Himalaya Frontier Studies

The Himalayan frontier region is a strategically important region which must be the focus for overall development so that it becomes a strength for India and for its relations with China and with South-East Asia.

Studies and research programmes on the Himalayan region has been initiated for a better understanding of economic and cultural conditions of people living in the high altitudes of the Himalaya.

The Himalaya is the most significant geographical structure of the region. The Indian Himalayan arc begins with the Pir Panjal Range in Jammu & Kashmir and continues to the eastern part of Arunachal Pradesh – the Anjaw district to the tri junction of the India, Myanmar and China covering a span of 2,500 Kms. The Himalaya however remains extremely vulnerable at present, especially in the Eastern and the Western sectors, where the boundary with China (Tibet) remains unresolved.

Extensive military and other infrastructural development on the Tibet Plateau and along India’s border, make the Himalaya all the more strategically important and signals a need for concrete infrastructural development along the Indian side of border. Similarly, frequent border incursions by the Chinese along the Himalayan belt emphasises the need for further research in this area.

For years the border areas and the Himalaya have been neglected, leaving it weak and vulnerable. In order that our borders are strengthened, multi pronged developments need to be undertaken starting with understanding the prevailing conditions of the frontier people and what needs to be done for their upliftment. This project also aims to understand frontier identities and connections trans Himalaya and across Himalaya.

Culturally the Himalaya provides a unifying link with neighbouring countries of Nepal, Bhutan and the Tibet Plateau, thus providing a great impact on social and cultural institutions in India. However, in a globalised era, these rich cultural resources are fast disappearing, endangering the unique culture of this region.

Against this backdrop, FNVA aims to explore and study the distinctive cultural history as well as ecological impact on the region through different means: workshops, documentation, collection of first hand information through field research and ethnographic surveys.