Inder Malhotra's series on 1962 war

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Virupaksha
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Re: Inder Malhotra's series on 1962 war

Postby Virupaksha » 19 Oct 2012 00:17

ramana wrote:SSridhar, I dont think the pressure from the Opposition MPs was that much for Nehru to take such foolish measures. I think he was acting per some plan. We dont know yet. None of the actors are talking.

When did Nehru ever care for opposition's views?? It didnt matter when Kashmir was given a separate constitution via article-370 and was ready to let a former cabinet minister, Shyam Prasad Mukherjee die for the same. So why should it matter from 1959 to 1962 when he was filling up the army high command with his chamchas? It is simply their boot lickers version of blaming the opposition for Nehru's failure so that the hagiographers can continue.

The only instances where Nehru cared for those views was when he was caught by the "scruff of the neck" and forced to do - like Andhra Pradesh creation or removal of menon after 1962 defeat. For God's sake, after the horrendous misuse of constitution in 1959 for dismissal of kerala govt, I find it hard to believe that he "cared" for opposition's views or for any propriety.

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Re: Inder Malhotra's series on 1962 war

Postby Virupaksha » 19 Oct 2012 01:31

I have a question which I cant wrap my head around. In late december 1961, in op Vijay, goa - we used the air force very much. An operation in which we lost ~35 soldiers. What happened within 10 months, that the airforce suddenly became "persona non grata" to Nehru when thousands of our soldiers got killed?

The only explanation my brain could find for that jaw-dropping difference is a piskological one - the leadership of India (i.e. Nehru and co) exhibit typical bully behavior.

There is one other power play going on. The veto for the op vijay was by Soviet Union while US, UK and other countries voted for portugal. When 1962, I did not read of any public requests from Nehru to SU.

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Re: Inder Malhotra's series on 1962 war

Postby ramana » 19 Oct 2012 05:20

IDSA articles:

1)Who started the fighting?

Who started the fighting?
R. S. Kalha

Former Secy, MEA

October 17, 2012
As we near the 50th anniversary of the Sino-Indian conflict that broke out in October 1962, the question that has often been asked is: Who started the actual fighting? There is no doubt on the Indian side that it all began with the massive Chinese onslaught that was initiated in the early hours of 20 October 1962 all along the Sino-Indian border. Most Chinese and their apologists insist that it was India that started the conflict by following the so-called ‘forward policy’ and ‘nibbling’ at China’s frontiers. The actual Chinese onslaught on 20 October 1962, it is claimed, was only a ‘counter-attack’ and in ‘self-defence’ to throw out Indian ‘aggressors’ from Chinese territory. In other words, it was an action designed to reclaim Chinese territory wrongly usurped by India. Let us examine the facts as they are, to see if the Chinese contention has any merit or, as India believes, it was nothing but a premeditated attack by China. First let us examine what the Chinese leadership itself has said on this issue.

On 25 March 1959, sometime after the Tibetan revolt broke out in early March 1959, the then Chinese Communist Party Secretary-General, Deng Xiaoping, insisted that several of Nehru’s speeches about the Tibetan situation, together with the fact that the headquarters of the rebellion was located in Kalimpong, ‘left no doubt that the Indian government was behind the rebellion… and, when the times comes, we certainly will settle accounts with them’ [emphasis added].1

Soon after the hostilities were over, the then Chinese President Liu Shaoqi told the Sri Lankan leader Felix Bandaranaike that the 1962 conflict was ‘to demolish India’s arrogance and illusions of grandeur. China had taught India a lesson [emphasis added] and would do so again and again!’ Liu repeated the same line to the Swedish Ambassador as well. Mao Zedung confirmed this line of thinking when he told a Nepalese delegation in 1964 that the ‘major problem between India and China was not the McMahon Line, but the Tibetan question’ [emphasis added]. And for emphasis he added that ‘in the opinion of the Indian government, Tibet is theirs’. 2 Mao discounted the territorial aspect of the conflict when he told the then Soviet CDA, Antonov, that ‘We never, under any circumstances, will move beyond the Himalayas. That is completely ruled out. This is an argument over inconsequential pieces of territory.’ Recent Chinese commentaries quote Mao’s belief that the ‘real target’ was not Nehru, but the US and the Soviets that had been plotting behind the scenes against China.3 And an official Chinese publication published recently further amplifies the same theme thus: ‘The declaration [of cease-fire] of the Chinese government was a serious blow for anti-China plan of America and Soviet Union and their strategic design in Asia..... Just as soldiers of Chinese Frontier Forces said ‘this time when Jawaharlal Nehru is hit then its pain is seen on the faces of Kennedy and Khrushchev.’ 4

In addition, it was the Chinese belief that this knock-out punch would keep the Sino-Indian frontier quiet for a considerable length of time to their immense advantage, discourage any Indian ‘meddling’ in Tibet and ‘to strike peace with its neighbor.’ 5 It was hoped that Tibet would thus be pacified.

