Photo of the Day: Keeping a Watchful Eye in Northern India
An Indian soldier in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh at one of the manned Indian checkpoints close to the Indo-China border on June 17, 2013. (Suchitra Vijayan)
Today's Photo of the Day arrives courtesy of Indian-born writer and photographer Suchitra Vijayan, whose current multimedia project, The Borderlands, chronicles human stories along India's frontiers with Pakistan, China, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and Burma. In support of the project Vijayan has so far logged 4500 km by road through the Bengal borders, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland. Her image above captures an Indian soldier in Tawang, in the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, near the border with China. (Further west along the China-India border, meanwhile, tensions have risen in recent weeks over charges that in June Chinese troops vandalized an Indian surveillance camera in Chumar.)
Asked for some background on her project, Vijayan provided the following:
Lord Curzon in his Romanes Lectures remarked that frontiers were indeed the razor's edge on which hung modern issues of war and peace. In August 1947, British colonial rule in India came to an end. The event altered the course of history, modified the map of South Asia — butchering Bengal, Kashmir and Punjab, creating an epistemic fracture in human memory and identity. Out of this clarifying violence and human tragedy the Indian nation state was born. The new border created a volatile region that has experienced wars, border conflicts, rebellion, acts of protest and forms of everyday resistance. The Borderlands is my journey to India's farthest outposts, to her ungoverned spaces, to regions forgotten, governed by competing histories, to explore the uncomfortable, the barren frontiers transforming themselves into ideological battlefields. This is a story about relationships; between the people who inhabit the border and their rulers.
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