On April 15, the nation once again felt it was walking back in time, walking back to 1962, when the Government of India’s (GOI) wishful thinking of “Hindi Chini Bhai Bhai” and bumbling incompetence brought heaps of humiliation at the battle ground, shattering the nation’s confidence and fracturing its backbone. The psychological hammering continues even today when the single word “China” starts a panic driven incoherence from all sides of the chattering classes including the loonies that run the nation.
In a country that has still not recovered from the psychological scars of the war with China in 1962, it is mandatory to conquer the fear and diffidence regarding the acknowledged bully in our neighborhood.
Therefore, on April 15, the inevitable happened. Fifty Chinese soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) came with their high altitude dogs and squatted 19 km inside Indian territory in Eastern Ladakh, pitching tents at 5000 kms altitude and posting audaciously offensive signs, “You are in Chinese side, please go back.”
For 11 days afterwards, the dazed GOI whose collective mind was obviously somewhere else, did not even report the aggression. Eventually, instead of protesting loudly, the spineless GOI in a boot licking stupor rewarded the crafty Chinese for their aggression by agreeing to crawl at their bidding.
The arsenal of humiliation included deactivating all frontier posts at Daulat Beg Oldi, Fukcha and Ngoma, razing the fortified observation post at Chumar, agreeing to a frontier accord that would freeze buildup of border defenses, and pulling out of the stand-off zone (pulling back from our own territory) thus forcing a shameful surrender on the army and the nation.
Without firing a shot, the belligerent Chinese have wrung all these concessions from a clueless GOI marooned in a fantasy land. All India has managed to do is to openly invite another aggression anytime at China’s will and choosing. China has tasted blood and therefore it is a matter of time before the map’s black lines of the LAC will be burning a furious red.
The Devil’s Advocate in all this is the enigmatic, Rasputin-like China Study Group (CSG), a group of pompous intellectuals with the courage of a mouse. With their mandarin speaking ability, they think “Chinese” with every beat of their heart and soul and want to ensure only one thing – that the Indian army be controlled and put under civilian boots. This time also, the Army was sidelined and their views put into deep freeze. The CSG’s answer to the management of the contentious border with autistic China is the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) instead of the Army. The ITBP, a semi-professional, para military force headed by police officers with very little combat experience is answerable to the home ministry and therefore can be easily dictated to and even made a scapegoat if politically convenient. Brimming with cowardly egos, this arrangement suits the twisted, apologetic stance of the CSG – non-reaction is better than an AK-47 shootout and reinforces its principled approach, “crawl when asked to bend.”
With such a retarded mindset, it is just a matter of time before China figures that it can get away with a bigger incursion and claim more prized lands in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh. They can rest assured there will be no consequences from the GOI’s retreating mindset and a risk-averse culture.
When China can build up its infrastructure on its side of the LAC such that they can muster an airborne division-size force within a couple of days, then why insist on India ceasing all infrastructure related facilities for troops such as roads, bunkers or fortifications on Indian territory inside the LAC? If the Chinese perceptions of LAC is ambiguous and is cited as an excuse for Chinese incursions, then why are Indian perceptions of the LAC constant and the ambiguity and excuse not allowed for Indian incursions into Chinese territory? Why does China consider all agreements to be broken at the first available opportunity and India scrupulously adheres to all agreements in spirit and in deed? If agreements with China are not worth the paper it is written, then why make any agreements at all?
The answer is obvious. China does it because China can and does get away with it. Imagine Indian troops intruding even one km inside Chinese territory, would China let them squat for 21 days and send their foreign minister into India, admiring and expressing, “I would love to live in New Delhi?” Even small countries like Vietnam and Taiwan, can stand on their ground and let China know its place. They have leaders who have iron in their speech unlike the gutless Salman Khurshid who fawningly prattled his retarded speech, “I would love to live in Beijing” – and, all this admiration for an enemy who has not even apologized for the brazen intrusion. Well, we would love for him to live there forever, or better still in Xinjiang.
India’s masterly inaction, its abject shamelessness and escapist reasoning cannot even buy the fog of peace, let alone real peace. The only way China is going to change its power drunk behavior and it chameleonic positions is when India decides to show some military muscle and support the Army in its principled stance- develop the infrastructure on the Indian side on a war footing, let the Army manage the borders and to let China know one way or another that they have no say on what happens on the Indian side of the LAC. Otherwise, India too has options – raising the Tibetan issue, alliance with Japan and Taiwan, supplying Brahmos missiles to Vietnam, banning Chinese products, supporting a proxy war in Gilgit-Baltistan and the cause of Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia.
Without a disciplined, organized unit like the Army, no society can fight back or protect itself. In a country that has still not recovered from the psychological scars of the war with China in 1962, it is mandatory to conquer the fear and diffidence regarding the acknowledged bully in our neighborhood. It would require the steel fist of the army along with the velvet glove of the diplomat to cage the bully on their side of the LAC. As the saying goes,
“Those who long for peace must train for war.”