What you are referring to is a full-scale war between India and China. Though not impossible, I find the chance of that happening highly improbable. The entire world has an eye on China and any serious misadventure from there side is likely to result in a significant world wide response. Further for all practical purposes, India is a nuclear power and any conflict has to take that into account. The Chinese will be extremely reluctant to cross Indian thresholds
Sorry, Vikram, I hope NO ONE in the Indian establishment goes along this adventurist line. It is like watching the crazy Soviet General at the beginning of one of the James Bond movies, screeching that
The West is WEAK!!!! Our divisions are poised right HERE, and with one thrust through HERE, we will CUT THROUGH western Europe and be on the French coast inside SEVENTY-TWO HOURS! The West can do NOTHING!!!
The basis for this expectation of a swift "limited" border skirmish is presumably the official (Indian side) report of the pleasantries in Nathu La circa 1969 or 5 (I forget which), where a large number of Chinese troops are supposed to have died in a misadventure, thereby "learning a lesson".
Forget it. Today's PRC leadership are not the fickle, insecure desperadoes of the Cultural Revolution, trying to keep the lid on a starving population surviving on subsistence agriculture and Communist collectives. Their soldiers are not the ones we read about in 1960s-70s India - starving little people in bulky, ill-fitting Mao jackets, each carrying a little sack of rice, another of grenades and a Burb Gun with two clips, and an ill-fitting cap with a big red star on it.
The American Armed forces bragged about "mowing down" the Chinese in their Human Wave tactics.... and claimed that at infamous Reservoir in Korea, "we had to walk on a solid carpet of dead Chinese, 300,000 died there". The Chinese historians' response to this is:
How could they have counted? They were running so hard..
The Indian Army OTOH came with this Sanhurst What-What Officer Corps and veterans of El Alamein etc., familiar with the British and American and later, Soviet weapons that were handed down, versus the Chinese' mass-produced rip-offs of second-hand, ancient versions.
Today all these advantages are gone. I believe the each Chinese soldier is now trained and equipped to the same level as his American, Russian or Indian counterpart. There is no reason not to - the PLA is a massively wealthy organization that runs its own monster military industrial complex. They have enjoyed peace and exploding prosperity since the end of the Vietnam misadventure.
So, a conflict with China will only be "limited" if India bows down and China decides to stop. There is no other possible outcome at this time, sorry.
On Day 1, the IAF may dominate - I have great faith in those 30 or 60 Su-30MKIs and those MiG21s (have they been replaced yet?). But by Day 3, the immense Chinese preponderance in missiles will have degraded IAF's ability to operate, and the entire frontline forces may be decimated. At that point, the Chinese preponderance in logistics will start to tell, and the only possible outcome is a massive defeat, making 1962 look like a great victory for India.
India has never fought a war where more than 4000 died in a month. Yes, Kashmir and Northeast "law enforcement" has killed more people, but over many years, not on the intense scale of a war with an equal or superior enemy. China has lost more men than that in a day, several times against several enemies.
If conflict breaks out, India should EXPECT that all first-line defensive positions, all first-line equipment, and weapons, will be wiped out before inflicting any losses on the opposition. Can India still win AFTER that? Despite a missile bombardment of every North Indian city at the very least? Despite 300,000 dead and 30 million wounded? If the logistics and the depth of weapon stores and strike corps is capable of replacing all the losses of combat personnel and equipment and strike back on top of that within a week, then yes, go on adventurist "teach lesson" type of operations. Otherwise, concentrate on seeing how to do this, and keep quiet.
This is why it is so dangerous to ignore the Chinese activities in Arunachal etc. A determined inch-for inch matchup will convince the Chinese to go bother someone else, but the rather lazy (I mean on the part of the govt, not the soldiers) policy of sitting back and doing essentially nothing while the Chinese prepare systematically, is criminally stupid.
And on top of that, if the Babus want to go shoot off their mouths on Xinjiang or whatever, that's just
As an aside, many current BRFees were born after the Falklands War, or were in diapers at the time. All should study what happened when the Argentines, well-armed with the latest IMPORTED weapons, and ONE operational aircraft carrier and one submarine escorting it, went to war with the far-off, declining, weak, British, who had NO real aircraft carrier, and were located 5000 miles away.
The point is that the Argentines lost all their "unbeatable" paper advantages before the British even got started. They had been "magnanimous", capturing rather than killing the 80 British Marines guarding the Falklands in a massive sea-borne invasion. Fait accompli, they thought.
The submarine disappeared first, Then the Cinquieme de Mayo was torpedoed by the British submarine shadowing it, and suddenly the Argentines had nothing to patrol the sea lanes. They still had those long-range airplanes carrying those Exocet missiles. But each day, a few would not come back, and over a month, this resulted in the Argentine Air Force being reduced to a few propeller-driven airplanes.
The rest is out there - please go read it, before planning to go to war with large, determined enemies based on the paper "power" of a small, limited number of imported toys. Their soldiers, sailors and airmen were brave and heroic, but that is no help at all in a modern war.