Later, in 1973, Zhou Enlai was to tell Kissinger that the conflict took place because Nehru was getting ‘cocky’. Mao even blamed Nehru for the clashes and said that he [Nehru] was using them for the following reasons: First, he is trying to deliver a blow to the Communist Party of India. Second, to ease for India the conditions for the receipt of economic aid from the Western powers, in particular from the USA. And third, to obstruct the spread of influence of the Socialist camp on the Indian people. Mao wanted to ‘wake-up’ Nehru and try to detach him ‘from the influence of the super-powers.’ 6 So if what Mao told Antonov and the Nepalese and what Liu Shaoqi told Bandaranaike is correct, then the whole issue was not about the boundary question and particularly not about the territorial aspect of it, but something quite else. It had nothing to do with the so-called ‘forward policy.’

Let us also look at the sequence of events just prior to the opening of hostilities. The Chinese leadership was aware that to deliver and sustain a knockout punch to India the two super powers, the US and Soviet Russia, had to be ‘neutralized.’ To ascertain what was in the American mind and to gauge their intentions, the Chinese Ambassador to Warsaw, Wang Bingnan, was recalled from leave and hastily dispatched to Warsaw with instructions to meet his US counterpart forthwith. On 23 June 1962, Wang Bingnan met US Ambassador Cabot at Warsaw. Ambassador Wang claimed that Beijing had noted preparations in Taiwan for a landing on the mainland. Ambassador Cabot, who was unaware of any such preparations, based on his brief from the State Department, conveyed to his Chinese interlocutor that he had been authorized to state that the US government had no intention of supporting any GRC [Taiwan] attack on the mainland under existing circumstances [emphasis added]. Ambassador Wang could not believe his ears and, to make sure he heard it right, requested the US Ambassador to repeat this assurance once again. The US Ambassador duly obliged7 The Chinese could not believe their good fortune. Wang later admitted that this assurance that he obtained from the US played a ‘very big role’ in China’s decision to attack India.8 What Ambassador Cabot told Ambassador Wang was later publicly confirmed by President Kennedy to newsmen on 27 June 1962. The Chinese breathed a huge sigh of relief for they were anticipating trouble on two fronts.

On 8 October 1962, Chinese leaders informed the Soviet Ambassador in Beijing that ‘China knows that Indian forces are planning to launch a large scale attack in Sino-Indian frontier regions and if India launches an attack than we will resolutely carry out self-defence.’ On 13 and 14 October 1962, Ambassador Liu Xiao met Khrushchev who told him that the ‘information received by the Soviet Union regarding India preparing to launch an attack on China is same as conveyed by China.’ 9 Further, Ambassador Liu secured from Khrushchev ‘guarantees’ that if China was attacked and a China-India War ensued, the Soviets would ‘stand together with China’ [emphasis added]. 10 In a 20 October 1962 letter, Khrushchev rebuked Nehru for failing to show ‘due urge for reconciliation’ and urged him ‘to agree to Chinese proposals’. 11 This new tough line was confirmed when MJ Desai [then Secretary General, MEA] told US Ambassador Galbraith in a meeting on 23 October 1962 that ‘in the past few days the Soviets have taken a tough line with the Indians—including advice to settle on Chinese terms.’ 12 The Soviets had no option as they were engrossed in a serious confrontation with the US over Cuba and badly needed Chinese support. Support for India was expendable.

With both the super powers effectively ‘neutralized’, the Chinese now systematically set the stage. All communications to the Indian Mission at Lhasa were cut on 9 October 1962. No one was allowed to enter the Mission. All Tibetan staff members were withdrawn. Similarly, communications from the Indian Embassy in Beijing were also withheld. Indian POWs reported, on return to India, that the PLA had stationed interpreters in Tibet who spoke every major Indian language! They also saw at first- hand how well stocked and prepared the Chinese were. The Chinese attack began simultaneously in all sectors of the border, both in the west and in the east, at the same time [5 a.m. IST on 20 October 1962] completely synchronized as per Beijing time! [emphasis added]

Three Chinese Regiments, 154, 155 and 157 [equivalent to Indian Brigades], all battle-hardened veterans of the Korean War transferred from across the Taiwan Straits since June 1962, attacked Indian positions across the Namka Chu defended by a single brigade and overran them. Similar attacks were launched simultaneously on all Indian positions both in the Western and Eastern sectors with overwhelming force.

What was the position on the Indian side? Krishna Menon left for New York on 17 September 1962 to attend the UN General Assembly and returned to India only on 30 September 1962. Nehru left Delhi on 8 September 1962 to attend the Commonwealth PM’s conference and after visiting Paris, Lagos and Accra returned only on 2 October 1962, but left again on 12 October 1962 for Colombo and returned to Delhi only on 16 October 1962. Two of the most important officials at Army Headquarters were also away from Delhi: Lt. Gen. Kaul, the Chief of General Staff, was on holiday in Kashmir till 2 October 1962, while the Director of Military Operations [DMO] was on a cruise on the aircraft carrier Vikrant.

These are the facts. It is for the reader to make a judgement whether India was the aggressor that initiated hostilities on 20 October 1962.

The author is a former Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs. New Delhi.


