1,416 MW of electricity. In 2006, both countries signed an agreement to cooperate in the hydropower sector. As per this agreement, India agreed to develop a minimum of 10,000 MW of hydropower by 2020 in Bhutan and also agreed to purchase surplus electricity from these projects. At present, India is building three4 hydropower projects under an inter-governmental model in Bhutan that would generate 2,920 MW. India signed the agreement in 2014 to implement four5 more projects under the Joint Venture model to collectively produce 2,120 MW of electricity (MEA 2018). Although India is engaged with Nepal and Bhutan in the sector of electricity cooperation, there is a striking difference in the trajectory of both countries’

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engagement with India. Bhutan, since 1995, has exported approximately 75 percent of its total electricity generated and the India- Bhutan electricity trade has increased significantly. However, in the case of Nepal, electricity exchanges have not grown over the years due to lack of a commercial initiative. Also, Nepal has not been able to develop its hydropower resources, and that has left the country desperately short of required electricity supplies (Wijayatunga and Fernando 2013, 12–14). Thus, as Bhutan has emerged as a net electricity exporter to India (in 2013–14, Bhutan exported 5,556 Giga Watt per hour to India), Nepal imported (793 GWh) electricity from India in 2013 (Singh et al. 2015, 5). Apart from Nepal and Bhutan, India also engages in electricity exchange with Bangladesh. On account of growing demand and lack of power-generating capacity, Bangladesh faces a major shortfall in its electricity supply (Wijayatunga and Fernando 2013). Therefore, in 2010, Bangladesh signed an agreement to exchange electricity with India. For this, both countries decided to set up a 400 kV, 30 km double-circuit line and a 500 MW substation in Bangladesh. Notably, Bangladesh signed a 25-year electricity purchase pact with India in 2012 that requires India to provide electricity (250 MW) to Bangladesh (Singh et al. 2015). Around 2015–16, Bangladesh imported 660 MW from India and was expected to receive another 500 MW beginning in 2018. India and Bangladesh are also building a coal-fired 1,320 MW power plant together (MEA 2017). Given the closer geographic proximity and apparent interdependence, India’s eastern parts, Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh, form a subregion, and there is a scope for subregional cooperation spanning a range of sectors like energy, trade, and connectivity between these countries. Asian Development Bank (ADB) is actively promoting electricity exchange and trade between these four countries through its South Asian Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) programme.6 Just like India’s eastern neighbours, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are also prospective partners for electricity cooperation with India. Pakistan is geographically contiguous, whereas Sri Lanka is not far away from the Indian mainland. Therefore, electricity supplies from India to both of these states could be explored. In 1998–99, Pakistan and India discussed supplying surplus power from Pakistan to India. Fourteen years later, in 2012–13, both countries were discussing 500 MW to be supplied from India to Pakistan (Wijayatunga and Fernando 2013, 18). However, both proposals of 1998–99 and 2012–13 were not taken to their logical conclusion. In the case of Sri Lanka, the ADB report argues that, ‘interconnection with India would serve Sri Lanka by providing a long-term solution to meeting peak load, improving system reliability and enabling better utilisation of its hydropower system’ (16). However, actual electricity cooperation is not yet in the cards. Afghanistan also faces a severe electricity shortage (installed capacity: 270 MW). Hence, Afghanistan’s northern regions get their power supplies from Central Asian states like Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. Iran supplies electricity to parts of Western Afghanistan (Wijayatunga and Fernando 2013, 19). There is a proposal to build a Central Asia-South Asia (CASA) -1000 electricity link project.

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It would link Tajikistan, Kyrgyz Republic, Afghanistan, and Pakistan to form the CASA regional electricity market. Tajikistan and Kyrgyz Republic have surplus hydropower potential which could be deployed to supply power to Afghanistan and Pakistan. The construction of CASA-1000 began in 2016, and the project is expected to be completed by 2018 (APP 2016). This project is economically viable, and the World Bank and ADB have actively promoted it (Wijayatunga and Fernando 2013, 19–21). CASA-1000 is expected to bring India into the project as well. There is a scope for moving forward on regional electricity cooperation. However, the progress on that front has been less than satisfactory. As the range and depth of regional electricity cooperation varies across regions, South Asia cannot be compared with any other regional electricity grid and market integration. It is argued that ‘regional electricity cooperation for market integration typically evolves in the wake of bilateral cross-border electricity trade arrangements. The more advanced arrangements incorporate shared generation of assets and multicountry trading through integrated competitive markets’ (Singh et  al. 2015, 8). However, in spite of these initiatives, as we saw, South Asian regional electricity cooperation falls below its potential. There are three reasons identified for this: first, the uncertain regional political climate: South Asian countries’ domestic politics and historic relationships with each other prevent them from engaging in greater electricity trade. Lack of India-Pakistan electricity trade is a good example of this. Second, absence of a platform for cross-border regulatory coordination makes it difficult to ensure seamless and stable operation of transmission systems. Therefore, as regional electricity trade increases, technical, legal, and commercial regulatory aspects of electricity trade need to be synchronised across the region. Third, tariff and non-tariff market barriers imposed by participating countries increase the costs of electricity exchange and affect the overall growth of regional electricity trade (Singh et al. 2015). All three factors slow down the further growth in regional electricity cooperation.

V: Transnational gas pipelines Natural gas is the fuel of the future and is likely to become more important as the global energy choices shift towards cleaner fuels. The European Union’s strategy for energy security focuses on natural gas (Raines and Tomlinson 2016). Just like the regional electricity grid and integration of electricity markets, transnational energy pipelines, traversing through two or more states, bind the states of the region together. Although costs of building transnational pipelines have come down, they are still expensive to build and generally involve long-term supply arrangements for oil and/or gas. In the process these energy pipelines ‘create strategic geography. The route, direction, volume, length, thickness and width of the pipelines are not just the technological and commercial decisions. They are political ones. Their impact, beneficial or otherwise, is determined accordingly’ (Dietl 2005).

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South Asia’s neighbouring regions, West and Central Asia along with Myanmar, are gas-rich. Iran holds the second largest gas reserves of the world and is a major energy player in the Persian Gulf region (EIA 2018). Strategically located, the Central Asian state of Turkmenistan holds the sixth largest gas reserves (EIA 2016). Apart from Iran and Turkmenistan, Myanmar too is an important gas producer located on the periphery of South Asia. Around the mid-2000s there were proposals to build three gas pipelines to India which would originate in Iran, Turkmenistan, and Myanmar. The pipeline from Iran would come to India via Pakistan, whereas the Turkmenistan pipeline would reach India via Afghanistan and Pakistan. On account of geography, Pakistan was a key factor in both of these projects. The pipeline from Myanmar would reach India via its eastern neighbour and another gas-rich state, Bangladesh. All these pipelines were expected to prove beneficial for gas-exporting states as they would earn guaranteed revenues and a long-term customer for their gas. Transit states like Pakistan and Bangladesh would receive gas for their domestic consumption as well as transit fees. Finally, a growing economy like India would be relatively energy secure if it managed to access gas from Iran, Turkmenistan, and Myanmar. It was hoped that natural gas pipelines from Iran, Myanmar and Central Asia to India can prove to be vibrant arteries of progress and prosperity for the region and set up a new paradigm in regional co-operation and friendship not only with source countries but also with transit countries. (Srinivasan 2005, 55) It is in this context that these three pipelines are examined. Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) Pipeline: The IPI pipeline has been under consideration since 1989. There were three possible routes for this pipeline: one, overland, from Iranian gas fields via Pakistani Balochistan to India; second, offshore, hugging the Pakistani coast along Baluchistan and; three, deep sea, under the Pakistani Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The overland route would involve a 56-inch-diameter pipeline stretching more than 2,000 km; 850 km in Iran, 700 km in Pakistan, and 1,120 km in India (Dietl 2005). The IPI pipeline project was originally supposed to supply 55 bcm of gas annually, but now that has been revised to 21 bcm annually (Wijayatunga and Fernando 2013). As India’s gas supplies coming from Iran would pass through Pakistan, Indian strategic analysts favoured the deep-water pipeline, fearing Pakistan’s ability to cut supplies. Pakistan favoured the overland route and cited techno-economic, defence, and strategic reasons to decline permits for a deep-water pipeline (Dietl 2005, 84–85). Physical security of the pipeline and pricing of gas were major concerns embedded in this project. However, the power sector would have been the biggest beneficiary of the IPI pipeline. Iran had suggested that it could build an electricity transmission network along the route of the pipeline. That would have connected

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Iran to the Pakistani and Indian electricity grid. Iranian gas would have played a key role in reducing the natural gas shortage in Pakistan and also would have helped in preserving Pakistan’s depleting natural gas reserves (CII 2016). This project was being considered seriously around 2004–05 and had become a major foreign policy issue for India. India was then also negotiating a civilian nuclear agreement with the U.S., and due to strained U.S.-Iran relations, it was not in favour of India pursuing a gas pipeline project with Iran. Therefore, after finalising the civilian nuclear deal with the U.S. in 2008, India withdrew from the IPI pipeline project in 2009 by citing price- and security-related issues (CII 2016). Recently, in 2017, India’s parliamentary panel on petroleum and natural gas had suggested that the Indian government should examine prospects of reviving this pipeline project (PTI 2017). Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) Pipeline: Although the U.S. opposed the IPI pipeline, it was in India’s interest to pursue the TAPI pipeline project that would bring energy from the Caspian Sea region to South Asia. The TAPI pipeline was initially conceived as a project between Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan by the U.S. oil major, Unocal. India was added later in the project to make it economically viable. The ADB had done a feasibility study for TAPI in 2005 and envisaged a 1,735 km, 56-inch diameter pipeline. The project cost in 2008 was estimated to be $7.6 billion (Wijayatunga and Fernando 2013). The TAPI pipeline would supply 33 bcm of gas annually to three South Asian countries for a period of 30 years. The work on the pipeline was expected to begin in 2012 and was supposed to come online by 2016. However, the actual work for TAPI began in 2015 in Turkmenistan (CII 2016). The TAPI project is being referred to as the economic and strategic gamechanger for the region. However, the 830 km of TAPI pipeline passes through a difficult geographical and political terrain in Afghanistan. Difficulties in laying the pipeline in Afghanistan and keeping it secure would increase the overall costs for the project. Therefore, compared with IPI, TAPI faces more formidable financing risks. Transit fees for gas were a major subject of disagreement between India and Afghanistan and India and Pakistan. However, when the project becomes fully operational, Afghanistan will earn $350  million annually in transit fees (Wijayatunga and Fernando 2013, 23–23). Unlike IPI, the TAPI pipeline project is inching slowly towards completion. However, India is not likely to receive gas from it before 2020 (PTI 2015). Bangladesh-Myanmar-India (BMI) Pipeline: Around 2004–05, apart from IPI and TAPI, a gas pipeline from Myanmar via Bangladesh was also being discussed. The BMI pipeline was expected to pass through the Rakhine state of Myanmar and via the Indian states of Mizoram and Tripura before entering Bangladesh and then entering India’s state of West Bengal (Srinivasan 2005). Because of this pipeline, gas reserves in Myanmar and Bangladesh were expected to access the economically vibrant Indian market. However, the BMI pipeline hit a roadblock after Bangladesh put in conditions like customs-free passage to Nepal and Bhutan

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and reduced the trade deficit with India. Meanwhile, as India struggled to get past Bangladesh’s demands, in 2008, China successfully negotiated an agreement for building a 2,388 km pipeline from Myanmar and accessing gas supplies for its Yunnan province (Thandi 2013). Now, almost a decade later, the MBI pipeline is being revived again. In its revived version, the 7,000-km-long pipeline is expected to get gas from Myanmar as well as the Indian state of Assam and is envisaged to link up with the Indian gas grid in the future (Chowdhury 2017). All these pipelines would have contributed in moving forward on regional energy cooperation. They would link up South Asia with Iran, Myanmar, and Central Asia and supply gas to the growing Indian market. However, except for the delayed implementation of TAPI, the other two transnational pipeline projects did not take off. Meanwhile, South Asia’s northern neighbour, China, is also building energy partnerships with South Asian states like Pakistan. As part of its One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative, China is now intensifying its engagement with South Asian states in energy- and connectivity-related projects. Consequently, China’s appetite for energy resources and its diplomatic economic push in South Asia are beginning to alter the dynamics related to energy, security, and politics in the region. Therefore, in the next section we discuss China’s growing role in South Asian affairs with a particular focus on emerging energy relationships.

VI: China in South Asian energy politics China is the world’s second largest oil consumer and is the largest importer of petroleum and other liquids (EIA 2015). It depends excessively on the narrow Straits of Malacca for bringing in energy supplies from West Asia and Africa. China’s dependence on the Malacca straits is often referred to as the ‘Malacca Dilemma’, and China is finding ways to reduce its vulnerabilities arising out of the so-called Malacca Dilemma. Apart from increasing naval power for protecting Chinese shipping, one way to reduce dependence on Malacca is to bring in energy supplies through South Asian states like Pakistan and Myanmar. The geopolitical location of Myanmar is suitable for China as pipelines built from Myanmar would reach directly to the Yunnan province in southern China (Kaplan 2011, 227). Therefore, China is ‘building and upgrading commercial and naval bases; constructing road, waterway, and pipeline links from Bay of Bengal to China’ (10). China’s quest for energy resources is inextricably tied to its national security and foreign policy interests, and therefore China’s forays in South Asia’s energy sector affect the regional politics and interests of India. China-Pakistan energy cooperation is a case in point. As part of its OBOR initiative, China is building the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which would involve investing about $46 billion in Pakistan (BBC 2015). It is noted that ‘CPEC is intended to promote connectivity across Pakistan with a network of highways, railways, and pipelines accompanied by energy, industrial, and other infrastructure development projects’ (Markey and West 2016). CPEC would link the Gwadar port of Pakistan

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to Kashgar in the Xinjiang region of China. CPEC includes energy projects that would cumulatively add up 17,100 MW of electricity in an electricity-starved Pakistan (Kiani 2018). Electricity projects in Pakistan and the proposed energy pipeline to China is likely to alter the geopolitics of energy in South Asia, and hence, if CPEC goes through as planned, India will find it difficult to access Central Asian energy (Kugelman 2018). Just like Pakistan, China has been actively building energy partnerships with Myanmar. China has built a pipeline from Myanmar to supply 260,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd) to a refinery in China’s Yunnan province. The 770-km-long pipeline cost $1.5 billion and took a decade to complete. Once fully operational, the pipeline will have a capacity of supplying 400,000 bpd which is about 5 percent of China’s oil demand. This oil pipeline will provide a direct route for oil supplies to China without crossing the Malacca straits (Reuters 2017). Similarly, as previously noted, China has built a 2000-km-long gas pipeline from Myanmar’s Rakhine province, which became operational in 2013. The pipeline was designed to carry 12 bcm of gas annually to China, and Myanmar would receive 2.5 bcm of gas (Shin 2013). It is interesting to compare pipeline projects envisaged by India and China. Pipelines from Myanmar and Pakistan to China are directed vertically and connect China’s interior regions to the Indian Ocean. Pipelines from Iran, Turkmenistan, and Myanmar are directed horizontally and connect India’s eastern and western border regions to energy-rich states on South Asia’s periphery. None of these pipelines envisaged for India have been completed so far, whereas Myanmar-China oil and gas pipelines are operational. Finally, pipelines from Pakistan and Myanmar are changing energy as well as geo-strategic realities around India, and consequently have serious implications for South Asian energy politics and connectivity. Prior to the China-built pipeline connecting the Yunnan province with the Bay of Bengal, Myanmar used to supply gas to Thailand. Now, along with Thailand, China has emerged as a major consumer of Myanmar’s gas. Therefore, the pertinent question is, how much gas will be left in Myanmar if India revives the MBI pipeline project to meet its own energy needs? If CPEC deepens India’s connectivity-related problems in accessing Central Asia, how will India overcome this situation and access energy from that region? These questions have serious consequences for India’s own energy security and foreign policy. Besides these pipelines and energy projects, China has been engaging with Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka in their energy sectors. In 2016, Chinese President Xi Jinping, during his visit to Bangladesh, announced plans to invest in building two coal-based power plants, each with 1,320 MW capacity. On account of these promised investments, for the first time, China’s energy cooperation with Bangladesh exceeded India and Bangladesh’s energy cooperation. India had agreed to assist Bangladesh in building two 1,320 MW power plants in 2009. However, Bangladesh has retreated from the second plant and is now ready to welcome Chinese investments. Bangladesh had also signed an

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agreement with China to cooperate in the field of renewable energy (Siddique 2016). Apart from China, Russia is engaging with Bangladesh by constructing two nuclear power plants, each with a 1,200 MW capacity. Indian companies are also participating in this project (PTI 2018). During the blockade of the southern border in 2015–16, Nepal turned to China for its energy needs (PTI 2018). Although, on account of geography, India is indispensable in Nepalese energy security calculations, energy cooperation between Nepal and China has been on the upswing in the last three years. In 2017, Nepal signed three pacts with China to further boost their energy cooperation and undertake a feasibility study to explore oil and natural gas in Nepal (Pradhan 2017). Nepal has recently formed a committee to implement its agreements with China in the energy sector. If these agreements were to be implemented, Nepal’s dependence on Indian energy supplies would come down (PTI 2018). Nepal has also been exploring the possibility of building oil storage facilities at three separate locations with Chinese assistance. In the last few years, Sri Lanka too has emerged as a major destination for Chinese investments in South Asia. Recently, Sri Lanka and China signed an agreement to construct a dendro power plant that will supply 70,000 MW of renewable energy to Sri Lanka’s national grid. It will be Sri Lanka’s largest dendro power plant (IANS 2018). China’s entry into South Asian energy politics raises serious concerns about its impact on South Asian regional energy security and connectivity. To date, regional and subregional cooperation in South Asia has been driven by and directed at India on account of its rising energy needs and growing economic capabilities. However, bureaucratic delays, slower implementation, and difficulties on account of politico-economic challenges have made it difficult to move forward on the agenda of South Asian regional energy cooperation. Progress, so far, has been slow and steady. However, China’s entry and capabilities to implement projects are new phenomena in South Asian energy politics, affecting energy- and security-related dynamics in India’s sphere of influence. Therefore, in these emerging dynamics, will India and China cooperate in satisfying a mutual concern like energy security, or will they compete with each other in influencing energy politics in the region? How will South Asian states respond to a techno-financially powerful energy partner like China? How far can China go in building infrastructure for its irresistible energy drive? Answers to some of these questions will determine the future course of action in South Asian regional energy cooperation.

Conclusion India’s former Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar had argued in 2005 that If we are able to stretch the proposed pipeline from Iran through Pakistan to India, right across India and through upper Myanmar into Southern China, Yunnan, then if Pakistan gets funny with us, the Chinese and we could get together and clobber them. I can’t think of more security for ourselves

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against whatever the Pakistanis might do than having the Chinese on our side and having the Iranians also on our side. (Aiyar 2005, 26) As of now, South Asia is yet to realise this dream of cross-border South Asian pipelines stretching from Iran into Southern China, creating a shared energy space and strategic geography. However, the intense competition between India and China for influencing the South Asia region would probably make realisation of this dream difficult. In fact, India now faces a formidable challenge mounted by China’s entry into South Asian regional energy politics. China is reshaping geostrategic and energy-related realities in the region as can be seen in the context of the China-Myanmar oil and gas pipeline. In the last few years, the need for and the advantages of South Asian energy cooperation have been acknowledged by regional policymakers and global development agencies. However, actual progress on that count has not been fast paced, and there is still a long way to go to build a regional electricity grid as it exists in Europe and in North America. Although all South Asian states have managed to provide access to modern forms of energy to increasing numbers of their populations, a large number of people still do not have adequate and clean sources of energy. To alleviate such problems related to affordable, assured, and sustainable energy access, regional energy cooperation is necessary. India has a major role to play in fostering South Asian regional energy cooperation. Over the years, India’s sustained economic growth has increased its capabilities to push for and contribute to the regional electricity grid and transnational energy pipeline network. Energy cooperation within the South Asian region and with states from neighbouring regions has necessitated that India go beyond the obvious national and regional boundaries. As a result, these efforts for acquiring greater energy supplies are promising to transcend and in turn reshape regional geography. Creation of the South Asian regional energy market and interdependent energy space would be able to push regional cooperation in other sectors of the economy as well. Energy-related cooperation at the regional and subregional levels through efforts like the CASA-1000 project and SASEC is a welcome development in a region long ravaged by war, insurgencies, poverty, and underdevelopment. If South Asia is able to transcend national differences, mutual suspicion, and build trust among each other, regional energy cooperation is not difficult to achieve. However, it requires an active push from less sceptical policymakers and more trustworthy institutions. Finally, whether South Asia will be able to bring about necessary and achievable regional energy cooperation, like Europe and Africa, remains a big question.

Notes 1 Very few countries in the world like South Korea and the US have shown such a trend. 2 The document is available at: icy-Documents/Energy_Sector_Policy_of_the_AfDB_Group.pdf

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3 Chukha (336 MW), Kurichhu (60 MW) and Tala (1020 MW). 4 Punatsangchhu  – I (1200 MW), Punatsangchhu  – II (1020 MW) and Mangdechhu – (720 MW). 5 Kholongchhu (600 MW), Bunakha (180 MW), Wangchhu (570 MW), and Chamkharchhu (770 MW). 6 SASEC brings together India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Maldives, and Sri Lanka ‘in a project-based partnership that aims to promote regional prosperity, improve economic opportunities, and build a better quality of life for the people of the subregion’. It is interesting to note that, since 2001, SASEC countries have implemented 49 regional projects worth over $10.74 billion in areas like energy, trade and information technology (ADB 2018).

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———. 2017b. “Nepal.” Accessed August 18, 2018. www.hydropower. org/country-profiles/nepal. Kambanda, Callixte. 2013. “Power Trade in Africa and the Role of Power Pools.” Accessed August 16, 2018. post/power-trade-in-africa-and-the-role-of-power-pools-12101/. Kaplan, Robert D. 2011. Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and the Future of American Power. Paperback. New York: Random House. Kiani, Khaleeq. 2018. “Energy Investments Under CPEC Shifted to Hydropower Sector.” Accessed August 22, 2018. Kugelman, Michael. 2018. “The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and Energy Geopolitics in Asia.” Accessed August  22, 2018. Markey, Daniel S., and James West. 2016. “Behind China’s Gambit in Pakistan.” Accessed August 22, 2018. McMillan, Joseph. 2008. Energy Security in South Asia: Can Interdependence Breed Stability? Washington, DC: Strategic Forum, Institute for National Strategic Studies, National Defense University. MEA. 2017a. “India-Bangladesh Relations.” Accessed August  21, 2018. ———. 2017b. “India-Nepal Relations.” Accessed August 20, 2018. http://mea. ———. 2018. “India-Bhutan Relations.” Accessed August 20, 2018. http://mea. PIB. 2014. “Saarc Countries Finalized Framework Agreement for Energy Cooperation.” pib., October 17. Accessed August 15, 2018. aspx?relid=110645. Pradhan, Shirish B. 2017. “Nepal, China Sign Three Pacts to Boost Energy, Economic Ties.” LiveMint, August 15. PTI. 2015. “TAPI Pipeline Worth $10 Billion Unlikely before 2020.” The Economic Times, July 10. ———. 2017. “India Should Revive IPI Gas Pipeline: Panel.” Accessed August  21, 2018. India-should-revive-IPI-gas-pipeline-panel.html. ———. 2018a. “India’s Oil Import Bill to Jump by 25% in FY18.” The Economic Times, March 26. ———. 2018b. “India, Russia, Bangladesh Sign Pact for Rooppur Atomic Plant.” Accessed August  22, 2018. India-Russia-Bangladesh-sign-pact-for-Rooppur-atomic-plant.html. ———. 2018c. “Nepal Forms Panel to Discuss Energy Cooperation with China.” The Week, August 22. Raines, Thomas, and Shane Tomlinson. 2016. “Europe’s Energy Union: Foreign Policy Implications for Energy Security, Climate and Competitiveness.” Research Paper, Chatham House, London. Reuters. 2017. “Beset by Delays, Myanmar-China Oil Pipeline Nears Start-up.” Accessed August  22, 2018. SAARC Energy Centre. 2013. “Energy Profile: Afghanistan.” Accessed August 18, 2018. Shin, Aung. 2013. “Controversial Pipeline Now Fully Operational.” Myanmar Times, October 27.

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Siddique, Abu Bakar. 2016. “China Has Overtaken India to Become Bangladesh’s Largest Energy Partner.” Accessed August  22, 2018. china-has-overtaken-india-to-become-bangladeshs-largest-energy-partner. Singh, Anoop, Tooraj Jamasb, Rabindra Nepal, and Michael Toman. 2015. “Cross-Border Electricity Co-operation in South Asia.” Policy Research Working Paper 7328, World Bank Group, Washington, DC. Srinivasan, N. 2005. “Energy Cooperation between India and Its Neighbouring Countries.” In Energy and Diplomacy, edited by I. P. Khosla, 45–65. New Delhi: Konark. Thandi, Daaman. 2013. “The Myanmar Pipedream: Myanmar-Bangladesh-India Pipeline.” Accessed August 22, 2018. Wijayatunga, Priyantha, and P. N. Fernando. 2013. “An Overview of Energy Cooperation in South Asia.” South Asia Working Paper Series, Asian Development Bank.

8 THE ECONOMIC BORDER A lens to understand cross-border trade and investment (non)cooperation in South Asia Monica Verma

I: Introduction South Asia is an interesting exception in world politics. It is the fastest-growing region in the world with a growth rate of close to 7% (World Bank 2018). At the same time, it is also the least integrated region in the world with intraregional trade comprising just 5% of the entire international trade undertaken by the regional economies (World Bank 2016). The region is a contiguous geographical area with physical features that sharply distinguish it from other regions. Despite this, the current status of the low level of economic integration in the region is an exceptional case, especially keeping the general trend of regional trade and investment agreements in view. In the immediate aftermath of independence, the South Asian countries, especially India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh (pre-1971, East Pakistan), were economically well-integrated, with intraregional trade accounting for 20% of their entire trade (World Bank 2004). The journey of the region from 20% intraregional trade to 5% intraregional trade has been full of the imposition of a series of barriers – physical barriers, tariff barriers, and non-tariff barriers. The aftermath of partition in 1947 led to the erection of not just political borders but economic borders as well in the form of these measures adopted by the South Asian economies.

II: Economic borders in South Asia Economic borders are defined as ‘totality of commercial policy’ followed by a state to protect its interests and economy (Soproni 2013). According to the neoliberal theory of economics, rigid economic borders as a characteristic of protectionist states adversely impact the welfare of these states as well as the welfare of the global economy as a whole. These economic borders are a mix of its custom policy (especially where it protects the internal market from foreign competition), tariff

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measures, and non-tariff measures such as import quotas, import licence, and technical measures such as sanitary, security, labelling, and standards and subsidies to exporters by a state (Soproni 2013). However, a dynamic understanding of economic borders may also include barriers to the flow of people as an economic border. According to Michael A. Clemens (2011), restrictive migration policies often act like a barrier more stringent than other types of economic borders that restrict the flow of trade and capital only. In fact, removal of barriers on labour mobility on a global scale has the potential to add gains in the range of 50–150% of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (Clemens 2011). The lack of adequate trading infrastructure between countries is also considered as an economic border as it affects the volume and time taken to undertake economic activities such as cross-border trade. According to a report by the World Trade Organization, most of the firms within a country operate at the scale of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), which are still missing from the debate over economic borders (WTO 2016). These SMEs are sensitive to trade-related infrastructure and are affected by high transaction costs, lack of connectivity, time taken by border compliance measures, and so on. In South Asia, the thickness of economic borders can be observed at various levels. The average tariff in the region in 2016 was 13.6%, which is more than double the world average of 6.3% (Kathuria 2018). According to the ease of doing business report (2019) prepared by the World Bank, South Asia is worse than all other regions in the world except Sub-Saharan Africa in terms of conducting its cross-border trade, with an average rank of 117 (Doing Business: South Asia 2019). Protectionism in terms of long sensitive lists under current regional trading arrangements, non-tariff barriers, high trading cost, and securitisation of labour mobility is the biggest obstacle preventing these countries from realising their trade potential of US$ 62 billion which can be US$ 43 billion more than their current trade at US$ 19 billion (Kathuria 2018). Here the case of the European Single Market is exemplary for the South Asian region. According to the empirical evidence available, removal of economic borders has led to a 8–9% higher-than-average GDP for the European Union (EU) region in the three decades of existence of a common market by boosting competition and innovation within the national economies (Veld 2019). There is evidence of lowering down of economic borders boosting growth in South Asia as well. In Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan, the number of people living on less than $1 a day was 462 million in 1990, which stood at 227 million people in 2015 due to extensive reforms that reduced their economic borders with the global economy (Friedman 2005). The bringing down of the economic borders has the potential to revive regionalism in the South Asian region because these borders are inhibiting growth in the respective economies by not allowing them to realise their actual trade potential (Batra 2012). Further, it will also boost South Asia’s interregional trade as well by improving connectivity with neighbouring regions such as Eastern Asia (Bose 2016). The political economy of economic cooperation in the region is now

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changing. The economic reforms have unleashed a process of growth in the region that cannot sustain without cooperating at the regional level. At the same time, the drivers of growth in the South Asian economies are also facing a number of challenges. These challenges include growing protectionism in their traditional markets in the West, waning of the liberal trade architecture at the international level, and non-availability of liberal terms of trade as a result of their increased rate of GDP growth. Along with these challenges, there are also several opportunities that have made cross-border trade and investment cooperation necessary to benefit from them. These include the rise of regional economies such as India and a growing recognition of its role as a driver of regional economic cooperation, the possibility of mega-regional or interregional economic cooperation, and also the option of subregional economic cooperation. The change in this political economy of crossborder trade and investment cooperation in South Asia has started to reflect in the increased investment in regional-level infrastructure, connectivity initiatives, value chains, economic corridors, and trade agreements.

III: The story so far: South Asia as the least integrated region in the world The economic history of South Asia becoming the least integrated region in the world can be explained by dividing it into three phases: the immediate aftermath of independence, existence as closed economies, and process of economic reforms. The first phase, that is the immediate aftermath of freedom, can be roughly considered as 1947–1950. During this time, South Asia existed economically as a very-much-integrated unit. The intraregional trade in the region stood at 20% of the entire trade (World Bank 2004). This phase was, however, short-lived as soon thereafter South Asia started disintegrating economically, with intraregional trade falling to just 4% of the entire trade in 1950 itself (World Bank 2004). This trend continued during the second phase as well. The second phase of the economic history of South Asia belongs to the existence of countries in the region as closed economies. During this phase, intraregional integration fell to a dismal level of 2% in 1967 (World Bank 2004). The choice of a closed import-substitution industrialisation model in South Asia led the states in the region to withdraw from their existing Asian and world trade, which also meant that the locus of Asia shifted towards East Asia where Asia increasingly started to mean just the eastern part of Asia minus the region of South Asia (P. B. Rana 2012a; Frost 2012). Meanwhile, politically South Asian countries had managed to form an association in the form of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) in 1985 after serious reservations from the two largest countries: India and Pakistan (Kumar 2005, 73–75; Muhammad 2017). The concern for the low level of intraregional trade and investment and use of the regional forum to liberalise trade in South Asia could not enter the agenda of these countries for another five years. The process of trade liberalisation in South Asia coincided with the

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process of economic liberalisation in the South Asian countries. During the 1990s, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and others embarked on a road to internal economic liberalisation with assistance from the Western economic institutions to open their economies to integration with the outside world. During the same period, a preferential trade agreement, South Asian Preferential Trade Agreement (SAPTA), and a free trade agreement, South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA), were signed between these countries in 1995 and 2004 respectively. The preferential trade agreement could not sufficiently liberalise intraregional trade as even after three rounds of trade negotiations, the proportion of intraregional imports covered by SAPTA preferences of individual member economies was not more than 12–39% (Batra 2015). The fourth round of SAPTA could not take place due to the military takeover in Pakistan and nuclear tests by India and Pakistan as a result of which SAPTA remained suspended until 2003. The SAPTA was replaced by a free trade agreement instead. The SAFTA was first proposed at the 8th SAARC Summit in New Delhi in 1995. However, the Framework Treaty for SAFTA was completed and formally launched at the 12th SAARC summit in Islamabad in January 2004 only. Despite the existence of a free trade agreement in the region, intraregional trade remains at just 5% of the entire trade. SAFTA failed to liberalise trade in the region, owing to a number of problems such as exclusion of services from the ambit of the agreement (Batra 2015), a large list of items on the negative list (Weerakoon and Thennakoon 2006), and the failure to bring down non-tariff barriers such as quotas, import licensing requirements, and anti-dumping measures down in the region (Kelegama 2015). The regional FTA has ended up only paying lip service to the goal of eventual trade liberalisation because protectionist tendencies, especially in the smaller economies, has meant that intraregional trade remains low (Dash 2008). The third phase of the economic history of South Asia is thus characterised by economic reforms but still low levels of regional trade and investment integration. During this phase, measures were taken to liberalise trade at the regional level, but still, intraregional trade remains low. The countries in the region as a consequence of economic reforms have integrated with the international market successfully. This is evident in the outward orientation of two major economies (i.e. India and Bangladesh). International trade (exports plus imports) as a percentage of India’s total GDP accounted for 40.6% in 2017, rising from 15.6% in 1990 (World Bank 2018). Likewise, in the case of Bangladesh as well, trade openness in terms of international trade as a percentage of GDP has increased from 18.9% in 1990 to 35.3% in 2017 (World Bank 2018). The axis of their outward orientation is focused on the Western markets. The top trading partners for Bangladesh are the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, and France, whereas India is the second largest import partner with a share of 12.24% after China (WITS 2015), whereas the European Union region is the top trading partner for India, accounting for 13.5% followed by China (10.8%), United States (9.3%), United Arab Emirates (7.7%), and Saudi Arabia (4.3%) (EU 2016). The contrasting picture of South Asia’s regional and international trade is stark. Bangladesh’s regional trade

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has doubled after economic reforms but remains stagnant at 11.6%, whereas India’s regional trade is a dismal 3% (Kathuria 2018). In all three phases of South Asia’s economic history since independence, regional trade has shown a downward trajectory, coming down from 20% in 1950 to 5% (World Bank 2004). Now, there are significant undercurrents in the political economy of South Asia, which are leading to renewed hopes for cross-border trade and investment cooperation. The next section discusses this transformation in detail.

