NIAS Wednesday Discussion: "High frontiers and emerging strategic challenges: The Case of Tawang" by M Mayilvaganan, Lecture Hall, NIAS, 0930 hrs

NIAS Wednesday Discussion


High frontiers and emerging strategic challenges: The Case of Tawang



M Mayilvaganan

Associate Professor International Strategic and Security

Studies Programme, NIAS,


Chairperson:  Prakash Panneerselvam, Post-Doctoral Associate, ISSSP, NIAS,          


5th July, 2017, 9.30 am, Lecture Hall, NIAS



Abstract: Since late 2000s the Tawang region bordering China (Tibet) in Arunachal Pradesh, home to local Monpa tribes, witness most significant socio-political changes—new and unforeseen—threatening not only the security of the border but also the nation. The State’s National Hydro Power Policy of 2008 that envisaged 100 small and big hydro power projects in Arunachal Pradesh, 13 of which in Tawang district, evidently incited conservative local Buddhist’s resentment, otherwise, who are peaceful. The perceived state’s insensitivity to local tribe’s culture and customs and particularly, considering New Delhi’s development measures as a deliberate means of diluting their tribal identity, coupled with the local border communities considerate about the government’s security prerequisites are major reasons for this severe confront at the Himalayan high frontiers. This situation in Tawang region raises several issues, namely the aspects of social behavioural, communicational, security and political which are apparently triggers of these challenges. It is therefore important to consider policy measures that provide a sense of belonging and sense of security to those who resides in the borderland. The big question is how the state could bring them into the national mainstream? 

The talk would draw attention to the changing local dynamics in Tawang and its implications for national security through analyses of the socio-cultural and religious characteristic of Monpas and their perception about development in the borderland.

About the Speaker: M. Mayilvaganan is an Associate Professor in International Strategic and Security Studies Programme at National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bengaluru, India. He earned a doctorate degree in the School of International Studies from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi in 2006. Before joining NIAS, he was a Visiting Senior Lecturer at Department of International and Strategic Studies, University of Malaya, based at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where he taught South Asia in International Relations, Modern Warfare and International Politics. His past positions include Associate Fellow at Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), New Delhi specializing Sri Lanka in particular and South Asia in general; Research Associate in the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS), New Delhi, specialized on Kashmir issues. His research interests include strategic and security issues concerning India’s neighbourhood, Indian Ocean, China, Japan and US Foreign Policy, and Non-Traditional Security Issues. He has published several articles and commentaries on a variety of topics related to Asia. He has also participated in various international and national seminars and given lectures at various institutes, besides appearing for various print and visual media interviews.


All are cordially invited

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For further info, please contact Sangeetha Menon [ or] and D. Suba Chandran [], Coordinators of NIAS Wednesday Discussion Meetings, and NIAS Discussion Reports.

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Wednesday, July 5, 2017