one hand, Modi wanted to push forward the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in South Tibet where it may help New Delhi assimilate local
population and convert it demographically into a more “Indianized” one; on the other, Modi sought to pacify irritated and alienated local comm
unities by introducing more developmental projects and pro-growth schemes. In addition, by sending out a strong signal that China’s fierce protests woul
d not deter him from visiting the frontier region, Modi also sought to appeal to nationalistic voters before the election.
Following the passing of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the Lok Sabha on January 8, South T
ibet had been hit by waves of protests across the region. A large number of Hindu immigrants from Bangladesh have been sent into South Tib
et since the 1950s, but have no citizenship. However, if the Bill is enacted, these refugees would likely get Indi
an citizenship, which poses a threat to the local community as their swelling population in the long run may well crowd out and eat up the indigenous pop
ulation. For example, Hajong people – a Hindu group originally residing in former East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) which fled to India due to religious persecu
tion – have been migrating to South Tibet since the 1960s, but their presence since then has been a constant source of conflicts.
It was against this backdrop that Modi trod on the soil of South Tibet. Signaling that his governm
ent gives a lot of importance to the region which has been neglected by previous governments, Modi sought to
pacify annoyed locals by giving them a long list of gifts. The Indian prime minister laid the foundation stone of several developme