IV: The changing political economy: threats and opportunities South Asia has emerged to be the fastest-growing region in the world. It has averaged an impressive real GDP growth rate of 6% over the last 20 years (Webb and Wijeweera 2015). Several major changes in South Asia’s political economy have lent a renewed impetus to cross-border trade and investment cooperation. This transformation is set to bring new opportunities, but it is disguised in the form of threats to the existing economic growth process in South Asia. This section notes these threats which are also signalling the availability of new avenues for countries in the region: Contraction of demand in traditional markets: Currently, a strong focus of South Asian economies has been on the Western markets as their traditional markets for exports. After opening their economies to external trade, these countries have integrated with the extra-regional markets in the West at a faster pace than with markets within the region. As a result, they have narrow export baskets with a low level of complementarity in terms of intraregional trade. This is a major reason why SAFTA could not take off to liberalise trade significantly in the region. But now demand in traditional markets for South Asian exports is contracting. The reason for the low level of demands is a slowdown in advanced economies and, as a result, a rising standard of trade protectionism. South Asia has become a region where exports are intrinsic to its growth. In 2013, the exports-to-GDP ratio of South Asia had overtaken that of Latin America and the Caribbean (World Bank 2014). At the same time, the countries in the region have started focusing on diversifying their export basket in terms of both products and trading partners. As a developing region, South Asia is the most diversified region in terms of exports, next to only Europe and Central Asia (World Bank 2014). With a growing dependence on exports, the slowdown in the advanced economies has come as a significant challenge to the growth process of economies in the South Asian region. The slowdown is not a temporary phenomenon. In fact, taking history as a guide, slow growth, high unemployment, and expanding pockets of deprivation are set to become a more permanent feature of the advanced economies with an impending threat of protectionism (UNCTAD 2011). There is a recognition of the growing protectionism in developed economies in emerging economies in the region such as India as well. It has traditionally placed hopes for sustained growth

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in Western markets but now will not be able to increase its exports at a rate of 25% if the developed economies continue to turn inward (PTI 2017). This has brought a renewed focus on South-South trade cooperation. This cooperation aims at deeper economic linkages where there is an emphasis on South-South integration supported by regional-level policy coordination and expansion of regional-level infrastructure to initiate a new stage of development-led globalisation (UNCTAD 2011). The contraction in demand in the Western markets has led to discomfort in other developing regions such as Latin America as well, which is now focusing on the regional market integration to sustain the current level of economic growth (Bown et al. 2017). The same prescription is also available to South Asia. According to the World Bank, these countries have been able to place themselves on a higher trajectory of growth due to linkages with the global economy, but now the challenge is to replicate the same ties at the regional level to sustain this growth (World Bank 2010). Waning of the multilateral trade architecture: A trend parallel to the contraction of demand in the traditional markets for South Asian exports is the trend of a decline in the multilateral trade architecture. This is evident in the failure of the Doha round of the WTO (Ismail 2012). The reasons for the waning of the multilateral trade negotiations are many. These include the rise of large emerging economies such as China, India, and Brazil, which has also led to a stalemate at the multilateral trade negotiations due to issues with agenda-setting as well as arriving at a consensus (Staiger 2018; Drezner 2013). Besides this, the old process of trade liberalisation has also been left redundant due to the change in technology leading to a shift towards production networks or value chains at both global and regional levels (Hoekman 2014). The focus has thus moved from trade liberalisation at the international level to strategies at the regional level to boost trade. The new narrative of mega-regional trade deals is as dominant in the epistemic community of policymakers and researchers as ‘Washington Consensus’ once was during the late 1980s and 1990s (Ismail F 2017). The mega-regional trade blocs have also caught the interest of the major emerging powers such as India and China who are contemplating regional-level alliances because of the failure of the Doha round (Lawrence, Williams, and Draper 2015). Both China and India have launched their versions of regional-level trade cooperation. China is investing its energies in the One Belt One Road Initiative, whereas India is also laying a strong emphasis on the promotion of FTAs with immediate neighbours in South Asia (Sengupta 2017). The focus of the world trading community is shifting from multilateral to regionallevel architecture. This has unleashed the potential of a number of existing regional frameworks and at the same time has provided an opening to new regional trading agreements that are being negotiated. India’s growing economy and willingness to be the leading driver of regional integration: India is the largest country by population and economy in the region. Its influence traverses on to a global level with it being the only South Asian state to have ‘won the epithet’ of a ‘near superpower’ as the only G20

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economy from the region (Burki 2011). There is widespread recognition of India’s regional role as a driver of regional integration (Batra 2012; Sharma 2009; Kumar and Singh 2009; Taneja and Sawhney 2007; Ram 2009). However, there is also a belief that India has not been forthcoming in accepting this responsibility (Dubey 2007). Thus, there is an expectation that India must play a role in the South Asian regional integration project, which is similar to the one played by Germany in Europe, the U.S. in NAFTA, and the People’s Republic of China in the Greater Mekong Subregion and Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (Burki 2011). This raises a question regarding India’s response to these expectations. There is a trend emerging in the Indian policy-making establishment where, with growing economic might, India is also approaching its role in regional integration projects more seriously than before. Immediately after the economic reforms, India altered its regional policy to one that is based on principles of non-reciprocity, keeping its asymmetrical capabilities into account. The Gujral Doctrine stressed on unilateral concessions to the neighbourhood countries (Gordon 2010). Further, as a consequence of the Manmohan Doctrine that emphasised on sharing benefits of economic growth with the neighbours, India announced that it would open its market to the Least Developed Countries without insisting on reciprocity and further reduced the SAFTA sensitive list in respect of these countries (Yhome and Maini 2017). The same emphasis on keeping regional-level commitments as a priority has also led the Modi government to implement a ‘Neighbourhood First Policy’ (Bhatnagar and Passi 2016). An element of healthy self-interest is also involved in India’s current neighbourhood policy, as it is well aware of the fact that the challenge to its global ambitions with a rise in financial capability can come from regional-level instability as it might hamper the growth process itself (Saran 2006). This growing recognition reflects in India’s foreign policy where it knows it cannot prosper alone until the region is stable and prosperous with the help of external connections and reliance on internal collective strength (Menon 2017). Changed attitude of the smaller economies: The growing willingness in India to play a serious role as the driver of regional integration is a welcome development. This change is further supported by a desire of the smaller economies in the region to cooperate with India and prioritise regional integration in their economic policy mix. Traditionally, India’s dominance has been viewed as an obstacle to regional integration. There has been a tendency of the smaller economies to erect tariff and non-tariff barriers to protect their domestic economies from Indian products (Tripathi 2014). In fact, an anti-India bias is so well-entrenched in these economies, especially Pakistan, that they are willing to procure goods from outside the region at much exorbitant costs than buying locally (Pasha and Imran 2015). However, in the past few years, there has been a change in the attitude of these economies towards India, specifically and towards regional integration in general due to reasons that are both domestic and external. A strong domestic compulsion for sound regional policy is being faced by Bangladesh. It is set to graduate from

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the Least Developing Country (LDC) status by 2021. It has set ambitious developmental targets for itself by eyeing a growth rate of 10% by 2021 to become a middle-income country (Bangladesh Government 2012). The graduation of the country from LDC status coupled with a developmental target of achieving an even higher growth rate has made the regional-level linkages important for Bangladesh. Deeper regional integration with its neighbours would help Bangladesh in generating and sustaining economic growth to ensure poverty alleviation and employment creation (Raihan and Ashraf 2017). The growing reliance within Bangladesh on regional trade and investment is convergent with India’s rising interest in its neighbourhood. Both the neighbours are cooperating within a subregional and bilateral framework. The growing India-Bangladesh economic relationship and their financial performance have also led to serious concerns in Pakistan, where there is a worry that Pakistan is condemned to be the ‘sick man’ of South Asia forever (Amjad and Burki 2015). The enthusiasm towards India’s growth story can also be witnessed in Sri Lanka where 50% of Indian investments in SAARC countries are located in Sri Lanka (Waduge 2011). However, the official push by India in Sri Lanka towards increased economic cooperation has a chance of backfiring due to Sri Lanka’s precarious economic situation as there is a growing tendency in the country to lobby against trade liberalisation with India (Kadirgamar 2016). However, the possibility of gains by increasing linkages with the Indian economy exists as a popular sentiment in South Asia. This cooperation is set to translate into increased cross-border trade and investment in the region. Rise of the East: The trend of South Asia emerging as the fastest-growing region in the world is accompanied by another much larger trend which is affecting the entire world. This is the trend of the shift in the axis of the global economy from the West to the East (Quah 2011). While the growth rate has slowed down to 2.5% in the European Union and 2.3% in the United States, Asian emerging economies are growing at a rate of more than 5% on average (Petroff 2018; OECD Development Centre 2018). The resurgence of the East in the global economic system has led to growing talks for a Pan-Asian regionalism where South Asia is envisaged as integrating with East Asia in what can be a plausible example of mega-regionalism (Rana 2012b). Convergence in South Asian economies towards this trend can already be found where, since the 1990s, almost all the countries in South Asia are forging ‘Look East’ policies by signing FTAs and building infrastructural links with East Asia (Francois et al. 2011). This is however paradoxical that as individual nations, South Asian economies are ‘jealously’ protecting their resources and trade within South Asia, but almost all the countries are connecting with areas to the southeast (Talbot 2016). This protectionism is not tenable because, in order to benefit from PanAsian regionalism, South Asian countries will need to integrate internally before forging ties with the region to its east (Chandra and Kumar 2008). East Asian countries are better integrated with the global production value chains than South

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Asia (Sen 2014). South Asian countries are showing much eagerness to join these value chains. However, it cannot happen without credible regional integration in South Asia. Regional connectivity in the region is a huge impediment to the linking of the region with the global production networks. Unless the cost of trading within South Asia does not come down, it will be difficult for the regional economies to become a part of global value chains (Kimura and Umekazi 2010).

V: Ways to counter economic borders As a result of the trends discussed earlier, the emerging picture of cross-border trade and investment cooperation in South Asia is now changing. Countries in the region are focusing on lowering down economic borders with each other by bringing down tariffs, improving physical connectivity, and reducing the time and cost of undertaking cross-border trade. The same can be observed by assessing parallel trends of subregional and bilateral economic cooperation in South Asia. Subregionalism: An emerging contour of cross-border trade and investment cooperation in South Asia is the idea of subregional economic cooperation. There was a tectonic shift in India’s attitude towards regional economic cooperation after the economic reforms that can be observed right from the Gujral Doctrine and has continued under the Modi Doctrine as well. India’s willingness to extend cooperation to regional economies even on a unilateral basis was getting delayed due to political obstructions, leading it to undertake a subregional approach to regional integration (Yhome and Maini 2017). Initially, there was opposition to subregional cooperation in South Asia. Besides Sri Lanka and Pakistan showing reservations on the grounds that it will undermine the spirit of SAARC, the setting up of the South Asia Growth Quadrangle (SAGQ) in 1996, which has now assumed the form of the Bangladesh Bhutan India Nepal (BBIN) initiative, also witnessed protests by the ruling Bangladeshi National Party (BNP) in Bangladesh and the opposition party, United Marxist and Leninist Party in Nepal (Pattanaik 2016). This is despite there being a provision for subregional cooperation even within the framework of SAARC where there is a provision to set up action committees with more than two member states but not all member states for implementation of certain projects (SAARC Charter 1985). The initial opposition finally died down, and the BBIN initiative supported by the Asian Development Bank under the South Asian Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) framework started making progress. One of the important focus areas of the BBIN initiative is to transform transport corridors into economic corridors such that intraregional trade in South Asia grows by 60% and with the rest of the world by 30% (Pattanaik 2016). The states in South Asia have finally warmed up to the idea of ableism. They are using subregional initiatives to overcome the bottlenecks of SAARC such that substantial initiatives towards integration can progress through other platforms (Singh 2018). One can also observe a marked change in India’s own approach to ableism. The Gujral Doctrine stressed on cooperative ableism, where it also envisaged a role

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carved out for Pakistan with India’s own Punjab and Pakistan’s Sindh and a part of Rajasthan being treated as an economic entity (Frontline 1997), whereas the Modi government’s approach is to cold-shoulder Pakistan so that it comes around on its own. His idea is to build sub-SAARC networks that can exhibit benefits of regional integration to those who have chosen to stay outside and may join at a later date (Malik 2016). With this political background, the emerging architecture of ableism in South Asia is a concise response to all the trends in the changing political economy of the region. The subregional initiative launched by Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal, known as the BBIN initiative, is a case in point. It is an example of India’s rising economy and as a result an increase in the level of commitment towards the South Asian region. At the same time, the BBIN initiative focuses on connectivity in the region such that sustained economic activity between the member states can be built around it. It is also an appropriate response to the rise of the east. The increase in the growth rate of economies in Asia as compared to the slowdown in the West has also translated into economic cooperation between these drivers of world growth in South and Southeast Asia. The BBIN initiative is focused on becoming an effective link between these two regions. ‘Road and Rails’ to regional connectivity: The BBIN initiative is focused on the eastern subregion of South Asia that includes countries situated on the eastern flank of India- Bhutan, Bangladesh, and Nepal. Bhutan and Nepal, due to their landlocked status, have traditionally been dependent on India for their external trade. It is also the growing economic relationship between India and Bangladesh that underpins the need for regional connectivity in the region. India, as the largest economy of the four BBIN countries is investing in upgrading infrastructure such as roads, reviving historical rail links which were lying defunct till now, and forging new links such as inland waterways to boost physical connectivity in the region. Table 8.1, which follows, summarises a few key projects started by India: A Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA) was signed on 15 June  2015 between these countries for effectively transporting goods among them in order to avoid procedural delays and infrastructural bottlenecks by directly allowing movement of vehicles across the border (Cuts International 2016). This MVA is particularly fruitful for the landlocked economies in the region. On one hand, India itself is set to gain access to its own Northeast through Bangladesh’s territory; it will also be beneficial for Nepal and Bhutan as they will get a gateway to global markets via Chittagong (Mukherjee 2015). Currently, goods across these countries are transhipped where trucks belonging to the receiver country carry them over the border into the internal territory. This is anyway a time-consuming process with exorbitant costs involved. The MVA agreement has the potential to cut time and cost and at the same time curb informal trade in the region, which is estimated to be almost equal to the amount of formal trade (Pal 2016). The efforts to boost regional-level connectivity are not limited to the motor vehicles agreement only. In what is a welcome step towards increased peopleto-people contact, bus services have been launched between India, Nepal, and

The economic border  117 TABLE 8.1  A glance at India-led projects to improve connectivity in the BBIN subregion


Nature of project

Countries involved

BBIN Road Connectivity Initiative (upgrading 558 km of road link with funding assistance from Asian Development Bank) Rail link between Haldibari-Chilahati, Agartala-Akhaura, ShahbazpurMahisasan Singhabad-Rohanpur rail link (transit facility to Nepal via Chittagong Port) Burimari-Changrabandha corridor (transit facility to Bhutan) Haldia-Padma-Brahmaputra waterway freight corridor to connect Northeastern states with Bangladesh Rail link between Janakpur-Jay Nagar, Raxaul-Kathmandu (electric), New Jalpaiguri-Kakarbhitta, NautanwaBhairahawa, Nepalgunj RoadNepalgunj Phuentsholing-Thimphu Road Link connecting Bhutan border town with capital of Bhutan

Land transport

Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal

Rail transport


Rail transport

Bangladesh, Nepal

Rail transport

Bangladesh, Bhutan

Water transport


Rail transport


Road transport


Bangladesh. Services are also available between Delhi-Kathmandu, VaranasiKathmandu, Kolkata-Agartala via Dhaka, and Guwahati-Dhaka and will soon become operational between Delhi-Pokhara in Nepal (Mukherjee 2015). Transport corridor to economic corridor: The central idea behind increasing regional connectivity in the region is to build economic corridors around these transport corridors. According to the joint statement issued during the signing of the Motor Vehicles Agreement, there is a huge potential to turn transport corridors into economic corridors in this subregion, which will lead to a 60% increase in intraregional trade and 30% in the rest of the world trade (Press Information Bureau 2015). The transport minister of India Nitin Gadkari also alluded to the possibility of MVA becoming an ‘overarching framework’ to achieve regional integration and development by facilitating easy movement of people and goods (Press Information Bureau 2015). An interesting aspect of regional connectivity acting as an anchor for regional integration is the possibility that it creates for regional-level value chains. A report by ATKearney and FICCI (2016) has identified potential for such production networks in the region, specifically in sectors such as plastic goods, cement, petroleum, textiles, and food processing. For example, in the plastic goods sector, the process of value adding can be divided into upstream and downstream. Upstream involves cracking petroleum to create polymers. Downstream

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involves manufacturing plastic goods using these polymers. India’s Northeast is rich in crude oil and other related natural resources. It can effectively undertake the upstream function of the plastic goods value chain. Bangladesh can effectively execute the downstream function because it already has a healthy plastic goods industry, raw material for which is procured from outside the region. The increased regional connectivity between India and Bangladesh has made such a value chain possible because of reduced cost and time to trade between the two (ATKearney and FICCI 2016). Gateway to the East: The growing subregional economic cooperation between BBIN countries is a smaller size of a much bigger pie. The subregional cooperation has been envisaged as a link between the two much larger regions of South and Southeast Asia as the economic weightage of countries in the global east is increasingly overshadowing the ones in the global west (Mishra 2015). This is evident in the statement of Indian policymakers as well. According to the Indian Prime Minister, the ‘Act East’ policy of India starts right from Bangladesh (ANI 2014). The growing connectivity between India and countries to its east can also help these countries in seamless integration with the Association of South East Asian (ASEAN) group of countries. The connectivity initiatives in this subregion are complementary to Pan-Asian connectivity initiatives such as the Asian Highway project (ATKearney and FICCI 2016).

VI: Transcending borders: the bilateral approach As a result of the changing political economy of trans-border trade and investment cooperation in South Asia, bilateral relationships are also strengthening. This bilateral approach to trade and investment cooperation has certainly outdone regional approaches to economic cooperation. Unlike SAFTA which suffers from the problem of a large negative list, protectionist attitude, and non-tariff barriers, bilateral treaties such as the free trade agreement between India and Sri Lanka (ISLFTA) have been able to liberalise trade between the two countries in a more effective manner. Only 14% of Sri Lanka’s exports are covered by India’s sensitive list under ISLFTA, compared to nearly 42% under SAFTA (UNCTAD and ADB 2015). Another example of the growing bilateral economic relationship is IndiaBangladesh economic relations. An agreement on coastal shipping was signed between India and Bangladesh in 2015 that seeks to promote two-way trade through ports after the maritime boundary issue between the two was successfully settled (Padmaja 2016). The growing bilateral trade between the two countries has choked the roads on the India-Bangladesh border (Mukherjee 2015). Transportation costs of cargo anyway are more exorbitant through roadways. It is not economically viable to use large cargo vessels to transport goods between Indian and Bangladeshi ports (MI News Network 2016). However, with the signing of the agreement, movement of river sea vessels is possible between the two countries. As a result, freight cost is expected to go down significantly.

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The enhanced regional connectivity between the two countries is a function of enhanced trade and investment cooperation according to the officials in the Indian government (Mukherjee 2015). The cost of negotiating multiple and overlapping agreements such as the SAFTA, ISLFTA, and Pakistan-Sri Lanka FTA is higher; however, due to a lack of progress in the multilateral trade agreements such as SAFTA, it is still wise to work within a bilateral framework (Kelegama 2014). For now, the bilateral approach is working well even in the domain of investments. As the largest economy, India is actively using the bilateral framework to promote infrastructural development in South Asia. It has extended a $1.8-billion credit line to Bangladesh and a $1 billion credit line to Nepal for the same (Pattanaik 2016). Air connectivity is also another area where a bilateral approach is helping lower down economic borders in South Asia. Sri Lanka has become the only South Asian country to have signed an open skies agreement with India where the two have mutually agreed to increase the number of flights and destination cities (PTI 2016). Similarly, Bangladesh is revising its air services agreement with India to allow more flights between the two countries in order to match pace with the increasing number of flyers in this sector (Aeropolitical Updates 2017).

Conclusion The changing political economy of the South Asian region is marked by a transformation in regional economies’ attitude towards cross-border trade and investment cooperation. India has emerged as the leading driver of this cooperation as it is committing its resources and providing policy guidance in the form of subregional and bilateral trade, investments, and connectivity initiatives. At the same time, smaller economies such as Bangladesh, Nepal, and Bhutan are also showing interest in these initiatives due to their own domestic imperatives. There is a hope that this subregional and bilateral-level cooperation may gain enough traction to attract other states such as Pakistan to make serious commitments to regional economic cooperation. The political borders are a reality with which the region has been compelled to live, but the cost of economic borders in the region is high. These borders cannot be sustained anymore in view of the changing political economy of regional integration in South Asia. The process of economic growth in the respective economies has taken off well, but now there is a need for these countries to shed their protectionist attitude towards each other.

References Aeropolitical Updates. 2017. “Bangladesh, India Discuss Open Skies Agreement.” Aeropolitical, April. Amjad, Rashid, and Shahid Javed Burki. 2015. Pakistan: Moving the Economy Forward. New Delhi: Cambridge University Press.

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ANI. 2014. “Act East Policy starts from Bangladesh.” ANI News. Accessed 2016. www.aninews. in/newsdetail2/story196480/act-east-policy-starts-with-bangladesh-pm-modi.html. ATKearney and FICCI. 2016. Connectivity-led Development of Northeast India Through BBIN Corridor, Report. New Delhi: ATKearney and FICCI. Bangladesh Government. 2012. “Perspective Plan of Bangladesh 2010–2021: Making Vision 2021 A  Reality.” April. Accessed May  2017. files/files/ tive-Plan-of-Bangladesh.pdf. Batra, Amita. 2012. Regional Economic Integration in South Asia: Trapped in Conflict. New Delhi: Routledge. ———. 2015. “SAARC and Economic Cooperation.” India International Centre Quarterly 41 (3/4): 50–60. Bhatnagar, Aryaman, and Ritika Passi. 2016. Neighbourhood First: Navigating Ties Under Modi. New Delhi: ORF and Global Policy Journal. Bose, P. R. 2016. “Lack of Connectivity Hits Inter-Regional Trade in South Asia: UNESCAP Official.” The Hindu Business Line, August 26. Accessed September 12, 2018. www. Bown, Chad P., Daniel Lederman, Samuel Pienknagura, and Raymond Robertson. 2017. Better Neighbors: Toward a Renewal of Economic Integration in Latin America. Washington, DC: World Bank. Burki, Shahid Javed. 2011. South Asia in the New World Order: The Role of Regional Cooperation. London: Routledge. Chandra, R., and R. Kumar. 2008. South Asian Integration: Prospects and Lessons from East Asia, Report. New Delhi: ICIER. Clemens, Michael A. 2011. “Economics and Emigration: Trillion-Dollar Bills on the Sidewalk?” Journal of Economic Perspectives 25 (3): 83–106. Cuts International. 2016. “Project Background: BBIN.” Accessed 2018. www.cuts-interna Dash, Kishore C. 2008. Regionalism in South Asia: Negotiating Cooperation, Institutional Structures. Oxon: Routledge. Doing Business. 2019. Doing Business: South Asia, Report. Washington, DC: World Bank. Drezner, D. W. 2013. The End of Multilateral Trade?. Foreign Policy Accessed 2018. http:// Dubey, Muchkund. 2007. “SAARC and South Asian Economic Integration.” Economic and Political Weekly 42 (14): 1238–40. EU. 2016. “Countries and Regions.” European Commission. Accessed 2018. http://ec.europa. eu/trade/policy/countries-and-regions/countries/india/. Friedman, Thomas L. 2005. The World is Flat: The Globalized World in the Twenty-First Century. London: Penguin. Francois, J., P. B. Rana, and G. Wigneraja. 2011. National Strategies for Regional Integration: South and East Asian Case Studies. London: Anthem Press. Frontline. 1997. “India in a changing world.” Frontline. fl1416/14160130.htm. Frost, Ellen L. 2012. “Restoring the Links: Historical Perspectives on South Asia-East Asia Relations.” In Renaissance of Asia: Evolving Economic Relations Between South Asia and East Asia, edited by Pradumna B. Rana, 51–73. Singapore: World Scientific. Gordon, S. 2010. “Benevolent’ Giant Shackled in Quest for Regional Power.” Asian Currents. Accessed 2018. uploads/2015/10/asiancurrents10–10.pdf.

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Hoekman, B. 2014. Supply Chains, Mega-Regionals and Multilateralism: A Road Map for the WTO. European University Institute Working Papers RCAS 2014/27. Fiesole: Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies. Ismail, F. 2012. “Is the Doha Round Dead? What Is the Way Forward?” World Economy 13 (3). ———. 2017. “The Changing Global Trade Architecture: Implications for Africa’s Regional Integration and Development.” Journal of World Trade 51 (1): 1–22. Kadirgamar, Ahilan. 2016. “Why India’s Big Push for Economic Cooperation in Lanka May Backfire.” The Wire, May  11. Accessed July  28, 2018. why-indias-big-push-for-economic-cooperation-in-lanka-may-backfire. Kathuria, Sanjay. 2018. A Glass Half Full: The Promise of Regional Trade in South Asia, Report. Washington, DC: World Bank. Kelegama, Saman. 2014. The India – Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement and the Proposed Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement: A Closer Look, ADB Working Paper No. 458. Manila: ADB Institute. ———. 2015. “Changing Face: The Trials and Fortunes of Regional Cooperation Under SAARC.” India International Centre Quarterly (India International Centre Quarterly) 41 (3/4): 33–49. Kimura, F., and S. Umekazi. 2010. ASEAN  – India Connectivity: The Comprehensive Asia Development Plan, ERIA Research Project Report No. 7. Tokyo: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia. Kumar, Ranjit. 2005. South Asian Union: Problems, Possibilities and Prospects, 73–75. New Delhi: Manas Publication. Kumar, R., and M. Singh. 2009. India’s Role in South Asia Trade and Investment Integration. Report. Manila: Asian Development Bank. Lawrence, Robert, Albert L. Williams, and Peter Draper. 2015. “Is an Inclusive Trading System Possible? Mega Regionals and Beyond.” In The High and Low Politics of Trade August 2015 Can the World Trade Organization’s Centrality Be Restored in a New Multi-Tiered Global Trading System? Edited by WEF, 26–27. Davos: World Economic Forum. Malik, Ashok. 2016. “India’s Neighbourhood Policy Through the Decades.” In Neighbourhood First: Navigating Ties Under Modi, edited by A. Bhatnagar and Ritika Passi, 14–21. New Delhi: ORF and Global Policy Journal. Menon, Shivshankar. 2017. “Brace Yourself, South Asia’s Geopolitics Is Becoming More Complex, Less Stable.” The Wire, June  7. Accessed July  27, 2018. diplomacy/india-south-asia-geopolitics-shivshankar-menon. MI News Network. 2016. “India And Bangladesh Sign Standard Operating Procedure to Operationalize Agreement on Coastal Shipping.” Marine Insight, December 29. Accessed July 30, 2018. Mishra, Rahul. 2015. BBIN: A New Tool in India’s Subregional Diplomacy, Policy Brief. New Delhi: Indian Council of World Affairs. Muhammad, I. 2017. “This is How the Dream of Regional Integration Become a Reality in South Asia.” Journal of Political Sciences & Public Affairs 5 (2). Mukherjee, Sharmistha. 2015. “New Economic Corridors: India on Road to Redefine Trade Ties with South Asian Neighbours.” The Indian Express, November 8. Accessed July 30, 2018. OECD Development Centre. 2018. “Economic Outlook for Southeast Asia, China and India 2018.” OECD.

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Padmaja, G. 2016. “Coastal Shipping Could Propel Ties Between India and Bangladesh.” The Wire, June  21. Accessed July  3, 2018. coastal-shipping-could-reinvigorate-bilateral-ties-between-india-and-bangladesh. Pal, Parthapratim. 2016. Intra-BBIN Trade: Opportunities and Challenges, Issue Brief. New Delhi: Observer Research Foundation. Pasha, Hafiz A., and Muhammad Imran. 2015. “The Prospects for Indo-Pakistan Trade.” In Pakistan: Moving the Economy Forward, edited by Rashid Amjad and Shahid Javed Burki, 311–31. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pattanaik, Smruti S. 2016. “Sub-regionalism as New Regionalism in South Asia: India’s Role.” Strategic Analysis 40 (3): 210–17. Petroff, Alanna. 2018. “Europe’s Economy Grew Faster Than the U.S. Last Year.” CNN, January 30. Accessed July 30, 2018. gdp-europe-economy-2017/index.html. Press Information Bureau. 2015. “India, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh Sign a Landmark Motor Vehicles Agreement for Seamless Movement of Road Traffic Among Four SAARC Countries in Thimpu.” Press Information Bureau, Government of India, June 15. Accessed July 31, 2018. PTI. 2016. “Aviation: India Inks Pacts with Sri Lanka, Five Other Countries.” The Economic Times, December 15. Accessed June 13, 2019. industry/transportation/airlines-/-aviation/aviation-india-inks-pacts-with-sri-lankafive-other-countries/articleshow/56005798.cms?from=mdr. ———. 2017. “Protectionist West Can Have a Big Impact on India: CEA Arvind Subramanian.” Firstpost. Accessed 2018. Quah, Danny. 2011. “The Global Economy’s Shifting Centre of Gravity.” Global Policy 2 (1): 3–9. Raihan, Selim, and Fayeza Ashraf. 2017. Review of Bangladesh’s Engagement in Preferential Trading Arrangements, Country Study Series No. 1. Bangkok: UNESCAP. Ram, A. N. 2009. “SAARC in a Globalised Era—Imperatives and Opportunities.” India Quarterly 65 (4): 441–451. Rana, Pradumna B. 2012a. “Introduction and Summary.” In Renaissance of Asia: Evolving Economic Relations Between South Asia and East Asia, edited by Pradumna B. Rana, 1–12. Singapore: World Scientific. Rana, Pradumna B. 2012b. “Regional Economic Integration in Asia.” In Renaissance of Asia: Evolving Economic Relations Between South Asia and East Asia, edited by Pradumna B. Rana, 13–50. Singapore: World Scientific. SAARC Charter. 1985. “SAARC Charter.” SAARC official website. Accessed 2017. www. Saran, Shyam. 2006. “Connectivity as India’s Neighborhood Policy.” Himal. Accessed 2017. Sen, Kunal. 2014. Global Production Networks and Economic Corridors: Can They Be Drivers for South Asia’s Growth and Regional Integration? ADB South Asia Working Paper No. 33. Manila: ADB. Sengupta, Jayshree. 2017. “Is WTO relevant to India?” Observer Research Foundation. Accessed 2018. Sharma, N. L. 2009. “India and Regional Integration in South Asia: Hope for Greater Asian Cooperation.” The Indian Journal of Political Science 70 (3): 907–917. Singh, M. 2018. “SAARC for Geopolitical Symbolism: Whither Multilateralism?” South Asian Survey 23 (1): 1–16.

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Soproni, Luminita. 2013. The Economic Borders in the Age of Globalization, MPRA Paper No. 45987. Munich: University of Munich. Staiger, R. W. 2018. Is Multilateralism Dead? Trade in the era of Trump. Accessed 2018. https:// Talbot, I. 2016. A History of Modern South Asia: Politics, States, Diaspora. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. Taneja, N., and A. Sawhney. 2007. Revitalising SAARC Trade: India’s Role at 2007 Summit. Economic and Political Weekly XLII (13): 1081–1084. Tripathi, Amitava. 2014. “The Future of Regional Co-operation: A South Asian Perspective.” Indian Foreign Affairs Journal 9 (3): 280–88. UNCTAD. 2011. South-South Integration is Key to Rebalancing the Global Economy. Geneva: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. UNCTAD, and ADB. 2015. Impact of Trade and Industrial Policies on South Asia, Report. Manila: United Nations and Asian Development Bank. Veld, Jan in ‘t. 2019. Quantifying the Economic Effects of the Single Market in a Structural Macromodel, Discussion Paper 094. Brussels: European Commission. Waduge, Shenali. 2011. “Dangers of India’s Business in Sri Lanka.” Sri Lanka Guardian. August. Webb, Matthew J., and Albert Wijeweera. 2015. The Political Economy of Conflict in South Asia. London: Palgrave Macmillan. Weerakoon, Dushni, and Jayanthi Thennakoon. 2006. “SAFTA: Myth of Free Trade.” Economic and Political Weekly 41 (37). WITS. 2015. “Bangladesh: At a Glance.” World Integrated Trade Solution, World Bank. https:// World Bank. 2004. Trade Policies in South Asia: An Overview, Report No. 29929. Washington, DC: World Bank. ———. 2010. World Bank South Asia Economic Update 2010: Moving Up, Looking East, Report. Washington, DC: The World Bank. ———. 2014. South Asia Economic Focus 2014: The Export Opportunity. Washington, DC: World Bank. ———. 2016. “The Potential of Intra-regional Trade for South Asia.”, May 24. Accessed September 25, 2016. the-potential-of-intra-regional-trade-for-south-asia. ———. 2018. “Trade (% of GDP).” World Bank. NE.TRD.GNFS.ZS. WTO. 2016. Levelling the Trading Field for SMEs, Report. Geneva: World Trade Organization. Yhome, K., and Tridivesh Singh Maini. 2017. “India’s Evolving Approach to Regionalism: SAARC and Beyond.” Rising Powers Quarterly 2 (3): 147–65.



9 PARADOX OF DEVELOPMENT Emerging changes and contestations among Tawang Monpas in Arunachal Pradesh Sourina Bej and Nasima Khatoon

I: Introduction Arunachal Pradesh is the largest state in India’s Northeastern region in terms of territory. Sharing 1,746km of boundary with the neighbouring countries of Bhutan, China (Tibet), and Myanmar, Arunachal Pradesh has been the first line of defence and the heart of any bilateral conflict between India and China. This unique geographical location of Arunachal Pradesh vis-à-vis other states in Northeast India has led the central government to pursue combined security and developmental policies in the state as part of its nation-building programme. This in turn addressed the infrastructural deficit in the state and also helped the central government to lay claim to its frontiers subject to bilateral territorial dispute. The border districts in Arunachal Pradesh, like Changlang, Tirap, Dibang, Anjaw, and Tawang, make for unique case studies. Their extended historical narrative with the bordering countries and a vibrant cultural past now regimented due to inter-state border conflicts or insurgency are the reasons why the borderland of Arunachal Pradesh is frequently re-imagined. While Changlang and Tirap (situated at the crossroad of Myanmar and Nagaland) have been mostly studied to understand the interaction of local conflicts at borders, Dibang and Anjaw (at the Sino-India border in the east) have been studied from a cultural and ecological prism. In this regard Tawang calls for a unique blend of security, cultural, and ecological studies. Located at a dual power centre, the geography of present-day Tawang has had a long historical link to larger Tibet followed by China’s claim on Tibet and India’s claim on Arunachal Pradesh. The western border district of Tawang has been claimed by China as part of its ‘Southern Tibet’ (S. Dutta 2008) historical narrative. These episodes of connects and disconnects at different intervals in history have shaped the socio-cultural identity of the Tawang Monpas, the dominant tribal

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community in the district. In addition, the close proximity to a disputed border has further moulded the Monpa’s perception about security and development. The chapter has been divided broadly into three sections, each trying to look at how the borderland district of Arunachal Pradesh assumed importance for India and how time and again the State reiterates its presence in Tawang. The first section primarily looks at the history of the political integration of the North-East Frontier Agency (NEFA) into the Indian territory, thereby trying to trace the overlapping history of the borderland till the transformation of the space into a contested border. The second section analyses the development paradigm in Northeast India and how it bears an impact on Tawang, thereby elaborating on the emerging changes in the Monpa way of life. Lastly, the chapter deals with the primary research questions on what this change means for the Monpas. How does it lead to the transformation of the border town of Tawang? What does it mean for the security-centric understanding of the borders? From an open to closed border, the assertion of the boundaries by India has conditioned the state-building in Arunachal Pradesh. With the developmentdriven liberalisation setting in these boundaries, the State’s presence is assuming a micro significance. The local communities, private industries, businessmen, nongovernmental institutions, and civil societies are taking up roles that are changing the singular role that the borderland played of being a mere divide between two countries. Rather the borderland space has expanded, and there has been an emergence of boundaries symbolised by a contestation between the centre and periphery with the development. The boundary that is being put up by the Monpas is indicating that the State should exercise an accounted development, and the autonomous council is the symbolism of the creation of a democratic space among the borderland community. A  multi-pronged qualitative analytical method supported by field interviews in Tawang has been used to study the borderland and understand how the development efforts by the centre, market, and trade flows affect the culture and politics of the local Monpa communities.

II: From Monyul to Tawang: Tracing the Transformation of the Borderland Present-day Tawang was part of eastern Bhutan until the mid-17th century. The Tibetans used to refer to this eastern Bhutan region, bordered by Tibet in north and Assam plain in the south, as LhoMon (Lower Land or Land of Mon). Tawang, as part of the Monland or Monyul, represented an administrative buffer which later became the trade and religious migration route for Bhutan and Tibet. The early transformation of this region is related to the rivalry between Rinpoche of Ralung Monastery (Ngawang Namgyal) of western Tibet and the Fifth Dalai Lama that subsequently led the former to move to western Bhutan (Nanda 1982). Ngawang Namgyal came to be installed as Shabdrung Rinpoche (also Zhabdrung) in western Bhutan. He eventually established himself as the spiritual and temporal

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ruler of Bhutan by unifying Bhutan into a territorial legal unit and gave it a distinct cultural identity derived from the Tibetan culture. He renamed the western Bhutan as Drukyul and established the Drukpa lineage (Red hat) of Tibetan Buddhism (Mathou 2000). Thus, eastern Bhutan, as a follower of the Fifth Dalai Lama, revered the Gelug sect (Yellow Hat) of Tibetan Buddhism; the western Bhutan followed the Drukpa lineage. Once the conflict broke out between the Geluk and Drukpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism, in order to prevent any eastward movement of the Drukpa influence, the Monpas of Tawang sided with the Geluk forces of the Dalai Lama and defeated the Drukpa forces. The Tibetan armies have attacked LhoMon (which also included Tawang) several times with the help of the Chinese Emperor between 1640 and 1686, but suffered defeat. So, in this religious conflict, support and loyalty from Tawang was crucial for the Tibetans to stop the eastward movement of Shabdrung Rinpoche. In addition, it was important for Tibet to stay connected to Tawang as this lower land was part of an important trade route through which Tsona Dzong of Tibet was connected to Assam and Tashigang of Bhutan (Spengen 2010). Tsona was a hub of trade with traders coming from Lhasa, Hor (Mongolia), and Tawang. Several trade items like handmade papers (for religious text printing), medicinal plants, iron, ore, rice, spices, dyes, incense sticks, wooden bowls, and clothes were carried for trade in the Tsona market from Tawang and Assam plain. The defeat of Tibetans would have completely cut these trade routes, but the Monpas’ loyalty saved the ancient trade relation. During this time, the leader of the Geluk sect of Buddhism in Bhutan was Mera Lama Lodre Gyasto. Mera Lama’s Monastery faced several attacks from Drukpas, as he moved out of Bhutan and took refuge in Tawang. It is said that Mera Lama named the place as Tawang (Ta- Horse, Wang- Chosen) when after a long search, he found his horse grazing high up on a hill. Thinking it as a divine message, he established Galden Namgey Lhatse or the Tawang Monastery. Thus, with Mera Lama, Tawang, which was earlier a buffer and independent trade transit, came under the politico-religious administrative control of Ganden Potrang at Lhasa. Hence, the Monpas’ identity and culture were preserved in exchange for submission to Tibetan authority. Gradually the monastery became the centre of religious and administrative power of Tawang, and eventually Tawang Monastery extended the administrative power by employing economic tools of allegiance and control. The Monastery owned a number of villages and levied Khari or grain tax on local Monpas. The practice continues even today, although it is a voluntary contribution to the monastery.1 The Monpas’ tax obligation included a range of exotic products, including spices, medicinal plants, honey masks, bamboo, wild animal skin, and so on (Akester 2017). Tibetan administration at Lhasa was harsh. They taxed the locals according to their land holdings, made them work for free, and took away their agricultural produce – which resulted in large-scale agitation, and later in 1943, head men (gaon bura) around Tawang refused to pay taxes, arguing that their productive capabilities

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had declined due to population loss (the harsh tax regime forced people to immigrate to other regions) (Guyot-Réchard 2017). Lhasa’s aggressiveness and exploitative governance was the source of major anxiety in Tawang. As a measure to escape the austere, in 1844 and 1853, the monastery signed two treaties with the British East India Company, surrendering parts of its land to them. Tawang came under the control of British authority after the Shimla accord of 1914. However, in spite of the agreement, as late as 1936, Tawang was continually taxed by Lhasa in the absence of any total control of the British Indian authority. It was only in 1951, in the light of China’s annexation of Tibet, that India committed to the incorporation of NEFA. In January 1951, in consultation with the Himatsinghji Border Defence Committee, the governor of Assam Jairamdas Daulatram ordered Major Bob Khathing of 2nd Assam Rifles to set up the Government of India’s administration in the Tawang area (then known as Kameng Frontier Agency) (Arpi 2018). The governor’s message was to conduct the operation with ‘tact, firmness and discretion’. He was to make it clear to all Tibetan officials at Tawang that the ‘jurisdiction in the area’ vests in him and not with the Tibetan administration, according to the Simla accord of 1914. But for the local population he was to announce that none of their religious practices would be interfered with, there would be no forced labour, and everything needed would be duly paid for. In addition, Khathing came to Tawang at a time when two earthquakes (15 August 1950) made the region vulnerable and in need of relief measures. The paradox of vulnerability helped the Indian takeover in a palpable manner (GuyotRéchard 2017). These early instructions by the governor and his adviser Nari Rustomji, for dealing with the local population with sensitivity, were soon adopted as a policy under the guidance of anthropologist Verrier Elwin,2 which made the task of integrating Tawang with India much easier. Major Khathing and his team began winning the trust of local people by arranging airdrops of materials like salt and jaggery – that were being brought in from Tibet, for those affected in the 1950 earthquake and by repairing the Tawang monastery. Being a Naga,3 Khathing knew the effect that an airdrop would have on the remote mountain people who would be seeing such a demonstration of power by the Indian administration for the first time and the advantage this would give him over the Tibetan administration. He effectively used the elders/gaon bura of the villages as local messengers to reassure the people and win their support. A  local (former Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) from Kitpi village) account of Khathing’s arrival to Tawang reflects the enthusiasm of Monpas: When India became independent, we didn’t get the news. There was no newspaper, no radio, we don’t know when we got to know. When Major Khathing came, a lot of people went to Tawang to see him. The offices were pitched up in a kind of tented camp and everyone used to crowd around. (Shukla 2013)

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Given the remoteness of Tawang, the Indian administration provided the area with the basics of administration – a permanent site for the administrative headquarters and Assam Rifles post was selected. Gaon Buras were appointed in the villages, and house counting of the villages was begun in the Tawang region. By August 1951, Tawang came under effective control of the Indian administration. The Monpas’ loyalty stayed with the Indian government, which also was reflected during the 1962 India-China war. Hence it was evident that the Monpas, though a part of the larger Mon culture that transcends borders, have maintained their distinctiveness, which ultimately led them to separate themselves when Tibet was claimed by the Chinese under a historical pretext. The policymakers like Nehru, Verrier Elwin, Nari Rustomji, and Major Khathing followed the most sensible way to integrate the population without affecting their religious and cultural traditions. Nehru understood that the frontier was not necessarily of India, but he understood it could be made so (Shukla 2013). Therefore, the policies were implemented to retain local culture and practices; even entry of people from the rest of India was restricted to NEFA so that an overwhelming presence of outsiders would not dilute local customs. At the local level, Major Khathing’s entry was accepted with enthusiasm as the Monpas were relieved from paying a hefty tax to the Tibetan administration, but at the national level, the discourse was taking a new turn as tensions with China were creating strategic pressure that demanded a more elaborate and complex military structure in this tribal region. As India lost the 1962 war, militarisation of this strategically important frontier began (Banerjee 2012) – Tawang become a major bone of contention between two Asian powers, and with this the Monpas gradually began to experience a sweeping transitions to their customs and cultures, firstly by a replacement of Nehruvian isolationist policy with a more integrationist policy through connectivity and infrastructural development. The border conflict between India and China went on to limit the interactions and flow across the border among the Monpas. Thereby it marked a slow transformation of the border from community-controlled to state-controlled. As the community space was now slowly re-imagined as a national space, the state-centric dealing of border governance and bilateral relations started dictating the political imaginings of the Monpas. These in turn installed state-controlled boundaries within which the Monpas led their mundane governance and affairs. Whether the development-centric strategy focused only on the development of security forces or there was a scope for sustainable development of the borderland community is a question that has now fuelled the debate inside Tawang.

