Political history and destiny of a nation is determined by its geophysical borders as well geopolitical and geostrategic borders. India’s political and cultural borders, from ancient times, waxed and waned with the might of arms and foresight of its dynastic rulers. Later traditions had put Hindukush (massacre of the Hindus) as the western border that ran down to present Balochistan and to the Arabian Sea. This border was violated by various invaders till the British Empire succeeded in drawing the temporary Durand Line demarcating British India and Afghanistan. That part of the border between Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran has become fluid by the impact of Taliban movement, Pakhtunkhwa and independent Balochistan movements. Pakistan’s political geography had changed once in 1971. Future borders of Pakistan are in the anvil of history in making. In case Pakistan collapses under homegrown and global Islamicist jihadist thrust both Balochistan and Pakhtun areas may declare independence or incline towards Afghanistan and Iran respectively. Sind has the propensity to incline towards India. Therefore, in this sector of India’s western borders future developments may bring in more changes. History may prove that boundaries drawn in 1947 were not destined to be permanent. India’s present political boundary is not its natural geophysical boundary and its geostrategic boundary may be redefined with India accruing strength to emerge as a global power. Indian’s are attuned to the idea of a country having borders with China, Bhutan, Nepal, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Very few are aware that our borders are demarcated and mutually accepted with Bangladesh (touching Mizoram, Assam, Meghalaya and West Bengal), Bhutan, Myanmar and Nepal. For geophysical purpose these borders are internationally honored but in practice, these are melting borders. Illegal border crossing from Bangladesh and Nepal are rampant and India has no reliable statistics of Bangladeshi and Nepalese nationals staying in the country, almost all over the length and breadth of the nation with concentrations in Assam, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi. Unofficial estimate indicate that at any given point of time there are nearly 7 to 8 million Bangladeshi nationals illegally staying in India in connivance with political parties and local influential Muslims. In Delhi NCR region there are about 7 lakh Bangladeshi nationals. Out of ten household helping hands 5 depend on Bangladeshi nationals who adopt false Hindu names. These people assume Hindu name and work in middle class homes for pittance and in the general service sector say rickshaw puller, fish and vegetable vendors etc out of ten minimum 3 are Bangladeshi males. Even in a prosperous state like Punjab out of 100 agricultural labour 30 are Bangladeshi nationals. Most Indians are unaware that the tiny state of Mizoram (in the finger like projection into Myanmar) out of a million people nearly 80,000 is migrants of Chin origin from the Sagaing Division of Myanmar. They flee Myanmar due to economic distress and uncertain law and order situation. Such ethnic migration in Manipur and Mizoram are common. Though tension often breaks out between the Mizos and the Chins the two have started living together separately. This is a very fluid border of India. The gradual growth of a still non-violent movement for a homeland for Chin origin people, ZORAM, with territories from India and Myanmar may cause serious concern in near future. Nepali nationals are not even treated as foreigners. Most of them try to pass on as West Bengal Nepali, Uttarakhand dwellers and having drifted in from Manipur and Assam. In the general service sector Indian average is about 10 “Gorkhas” out of 40 in security duties, 3 out of 10 in domestic sectors and 3 out of 10 in miscellaneous sectors. It is difficult to assess the floating Nepalese population in India. A rough estimate is that about 1 million Nepalese nationals live in India at any given point of time. There is an advantage with this population. Some of them return to Nepal after amassing some wealth, but the incoming flow is incessant and unstoppable. The danger with Bangladeshi population is that they stay put permanently and more and more are added. Therefore, political borders with Bangladesh and Nepal are melting in nature. The “Line” is there only to be violated. Indian system has not developed to check the real number of Indians in India and “fake Indians” staying on and new flows being added. This silent demographic change adds to security implications and gives rise to newer political realities that pose threat to national unity. We would comment on security implication of this in later paragraphs. Indian minds are periodically stirred by media reports about frequent border violation by China from land and air. As is the wont of Indian people “TV patriotism” is