1. Wu, Yi Mao zuxi (With Chairman Mao), p. 121.
2. Mao Zedung sixiang [1949-1968], Joint Publication Research Service (IRPS) No.61269, 20 February 1974, p. 573.
3. Hong Yuan, Global Times, 28 June 2012.
4. A History of the Counter Attack War in Self Defence along Sino-Indian Border , Chapter 6, Section (1) B, (published 1994), p. 348.
5. Global Times , 28 June 2012.
6. Hong Yuan, Global Times, 28 June 2012.
7. Department of State , File No.611.93/6-2362.
8. Wang Bingnan, Zhong- Mei huitan jiu nian huigu (Recollections of Nine years of Sino-US talks) Beijing, pp. 85-90.
9. A History of the Counter Attack War in Self- Defence Along the Sino-Indian Border , Chapter 4, Section 2, p. 165.
10. Liu Xiao, Chu Shi Sulian Banian (Eight years as Ambassador to Soviet Union), Beijing: Zhonggang Dangshi Ziliao Chubanshi, 1986, p. 121.
11. S. Gopal, Jawaharlal Nehru, (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1984), p. 222.
12. John K. Galbraith, Ambassador’s Journal (Hamish Hamilton, 1969), p. 431


1962 war: Will China speak about it?


IDSA COMMENT
The 1962 War: Will China speak about it?
Jagannath P. Panda

October 16, 2012
50 years ago on 20 October 1962 China launched a war against India because of differences on the boundary issue. The attack by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) was concurrently from both west and east. In the Western Sector, the targeted area was Chushul, and the PLA went on to capture the Chip Chap Valley in the Aksai Chin region. In the Eastern Sector, it captured both banks of the Namka Chu River and finally reached Tawang. While the memory of that war is fading away at many levels, India still needs to explore the reasons behind the Chinese decision to attack in 1962 and China’s current approach to that episode of unhappy historical memory.

It is very likely that figuring out the exact reason why China attacked India may not be possible. Six major reasons are often cited for the Chinese attack: (a) differences over the McMahon Line; (b) growing political differences between Mao Zedong and Jawaharlal Nehru; (c) China’s construction of roads in the Aksai Chin area, which compelled India to initiate military patrols; (d) Mao’s attempt to divert the attention of the Chinese people from domestic crisis; (e) China’s resentment towards India on the refuge given to Dalai Lama and over the Tibetan issue; and (f) the global situation, which was not in favour of China. Each of these arguments has its own merits in the historical discourse. But what is less understood today is the current Chinese thinking about the war.

While India lost the war as well as some territory and the defeat came as a moral shock for Nehru leading to his downfall as a leader, for China the war has almost been a non-issue. In the Chinese official and public discourse, the boundary negotiation process with India has been the prime subject along with the issue of Dalai Lama and Tibet rather than the 1962 war itself. The Chinese media, which has played a critical role in shaping the public discourse on the issue, has reflected this tendency from the 1960s itself. During the war, Jen-Min Jih-Pao (Wade-Giles Romanization of Renmin Ribao) published an editorial on 27 October 1962 mainly blaming Nehru for the war. The editorial noted that it was Nehru’s ‘British legacy’ that primarily triggered the war and that Nehru was using “China’s Tibet region as an Indian sphere of influence”.1

It further stated:

“Nehru’s policy on the Sino-Indian Boundary question and the whole process by which he engineered the Sino-Indian border clashes have shed new light on the expansionist philosophy of the Indian big bourgeoisie and big landlords”. 2

Nothing much has changed in Chinese thinking since then. 50 years later, China still blames Nehru and India for the war. And instead of talking about the war per se or about its consequences, the focus of the Chinese discourse has been upon ‘India’s fault’ and the boundary negotiation process. For instance, on 21 November 1963, Jen-Min Jih-Pao published an editorial, in which it focused more on starting the negotiation process and finding ‘peaceful’ solution to the boundary issue rather than the scale or consequences of the war. The editorial noted:

As far as China is concerned, the door is wide open for reopening Sino-Indian negotiations and for a peaceful settlement of the boundary question. China has patience. If it is not possible to open negotiations this year, we will wait until next year; if it is not possible next year, then the year after next.3

One can see similar formulations expressed in current commentaries as well, including putting the blame on Nehru and pious sentiments about boundary negotiations, even though the Chinese media has become more open, flexible and articulate on conflicting or sensitive issues. A reference can be made to the article “China won, but never wanted, Sino-Indian war” recently published in Global Times on 28 June 2012.4

Hong Yuan, its author, who is an expert from the Chinese Academy of Social Science (CASS), mainly traces the event as a political clash of interests and quarrel between Nehru and Mao. While indicating primarily that “India’s provocation eventually breached China’s bottom-line”, the piece notes that “the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) was forced to join the battle in self-defense”, and “the PLA’s performance in the war shocked Western strategists and did its country proud”. Most alarmingly, the piece notes: “War is a negotiating approach, but not a goal. Similarly, China’s decision to fight back against India in the 1962 border war was to strike a peace with its neighbour”. The article justifies Mao’s decision to attack India and notes that Mao thought that the “battle with India was also a political combat, and the real target was not Nehru but the US and the Soviets that had been plotting behind the scenes against China”.

