Dec 11, 2023
Dec 11, 2023
There is an ancient Indian story that applies to the future of the country and its idiot leaders.
A man had one son and a donkey. After loading the donkey with goods for sale, the father and son went from their village to the market in the city. On the way, the father told the son to ride the donkey. In the first village they passed on their way, a number of passers-by commented how inconsiderate the young son was in riding the donkey while the elderly father walked. The shamed son dismounted and let his father ride the donkey. In the next village people criticized the father for riding while his young small son walked. The father and son having no convictions, thoughts or policy of their own, then decided that both would ride the donkey. In the third village on the way, people cried shame on these fellows both riding a donkey already laden with goods. One wisecracked, 'these two hefty fellows are sturdy enough to carry the donkey instead of the donkey carrying them'. The foolish father and son like India's politicians of all parties then began carrying the donkey. They came to a narrow bridge without rails and lost their balance. All three fell into the river and drowned in the torrential current.
Nehru turned a blind eye at Chinese encroachment on India's borders in 1962. He neglected defense and military procurement and had to beg Kennedy for American planes and arms and appeal to the Soviet Union to restrain China. At that time the Soviets were having differences with Mao and America had fought China in Korea earlier and had skirmishes over Quemoy and Matsu islands in the Straits of Taiwan. China occupied Aksai Chin and kept it but withdrew from the Northeast of India. Pakistan ceded parts of Kashmir it occupies and the Chinese constructed the Karakoram highway, an all weather road link between China and Pakistan. About a decade earlier China had occupied and annexed Tibet obtaining control over the water supply of Pakistan, Indian north. Burma, Vietnam. The Indus, Mekong, Brahmaputra, Salween, Yangtze and Yellow rivers all arise from Tibet. Unlike Nehru's idiocy of a future plebiscite and article 370 prohibiting India's citizens from settling or buying land in Kashmir, China flooded Tibet and Sinkiang with Han Chinese to make the Tibetans and Uighurs a minority in their own land.
China exploited America and Nixon's foolishness to come to terms with it without the humiliating subjugation that Manmohan Singh agreed to in the civil nuclear deal. At the just finished G8 meeting America introduced a backdoor clause barring any transfer or sale of nuclear enrichment technology to India. The US reneged on the earlier deal just as it had done before about supply of enriched uranium to the Tarapur power plants. Manmohan Singh performed a humiliating bow as he had done to Musharaf at the NAM meeting in Havana. He is so happy that he gets invited to the G8 meetings even if it is to keep pulling the string of the Punkah like in the days of the British Raj. China used the forum to threaten to dethrone the dollar as a reserve currency. Please note the difference in behavior.
During the 1965 war with Pakistan, India had to stop fighting, agree to a cease-fire and Lal Bahadur Shastri was summoned to Tashkent and agreed to the imposed peace terms as India was dependent on Russia for ammunition. Shastri suffered a heart attack and died. Indira Gandhi smartly toured many western capitals to prepare India's case for the Bangladesh War, signed a friendship treaty with the Soviets to assure munitions supply and the use of the Soviet veto in the UN Security Council till Pakistan was routed and Dacca captured.
Times have changed.
Manmohan Singh is a mere puppet of Sonia and knows nothing of world history and even less of economics besides the brainwashing he received about the prevalent economic fads of his times in the Socialist phase of the London School of Economics. America despite its nuclear arsenal and high tech military is a waning power. Its glory based on insurmountable debt and its military power has failed in Iraq and Afghanistan currently and it failed in Korea in the fifties and Vietnam in the sixties and seventies. The Soviet Union collapsed but ignorant Manmohan Singh has no clue as to America's current status when he hitched India's wagon to America at the cost of alienating Russia as the dispute and extortion that Russia demanded for the Gorshkov shows.
China once again threatens India by claiming Arunachal and warning India, that it is foolish and destined for disaster if it competes with or stands up to China militarily. These statements were made in reference to India re-opening airbases in Ladakh, Assam and Arunachal and posting squadrons of the advanced Sukhoi aircraft. India should not be deterred by Chinese threats but it should be adequately prepared. China has airbases on the Tibetan and Arunachal border and has stationed medium range nuclear and conventional missiles there, just like it has done on the opposite coast of Taiwan. In addition it has built rail lines all the way to the Indian border in Tibet and Arunachal. India has no decent rail or adequate road links to Arunachal and Ladakh even after 60+years.
China has perfected cruise missiles to neutralize US aircraft carriers in the Pacific and is rapidly increasing its surface and submarine (including nuclear) fleets. It has demonstrated anti-satellite weapons capability to convince the US that it can neutralize its satellite and network centric war capabilities. I would not be surprised if the recent hacker attack on US and South Korean government sites allegedly attributed to North Korea was launched with tacit blessing and encouragement from China, as a trial balloon and implicit threat. It has concluded border agreements with all its neighbors except India, is supplying Pakistan with planes, cruise missiles and nuclear weapon technology. Its string of pearls strategy has given it port facilities in Myanmar (Bay Of Bengal), Sri Lanka (off India's southern tip), Gwadar, Baluchistan (at the mouth of the Persian Gulf). It supplies arms to Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. It is the leading trading partner of Russia, America, EU, Korea, Japan and Brazil. It is giving aid to African countries and is the largest creditor of America which dare not assist India against any Chinese attack, for fear of China dumping dollars to collapse the US economy.
Our idiot leaders don't understand that no one will side with India this time in a war with China. I am not implying that we should kowtow to China. We should be fully prepared to stalemate it and inflict severe damage. We can't do that when we don't have enough howitzers, ammunition, aircraft or logistic facilities to supply our armed forces at the borders with China. For years Indian governments have been delaying and postponing the purchase of medium range multi-role combat aircraft, attack helicopters, howitzers, most likely hoping to get bigger and better bribes for officials, ministers and political parties. We need to build rapid and robust rail and road links and redundant military airports at our borders, put geo-stationary orbit reconnaissance satellites with high resolution cameras in the skies over our borders with Pakistan and China and move substantial troops with armor, artillery and attack helicopters to bases close to our borders but not close enough to be perceived as an offensive threat. Much of our borders with the two major adversaries are mountainous and thus roads and rails are difficult to build and easy to destroy by aerial bombing, that is why we need state of the art attack helicopters available from Russia, Italy, South Africa, Britain and America. As long as America keeps arming Pakistan with weapons meant to attack India, we should only buy from America if there is no alternative supplier or if their arms are markedly superior and pricing is affordable, without restrictions in use.
More by : Gaurang Bhatt, MD