III: Development paradigm: A Perspective on Northeast India The central government’s policies towards the Northeast have passed through four different phases: The Cultural Paradigm, Security Paradigm, Political Paradigm and currently the Development Paradigm (Mishra 2014). The centre’s rationale behind

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pursuing development policies has largely hinged on the perception that infrastructural development and modernisation will slowly erode, transform, and transcend the problems of identity, assertion, and insurgency. The belief that infrastructural development can be the tool for making the State’s presence deep in the periphery, thereby bridging the centre-periphery gap and bringing together the region as a collective, has been the aim with which the North Eastern-Council (NEC) was constituted in 1971. Since then the concept of the Northeast was formalised politically, marking the beginning of a new chapter of a concerted and planned endeavour for the rapid development of the region (Sarmah 2016). The post-colonial history of India has been the history of the integration of the ‘nation’ into the ‘State’ by assimilating the diverse ethnic and linguistic groups under ‘territorial nationality’ which overshadows – or eliminates – ‘parochial loyalties’ (Mishra 2014). Most of the states in Northeast India where tribal allegiance revolved around primordial attachments were soon transformed whereby the loyalty from smaller tribes was transferred to the larger central political system. (Mishra 2014) A change in the economy with the introduction of the development policies instilled a change in the political system, thereby shifting the loyalty from their immediate centre of power to a distant centralised authority (Banerjee 2012). But in the borderlands, these transformations get complicated due to their location in a dual periphery. Borderlands are ‘subnational areas whose economic and social life is directly and significantly affected by proximity to an international boundary’ (Mishra 2014). Hence existence of dual power centres leads to a contestation of not only the land but also to a formation of comparative perception among the communities whose affiliations often sway depending on the nature of the border and conflict. The discussion on the Northeast cannot be isolated from the national discourse. Notably since 1950, building large dams has evolved as a crucial tool for India’s post-independence nation-building. During the Nehruvian era, the economic transformation towards industrialisation was fostered through harnessing energy. Ever since the inauguration of the Bhakra Nangal dam in Punjab (1963) as the ‘temple of modern India’, construction of dams has become a steady symbol of the State’s modernisation as well as a tool of political integration and presence, especially in the Northeast region. With the start of economic liberalisation in India, post 1991, developmentalist ideology received a new push (Banerjee 2012). In the transformed and neoliberal India, the government also envisioned a plan for the Northeast. The Northeast was viewed as India’s connectivity route for Southeast Asia, formalised through the Look East policy. In the words of one of the former ministers of India, Mr. Jairam Ramesh, through the Look East policy, the ‘future of the North East lies in political integration with India and economic integration with South East Asia’. With this neoliberal push to connect Northeast with Southeast Asia, there came a transnational dimension wherein the region was re-imagined as an ‘extended Northeast’ for commercial and people-to-people contact, but it remained straight-jacketed

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by the ‘Sinophobia’ of India (Sarmah 2016). Hence any initiatives undertaken by India such as the Mekong Ganga Commission, the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), the Kaladan Multimodal Transit Transport Project, or the Trilateral Asian Highway were seen as its attempt to counterbalance China (Haokip 2015).

III.I: Development in Arunachal Pradesh: Perspective of the Monpas of Tawang Arunachal Pradesh was the only state4 in the Northeast where the shift to statehood was achieved without much resistance. In 1957 a small book prefaced by Nehru himself, ‘A Philosophy of NEFA’ became the précis of government principles and policies for incorporation in the largest tribal region in India (Elwin 1957). What it proposed was neither assimilation nor isolation but a middle path that would bring ‘the best of the modern world to the tribes in such a way that it won’t destroy the traditional way of life’ (Elwin 1957). This strategy of tribal developmentalism dominated the state expansion in the 1950s. A development-centred state-building started to focus on improving education, healthcare, agriculture and food selfsufficiency. This in turn reduced the economic reliance on Tibet and ensured greater control over the border by India. This conception of development as the way to Indian-ness belonged to an intellectual genealogy of ‘developmental nationalism’ in which nation, state, and development were deeply intertwined (GuyotRéchard 2017). But in practice the state-making in NEFA was partially achieved. The pace of human development was slow, and a larger focus on infrastructural development, plans to fine-tune development schemes and improve state accountability were largely absent. Till the 1962 aggression, the national policies were to not construct big dams and heavy industries in the border states owing to its close proximity to the neighbouring states. But it was after the war with China that India’s failure to bring infrastructural development to the frontier became stark, and as Sanjib Baruah puts it, the frontier space was nationalised through a renewed push for a developmental path (this time focusing on infrastructure) under the direct administration of the federal government, which also fit the national security goal. Infrastructural development in Arunachal Pradesh is pursued through two methods: firstly, building dams to tap the natural resources that in turn have led to resource politics, and secondly, road connectivity. Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s 50,000 MW hydropower programme in 2003 was targeted mainly towards Arunachal Pradesh, which had a potential to generate electricity up to 50,328 MW. This potential till then was largely untapped, and 42 dam construction sites were identified to be installed in Arunachal Pradesh. In May 2008, former environment minister Jairam Ramesh used the term ‘MoU Virus’ to describe the speed by which each Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for hydropower projects was signed by the Arunachal Pradesh government (Mishra 2014). Presently in Arunachal

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Pradesh, the construction of over 140 mini- and mega-hydropower projects are underway; Tawang alone will have construction of 11 projects with 2,800 MW capacity. While the governments changed in New Delhi, the focus on Northeast India remains the same. In line with the past policies for hydropower projects and road connectivity, Narendra Modi, in his 15 February  2018 visit to Itanagar, reiterated the rationale for fast-paced development in Arunachal Pradesh. His speech reflects the scene in most of the districts in Arunachal Pradesh where heavy road construction has been the ordeal of the people. The Special Accelerated Road Development Programme for the Northeast (SARDP-NE) has a whole package dedicated to Arunachal Pradesh. But these projects are often politically construed as priorities address the huge infrastructural deficit of India in the region rather than the human development needs with which the various tribal communities in Arunachal Pradesh live. Such perception towards infrastructural development in the state has invariably evoked local resistance to the projects. Projects such as the 2000 MW Lower Subansiri and the 3000 MW Dibang multipurpose projects have not taken off with much speed due to the lack of environmental clearance and local resistance to a public hearing at least ten times over six years. This local resistance by the different tribal communities appears to have emerged from the grass root against the concerns of potential displacement and loss of land, but underlying it a range of local conflicts have played out from conflicts between communities over the land and forest compensations to conflicts between the communities and private players, such as the large corporate groups with the tender to construct the dams. At the outset, development-induced resistance may have defined the debate on development in Arunachal Pradesh, but a lack of good examples of a functioning mega dam in the past in the Northeast has given much-needed momentum to the local resistances against the dam. These development policies in Arunachal Pradesh and the subsequent local resistances in other parts of the state have invariably influenced the Monpas in Tawang, thereby making the district a late but final entrant into the development debate of India. In addition, the geo-strategic location of Tawang between dual power centres has made these local politics become a corollary of the larger bilateral conflict wherein the local Monpas have come to perceive the infrastructure build-up as ‘proxy development’ aimed to facilitate the troops’ mobility and deployment or to compete with the Chinese infrastructural leap. In this porous Himalayan borderland criss-crossed by social and cultural ties, the border communities have ample opportunities to observe and compare what India and China respectively offered. The result has been a fierce competition for a geostrategic space by attempting to win over the Himalayan hearts and minds by both China in Tibet and India in Arunachal Pradesh, especially Tawang. Hence security concerns dictate any agenda, whether it is development or non-development in Tawang.

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The development debate in the district of Tawang can be understood largely through two ways: firstly, the resistance to the hydropower project and the road construction, and secondly, the economic and employment transition owing to the efforts by the Arunachal Pradesh government to transform Tawang as a tourist destination.

Emerging Hydro Politics Viewing hydropower projects as India’s efforts to lay claim to the lower riparian water in the larger international water conflict with China at the cost of environment and livelihood, the resistance to these projects in Tawang gained momentum in 2016 which culminated into a mob uprising and the death of two civil society group workers. Two mega-hydropower projects were proposed in 2006 and 2007 respectively: one on Nyamjang Chhu river and the other on Tawang Chu river (two phases). The Nyamjang Chhu hydroelectric project5 with a capacity of 780 MW is designed as a run-of-the river project, which will harness the hydropower potential of the Nyamjang Chhu river with a diversion barrage near the Zemithang village (A. Dutta 2012), while the Tawang I (600MW) and II (800MW) will be constructed on Tawang Chu river. The major contestations against the dam constructions have been mainly around the Nyamjang Chhu river, and the resistance against it has gone on to influence the resistance against Tawang Chu. Firstly, the adjoining land to the Nyamjang Chhu in Zemithang, Tawang district, is one of the winter breeding grounds for the black-necked crane in India. The Zemithang or the Panchen valley is an ecological hotspot with the blacknecked crane listed as vulnerable under Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The vulnerable status of the black-necked crane and the damage to the 1,000 hectare habitat due to the large-scale construction led the National Green Tribunal to overturn the environmental impact assessment (which failed to record the ecological damage), report, and reject the environmental clearance granted to the Nyamjang Chhu project. But apart from the environmental reason for stopping the project, religious and cultural undertones have played simultaneously in mobilising the resistance. The black-necked crane is revered by Monpas. As followers of the Gelug sect of Tibetan Buddhism, the Monpas give a special importance to the black-necked crane as the bird that embodies the sixth Dalai Lama. Similar have been the grounds for the contestations against the Tawang hydropower projects. A public perception has been that due to the high elevated location of the dam, any excess water discharge would submerge the religious and cultural sites (situated downstream) of the Monpas like the water burial site and the shrine of Guru Padmasambhava. Hence, one sees that the State’s attempt to fill the infrastructural deficit in Tawang has run in contestation against the Monpas’ own socio-religious practices, thereby accelerating a resistance. Secondly, though the environment has been the overriding reason, employment and migration of semi-skilled construction labourers in large numbers have

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been concerns for the Monpas. The locals6 view the permanent migration of these labourers as a challenge to their employment opportunities and alteration in the demography of the Monpas, due to inter-marriages and increasing settlement of the labourers. Thirdly, land loss due to dam construction and the politics over compensation are other reasons for local resistance. The environmental impact assessment has stated that 80 per cent of the people in the project area were interested in cash compensation, and 11 per cent were aware of the displacement (A. Dutta 2012). The Tawang Monpas practice dual ownership of land: while some lands are privately owned, most agricultural, forest, and grazing lands are community owned. The drive for compensation has led to the emergence of a private middlemen and government nexus which in turn has altered the traditional role played by the village headman who were the primary mode of contact with the administration for the community. The village headman or gaon bura still has a strong hold, but the emergence of a contract class with free flow of money has led to corruption and nepotism in terms of distribution of compensation. There exists no clear transparency on how the community land will be compensated; hence the routing of the compensation money becomes viable. In addition, most people are agro-pastorals; hence a loss of fertile grazing lands would amount to loss of livelihood, a change in employment and in the settlement pattern of the community. Hence indirect employment in land contracting, army contracting, tourism, and transport businesses are seen as alternates. Fourthly, there was a lack of transparency in the public consultation process before the project was commissioned. With transportation being very expensive, only a few people and mostly the village headman attended the hearing out of 700 households affected by the project. These reasons, born out of a marginalised feeling within the community, have led to the rise in resistance against dams in Tawang. The region has undergone a process of democratisation and modernisation, and the anti-dam protests have slowly expanded the democratic space for public participation. Increasing interaction with different actors, increased exposure to knowledge and information related to developmental activities, and a process of marginalisation has sparked curiosity, uncertainty, and confusion among people (Mishra 2014). In this regard the traditional and religious institutions that always had an upper hand in shaping communities’ social and cultural structures are currently the key drivers leading the resistance movement in Tawang. The Buddhist monks at the Tawang Monastery have historically been the politico-religious administrative centre of the Monpas, but with a gradual shift in power from the community to the state, the monks were reduced to being spiritual heads. Also, with the anti-dam protest as the pretext, the democratic space is now being used increasingly by the monks to regain their political role. In this context, the role of the Buddhist civil society group, Save Mon Regional Federation (SMRF), led by the monk Lama Lobsang Gyatso (LLG), has managed to invoke emotional sentiment of Monpas against the dam. Similarly,

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another civil society group, Buddhist Culture Preservation Society (BCPS), has now become agitated around the demands for autonomy for the Monpas (discussed later).

Road: Lifeline for Tawang An over-emphasis on construction of roads would certainly gap the crux of tribal alienation in the borderland, but at the same time it requires human labour and support of the local communities. Since the beginning, the accelerated expansion of the physical reach of Tawang was dependent on the emotional cooperation and perception of the locals. Any delay in road construction work culminated as the primary grievance of the Monpas against the Border Road Organisation (BRO). The first round of road works in Arunachal was only for specific sectors such as Bhalukpung – BomdiLa – Tawang, Itanagar – Ziro – Along – Mechuka, and the eastern areas of Tezu – Roing – Anini, Hawai – Walong – Kibithoo and Jairampur – Nampong – Miao (Rahman 2014). However, till now none of the roads have solved the perils of trans-Arunachal connectivity. The roads coming to Tawang are mostly from Assam. Hence the dependency on Assam for car services, essential goods, and most trade products (that come from Tezpur) has led to the belief that linking north-south roads makes sense for the security forces coming from Assam and Siliguri. Thus, the road construction in the state has been looked at from a strategic angle and in competition with China. While China has been expanding the Golmud-Lhasa railway line to Nyingchi, close to its border with India on the Arunachal Pradesh side (Rahman 2014), it has led the Indian government to accelerate policies like the National Highway 229 (NH 229) and the Trans Arunachal Highway. The total length of roads in Tawang district is 706km, as per the Border Road Task Force (BRTF). For easy access the BRO has also proposed construction of tunnels to bypass Se La located at 14,000 feet. This road is being constructed at the Bomdila-Tawang road. As Tawang is isolated geographically from the rest of Arunachal Pradesh, the need for roads are mainly for medical emergencies and the flow of essential commodities. The number of deaths of patients on the way has been increasing, with no faster mode of transportation to the capital or hospital in Guwahati. The emergency cases often result in the death of the patient. As a respite for Tawang and to reduce over-dependence on Assam, the government has been building the Tashigang-Lumla Road from Lumbardung to Lumla (Pisharoty 2017). However, the road is in bad shape; it was constructed by the BRO in 2016, spending 20 crore (Pisharoty 2017), as the road7 from Lumdardung would join Lumla to Dudunghar and Bleteng. In 2012, when construction began, the local perception was that it would go to Tashigang, a town in eastern Bhutan, and thereby open on the Indian side at the Darrang district of Assam. The government hoped the road would give a much-needed alternate route to reach Tawang from Assam through Bhutan, particularly in the winter months when there is considerable

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snow in Se La. In 2016 when the portion of the road was destroyed in a landslide, the road from the Bhutan side had yet to be repaired. It has been projected by experts on India-Bhutan relations that while Bhutan has its own reasons, it is pressure from China that has led Bhutan to officially delay the road construction (Pisharoty 2017). Thus, we see on one hand there is resistance to heavy infrastructure development like the hydropower project in Tawang. On the other hand, the demand for other essential infrastructure like roads has been strong. However, due to a timeconsuming process of road construction and lack of transparency, locals think BRO is a corrupt institution (Rajagopalan and Prakash 2013). As Tawang slowly shifts from a nature-based subsistence economy to a consumer-driven economy influenced by tourism (discussed later), the road has assumed more importance now than in the past. The emergence of class-based social relations with contractual work (dam projects) and the concept of easy money (owing to land compensation) have led to the rise of a patron-client nexus who maintains a liaison with the political class for any projects to be implemented in the district.

Changes among Tawang Monpa: Culture, Employment and Infrastructure Twang’s cultural and religious history of linkage with Tibet has never disallowed the Monpas to preserve their unique identity and culture; from time to time they only became enriched. But with the modernisation of technology, infrastructure, telecommunications, and modern education, in addition to monastic education, the traditional culture and practices of the borderland community are facing a slow transformation. Firstly, rapid development of the tourism industry is one the main reasons for these changes that is abetted with the rise of cosmopolitan society. Tourism has led to a shift in occupation, lifestyle, food habits, and infrastructure development of Monpas. Attention to the tourism sector has led to the development of infrastructures like hotels and homestays, restaurants, shopping complexes, cafés, and the like. This on one side has created a public urban space for the Monpas apart from generating newer economic opportunities. There has been a change in the pattern of occupations among the young generation. Secondly, in the education of the Monpas, the role of religious education is slowly being replaced by modern secular education. The Tawang Monastery is a combination of a religious school and basic education centre; a large number of Monpa boys get their education from the monastic school and eventually complete their basic education for monkhood. But in recent times many of them get married and settle down to lead a normal civilian life. The increasing trend and preference for modern education over monastic education and subsequent choice of political life over monkhood highlight the newer lifestyle choices made by the Monpas.

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Thirdly, the traditional handicraft practices like cloth weaving, paper making, carpet weaving, mask making, and religious Thangka painting are slowly dying due to lack of skilled artisans. Availability of relatively cheap ready-to-use products and lack of a market and profits from locally made traditional goods have led to disinterest among the young generation to learn traditional handicrafts. Instead, the introduction of high-end coffee cafés, restaurants, and five-star hotels are gaining popularity as future job opportunities. With this change in occupational patterns, the rural agrarian-dependent economy is gradually transforming into a consumerdependent service-based economy. Fourthly, the increase in construction work due to various projects has led to a large number of outside labourers migrating to the region, and as they settle there for a long time, they contribute to the demographic changes in the community. This gradual change contributes to mixed cultural and religious affinities. With the settlement of outside people, different religious institutions have come up in the essentially Buddhist-dominated region. Although these religious institutions are still not very prominent in the region, it is certainly not a positive development perceived by the local Monpas, considering the unique socio-religious profile of the district. The fear of more such changes being brought about by migration is also one of the major reasons behind the autonomous council demand by the Monpas. Lastly, tourism and infrastructure development have also led to a decline of grazing land for Yak, which is one of the livelihoods of the pastoral Monpas. It can be observed that with the reduction of the Yak population, trading in Yak products like Yak cheese, milk, and meat has gone down significantly. The introduction of ready-to-eat packaged food, drinks, and canned fish are increasingly altering the traditional food habits. Yak cheese, or Churpi, a common ingredient of Monpa cuisine, is slowly getting replaced by packaged cheese products according to growing tourist needs. Also, with the increase of population, the use of firewood has increased to many fold in the absence of any alternative method, which is subsequently leading to the destruction of forest cover; apart from using oak wood, the use of rhododendron as firewood is posing a serious threat to the unique habitat of these trees (Abdul Qayum 2018). Hence, a slow transition in food habits and ecology are increasingly becoming prominent in the region, driving a nature-based self-dependent community to a technology-driven one and hence giving rise to the identity assertion debate.

III.II: Consequences: Identity Assertion and Demand for Autonomy Making the periphery dependent on the mainland for parity in development can bear several consequences. Among the Monpas of Tawang, the direct consequence of the development and economic changes is the demand for an autonomous council for the Monpa tribe in Arunachal Pradesh. The rationale behind the demand for

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an autonomous council has been to ensure that the Monpas have a relative amount of administrative independence in shaping their local policy through their interactions with the centre. The desire for autonomy for all the Monpa tribes8 was first started by Lama Tsona Gontse Rinpoche (T G Rinpoche) in 1987. He established the Buddhist Cultural Preservation Society (BCPS), a civil society group that advocated the need for preservation of the Mon identity. According to the Rinpoche, this could be brought about by first helping the Monpas take a lead in deciding their own development policy. The main reasons for this swift Mon movement were to bring Tawang up to par with Itanagar. The reach of the development policies is dependent on the internal tribal politics in Arunachal Pradesh. Hence an autonomous council for the Monpas alone would give Tawang and West Kameng the necessary platform to bargain for the funds. The second reason for the demand for an autonomous council is preservation of Tibetan Buddhist culture. As a step towards religious and cultural preservation, the department of the Karmic and Adhyatmik centre was formed to restore the local folktales of the Monpas. A perception of cultural erosion and dilution of the Monpa way of life brought about primarily by migration and economic transition have steered the debate on an autonomous council, and for the first time, in May 2018, a Monpa apex body was constituted. A second consequence of the development debate among the Monpas is the slow democratisation of the political space in Tawang. The protest against the dam was the first time the Monpas came out against the government to raise issues like corruption, public accountability, and self-determination. In this, the Buddhist monks have played a big role in shaping the public voice, especially in defining the tribal identity of the Monpas. There has been a spurt of different civil society groups like the Save Mon Regional Federation and BCPS that have been led by Rinpoches and Lamas. The role of monks in Tawang has been historically important in sustaining and continuing the idea of Monyul and its linkages with Tibetan Buddhism. The historical narrative of the Himalaya as part of the geography where Tibetan Buddhism coexists with tribal societies (Gohain 2017) has time and again been reiterated by the monks, which has in turn kept the cultural imaginings of the Monyul alive in Tawang. Such traditional roles of the monks eroded with the establishment of the institutions of grassroots democracy. But when these modern government institutions failed to address the grievance of the Monpas, the monks have come to fill the gap and adapted to take on the new social role. In addition, with development has come modernisation, which in turn has led to the emergence of identity politics. Thus, when the local communities asserted their voices against large-scale development, the civil society groups further finetuned the public voices into an autonomous council, demanding that it fit into the cultural identity prism of preservation of Tibetan Buddhism. Hence with the demand for an autonomous council in Tawang, there could be an emergence of new political and social boundaries set by the border communities. Such

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boundaries will not only build a gap between the centre and the periphery, but it will also bring about a transformation in the way the state has controlled this border till now.

Conclusion The development debate in Arunachal Pradesh, and especially in Tawang, is combined with the aspect of national security. Hence it is interesting to note that the security concerns, as well as the border communities’ perception towards central authority, often mirror and flow across the border. For China there is a shift in its policy towards Arunachal Pradesh, mostly tied to the Tibet ‘question’. For India Arunachal Pradesh is a method of strengthening its claim over the border contestation. With this bilateral conflict in the larger picture, the domestic politics of Arunachal Pradesh, as well as in Tawang, are framed by how India and China deal with their centre-periphery relations. The nature of Arunachal Pradesh’s relation with the rest of India is dependent on how Beijing deals with Tibet. Arunachal Pradesh is the first line of defence for India. Perception making is an important step towards diplomacy and also understanding the borderland communities. In a time when the chances of conflict between India and China are high, the importance of Arunachal Pradesh in the context of a resolution of the boundary dispute lies in building an international case for the retention by India and to counter the perceptions of the lack of economic and infrastructure development in the state, especially when contrasted with Tibet’s (Rahman 2014). Thus, the great push for hydropower is in line with this thinking of the central government in India. However, India’s handling of Tawang should also take into account the grievances of the border communities apart from being determined by its larger policies in the Northeast region. The resistance against large-scale infrastructural development in Tawang would determine and shape the resistance against the development policies in the rest of Arunachal Pradesh and the region.

Notes 1 The data was collected by the authors during their field visit to Tawang Monastery and speaking to the head monk in April 2018. 2 Verrier Elwin was tribal affairs advisor to then PM Jawaharlal Nehru who backed the policy of non-interference with local tradition. 3 Khathing was born into a Tangkhul Naga family in February 1912 in Ukhrul, Manipur. 4 The recognition of Arunachal Pradesh as a state was in 1987. 5 Of the 143 projects planned to be built in Arunachal Pradesh since 2001, the Nyamjang Chhu Project is the largest of the 13 hydropower projects and was funded by LNJ Bhliwara Group, a textile and steel company. 6 The perception was based on a field interview in April 2018 of the Lumpho village headman and affected families in Zemithang. 7 The data was gathered during field interviews in April 2018 of the local villagers living in Bleteng, the eastern border of Arunachal Pradesh with Bhutan. Bhutan has two border crossings  – Phuntsholing and Samdrup Jhongkar from West Bengal and Assam

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respectively – it doesn’t have an official motorable crossing with Arunachal Pradesh yet, even though it shares a 217-km border. 8 The Monpa tribal identity is subdivided into three groups: the Kalaktang Monpas, Dirang Monpas, and Tawang Monpas. It is based on these divisions between the hill and the valley that the district circles are administered.

References Abdul Qayum, District Forest Officer (DFO), Tawang, interview by Authors. 2018 (April). Akester, Matthew. 2017. “Tibet’s Relation with Tawang (Ganden Potrang era).” In Focusing the Frontier: The Borderland, Identity, Perception and Imagining of Monpas of Tawang in India-China Border. Bengaluru, India: International Strategic and Security Studies Programme, NIAS. Arpi, Claude. 2018. Will Tibet Ever Find Her Soul Again: India Tibet Relations: 1947–1962. New Delhi: Vij Publishers. Banerjee, P, and Xiangming Chen. 2012. “Living in in-Between Spaces: A Structure-Agency Analysis of the India – China and India – Bangladesh Borderlands.” Cities: The Journal of Urban Policy and Planning 34: 18–29. Census of India 2011. District Census Handbook Tawang, Series – 13, Part XII-A. ———. 2018. District Census Handbook Tawang, Series – 13, Part XII-B. Dutta, Aparajita. 2012. A Critique of the Nyamjang Chhu Hydro-Electric Power Project: Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Environmental Management Plan (EMP), June  1. Accessed August  12, 2018. Dutta, Sujit. 2008. “Revisiting China’s Territorial Claims on Arunachal.” Strategic Analysis 32 (4): 549–81. Elwin, Verrier. 1957. A Philosophy of NEFA. Itanagar: Department of Cultural Affairs, Directorate of Research Arunachal Pradesh. Gohain, Swarnajyoti. 2017. “Monpas in Tawang: An Anthropological Perspectives.” In Focusing the Frontiers: The Borderland, Identity, Perceptions and Imaginings of Monpas of Tawang in India-China Border. Bengaluru: International Strategic and Security Studies Programme, NIAS. Guyot-Réchard, Bérénice. 2017. Shadow States: India, China and the Himalayas, 1910–1962. New Delhi: Cambridge University Press. Haokip, Thongkholal. 2015. “India’s Look East Policy: Prospects and Challenges for Northeast India.” Studies in Indian Politics 3 (2): 198–211. Mathou, Thierry. 2000. “The Politics of Bhutan: Change in Continuity.” Journal of Bhutan Studies: 228–62. Mishra, Deepak. 2014. “Developing the Border.” In Borderland Lives in Northern South Asia, edited by David N. Gellner, 141–58. New Delhi: Orient Black Swan. Nanda, Neeru. 1982. Tawang: The Land of Mon. New Delhi: Vikas Publishing House Pvt Ltd. Pisharoty, Sangeeta Barooah. 2017. “Exploring the Diplomatic Wrangle That Is the Tashigang-Lumla Motorway.” The Wire, June  1. Accessed August  14, 2018. https:// Rahman, Mirza Zulfiqur. 2014. Territory, Tribes, Turbines: Local Community Perceptions and Responses to Infrastructural Development Along Sino-India Border in Arunachal Pradesh. New Delhi: Institute of China Studies. Rajagopalan, Rajeswari Pillai and Rahul Prakash. 2013. Sino-Indian Border Infrastructure: An Update, Occasional Paper 42. New Delhi: Observer Research Foundation.

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Sarmah, Bhupen. 2016. “The Cauldron of Conflict: Politics of Peace, Governance and Development in India’s North-East.” Social Scientist 44 (11/12): 15–36. Shukla, Sonia. 2013. “Forging New Frontiers: Integrating Tawang with India, 1951.” China Report 48 (4): 407–26. Spengen, Wim van. 2010. Tibetan Border Worlds: A Geo-historical Analysis of Trade and Traders. New York: Routledge.

10 BORDERLAND PEOPLE AND THE RISE OF THE STATE A case study of Thar Desert Bharat Hun

I: Introduction On the fortnight of 15 August  2018, there was a human chain formed around international border districts of Rajasthan. It was a 700-km-long chain, made for paying tributes to martyrs who sacrificed their lives protecting the country’s borders. Three lakh persons comprising civilians, army, and Border Security Force (BSF) personnel took part in it. Borderland districts of Thar, Jaisalmer, Barmer, Bikaner, and Sri Ganganagar were decorated with balloons of tricolours. Chief Minister of Rajasthan Vasundhara Raje inspected it in a helicopter and showered flowers. (Bhatia 2018). I use this event as an introductory example to demonstrate the importance of the borderland region of Thar in the eyes of the State. The interaction of state, army, and civilians reflects the process of interaction between these institutions. The study of regional identities and their transformations is a sociologically significant aspect in contemporary times, especially in regions characterised as borderlands, frontiers, and margins. A borderland is a zone or a region within which lies the International Borders (IB). Borderland society is a social and cultural system that straddles the zone. Borders as socio-cultural processes shift through time (Ibrahim 2009). Unfortunately, not much research has been done on borderland societies. This is because Border Studies in South Asia has generally been confined to the investigation of conflict zones while ignoring the supposedly peaceful regions like Thar. The Thar region in India comes under the State of Rajasthan. In the north of India, Rajasthan as a region came into existence in 1950 with the merger of Rajputana (the colonial name) merged into India. Rajasthan comprises the 19 erstwhile princely state, two chieftains, and British district Ajmer-Merwara. Emotionally the people of Rajasthan are attached with different kinds of socio-cultural and

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geographical spaces (Lodrick et al. 1994). The Thar region comprises Rajasthan’s western districts. Thar is a region that is characterised by minimal rainfall, scant population, and poor soil and vegetation quality. These are some unique ecological features of the Thar Desert. From the perspective of Border Studies Thar Desert shows greater physical affinities with the neighbouring areas of Pakistan, mainly the Tharparkar of Sindh. It has no similarity with the humid districts of the east and southeast regions of the Rajasthan state (Lodrick et al. 1994). This particular aspect makes it attractive to a student of Border Studies, who likes to read more about India-Pakistan borders and the socio-cultural linkages that the people of both sides share, particularly in border areas. As a matter of fact, the Thar region has served as a borderland not only in present times but also in the past. So, despite a lower population, due to its historicity the Thar region has developed a unique culture and identity. The ethnohistory of the community living in Thar helps to understand their distinct social, economic, and cultural features (Kothiyal 2016). At present, Thar border is known as a ‘peaceful’ border, but with the large-scale development projects that have been started by the Indian state, the everyday practices of people are being affected. The state became more powerful or dominant through a different mode of governance in this post-colonial border of South Asia. The Thar Desert exists at a margin of the Indian state in terms of its geography, economy, and social context. As Das and Poole (2004) argue, [A]n anthropology of the margins offers a unique perspective to the understanding of the state, not because it captures exotic practices but because it suggests that such margins are a necessary entailment of the state, much as the exception is a necessary component of the rule. (Das and Poole 2004, 4)

II: Ethnographic history of Thar Desert The Thar desert, for the longest period of its history, has fostered cultures linked by networks of mobility. The arid Thar, located between the Indo Gangetic plains and the Indus valley, connects the north Indian plains with the riverine system of Indus. There exists a long history of mobility through this region, with armies, merchants, pastoralists, ascetics, and bards having constantly crisscrossed the Desert. (Kothiyal 2016) The Thar Desert in South Asia is at present divided by the IB between India and Pakistan. The Thar Desert is the most populated desert in the world. The Thar has historically existed as a frontier connecting regions like Punjab, Multan, Sindh of Pakistan to Gujarat and Rajasthan of India. The socio-geographical features of Thar Desert give it a distinct cultural milieu where memories of movements have been immortalised in the rich folkloric tradition of the region. The South Asian

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nomads were mostly involved in a kind of herdsman husbandry and often had a semi-permanent dwelling place in villages. On the relation between the desert and the state, Kothiyal (2016) argues that deserts and other non-agrarian spaces like oceans, mountains, and forests have often been used to engage with ideas like statelessness. The absence of agrarian surplus appeared to signify the absence of the state in the most conventional sense. Deserts have been understood as dangerous territories hosting inhabitants generally hostile to the state. Gellner (2013) argues that peripheral areas harbour cohesive, participatory, and segmentary communities endowed with great potentials of war. The population of Thar is mostly engaged in occupations that require mobility across the Thar, particularly in pastoralism and trade. The nomadic nature of these communities cannot be termed as a simple mobility. These communities are circulatory in nature, which means a double moment of going forth and coming back. Historically, the Thar Desert was a geographical, ecological, political, and social as well as cultural frontier. Nomadic frontiers were affected by the process of ‘peasantization’. Frontiers are important for understanding social interaction; they keep shifting and are a continuous process (Alam and Subrahmanyam 2000). Kothiyal (2016) argues that it is the oral epic traditions of the Thar, along with its glorious musical traditions, which highlight the idea that just like its nomadic narratives, its history too has to be primarily one of its nomadic roots. In terms of controlling power in the Thar, Rajput state attempted to control trade routes, and the merchants always found mechanisms to get over this control. Due to the weakening of the state in terms of control over trading networks, Jagirdars of Pokhran, Mallani, and Umarkot became powerful. They levied a security tax on the traders called bulawo and rakhwali ri baach. Apart from this, traders also have their own private army, and states like Marwar also sought to give them security. By all this, we can consider that this border was a place of ‘lawlessness’. The primary site of contestation was between the Rajput states and Thikanedars. Opium is the main commodity of trade on this border. Militarised groups on the border were controlling the opium trade, and the colonial state (United India) tried to control it by negotiating with the locals. This leads us to the question of whether the people of the Thar were in a position of power, and the answer will be in the affirmative; they were not marginalised, as we can see in contemporary times, although there had been attempts by the British to continue to strongly control this region. In terms of extending jurisdiction, the colonial government tried to restrict the frequency of mobile groups and repopulated the space with agricultural communities. Expansion of cultivation, an extension of artificial irrigation through a canal, construction of roads and railway lines, reorganisation of commercial traffic, human and cattle census, fodder farms, and forest conservation schemes were introduced with the similar motive of establishing authority in the region. The colonial government also attempted to legalise the opium trade, but it failed. To evade the British, a new trade route was developed by Marwari and Gujarati traders with the help of local warrior castes. The protection on this new illegal trade route was primarily

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given by Pindaris, Bhils, Koli, Minas, and local ruling elite known as Thikanedars. In response to this, the British deployed spies for opium seizures, and these spies were generally from the local community. The British policy of using the locals against the locals created hostility amongst the people of Thar. Overall, the British struggled in this region, and this was the second example of a failed attempt to govern this region; the first was by the Rajputs. Another similar instance is found by Pilivasky (2015) in her ethnographic work in Rajasthan which shows how the state deployed the spies from within the suspect group. Sayer thana was established by Rajput states for providing security and taking the protection tax; in later stages of colonial rule, officials also used this for control of the trade route. By the 1830s, the widespread network of Sayer thanas was abandoned, and illegal exactions by Thikanedars had become rather common. To counter this, the colonial state recruited the spies from the tribes, but their caste loyalties and affiliations bound them to not fully serve the state. In colonial language, this trade falls into the domain of ‘illegality’, but to argue that Thar Desert is a site of ‘lawlessness’ from the medieval era would be erroneous. It was a complex relation of co-constitution, a product of the struggle for power between different kinds of warriors and nomadic tribes. The dysfunctionality of tax levied by Rajput states and later by the colonial state on the trade route of Thar Desert is intricately connected to the idea of rise of state. In order to understand the relation of economic capital and state, Bourdieu, Wacquant, and Farage (1994), argued, it is well known that in initial phase armed resistance against taxation was not considered disobedience to royal ordinances but a morally legitimate defense of the rights of the family against a tax system wherein one could not recognize the just and paternal monarch. (Bourdieu, Wacquant, and Farage 1994, 6) The 19th-century colonial state tries to promote and regulate the circulation of goods and people on the periphery of the Thar Desert. Those who did not want to follow these processes were called as illegal and hence found themselves categorised as a ‘criminal tribe’. Contest and intervention by the colonial state by monitoring and regulating the space lead us to the making of new boundaries. The criminalisation of nomadic tribes also happens in this era by the British, although some critics have argued against this as well. Piliavsky (2015) argues that criminalisation of nomadic tribes goes back to ancient times. She cites Upanishadic texts which describe vanvasi (forest dwellers) as dasyu (dacoits) and barbaric. Stereotyping of these communities was further done by the colonial state. Controlling of trade activities by nomadic communities, like Banjaras, was not encouraged by the colonial state because the colonial state wanted to control the trade. For example, over a period of time, salt production in the Thar Desert was overtaken by British companies.