Recent commentaries and editorials also indicate that China is still in no mood to accept its own fault. A further reference in this regard may be made to an article written in Beijing Review (12 July 2009) by a well-known expert on India, Prof. Ma Jiali a former professor of the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR). The article, titled “Fanning the Flames”,5 strongly opposed the proposed decision of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to grant loans for infrastructure development in Arunachal Pradesh and stated that “the eastern section, which contains the largest area of disputed territory, is under Indian control known as Arunachal Pradesh”. Ma went on to note:

The border issue between China and India is attributed to the Western colonists’ invasion of China’s southwest frontiers … India inherited the legacy of the British imperialists after its independence in 1947. It even went so far as to illegally seize areas north of the McMahon Line. By 1953, it gained control of most territories south of the McMahon line. The border disputes between China and India culminated in an armed conflict in 1962.

This article suggests that the 1962 war has always been linked in the perception of the Chinese with various complicated issues that relate to British India, the McMahon Line and India’s control over most areas near or around the historic McMahon Line. But this perception clearly demonstrates a contradiction in the Chinese perspective: China and Chinese scholars have time and again refused to accept, endorse or acknowledge the legitimacy of the McMahon Line, but this article seeks to make capital out of the McMahon Line.

1962 still remains an uncomfortable issue in the broader Chinese strategic circles. Though it is discussed in many academic and other gatherings, unlike India, China tries to avoid talking about the actuality and operation of the 1962 war and tries to blame India for its consequences. Mostly, a passing reference is made to the war in news reports and articles, without even faintly acknowledging that China could have avoided attacking India. There seems to be no regret or realisation in China that the attack on India ossified the “China threat” perception in a large neighbouring country like India, which had supported China’s permanent membership in the UN Security Council, something it could easily desisted from. Instead of introspection, Chinese strategic circles have pushed the anti-India notion in recent times both with regard to the border dispute and overall bilateral relations. The result of an online poll carried out by the popular huanqiu.com in June 2009 suggested an overriding perception in China that “India poses a big threat to China”. The poll came after India’s decision to deploy some troops in Arunachal Pradesh.6 More alarmingly, the number of anti-India pieces or articles has also increased in the mainstream newspapers like Global Times, China Daily and Renmin Ribao.

The larger public discourse and scholarly views mostly blame India for the failure of the boundary negotiation process. Not many in China seem to be aware that India is largely seen as a “peace-loving” or “non-aggressive” country because it has not attacked any country in the history of its existence as an independent nation. One of the brighter aspects of India’s freedom struggle against British colonial power was the non-violent movement led by Mahatma Gandhi, but he is less well known in China than Rabindra Nath Tagore. Today, China does see India in a different light, perhaps because of India’s rise. Though, China is likely to be extremely cautious about launching another attack on India, there is certainly great regret among experts about their government’s decision not to gain control over Arunachal Pradesh in the war, that “it was a costly error on the part of China” to have declared a unilateral cease-fire on 21 November 1962 without really gaining control over Tawang vis-à-vis Arunachal Pradesh.7 Military experts even go to the extent of dismissing India’s capability in the event of a possible future war with China. A PLA captain, Dai Xu, states in a news blog that India cannot win a war against China because the “Indian troops do not have military spirit” and India lags behind China on many fronts.8

Officially too, a clear and unambiguous public explanation is still missing from China on the issue of the 1962 war. For example, when in a recent interview India’s Chief of Army Staff remarked that a China-India clash would not be repeated, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei said, while answering the question “What is China’s response?”: “Pending the final settlement, we should maintain peace and tranquillity in the border area”.9 This stated reply does indicate that China does not want to talk about the 1962 war in public.

China must utilise the 50th anniversary of 1962 to ponder why the war took place when it could have perhaps avoided attacking India. Two policy affirmations are called for. First, China needs to make a firm public commitment that no matter how complicated the situation on the boundary dispute or over the negotiating process on the issue, an incident like the 1962 war should never be repeated. China must learn to be patient and take into account India’s emotions and demands on this score. Second, the time has come for the Chinese government to publicly acknowledge, if not apologize for, the damage that the 1962 war has caused to India or the kind of distrust that it has brought to Sino-Indian relations. China is no more a rising power: it has emerged as a global power in many respects. And a global power must not hesitate to acknowledge its historical mistakes: it needs to have sufficient self-confidence to withstand the consequent discomfort and embarrassment.

