24 November, 2020

A Straw Plebiscite: No

The '62 war only boosted pro-India spirits in Tawang, but some grumble about how Tibet is developed

S. Mahanta
A Straw Plebiscite: No
Fairyland, Scary Tale
  • Tawang district: altitude 12,000 ft, area 2,085 sq km, population 50,000—mostly Monpa tribals
  • Bordered by Bhutan in the southwest, Tibet in the north. Of great strategic importance, offering access to the Brahmaputra Valley and through there to the Bay of Bengal. Was invaded by China in 1962.
  • Connected to Tezpur in Assam through a 345-km road
  • Tawang valley is very fertile, growing paddy, vegetables, with farmers also owning herds of yak and sheep
  • Tawang monastery, built in the 17th century, is the largest Buddhist monastery in India, famous among Mahayana Buddhists all over Asia
  • It is the birthplace of the sixth Dalai Lama

Four-and-a-half decades is not a long time. Not long enough, anyway, to wipe away the memories that this sun-kissed valley, nestled in the stark and rugged reaches of the Himalayas, still recoils from. Memories of their land...



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