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In fact, anyone who tried to monitor the movement of people and trade failed to realise certain important local practices. Mobility in Thar was largely dependent upon the existence of the land that can be used in multiple ways by pastoralists. Thar Desert witnesses the mobility of pastoralists, traders, carriers, peddlers, travelling artisans, bards, genealogists, and ascetics groups. All these communities constitute the social frontier of Thar. Boundaries of the frontier or borderland are dynamic in nature. Veena Das (2009) argues, there is a long history of boundaries that flow within the region defined by natural factors such as movements for fodder and water; alliances between the princely states and colonial state that went beyond political boundaries in maintaining order especially with regard to nomadic group so that the effective territory of control was different from the political territory defined through formal pacts or conquests. (in Ibrahim 2009, xiv)

III: The post-colonial state and its policies Post-colonial India also attempted to control the Thar Desert, and unlike the earlier efforts, it largely succeeded in its objectives. Visibility of the state in the borderlands can be seen in terms of the functionality of its policy implementation (Ferguson and Gupta 2002). The production and circulation of official government discourse can only be known through different parameters of policy implementation. In this regard, we will now discuss how the Indian state reached Thar through several government policies. The Border Area Development Programme (BADP) was a policy made specifically for borderland regions. BADP was started in the seventh five-year plan of the Government of India, with the objective of ‘balanced development of sensitive border areas in the western region through the adequate provision of infrastructural facilities and promotion of a sense of security amongst the local population’ (Planning Commission Report 2001). In 1986–87, this programme was started in four states: Punjab, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, and Gujarat. In the later five-year plans, it was extended to the states which share the IB with other neighbouring countries as well. The main emphasis of this programme was on the development of infrastructures in border areas, which includes power, roads, rest houses, and developing the health, education, and water facilities for locals. Border area was defined as villages which fall in the 0–50 km range of IB, although priority will be given to the villages which come under the 0–10-km category. In Rajasthan BADP covers 13 blocks of four border districts. In 2017–18, BADP was allocated Rs 1,100 crore from the Government of India (Ministry of Home Affairs 2018). This scheme is unique not just because it was specially made for borderland areas, but it allows army officials to be a part of planning decisions in border areas. In the governing committee, the BSF also appoints its members,

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and their role is crucial in fund allocation activities. Not all but some schemes of the BADP program are visible in the Thar Desert. One crucial point here is that for the purpose of local community use, BADP advocates renewable energy projects like solar and wind energy projects, mini hydro projects, biomass gasification, and so on. Conferring with the BADP policy imperative, the Thar Desert is witnessing the large-scale solar and wind energy projects established by private sectors. The problem is that these projects have the least involvement of locals, except for taking their community lands. Apart from ignoring the locals, there are serious concerns of ecological issues. The Ecological Task Force (ETF) was set up by the Territorial Army in 1982. The primary motive behind this was to halt the ecological degradations in the country. In order to do this, ETF runs afforestation projects in the desert. They took 12,368 hectares of land for the purpose of afforestation, which includes plantation and building irrigation channels. ETF claims that from the last 30 years, due to extensive afforestation, the rainfall is increasing, the temperature gets lowered, and it has also increased the availability of cooking fuel, fodder, and timber for the local people and brought awareness of people in protecting the environment. In reality, this site of afforestation, which was mainly a common land, was declared as a military area and civilians are not allowed to enter into this. The workforce of this ETF project mostly consists of retired army personnel; locals do not benefit in terms of employment (Bose 2003). It is not that local people have no concern for the environment. Local knowledge is very useful for environmental protection, but it is largely ignored by the government agencies. Environmental anthropologist Gagne (2013) argues that sometimes people’s actions conflict with their environmental ethics, but their cultural or religious practices clearly reflect the significance of local knowledge and their relationship with the local ecosystem. Thus, secluding the locals from ETF projects is not a good idea and stands in contradiction to the basic objective of the project. Rajasthan is the largest producer of electricity from solar energy. Several solar power plants in Rajasthan are situated in the Thar Desert because they need a huge amount of land. The Thar Desert, which was considered backward in terms of resources, is now doing better due to the arrival of natural and oil gas industries. A  large amount of land was given to industries in order to produce renewable energy, mainly from solar and wind. The windmills that are established near the desert park are creating a hurdle in the natural fly zone of the great Indian bustard. The mobility of the local herders in such a large area was also restricted and regulated, but in short, establishing wind projects makes them completely alien to the land used by their ancestors since time immemorial. In India, news reports such as, ‘[S]ome estimates have put India’s exploitable solar energy potential to be in the range of 7,50,000 MW of about three percent of wasteland is made available’ (Sinha 2018) show that there is a future plan. All these activities are labelled as development projects. The State, along with the ones who have an economic interest in such activities, tries to create a discourse on

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development which at times is not congruent to the demands of people. Reading this type of news might amaze the few, as it is about development, but it has a different reality as well. Brara (2006) said, the production of the environment as an object of enlightened concern almost simultaneously produces sites that demand attention and state/global intervention. The dominant social representation among policymakers often projects waste tracts of common grazing lands as ‘wastelands’ to be greened in the wake of the environmental crisis confronting the country’s arid and semi-arid zones. The state claimed an unquestionable right to wastelands in the colonial period, and not much has changed in post-colonial India. Recently the petroleum refinery was set on the wasteland in Pachpadra Tehsil of Barmer District. Earlier it was supposed to be set in another Tehsil of Barmer, named as Bayatu, where farmers demand fair compensation for their land. To avoid the rightful compensation the Rajasthan government shifted the refinery to the ‘wasteland’ of Pachpadra. This is again ignoring the local reality. Pachpadra is historically known for its salt production. By establishing the refinery on the salt mines, there is a risk of closing down the ancient economic activity in this region. There are more than 200 salt mines located on the land proposed for the refinery. Locals argue that, if the saline area is allotted to the refinery, it will close down an industry based on natural sources at the cost of another industry which can easily be established on any other land. There is more cost to this project as it will make more than 10,000 people jobless. A refinery is taking 4,813 acres of land (Mathrani 2017). It is also to be noted that development projects in the Thar Desert require lots of lands; it restricts the mobility of nomadic people and their herds. From the colonial times, the state considered non-cultivated land as ‘waste’, ‘barren’, a ‘wilderness’ (Bhattacharya 2006). Common land is very much part of nomadic life; denying their right to pasture is not a correct policy. Region, religion, and religious identities: Thar also has its religious life. The temple of Goddess Tanot, in Jaisalmer, is close to the site of the famous battle of Longewala in the war of 1971. The Longewala battle was the first major engagement in the western sector during the war of 1971. The narrative of 1971 war with Pakistan is that the band of 120 men of the 23 battalions of Punjab Regiment held 3,000 Pakistani soldiers and gained an inspiring victory. This kind of narrative reinforces the outsider’s faith in local deities. In this case, Tanot Mata is looked upon as the saviour of the BSF personnel. For security personnel posted at the Rajasthan border, it is a custom to stop at the Tanot Mata temple, apply a teeka of sand to their foreheads, and then move towards the border. Now, the government authorities are trying to develop this temple and Longewala site as a tourist place (Sharma 2017). The temple existed in Longewala from the late medieval period, but it was not much cared for by the outsiders until the war. The temple has now taken a more institutionalised shape, and it would not be wrong to say that cultural realities of everyday life are changing with the arrival of BSF in this region. While talking about cultural practices in Thar, we cannot ignore accounts of Manganiar musicians. The dividing of the Thar frontier in Indo-Pak borders affects

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the Manganiar community in terms of political, religious, and cultural affairs. Like other communities of Thar, Manganiars are also mobile in nature. For the performances, they used to go to the royal courts and other processions in Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Jaipur, Delhi, and Sindh, and Hyderabad and Punjab of the Pakistan region. The mobility of Manganiar was severely affected after the Indian state took a decision to close the border after the 1971 war. Since then this border has become highly patrolled and controlled by the army. In the musical practices of Manganiars, earlier the fusion of Sindhi sur, Sufi music, and the Hindustani raga was a part of their musical practices. Since the partition, their link with Sindh was gone, and due to cultural tourism, they adopted Hindustani classical music and popular Hindi songs (Ayyagari 2012). These two examples make us believe that modern nation-states invest so much in imagining themselves to be territorially discrete and internally homogeneous.

IV: From Pakistan: on the other side of the border The story of the other side of the Thar Desert that is now in Pakistan is not much different. In Pakistan also the state is trying to establish its authority. The recent discovery of coal in Thar was very much celebrated by the Sindh state of Pakistan. Authorities argue that it will change the fortune of the Pakistani state, but in reality because of coal mining, people and the environment on the other side of the Thar Desert are going through a period of crisis (Guriro August 23, 2016). China and Pakistan started a joint venture to excavate the massive coal deposits that lie beneath the Thar Desert and build coal-fired power stations to meet Pakistan’s energy demands. The Pakistan side of Thar Desert in Sindh province contains 175 billion tonnes of lignite coal  – one of the largest untapped coal deposits in the world. It is also one of the most populated deserts in the world – home to world heritage sites and endangered species. This coal project was included as part of a string of energy and infrastructure deals signed under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The Thar Desert is home to seven million cows, goats, sheep, and camels and provides more than 60% of the milk, meat, and leather requirement of Sindh province. Thousands of indigenous trees were cut by the company; these trees were the source of fodder. The vast amount of grazing land is also in a process of being undertaken by a company. Locals are afraid that the company will extract huge amounts of groundwater for coal excavation. Notably this is a region where the groundwater level is dropping in some areas by two metres a year and has fallen to 100-metres deep in some places due to prolonged drought (Guriro, August 23, 2016). Half of the population of Tharparkar and Umarkot district of Sindh province is constituted by Hindu communities. In the last few years, thousands of women and girls from lower Hindu castes have converted to Islam. The trends in these stories are similar, where a girl runs away with a Muslim man, converts to Islam, and

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refuses to be a part of her family. This raises the question as to why only girls and young women are converting their religion; why are mature women not doing the same? The truth behind these forced conversions is not a simple answer. Hindus are in a minority, and within these lower castes, they are more vulnerable. Religious extremist forces from other provinces are now focusing on Sindh province. The conversation between one human rights activist and a law enforcement official makes clear the question of what the role of the state is in changing the social fabric of the Thar borderland. The conversation goes like this, ‘At one point he told me, “the state is not comfortable with you people” ’, recalled Mr. Sharma. I asked if he was referring to Hindus. He said ‘No, everyone’. In other border areas, we get support and facilitation from people about the enemy, but we get no information from people of Tharparkar, from either Muslims or Hindus. There’s no support from the security perspective to the state. When I responded, ‘should we Hindus leave?’ He said, ‘No, we are not asking for that. We simply want Muslims here to be better Muslims’. (Ali 2017) These two stories are well understood by the relation of domination and subordination. This Indo-Pak border serves as a mechanism where difference and exclusion have been promulgated in terms of nationality and religious identity by state and religious forces. The opposition to the coal project makes the Thar people not just the ones who are opposing national growth, but their loyalties are also suspect because of their region and religion.

Conclusion The Thar Desert is a resource-rich location which contains a large amount of petroleum and gas. It is also an ideal site for the generation of electricity through wind and solar energy. It also holds a large amount of common land or ‘wasteland’. In order to exploit all these features of the Thar Desert, Indian and Pakistani states give ‘order’ by making policies in the name of development. Scott (1999) argues that development projects are great utopian ‘social engineering’ schemes run by the modern state. The absence of any kind of strong resistance by the people of Thar assures the smooth implementation of bureaucratic orders. In this borderland, there are certain communities which are more marginal than others; these communities are more vulnerable and unable to resist the exploitation by the state. The state acquires the land in this region in large scale in the name of development and national interest. Presence of a state in contemporary Thar is visible not only in the socio-economic aspect; it was also very much present in ecological and sociocultural everyday realities of people’s lives. In modern times, mobility and trade come with the establishment of development projects by multinational companies. The difference lies in the fact that the

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erstwhile mobile groups became settlers by the ‘forced sedentarization’ with the coming of new mobile groups. Colonial states had the policy to sedentarise the nomadic communities. The post-colonial state does not have any specific policy to sedentarise the nomadic communities, but its policies have latently forced communities to leave their ancestral nomadic practices. Extracting the natural resources by both colonial and post-colonial states shows that both sides of the borderland are witnessing changes in socio-economic and cultural practices. Thus, on the borders, the state establishes a strong relationship with people through the help of security forces and uses the rhetoric of development. The state is playing a key role in the exclusion of people from common land for military establishments and other development projects. The state is using development as a means to enhance its governance at a borderland, which is central for the state in terms of sovereignty. The widespread presence of the modern state in the borderland has also brought changes in the way people perceive themselves and their relationship with the government.

References Alam, M., and Subrahmanyam, S. 2000. The Mughal State, 1526–1750. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Ali, N. S. 2017. “The Truth About Forced Conversion in Thar.” Dawn, August 17. www. Ayyagari, S. 2012. “Spaces Betwixt and Between: Musical Borderlands and the Manganiyar Musicians of Rajasthan.” Asian Music 43 (1): 3–33. amu.2012.0005. Bhatia, V. 2018. “700-km Human Chain in Border Districts Pays Tribute to Martyrs.” The Times of India, August  18. Bhattacharya, N. 2006. “Predicaments of Mobility: Peddlers and Itinerants in Nineteenthcentury Northwestern India; The State and Circulation.” In Society and Circulation: Mobile People and Itinerant Cultures in South Asia, 1750–1950, edited by Claude Markovits, Jacques Pouchepadass, and Sanjay Subrahmanyam. Bangalore: Permanent Black. Bose, A. 2003. “Rajasthan: Stalling the March of Thar Desert.” Economic and Political Weekly 38 (17). Bourdieu, P., Loic J. D. Wacquant., and Farage, S. 1994. “Rethinking the State: Genesis and Structure of the Bureaucratic Field.” Sociological Theory 12 (1): 1–18. doi:10.2307/202032 Brara, R. 2006. Shifting Landscapes: The Making and Remaking of Village Commons in India. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Das, V., and D. Poole. 2004. “State and its margins: Comparative ethnographies.” Anthropology in the Margins of the State, 3–33. Ferguson, J., and A. Gupta. 2002. “Spatializing States: Toward an Ethnography of Neoliberal Governmentality.” American Ethnologist 29 (4): 981–1002. Gagne, K. 2013. “Gone with the Trees: Deciphering the Thar Desert’s Recurring Drought.” Current Anthropology 54 (4): 497–509. Gellner, D. N. 2013. Borderland Lives in Northern South Asia. Durham: Duke University Press.

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Gurriro, A. 2016. “Pakistan’s Coal Expansion Brings Misery to Villagers in Thar Desert.”, August 16. sion-brings-misery-to-villagers-in-thar-desert/. Ibrahim, F. 2009. Settlers, Saints and Sovereigns: An Ethnography of State Formation in Western India. New Delhi: Routledge Publication. Kothiyal, T. 2016. Nomadic Narratives: A History of Mobility and Identity in the Great Indian Desert. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Lodrick, D. O., K. Schomer, J. L., Erdmanand L. I. Rudolph. 1994. The Idea of Rajasthan: Explorations in Regional Identity. New Delhi: Manohar Publishers. Mathrani, M. 2017. “Barmer Refinery in Rajasthan Hits Salt Mine Roadblock.” Hindustan Times, November  17. Ministry of Home Affairs. 2018. “Border Area Development Program.” sites/default/files/BordDevel%28BADP%29_16022018.PDF Piliavasky, A. 2015. “The ‘Criminal Tribe’ in India before the British.” Comparative Studies in Society and History 57 (2): 323–54. Planning Commission Report. 2001. “Report of the working group on border area development programme.” ittee/wrkgrp/wg_badp.pdf. Scott, J. C. 1998. Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Sharma, V. 2017. “You Saw it in Border: A Temple Amid the Dunes Feeds Barracks Lore.” The New Indian Express, August 17. you-saw-it-in-border-a-temple-amid-the-dunes-feeds-barracks-lore-1644627.html. Sinha, A. 2018. “Catching the Sun at the Bhadla Solar Park.” The Indian Express, June 18.

11 MANY LIVES OF A BORDER Mentalities, subjectivities of the nation-state at the India-Bangladesh Border Haats Jigme Wangdi

I: Introduction Conceptualising borders in the South Asian context is an engaging and at the same time a problematic enterprise, more so when it comes to understanding the polychromos borderland economies situated along the India-Bangladesh borderland (van Schendel 1993). Straddling across the varying categories of ‘legal’, ‘illegal’, ‘licit’, and the ‘illicit’ among many other categories, the borders in this part of South Asia have long been seen through the perspective of bordering, ordering, and much-vaunted mobility controlling practices of the nation-states involved in the ‘othering’ process (van Houtum and van Naerssen 2002; van Schendel and Abraham 2005; van Houtum 2005). Perhaps it can be understood as an unwanted remnant of the ‘partitioned’ times we live in, to use Samaddar’s useful phrase (Samaddar 2003). This chapter seeks to make an attempt to understand the statist rationale in ‘legitimising’ and thereby making ‘official’ a specific category of rural spaces of commercial exchange known as Border Haats in the two Northeastern states of India, namely Tripura and Meghalaya with the bordering regions of Bangladesh. To begin with a query, how does one seek to understand the bilateral mechanism of instituting Border Haats in the India-Bangladesh borderland, particularly in the two Northeastern states of Meghalaya and Tripura with the adjoining districts of Bangladesh? Among the pertinent questions one can ask is what could be the nation-states rationale in initiating such policy initiatives when it comes to ‘sensitive spaces’ which are as disputed and conflicted as India-Bangladesh borderlands? (Cons 2016). Further, queries regarding the scale of participation of the local stakeholders of the Northeastern states and its complete internalisation by them would play an essential part in gaining a comprehensive understanding of its functioning and nature. Truth be told, the answers to these questions can be very multifaceted depending on one’s ideological hue and temperament. From the perspective of

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individual scholars, instituting Border Haats might be a way of affirming the control of the state at its margins (i.e. legalising the ‘illegal’ or the ‘informal’ and thereby making it ‘legible’ and ‘official’)(Boyle and Rahman 2018; Scott 2009). For significant others it might be perceived as a turnaround in the statist approach to redeem its policy prescriptions in relation to the border population in the Northeastern region who have until now either been ignored or subjected to the repressive acts of the state apparatus until recently (Yhome 2019). The South Asian approach to understanding borders and its dynamics has long been a victim of certain models of post-partition psychology or thinking which continually strive or compete to be at par with the modernist definitions of European state systems: of being territorially sovereign states without any rough edges (Paasi 2012; Krishna 1994,1999). The post-colonial insecurity of being attacked by, being violated of its territorial sanctity by the imagined or the real ‘others’ who are not considered to be part of the ‘moral’, ‘nationalist’, self might be critical in explaining this predicament (Krishna 1999; Pandey 1999). However, having said that it must be argued here that borderland economies in the India-Bangladesh border region follow their own inherent dynamics and logic for their sustenance and independent existence (Baud and van Schendel 1997). The differential needs of the societies residing at the borders and the mainland might be the reason for such varied perspectives on the border as to its utility or symbolic importance (van Schendel 2005). Needless to add, there are many ways in which one can imagine the borders at their different operative levels in the India-Bangladesh border region, more so for those inhabitants whose survival depends on their ingeniousness and manoeuvrability in their border politics about the actions or inactions of the nation-states in which they are located (Sur 2013; Das 2014). The state in the name of its ‘imagined nation’ has various mechanisms in its arsenal to assert its presence in the margins. The most common method employed is to put in place a functional bureaucracy replete with the regalia of the state power, which is further made visible by placing paramilitary forces of various types, custom officials, and other agents of the state at the borders (Baud and van Schendel 1997). The purpose is to mark the purported territories of the nation-state and at the same time act as the disciplining power of the border population, which is often the case when perceived as a suspect population whose loyalties cannot be trusted. Another way of looking at this political act is, by doing so, it gives certain privileged notions of assurance, however conflicted and tenuous it might be to the state that it has sovereign control over its territorial margins. However, there is a marked disjunction between the policy imperatives of the states and the practical realities of its operation at the ground level. Similarly, on a different plane, the borderlands too chose different strategies of circumvention, bypassing or in outright conflict with the state apparatus as various means to deal with the political reality of borders in their spaces of existence and habitation (Deleixhe Dembinska and Iglesias 2019). To cite an example: the use of ‘jungle passports’ to cross the forested terrain of the border is an essential indicator to the various unofficial ways in which the borders

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are crossed and negotiated by the borderland population (Sur 2013). The word ‘juggle passports’ denotes the absence of any official, nationalised document for travel by the people at the borders and using the subterfuge offered by the forested or difficult terrain to their advantage (Sur 2013).

II: Finding the ‘nation-state’ in the Border Haats The India-Bangladesh border is considered the longest border in the South Asian region. It must be remembered here that the topography or terrain of the IndiaBangladesh border is anything but a ‘controlled’ and ‘state-managed’ border (van Schendel 2005). That India shares roughly around four thousand plus kilometres of border with neighbouring Bangladesh is an often-quoted figure in official circles of policy making and academia alike. It straddles along with many Northeastern states: Tripura, Assam, Meghalaya, and Mizoram along with the eastern state of West Bengal (Ministry of Home Affairs 2019). Interestingly, it is not the nature of these borders that makes it inherently fluid or dynamic. Still, it is the age-old or historical ties of kinship, matrimonial alliances, and trade linkages spanning across centuries that give the space its peculiar dynamism and its resilience (Ludden 2003). Further, the issue becomes much more complicated when one takes into account the strategic location of those Northeastern states in India with adjoining Bangladesh where the other official Border Haats have been established and more are on the anvil. The Northeastern states of India are very tenuously connected to the Indian mainland, that too primarily by a thin strip of landmass commonly known as the chicken neck (Siliguri region). Further scholars with the likes of Duncan McDuie-Ra have perceptively observed that the political and geographical connections and relations between the Northeastern region with mainland India have been quite weak, problematic, and at best tenuous (McDuie-Ra 2012, 2014). The institution of Border Haats in the Northeastern borderland thus, in this context, serves many purposes for the Indian state other than improving the economic conditions of the people living in these spaces. The Northeastern states for long have been a victim of weathered and oftenrepeated statist practices of policy making and its unenviable implementation. Despite putting in a lot of investment in the region in monetary terms, the region has veritably failed to take off as some expected it to become a model of sorts as a ‘developed state’ (Chatterjee 2014). Various localised issues of insurgency, mafia, and drug trafficking have made the region a pariah of sorts amongst the comity of states in India. Inferring from the works of Nimmi Kurien, it can be very much argued that there are many inadequacies in these centralised Delhi-centric perspectives of policy making with respect to border regions of India, and a lot of recalibration and reworking are called for in its border policies (Kurian 2014). It is in this context that the bilateral initiative of instituting official Border Haats at the India-Bangladesh borderland needs to be situated.

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It was during the visit of Sheikh Hasina, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh to India from 10–13 January 2010, that the decision to initiate the bilateral policy of Border Haats was put into the official parlance (Ministry of Commerce and Industry 2017). Be as it may, the policy of Border Haats and its successful implementation in its stated objective is too early to envisage although a broader pattern is visible as to its politics and nuances. It must be argued here that although the ‘official’ Border Haats might be presented as a new idea whose genesis could be traced to the bilateral agreements between India and Bangladesh in the 2010 or even the 1972 Agreement, in reality the cross-exchange of goods, services, and people at those spaces has not been a novel one. It is important to note that ‘the history of mobility in this part of the world is much older than the history of territoriality’ (Tripathi and Chaturvedi 2019). These mobilities consisted of a whole lot of exchanges of various types like trading in local goods and services. The first Border Haat was opened on 23 July 2011 in the Kalaichar-Baliamari region (Talukdar 2011; Ministry of Commerce and Industry 2017). The former is located in the West Garo Hill district of Meghalaya, and the latter is located in the Kurigram district of Bangladesh (Talukdar 2011; Ministry of Commerce and Industry 2017). The second Border Haat was opened in the Balat-Dalora region. Balat similarly is located in the East Khasi Hill district of Meghalaya, and Dalora is situated in the Sunamganj district, one of the districts of Bangladesh (Ministry of Commerce and Industry 2017). In the other state of Tripura, the first Border Haat is located in the Srinagar region which is located in the South Tripura district paired with East Madhugram which is located in the northeastern Feni district of Bangladesh (Ministry of Commerce and Industry 2017). The second Border Haat in Tripura was inaugurated in the region of Kamalasagar of Sipahijala district paired with Kasba which is a part of Brahmanbaria district of Bangladesh (PTI 2015; Ali 2015). As per the 2010 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on establishing Border Haats across the border between India and Bangladesh, the primary role was in: Promoting the well-being of the people dwelling in the remote areas across the borders of two countries by establishing traditional systems of marketing the local produce through local markets. (Ministry of Commerce and Industry 2010) To be started as the pilot project initially, the MoU on Border Haats had clearly stated provisions for setting up of such market places in rural areas of the bordering regions of the Northeastern states with Bangladesh. For instance, the agreement noted that the proposed Border Haats should be selected jointly by India and Bangladesh based on certain criteria like historical location, difficulty in access, the interdependence of the population on both sides of the border, and availability of a suitable location (Ministry of Commerce and Industry 2017). For the overall management of the affairs of the Border Haats, a Joint Committee of Border Haats

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would be instituted. This Joint Committee on Border Haats was to be headed by Joint Secretary level officers of both nation-states. These officers would coordinate among themselves and fine-tune the ‘operational modalities’ in the functioning of these spaces of exchange (Ministry of Commerce and Industry 2010). It was further decided in the agreement that the Joint Committee would be assisted by other relevant departments from both countries. A provision for the yearly meeting of the Joint Committee for Border Haats was also agreed upon. The Memorandum also had a provision for the suspension of the Agreement where the operations at the Border Haats could be suspended by giving 30 days advance notice in writing (Ministry of Commerce and Industry 2017). Significantly, although the MoU pertaining to the functioning of the Border Haats was signed in 2010, it was to remain valid till the year 2013 (Ministry of Commerce and Industry 2010). It meant that for the next four years, till 2017, the Border Haats in these four places ran with respect to the ‘good will’ of the authorities of both the nation-states of India and Bangladesh. It had to wait for April 2017, by which time the 2010 Memorandum was reapproved by the present NDA government in India with its Bangladeshi counterparts (Ministry of Commerce and Industry 2017). Perhaps the domestic issues of the Teesta River sharing or the Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) which was signed in the year 2015 might have occupied the overwhelming part of policy attention of the respective governments. Further, the issue of a National Register of Citizens in the Indian state of Assam, which has overt communal connotations with respect to the Muslim Bangladeshis, might have compelled India and Bangladesh to look the other way around. So far as the modalities of operation are concerned, the MoU consisted of elaborate clauses regarding the various aspects of the functioning of the Border Haats. The original MoU of 2010 comprised 14 articles (one more article was added in the 2017 version of the agreement, taking the total to 15) which dealt with the various facets of the working of the Border Haats. Apart from the constitution of the Haat Management Committee, whose purpose was to look into the organisational aspects and matters of the Border Haats as enshrined in Article 1 of the Memorandum, it is Article 2 which is interesting and revealing for the purposes of this chapter. The wordings of this article bring to the fore statist concern for security and its efforts to sanitise the functioning of the Haats as much as possible. For instance, Article 2 was written under the following heading: Area, Fencing and the Constructions of the Border Haats, which stated: the size of the Border Haats will generally be 75x75 metres on the zero line (Ministry of Commerce and Industry 2017). By allotting a designated space of a limited measurement for the functioning of the Border Haats, the nation-states were ensuring the creation of a commercial space of exchange which can be easily regulated and managed. Also, it meant by defining the area/space that was to be marked as a commercial space for border people, commercial and other transactions falling over and above the stated measurement might be entering the realm of ‘unofficial’, ‘informal’, and even ‘illegal’.

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It would be interesting to note that the politics of transnationality, commodity flows, and material culture are seldom restricted by the notions of space, especially the ones mandated by the statist authorities, thereby providing much dynamism to the entire process of informal cross-border exchange (Sur 2013). Interesting are the ways in which goods and services flow across the bordering regions of India-Bangladesh. Further, as per the modalities on the functioning of the Border Haats, the organisational committee has to take into account the design as mentioned in Annexure A (which consists of a graphic depiction of the Border Haats as part of the MoU) in such a way that the area of the Border Haats should be equal on both sides of the zero line (Ministry of Commerce and Industry 2017). The concept of ‘zero lines’ is also a problematic and contested one, especially in the border areas of Northeastern states that share their borders with Bangladesh. The very fact that Sur’s idea of ‘jungle passports’ was a successful manoeuvring tactic points to the fact that it has been very difficult for the nation-states of India and Bangladesh to have established demarcated territories in many areas of the India-Bangladesh border region. That explains the security and anxieties of the nation-state when it comes to its borders. Further, Article 2 mentions that there should be two entry/exit points: one for the Indian citizens and thereby on the Indian territory and correspondingly another for the Bangladeshi citizens in their territory. This provision in Article 2 of the Memorandum is reflective of the bureaucratic thinking of the state apparatus on both sides of the border (Ministry of Commerce and Industry 2017). It goes without saying that these entry and exit gates were to be maintained by the respective border-guarding forces of the two nation-states. Two observations are to be made in this context. First is the issue of constant surveillance by the border forces of the respective nation-states citizens as well as non-citizens, and second is the need for some type of documentation (read no passports are required) to prove the identity of the people who would either visit the Border Haats as buyers or sellers of goods (Ministry of Commerce and Industry 2010). Surveillance, needless to add, is an important mechanism of the nation-states to distinguish their ‘real’ citizens from the aliens or the residents of the ‘other’ nation-state. The logic of legibility follows from this statist practice of surveillance. As for the functioning of the Border Haats, many such initiatives have been put in place which severely restrict the nature and the amount of goods to be transacted in the Border Haats. Further as per another sub-clause of Article 2, as mentioned in the MoU on Border Haats, the boundaries of the Border Haats had to be constructed with either ‘concertina or barbed wire’. The metaphor and symbolisms associated with the use of concertina or barbed wire is all too familiar in the lives of the borderland population of Northeastern Indian states with Bangladesh (McDuie-Ra 2012, 2014). It is primarily known for its limited and restrictive connotations added with the costs of transgression if at all it takes place. The cost can be as debilitating as being killed by the security forces of either side (Sur 2013; van Schendel 2005). Boyle and Rahman (2018) have perceptively argued that the construction of the Border Haats

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needs to be seen in conjunction with the parallel rhetoric of constant securitisation and fencing by the Indian nation-state. In this regard, Willem Van Schendel (2005) has observed that it was in the year 1986 that India had decided to start constructing a new fence with Bangladesh. The stated objective of this policy was to put a lid on the menace of unauthorised migration and smuggling. As per the report of the Government of India, it was mentioned that ‘the total length of the India-Bangladesh border sanctioned for fencing is 3326.14 km, out of which 2731 km of fencing has so far been completed’ (Ministry of Home Affairs 2016). Duncan McDuie-Ra (2014), in his timely intervention, has perceptively observed and pointed out the differing narratives around the concept of the fence at the national level in India and in the borderland itself. He further noted that the politicisation of fencing takes place at many levels. His study is important in two aspects: he mentions that the policy of fencing as part of the border management strategy of the Ministry of Home Affairs has anything but a contested trajectory. McDuie-Ra argues that fences have been built not in the line of demarcation between two countries but 150 yards within Indian territory as designated by the Indo-Bangladesh Border Agreement of 1974 and the subsequent Joint IndiaBangladesh guidelines of 1975 (McDuie-Ra 2014). It is this dispute, particularly about the demarcation of the 150 yards buffer zone, that is posing a hindrance to the fencing process ( Jamwal 2004). For him the corollary problem to this contested definition of the buffer zone is the problem faced in the land requisition process in the border regions. In this context, he mentions how the narratives of infiltration, a threat to national security, and the bureaucratic requirement of monitoring trade has led to over-support of the fencing process between India and Bangladesh. At the same time, he also mentions the different ways in which the borderland population in Meghalaya deal with this border management strategy of the central Government of India. As part of the borderland narratives, he talks about the three ways in which the borderland populations deal with the national narratives of fencing. From outright hostility, to support and indifference, these borderland populations negotiate with the statist policy of fencing in many different ways and means (McDuie-Ra 2014). Moving forward, Article 3, as enshrined in the Memorandum, contains a list of commodities that would be made available for transaction and exchange. The focus on the ‘local produce through local market’ might have entailed and even necessitated the agrarian nature of the commodity basket that could be traded in these Border Haats. From melamine products to vegetables and food items, a variety of commodities are sold and being purchased in these Border Haats (Ministry of Commerce and Industry 2010). However, the commodity basket, if read carefully, is marked by specific exclusions. Of the exclusions precisely two items stand out. Of the two items, timber and its sale are outrightly prohibited and mentioned explicitly in Article 3 of the Memorandum, and the other item which is conspicuous by its absence is the sale of fresh fish in the commodity basket and not the dry fish variety that is available in the Border Haats. The statist rationale in defining

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the commodity basket in a certain way and the exclusion of these two items is a commentary on the different ways in which the nation-state confers meanings on certain commodities and items of everyday use and exchange in these borderland economies. Malini Sur’s work would be helpful in analysing the exclusions of the two aforementioned items. Sur argues that the image of a ‘Bangladeshi, Muslim, male’ is a recurring theme in the securitised discourse of defence authorities in India. The usual tropes of illegal migration, terrorism, and smuggling are regularly associated with such images of being a ‘Bangladeshi’, ‘Muslim’, ‘male’. Interestingly, the fish selling and timber trade are the prerogative of this very category of Muslims who needs to be put under surveillance and watched for any sort of problem. Compare and contrast this category of Muslim men with the local Adivasi woman, as Sur mentions in her work. These Adivasi women who specialise in small-scale garment trade are given more or less free rein in many unofficial and unrecognised Border Haats in the Northeastern region. Malini Sur (2013) tellingly observes how at the borders certain items of daily use and subsistence are imbibed with new meanings and their trade is heavily restricted and surveilled by the Indian state. The same could be argued in the case of official Border Haats as well. The exclusion of the two important items (i.e. timber and fresh fish) might be explained in this context. This bilateral policy of Border Haats requires the presence and establishment of a significant infrastructure both in terms of security requirements and the physical infrastructure for its ‘proper’ functioning. A mutual consensus of all the stakeholders is required for its successful organisation. The restrictive tenor of the Agreement is also visible in the wordings or bureaucratic terminologies of Article 5 of the Memorandum. The article explicitly states that ‘only residents of the area within five kilometres will be allowed to sell their products in the Border Haats’ (Ministry of Commerce and Industry 2010). It gets further restrictive when as, per the modalities of the MoU of 2010, only 25 vendors were to be allowed from each country. Maybe, being in the pilot stage of implementation and the modalities of its functioning yet to be figured out might explain such restrictive tenor and temperament of this provision. But, even after seven years of its existence, the number of vendors allowed in the reapproved 2017 Memorandum was increased only by another 25 vendors, taking the total allowable limit to 50. This is a significant limitation in the functioning of the official Border Haats in the India-Bangladesh border region. Needless to add, these limitations in the number of vendors allowed might persuade the borderland small-scale traders to carry on with their informal trading practices. An interesting aspect in the functioning of the Border Haats that needs to be mentioned is the constant requirement on the part of the borderland people to negotiate with the state apparatus at various levels of its functioning. These negotiations are made visible when it is acknowledged that in every stage of its functioning the vendors or the vendees have to obtain permission from the different agents of the state in both nation-states. From getting licences to trade in the Border

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Haats till their departure from the Border Haats (Article 9 of the Memorandum), at each and every level, constant surveillance is to be carried out by the state. A large repository of information on the vendors or the buyers would ensure that a documentary regime is put into practice which would again help the state in making ‘legible’ the hitherto ‘illegible’ population on the borders of the India-Bangladesh border region. However, at the same time, it also leads to the emergence of a particular space of hybridity at the borders. The location of the Haats at the international zero line provides us with a certain context to analyse the spaces of exchange so emerged. At the zero lines, the Border Haats exhibit a space which opens for only a few days a week (depending on the location of the Border Haat), where despite the presence of the state apparatus, the border subjects can trade freely although in a limited quantity of goods without the need for passports or visas and most importantly without paying the custom duties. The absence of the post-colonial ‘citizenship affirming’ practices of the state, mobility controlling mechanism of Border Haats in these official rural trading spaces provides us with new insights to conceptualise the notion of hybridity in its functioning even though for a brief period of time. For instance, although the Border Haats are ways by which different cross-sections of the society on both sides of the border engage in an ‘official’ version of the border trade, one wonders, devoid of their Indian or Bangladeshi passports, what ‘nationalist’ credentials they possess in those rural spaces of commercial exchange. In a way, a hybridised space of transnational identities which is devoid of statist attributes could be seen in the functioning of Border Haats (Schendel 2005), even though Article 8 of the MoU on Border Haats stipulates the use of ‘photo identity cards’ and mandates that the holder of one identity card should not be allowed to enter into the other nation-states territory points out to the markings of its citizens and restricts their mobility on the other side. However, rather than affirming nationalist credentials of the vendors and the buyers, it can be argued that these photo identity cards had utilitarian connotations and usages for the borderland population engaging in the commercial spaces of the Border Haats. On a different plane the non-levying of custom duties on the proceeds of the goods so traded points out the fact that state exchequers are not getting replenished in ways which can be made possible when trading activities are carried out at official levels, which is primarily carried on overland or by waterways. Thus, we have to understand the myriad subjectivities involved or, put simply, the different ways in which the state perceives its bilateral tool of Border Haats. For scholars like Boyle and Rahman (2018), the optics of reading and understanding Border Haats in the India-Bangladesh space should be seen in conjunction with the perspective of the rhetoric of border fencing by the Indian state authorities. They argue that Border Haats serve a utilitarian purpose for the Indian state whereby the main objective is to make the border population legible to the state and build a confidencegenerating infrastructure by which they can seek support from the border population in the larger political processes of fencing and guarding of the India-Bangladesh

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borders in the nearby future. The aforementioned scholars have therefore in a way cast aspersions on the Indian state’s behaviour in relation to its border population. Far from being a real mechanism of border diplomacy whose purpose would have been to improve a lot of the border people, they see it as again a part of the Delhicentric policy of affirming identities on a community which has hitherto avoided such easy categorisations and appellations (Baud and van Schendel 1997). On the other hand, there are varied policy perspectives and newspaper reports which point out the positive aspects of the functioning of the Border Haats. These reports and policy perspectives have argued that much has changed in the livelihood status of the border population since the Border Haats started functioning. To prove their point, they quote official figures of trade (showing an upward trend) in the functioning of the Border Haats. As per data furnished by the concerned state governments, the cash trade equivalent to Indian rupees 16.86 crores was carried out at the said four Border Haats in the five-year period ending 2015–16 (Arun 2017). However, its continuation and replication in other border regions depend a lot on many aspects, the most important of which is a sound bilateral relationship among the two nation-states of India and Bangladesh, which will be engaging in such initiatives, and the will of the border population to attune and acclimatise themselves to statist practices of carrying out trade and commerce. Providing the borderland population better terms of trade and infrastructure facilities would be an important move in this direction (PIB 2019).