1. Mentioned in The Sino-Indian Boundary Question, Foreign Language Press: Peking (English), 1962, pp.96-100. For the piece, see, “More on Nehru’s Philosophy in the Light of the Sino-Indian Boundary Question”, Jen-Min Jih-Pao (Renmin Ribao), Editorial Department, October 27, 1962.
2. Ibid.
3. Cited in Luke T. Chang, China’s Boundary Treaties and Frontier Disputes, London: Oceana, 1982, p. 92.
4. Hong Yuan, “China won, but never wanted, Sino-Indian war”, Global Times, June 28, 2012, at http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/717710.shtml
5. Ma Jiali, “Fanning the Flames”, Beijing Review, July 12, 2009, at http://www.bjreview.com.cn/world/txt/20 ... 206855.htm
6. Zhu Shanshan, “90% in online poll believe India threatens China’s security”, Global Times, 11 June 2009, at http://www.globaltimes.cn/china/top-pho ... 36320.html
7. Jagannath P. Panda, “China’s eagle eye on Arunachal Pradesh”, IDSA Strategic Comment, July 10, 2009, at http://www.idsa.in/strategiccomments/Ch ... Panda_10...
8. “India did not win and will never win in the war against China”, Global Times, at http://forum.globaltimes.cn/forum/showthread.php?t=8985
9. “Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei’s Regular Press Conference on September 20, 2012”, Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Los Angels, September 21, 2012, at http://losangeles.china-consulate.org/e ... 973304.htm


The Chinese dont feel justified to answer India's questions. And most of their six reasons dont jive with the facts stated by RS Kalha.

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Re: Inder Malhotra's series on 1962 war

Postby kunalverma » 19 Oct 2012 07:16

Ever since I've had access to the Op Lal Qila file (the broad details of which I had put out in book, The LONG ROAD to SIACHEN: The QUESTION WHY (Rupa & Co.) I've torn my hair out over the various issues that have since plagued the Nation for half a century now. In this post, however, I want to restrict myself to commenting on the non use of the IAF as an offensive weapon.

During Lal Qila (17 March 1960), offensive air power was discussed in no uncertain terms. First, this is what was known to the Indian side in 1959:
"A group of airfields has been constructed NORTH of LHASA in the area YANPACHEN. This is the main airbase in TIBET. It can take the heaviest bombers of the Chinese Air Force."
"Air strips capable of taking jet fighters has been constructed in areas RUDOK, GARTOK, TINGRI, SHIGATSE, GYANTSE and TSELA. A number of landing grounds for two-engined freight aircraft have been reported – at TRADOM, KHAMBA DZONG, TSONA DZONG, LHUNTSE DZONG, TITHONG and DROWAGOMPA.
"The exact strength of the Chinese Air Force is not known, but on the last Republic Day Parade, 6 to 8 jet bombers and two squadrons of jet fighters took part in the celebration parade in LHASA."

Own Forces
(i) No 3 Tactical Air Centre, at present located at Shillong
(ii) No 5 Wing - KALAIKUNDA
Three Squadrons of MYSTERES (Fighter Bombers)
(iii) No 6 Wing - BARRACKPORE.
Two squadrons of DAKOTAS (Transport aircraft)
(iv) No 10 Wing - JORHAT.
One Squadron of DAKOTAS (Transport Aircraft)
One Helicopter Unit
One logistic Air Support Unit (OTTER aircraft)
One Communication Flight.
(v) No 11 Wing - TEZPUR.
Two Squadrons of TOOFANIS (Fighter Bombers)
One Squadron of VAMPIRES (Fighter Recce)
(vi) One casualty evacuation unit; and one staging post.

In the section marked 'I must ask the Air Force to – Thorat clearly states: "take offensive action against enemy concentrations and against posts which have been overrun and are occupied by the Chinese in SIKKIM and NEFA."

Goes on to add
"I must ask Army Headquarters to get the IAF to carry out strategic bombing of the following targets in the following order of priority:–
(i) TSONA DZONG
(ii) GYANTSE
(iii) TSELA
(iv) YATUNG
(v) MARKHAM
(vi) PHARIDZONG

This was the situation as in 1960. While researching for our film SALT of the EARTH: The IAF Story in 1992 the following additional information was garnered by us:

Not only were Hunters moved to Gorakpur in 1962, so were Naval Alizes and Sea Hawks. These aircraft were all fueled up, armed and ready to go. But the Green Light never came.
As a direct result of Op Lal Qila, fighter pilots had been sent to key areas in NEFA to register targets. ACM Mehra told General Adi Sethna and me that he was one such officer deputed to study the Kameng area. Bridges, own positions were also registered.
Air Marshal Lalu Grewal told me that he flew to Chushul in Ladakh when the AMX tanks were being airlifted. As the aircraft turned over the Spangur Gap to come in on finals, the pilots could see a 200 vehicle column lined up on the Chinese side. Hunters would have made mince meat of them and Chushul was well within range of most North Indian airfields.
The clincher however was when we interviewed Air Marshal HC Dewan, then an Air Commodore in Air HQ and then the director Operations. This is what he said and it's been quoted in my father's book, RIVERS of SILENCE (Lancer) which essentially documents the Battle of Nam Ka Chu which took place 50 years ago to the date:
"Contrary to what is popularly believed, Nehru was extremely keen to use the Air Force once the fighting broke out. I had a one-on-one equation with the Prime Minister and unlike Kaul who gave him unrealistic info, I was direct and to the point. I told him I had flown over 400 reccee missions in the Arakan region during the Burma Campaign and that I had never seen the Japanese, only once or twice I had seen smoke from their camp fires. There was no point in our launching air strikes because in the mountains it is impossible to see the enemy positions, especially as they were advancing on foot. Had we stupidly rushed in with aircraft, we would have escalated the situation and the Chinese would have retaliated. My view was also endorsed by Mullick and the Americans who through the CIA had the only updated information." At the time I was incredulous, and I said the Chinese had no option but to come through specific passes in the Himalayas as against the Naga Patkai where the Japs could swarm across various jungle trails. I also told him what Laloo Grewal had said about Chushul. The answer to that was that the attacks had taken us by surprise and the enemy was already inside our territory by then.
When this tape was played at Air HQ I still remember the face of AVM Doraiswami, himself a Mystere pilot at that time. He just sat there with tears running down his cheeks and said nothing. Later, the next day he said something which really captured the essence of the emotions the IAF must have gone through. He looked at me and said: 'Kunal, you don't know how many times we got into fist fights in bars over this subject (when we were accused of 'chickening out'), for we always believed it was a political decision to hold us back. This tape makes me feel physically sick!"

