Even though this document is so old,the analysis still holds good in many respects and reminds one of the famous French phrase,"plus ca change,plus c'est la meme chose".The more things change,the more they remain the same).A fascinating essential read.Just a small quote from the introduction.
OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible
CURRENT INTELLIGENCE STAFF STUDY
THE SECURITY OF INDIA'S HIMALAYAN FRONTIER
The following staff study on "The Security of India's Himalayan Frontier" was prepared by the Office of Current Intelligence inresponse loorequest from the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, Department of Stole. If is being circulated for the information of offices dealing with South Asian affairs.
Office of Current Intelligence CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PUNJAB, HIMACHAL PRADESH, UTTAR PRADESH .
J. NORTH INDIAN ADMINISTRATIVE DISTRICTS II. JAMMU AND KASHMIR III. HIMALAYAN FRONTIER AREA
Geography. The Himalayan mountain chain, whichthe boundary between the Indian subcontinent and Tibet,ignificant but by no means impenetrable barrier. rough terrain, difficult transportation problems, and cold or rainy climates, thousands of traders andave until recently regularly crossed the considerable number of passes between India, Nepal, Sikkira, Bhutan and Tibet each year. Even many of those passes which tend to be blocked by winter snows for periodsew days to seven months can be crossed by persons determined to do so.
Terrain in the Himalayas favors an invader from the north. The approach from the high plateau of Tibet is usually over relatively flat barren plains, and the final ascent to the border passes is relatively short. In contrast, the approach from the plains of India to the mountain crests is generally up through steep, heavily wooded mountain valleysiles long. In the eastern portion of the Himalayas, where altitudes are lower, the problem of snow in the mountain passes is relatively minor, but heavy monsoon rainfall on the southern slopes between June and September creates rushing mountain torrents and landslides which seriously hamper The northern-invader has the advantage of choosing his point of entry. The Indian defender isisadvantage, since he cannot readily move forces in an east-west direction because of steep-sided river valleys and sharp ridges which run roughly north and south at right angles to the general east-west direction of the mountain ranges themselves. NEFA and Assam are particularly vulnerable, having direct land connection with the rest of India only by meansarrow corridor crossing between East Pakistan and Bhutan. Through this corridor runs only one single-track railway line.
The people. The peoples who. inhabit the Himalayas are the backwash of many civilizations, remnants of populations driven into refuge areas by succeeding waves of invaders and conquerors. Living in mountain valleys, usually isolated by streams and ridges from neighbors to tbe east and the west, they form heterogeneous groups of several racial backgrounds, many differentide variety of religions ranging from simple animism to complex Hindu and Buddhist philosophies, and cultures of which some are unique while others are related to those on the plains of India or the plateau of Tibet.
There is little sense of national unity among the peoples in any part of India's Himalayan uplands, most groups caring little about others outside their own valleys, and leaders tend to be highly localized in their influence, in Nepal, whichiles of frontier against Tibet, the authority of the king carries little real weight beyond^ the 'edges of the Katmandu valle;
There are no outstanding animosities between groups of any significant size within the Himalayan hill regions,in the Northeast Frontier Agency of Assamhere highly localized, small-scale, intertribal feuding takes place. Possibly the strongest intraregional irritation is caused by Nepali emigrants who have settled in considerable numbers in southern Sikkira, the hill districts of West Bengal state, and in southern Bhutan and have taken over much of the economic leadership there. Between hillmen and the outside world, the main problemeeling of antipathy toward the people and government of India in the plains. Among hill residents in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh states, this feeling is one of being discriminated against by the Indian plainsmen. In Nepal there is dislike of being dominated by an outside power. In Sikkim, Bhutan, and NEFA, there is some resentment at interference from Indian outsiders seeking to "civilize" the local people who would prefer to be left alone.
Few in number, geographically scattered, culturally backward, and lightly armed, the population of the Himalayas io its present state of civilization would be unable either significantly to stop a military invasion from Tibet or to defend India against an aggressor.
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