III. Many shades of Border Haats Can it be argued that Border Haats are a way of creating sanitised spaces which help the state to make legible subjects of governance? (Scott 2009). Is the regulatory tenor of the states more of an obstacle when it comes to the cross-border exchange of goods, services, and people at precisely those places where there exist unregulated histories of movement and mobilities of various kinds? What would have happened if the states had not initiated the practice of Border Haats in those four places? Why did the nation states not choose West Bengal as a district of preference for instituting Border Haats when it is this state which shares the longest borders with Bangladesh? The answers are not that easy and forthcoming. Further research would help us in unravelling clues to many of these problematic questions. The state-induced understandings of border trade and its economic importance are reflected in its differential attitudes towards certain flows of goods, commodities, and services through certain official spaces like Integrated Check Posts (ICP) and Land Ports which are considered official and subsequently of ‘national’ importance. This same logic can be applied in the case of India-Bangladesh border economies as well. However, when it comes to the borders in this region, there has been much official and popular clamour for the need to put in place sanitised spaces for governance in these allegedly ‘problematic’ regions. Thus, unlike the officialised models of high-volume trade in goods, commodities, and services through

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officialised and formal check points and ports of various kinds, any transaction which is carried out without state sanction is put in the domain of ‘un-sanitised’, ‘informal’, or in many cases in the realm of the ‘illegal’ and ‘dangerous’ to the national self. Border Haats, in such a line of thinking can be seen to be making legitimate the ‘illegitimate’ and the ‘informal’ economic exchange of the population in the India-Bangladesh border region. Having said that, it must also be argued that there are many such informal spaces of commercial exchange in the border region of the Northeastern states with Bangladesh which are unofficially acknowledged and are carried out with or without the active statist presence (Boyle and Rahman 2018; Sur 2013). These are a few of the moments when the state and the borderlanders it seems are in agreement at least at the ideational level on the differential perspectives on the importance of the borders. As Rumford had observed, there is no disagreement so far as the existence of the borders is concerned; however, the perspectives vary as to the different purposes to which borders could be put to use (Rumford 2012). It is in this context that we have to understand what makes Border Haats a new and innovative bilateral tool of border diplomacy. Border Haats are a novel idea in the sense that despite the parallel discourses of securitisation and fencing and the prevalent rhetoric of the need for a strong nation-state (with an anti-immigrant stance at its core), it provides certain spaces within the borders of the nation-state where they are considerate enough to the needs and special requirements of the border economy and its dependent population. A new imagining of the borders is quite possible and visible by the nation-states if they seek to engage with the varied dynamics and nuances of the borders in their overall totality rather than through the securitised tropes of ‘management’ and ‘regulation’. It must be recognised that India-Bangladesh borders are primarily a result of the partition moment of 1947 which culminated at first with the creation of borders between India and East Pakistan, and then after the political developments of 1971, borders came to be drawn along with the independent nation-states of Bangladesh and India. Even after the partition on religious lines of the contiguous Hindu or Muslim population, the developments at the ground level regarding the bordering practices of the state left much to be desired as far as its self-definition of sovereign self was concerned (Roy 2012). For a significant amount of time the borders were kept open, and not many practices and structures of regulation and management were implemented in the border region. Even after the implementation of the Passport and Visa Scheme of 1952, the nation-states involved utterly failed to tame the alleged ‘border’ flows. From the perspectives of the newly minted nation-states, all those without the possession of state-sanctioned documents like passports and migration cards, among many other documents, were considered to be ‘illegal’ and liable to be deported, or in some cases were put to harassment and put under incarceration as well (Roy 2012). However, despite the political posturing of the Union government at Delhi and much against their wishes, the flows of people, goods, and services continued and to an extent still continue to this day (Schendel 2005).

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Although as Das puts it, for a proper understanding of the dynamics of the border economies, it is important to categorise amongst the various flows that mark and unmark them. For instance, it would be important to differentiate between criminal syndicates specialising in drugs and other human trafficking networks using the remoteness of the border states as subterfuge with those people whose trading activities or subsistence depends on cross-border commercial exchange (Das 2014). This is an important distinction and must be taken into account by the states that wish to make informed decisions with relation to their border policies and prescriptions. The state-induced notions of governance as reflected in the employment or deployment of state-sanctioned borders and its accompanying apparatus are very much a new idea politically in this part of the subcontinent, especially for its inhabitants whose lives were altered for all times to come after the imposition of borders (van Schendel 2005). The new border howsoever arbitrarily marked what was once a dynamic site of economic and socio-cultural linkages of various kinds. The modern state system seeks to invisibilise these old practices, institutions, and mobilities in their cartographic projects to present a bureaucratic and mechanical picture of tidiness which conforms to Gyanendra Pandey’s words and panders to its ‘nationalist’ core. These spaces or zones were not only a dynamic site for exchanges of various groups of people but were also an important part of the migratory route of many ethnic groups and affiliations to and from its neighbouring countries of South Asia as well as Southeast Asia. For instance, it is through those spaces or zones that Ahoms (an ethnic group) from Burma came into the present Indian province of Assam and made it their home (Chatterjee 2014). During colonial times, these spaces witnessed varied mobilities of labour which were a result of the different commercial policies of the colonial governments, most preferably as ‘coolies’ and ‘labourers’ to work in the plantation sector in Assam. The region was way more dynamic in its mobilities and its multifaceted character than the nation-states would have acknowledged unofficially but never admitted officially. The state behaves in different ways at different parts of the borders and for altogether different reasons. There are many informal markets along the IndiaBangladesh border which carry out its localised trading activities without having any official sanction of the agents of the state. For instance, Rahman and Boyle and Sur have mentioned in their studies of the existence of many such informal, unofficial market places in the Northeastern borderlands. They argue that despite the presence of the disciplining agents of the state in the borders, the borderland population carries on with their trading activities under the statist gaze without much interference. Interestingly, the economic gains accrued from transactions at such marketplaces too are not going to the state coffers as in the case of the Border Haats instituted along the official India-Bangladesh borderland. This begets a question: Why would a nation-state invest in a policy measure when there are no economic gains accruing from it?

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How does one come to terms with the existence of such spaces of commercial exchange at the borders of nation-states where the very act of going to the market and engaging in commercial activities would entail crossing the international border between the two nation-states of India and Bangladesh? Is it a commentary on the arbitrariness of their respective nation-making projects reflected in their inability to regulate such markets at such spaces, or are the states purposefully or wilfully looking the other way when it comes to such spaces of commercial exchange? One can tacitly be in agreement that for such informal commercial spaces to be peaceful and to function there has to be a consensus of some sort along with all the stakeholders. A bitter bilateral relationship between the neighbours and tumultuous politics in the bordering towns or districts might create disturbances in their functioning. Besides certain accommodative politics of the stakeholders, there are certain ways and means by which the border inhabitants can negotiate with the agents of the state in such informal spaces of exchange. In this context, Sahana Ghosh has perceptively commented on the civil-military relations and their varied dynamics in India’s eastern borderlands. From her field study, Ghosh brings to the fore an interesting facet of the ways in which borders are negotiated by the borderland population. She has shown that the agents of the state, in this case the Border Security Force, which have been given the responsibility of looking after the IndiaBangladesh borders, are found many times outside the professional ethics of the services of which they are a part. Prone to occasional bribery and many times relenting to the pleas of request, Ghosh has shown that these petty sovereigns many times diverge from their duties and in a way help produce a utilitarian definition of borders for the people crossing them (Ghosh 2019). However, it must be mentioned here that the India-Bangladesh border region is also very much prone to violence and the arbitrary functioning of the Border Security Force (Ghosh 2013). The problem is in the absence of credible data as to the number of killings on the border. The lack of transparency is also one of the key components of the securitised practices of the state.

Conclusion So, what does the policy of Border Haats seek to achieve as a policy tool despite its limited and restrictive dispositions? Seen in all totality, of the 15(fifteen) articles mentioned in defining the various modalities of the functioning of the Border Haats, around 6(six) articles of the agreement deal with provisions of securitisation in its various manifestations. Of importance here are the clauses of Articles 2,8,9,10,12, and 13 (Ministry of Commerce and Industry 2017). Despite the limited time frame for which it has been instituted (for around ten years), the Border Haats have come a long way in a short time period to exhibit certain possibilities which could be harnessed and developed by the respective nation-states to provide the border residents a fair share of the prosperity which has long been denied to

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them. As a measure of its success, there are increasing demands at various levels for the establishment of such Border Haats, not only along the India-Bangladesh borderland but also replicating the same on the borders with our neighbouring countries like Bhutan, Myanmar, and Nepal among many other neighbouring countries. Demands for its replication are from a number of Northeastern states of Mizoram, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, and Nagaland to establish many such Border Haats along the India-Myanmar border (Chakraborty 2020). However, as per newspaper reports, there are demands from both sides to increase the value as well as the number of goods in the list of commodities that could be allowed to be traded in these sanatised spaces of Border Haats. For instance, in the case of Border Haats located in Tripura, there is much demand for the Bangladeshi Hilsa fish on the Indian side and the corresponding demand for the sale of India cattle (beef) on the Bangladeshi side (Chakraborty 2016). Interesting are the ways in which the politics of the nation-state are played out in the food plates of its citizens. These demands of certain food items suggest that, if these items are allowed to be traded in the Border Haats, not only the volume but even the qualitative aspects of the trading would also be increased manifold. The goodwill generated would be a logical corollary to such well-suited localised transactions which would be tailor-made to suit the local demands and supply chains of the borderland population. Similarly, if one looks at the amount of transactions that are being allowed presently, it points to the evolution of the state’s departure from the rigid and suspicious understandings of border economies along the India-Bangladesh borderland. A certain kind of liberal attitude in behaviour is visible in such posturing by the nation-states involved. As per the renewed agreement of 2017, not only the bilateral project of Border Haats was given an extra lease of life by extending its validity to a period of five years, but it also added a provision by which the Border Haats could be renewed for another subsequent term if there is a mutual consensus of the stakeholders involved in the process (Ministry of Commerce and Industry 2017). However, the potency of this initiative as a game-changer can only be realised if one viewsthe bigger picture of the overall India-Bangladesh bilateral relationship holistically. Although an important policy tool for improving the lot of the borderland population, much depends on the goodwill of the two nation-states with regard to the other areas of bilateral cooperation. It is important to acknowledge the bilateral initiative of Border Haats as a part of the overall schema of the bilateral relationship between these two nation-states of India and Bangladesh. Rather than seeing the institution and practices of Border Haats as an isolated instance of the foreign policy making process, it would be worthwhile to ponder upon the many that are ‘doable’, which might give an additional thrust to this bilateral mechanism of Border Haats. To cite an example, much ill will has been generated with the current NDA regime’s enactment of the Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizen programme in Assam. With its communal overtones, it has significantly embittered the bilateral relationship between India and Bangladesh.

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Even though the Bangladeshi government helmed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has time and again reiterated that the aforesaid matters are internal to India, in reality, these laws and practices enacted by the Indian state have very much kept alive the trope of ‘open borders’ and its attendant dangers stemming from it as in the case of Bangladeshi illegal migration and Islamic terrorism. This is a classic example of the domestic politics of a nation-state impinging on the bilateral relationship between the two countries. Another issue which has long eluded any consensual agreement between the two parties of India and Bangladesh is the case of the Teesta Water Agreement. These are just two of the major issues whose nonresolution is preventing the full-fledged development of the bilateral relationship between the India-Bangladesh governments. In the changing equations of international relations, the world over and in South Asia itself, it would be much better for India to bring in the requisite confidence among all stakeholders irrespective of the difference in the power relations and move towards a resolution of the problems affecting the South Asian integration processes. In the case of Border Haats, although the demands are ever-increasing from the different cross-sections of the borderland societies for its replication in other areas of the region, the Bangladeshi counterparts took more than two years to grant the No-Objection-Certificate for establishing more Border Haats in Tripura. (Chakraborty 2019). It is up to the Indian state to realise the causes for such reluctance on the part of the Bangladeshi state. Suffice to say, it is not only important for India to fulfil its own developmental needs but at the same time act as the leader of the Global South in the truest sense of the term. Confidence-building measures through Border Haats might be a step in that direction. The will to travel the extra mile is all it takes to usher in that potential that has long eluded the South Asian region.

References Ali, Syed Sajjad. 2015. “Modi and Hasina to Open Second Border Haat in Tripura.” March  28. Accessed April Arun, S. 2017. “Poor Connectivity Hits Border Trade.” February 21. Accessed June 2020. cle17326162.ece. Baud, Michiel, and Willem van Schendel.1997. “Toward a Comparative History of Borderlands.” Journal of World History 8 (2): 211–42. Boyle, Edward, and Mirza Zulfikar Rahman. 2018. “Border Layers: Formal and Informal Markets Along the India-Bangladesh Border.” In Borders and Mobility in South Asia and Beyond, edited by Reece Jones and Md Azmeary Ferdoush, 59–80. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. Chakraborty, Sujit. 2016. “India-Bangladesh Border Haat: Not Just a Place to Buy Cosmetics or Dry Fish, a Reunion Spot for Families Living on Both Sides Too.” November 24. Accessed July Zz09/india-bangladesh-border-haat:-not-just-a-place-to-buy-cosmetics-or-dry-fish,-areunion-spot-for-families-living-on-both-sides-too.html.

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———. 2019. “India Awaits Dhaka’s Clearance for Two More ‘Border Haats’.” August 6. Accessed February  2020. ———. 2020. “Border Haats to Boost Economy, People’s Ties: Experts.” July 5. Accessed May  2020. les-ties-experts/1886266. Chatterjee, Shibashis. 2014. “The Look East Policy and India’s Northeastern States.” Policy Report. S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies: 1–10. Cons, Jason.2016. Sensitive Space: Fragmented Territory at the India-Bangladesh Border. Seattle: University of Washington Press. Das, Samir Kumar.2014. “Border Economy and the Production of Collective Subjects in India’s East and the North East.” India Quarterly 70 (4): 299–311. Deleixhe, Martin, Dembinska Magdalena, and Julien Danero Iglesias. 2019.  “Securitized Borderlands.” Journal of Borderland Studies 34 (5):639–47. Ghosh, Sahana. 2013. “Actions That Border on the Barbaric.” Accessed February 2020.www. ———. 2019. “Security Socialites: Gender, Surveillance, and Civil-Military Relations in India’s Eastern Borderlands.” Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 39 (3):439–50. Jamwal,  N.S. 2004.  “Border Management: Dilemma of Guarding the India-Bangladesh Border.” RSAN Strategic Analysis 28 (1): 5–36. Krishna, Sankaran. 1994. “Cartographic Anxiety: Mapping the Body Politic in India.” Alternatives: Global, Local, Political 19 (4): 507–21. ———. 1999. Postcolonial Insecurities: India, Sri Lanka, and the Question of Nationhood. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Kurian, Nimmi. 2014. India-China Borderlands: Conversations Beyond the Centre. New Delhi: Sage Publication. Ludden,  David. 2003.  “Presidential Address: Maps in the Mind and the Mobility of Asia.” Journal of Asian Studies 62 (4): 1057–78. McDuie-Ra,  Duncan. 2012.  “Tribal’s, Migrants and Insurgents: Security and Insecurity along the India-Bangladesh Border.” Global Change, Peace and Security 24 (1): 165–82. ———. 2014. “The India-Bangladesh Border Fence: Narratives and Political  Possibilities.” Journal of Borderlands Studies 29 (1): 81–94. Ministry of Commerce and Industry. 2010. Accessed July  2020. in/writereaddata/trade/MOU_Border_Haats_across_Border_India_and_Bangladesh 2010.pdf. ———. 2017. Accessed July  2020. File/MOC_636295985083746420_MOU_Border_Haats_across_Border_India_and_ Bangladesh_8th_April_2017.pdf. Ministry of Home Affairs. 2016. “Annual Report 2015–16.” Accessed July 2020. www.mha. ———. 2019. “Annual Report 2018–19.” Accessed July  2020. default/files/AnnualReport_English_01102019.pdf Paasi, Anssi. 2012. “A Border Theory: An Unattainable Dream or a Realistic Aim for Border Scholars?” In The Ashgate Research Companion to Border Studies, edited by Doris WastlWalter, 11–32. Farnham: Ashgate. Pandey, Gyanendra.1999. “Can a Muslim Be an Indian?” Comparative Studies in Society and History 41 (4): 608–29. ———. 2019. “India-Bangladesh Joint Statement during Official Visit of Prime Minister of Bangladesh to India.” October 5. Accessed June 2020.

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uments.htm?dtl/31911/IndiaBangladesh%B1Joint%B1Statement%B1during%B1Officia l%B1Visit%B1of%B1Prime%B1Minister%B1of%B1Bangladesh%B1to%B1India#:~:tex t=of%20Modi%202.0-,India%2DBangladesh%20Joint%20Statement%20during%20Offi cial%20Visit%20of,Minister%20of%20Bangladesh%20to%20India&text=At%20the%20 invitation%20of%20H.E.,India%20on%2005%20October%202019. PTI. 2015. “Second Border Haat to Be Inaugurated in Tripura.” March  23. Accessed March  2020. Roy, Haimanti. 2012. Partitioned Lives: Migrants, Refugees, Citizens in India and Pakistan, 1947–65. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. Rumford, Chris. 2012. “Towards a Multiperspectival Study of Borders.” Geopolitics 17 (4): 887–902. Samaddar, Ranabir. 2003. “The Last Hurrah That Continues.” In Divided Countries, Separated Cities: The Modern Legacy of Partition, edited by Ghislaine Glasson Deschaumes and Rada Ivekovic. London: Routledge Publication. Scott, James C. 2009. The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Sur, Malini. 2013. “Through Metal Fences: Material Mobility and the Politics of Transnationality at Borders.” Mobilities 8 (1):70–89. Talukdar, Sushanta. 2011. “India-Bangladesh Revive Border Haat.” July  23. Accessed June 2020. 272.ece. Tripathi, Dhananjay, and Sanjay Chaturvedi. 2019. “South Asia: Boundaries, Borders and Beyond.”Journal of Borderlands Studies 35 (2):173–81. van Houtum, Henk. 2005. “The Geopolitics of Borders and Boundaries.” Geopolitics 10 (4): 672–79. van Houtum, Henk, and Ton van Naerssen. 2002. “Bordering, Ordering and Othering.” Journal of Economic and Social Geography 93 (2): 125–36. van Schendel, Willem. 1993. “Easy Come, Easy Go: Smugglers on the Ganges.” Journal of Contemporary Asia 23 (2): 189–213. ———. 2005. The Bengal Borderland: Beyond State and Nation in South Asia. London: Anthem Press. van Schendel, Willem, and Itty Abraham. 2005. Illicit Flows and Criminal Things: States, Borders and the Other Side of Globalization. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Yhome, Khriezo. 2019. “Border Haat  – The New Name of Border Diplomacy.” July  7. Accessed July 2020.


Securitisation and borders

12 CONFLICTS, COOPERATION, AND TERRITORIALITY Understanding borders and security at the regional level Sachin N. Pardhe

I: Introduction Conflicts and cooperation have been an inevitable part of human interaction throughout the ages. Conflicts have been critical in not only shaping the course of history but also demarcating the moral boundaries of humanity. The importance of the study of the conflicts in the political sphere is attributed primarily to its ability to shape the course of interaction between actors at various levels including individual, group, community, or state. At each of these levels, conflicts are essentially seen in the form of antagonism and as the sources of instability and disharmony. Although conflicts are primarily conceived from a negative point of view, the negativity attached to the conflicts discourse is not immune to contestation and subjectivity; ‘just war theory’,1 for example, negates the negativity of conflicts to a certain extent by justifying the act of conflict. Thom Brook argues that the logic of the just war theory is based on two normative conditions. The first condition is related to the concept of a jus ad bellum, meaning the justification for engaging in war, whereas the second condition is related to the idea of jus in bello, meaning the justice arising within the war which relates to the rationalisation of how states engage in war (Brooks 2013, 1–2). Unlike conflict, the concept of cooperation has an inherently positive connotation and is mostly seen as an opposite to the concept of conflict. Although both the terms are antithetical to each other, one commonality between the two is that both terms can be traced back to antiquity. Cooperation, in fact, can be seen as an integral part of the evolution of human beings on the sociopolitical platform leading towards the formation of groups, societies, communities, nations and states, as well as international organisations. The present chapter primarily intends to focus on understanding cooperation at the regional level. At the regional level cooperation among states (along the line of regionalism),

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if extended to the extent of the intermingling of common interests as a process of institutionalisation, leads to regional integration. Regional cooperation, however, may not necessarily result in regional integration. Ernst Haas argues that ‘the study of regional integration is unique and discrete from all previous systematic studies of political unification because it limits itself to noncoercive efforts’ (Haas 1970, 607–8). Regional integration, therefore, should be seen as an evolutionary process which is built on the idea of shared common interests and the willingness to work together for the achievement of those interests by strengthening cooperation in the form of institutionalisation while at the same time keeping aside the conflicts (if any). An important aspect of conflict-cooperation discourse is that it is essentially linked with the concepts of peace and security. At regional level the security of states is inevitably intertwined with the ideas of territory and territoriality which not only determine the relations between states but also the possibilities of conflict and cooperation and hence demands more attention. Therefore, there is a need to uncover the key determinants that shape the security discourse at the regional level. The present chapter, attempts to unfold the conceptual dimensions of the nature of conflicts-cooperation and regional security in the light of the idea of territoriality in general and political borders in particular and attempts to understand the said linkages in the light of the following propositions: 1 The imaginations of territory and territoriality in the context of political borders can be seen amongst the key determinants in not only shaping the security dynamics of the region but also defining the nature of conflicts and cooperation. 2 The complexities of the ideas of territoriality and borders are primarily the product of the conceptualisation of security from the traditional point of view, and there is a need to emphasise the non-traditional idea of security at regional levels to foster regional cooperation. The present chapter focuses on the region (sub-system level) as a level of analysis and essentially relies on the conceptualisation of the ideas of conflict, cooperation, and territoriality to unfold the linkages between security and borders.

II: The conceptual premise The idea of cooperation Conflicts and cooperation have been an integral part of international relations. As Arthur Stein argues, ‘International Relations involve both cooperation and conflict, evincing more cooperation than realists admit and more conflict than liberal recognize’ (Stein 1990, 12). Cooperation in international relations can be seen at bilateral, trilateral, and plurilateral as well as multilateral levels. According

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to Zartman and Touval: ‘Cooperating nations generally perceive both common and conflicting interests. They may thus disagree about some of their goals, their respective contributions, the burdens they carry, and benefits they derive in the common enterprise’ (Zartman and Touval 2010, 3). Cooperation between states, therefore, can be seen as a calculated and analysed strategy as part of rational decision making which is based on the assumption of getting desired outcomes even with certain compromises. One of the key determinants of the possibility of cooperation in international relations is the idea of gains. Neoliberal institutionalism assumes that states focus primarily on their individual absolute gains and are indifferent to the gains of others. . . . In contrast, neorealism, or structural realism assumes that states are largely concerned with relative rather than absolute gains. (Powell 1991, 1303) However, the fact remains that the idea of gains does play a role in determining the possibilities of cooperation. While understanding cooperation at the regional level, the most prevalent way is to envision it in the form of regional integration, especially from the economic point of view. Regional integration2 to achieve success, peace is considered as the crucial prerequisite. The necessity of peace for cooperation among parties also implies a precondition for the amicable resolution of the existing conflicts (if any). However, peace is not always seen as a precondition for cooperation; sometimes it is also seen as an objective of cooperation, for example, David Mitrany (1944), in his ‘A Working Peace System’ through his functional approach, indicated the possibilities of peace through cooperation. Therefore, the conceptualisation of peace in any given context is important and much desirable. Johan Galtung (1967, 12) conceptualises peace from three perspectives: the old idea of peace equates peace with stability and equilibrium; the second idea conceives peace as the absence of organised violence, which he calls ‘negative peace’; and the third idea of conceptualising peace understands peace in terms of cooperation and integration while emphasising less on the absence of violence. In light of the conceptualisation of peace, the present study proposes two types of peace conditions to analyse the process of regional cooperation. The first condition is the condition of complete peace, and the second condition is that of operational peace. The condition of complete peace is something closer to the idea of stability and harmony; it also means the complete absence of wars and conflicts as well as any form of collective violence. On the other hand, the idea of operational peace is based on the presumptions that although peace is desirable and can be seen as an ultimate goal of humanity, it cannot be achieved practically in totality, and conflicts and violence may continue to remain as an inevitable part of human interaction. Therefore, the idea of operational peace connotes the condition of relative peace amid conflicts.

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Understanding conflicts The idea of conflict is more comprehensive as it includes in its purview armed conflicts, communal violent conflicts, and conflicts between identities as well as wars. ‘Conflict thus refers to a number of forms of politicised violence, inter-state war, insurgency and guerrilla war, terrorism, and sectarian or communal rioting’ ( Johnson 2005, 12). There have been several attempts to conceptualise conflicts in various manners, and a number of definitions have been proposed to define conflicts. The concept of conflict basically connotes some form of disagreement. According to Johan Galtung, ‘Deep inside every conflict lies a contradiction, something standing in the way of something else’ (1996, 70). It may be seen as a clash of interests, disagreement over issues, and a clash of opinions extended to the extent of collision. The present study, therefore, proposes to define international conflicts as the extreme manifestations of contradicting interests between states. This definition of conflicts as proposed deals with conflicts from interests’ perspective; in this way the definition allows us to define the purview and the scope of conflicts in just one term, ‘contradicting interests’. Although the term contradicting interests act as an umbrella term covering all sorts of socio-political, economic, strategic and geopolitical interests, nevertheless, the definition does not give emphasis on the nature of the interests as such; rather, the focus is on the complementarity of the interests of the parties involved and, if the interests are not complementary or contradictory, then it could lead to its extreme manifestation in the form of conflicts. However, the extreme manifestation or the occurrence of conflicts is not the first stage of contradicting interests; it is, in fact, the ultimate stage or can be seen as a last resort, when all other means have been tried and tested. The reason why the proposed definition restricts itself to the idea of interests is partly because of the normative bent of the security studies towards Realism and partly because states are seen as key actors at the regional level.3 Another crucial aspect of conceptualising international conflicts is defining the nature and scope of international conflicts. Nature, as well as the scope of international conflicts, kept changing throughout history with the changing political system. As Joseph S. Nye argues, there have been three basic forms of world politics, namely the world imperial system, feudal system, and contemporary anarchic system of states (Nye 2007, 3); accordingly, the nature and scope of the conflicts also kept changing. International conflicts today have become much more dangerous and disastrous not only in terms of nature and intensity but also in terms of the amount of damage these conflicts can cause. There is a complex relationship between conflict, peace, and cooperation. Although peace is mostly defined from a negative point of view as the absence of war, the antithesis of peace is not conflict. . . . Conflicts may, perhaps paradoxically, promote and increase peace and diminish violence if the conflicting

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parties negotiate in good faith to reach solutions to problems that are achievable and tolerable, if not ideal. (Webel and Galtung 2007, 8) Therefore, conceptualisation and theorisation of both conflict and cooperation are desirable in this context. Conceptualisation provides a basic understanding of the terminology to analyse the phenomenon with much clarity. According to S. D. Muni, conflicts can be broadly seen in the following four categories: (i) those imposed and escalated by the global political, strategic and developmental dynamics, including the role of great powers; (ii) those inherited and strategically induced in inter-state engagements; (iii) those precipitated and nurtured by the internal political turbulence, socio-cultural fault-lines and developmental distortions; and (iv) those that are caused and covered by the non-state actors. (Muni 2013, 3) Similarly, an important factor in unfolding the analytical framework of the conflict mechanism is to understand the causal factors of the conflicts. The analysis of violent conflicts begins with the conceptualisation of the term and pursuit of understanding the causes the conflict. The basic question in this context that needs to be addressed at the very outset is what makes a state to go for war even when the stakes are much higher? In other words, why do states choose conflict over cooperation? Almost all the theoretical traditions related to violent conflicts are in fact the variations on the line of two sets of ontological and epistemological themes, which are structure and agents as ontological stances whereas the explanation or understanding is an epistemological stance (Demmers 2012, 15). In this context, the first question regarding the causal linkages of the conflicts arises out of the debate over Rhoads’ conceptualisation of ‘methodological structuralism’ and ‘methodological individualism’ seeking to understand the ‘the problem of the ontological status of the sociological investigation represented by these alternatives’(Rhoads 1991, 76). Those who believe that most conflicts are caused in people’s mind and flow particular kind of attitudinal and behavioural dispositions will be inclined toward methodological individualism. Those who believe most conflicts are generated in response to complex processes of inclusion and exclusion from political, economic, social, or cultural resources are inclined to adopt a structural orientation towards conflict theory and practice. (Cheldelin, Druckman, and Fast 2003, 15) Methodological individualism and methodological structuralism thus offer an interesting perspective in understanding the causal dynamics of conflicts. The

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understanding of the causal linkages of conflicts also brings the concept of security into the discussion. Most of the conflicts are justified in the name of security, and therefore the idea of security apparently rests at the roots of most of the conflicts. This makes security a critical concept in understanding not only the causal dimension of conflicts but also the necessary logic behind cooperation. Security, therefore, acts as both the dividing, as well as the connecting, link when it comes to conflicts and cooperation. Security, however, remained a much-contested concept, and an understanding of security could be fraught with difficulties of subjectivity and inherent complexities of nature and scope. Besides these obvious complexities in understanding the concept of security, other dimensions of security like the changing discourse and the systematic manipulation of the term are critical in understanding the possibilities of conflict and cooperation.

Conceptual framework of security Security is a comprehensive and equally complex term to understand. It has been called one of the most contested concepts in international relations.4 In the lexicon of international relations, the very conceptualisation of the idea of security rests on the formulation of two critical elements: one, the referent object which needs to be protected, and two, the threats that need to be determined accordingly. The complexity in determining the nature and scope of security is partly attributed to the inherent subjectivity in terms of defining the referent object and partly attributed to the dominant state centrism. The traditional concept of security, for example, lays emphasis on the state as the most important actor and primarily deals with the core interests of states making the state as the sole referent object. Accordingly, the identification and determination of threats are seen in the context of the security of a state. The non-traditional conceptualisation of security, on the other hand, transcends the state centrism and deals with much wider and deeper aspects of security by incorporating more referent objects like individuals, the environment, and so on. Besides conceptualisation of security, the utility and applicability of the term is determined and shaped by various theoretical frameworks. These theoretical frameworks are broadly compartmentalised into two approaches: traditionalist and non-traditionalist. Traditionalist approaches, as discussed earlier, are rationalist approaches, including the realist and liberal approaches. The non-traditional approaches may include critical theory, constructivism, and so on. Security studies’ discourse has been highly dominated by the realist paradigm of security orientations in international relations for quite a long time; similarly, the role of liberal approaches in understanding the security dynamics has remained an important aspect of security studies. Although, in both traditional realist and liberal approaches, the role of the state is important to understand; however, the contradiction remains over the debates on how to ensure the security of a state, in other words, the manner and methods in which the security of a state is to be ensured.

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While understanding security from the theoretical point of view, the distinction between what Robert Cox (1981, 128–29) calls ‘problem-solving theory’ and ‘critical theory’ is important to understand. The problem-solving theory ‘takes the world as it finds it, with the prevailing social power relationships and the institutions into which they are organised, as the given framework for action’ (Cox 1981, 128). The realist approaches, for instance, define security from the traditional notional point of view which inevitably puts the state at centre stage, making it appear as the sole entity worth protecting from external threats. The obvious consequence of the dominant state centrism in the realist approach is the overarching securitisation process on the one hand and the unchallenged means employed in the name of security on the other hand, giving leverage to the governments to dominate the situations. ‘Critical theory, unlike problem-solving theory, does not take institutions and social and power relations for granted but calls them into question by concerning itself with their origins and how and whether they might be in the process of changing’ (Cox 1981, 129). The critical theory, in fact, begins to question this very process of securitisation. It tends to investigate not only questions like how security and the threats are defined but also by whom. Security as a concept has traditionally been seen from the realpolitik perspective in terms of power politics and strategic concerns. Security as a state-centric concept, thus, was being defined accordingly. According to Walter Lippman, A nation is secure to the extent to which it is not in danger of having to sacrifice core values if it wishes to avoid war, and is able, if challenged, to maintain them by victory in such a war. (Lippman cited in Buzan B. 1991, 16) This definition of security given by Lippman provides a basic definition of security from the traditional point of view emphasising the state as a primary referent object and the security of the state as the ultimate objective of security. However, the conceptualisation of security also requires the conceptualisation of threats to the identified referent object or objects. In the case of traditional security, the referent object was invariably located in the state, and hence the threats were also being perceived accordingly. Therefore, in the traditional security discourse, concepts like national power and national security gained a dominant role. a threat to national security is an action or sequence of events that (1) threatens drastically and over a relatively brief span of time to degrade the quality of life for the inhabitants of a state, or (2) threatens significantly to narrow the range of policy choices available to the government of a state or to private, nongovernmental entities (persons, groups, corporations) within the state. (Ullman cited in Collins 2010, 3)

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Although Ullman apparently deals with various aspects of threats, it does not shift the referent object, and state still appears to be at the centre of the security apparatus. Traditional security discourse remained dominated by the state-centric security notions and national security concerns seeking military and hard-power solutions. However, the notion of traditional security gradually started being challenged by the non-traditional approach, transcending the narrow parochial concerns of state-­centric security by shifting the focus to various other referent objects, further broadening the concept of security. Especially the end of the Cold War and the changing global power dynamics in terms of the systemic polarity, as well as the shifting focus from systemic conflicts to the sub-system and domestic levels, played a critical role in shaping the post-Cold War security narratives. The end of the bipolar rivalry and the dominance of neoliberalism, along with the forces of the globalisation and science and technology revolution, dramatically transformed the world. Thomas L. Friedman suggests that ‘the world is flat’ (Friedman 2006) indicating the transformation of the 21st-century world in a more connected sense. The change was not just because of the end of the Cold War but also because of the new optimism in the air. With the changing dynamics of the world, the very concept of security was also undergoing a major shift; however, the transformation, in fact, had already started taking place as early as 1983. Barry Buzan proposed that ‘[a]lthough the traditional emphasis in International Relations has been on the security of collective units, particularly states, individuals, can be analysed in the same way’ (Buzan 1983, 18). This shift from state to the individual as a referent object was not just another level of analysis but had wider connotations for the nature and scope of the concept of security. Security as a concept, besides being compartmentalised into traditional and non-traditional, can also be studied at different levels. The understanding of security at different levels is critical in defining the nature and scope of security studies. Ranging from individual security, national security, international security, and what Ken Booth calls ‘world security’ are the dimensions which are equally important in understanding the security discourse. Booth differentiates between international security and world security while arguing that the concept of world security is much wider as ‘it includes a more extensive range of referents, above and below the state level, and a wider range of possible threats and risks’ (Booth 2007, 4). Booth defines world security in the following manner: ‘The idea of world security is synonymous with the freedom of individuals and groups compatible with the reasonable freedom of others, and universal moral equality compatible with justifiable pragmatic inequalities’ (Booth 2007, 4–5). The exploration of the concept of security remains incomplete until it is understood with much depth going beyond just the study of nature and scope of security. In this context, the question of level, intensity, or a variation of security remained underdeveloped, and security studies remained restricted to un-securitised and securitised issues and hence security is seen as a one-size-fits-all concept (Bourbeau

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2015, 16). Most of the security studies revolve around the identification of the referent objects, which is followed by the process of securitisation; even critical theory, while investigating the criticalities of security studies, only tends to address the question of the process and not the aspects of depth and intensity. Bourbeau’s (2015) observations help us in further widening the scope of the security studies going beyond the referent object analysis and examining the nature of security and the variables in terms of intensity, levels, and context. The idea of security can be highly politicised or can be hyphenated or de-hyphenated not just as a part of the process of securitisation, which indeed is an important aspect, but also as a part of the manner in which an issue is located in the security domain, particularly in terms of the context and the level of intensity. Climate change, for instance, although considered as a pressing key security issue, still may not be securitised to the extent of the issue of nuclear proliferation or the issue of terrorism. Similarly, the issue of migration in Africa may not be addressed with a similar level of intensity as the issue of migration is being addressed in Europe or in America. The contextualisation of security in terms of the process of securitisation and framing of the issues, therefore, is equally critical in understanding the security discourse. Buzan, Waever, and Wilde (1998, vii) offer ‘a constructivist operational method for distinguishing the process of securitization from that of politicization-for understanding who can securitize what and under what condition’. The idea of securitisation at once connotes the artificial articulation of security threats as well as the primacy of addressing it over any other issues of concern. Instrumentalisation of security can be seen as the intentional incorporation of certain issues in the domain of security and redefining the threats for the achievement of certain political objectives. Instrumentalisation of security, therefore, has two components: one, the process of securitisation, and two, the utilisation of the securitisation as an instrument for the accomplishment of certain political goals. Thierry Balzacq defines securitisation as: an articulated assemblage of practices whereby heuristic artefacts (metaphors, polity tools, image repertoires, analogies, stereotypes, emotions, etc.) are contextually mobilized by a securitizing actor, who works to prompt an audience to build a coherent network of implications (feelings, sensations, thoughts, and intuitions), about the critical vulnerability of a referent object, that concurs with the securitizing actor’s reasons for choices and actions, by investing the referent subject with such an aura of unprecedented threatening complexion that a customized policy must be undertaken immediately to block its development. (Balzacq 2011, 3) This elaborated definition of securitisation helps us in building the theoretical base for analysing the process and the implications at once. Securitisation, as an instrument, theoretically brings the process close to the traditional state-centric theories, allowing hard politics to dominate the business. However, the difference lies in the

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manner in which the process of securitisation takes place. Securitisation is a process through which a particular issue is determined as a referent object and all the means are employed to protect given the referent object. Securitisation also, by definition, implies high prioritisation of certain issues and invocation of all the required measures for the same. Instrumentalisation of security, on the other hand, deals with the politics behind securitisation of a particular issue. The study of security at the sub-system level demands an approach which is focused on the regional dynamics. Most traditional security theories in international relations focus on the system as a level of analysis and tend to generalise the principles in the larger context. The applicability and the utility of these approaches at the sub-system level, therefore, depend on the interaction of sub-system level actors or various other units as a part of the whole system. Inevitably there remains a systemic overlay while analysing regional dynamics from the lenses of these systemic theories. However, as Kelly suggests, scholars like ‘Barry Buzan, David Lake, Douglas Lemke, and Bjorn Hettne have “downscaled” extant IR theory to the region level, deductively treating regions as parallel or mini-systems in which to try out traditional systemic theories’ (Kelly 2007, 215). This downscaling of IR theories to the sub-system level can be seen as a result of the growing importance of regions in international relations as well as the shifting power centres in the region as new units of political and economic power. New regionalism, in this context, can be seen as another critical factor in shaping these new region-centric dynamics. ‘Understanding new regionalism requires an understanding of space, which moves beyond the conventional preoccupation with the national scale and the space-as-container schema prevailing in mainstream thinking’ (Söderbaum and Shaw 2003, 218). This new territorial approach to understand security is important for two major reasons: one, it focuses on the regional catalysts in shaping the security dynamics of the region, and two, it allows a possibility of variability and does not carry the burden of rigid systemic theoretical frameworks of generalisation. The second characteristics, especially, are worth noting because they allows us to understand the different contexts in which security can be studied in different regions. From a purely security point of view, the contribution of the Security Communities Theory (Deutsch et  al. 1957) and the Regional Security Complex Theory (Buzan and Waever 2003) in this regard is remarkable as it shifts the centre of security analysis from the system to the sub-system level as the primary domain of the theory, and regions as primary units of analysis, unlike traditional IR theories. The security community approach looks at a region as a community having common security perceptions. The security community approach is based on the idea of amicable dispute resolution and the assurance of non-physical confrontations between the states. The underlying logic of the evolution of security communities is a part of the trust-building project among regional actors. Therefore, the applicability of the security community approach may confront serious limitations

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in regions where (1) the ideas of security and threats are directed against each other, (2) the very conceptualisation of threats to security is grounded on the line of constructivism leading towards the instrumentalisation of security, and (3) the lack of shared threat perceptions and the reluctance to work upon common nontraditional threats. Regional security complex theory, on the other hand, deals essentially with the regional security dynamics and in fact defines regions in terms of security relations as a security cluster. The theory focuses on the intertwined security relations between the state and the intensity and depth of the entanglement. When the Regional Security Complex Theory was initially advanced by Barry Buzan (1983, 105–6) and later developed by Buzan and Waever (2003), the focus was more on the military-political considerations or the traditional security orientations in defining the regional security clusters of states whose security interests are so intermingled that they cannot be studied separately. Although the previous version of regional security complexes focused more on the traditional notion of security, Buzan (2003, 140), did relook at the concept and tried to widen the purview of security, particularly in the context of the question of whether the other contemporary security sectors, namely economic, environmental, and societal, can be studied from the logic of a regional security approach. Understanding security at a regional level essentially draws attention towards the ideas of territory, territoriality, and borders as all of these concepts form the key determinants in shaping regional security dynamics.