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Re: Inder Malhotra's series on 1962 war

Postby shiv » 19 Oct 2012 07:34

Someone please correct me if I am wrong. But isn't the Kargil story also one where the army initially attempted to sort out the issue using ground forces alone and only when the difficulties became apparent that the problem went higher up the ladder/chain of command and ultimately ended in a political decision to use the air force. And here too the orders were "Don't cross the LoC"

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Re: Inder Malhotra's series on 1962 war

Postby ramana » 19 Oct 2012 07:54

Kunal,
Thanks. I too asked ACM Mehra about 1962. He expressed extreme frustration at the non arrival of orders to engage the enemy.

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Re: Inder Malhotra's series on 1962 war

Postby SSridhar » 19 Oct 2012 07:55

Virupaksha wrote:I have a question which I cant wrap my head around. In late december 1961, in op Vijay, goa - we used the air force very much. An operation in which we lost ~35 soldiers. What happened within 10 months, that the airforce suddenly became "persona non grata" to Nehru when thousands of our soldiers got killed?

Virupaksha, there was a TV discussion yesterday where Gen. VP Malik said that GoI felt that using IAF in offensive ops would have escalated the conflict.

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Re: Inder Malhotra's series on 1962 war

Postby kunalverma » 19 Oct 2012 08:45

Virupaksha wrote: Virupaksha, there was a TV discussion yesterday where Gen. VP Malik said that GoI felt that using IAF in offensive ops would have escalated the conflict.


After the Indian Express report where one of our esteemed editors decided to put the blame on the Army leadership by quoting selectively from the Henderson-Brooks/Bagat report, I thought it was worth telling Gaurav Samant and a few other channels where they could find the Op Lal Qila papers. So yesterday Headlines today decided to go big with the story. I think Zee News will also be following suit today. It's time this country knew the truth in no uncertain terms!

General Ved Malik was pointedly asked who he held responsible for the 1962 debacle and he spoke straight to camera. I saw him conduct the Kargil War from close quarters and my respect for him more than doubled yesterday, just for having the guts to speak up without any 'ifs' and 'buts'. I think it's time we started asking for the statue of Krishna Menon to be removed from the edge of Sena Bhawan, and rename the road leading up to it with any one of the names of the 2,420 men who died in NEFA or any one of the casualties from Ladakh. The whole country knows the fiasco was due to Krishna Menon and Nehru and for half a bloody century we have this edifice next to Army HQ underlining to each man in uniform that regardless of what happens, the civil authority is above any reproach! With a symbol like that looming over your head, so much for civil-military relations maturing in any meaningful way. REMOVE IT NOW!!!!

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Re: Inder Malhotra's series on 1962 war

Postby wig » 19 Oct 2012 08:54

The tribune, publsihed from Chandigarh has been carrying a series of articles on the 1962 conflict. they are informative and IMVHO need to be linked as a ready reference.

INDiA-CHINA WAR 50 years later Part 5
In Ladakh It was last man, last round
The 1962 war saw some decisive battles with troops displaying tremendous courage and some even going beyond the call of duty. Rezang La in the west and Tawang in the east are two prominent places where military history is etched in blood


and



Tawang: Saga of Chinese advance and Indian retreart

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2012/20121019/edit.htm#6

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Re: Inder Malhotra's series on 1962 war

Postby wig » 19 Oct 2012 09:02

there is a series of articles in the tribune, chandigarh authored by distinguished persons.
link

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2012/specials/china.htm


briefs
PART-I
Why India and China went to war in 1962
The scars of the 1962 war against China that resulted in a humiliating defeat for India still remain 50 years later. Starting today, The Tribune brings you a series of articles by experts on the genesis of the war, India’s political and military blunders and the lessons the country has learnt and should learn
Zorawar Daulet Singh
Indian historian John Lall once observed, "Perhaps nowhere else in the world has such a long frontier been unmistakably delineated by nature itself". How then, did India and China defy topographical odds to lock into an impasse that was ultimately tested on the battlefield?

