India-Myanmar Border Fencing: A Strategic Move in the Changing Landscape

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In a recent announcement, Union Home Minister Amit Shah revealed the government’s plan to fence the India-Myanmar border, mirroring the measures taken along the border with Bangladesh. This decision is aimed at restricting free movement across the border and ensuring enhanced security. The move signifies a shift in India’s approach towards border management and raises questions about the future of the Free Movement Regime (FMR) between India and Myanmar.

The FMR, implemented in 2018 as part of India’s Act East policy, allowed residents near the India-Myanmar border to travel 16 km into each other’s territory without the need for a visa. However, with the impending border fencing, this agreement is now under reconsideration. Amit Shah emphasized that India’s open border with Myanmar will soon be fortified, aligning it with the stringent measures in place along the Bangladesh border.

The 1,643-km-long India-Myanmar border traverses states like Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, and Arunachal Pradesh. The decision to fence this border underscores the government’s commitment to bolstering national security, especially in regions with strategic significance.

Amit Shah, in his address, not only outlined the border-related developments but also took the opportunity to criticize the previous Congress regime. He claimed that under BJP rule, individuals seeking government jobs no longer have to resort to bribery. This assertion aligns with the government’s broader anti-corruption stance and emphasis on transparent governance.

The speech also touched upon the upcoming mega consecration of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya on January 22. Amit Shah expressed pride in this historic event, stating that Lord Ram would return home after 550 “disrespectful” years. The timing of the pran pratishthan ceremony is noteworthy, occurring during a period when India is striving to emerge as a superpower on the global stage.

As India navigates its way through geopolitical shifts and internal developments, the decision to fortify the India-Myanmar border carries implications for regional dynamics. The move signals a proactive stance in securing borders and aligning with the broader vision of India’s foreign policy. It remains to be seen how the reconsideration of the Free Movement Regime will impact diplomatic ties between India and Myanmar, and how the fortified border will shape the future of cross-border interactions in the region.

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