III: Territory, territoriality, and borders Although the meaning of territory, territoriality, and borders differ from one another, all of these concepts are interconnected in one or the other sense. ‘Territory is not “territoriality”. But territoriality as a legal construct that marks the state’s exclusive authority over its territory has become the dominant mode of understanding territory’ (Sassen 2013, 24). Therefore, understanding of each of these terms is important while addressing the linkages between the said concepts and their impact on security. Territoriality, according to Robert D. Sack (1983, 56), is ‘the attempt by an individual or group (x) to influence, affect, or control objects, people, and relationships (y) by delimiting and asserting control over a geographic area. This area is the territory’. The very conceptualisation of territoriality may be seen as an outcome of the already-existing mental and ideational perceptions of the ideas of ‘us and them’ that tend to get manifested in the form of political borders along with the territory. According to Shibashis Chaterjee, ‘Territoriality is never an uncontested process. It is not merely a criterion of the enclosure, but a form of political rule. It operates not by itself but invariably in cognate terms’ (Chatterjee 2019, 12). The idea of territory is important because its utility and subsequent value as well as significance is not only socio-political but also in the economic context. Avery

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Kolers argues that the land (territory) is valuable in three basic ways: i) the physical extension, ii) in terms of resources and, iii) land and its properties including its location, material composition and who or what occupies it. ‘These three foundations have implications both for why anyone has a special interest in a particular place, and for how the world’s land ought to be distributed among all potential claimants’ (Kolers 2009, 8). Understanding the idea of territory in the context of sovereign states further demands more clarity, particularly in terms of its relations with the ideas of sovereignty and political borders. The territory of the sovereign state is not reducible to geopolitical boundaries. How the boundaries of territory and sovereignty are made must be examined. In other words: How is it that a particular area of the earth’s surface becomes sovereign territory? Is it as simple as drawing lines around an area, controlling the people who live within these lines, and defending them and the area against potential intruders? (Kuehls 1996, xi–xii) Territory, therefore, forms a critical ingredient of modern state systems. ‘The modern system of states came about by way of territorializing space’ (Albert and Brock 2001, 33). This territorialisation of space in the context of the making of a sovereign state involves the mechanism that demarcates the sovereign limits of the states. This very process of demarcation of territory as a limit of sovereignty in the form of a political border constitutes the fundamental aspects that shape the interaction between states at the fringes. ‘Some of our most basic or foundational constitutive ideas about international relations, like sovereignty, are inextricably linked to specifiable pieces of territory. This, by definition, requires territorial borders that serve as the dividing lines between political entities’ (Williams 2006, 16). The role of the political borders, in this context, however, is not just limited to act as dividing lines between the sovereign political entities but goes beyond implying much wider connotations. Political borders may also be seen as markers of the claims on territories (including the natural resources) laid down by the states, which explains the relationship between borders and territorial disputes. ‘Territorial conflicts are dynamic contests. States actively compete to strengthen their claim in a dispute, usually by improving their position in the local military balance’ (Fravel 2008, 30). Cartography, therefore, plays a crucial role in deciding the possibilities of conflicts and cooperation in any region. According to Shibashis Chatterjee, ‘The proprietorial view lingers on the jurisdictional imagination of territory’ (Chatterjee 2019, 8). The conflict-cooperation dynamics in the context of the ideas of territory, territoriality, and borders are, therefore, essentially shaped by the manner in which these ideas are understood and seen by the states in a given region.

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IV: Interlinkages of conflict cooperation, borders, and security The idea of security plays an integral part in both conflicts and cooperation mechanisms. While in the case of conflicts security may be seen as a causal factor or a justification for the conflicts in which states get involved, in the case of cooperation security is primarily conceived as a desired objective or an end product. The security dimension of conflicts gets exacerbated when conflicts occur essentially as a consequence of the contradicting interests in terms of hard-power politics or if taking place along the line of realpolitik issues. Security in such conflicts primarily revolves around the centrality of state as a referent object, inevitably bringing in the notion of traditional security. State centrism is more explicit when the conflicts get indulged with the idea of territoriality or borders since territoriality and border issues are critically linked with the state’s idea of sovereignty. In certain instances, borders and territories are looked at as ‘sensitive space’ (Cons 2016) which inevitably attached a strong security dimension to these entities. ‘Sensitive spaces might best be thought of as vectors of territorial anxieties. By embodying the very uncertainties of territorial coherence and national survival, they trouble imaginations of territorial durability’ (Cons 2016, 20–21). Major conflicts related to the idea of territoriality and border could be seen in the form of three broad categories of territory and borders: i) disputes related to territories, ii) border-related issues, and iii) sharing of natural resources, particularly river water. The border-related issues can further be analysed in three broad categories: i) the nature of borders, in terms of their well definedness or porosity, ii) the movement of population across the borders, and iii) the illegal activities carried out across the borders, including smuggling as well as cross-border terrorism. Political borders, if are not well defined, can be a source of a serious challenge to not only the security of states but also regional security when get contested by any of the states or all of the states sharing the borders. The nature of the political borders, therefore, becomes important in the process of cooperation both at a bilateral and multilateral level. In the regions where traditional security has gained strong footholds, states tend to maintain rigid borders. Political borders may be seen as relatively less rigid where states are keen on the economic logic of cooperation, and traditional security is less dominant. Another equally important aspect of borders which determines the nature of conflict and cooperation in any region is the contextuality of borders. This contextuality of borders could be understood from two points of views: i) the historical context of the imagination of a particular territory in terms of borders, and ii) the context of the nature of conflicts given in any region. Borders have always been critical in shaping human relations throughout history. However, the nature of borders has changed dramatically over a period of time. Globalisation, in particular, began to de-emphasise the rigidity of political borders. When we look at the contextuality of borders, contemporary ideas of the border should, therefore, be understood in the context of globalisation, economic

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interdependence, the changing nature of political systems, and the changing nature of power itself. To minimise conflicts in any region and foster cooperation it is important to de-emphasise the politicisation of borders and instrumentalisation of security. An effective cooperation mechanism cannot work in the backdrop of hard-power politics. The concept of security remained a central theme in international politics. However, the dominant approaches conceptualising the idea of security throughout history, particularly till the end of the Cold War, remained ensconced in the realist tradition of thinking. The COVID-19 pandemic outrightly exposed the flawed conceptualisation of security on the one hand and surfaced the need of reconceptualisation of security on the other hand. Post-Second World War dramatically shaped the security studies discourse and brought it into the academics as a systematic discipline. However, the nature of security during the initial phase remained dominated by the strategic studies and the hard-power politics considerations, limiting its scope to the state as a sole referent object. The Cold War politics further brought in the golden days for traditional security, making it the dominant theme in international relations. The fall of the Soviet Union and the subsequent end of the Cold War in the 1990s coincided with the new era of globalisation promoting neoliberalism as a panacea as well as an ultimate and perhaps inevitable policy model for the new global economy. The end of the Cold War period of uncertainties in world politics and the new compulsions of economic cooperation amid the increasing interconnectedness as a consequence of new modes of communication and transportation dramatically relocated the security concerns of states. Security themes in the post-Cold War world were essentially shaped by three important factors: i) dominance of economic concerns over the hard-power politics, ii) identification and incorporation of new referent objects widening the purview of security studies, and iii) increasing importance of regions in world politics consequently leading to the territorialisation of security. All of these factors played a major catalyst in reconceptualising security in what is called non-traditional security in the post-Cold War world. However, the reconceptualisation of security did not essentially make traditional security outdated or redundant. The major themes in contemporary security have began to transcend the statecentric approach and ventured into the vertical and horizontal expansion of the security studies, simultaneously widening and deepening the scope and extent of the domain. On the basis of these observations, it can be concluded that the idea of security has remained dynamic in terms of its nature, scope, and even conceptualisation over a period of time. The idea of security is essentially shaped by the context and the contemporary catalysts, not necessarily abandoning the accepted narratives but further widening the scope of the discipline. Another important factor involved in the process of reconceptualising security is a major global event or a paradigm

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shift embarking on a new world order with new sets of rules in the new global environment. Political borders, therefore, need to be looked at from a new perspective in the context of the changing nature of security and the need for cooperation in the contemporary world. New regionalism demands cooperation at the regional level which is possible only if states are able to find common grounds and understand the need to address the non-traditional security challenges which require an approach built upon the idea of operational peace.

Conclusion Cooperation in any region is based on the logic of necessity and political will. Necessity, however, may not always be followed by political will, particularly in regions where the relations between states are complex and levels of mutual trust are low. Functionalism and neofunctionalism could find ground for cooperation in European soil because the continent had experienced the wrath of World Wars and paid the price for the same. The need for peace, therefore, was obviously a priority which compelled even countries like France and Germany to cooperate, leading to the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community in 1951. In South Asia, however, the post-colonial states could not find a uniting ground; on the contrary, they began framing their threat perceptions directed against each other, ruling out the possibilities of applicability and utility of a security community approach. Whatever little possibility of functional cooperation exists in South Asia, it is entrapped between a trust deficit and the dominance of traditional security centrism. Not that cooperation remained completely abstained from the region; there are examples of cooperation at the regional level including various initiatives like the very formation of SAARC in 1985 and the subsequent steps towards strengthening intraregional trade in the form of SAPTA and SAFTA at the regional level. However, the scope and extent of these cooperation initiatives remained limited and could not get extended to other areas. From a theoretical perspective cooperation in South Asia always remained at the mercy of the realist calculations taking into consideration the realpolitik and hard-power politics considerations. Security, therefore, remained a dominant theme in South Asia, adversely affecting the process of cooperation. Paradoxically, the very region also faces more or less similar problems related to water scarcity, poverty, and climate change which broadly come under the domain of non-traditional security and demand cooperation and collaborative efforts. However, the dominance of traditional security allowed realism to overshadow the various cooperation frameworks. If regions can be built adopting a region-building process like that of nationbuilding, as suggested by Iver B. Neumann’s (1994) region-building approach, South Asia needs to invest in undertaking a project promoting shared socio-cultural identity as a whole. South Asia as a region needs to readdress security transcending the traditional conception by locating more serious and critical referent objects

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while defining security in a larger context; only then is there a possibility of applicability of any regional cooperation framework. The sense of belongingness, focus on non-traditional security, and a positive attitude can only prove to be the gamechanger in the region. While understanding the role of borders and territoriality in determining the possibilities of conflict and cooperation particularly at the regional level, borders, in contemporary world, need to be relooked at, as the contextual meaning of borders, in terms of both the role and functionality, has changed over a period of time. Borders have always been seen rather from a defensive point of view than as gateways or facilitation points. Although the importance of borders from the security point of view is immense, and well-defined borders have always been critical in maintaining good relations with neighbours, still, there is a need to go beyond the sheer defensive logic of borders. The idea of a border is inevitably linked with the ideas of sovereignty, territoriality, and power; however, today the idea of the border should also be understood in the context of globalisation, economic interdependence, the changing role of the state, and the changing nature of the concept of power itself. There is a need to address not just the physical, ideational, or perceptual nature of borders but also the contextual nature of borders. ‘The meaning of inter-state borders has changed quite radically over the centuries of the Westphalia system’ (Brown 2000, 199). The stark reality of humanity is the inevitability of borders; these borders may not always be embodied in the physical sense but have always been present in one form or the other. Therefore, wherever possible, the ‘soft border approach’ (Mostov 2008) along with ‘soft power’ (Nye 2004) policies could help in promoting socio-cultural cooperation. The nature of borders keeps changing from perceptual to physical or from intangible to tangible, and hence the contextuality of borders is more important in understanding the logic of borders in any given point of time.

Notes 1 Just war theory revolves around the notion of justification of war in certain conditions. The justification of war is also a part of the consideration that those who are in a position to define the order should, in fact, develop and further strong norms opposing the use of force while at the same time carefully define the circumstances in which war might be justified; these circumstances, besides self-defence, could include the use of force for the welfare as well as the benefit of the society of states (Holsti 1991, 339). However, the idea of the welfare and the benefit of the society of states could be subjective and could be debated further. 2 The term regional integration has a recent origin in the 1940s; ‘it denotes a state of affairs or a process which involves the amalgamation of separate economies into larger free trading regions’ (El-Agraa 1999, 1). 3 Although the present study does not restrict itself to offer the realist framework as the sole expositor of the idea of conflict, security, and cooperation interconnections, in the discourse of international relations the role of state dominates the interplay between conflict, security, and cooperation, and hence the relations between states could be understood better in terms of the interests’ point of view. 4 The contested nature of the concept of security is primarily attributed to the lack of objectivity in defining the concept as well as the multiple perspectives while framing the referent object or even the levels of analysis in locating the conceptual limits of the term security.

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13 HETEROGENEOUS SECURITY COMPLEX A framework for the analysis of the China-India water conflict and South Asia Anjan Kumar Sahu

I: Introduction It is argued that there has been no substantial empirical literature that claims that transboundary river water leads to water wars or armed conflicts. In contrast, enough literature exists to prove that transboundary river water induces greater multilateral and bilateral institutional cooperation. However, as of late, a recent spate of emerging research postulates that rising powers  – such as China and India – in a convoluted region like South Asia pose a serious threat to the regional security as their water resource has been tightly intertwined with their growing political-military clout and burgeoning economic growth. Uncertain climate change impact on water might substantially shape the rising powers’ equation as water is the most critical natural resource and its scarcity might halt the economic progress and military modernisation. However, water as an essential driver of engendering security dilemmas has interacted with other long-standing contentious issues. The association of water with the economy, border, and military might germinate the prospects for an increased rivalry when the two dominant Asian powers  – China and India  – compete for the transboundary river water resources. Considering the hostile scenario between the two rising powers and its implications for the South Asian region, scholars propose institutional mechanisms to resolve the transboundary river water dissension. The potential for economic cooperation  – such as joint mechanisms for hydropower generation, information sharing on flood situations, transit route facility to neighbours for inter-state trade – among South Asian countries and led by the two dominant states – India and China – scholars have argued for a ‘multi-track water diplomacy’ and multilateral institutional engagement among South Asian countries and China to grapple with uncertain climate change impact on water resources (Yasuda et al. 2018, 654; Crow and Singh 2009).

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However, despite the scholars’ optimism for prescribing a regional-based approach to address the water problem, a growing scholarship is sceptical of the effectiveness of the regional and multilateral institutional water regime in South Asia (Xie, Rahaman, and Shen 2018). The situation will be more complicated and compounded as the two powerful states’ – India and China – water consumption is rapidly growing in disagreement with the decreased water availability and quality. Since Asia is the fastest-growing economy and the driest region in the world, other countries in the region might be embroiled in the Sino-India river water rivalry (Chellaney 2012). However, the crux is that a water dispute is not an independent driver that shapes the bitter rivalry. The contentious bilateral issues, such as the disagreement over the borderline and contention over Tibet and China’s unprecedented and non-transparent military modernisation will heighten the prospect for armed conflict over water resources. This chapter examines how water has been framed as a major economic and security threat, particularly between China and India, which forms a complex security scenario that prevents the potential water security regime in South Asia. Since water has been integrated with economic development, security institutions, and territorial conflict, the dominance of traditional political and military security has been transformed into a heterogeneous security complex where multiple issues – traditional and non-traditional securities – are closely interlinked. South Asia is the appropriate area to delve into the gravity of heterogeneous security complexes as both China and India have been flexing their muscles to maintain and beef up their regional dominance. Since South Asian countries depend on water resources that originate from China, and Beijing’s intent to contain New Delhi, it is worthwhile to investigate the Sino-India water dispute and its implications for the region’s two other important powers – Bangladesh and Pakistan. Bangladesh and Pakistan are the prominent South Asian countries because Bangladesh, as the lower riparian country of the Brahmaputra River, is more vulnerable as India and China are the middle and upper riparian states of the river. As a downstream state of the Indus River Basin (IRB), Pakistan’s water insecurity prevails as India and Pakistan have been involved in an ‘enduring rivalry’ (Paul 2009; Mohan 2016). Despite the survival of the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) (hereafter the Treaty), a prolonged India-Pakistan territorial conflict, Islamabad’s cross-border terrorism and the deep engagement between China and Pakistan will significantly define New Delhi and Islamabad’s water conflict. Thus, along with other contending issues, the South Asian water security dilemma will be enmeshed in the IndiaChina water conflict. The contribution of this chapter is that the whole gamut of trans-border water conflict is examined within the analytical framework of the heterogeneous security complex (HSC) where water has been tightly integrated with multiple contentious issues. This chapter proceeds as follows. Apart from the introduction, the second section analyses HSC as a theoretical framework to set out the water conflict. The third section looks into the China and India water dispute. As a downstream country, India’s rising water worry is Beijing’s massive water diversion plan as New

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Delhi depends on water that flows from the Chinese-controlled territory. The fourth section elaborates India’s water conflict with Bangladesh and Pakistan – who are the downstream countries and depend on New Delhi for their water supply. The fifth section examines how the India-China water dispute shapes the prospect for a regional water security dilemma in South Asia. The last section concludes the chapter with the findings and possible security situation in the region.

II: Heterogeneous security complex Security complex is inter-relational and integrative. It has action and reaction. It has a response and counter-response. Thus, it is mostly a security dyad. The dyadic security relation is defined by military security-insecurity syndrome or relative security syndrome. It implies that a state’s military modernisation, military mindset, and hostile intention induce another state to seek security from its enemy. The action-reaction processes form defensive-offensive strategic behaviour between two competing states (Basrur, Mukherjee, and Paul 2018). The rivalry between hostile states or groups of states is constructed by the ‘blend of materialist and constructivist approaches’ (Buzan and Waever 2003, 4). Geographical contiguity, historical rivalry, and military modernisation are the immediate causes of forming a security complex. Thus, the security complex is basically an idea of military conflict, and a contiguous border fosters the security dilemma with an immediate effect. According to Buzan, Waever, and de Wilde (1998, 11–12), ‘security complexes are about the relative intensity of inter-state security relations that lead to distinctive regional patterns shaped by both the distribution of power and historical relations of amity and enmity’. Attributing the military conflict and mindset to security complex, many scholars define the concept of security as the ‘military statecraft’ (Baldwin 1997, 9) or ‘cumulative knowledge about the military force’ and ‘the study of threat, use and control of military force’ (Walt 1991, 212–14). Barry Buzan is the most prominent figure who developed the concept of security complex largely within the framework of the traditional political-military domain to describe the regional security pattern and the external power’s involvement in a region (Buzan, Waever, and de Wilde 1998). Buzan (1983, 106) defines security complex as ‘a group of states whose primary security concerns link together sufficiently closely that their national securities cannot reasonably be considered apart from one another’. Both ideational and material factors increase the security dilemma between the two competing states ( Joshi and Mukherjee 2018). Thus, argues Buzan, ‘insecurity is often associated with proximity’ (2003, 141). However, with the emergence of new security agendas and challenges, the theory has been revised by both Buzan and Waever to manoeuvre the concept’s relevance in the post-Cold War period to explain the ‘multisectoral approach to security’ that includes traditional as well as non-traditional security threats (Buzan, Waever, and de Wilde 1998, 11). Unlike the traditional security where politicalmilitary security and territorial boundary determine the conflict formation, the multi-sectoral approach to security looks at the mounting insecurity arising from

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multiple issues  – conventional and unconventional security threats. The nature of emerging security threats redefines the attribution of and the means to deal with the threat. Therefore, Buzan and Waever developed the concept of a security complex where multiple issues are interlinked with military security that fuel conflict escalation. Revising the earlier security complex concept, Buzan et al. say, security complex is ‘a set of units whose major processes of securitization, desecuritization, or both, are so interlinked that their security problems cannot reasonably be analyzed or resolved apart from one another’ (1998, 201, emphasis in original). Buzan, Waever, and de Wilde (1998) reformulated the security complex theory as a heterogeneous security complex or multi-sectoral approach to security to grapple with emerging security challenges that are beyond the control of a country’s border. Thus, when the interaction of two or more sectors is involved in the process of security complex formation, the heterogeneous security complex shapes the nature of a conflict, inter-state relations, and its outcome (Buzan, Waever, and de Wilde 1998, 16). Heterogeneous security complex is not restricted to any particular issue or sector. Multiple sectors are intertwined of a given problem – for instance, military security interacts with political, social, environmental, or economic security and vice versa (Buzan, Waever, and de Wilde 1998, 16). The inter-linkage of water with multiple issues, particularly with economic development, border conflict, and military, creates a complex web of national and regional insecurity that mostly leads to the formation of stringent water policies between watersharing states (Zeitoun 2011; Sahu 2017; Ho 2018). Table 13.1, which follows, TABLE 13.1 Transformation from traditional security complex to heterogeneous security

complex Traditional security complex (TSC)

Heterogeneous security complex (HSC)

Principal actor Unit of analysis

State State (dominant)

Effect on policies

• Militarisation of policy • Security dilemma Military conflict

State State, environment, economy, society, polity (state is the central unit of analysis, not dominant) • Militarisation of policy • Security dilemma Military conflict (more threatening than the TSC as multiple issues are intertwined with military conflict to explain the non-traditional security issues) Military and non-military issues

Final outcome

Principal forum for defining security relations Source: Author’s compilation

Political and military issues

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elucidates the fundamental differences between the traditional security complex and heterogeneous security complex.

III: The China-India water security syndrome: a heterogeneous security complex framework Internationally, China and India are framed in the category of rising powers due to their burgeoning economic development. There is also a debate that Beijing might surpass and challenge the United States’ (U.S.) dominance in the military, and economic realms in the near future, and the India-U.S. strategic relation will be a formidable challenge to Beijing’s expansionist policy (Alastair 2003; Shambaugh 2018). China’s growing opposition to keep India away from the United Nations Security Council’s (UNSC) permanent membership and Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) membership, and Beijing’s support to Pakistan’s cross-border terrorism at the international forums reflect the widening gap between the two rising powers (Bajpai 2017). At the same time, India’s strategic engagement or ‘putative coalition partners’ – such as the U.S., Japan, Australia, and Vietnam  – form a new security configuration at the global level (Bajpai 2017, 80). Besides, China’s geographical proximity and entrenched presence in South Asia – the region has been viewed as India’s sphere of influence – to contain New Delhi has been India’s rising security concern. The long-standing border conflict will have spill-over effects on non-traditional security domains that might bring the two Asian powers to lock horns. The recent change of China’s security policy and India’s response to counter the security threats emanating from Beijing manifest the intensity of mistrust and mismanagement of the state of bilateral relations. The Brahmaputra River water conflict is a case in point to explore China-India relations. Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recurring and forceful declaration of realising the ‘Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation’ and developing a robust combative force or ‘an active defence’ to contend with traditional and non-traditional threats including the water issue indicate the importance of emerging security challenges (China Daily 2015). India also shifts its military strategy to grapple with climate change and environmental issues  – including water security. The Indian Armed Forces’ recent Joint Doctrine is a reflection of it (Ministry of Defence 2017). Against this backdrop, it is worthwhile to explore the emerging Sino-India water conflict. Water is the most critical natural resource for the two rising Asian powers’ economic development as water has been associated with food, energy, and national security (Ho 2018; Barua and Vij 2018; Chellaney 2012; Sahu 2019). Since major transboundary rivers, more precisely the Brahmaputra River, originate from the Chinese-controlled Tibetan region, Beijing employs its advantageous position to exploit the water resources for its economic, strategic, and political interests. Beijing’s South-North water diversion design is a significant policy that amplifies the power interplay between China and India. However, what drives the securitisation and internationalisation of water policy is China’s construction, implementation, and regulation of water flow over the Brahmaputra River as India

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and Bangladesh – both middle and lower riparian states respectively – depend on this river flow for their economic development. It is argued that the India-China rivalry will shape the world order because both are emerging powers and vying for their dominance in Asia and beyond. It is stressed that the relatively equal power of upstream and downstream states causes conflict formation and security syndrome as ‘upstreamers use water to get more power, downstreams use power to get more power’ (Zeitoun and Warner 2006, 436). The river is vital for the two rising powers for three reasons. First, it is a significant source of water supply to meet their domestic water demand and economic development. Second, the river has the highest potential for hydropower generation so that both India and China can project themselves as the clean energy leaders to assert their political power at the global climate change negotiations. Third, the claim over the river water gives significant political leverage to occupy and legitimise the unresolved territory in their favour. However, both domestic and international dimensions determine China’s hydro-diplomacy with India. China’s 11th and 12th Five Year Plans attach significant importance to water and energy-related projects. Internally, the Chinese government’s primary concern was how to resolve the uneven water availability and inter-provincial water conflict. Domestically, water is the most critical resource as the Chinese provinces get economic incentives based on their water-related projects, including dam buildings (Moore 2017). Downstream and upstream provinces compete for water access and security for their economic growth by developing water-related infrastructures. The domestic inter-provincial competition over water for their economic growth significantly influences China’s hydro-diplomacy with New Delhi and prevents Beijing from solving the transboundary water issues, including water sharing and related data (Xie and Jia 2017). Also, it has been observed that climate change is seriously affecting China as there has been decreasing water flow on rivers such as the Yellow, Huaihe, Haihe, Yangtze, and Pearl rivers (National Development and Reform Commission 2007). Climate change intensifies the water scarcity and drought in the northern region and floods in the Southern part of China (National Development and Reform Commission 2007). Thus, climate change impact and inter-provincial competition for securing water compel China to push for a number of dams to generate hydropower, minimise the uneven water distribution, and prevent floods. In 2014, the Chinese government declared the operationalisation of the Zangmu Dam over the Chinese part of the Brahmaputra, and a series of dams are under consideration over the river (Xie and Jia 2017). China’s hydropower capacity has exceeded 225 GW, and the Zangmu Dam’s contribution is equivalent to the entire previous hydropower generation capacity of Tibet (Xie and Jia 2017). Considering China’s water diversion and damming of the river, New Delhi is in a serious dilemma on how to deal with the situation as the river water is instrumental for India’s larger development and security interests. Internally, the decreased water flow might create intra-states conflict between Arunachal Pradesh

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and Assam and prevent the country’s potential for hydropower generation and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government’s comprehensive river-linking project as the water flow from the Brahmaputra River will be linked with the Ganges river so that people in the Ganges plain can maximise the water use for their industrial, agricultural, and domestic water needs. However, Chinese scholars such as Xie and Jia (2017) stress that the Brahmaputra water flow from China to India is minimal and will not have any significant impact on the downstream countries’ water resource. It is also claimed that China’s water projects are run-of-the-river. However, this argument has been refuted by some Indian and Chinese scholars. First, there is no authentic estimation of the water flow from China to India’s territory. Iyer (2015) argues that the water flow varies both in the monsoon and lean seasons. Contrary to some Chinese scholars, other scholars in Beijing give prominence to Brahmaputra River water for India’s economic development and hydropower generation as the river basin accounts for India’s 44 per cent of total hydropower potential and 29 per cent of total runoff of rivers ( Jiang et al. 2017). Second, water regulation would immensely damage the downstream countries’ water security and the river basin’s ecology (Iyer 2015). Third, China’s runoff river claim is ‘a most misleading conception’ as there are high dams that regulate water flow and seriously threaten the ecology (Iyer 2015). New Delhi’s water security concern is exasperated as Beijing is reluctant to share the details of water-related projects and their implementation on the Brahmaputra River. Chinese authorities and scholars have failed to assuage India’s water security concern (Economy and Levi 2014). China argues that since its water-related projects are related to its sovereign territory, the water-related projects, mechanisms, and their implementation are internal affairs and there is no point in sharing water information (Xie, Rahaman, and Shen 2018). Though it is argued that China wants to desecuritise – through water dispute is unavoidable – the water issue by agreeing with India on sharing hydrology data (Biba 2014), this argument has been refuted by other scholars. China’s consent on data sharing with New Delhi is purposefully designed as a ‘bargaining tool’ to gain political, economic, and strategic interests (Xie, Zhang, and Panda 2018, 44). Chellaney (2012, 150) contends that China’s data-sharing agreement is a ‘commercial accord’ rather than Beijing’s genuine effort for addressing India’s water security concern. This was reflected when China stopped providing data due to the two countries’ flare-up over the Doklam crisis. China also refused to accede to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s request for providing year-round information on the Brahmaputra River water flow. Having an advantageous geographical location, China’s unilateral water diversion projects, damming of the river, reluctance to share data on hydrology, and unwillingness to chart a water-sharing agreement demonstrate its ‘hydro-hegemony’. To counter China’s hydro-hegemony, Indian scholars argue that New Delhi must change its China policy and directly engage with Tibet. Since Tibet is forcibly annexed and politically controlled by China, India claims that Tibet water resources must be attributed as a ‘common resource’ (Xie and Jia 2017, 686).

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Further, Dalai Lama – who is perceived by Beijing as a threat to China’s security and who is exiled in India – also intensified the debate by supporting New Delhi’s water security concern in the region and framing the Tibetan water as the common resource for maintaining the region’s ecology and the water needs of the people of India and China (Xie and Jia 2017, 686). The New Delhi-based think tank  – Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis (IDSA) – maintains that since more than 2 billion people in South and Southeast Asia depend on water flowing from Tibet, China has no right to unilaterally regulate the water flow and India must create global and regional pressure to halt Beijing’s water diversion project and sensitise the Tibetans on the water diversion impacts on ecology (IDSA 2010). Thus, the diversified national interests and China’s hydro-hegemony bring the two countries to view the water security from an economic perspective since economic development is the fundamental objective of the two rising powers. Simultaneously, the water security and economic development linkage are closely associated with military security. The transformation of the strategic shift in linking water with military security has been a growing phenomenon in China (Xie, Zhang, and Panda 2018). Unlike India, China is more aggressive to use its military force to maintain and accelerate its water security as it is linked with the country’s economic growth to realise the real objective of ‘the China Dream’. The water diversion project on the Brahmaputra River such as the Grand Western Water Diversion (GWWD) – or South-North Western Diversion (SNWD) – proposal was strongly supported by 118 military officials including many high-ranking generals (Zhang and Li 2018). Further, the Tibetan military force’s presence in the region significantly militarised the Brahmaputra River dispute as the Tibetan government is keen to use hydropower to meet its electricity shortage, and the Tibetan military force directly comes under the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) (Zhang and Li 2018). According to the 2010 National Defense Report, PLA and People’s Armed Police Force (PAPF) participated in more than 600 major projects including energy and hydropower projects (Information Office the State Council 2011). However, Chinese water and climate policies have been officially militarised and endorsed as Beijing forcefully proclaims and frames its traditional and non-traditional security issues within the Military Operation Other Than War (MOOTW) policy. As a state policy, MOOTW provides ample opportunities and scope to Chinese military and political elites to use PLA for managing water issues. Though China claims that military forces would be used to grapple with non-traditional security issues such as water, MOOTW engenders and increases the country’s security and decreases others’ insecurity (Lin-Greenberg 2018), particularly the immediate security implications for India. MOOTW has formed ‘non-traditional security dilemmas’ among states where security-insecurity syndrome abets security dilemma and security seeking measures – such as arms race, surveillance, and alliance. However, water will be a conflict multiplier as it is considerably connected with the territorial conflict, considering India’s strategic interest in Arunachal Pradesh

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and New Delhi’s dam-building spree along with China’s claim on the state’s territory and framing the discourse that the state as a disputed territory might foster potential military flashpoints over territorial and water conflicts. China claims 96 thousand square kilometres of land in the Indian part of Arunachal Pradesh or what Beijing calls ‘South Tibet’ (Paul 2018). Chinese scholars maintain that Beijing will not show any sensitivity to India’s water quandary as long as the border conflict is not resolved that favours China (Ho 2018; Zhang and Li 2018). India refuses to buy China’s claim and suspects that Beijing’s claim of Arunachal Pradesh is an attempt to control the state’s vast water resources (cited in Ho 2018). Challenging China’s contention, New Delhi is undaunted and asserts that the state is ‘an integral and inalienable part of India’ (Ministry of External Affairs 2019). To counter China’s hydro-hegemony attitude over the Brahmaputra River, the Indian government has been constructing and planning a series of hydropower projects in the state. India develops hydropower projects such as Subansiri (under construction), Dibang (under construction), and Ranganadi (completed) on the Brahmaputra basin of the state (Singh 2019; Water Resources Information System of India n. d.) to legitimise its claim over the state. Furthermore, emphasising the Sian basin as the national project  – for instance  – former Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Jairam Ramesh (2015, 170–71) says, ‘This is an extremely important project from a strategic point of view that is essential to strengthen our negotiating position vis-à-vis China on Brahmaputra waters issue’. In addition, India is keen to integrate its Northeastern states with the mainstream economy as this region is an instrument to link India’s trade with East Asian countries (Hill 2017). This region has a high potential for hydropower generation. Thus, India gives a top priority to the region due to geo-economic importance. However, China strongly disputes India’s development projects in the state as it will allow state and private companies a more significant role and India’s growing demand and control of the region (Paul 2018). China perceives that New Delhi’s development projects will severely complicate the border issue between the two Asian giants (Paul 2018). For instance, after the Doklam territorial conflict, China stopped supplying water information to New Delhi despite India paying the price for getting water information. In 1954, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the two countries for sharing of data on the Brahmaputra River, and subsequently, the MoU was abandoned due to the Sino-India War in 1962 (Ahmad and Iqbal 2016). The next MoU was signed in 2002 for sharing information on flood control. Thus, the rising water demand for economic and military security and its association with border conflict significantly increases the security dilemma and mistrust in Sino-India relations. However, political leadership in both the rival countries invigorates the national interest. Since Jinping’s incumbency and his centralised leadership, China’s policy of ‘containment of India’ in South Asia and ‘growing assertiveness on the border’ has turned Beijing’s policy as ‘an offensive makes over’ ( Joshi and Mukherjee 2018, 1, 9). As ‘China cannot rise peacefully’ (Mearsheimer 2010, 382), or is being touted as ‘the smart revisionist’

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(Holslang 2014, 106), the offensive makeover compels India to change its military strategy from deterring to punishing – ‘to take the battle into Chinese territory or target Chinese assets in the high-seas’ – as it was reflected over the Doklam issue that forced the Chinese troops to stop the construction projects near the trijunction between India, Bhutan, and Tibet ( Joshi and Mukherjee 2018, 2; Paul 2018). India raises the forces of Mountain Strike Corps, rail and road constructions, and deployment of armour along the India-China border (Bajpai 2017; Joshi and Mukherjee 2018). Thus, the deeply entrenched security dilemma and the interlinking of border and resource conflicts have the immediate potential to establish a river water rivalry along with military competition.

IV: India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan: a complex water diplomacy The two rising Asian powers expand their dominance in Asia and beyond. However, China’s increasing inroad into South Asia is detrimental to New Delhi’s historical dominance in the region. India’s neighbours might play and manoeuvre the China card to bargain with New Delhi on water sharing. However, this chapter limits its study to India’s water conflict with Bangladesh and Pakistan as they are New Delhi’s downstream countries and have significant water security concerns.