the only symptom of patriotic fervor left outside the organised forces; they do not emotionally feel about the national borders and its sanctity. The vast majority, outside the informed section, try to realize that India’s Northern and Northwestern borders are volcanic in nature. A few media reports followed by Governmental sop agitate and opiate public minds, which are marginally alert. The vast majority are not even bothered. Televisions can titillate patriotic feeling. But patriotic perception and realistic understanding basically come through early school education and upbringing as adolescents and youths. Our system has failed in this vital sector. India’s China border with the entire Arunachal Pradesh (McMahon Line) is not accepted by China. It opposes even when the Indian President visits the state, Dalai Lama is allowed to visit Tawang and when the Asian Development Bank offers loans to Arunachal. Even friendly countries like Japan and South Korea supported China’s objection in the last ADB meeting. In average every year this sector of the border is violated by China nearly 85 times. Chinese troops enter into the Arunachal borders and camp for a few days before returning. Indian authorities mostly come to know from local villagers. Rarely Indian troops visit the LAC and patrol the disputed areas. The IB and RAW border posts often detect such violations. The entire northern border between Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh (Northern Area of Pakistan and Kashmir area ceded by Pakistan to China excluded) with China are shown in “red” meaning “disputed.” In this sector average yearly border violation by China is around 75. Since India is not in a position to bring up with Pakistan the question of restoration of entire territory of Jammu & Kashmir as demarcated in the Instrument of Accession by Maharaja Hari Singh, we would exclude that part from our present discussions. Therefore, these borders are volcanic in nature. In international geostrategic game plan these borders may become live issues for war between India, Pakistan and China. In such a war China would obviously side with Pakistan and vice versa. Mere diplomacy cannot cool a volcano but may temporarily spread a dust cover to pass time and hope for the best. In international relationship hope is the wiliest dame. She ditches every time one hopes and prays for the best. Conscious Indians have to bear the Think Tank’s meaningless word-spinning and government’s helpless trust that diplomacy alone can bury the history. Diplomacy has never solved, anywhere in the world, alive and burring border problems. Mostly these are settled and unsettled by wars. The border disputes have been discussed with China several times, every meeting ending with bitterness. Pity India would be ready for wars in near future to force China to accept India’s perception of its geopolitical borders. If this disturbing picture of India’s international boundary does not disturb the readers let us have a look at an international map, where so-called disputed areas are marked red as disputed borders between India, China and Pakistan. Except China’s border with Bhutan, Indian state of Sikkim and Nepal the rest of the border is claimed to be disputed by China. INDIA-CHINA-PAKISTAN BORDER MARKED IN RED Amidst media reports about frequent Chinese incursions into Indian claimed territory, the government played it cool by reiterating that present instances of border violation had not exceeded figures of earlier incursions. They have not denied the facts of incursions. Pakistan has taken moves for legislating new administrative provisions for the Northern Area (Gilgit-Skardu) possibly allowing a puppet assembly and some fringe civil powers which were being controlled by Islamabad. India has lodged another protest as officially the entire Jammu & Kashmir had acceded to India. Pakistan, on the other hand, has resumed ceasefire violation along the LoC and even in demarcated borders with Jammu region. Despite Ceasefire Agreement the LoC itself has become volatile. If some Pakistani reports are correct the jihadi tanzeems like LeT and Taliban have started aiming rockets at Indian villages in Punjab. Strategic thinkers, who do not subscribe to Chinese lobby, have started drawing a picture that depicts China’s strategic efforts to “encircle” India from all possible sides. Besides building modern roads along Indo-Tibet borders, new Chinese Air Force formations have been stationed at such locations from where India can be easily targeted. Nuclear capable missile bases have been set up in Tibet region for the first time. We propose to touch upon the probable and feasible strategic gridlocks between India-China-Pakistan in later paragraphs. I put China and Pakistan together whenever India’s strategic concerns are involved. Pakistan issue cannot be solved minus China issue and vice versa. China and Pakistan are umbilical strategic allies-proved