Jun 07, 2023
Jun 07, 2023
by V. Sundaram
Sardar Patel in strong and unequivocal terms advised Nehru to take a strong line against China's unprovoked aggression in Tibet in October 1950. He wrote to Nehru that 'even though we regard ourselves as friends of China, the Chinese do not regard us as friends.' At that point of time, world opinion was completely against Chinese aggression in Tibet and even countries like England, France, Germany and USA looked forward to India to take a lead in this matter by strongly coming out with a firm political stand against China and in total defense of Tibet. The highly influential English publication, The Economist echoed this Western viewpoint when it wrote:
'Having maintained complete independence of China since 1912, Tibet has a strong claim to be regarded as an independent state. But it is for India to take a lead in this matter. If India decides to support independence of Tibet as a buffer state between itself and China, Britain and USA will do well to extend formal diplomatic recognition to it.'
It was a testament to Sardar Patel's vision that all his prophecies about ever treacherous China came true one after the other from 1954 till 1962. Sadly, instead of hardening its attitude towards China, India supplied 10,000 maunds of rice to fallen Tibet under Chinese hegemony, a year after its occupation, following reports of famine there. China made the demand to Nehru to this effect and he readily obliged the Chinese Government of Mao Tse-tung like a long standing card holder of the Communist Party of China!
Nehru's unquenchable infatuation for both Russian and Chinese communism was total, unshakable and indivisible. For him Lenin and Mao Tse-tung were the obverse and reverse of the same communist coin. Let us hear Nehru's hilariously infantile and emotional words about Lenin who was without ant doubt one of the greatest murderers in world history in the line of Attilla, Chenghiz khan, Kublai khan and Tamerlane or Timur.
To quote Nehru:
'There was no doubt or vagueness in Lenin's mind. His were the penetrating eyes which detected the moods of the masses ; the clear head which could apply and adapt well-thought out principles to changing situations ; the inflexible will which held on to the course he had mapped out, regardless of consequences. It is not many years since he died, and already Lenin has become a mighty tradition, not only in his native Russia but in the world at large. As time passes he grows greater; he has become one of the chosen company of the world's immortals.'
Nehru came to this great conclusion after visiting Russia for four days in 1927!
As Lenin had died in 1924, Nehru had no other option excepting to install another substitute idol in his communist heart after our independence and that is how Mao Tse-tung became his hero till 1962. Thus the People's Republic of China (PRC) and not poor India and her helpless millions, ruled and reigned in the global heart of Pandit Nehru till the unprovoked Chinese invasion of India in 1962!
After the military take-over of Tibet in 1950, all the areas once ethnically connected with Tibet became for Beijing part of the Chinese empire. Mao used the image of the palm of the hand (Tibet) and the five fingers (Bhutan, Sikkim, NEFA, Ladakh and Nepal). One has to understand that it has never cost China anything (apart from a communiqué from the Xinhua news agency) to claim these areas as theirs. Further, the Chinese rightly thought that these claims could be extremely useful in the future. This explains as to why even today the Chinese ambassador in New Delhi has the audacity to claim that Arunachal Pradesh rightfully belongs to China.
After letting down Tibet and her gentle and peace-loving people in a treacherous manner in the first stage in 1950, Pundit Nehru turned his benevolent attention towards the second stage of supplication and surrender to China. That great moment of 'passionate and spirited' surrender occurred on 29th April 1954 when an 'Agreement on Trade and Intercourse between China and India' was signed in Beijing. The agreement today is popularly dubbed as the 'Panchsheel Agreement' because of the famous five principles - Nehru's elixir for India's foreign relations - incorporated in the preamble of the agreement. I am quoting verbatim from this great surrender of our national sovereignty document:
The Government of the Republic of India and the Central people's Government of the People's Republic of China:
Being desirous of promoting trade and cultural intercourse between the Tibet region of China and India and of facilitating pilgrimage and travel by the people of China and India;
Have resolved to enter into the present agreement based on the following principles:
(1) Mutual respect for each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty;
(2) Mutual non-aggression;
(3) Mutual non-interference in each other's internal affairs;
(4) Equality and mutual benefit: and
(5) Peaceful coexistence
By signing the above Panchsheel Agreement, amidst the euphoria of Hindi-Chini-Bhai-Bhai, India (which meant only Nehru at that time!) recognized Tibet as part of China and in fact, as a mark of goodwill towards China, India also gave up all her extra-territorial rights in Tibet. Even at that time Nehru disastrously failed to settle the Indo-Tibetan border. Moreover by forfeiting Tibet, India 'surrendered' a 2,000 years old buffer state that had kept Chinese imperial designs on the leash from times immemorial.