IV.I: India and Bangladesh water conflict: an emerging rivalry Bangladesh is an integral part of the Brahmaputra and Ganges river water basins. In both the basins, Bangladesh is downstream of India. Considering India’s geographical advantage, large size, and military and economic might, Dhaka has its own political and water security concerns because these two river basins preponderantly define the country’s economic development and environmental sustainability as the country faces floods due to water surplus in the monsoon season and drought due to water shortage in the dry seasons. What accounts for the Bangladesh worry is the quantum of water flow from the Indian rivers and streams to the former’s territory. According to Iyer, most Bangladeshi writings on water tend to make the point that 94 per cent of the water resources of the country originate beyond its territory, and 54 rivers and streams flow into Bangladesh from India. This consciousness, combined with that of India’s size, colours Bangladeshi thinking and gives it a sense of vulnerability’ (2007, 191) Dhaka is a lower riparian state of the Brahmaputra River basin, and New Delhi and Beijing are the middle and upper riparian states respectively. As per India’s water

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woes concerning China, Bangladesh is apprehensive about India’s water-related infrastructure development and diversion of the river water that flows to the downstream state. The Brahmaputra provides two-thirds of Dhaka’s water requirements, which is beneficial for agriculture, economic development, sustainable ecology, drinking water, and reducing salinity (Wirsing and Jasparro 2007). Any reduction and diversion of water will invade the country’s industrial and economic development. China’s aggressive water development projects over the Brahmaputra River push India to give a high priority to hydropower development projects on the Indian side of the river (Ramesh 2015). However, it is reported that India is reluctant to share information on the river projects with its downstream countries and has failed to attenuate Dhaka’s water security predicament. Sharing information might help the country to work out plans for the flood management and droughtlike situation. Also, what complicates the bilateral relations are India’s subnational water conflicts. Since water is the state subject and there is an increased domestic water demand, an internal consensus on water sharing between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh is the priority to manage the water dispute between Dhaka and New Delhi (Barua and Vij 2018). It is also observed that the Bangladeshi migrants issue engenders the anti-Bangladeshi feelings in Assam that might prevent the Indian federal government from adopting a fair water-sharing agreement (Yasuda et al. 2018). There is also a long-standing deadlock on the Teesta River water – a tributary of the Brahmaputra River – between New Delhi and Dhaka as the West Bengal government hinders and delays efforts to reach an agreement (Yasuda et al. 2018, 322). In India, the inter-states water-sharing agreement between West Bengal and Sikkim on the Teesta River compounds the water-sharing subject as the river originates from Sikkim (Ahmed 2012). Likewise, the West Bengal government wants to manipulate the federal government over the Teesta agreement with Dhaka if the West Bengal government is given a special economic package from the central government (Ahmed 2012). Crow and Singh stress that the ‘recent visions of water development within India express national visions that make little accommodation to the concerns of other countries in the region’ (2009, 322). So, the subnational politics, New Delhi’s unilateral construction and water diversion projects, a dearth of transparency on sharing water information, and Dhaka’s rising suspicion develop a water security dilemma and mistrust. In addition, the water security problem is aggravated due to Bangladesh’s domestic politics, more precisely the Bangladesh Nationalist Party’s anti-India sentiment. Another problematic area is the Ganges river water sharing. The Ganga is known as the Padma once it crosses the Bangladesh border. It is the world’s most populous river basin, and 655 million inhabitants depend on it for various purposes such as food security, agriculture, hydropower generation, navigation, industrial development, and so on (Sadoff et al. 2013). Though the dispute has its historical origin, the problem is more acute with the erratic climate change impact on water and the countries’ growing water demand for industrial and agricultural

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developments. The primary factor that affects the relationship is the Farakka barrage over the Ganga River. The main objective of the barrage is water diversion from the Ganga to the Bhagirathi-Hooghly river system through a 38.38-km-long feeder canal for the preservation of Kolkata Port for navigation purposes (Farakka Barrage Project n. d.). There is also an estimation that climate change impact will reduce two-thirds of the Ganges water between July to September, affecting 500  million people and one-third of irrigated land in India (Human Development Report 2007/2008). Thus, India wants to control the water for its domestic requirements. Considering the reduced water flow, Dhaka also internationalised the water issue by raising the matter in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in 1993, and former Bangladeshi Prime Minister Khaleda Zia declared that ‘the unilateral withdrawal of the Ganges water by India has created unimaginable adverse effects on the economy and environment of Bangladesh’ (Swain 2004, cited in Tripathi 2011, 71). However, despite the Ganges water agreement in 1996, Dhaka feels the heat of the Farakka barrage as the scientific evidence shows that the barrage reduces the Ganges water flow to Bangladesh territory, and India’s unilateral construction over the water germinates the big and small brother syndrome (Xie, Rahaman, and Shen 2018). The reduction of water flows impacts fisheries, agriculture, and the coastal mangrove forest, which is commercially viable and ecologically sustainable (Wirsinga and Jasparro 2007). Thus, the Bangladesh government frames the barrage as ‘injurious to its national prestige and interests’ (Ho 2016, 44). Ho is more critical of India and stresses that India is ‘a hydro-hegemon’ and New Delhi employs various strategies for ‘resource utilization’ and ‘resource control’ (2016, 33). However, the water dispute becomes more complicated and compounded as India has a mega and ambitious plan for the National River Linking Project (NRLP). The project is designed to link the Brahmaputra with the Ganges River. India wants to divert the Brahmaputra River and to connect it with the Ganga so that India’s most populous states – Uttar Pradesh and Bihar – get the optimal water resources for their industrial and agricultural development (Babel and Wahid 2011). This would help New Delhi to improve its food security and fulfil its aspiration to become a great power. India has so far not shared the details of the project and its environmental impact assessment with Bangladesh (Ho 2016). Highlighting the river-linking project’s impact, former Bangladesh Ambassador to the UN, Harun Ur Rashid (2012) says: India officially kept Bangladesh in the dark about the river-linking scheme, and Bangladesh knew of it through the Indian media in 2003. Naturally, it caused grave concern to Bangladesh because, under the scheme of the Himalayan component, all the major sources of rivers in Bangladesh would be subject to unilateral diversion by India. The diversion will result in a severe adverse impact on Bangladesh. Water experts say the country will not get two-thirds of its dry season water from the Brahmaputra River.

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It is noted that the river linking project heightened – which was started during the NDA regime in 2002 – Bangladesh’s water quandary as the present NDA government led by Modi allocated Rs 100 crore for the project in July  2014 (Business Standard 2014). Recently, as reported in an Economic Times article on January 18, 2018, the river-linking project was revived as water resource minister, Nitin Gadkari, urged for expediting the project in the special committee meeting in January 2018. Bangladesh has the apprehension that India demonstrates the ‘big brother, little brothers’ attitude to regulate the water flow (Ho 2016, 34). With the declining groundwater and the salinity problem, New Delhi’s water diversion and the river-linking projects will severely undermine Dhaka’s water security, which might have a detrimental effect on the bilateral relationship. It was reflected when Dhaka refused to join the counter-terrorism meeting of the experts from the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries hosted by New Delhi in 2012 (Ahmed 2012). In the long run, India’s indifference to Bangladesh’s water concern will lead to the significant increase of water-scarcity-led migrants from the latter to the former’s territory, which would pose an impending security threat to New Delhi (Ahmed 2012). Thus, Dhaka’s rising water predicament and New Delhi’s failure to address the former’s water dilemma might worsen the existing water conflict over the Brahmaputra and Ganges rivers’ water sharing. As water has been integrated with economic development, Dhaka might be an emerging challenger to India’s water hegemony to accelerate its economic development and to meet the mounting domestic water demand.

IV.II: India and Pakistan water conflict: an enduring rivalry India and Pakistan’s water history started after the demarcation of a new border between the two countries. As the countries share the transboundary Indus River System (IRS), the matter was complicated after the partition. After a series of negotiations between India and Pakistan – the World Bank as the ‘third party’ – they concluded the Treaty on September 19, 1960. As agreed in the Treaty, the Eastern Rivers (the Sutlej, the Beas, and the Ravi) have been allocated to India, and the western rivers (the Indus, the Jhelum, and the Chenab) to Pakistan (Salman 2008). Though the Treaty has been described and perceived as the most successful agreement, both New Delhi and Islamabad treat it as an unfair pact (Iyer 2005; Chellaney 2013). There have been allegations and counter allegations by the two adversaries. With the rise of population growth, rising water demand for industrial purposes, people’s dependence on water for agriculture, hydropower generation, erratic climate change impact, intra-sate water conflicts and, more significantly, the border conflict over Kashmir territory, New Delhi, and Islamabad have been embroiled in intense water disputes. However, Pakistan feels more vulnerable as it is the downstream country and IRS is the major source for agricultural and industrial

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developments, particularly for the textile, sugar, and wheat industries (Hill 2013). According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, 95 per cent of Pakistan’s irrigated land comes under the Indus Basin, and the basin covers 65 per cent of the country’s territory (Indus River Basin n. d.). It is also reported that the climate change effect will reduce the Indus Basin’s water flow by 27 per cent by 2050 (IPCC 2001, cited in Sharma et al. 2010). The World Bank appointed a neutral expert in 2007, underlining the climate change impact on the IRS, which was absent when the Treaty was signed in 1960 (Salman 2008). The most immediate cause for Pakistan’s growing apprehension is that there has been a belief that India’s active measures for hydropower projects in the western rivers prevent and reduce the water flow towards Pakistan’s territory. In 2018, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, held a meeting with former World Bank President, Jim Yong Kim, on the side-lines of the 73 UNGA session and raised India’s construction of the Kishanganga hydroelectric project on the Kishanganga River – a tributary of Jhelum River – and Ratle hydroelectric project on the Chenab River (Ministry of Foreign Affairs 2018). Pakistan alleges that India violates the Treaty by building hydropower projects as the former has ‘exclusive rights’ over these rivers (Ministry of Foreign Affairs 2018). Taking a critical stand, Pakistani scholarship argues that India’s projects on the Chenab River seriously obstruct and reduce the western rivers’ water flow to Pakistan (Ahmad and Iqbal 2016). It is also argued that Pakistan’s water dependency hinges on ‘Indian goodwill’ (Iyer 2005, 3140). In addition to Pakistan’s internal water problems that emanate from population growth, disproportionate inter-provinces water distribution, poor water management, and climate change detriment  – argues Briscoe (2010) – the river water rivalry has been intensified as India has been aggressively pursuing hydropower projects in the last two decades and maintaining secrecy about water with Pakistan. It is also reported that India is the main culprit for preventing Pakistan’s internal dam-building effort for water preservation as New Delhi is responsible for and supports anti-dam movements in Pakistan’s territory (Roic, Garrick, and Qadir 2017). However, Indian scholars and defence analysts vehemently rebut Pakistan’s allegation. Chellaney (2013, 44) argues that India is generous with Pakistan by signing the Treaty ‘in terms of both the sharing ratio in favour of a downstream state (80.52 per cent) and the total volume of basin waters reserved for it’. Chellaney (2013) contends that Islamabad’s opposition to the hydroelectric projects on the western rivers is an attempt to halt and hurt India’s legitimate concern for economic development. The most respected defence analyst, K. Subrahmanyam (2010) argues that Islamabad’s attempt of militarising water diplomacy is a tactical move to maintain and intensify the anti-Indian sentiments in Pakistan’s society. Both military and civilian establishments invoke the water issue as a security threat and use this argument in order to deploy their military on the Indian border (Subrahmanyam 2010). The claim that India’s action reduces water flow is misleading and baseless. For example, when the Pakistan government objected to India’s Baglihar dam

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construction on the Chenab River in 1999, the World Bank clearly mentioned that New Delhi has not violated the Treaty and supported the project with a slight modification of the design without compromising the 450 MW power potential of the dam, which was completed in 2008 (Indus River Basin n. d.). Pakistan’s former Minister for water and power, Raja Pervez Ashraf, also acknowledges that India’s dam-building on the Jhelum and Chenab does not violate the Treaty; preferably New Delhi is entitled to do it (Subrahmanyam 2010). Pakistan’s claim over the western rivers as its exclusive right is merely propaganda. Under the Treaty, India has every right to use the western rivers’ water for domestic use, non-consumptive use, agricultural use, and hydroelectric power subject to the conditions mentioned in the Treaty (Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation n. d.). Though it is observed that there has been a decline of water flow on IRS, Pakistan’s Indus Water Commissioner, Syed Jamaat Ali Shah, argues that hydro-meteorological factors are responsible for the shortage of rainfall in the catchment area (Subrahmanyam 2010). It is argued that the internal disproportionate water share – particularly Punjab’s water capture – and water mismanagement are the real problems in Pakistan. In order to perpetuate Punjab’s dominance – as most of the powerful politicians and military officials are from this region – Pakistan deflects Punjab’s resource capture policy and blames India for its water woes (Subrahmanyam 2010; Tripathi 2011). Both India and Pakistan are ‘water stressed’ countries ( Jamir 2016) and subject to the severe climate change impact (Briscoe 2010; Sahu 2019). In addition to economic and livelihood issues, water has been considered as a security issue in both countries (Alam 2002; Briscoe 2010). Water has been interlinked with national security as the shared transboundary river water has been framed within a broader conflict, particularly the conflict over Kashmir territory. Pakistan depends on upstream India for the Indus River water and develops the water insecurity syndrome due to New Delhi’s spree of dam projects over the western rivers. Since Pakistan has a single river system – the Indus River – Islamabad views India’s hydropower projects on the western side of the river as ‘an existential threat to Pakistan’s security’ (Briscoe 2010, 29). Considering the multiple internal and external challenges, water has been constructed as ‘a major security concern for Pakistan’ (Briscoe 2010, 30) that breeds a war-like situation between the two rivals ( Jamir 2016). Reacting to the developments around Baglihar dam, former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief, Lt Gen Hamid Gul declared that ‘Pakistan should fight even a war to safeguard its rights (to water)’ (Tripathi 2011, 70). Briscoe’s outright blame on India for the growing water tension with Pakistan can be challenged as he ignores the brute reality of Pakistan’s heinous and inhuman acts. For instance, after a series of Pakistan’s cross-border attacks on India – including the attack on Uri on September 18, 2016 – an Indian Army camp in Kashmir – an inter-ministerial task force was created in 2016 with a ‘sense of urgency’ to review all the strategic aspects of the 1960 Treaty with Pakistan (Indian Express 2016). The task force will work under the chairmanship of Principal Secretary to PM Nirpendra Mishra with

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other members – such as the National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval, former Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar, Secretaries of ministries including Environment, Power and Water Resource and Finance. Likewise, the recent Jaish-e-Mohammed is led and supported by Islamabad and operates on Pakistan’s land; terror attacks on India’s Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama on February  14, 2019, killed around 40 people from the Central Reserve Police Force (Hindu 2019), and that prompted New Delhi’s option for maximising the water use that flows to Pakistan’s territory. Briscoe must understand India’s position, which is clearly uttered by Prime Minister Modi after Pakistan’s attack on India’s Uri military base that killed 19 soldiers – ‘blood and water cannot flow together’ (Indian Express 2016). Vikram Sood, former intelligence chief, stresses that without abrogating the Treaty, ‘even abiding by the treaty to the maximum will hurt them’ (Economic Times 2018). Thus, the water insecurity, which is intertwined with the border conflict over the Kashmir issue intensifies the security dilemma between the two enemies. Considering the water shortage, it is also argued that the ‘scarcity dilemma may be already affecting the security dilemma or it may be the other way around’ (Tripathi 2011, 70). Thus, Pakistan’s fear of India’s water regulation and its own internal water problems have been interlinked, with both countries competing over economic development, climate change impact, territorial conflicts, and Pakistan-led cross-border terrorism. The interlinkages demonstrate multiple security issues. Against this backdrop, water is framed as a security threat or a political weapon that exasperates the India-Pakistan rivalry.

V: The Sino-India conflict and South Asia: a heterogeneous security complex India faces a significant water security dilemma as it is countered by a fierce challenger (China), an existing challenger (Pakistan), and an emerging challenger (Bangladesh). The water security challenge is magnified as water is intermeshed with other contentious issues such as border conflict, economic development, unpredictable climate change implications, and military dominance in South Asia. However, China’s hydro-hegemony and sovereign territorial water policy along with military modernisation and containment of New Delhi in South Asia, and India’s counter-response heighten the Sino-India security dilemma which has substantial implications for South Asia, particularly India’s hydro-diplomacy with Pakistan and Bangladesh. India’s water security dilemma has been rising as New Delhi has a difficulty to deal with existing and emerging challengers in South Asia and the new challenges posed by Beijing  – strategic as well as economic. The major factor that drives India’s water security concern is China’s aggressive push for economic and military engagement with Pakistan and Bangladesh to contain New Delhi. Beijing’s latest move of this whole gamut is ‘One Belt One Road’ or OBOR economic project, and Pakistan is the staunch supporter of the project, which serves the mutual

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interests of both. As the U.S. disengages itself from Islamabad and is critical of OBOR, the project is seen as an opportunity by China to strengthen its strategic presence in the region to contain India and expand its economic engagement with Asian countries and beyond. As the U.S. becomes more critical towards Islamabad, Pakistan also sees OBOR as an opportunity to align with China to maintain military and power parity with its traditional rival – India. It is reported that Chinese officials and Pakistan’s Air Force have been secretly planning to establish a special economic zone under the OBOR project with an objective of developing new-generation fighter jets (Abi-Habib 2018). This undisclosed plan might serve China’s geo-economic interest as the weapon production would expand Beijing’s military supply to the world market, particularly in the Islamic countries (AbiHabib 2018). However, Chinese scholars like Ho underestimate India’s rise and its comparison with China. Ho says, China is not bothered about New Delhi’s concern over the Brahmaputra River and military power (2018). However, this might be Chinese scholars’ deliberate move to deflect the attention from New Delhi’s rise as India is the biggest challenger to Beijing’s expansionist policy and Beijing might not want to upset its closest ally  – Pakistan – by accepting New Delhi’s military and economic prowess. If China acknowledges India’s great power status, it might invite Pakistan’s ire as the acceptance would widen the power asymmetry or disparity between New Delhi and Islamabad, and Beijing might face Islamabad’s non-cooperation on an OBOR project. Countering China’s OBOR project, India firmly objects to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor as it passes ‘through the Indian territory, Pakistan occupied Kashmir’, and violates India’s ‘sovereignty and territorial integrity’ (Ministry of External Affairs 2017). India’s Ministry of External Affairs official spokesperson mentions that ‘No country can accept a project that ignores its core concerns on sovereignty and territorial integrity’ (Ministry of External Affairs 2018). However, in the pretext of OBOR, China might use Pakistan’s land and employ the hydro-hegemony tactics on which Islamabad would be happy to cooperate to offset the regional balance against India’s strategic interests. There have been reports of the Chinese investment in Pakistan’s hydro industries such as the NeelumJhelum project, the Diamer-Bhasha Dam on the Indus, and the Bunji project at the intersection of the Indus and the Kashmir’s Gilgit River (Ho 2018; Hill 2013; Crow and Singh 2009). Though China’s share on the IRB is minimal, if there is an imminent and a severe water dispute between New Delhi and Islamabad, Beijing can jump into the turmoil and exploit the resources since the river originates from Tibet. However, since Beijing shares 8 per cent of the Indus Basin (Indus River Basin n. d.), it is not able to avoid China’s increased interests in the river as the country needs water for its economic development and can use water as an instrument to politically leverage its stand to settle the border conflict with India. The China-Pakistan duo can challenge India’s geographical advantage on water over Islamabad by developing a closer understanding of economic, strategic, and water

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issues. For example, it is reported that China’s solidarity with Pakistan was reflected when the former blocked one of the tributaries of the Brahmaputra River at a time when India formed a task force to review the IWT (Economic Times 2018). Bangladesh has been an emerging challenger to India’s hydro-hegemony. In addition to geography and military-economic might, New Delhi shows ‘a Big Brother attitude’ in deciding and sharing the water-related issues and information with Dhaka (Vij et al. 2019). This further reduces the water cooperation and a joint and unbiased research as India securitises and classifies the water-related information and data on the Brahmaputra River and increases the ‘power interplay’ between the two competing states over water (Vij et al. 2019). It is also perceived that India’s right-wing government might use its material resources to dominate Bangladesh on the river (Vij et al. 2019). Dhaka depends on its upstream country – India – for its water availability and regulation of flood water. So both water scarcity and water abundance problems can be managed if India cooperates with the emerging challenger. Otherwise, China will manipulate the water issue with Dhaka and blame India for Bangladesh’s water worries. Considering the climate change impact on water availability, economic development, and population growth, Dhaka might look for an alternative strategy to strongly bargain with India  – both on water sharing and transparency on water information. Against this setting, both Dhaka and Beijing might cash in on the situation for their mutual interests. China is attempting to bring Dhaka on board to counter India as Dhaka will provide an ocean trade route through the Bay of Bengal (Yasuda et  al. 2018) to expedite the OBOR project. Dhaka also needs massive infrastructural development and up-gradation – such as power, water, and roads – and can exploit the project to meet its developmental challenges (Hashim 2017). In a joint statement with China, the Bangladesh government says, Dhaka is appreciative of China’s initiative of the ‘Silk Road Economic Belt’ and the ‘21st Century Maritime Silk Road’ (the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)), believing it will bring important opportunities for Bangladesh’s goal of becoming a middle-income country by 2021 and a Developed Country by 2041’. (Daily Star 2016) The joint statement also underlines Chinese investment in Dhaka’s river management and water infrastructure. Dhaka might use this opportunity to bargain with India over water issues as India’s water hegemony and domestic constraints prevent water cooperation (Yasuda et al. 2018). Therefore, Iyer (2015) has rightly pointed out that New Delhi must reflect on its policy towards the downstream state  – Bangladesh – before expecting China to display a rightful attitude towards India. As the rising powers at the global level, China and India have to take more responsibility for the management of regional issues, including water insecurity. However, evidence shows that neither China nor India is responsible for multilateral

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water security cooperation. China has been an irresponsible hydro-hegemon for managing water issues in the South Asia region (Magsig 2015). Besides, some of India’s right-wing think tanks – for instance, India Foundation and Vivekananda International Foundation – give an utmost priority to water as a national interest (Hill 2017). China and India are responsible for the rising security dilemma in the region. Moreover, South Asia’s political elites see the national and regional security from the state’s survival and territorial integrity perspectives to challenge the ‘Indian imagination of regional security’ as the region ‘has long been identified as the Indian subcontinent’ (Barthwal-Datta and Basu 2017, 400). In this context, the water security dilemma is entangled with state security that might amplify the water insecurity syndrome. Against this backdrop, both India and China must show some concerns to their respective downstream riparian states to maintain regional stability and peace. Otherwise, the region might provide a solid foundation for exploring water war discourse and its implications where water is integrated with multiple issues.

Conclusion The water security dilemma is the defining issue in the South Asia region as water has been interlinked with erratic climate change impact, economic development, and strategic interest. Since China is the major source of water resource, the rising Sino-India mistrust and security dilemma might substantially affect South Asia as a whole. The South Asia water security dilemma is not inseparable from the SinoIndia security dilemma. The following points are the findings of the chapters. 1 The India-China water security dilemma is interlinked with other issues, more precisely the long-standing unresolved border conflict and a rapid pace of economic development between the two competing Asian powers. 2 The India-China water security dilemma gives space to Bangladesh and Pakistan to bargain with India on water sharing as Dhaka and Islamabad can play a strategic game that favours China and reduces India’s influence in the region. 3 To implement its OBOR project and to contain New Delhi, China can use and support Bangladesh and Pakistan both in the Brahmaputra and Indus basins respectively. 4 India has been shifting its military strategy to restrict Chinese influence in the region and might change its water policy against Pakistan due to conflict over Kashmir territory and Islamabad’s support to cross-border terrorism. The entrenched rivalry between India and China, enduring rivalry between India and Pakistan, and the emerging rivalry between India and Bangladesh over river water will intensify the transboundary river water security dilemma as water has been closely tied to the border conflict and economic development. The two Asian

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giants have a greater responsibility for managing the water issue in the South Asian region. It all depends on how China and India look at each other’s rise in the region. Though the recent trends and development show that the two competing states are vying for strategic, economic, and resource interests, it would be interesting to see whether they cross the Rubicon and prove that the water war discourse is a myth in the region.

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I am deeply indebted to Surinder Mohan as my continuous academic engagement with him helped to conceptualise and develop this chapter. I  am also thankful to Dhananjay Tripathi as he kept on pushing and guiding me to completing the chapter.

14 GLOBALISATION, INTERNET, AND NATION-STATES Theoretical exploration of the new borders of globalisation Shubham Dwivedi

I: Introduction The arrival of the Internet and its intertwining with globalisation was a deterministic force in the international arena. The Internet has unlocked a virtual space which is infinitesimal and infinite at the same time. This compression of space ingresses the access to information on the global scale, and this scale can be explored on multiple dimensions. The interaction between the Internet and globalisation, however, is far from clear as was claimed during its arrival, especially in the pages of Wired magazine. The nature of this interaction dominates any narrative around the Internet. Any conceptualisation of the Internet from an academic viewpoint must address the ‘borderless, open and neutral’ narrative. There is nothing neat about the conceptualisation of the Internet on these lines, and this is what has been addressed in this chapter. Since not much has been written on the subject, we have to indulge in some elementary discussion before getting into the main part of this chapter. First, when the word Internet is discussed in this chapter, it simply takes the constitution of the Internet into consideration. This constitution involves personal computers, Windows, word processing, modems, and a global phone network as defined by Thomas Freidman (Friedman 2005, 54–55). These elements collectively create an electronic communications network which connects computer networks and facilities all around the world. In order to understand the framing of the Internet in the 21st  century, we must separate the Internet from the globalisation narrative. Yes, the Internet interacts with globalisation and there is a correlation here, but as the academic cliché goes, ‘correlation doesn’t necessarily mean causation. This is one of the fundamental postulates upon which validity of any sincere academic exercise rests. This fuzziness empowered by globalisation’s association with the Internet throws open a whole set of other questions. The most important

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of all is the interaction between nation-states and the Internet. Nation-states are geographically determined, and the Internet transcends these geographies through virtual space as it is claimed often. This contradictory nature of both has certainly created theoretical problems for scholars, specifically in international relations (IR). Interestingly, the ascendancy of globalisation and the arrival of the Internet are conjoined due to temporality as they both happened during the late 80s and early 90s. This temporality alone does not explain how both concepts became so interwoven that the Internet became associated with the open, neutral, and borderless world. While much of the discourse related to the Internet is about its borderless character, the story is not that simple. Is virtual space really borderless? This is the claim which flows from the entwined narrative forwarded by the technological utopians. There are certain glitches in this matrix. The most conspicuous example is the behaviour of the Chinese State riding on the successful taming of the Internet, which is telling a different story altogether. The Chinese case openly demonstrates that the Internet’s spatial dimension is influenced by the real geography for its operationalisation and identification. This chapter focuses on the exploration of how the Internet got subdued by the globalisation narrative (open, neutral, and borderless) and why it is necessary to correct that. The aim is not to discard one in favour of the other. In order to properly understand the role of the Internet in relation to globalisation and vice versa, this ‘open-border’ narrative must be deconstructed. The Internet’s interaction with the nation-states is the next most consequential arena to explore as it provides the gateway for the broader conversation on the construction of virtual borders in cyberspace. Thus, there are three issues that are explored in the chapter. Firstly is the interweaving of the Internet with the globalisation narrative, specifically ‘open borders’. This section attempts to explore whether there is some credence to this thesis. The association of the Internet and globalisation will be examined and deconstructed through economic framing and a contextual analysis. Secondly, the chapter explores the spatiality of the Internet by investigating the geographical dimension of the Internet. This is essential before exploring the state’s interaction with the Internet as it hugely influences the relationship between globalisation and the Internet in the 21st century. Lastly, the interaction between the nation-states and the Internet will be unpacked in general on the lines of spatiality explored in the second section. This section will examine the merger of technostatism of the People’s Republic of China with the Chinese Internet infrastructure. How is this attempt to erect borders in virtual space changing the nature of the Internet?

II: Temporality revisited The end of the Cold War and the receding threat of nuclear Armageddon led to a closer engagement with the emergent new technologies, especially with the Internet. The 1990s saw the ascendancy of the Internet on the global scale. It was

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developed by the United States of America (U.S.A.) for military purposes, but the underlying technology was made public in the late 80s and early 90s (Mowery and Simcoe 2002, 1383). The context is everything here. The association of the Internet with positive aspects of Liberalism happens during this point in time. The breakup of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) rendered the U.S.A. as the sole superpower unmatched in all aspects of national power (Fukuyama 2012) (Krauthammer 1990). It was also the victory of capitalism. Soon after the Thatcherite and Reaganite neoliberal economic policies which conceived the Washington Consensus were elevated to mythological status as they soon influenced the future economic restructuring programmes all around the world (Davidson 2004, 209). Williamson, who authored the influential article ‘Washington Consensus’, rejected its linking with neoliberalism, but Davidson was not very convinced (Williamson 2004, 14). Unfettered free trade coupled with the borderless conceptualisation of the worldwide market became the ‘raison de système’. Even a section of American academia fell in line with this narrative. Adding to the narrative, Francis Fukuyama predicted that it is the end of history and the new world order was the logical end result of Hegelian idealism (Fukuyama 2012). Charles Krauthammer’s insistence on a unipolar moment was arguing on the similar thread (Krauthammer 1990). In this post-Cold War discussion, the Internet was always seen as the tool of this unipolar neoliberal world order. Notably, Bill Kristol, Thomas Freidman, and Joseph Nye were in agreement with technological utopians that the Internet will fasten the pace of globalisation and this was a virtuous moment in world history (Keohane and Nye 1998). This interweaving led to the crystallisation of technological determinism and technological utopians’ vision of the Internet was accepted without much tinkering. This globalisation and Internet narrative was further consolidated by the economic framing of the issue. Given the centrality of the economy in the American discourse during ‘It’s the economy, stupid’ era, it is not surprising that this conceptual overlapping happened so swiftly.

III: Economic framing The story of globalisation from the neoliberal perspective is overarching and allencompassing. The inevitability of globalisation is almost a fact, which is why everything has a hierarchical positioning. The aim here is not to completely disassociate the Internet from globalisation. The Internet as a technological medium has catalysed the globalisation process. But the real interaction between them cannot be explored if this overarching globalisation narrative persists. This is simply due to the fact that it leads to continual underestimation of the role played by nation-states in this interaction. Globalisation in interaction with the Internet has created new borders, but they cannot be explored unless this narrative is deconstructed. Globalisation is a very complex, multidimensional and multifaceted process which requires a multivariate analysis to understand its composition. However, the economic dimension is what this chapter takes as its point of entry.

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Thus, globalisation is defined here as the increasing economic interdependence across the national economies all over the world facilitated by rapid crossborder movement of goods, services, technology, and capital (Shangquan 2000). Thomas Freidman’s theory on the role of the Internet in the globalisation paradigm is pivotal. His entire understanding of the third era of globalisation is based upon the multiplication of information diffusion through the Internet (Friedman 1999). Freidman calls the twenty-first version of globalisation as Globalisation 3.0, driven primarily by the Internet (Friedman 2005, 11). Freidman, in his bestseller ‘The Lexus and the Olive Tree’, said, [T]he Internet is going to be like a huge vise that takes the globalization system and keeps tightening and tightening that system around everyone, in ways that will only make the world smaller and smaller and faster and faster with each passing day. (Friedman 2000a, 141) Freidman argued that the Globalisation 3.0 moment is driven by the cross-section of personal computers with the fibre optic micro-cable which is assisted by the rise in the application of virtual software (Friedman 2005, 11). Freidman asserted that the Internet has led to the transfer of any data in the forms of music, videos, or pictures, from one part of the world to another, extremely easy compared to earlier epochs (Friedman 2005, 58). This expanded the Internet’s audience, and the further penetration of the Web led to the explosion of this accessibility all around the globe (Friedman 2005, 57). In his next bestseller, ‘The World is Flat’, he went one step ahead and claimed that the Internet is making everyone a next-door neighbour and is killing geography, distance, and language (Friedman 2005, 8–10). He argued that ‘the Internet and globalization are acting like nutcrackers to open societies’ (Friedman 2000b). Freidman correlated the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of communism with the arrival of the Internet in a unique way (Friedman 2005, 50–53). He argues that the political revolution has allowed individuals to create any content on Windows-powered computers, and this diffusion of information has put the final nail in the coffin of communism (Friedman 2005, 535). This freedom has resulted in unprecedented collaboration across national borders (Friedman 2005, 11). He interconnects them further by arguing that the PC, Windows, word processing, modems, and a global phone network set the next stage of globalisation (Friedman 2005, 54–55). This argument is the staple of the mainstream discussion on the Internet. Freidman’s narrative is prophetic for globalisation if Jack Goldsmith and Tim Wu are to be believed (Goldsmith and Wu 2006, 179). His narrative drives the mainstream discussion on globalisation and the Internet. Fareed Zakaria, in his book ‘The Post-American World’, borrows frequently from Freidman. In his conceptualisation of a post-Cold War world

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order, Freidman’s techno-utopianism is used as a variable (along with politics and economics) in explaining the open and connected world (Zakaria 2008, 25). Paul Krugman in his New York Times (NYT) article is fearful that Internet technology is erasing boundaries and undermining government power (Krugman 2000). He further argued that ‘[S]omething serious, and troubling, is happening – and I haven’t heard any good ideas about what to do about it’ (Krugman 2000). Similarly, Nicolas Kristof proclaimed in a NYT article that the People’s Republic was digging their graves by giving Chinese people access to the Internet and thus to an open space of information flow (Kristof 2005). He was in complete sync with his colleague’s view on the open and borderless character of this virtual space. Freidman employs an ‘inevitability’ narrative of globalisation while discussing why the Chinese will not be able to avoid the Internet phenomenon. The open and borderless nature of the Internet is again conflated with economic inevitability. He argues, [W]hat makes the Internet so dangerous for police states is that they can’t afford not to have it, because they will fall behind economically if they do. But if they have it, it means they simply can’t control information the way they once did (Friedman 2000a, 68) MIT’s Nicholas Negroponte also borrows from Freidman’s thesis. He is considered the grand wizard of predicting future technological patterns and trends. Negroponte amplifies Freidman’s points when he emphasises that nationalism made no sense in the tech world (Negroponte 2000; Manjikian 2010). George Gilder, in his book Telecosm, expands Freidman’s thesis by going into the details of how infinite bandwidth and fibre sphere were making the distance irrelevant (Gilder 2002). Bandwidth is simply the volume of information sent through a transmission medium like an Internet connection per unit of time (Fisher 2018). Even Bill Gates predicted the possibility of achieving infinite bandwidth in a decade, in an interview with Michael J. Miller, thus killing distance irrevocably (Miller 1994). Frances Cairncross also predicted the future in correlation with Negroponte’s vision. The entire shrinking distance debate was indicative of the transformative potential of the Internet. Cairncross frames it in terms of the death of distance by Internet, which is the title of her famous book (Cairncross 1997). The death of distance narrative reinforces the idea of a shrinking globe with borders becoming less and less relevant. This is treated as net positive, and states are given very limited options in this narrative. States are receding and must negotiate with this new medium and private sector to retain some sovereignty (Cairncross 1997, 181).

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IV: Globalisation, neoliberalism, and rolling back of the state The Goliath of totalitarianism will be brought down by the David of the microchip. Ronald Reagan (The Economist 2003) I think that the Internet is going to be one of the major forces for reducing the role of government. (Friedman 2000a)

Both of these quotes show how the leading lights of the neoliberal movement imagined the Internet’s relationship with globalisation. The Internet was heralded as the tool which fulfils the ultimate goal of deregulation and limits the role of the state, which drives globalisation (Colás 2005, 73). Neoliberalism here is defined as a set of economic policies backed by the ideological presuppositions of laissezfaire capitalism and the reduction of state intervention in the economy to create economic efficiency, personal freedom, and prosperity (Harvey 2005, 2–7) (Steger and Roy 2010, 11–14). Therborn presents the historical waves of globalisation and argues that the current phase is the sixth facilitated specifically by political developments that include a reduction in economic protectionist measures, lower transportation costs, as well as the rise of new, cheaper, and more easily available Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) such as the Internet. (Therborn 2000, 163–64; Naím 2009, 29). The economic argument behind the interweaving of globalisation and the Internet flows from the neoliberal logic of the diminishing state. The Internet assists in the rollback of the state and thus catalyses globalisation, as Milton Freidman quotes. This is the essence of Reaganomics  and Thatcherism which were based on the ideas of the Austrian school of economics (Cordato 1980, 396) (Steger and Roy 2010, 21). The spread of the Internet will thus reduce state intervention worldwide. This means less intervention by the nation-states in their economies, which will unleash economic entrepreneurship across the globe, bringing true prosperity globally (Henig 1989) (Cordato 1980). Combine prosperity with the promise of democracy free from the tutelage of dictatorship (as pointed out by President Reagan) and the Internet can be conceptualised on the lines of neoliberal promise. This conceptualisation can ironically be strengthened by the arguments given by Clinton’s senior advisor Ira Magaziner for U.S. control of the Internet ( 2018). He wanted to keep the Internet’s American property because if the U.S.A. did not assert its authority over the Internet, it might get over-regulated and kill e-commerce (Goldsmith and Wu 2006, 41). In doing so, it might damage a crucial avenue of the American economy, as the argument goes. The U.S.A. is needed to get the overbearing Europeans to keep their hands off the Internet (Goldsmith and Wu 2006, 41–42). This was literally the argument used by Magaziner to provide the rationale for the U.S. assertiveness over the Internet’s ownership in 1997.

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Given the crucial role played by Magaziner in preventing the transfer of root naming authority to a Geneva-based internationalist body, his rationale shows how closely the Internet is bound with the neoliberal narrative of globalisation. The paradox is that open borders and neutral space is dependent on a territorial actor (U.S.A.). (Goldsmith and Wu 2006). Daniel Drezner shows in his paper ‘Who Rules? The Regulation of Globalization’ that the majority of globalisation literature suggests that it attenuates state power; however, he himself contests this thesis (Drezner 2002, 10). The writings of Paul Wapner, Peter Haas, Wolfgang Reinicke, Jagadish Bhagawati, and Susan Strange demonstrate support for the attenuation of state power. These arguments are inbuilt in the interlinking of the Internet and globalisation on the neoliberal premise of a receding state. The theme is borrowed from techno-utopian idealism and economic framings of globalisation enthusiasts. The Internet forms the basis of Globalisation 3.0. The distance is in the process of being ‘killed’ by the Internet. This shrinking of space is considered a feature of neoliberalism and is treated as a global positive.

V: Does the Internet have geography? The Internet does have a physical component, as argued by Gregory Rattray. He says, ‘cyberspace is actually a physical domain resulting from the creation of information systems and networks that enable electronic interactions to take place’ (Rattray 2001, 17). He further notes that the digital attacks clearly happen in the physical world, especially on the information systems (Rattray 2001). This is clear because the data is stored on physical equipment (Rattray 2001). Even the data carriers which are based on the communication circuits are physically based and transmit data through fibre cables (Graham 2014). These fibre cables are situated on a specific geography and form the bedrock of the World Wide Web (WWW), as Graham shows (Graham 2014). Therefore, they are vulnerable to physical attacks (Corcoran 2018). Their physicality places them under the jurisdiction of sovereign governments one way or another. This breaks the narrative of the borderless virtual space which the Internet is supposed to embody. Bottom-up bordering in virtual space: There are some scholars who argue that geographical borders are emerging because users also demand different Internet experiences corresponding to their geography (Goldsmith and Wu 2006, 49). Goldsmith and Wu (2006) conceptualise the spatiality of the Internet on the linguistic and geographical variables. The geographical variable is further nested within a bandwidth sub-variable manifested along the cache feature of the local networks. Language is based on geography. Michael J. Goodchild argues that two random individuals sharing similar outlooks and concerns tend to decline with the increase in distance (Goodchild 2001, 78). The recent Microsoft database shows it has 211 distinct web pages (Microsoft. com 2018). These web pages are categorised based on the geographical area in which they do business, as claimed by Microsoft (Edwards 2001, 303–4). Henceforth,

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‘chose the country’ links are crude ways of imposing the real borders of the world on cyberspace (Goldsmith and Wu 2006, 53). The bandwidth limitation also provides incentives for further geographical reliance. It is a slowdown of servers due to an increase in Internet traffic, and the easiest way to overcome bandwidth limitation is to develop a ‘web cache’ ( 2009). Caches are a unique feature which temporarily store copies of information which passes through it. They are located on local computers all around the world (Goldsmith and Wu 2006). So to access the files, local networks can go to cache servers nested on local servers rather than going all the way to the central servers located mainly in the North American landscape. (Visolve 2009) This increases the efficiency of downloads on the network ( 2009, 3). This aspect of the Internet relies heavily on physical spaces storing data on local geographies to reduce server lag ( 2009, 4). Mary McEvoy Manjikian comes up with a real estate model of the Internet (Manjikian 2010). Her argument is that the ads-based revenue model of the Internet (commercialisation) has given it certain spatiality. Search engines like Google rank websites and assign values to them based on their citations (Channel 4 News 2012). These rankings attract ads as they are major junctions of Internet traffic, which provide the monetary incentives for the companies to popularise their products and services (Channel 4 News 2012). Therefore, web addresses are commercialised property, and owning them is like owning a piece of geography (Manjikian 2010, 388). So the web is now a pseudo territory which can be owned, valued, and traded (Manjikian 2010, 388). Top-down bordering in virtual space: The dictator governments in many cases and even democratic ones like the United Kingdom (U.K.) and the U.S.A. show that they can exercise immense control over the Internet if they so desire. Many countries clearly are coming to terms with this realisation. The physical aspects of the Internet can be controlled and regulated. The Chinese have added the conditions of the placement of data servers within their own borders and called it network sovereignty (Mozur, Wakabayashi, and Wingfield 2017). The Internet in China is now treated as an extension of the Chinese state (MacKinnon 2013). There is another interlinking which is empowering the state bodies more and more to bog down the Internet and to bend it to their will. This is the linking of the real and virtual spaces. Any online incident clearly has the real manifestation along many dimensions, which provides the states with the necessary authority to step in. Mary McEvoy Manjikian stresses that the legal issues regarding the accessing of the content by the citizens of the countries and the restrictions placed have already created an Internet of nationality and borders (Manjikian 2010, 388). Clearly, the Internet does have a geographical element which is complex, multivariate, and multidimensional. This geographical element grants the nation-states plenty of levers to exercise their sovereignty, and some are doing that exactly. The People’s Republic of China is leading by example. The globalisation narrative did subsume the Internet, which led to its association with borderless, open, and neutral space.