better by recent revelation by A. Q. Khan’s damning letter to his wife disclosing the nexus between Pakistan and China. However, the media and the people need not panic. Indian policy makers are alive of the situation and they are using all possible measures to contain China on the unresolved border issue. China had always maintained a large military presence in Tibet. Reports say it moved in 20,000 troops from the 3rd Army Corps in Chengdu and the 13th Army in Lanzhou by early 1987, along with heavy artillery and helicopters. Around April 1987 it had moved 8 divisions to eastern Tibet as a threatening posture. India reciprocated with Operation Falcon in late 1986, and continued through early 1987 under Exercise Chequerboard. This massive air-land exercise involved 10 Divisions of the Indian Army and several squadrons of the IAF. The Indian Army moved 3 divisions to positions around Wangdung, where they were supplied solely by air. These reinforcements were over and above the 50,000 troops already present across Arunachal Pradesh. The backup troop positioning has taken place in 2008-2009 and existing airbases have been upgraded to accommodate most advanced Sukhoi and other aircraft. Missile batteries capable of hitting southern China and eastern Tibet are also in position. Since 1986 India China border has not witnessed any major exchange of firing. An Agreement on the Maintenance of Peace and Tranquility along the Line of Actual Control in the India-China Border Areas was signed on 7 September 1993. New Delhi and Beijing initiated in February 1994 to foster “confidence-building measures” between the defense forces. During President Jiang Zemin’s visit to India in November 1996, the Governments of China and India signed the Agreement on Confidence Building Measures in the Military Field along the Line of Actual Control in the China-India Border Areas, which is an important step for the building of mutual trust between the two countries. These agreements are not inviolable. But in international relations such agreements have some kind of legal values. India would continue to use diplomatic tools to defer armed conflict, even of limited duration. Though lot had been done during the Sino-Indian official border talks, with number of border related CBMs put in place, the border issue remains mired in various bilateral and domestic compulsions and contradictions on both sides. Border ‘bickering’ between India and China are not rare, and arise from the very real disagreements that exist between the two sides in demarcating the LAC on the ground. Such incidents have usually been handled, not in full media glare, but by the two sides discreetly withdrawing to their earlier positions. During the Indian Prime Minister’s visit to China in June 2003 the two countries signed a Memorandum on Expanding Border Trade, which adds Nathula as another pass on the India-China border for conducting border trade. During Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s visit to India in April 2005, the two sides signed an agreement on political settlement of the boundary issue, setting guidelines and principles. In the agreement, China and India affirmed their readiness to seek a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution to the boundary issue through equal and friendly negotiations. Since then several rounds of border talks have taken place. Reports of a few violations, intentional or accidental, therefore, require deep attention of the government; there is no need for media outcry. Indians are required to take cognizance of the live border issue with China and live with reports of occasional transgression as the entire border is not demarcated and both China and India have different perceptions on the issue. Perceptions can be fought over the battleground, provided a nation is ready to go to war on such vexed and chronic issues. In terms of near-future history diplomacy and geostrategic moves and international power-play are the best weapons. As long as the government of India and custodians of the Establishment are aware of the threats and the degree of own and enemy’s progress in military preparedness there is no need for hysteric war cry. But the media has a role to play as conscience keeper of the people. In my view neither India nor China is ready to fight any war in near future. No such war can be conclusive. China, according to international observers, may create diversionary strategic moves on Indian borders to divert world attention from its increased military activities in Uyghur Autonomous Region, Tibet and Golmund and Quinghai regions. In recent months massive military movements have taken place to these areas and China suspects that India, in collaboration with the USA, may generate more unrest in the troubled regions of its western territories. India has taken cognizance of such strategic moves and has started beefing up army and air defences in the regions.