The high and lofty ideals of Panchsheel Agreement and its emotional verbiage began to crumble within two months after the agreement was signed on 29 April, 1954. The first of a series of Chinese incursions, numbering in hundreds, occurred in Bharhoti area of Uttar Pardesh in June 1954. These incursions culminated in the Chinese invasion of India with an overwhelming force on two separate flanks in October 1962.
After the Panchsheel Agreement of 1954, border tensions began to surface after 1956. Aiming to consolidate its hold in Tibet, China started developing infrastructure in Himalayan regions. A ring road was constructed which led from China to Tibet and from there via Karakorum Range to Sinkiang and Mongolia and then back to China. Indian Ladakh district of Aksai Chin region of Jammu & Kashmir obstructed the road and would have forced Chinese to build through the harsh Takla Makan desert.
In his penetrating book called 'Born in Sin: The Panchsheel Agreement' Claude Arpi, has given a graphic description of how Nehru bent himself backwards to please the Government of China by according one concession after another after 1954.
A measure of the height of euphoria over the Hindi-Chini-Bhai-Bhai festivity, obliterating strategic and other implications for India's security, was illustrated in a strange episode after the agreement was signed. To quote Claude Arpi in this context: 'India was supplying rice to Chinese troops, engaged in building a road on Indian Territory! And not just an ordinary road, it was the Aksai-Chin road cutting through the Indian Territory in Ladakh. It is indeed a first in military annals that the government of a country supplies food to enemy troops! But at that time, who saw China as an enemy?'
India discovered the road only in October 1958, triggering public outcry in the country. I would like to ask whether it was an act of 'reasonable treason' or 'treasonable reason'. At any rate, their can be no doubt that the Congress Party under the totalitarian leadership of Nehru and his family members in perpetual succession after 1947 enriched the English language in many perfidiously devious ways.
Hostilities between India and China began on 16 October, 1962. The Chinese said they were responding to Indian provocations. On 20 October, 1962, Chinese People's Liberation Army launched two major coordinated attacks 1000 km apart in the Chip Chap valley in Ladakh and the Namkachu River. After taking control of a substantial portion of the disputed territory, Chinese forces made an offer for talks on 24 October. India rejected this offer and tried to regroup during the lull in the fighting. By 18 November, Chinese forces had penetrated close to the outskirts of Tezpur, Assam, a major frontier town nearly 50 km from Assam-North-East Frontier Agency border. The Chinese did not advance further and on 21 November declared a unilateral cease-fire.
Recently when the Republican Party was routed in the by-elections by the Democratic Party, Donald Rumsfeld, US Secretary of Defence, the chief architect of Iraq War resigned. Nehru stuck to his office of Prime Minister with a shameless tenacity of purpose. He proved by his perfidious example that any part of sacred India was worth sacrificing to China; only the office of the Prime Minister held by him had to be retained by him at any cost. Indeed he set an inglorious example of self-seeking lust for power – a tradition which has not only been maintained but enriched by the members of his family till today.
As a second-year post-graduate student in Delhi University in October-November 1962, I heard Nehru – beaten, crestfallen, humiliated – announcing in the Lok Sabha:
'India has been living in the fool's paradise of its own making. Perhaps there are not many instances in history where one country has gone out of her way to be friendly and cooperative with the government and people of another country and to plead their cause in the council of the world, and then that country returns evil for good'.
It was anything but inspiring war-time leadership. By his effete leadership, he left India weak, disunited and prostrate. Nehru's Hindi-Chini Bhai Bhai has given way today to Hindi-Paki Bhai Bhai which the millions in India hope against hope will not land them in the same disaster as in 1962.
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