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This is what we established in the first section. However, this narrative omits the crucial fact that the Internet has a physical dimension which grants it geographical spatiality. This allows states to assert their sovereignty over the physical dimensions of the Internet. This spatiality can be conceptualised on bottom-up bordering and top-down bordering. The top-down conceptualisation involves the question we are trying to explore. How do nation-states interact with the Internet? The case of the People’s Republic of China is delved into in detail to explore how the spatiality of a nation-state leaves its imprint on the Internet.

VI: The Chinese Internet: geography is destiny The People’s Republic of China, in recent years, has developed one of the most sophisticated Internet content-filtering mechanisms. The case of Chinese Internet regulation shatters every assumption made on the backs of the globalisation narrative explored in the first section of the chapter. Johan Lagerkvist, Rebecca Mckinnon, and Ann Marie Brady have all covered the infrastructure employed by Chinese to regulate the Internet from different angles. However, the common theme in all of their work is their focus on the tools employed by the Chinese state in order to regulate and monitor activities on the Internet (Brady 2010; Lagerkvist 2006). The Chinese heralded their grand Golden Shield project in 1997, which is the fountainhead of Chinese Internet regulations (Barme and Ye 2018). The nature of this project is complicated. It is a multi-layered initiative which involves a variety of laws, regulations, bans, and filtrations (Denyer 2017). They are updated from time to time (Denyer 2017). Some new laws and bans were added to it in subsequent years, thus rechristening the entire project into the Great Firewall of China (Barme and Ye 2018). ‘The modern Great Wall of China is in effect, built by American bricks’, says Ethan Gutmann in his book Losing the New China (Gutmann 2004, 128–29). Gutmann’s quote is not without qualification. The central content-filtering mechanism employed by the People’s Republic on its Internet comes from Cisco, a U.S. tech firm (Goldsmith and Wu 2006, 93). The Chinese Internet has a unique geography. This becomes extremely clear once we follow the fibre optic cable networks which run in and out of the Chinese mainland. The analysis of their routes into China shows how the geography makes it so easy for the Chinese state to regulate international Internet traffic. This theme is further stretched in the subsequent part of this chapter. Regulating international Internet traffic: All of the Internet contact between China and the outer parts of the world is routed via a very small number of fibre optic cables that enters mainland China at one of these three points: the Beijing-Qingdao-Tianjin area in the north of the country, Shanghai on the central coast, and Guangzhou south from Hong Kong ( 2018) (Fallows 2008). The cables in the first two areas arrive from Japan via South Korea, while they come from Hong Kong in Guangzhou gateway ( 2018). The satellite Internet connections are few and expensive, while the Central

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Asian-Russian cable has very low traffic given the concentration of population on the eastern coast of China (Fallows 2008). This geographical arrangement makes it much easier for Chinese to monitor Internet traffic. Chinese officials have installed ‘network sniffers’ at each of these three cableways, and the function of these sniffers is to mirror every packet of data going in and out (Goldsmith and Wu 2006). Real tiny mirrors are employed to mirror the information as information travels through a fibre optic cable in the form of little pulses of light (Fallows 2008). When they enter the gateway routers (sniffers), numerous tiny mirrors bounce reflections off of them to a separate set of Golden Shield computers, where Chinese look over the same information to decide whether to stop it or not (Fallows 2008). These mirroring routers were first designed and supplied to Chinese authorities by Nortel Networks and Cisco, which created a huge uproar in the U.S.A. (Chew 2018). An internal Cisco document of 90 pages was leaked to Wired in 2008 where pages 48–58 under the category ‘Cisco opportunities’ showed how Cisco wanted to expand its business with Chinese authorities (Stirland 2008). The document directly quoted Runsen Li, then head of IT for the Golden Shield project to combat evil Falun Gong, which is a religious movement in mainland China (Markoff 2011). Terry Alberstein of Cisco confirmed that the company sold $100,000 worth of routers and switches which became part of the Golden Shield (Stirland 2008). One of the most fundamental aspects of the Internet’s constitution, the undersea cables, is extremely vulnerable (Corcoran 2018) (Matsakis 2018). The People’s Republic has now made it their topmost priority to increase their share of global cable projects, especially under the sea (Huang 2017). Their projection already places Chinese companies occupying almost 20% of the entire global market of cable projects by 2019 (Huang 2017). Regulating internal Internet: People’s Republic does not rest with its regulation of international traffic entering mainland China through fibre cables. They employ further regulations to control the domestic traffic and the content online via various tactics. The Congressional-Executive Committee on China came up with a report in which William Farris said, ‘[T]he Chinese government is drawing an increasingly clear line. You can talk about what you want, but no direct threats to government’ (Goldsmith and Wu 2006, 89). This line sums up the entire objective of the People’s Republic as far as its regulation of virtual space is concerned. This objective is achieved through four tactics. Firstly, they go after Internet Service Providers (ISPs). CEC noted earlier that the Chinese state has gone after ISPs themselves who allow politically censorious topics ( 2018). Secondly, there are a myriad of laws which assist the Golden Shield project. One peculiar fact is that a blogger needs to be registered in order to write (French 2005). And if these laws are violated, the crackdown on the entities violating them is immense. The monitoring of Internet cafés was something which flabbergasted Western commentators given the scope of the Chinese operations (The Guardian 2002; BBC UK 2002). Throughout the 2000s, the news reports of Chinese authorities targeting cyber cafés violating some cyber laws were numerous (China Daily 2011).

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BBC, Guardian, New York Times, and China Daily are littered with examples of these cases. Thirdly, the Chinese state employs people to shape public opinion on the Internet discussion forums and chat rooms  ( 2005). These Internet commentators form a very unique variable in Chinese Internet infrastructure. The authorities filter out any opposition to the state narrative, while these commentators reinforce the official positions on any issue ( 2005). This aspect is very proactive given the fact that the authorities pre-empt any challenge to the state’s control from the virtual space. Fourthly, there are attempts to create a national Internet standard both in the software and hardware arena. Chinese are in the process of creating their own Internet norms and standards (Goldsmith and Wu 2006, 102). This was demonstrated during their clash with the WTO guidelines in 2003–04 when they ordered the inclusion of WAPI (WLAN Authentication and Privacy Infrastructure) to be incorporated in every Wi-Fi device within their borders (Lemon 2004). They wanted to exclude foreign companies’ access to its encryption processes, which led to a U.S.-China standoff (Locklear 2004). In the end, the Chinese backed off, but this incident showed their willingness to fight when it suits their interests (Lemon 2004). These tactics are enforced and internalised not only through the strict execution of these regulations but also by the promotion of the fear of saying something wrong and ending up on the wrong side of the state (Wacker 2013, 65). The ideology of the Chinese state was built within its Internet infrastructure from the start by employing these four tactics. Thus, the virtual borders of the People’s Republic are as secure as its actual borders. The Golden Shield project, in conjunction with the fact that Chinese language and culture is distinct from Anglophonic cultures, gives the Internet a very unique ‘Chinese character’. Michael J. Goodchild talks about this very fact in his assertion that language and geography do correlate in an interesting manner. Bureaucratic setup: The analysis of the specific tactics employed by the People’s Republic lacks lustre in comparison to the bureaucratic architecture employed to execute these tactics. Chinese bureaucracy is a labyrinth of the apparatchiks, and their jurisdiction covers every segment of Chinese society. There are censorship provisions of the information control which are inbuilt in the directives of these myriad entities. These include: 1 Department of Propaganda of Chinese Communist Party (CCP), 2 State Council Information Office, 3 CALG or Cyberspace Affairs Leading Group, established in 2013, works directly under President Xi Jinping. It has control over the expansion of online services and Internet security in China and also creates specific censorship policies. According to President Xi, the group will have ‘comprehensive power over the entire online sector. including political, military, cultural, and economic matters’ (Negro, G. 2017, 27), 4 Ministry of Education,

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5 6 7

State Administration of Press, Radio, Film, and Television (SAPPRFT), Ministry of culture, and Ministry of Commerce and State Administration for Industry and Commerce (Negro, G. 2017, 27).

People’s Republic has conceived of seven procedural standards to regulate the information on the Web. These act as guidelines among all levels of the government on how to restrict the content online (Wacker 2013, 62). 1 Forbidden content 2 Storage of user data 3 Restriction on the distribution of news 4 Licences 5 Surveillance 6 Judicial liability 7 Penalties These guidelines cover every aspect of information that the state does not want its citizens to access. This infrastructure includes the imposition of the administrative and economic requirements, which grant the ministries and bureaucrats unlimited powers to set the agendas on the Internet. (Wacker 2013). These measures have immensely influenced the norm of public behaviour on the Chinese Internet (Wacker 2013) (MacKinnon 2013). It has created an attitude of voluntary selfcontrol, which is aptly put by Chinese People’s Daily, ‘to create a firewall within the minds of people’ (Wacker 2013). The Chinese have erected a Great Firewall in a typical bureaucratic way. There are several ministries to filter the content along seven guidelines. The purpose clearly is to create a subservient public pliant to their command. The regulation works from both virtual space and actual space. The interweaving of these two has provided them with the tools to control both. They have succeeded in bordering the Internet since its inception, unperturbed by the borderless narrative driven in the West.

Conclusion The research puzzle explored how features such as ‘open, neutral and borderless’ got intertwined with the Internet. These are the features which are always mentioned whenever any discussion on the topic takes place. The temporality is responsible for this alignment as discussed in the temporality revisited section. Internet and globalisation ascended at the global stage during the same time. However, this temporality was consolidated further by the distinct economic framing of the narrative surrounding the Internet. There was a prevalence of economic cases for the correlation between the Internet and these features. They were

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crystallised in the neoliberal narrative of globalisation as explored in the writings of Freidman, Zakaria, Krugman, Cairncross, and George Gilder. All this is happening in the context of USSR’s collapse and ascendance of liberal world order as something of a divine providence evident in the writings of Fukuyama, Krauthammer, and Freidman. The economic framing of the entire globalisation narrative subsumed the Internet. It was never treated as an autonomous sphere or an independent variable in any of these analyses. The Internet was there to assist globalisation. Globalisation was always for unfettered free trade coupled with the state receding in the long run. Reaganomics, Thatcherism, and Libertarianism conceptualised the Internet as a part of the whole serving this meta-narrative. Paradoxically, the entire backbone of the globalised world order was placed upon the Internet but without analysing it as an autonomous variable. This was clearly a mistake as the Internet does have a geographical constitution. The data servers and fibre cables which form the infrastructure of the WWW are based in physical realities. They are subject to sovereign jurisdictions. There are two spatial conceptualisations that are being discussed for a bordered Internet. Top-down bordering is something which is executed when states try to border the Internet. This is the dominant thread which is later explored in the case of the People’s Republic of China’s attempt to erect cyber borders. But the bottom-up bordering also happens as argued by Goldsmith and Wu. This is because the interests and orientation of viewers cluster on the basis of geographical location, as argued by Michael J. Goodchild. The linguistic constitution, bandwidth limitations, and the development of the Web cache demonstrate the organic case of the desirability of bordering by the users themselves. The commercialisation of the Internet done by advertisement-based monetary incentives has granted a certain spatiality to the Internet, but it needed to be probed in much detail. However, no governmental fiat did this commercialisation, but it reinforced the bordering in cyberspace. The case of the Chinese Firewall shows how the technological utopians and globalisation prophets have completely missed the Chinese puzzle. The geographical aspect of the Internet has been mastered by the People’s Republic of China. The monitoring of international traffic on three nodal gateways is strategic. The internal monitoring relies on legal enforcements assisted by four tactics of forcing ISPs to do the state’s bidding, blogger registration, employing Internet commentators to shape public opinion, and setting national standards for the Internet. These are enforced by a large bureaucracy which regulates each and every aspect of Chinese life. The territorialisation of the Internet by the People’s Republic is meticulous, extensive, and workable. Thus, the entwining of real space and virtual space have granted extensive levers to the Chinese state to regulate it, border it, and create a parallel Chinese Internet. The real interaction between globalisation and the Internet, which is devoid of this overarching narrative, is under-researched. This narrative reduces the importance of nation-states interaction with both the Internet and globalisation.


Shubham Dwivedi

The Internet has created a virtual space which is distinct but is tethered to actual geographies. This virtual space is a whole new universe. The globalisation narrative under neoliberalism gets the shrinking of the global distances right, but the utilisation of the actual geographies to erect virtual borders is also a fact which complicates this narrative. Globalisation’s interaction with the Internet and nation-state has created new borders which are under-studied and to a large extent unknown. These digital borders of globalisation have led to some revolutionary changes in 21st-century lifestyles. This chapter is just the tip of the iceberg. The time is ripe to delve deeper into the precise aspects of the variables which conceptualise these new borders.

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Note: page numbers in bold indicate a table. 9/11 attacks 9 19th Party Congress 21 Abou-el-Wafa, Ahmed 54 AbuSulayman, A. A. 46, 52 ‘Act East’ 67, 69 Adiong, Nasseef M. 50 Afghanistan 63, 64, 92, 96 Africa 93 African Development Bank (AfDB) 93 Afsaruddin, A. 48 Agnew, J. 8 Ahmad, Irfan 49 Aiyar, Mani Shankar 102 Aksai Chin 21 Ali, Chaudhary Rehmat 38 All India Muslim Conference 38 Al-Madina 48 Al Qardawi, Yousuf 48 al Sadr, Ayatullah Baqir 49 al Turabi, Hassan 53 aman (safety) 54 Anderson, B. 5 Anderson, M. 35, 36 Arabic civilization 52 Aristotle 53 Armenia 64 The Art of Warfare (Tzu) 25 Arunachal Pradesh 15, 21, 25, 28 – 9, 133 – 9 ASEAN countries exports 71

ASEAN countries imports 71 Asian Development Bank (ADB) 96, 115 Assam Rifles 131 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) 67 asylum 53 – 5 autonomy 139 – 41 Azadi 39 Azerbaijan 64 Babri mosque demolition 38 Balzacq, Thierry 183 Banerjee, Paula 12 Bangladesh 11 – 12, 16, 92 – 3, 113, 202 – 8 Bangladesh Bhutan India Nepal (BBIN) 115 – 16 Bangladeshi National Party (BNP) 115 Bangladesh-Myanmar-India (BMI) Pipeline 99 – 100 Banjaras 147 Baud, Michiel 49 Bayatu 150 Bay of Bengal 76 – 7 Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) 133 Beijing 22, 24 Bej, Sourina 15 Belarus 65 Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) 63 – 4

Index  235

Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) 75 Berlin Wall 62, 67 Bhagalpur riots 38 Bhakra Nangal dam 132 Bhils 147 Bhutan 28, 92, 95 – 6 bilateral approach 118 – 19 Border Area Development Programme (BADP) 148 – 9 Border Haats 16, 155 – 67 borderland people 144 – 53; overview 144 – 5; from Pakistan 151 – 2; postcolonial state 148 – 51; Thar Desert, ethnographic history of 145 – 8 Border Roads Organisation (BRO) 69, 137 Border Road Task Force (BRTF) 137 borders 185 – 6, 187 – 9; beyond Europe 10 – 12; challenge 4; community 7; concept of 35 – 7; culture 7; defined 35 – 7; ethics 7; functions of 7 – 9, 36; globalisation and 9 – 10; importance of 25; India-Bangladesh 11 – 12, 13; IndiaNepal 11; India-Pakistan 10 – 11, 14, 15; India-Sri Lanka 15; International Relations (IR) 3; in international relations 3 – 6; Iran-Afghanistan 65; Islam and 49 – 55; Islamic state 46 – 9; Israel-Palestine 10; issue 23; lives of 155 – 69; making 7 – 9; management 4; modern nation-state 46 – 9; negates 4; negotiations on 21 – 2; overview 3 – 6, 45 – 6; permissible 4; physical 6; protection 4; as securitised spaces 11; state-centric 4; theme of 14 – 15; theorising 45 – 56; U.S.A.-Canada 14; U.S.A.-Mexico 10; see also economic border borderscape 7 Border Security Force (BSF) 11, 144, 148 Border Studies (BS) 6 – 10, 34, 46, 62; in in China 13; Islamic perspective 46; in Japan 13; re-imagining 12 – 16; in South Asia 10 – 16; in Southeast Asia 13; Thar Desert 145; themes of 14 bottom-up bordering 223 – 4 boundary dispute, India-China border 21 – 3 Bourdieu, P. 147 Boyle, E. 161, 163 Brahmaputra River 21, 197 Brara, R. 150 Briscoe, John 206, 208 Brown, C. 14

Buddhist Culture Preservation Society (BCPS) 137, 140 bulawo 146 Bulgaria 65 bureaucratic setup 227 – 8 Burma 23 Butalia, U. 39 Buzan, B. 182, 183, 184, 185, 195 Cairncross, Frances 221 cartographic anxieties 11 Central Asia freight and passenger 66 Central Asian Republics 63 Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation 113 Central Asia-South Asia (CASA) 96 – 7 Central Military Commission 25 Central Reserve Police Force 208 Century Maritime Silk Road 210 Chabahar-Iranshahr-Zahedan-Mashad corridor 65 Chabahar port, Iran 64 – 5 Chaterjee, Shibashis 185, 186 Chaturvedi, S. 14 Chaudhury, Anasua Basu Roy 12 Chellaney, Brahma 199, 206 China 13, 16; see also India-China border China Daily 28, 227 China-India water security syndrome 197 – 202 China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) 100 – 1, 151 Chinese Communist Party (CCP) 227 Chinese concept of sovereignty 20 – 9; see also India-China border Chinese Internet 225 – 8 Christendom 46 Christianity 54 citizenship 53 – 4 ‘The Clash of Civilizations’ 46 Clemens, Michael A. 108 Colard, Daniel 36 Cold War 6, 29, 46, 66 – 7, 69, 182 common sense 45 Communist Party’s Central Committee 25 complex water diplomacy 202 – 8 conceptual framework of security 180 – 5 conflict at sea 80 conflict cooperation 187 – 9 conflicts 175 – 6, 178 – 80 connectivity projects in Northeast India 68, 69 consequences 139 – 41 constructivism 5 cooperation 175 – 7

236 Index

COVID-19 pandemic 188 Cox, Robert 181 cross-border cooperation 4, 7, 9 cross-border economic connections 4 – 5 cross-border economic partnership 14 cross-border regions (CBR) 7 cross-border trade 7, 11 – 12, 14, 115 Cultural Paradigm 131 culture 138 – 9 Curzon, L. 61 cyberspace 16 Dalai Lama 27, 28, 129 dar ul ahad 51 dar ul harb 46, 51 dar ul-Islam 46, 51 – 2 Das, P. 22 Das, V. 145, 148 dasyu 147 Dawla 47 Delhi-Hanoi Railway Link 71 Delhi riots 38 demand for autonomy 139 – 41 democratic caliphate 49 Development Paradigm 131 Devighat and Phewa hydropower projects 95 Dhalkebar-Muzaffarnagar corridors 95 Doklam 21 Doklam standoff 28 Donnan, H. 7 Doval, Ajit 208 Drukyul 129 Durand, M. 61 Durand Line 61, 63 Dwivedi, Shubham 16 East Pakistan-Bangladesh 12 Ecological Task Force (ETF) 149 economic border 107 – 19; counter of 115 – 18; defined 107; overview 107; in South Asia 107 – 9; South Asia as least integrated region in the world 109 – 11; threats and opportunities 111 – 15; transcending borders 118 – 19; see also borders economic globalisation 4 economic interdependence 9 Economic Times 205 Ellul, J. 29 Elwin, Verrier 130 emerging rivalry 202 – 5 employment 138 – 9 enduring rivalry 205 – 8 energy 89, 93 – 4

English media press 26 Erie, M. 23 European Union (EU) 6, 108 Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) 79 fabricated truth 8 Farage, S. 147 Fard ayn 53 Fard Kifayah 53 Food and Agriculture Organization 206 Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) 76 Foreign Exchange Regulation Act 78 Foucher, M. 36 Framework Agreement for Energy Co-operation 89 Frankfurt School of Thought 5 Free Trade Agreements (FTA) 4, 69, 110 Freidman, Thomas 217 Fukuyama, F. 46 Gagne, K. 149 Galden Namgey Lhatse 129 Galtung, J. 177, 178 Gandhi, R. 83 Gaon Buras 130 – 1 gateway to the East 118 Gellner, D. N. 146 Ghamidi, J. A. 53 Ghanouchi, R. 47 Gilder, G. 221 Gilpin, R. 4 globalisation 4 – 5, 6, 9 – 10, 62, 217 – 28; Chinese Internet 225 – 8; defined 220; economic framing 219 – 21; Internet 223 – 5; neoliberalism 222 – 3; temporality revisited 218 – 19 Goldsmith, Jack L. 220, 223, 229 Grand Western Water Diversion (GWWD) 200 Great Britain 24 Greater Mekong Subregion 113 Great Leap Forward 27 Grieco, Joseph M. 4 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) 108 – 10 Guardian 227 Gujarat communal riots 38 Gujral Doctrine 113, 115 Gulf of Mannar 76 – 7 Gutmann, Ethan 225 Gwadar port, Pakistan 100 Hadith 54 Hallaq, Wael B. 49 Hambantota port 83

Index  237

Hamid, Abdul 46 Herat 65 Hetauda-Duhabi corridors 95 heterogeneous security complex (HSC) 193 – 212, 196; China-India water security syndrome 197 – 202; complex water diplomacy 202 – 8; described 195 – 7; overview 193 – 5; Sino-India conflict 208 – 11; South Asia 208 – 11 Hettne, Bjorn 184 Hijrah 52 – 3 Himalayas 21 Hindus 37, 40 – 2 Hindustan 40 Hindustani raga 151 Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) 23 Houtum, H. 8 Human Development Index (HDI) 11 human mobility 11 Hun, Bharat 15 Huntington, Samuel P. 46 hydro-hegemon 204 hydro politics 135 – 7 idea of cooperation 176 – 7 identity 14 identity assertion 139 – 41 immigration/migration, defined 53 Import and Export Act 78 Impossible State, The (Hallaq) 49 India 10 – 12, 14 – 16, 202 – 8; causes for resentment 78 – 80; Connect Central Asia policy 64; economic growth in 62, 112 – 13; legal position over fishing activities 78; and MIEC distance comparison 70; Southeast Asia and 66 – 9; willingness 112 – 13 India and Bangladesh water conflict 202 – 5 India and Pakistan’s water conflict 205 – 8 India and Sri Lanka FTA (ISLFTA) 118 – 19 India-Bangladesh border 118 India-Bangladesh borderland 155 India-Bangladesh borders 11 – 12, 13 India-Central Asia 62 – 6 India-China border 13, 25 – 9; boundary dispute 21 – 3; China tactics 25 – 9; dispute 13, 20 – 9; overview 20 – 1; Western notion of sovereignty 23 – 5 India-led projects 117 India-Myanmar Friendship Road 69 – 70 India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway (IMTTH) 69 Indian Army 28

Indian economy 15 India-Nepal border 11 Indian Muslims 37 Indian Ocean 92 Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) 81 Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) 83 India-Pakistan-Afghanistan route 64 India-Pakistan border 10 – 11, 14, 15, 34, 37 – 42, 142 India-Pakistan relationship 14, 39 India’s quest for connectivity 61 – 72; connectivity projects in Northeast India 68; Delhi-Hanoi Railway Link 71; IMTTH 69; India-Central Asia 62 – 6; India-Myanmar Friendship Road 69 – 70; KMTTP 70; MIEC 70; overview 61 – 2; Southeast Asia and 66 – 9; Stilwell Road 70; traditional connection 62 – 6 India-Sri Lanka border 15 Indo-Nepal ties 11 Indo-Sri Lanka Joint Commission 80 Indo-Sri Lanka mutually beneficial collaboration at Palk Strait 75 – 86 Indus River Basin (IRB) 194 Indus River System (IRS) 205 – 6 Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) 194 infallible state 49 Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) 222 infrastructure 138 – 9 Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis (IDSA) 200 Integrated Check Posts (ICP) 164 internal Internet 226 – 7 International Border (IB) 11, 144 International Energy Association (IEA) 91 international Internet traffic 225 – 6 International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) 64 – 5 international relations (IR) 3 – 6, 9, 12 – 14, 35 – 7, 50 International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) 135 Internet 16, 217 – 28 Internet Service Providers (ISP) 226 Iqbal, A. 45 Iqbal, Muhammad 38 Iran 64 Iran-Afghanistan border 65 Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) Pipeline 98 – 9 Islam 14, 37, 45 – 6, 47 – 55; citizenship 53 – 4; migration in 52 – 3; territoriality in 51 – 2

238 Index

Islamic literature 49 Islamic State 46 – 9 Islamization of Knowledge 45 Israel 10 Israel-Palestine border 10 Iyer, Ramaswamy R. 199, 202, 210 Jacob, H. 11 Jaishankar, S. 208 Jaldhaka Agreement 95 Jama Masjid 40 Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) 10 – 11, 38 Japan 13 Jia, Shaofenf 199 Jianglin, Li 23, 26 Jihad 52 Jim, Yong Kim 206 Joint Working Group (JWG) 21 – 2, 77 Judaism 54 jus ad bellum 175 jus in bello 175 Kaladan Multimodal Transit Transport Project (KMTTP) 70, 133 Kataiya powerhouse 95 Kaul, S. 38 Kazakhstan 63, 64 Kazemi, Asghar Ali 51 Khan, A. A. R. 61 Khari 129 Khatoon, N. 15 Khrushchev, Nikita 27, 29 Kissinger, H. 22 Kolers, A. 185 – 6 Koli 147 Korean War 26 Kothiyal, T. 146 Krishna-Godavari basin 92 Krishnan, M. 14, 15, 27 Kristof, Nicolas 221 Krugman, Paul 221 Kuomintang (KMT) maps 23 Kurian, Nimmi 12 Kyrgyzstan 63, 65 Ladakh 22 La Dwags 21 Lake, David 184 Lama Lobsang Gyatso (LLG) 136 Lama Tsona Gontse Rinpoche (T G Rinpoche) 140 Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) 159 Land Ports 164 Latin America 13

Least Developing Country (LDC) 114 legal warfare 25 Lemke, Douglas 184 LhoMon 128 – 9 liberalism 5 Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) 78, 83 lifeline for Tawang, road 137 – 8 Line of Actual Control (LAC) 21 – 2 Line of Control (LoC) 10 – 11 Line on Fire 11; see also Line of Control (LoC) Lintner, B. 27 Lippman, Walter 181 lives of a border 155 – 69; nation-state in the Border Haats 157 – 64; overview 155 – 7; shades of Border Haats 164 – 7 ‘Look East’ 67 Losing the New China (Gutmann) 225 Magaziner, Ira 222 Mahakali River 95 Malacca Dilemma 100 Mallani 146 Manganiars 151 Manmohan Doctrine 113 Mano Majra 40 Mao, Zedong 26 – 7, 29 maritime conflict in Palk Strait 77 maritime relations, India and Sri Lanka 76 – 7 Maritime Zones of India (MZI) Act 78 Marwar 146 Maududi, M. 45, 48, 52 Mawardi, Abul H. 51 Mazar-i-Sharif rail track 65 McDuie-Ra, Duncan 161 McMahon Line 21, 22, 23 Mecca 48 Mekong Ganga Commission 133 Mekong-India Economic Corridor (MIEC) 70 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) 61, 133, 158, 201 mental borders 10, 14; dialectics of 34 – 43; India-Pakistan border 37 – 42; international relations (IR) 35 – 7; overview 34 – 5 mental map 10 Midnight Children 39 Migdal, J. S. 34 migration in Islam 52 – 3 military defence 8 Military Operation Other Than War (MOOTW) 200

Index  239

Minas 147 Misra, Sanghamitra 12 Mitrany, D. 177 mobility: human 11; in Thar 148 modern nation-state 46 – 9 Modi, Narendra 83 Modi Doctrine 115 Mohammedan Anglo Oriental College 37 Monland/Monyul 128 Monyul to Tawang 128 – 31 Moraczewska, Anna 36 Moravcsik, A. 4 Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA) 116 Mountbatten, Lord 38 Muatazili 48 Mullik, Bhola Nath 27 Mumbai riots 38 Mushtaq, Syed Murtaza 14 Muslim League 38 Muslims 37 – 8, 40 – 2 Muttahari, A. 45, 53, 54 Myanmar 28, 67 Naga 130 Namka Chu 27 National Democratic Alliance (NDA) 78, 199 National Highway 229 (NH 229) 137 National River Linking Project (NRLP) 204 National Security Advisor (NSA) 208 nation-state in the Border Haats 157 – 64 nation-states 217 – 28 natural gas 97 Nayal, M. 15 Nehru, Jawaharlal 23, 27, 66, 133 Neighbour First Policy 75 ‘Neighbourhood First’ 67 – 8 neoliberal institutionalism 177 neoliberalism 222 – 3 Nepal 92 – 3, 95, 102 Neumann, Iver B. 189 New Delhi 15, 199 Newman, D. 36 New York Times (NYT) 221, 227 Ngari Prefecture 21 noncoercive efforts 176 North Eastern-Council (NEC) 132 North-East Frontier Agency (NEFA) 128, 133 Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) 197 Nyamjang Chhu hydroelectric project 135 Nyamjang Chhu project 135 Nye, Joseph S. 178

oil/gas reserves 92 Oman 65 One Belt One Road (OBOR) 100, 208 – 9 Opium Act 78 Opium War 24 Pachpadra Tehsil 150 Pakistan 10 – 12, 16, 63, 64 – 5, 92, 116, 151 – 2, 202 – 8; see also India-Pakistan border Pakistani Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) 98 Pakistan-Sri Lanka FTA 119 Palestine 10 Palk Strait: illegal fishing issue at 78; Indo-Sri Lanka mutually beneficial collaboration at 75 – 86; legal position in India over fishing activities 78; maritime conflict in 77; recommendations to resolve dispute and fishing conditions 84 – 5; Sri Lankan concerns in 81 – 2; see also Sri Lankan maritime dynamics Pan-Asian regionalism 114 Pancheshwar projects 95 Panchsheel agreement 22 Pannikar, K. M. 22 Pant, H. 22 paradox of development 127 – 41; in Arunachal Pradesh, perspective of Monpas of Tawang 133 – 9; consequences 139 – 41; from Monyul to Tawang 128 – 31; Northeast India perspective 131 – 3; overview 127 – 8 Pardhe, Sachin N. 16 partition 35, 38 – 9, 61 Pathak, S. 13 Peace of Westphalia 3 People’s Armed Police Force (PAPF) 200 People’s Liberation Army (PLA) 22, 25 – 7, 28, 200 People’s Republic of China (PRC) 22, 23, 28 Persian Gulf region 98 physical borders 6, 10, 14, 16, 36 Piliavasky, A. 147 Pindaris 147 Pluralism in Islam (Mutahhari) 54 Pokhran 146 political economy 111 – 15 Political Paradigm 131 Political Science 12 – 13 Poole, D. 145 The Post-American World (Zakaria) 221 post-colonial state 148 – 51

240 Index

Power Purchase Agreement 95 Prithmichand, Babu 40 psychological warfare 25 public opinion/media warfare 25 Punjab 21 Qing Dynasty 24 Quran 48, 53 – 4 Qureshi, Makhdoom Shah Mahmood 206 Qutub, S. 45, 52 Radcliffe line 39 Raghuvanshi, V. 14 Rahman, M. Z. 161, 163 Rajasthan 144 – 5 Raje, Vasundhara 144 rakhwali ri baach 146 Ramayana 66 Ramesh, Jairam 201 Ratzel, F. 6 realism 5, 75 regimes 4 region, described 150 – 1 regional connectivity 116 – 17 regional integration 177 Regional Security Complex Theory 184 religion, described 150 – 1 religious identities 150 – 1 riots see specific riots rise of the East 114 – 15 rise of the state 144 – 53 road 137 – 8 Rohingya people 8 Russia 63 Rustomji, Nari 130 SAARC Energy Centre (SEC) 89 SAARC Technical Committee on Energy 89 Sack, Robert D. 185 Sahani, B. 39 Sahu, Anjan Kumar 16 Save Mon Regional Federation (SMRF) 136 Sayer thana 147 Schengen region 6 – 7 Scott, J. C. 152 Sea Customs Act 78 securitisation, defined 183 – 4 security 180 – 5, 187 – 9 security/border management 4 Security Communities Theory 184 security complex 196; see also heterogeneous security complex (HSC)

Security Paradigm 131 sensitive space 187 Shariati, A. 45 Shimla Conference 22 Sidhwa, B. 39 Sikh 41 – 2 Silk Road Economic Belt 210 Silk Route 63 Sindhi sur 151 Singh, Khushwant 39 Sino-centric system 24 Sino-India conflict and South Asia 208 – 11 Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) 108 smaller economies, changed attitude 113 – 14 socio-economic system 15 South Asia as least integrated region in the world 109 – 11 South Asia Growth Quadrangle (SAGQ) 115 South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) 75, 89, 109 – 10, 114, 205 South Asian electricity cooperation 94 – 7 South Asian energy context 91 – 3 South Asian energy politics in China 100 – 2 South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) 110, 111, 118 South Asian Preferential Trade Agreement (SAPTA) 110 South Asian regional cooperation 93 – 4 South Asian Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) 96, 115 Southeast Asia and India’s quest 66 – 9 Southern African Power Pool 93 South-North Western Diversion (SNWD) 200 sovereignty: Chinese concept of 20 – 9; concept of 36; Western notion of 23 – 5; see also India-China border Soviet Union 63, 66 Special Accelerated Road Development Programme for the Northeast (SARDP-NE) 134 Sri Lanka 92, 114 Sri Lanka Coast Guard 82 Sri Lanka Navy 82 Sri Lankan Civil War 83 Sri Lankan maritime dynamics 75 – 86; assessment 83 – 4; avoid conflict at sea by India 80; India and Sri Lanka 76 – 7; legal position in India over fishing activities 78; overview 75 – 6; Palk Strait

Index  241

77; recommendations 84 – 5; resentment from the Indian side 78 – 80; Sri Lankan concerns in the Palk Strait 81 – 2 Sri Lankan Navy 77, 79, 80 Srisena, M. 83 state-border relations 7 Staudt, K. 10 Steinberger, P. J. 46 Stilwell Road 70 Stobdan, P. 65 Stokes, J. 24 – 5 Subrahmanyam, K. 206 subregionalism 115 – 16 Sur, Malini 162 Syria 65 Taiwan 23, 24, 28 Tajikistan 63, 65 Talk India 29 Tamas (Sahani) 14, 35, 39 – 41 Tamu-Kalewa-Kalemyo (TKK) 69; see also India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway (IMTTH) Tawang 15, 129 Tawheed 45 Telecosm (Gilder) 221 territorial anxieties 16, 62 Territorial Army 149 territoriality 175 – 6, 185 – 6 territoriality in Islam 51 – 2 territory 185 – 6 territory, defined 35 Thar Desert 15, 144 – 5 Thar Desert, ethnographic history of 145 – 8 Tharparkar 151 theo-democracy 49 Thikanedars 147 thresher sharks 84 Tibet 21 – 2, 27 Tibetan Buddhism 129 Tibetan culture 129 top-down bordering 224 – 5 Touval, S. 177 Towards an Islamic Theory of International Relations (AbuSulayman) 46 trade architecture 112 traditional markets 111 – 12 Train to Pakistan (Singh) 14, 35, 39, 41 – 2 Trans Arunachal Highway 137 trans-border energy connectivity 89 – 103; China in South Asian energy politics 100 – 2; overview 89 – 91; South Asian

electricity cooperation 94 – 7; South Asian energy context 91 – 3; South Asian regional cooperation 93 – 4; transnational gas pipelines 97 – 100 transcending borders 118 – 19 transformation of borderland 128 – 31 transnational gas pipelines 97 – 100 transport corridor 117 – 18 tri-junction 21 Trilateral Asian Highway 133 Tripathi, D. 14, 15 Trump, D. 10 Tsona Dzong 129 Turkey 65 Turkmenistan 63 Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) Pipeline 99 Tzu, Sun 25 Ukraine 65 Umarkot 146, 151 Ummah 50 – 1 Ummah Muslima 51 unequal treaties 22 Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) 219 United India 12, 63 United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) 204 United Nations Security Council’s (UNSC) 197 Ur Rashid, Harun 204 U.S.A.-Canada borders 14 U.S.A.-Mexico border 10 Uzbekistan 63 vanvasi 147 Vasudeva Kutumbakam 75 Verma, M. 15 Very High Frequency (VHF) 80 Vietnam 29 Wacquant, Loic J. D. 147 Waever, O. 183, 185, 195 Wall, B. 6 Wang, Wenli 28 Wangdi, J. 16 warfares 25 Washington Consensus 112 Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) 9 Weber, M. 47 weltanschauungs 46 Wendt, A. 5 Western notion of sovereignty 23 – 5

242 Index

Wickremesinghe, Ranil 77 Wilde, J. D. 183, 195 – 6 Wildlife Act 135 Wilson, T. M. 7 Wired magazine 217 Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars 27 Working Peace System 177 World Food and Agriculture Organisation (WFAO) 81 World Trade Organization (WTO) 9, 108, 112

World War II 70 Wu, T. 220, 223, 229 Xie, Lie 199 Xi Jinping 20 – 1, 24, 101, 197 Xinhua 29 Yathreb 48 Zakaria, Fareed 221 Zartman, I. W. 177 Zhou, E. 22 – 3, 25, 27, 29