PART-II
1962 WAR: Leaders failed india
There was no institutional mechanism for decision-making on national security. Indian soldiers fought bravely but were let down by unspeakably incompetent generals and the political leaders that had assigned them the commands for which they were unfit
Inder Malhotra
SINCE the traumatic story of the brief but brutal border war with China is too well known, having been written in minutest details, and indeed is being retold extensively in the run up to its 50th anniversary there is no point repeating it here. Suffice it to say that whoever lived through it, as I did, hasn't forgotten it half a century later.

The Iron Man’s advice that went largely unheeded
ON November 7, 1950 – twelve years before the Chinese attack -- the then Home Minister of India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, wrote a 2,323-word letter to Jawaharlal Nehru, giving his assessment of the developments across the Himalayan frontier and cautioning Nehru about the imminent threat from China.

PART-III
No foresight, no planning saw defeat
Due to ideological, short-sighted and emotional reasons Chinese threats were either not accepted or under-played till Parliament and public opinion forced the government to adopt a military posture against China
General V P Malik (retd)
The India-China war in 1962 was independent India’s most traumatic and worst-ever security failure. The war has left an indelible impression on our history and psyche which impacts India-China bilateral relations. The resultant geographic surgery continues to fester in the form of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) till date. This October marks its 50th anniversary. It is an appropriate occasion to reflect on the strategic lessons from the war and our current politico-military status vis-a-vis China.

THE WAY AHEAD
India must match Chinese capability in the Himalayas
Gen VP Malik (retd) examines the future course of action.
After three centuries, China is enjoying the shengshi — a golden era, an age of prosperity. In the next decade, it would become the world’s largest economy — a progress that also reflects the rise of China’s comprehensive national power. On the defence industrial front, China has displayed exceptional pragmatism, self-reliance and pride.
A Chinese military garrison as seen across the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh. While China has developed extensive infrastructure enabling rapid mass mobilisation, the Indian side is bogged down by huge difficulties in logistics. Tribune Photo: Mukesh Aggarwal


PART-IV
Sidelining army was a grave error
An air of unreality surrounded India’s policy processes at that time relating to the higher defence management. It is unclear whether the Indian Army was consulted on the military and strategic implications of Nehru’s Forward Policy
P.R.Chari
Fifty years should be long enough to forget India’s humiliation in the Sino-Indian border conflict of 1962; but its traumatic memory still haunts the armed forces and informs the timidity of South Block in dealing with China. Hence, it is important to review the process of higher decision-making in the area of national security that evolved after Independence, but signally failed at that critical juncture.

PART-V
In Ladakh It was last man, last round
The 1962 war saw some decisive battles with troops displaying tremendous courage and some even going beyond the call of duty. Rezang La in the west and Tawang in the east are two prominent places where military history is etched in blood
Vijay Mohan
Razang La, at 18,000 feet across the cold, barren landscape of Ladakh, bears testimony to one of the most decisive battles fought against the Chinese during the winter of 1962.

Tawang: Saga of Chinese advance and Indian retreart
Ajay Banerjee
Flaws in India's 'forward policy' of locating troops north of the disputed MacMahon line, were exposed in Kameng frontier division of Arunachal Pradesh. Within days of the attack, the well-prepared Chinese had overrun the Indian defences. Thousands of Indian Army soldiers and officers were killed, captured or wounded while some even shame-facedly took refuge in neighbouring Bhutan.


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Re: Inder Malhotra's series on 1962 war

Postby kunalverma » 19 Oct 2012 10:25

Tomorrow at the crack of dawn, 50 years ago the Chinese 82 and 120mm mortars opened up in Nam Ka Chu. 281 men died. Most of them would have been in their 70s had they been alive today. In their eternal loving memory:

Major BK Pant; Capt GS Bhatia; Capt MS Mangat; Lt Subash Chander; Sub Ranjeet singh; Sub Munshi singh; Sub Har Lal; Jem Jagan Nath Bose; Jem Ghanshyam Singh; Jem Snehuneshu Biswas; Gem Gian Chand; Hav Clerk Raghubir Singh; Hav Awadesh Kumar Singh; Hav Tej Singh; Hav Darshan Singh; Hav Shankar Singh; CQ Hav Pankaj Kumar Das; Hav Suraj Nath Singh; Hav Sher Bahadur Singh; Hav Phani Bushan Nayak; Hav Nand Kishore Singh; Hav Bharat Singh; Hav Malkhan Singh; L/Hav Khem Raj; L/Hav Shishpal Singh; L/Hav Maharaj Bux Singh; L/Hav Sudhir Kumar Majumdar; L/Hav Laik Singh; L/Hav Ranjit Singh; Nk Jagpal Singh; Nk Phani Bushan Ghosh; Nk Krishan Pal Singh; Nk Amar Singh; Nk Sheoraj Singh; Nk Bhupendra Chandra Chaudhury; Nk Joybandhu Datta; Sep Dhara Singh; Nk Amullya Kumar Ganguli; Nk Barindra Kumar Biswas; L/NK Ram Dhan; L/Nk Zila Singh; L/Nk Tek Chand; L/Nk Tejpal Singh; L/Nk Chhotey Singh; L/Nk Ram Sundar Singh; L/Nk Clerk Bhagrawat Singh; L/Nk Fateh Singh; L/Nk Prithi Singh; L/Nk Ramsundar Singh; L/Nk Kailash Nath Singh; L/Nk Roshan Singh; L/Nk Sobaran Singh; L/Nk Raghuraj Singh; L/Nk Manvir Singh; L/Nk Harkaran Singh; L/Nk Shashadhar Roy; L/Nk Ashit Kumar Choudhury; L/Nk Om Parkash; L/Nk Nirmal Dutta; L/Nk Tej Singh; L/Nk Nimai Charan Mahato; L/Nk Bhola Nath Das; L/Nk Rabindra Nath Sarkar; L/Nk Amarendra Kumar Das; Sep Kump Singh; Sep Raghu Nath; Sep Mata Din; Sep Lakhi Chand; Sep Jag Pal Singh; Sep Madan Singh; Sep Jai Pal Singh; Sep Prem Raj; Sep Sudam Chandra Mukherjee; Sep Purna Chandra Nath; Sep Mewa Ram Singh; Sep Deb Narain Dan; Sep Ramadhar Singh; Sep Pat Ram; Sep Radhey Shyam Verma; Sep Bhawani Singh; Sep Halbad Singh; Sep Banarsi Das Kanishka; Sep Shiv Raj Singh Chandel; Sep Ravindra Kumar Pal; Sep Sohan Singh; Sep Shiv Charan; Sep Telu Ram; Sep Raja Ram; Sep Sohan Lal; Sep Anurudh Singh; Sep Gajraj Singh; Sep Gobind Singh; Sep Dhiran Singh; Sep Surendra Nath Malkar; Sep Pahalwan Singh; Sep Man Singh; Sep Cook Shiv Pujan Singh; Sep Bhagwaan Singh; Sep Cook Ram Lal; Sep Ramji Singh; Sep Sunder Lal; Sep Pankhi; Sep Cook Maharaj Singh; Sep Tilak Dhari Singh; Sep Munna Singh; Sep Anil Kanti Barua; Sep Ram Kumar Singh; Sep Ram Bahadur Singh; Sep Sanwal Ram; Sep Sawan Singh; Sep Brij Nandan Singh; Sep Chiman Singh; Sep Cook Ram Sagar Singh; Sep Hoshiar Singh; Sep Krishan Pal Singh; Sep Budha Singh; Sep Ram Prasad; Sep Parkash Singh; Sep Rohitas Singh; Sep Keshri Singh; Sep Munna Singh; Sep Gian Singh; Sep Bholu Ram; Sep Kali Charan; Sep Balbir Singh; Sep Tej Pal Singh; Sep Jagbir Singh; Sep Balbir Singh (2944670); Sep Uma Shankar Singh; Sep Kunjal Singh; Sep Harchand Singh; Sep Bahadur Singh; Sep Bhagwati Prasad Singh; Sep Dori Singh; Sep Mohan Singh; Sep Ram Kumar Singh; Sep Angrez Singh; Sep Bharat Singh (2945071); Sep Baldev Singh; Sep Dipak Kumar Das; Sep Guru Parsad Chatterjee; Sep Hira Lala Mandal; Sep SK Guha Rai Chaudhuri; Sep Prahlad Singh; Sep Nitai Charan Das; Sep Rakhal Chandra Barman; Sep Nripendra Lal Mitra; Sep Malu Singh; Sep Bhagwan Singh; Sep Ranbir Singh (2945550); Sep Bhanwar Singh; Sep Hem Singh; Sep Narotam Singh; Sep Sunil Kumar Sarkar; Sep Ajit Bhattarcharjee; Sep Nani Gopal Chakarvarti; Sep Jaidev Chandra Saha; Sep Narain Singh; Sep Kishori Singh; Sep Rajendra Singh (2945782); Sep Durvijai Singh; Sep Kitan Chandra Das; Sep Attar Singh; Sep Megh Ram Singh; Sep Kalhu; Sep Mahadev Ghosh; Sep Mam Chand; Sep Ram Chander Singh; Sep Om Dutt; Sep Laik Ram; Sep Sant Ram; Sep Gambhir Singh; Sep Nitai Chandar Das; Sep Ranbir Singh (2946258); Sep Raj Pal Singh (2946364); Sep Raj Pal Singh (2946365); Sep Ranbir Singh (2946366); Sep Jagram Singh; Sep Nand Kishore Pal; Sep Gopi Nath Dan; Sep Raj Narain Singh; Sep Dev Singh; Sep Ramesh Singh; Sep Sukhraj Singh; Sep Syraj Mal; Sep Hara Kumar Dutta; Sep Atul Chandra Jalal; Sep Nani Gopal Majumdar; Sep Jagat Bandhu Mitra; Sep Rabindra Nath Chaudhry; Sep Bharat Singh (2946929); Sep Ram Narain Singh; Sep Sheo Narain; Sep Janak Singh; Sep Shiv Lal; Sep Sreenibas Goswami; Sep Parmendra Kumar Chanda; Sep Vinay Kumar Singha; Sep Cook Ranjit Singh; Sep Clerk Yash Karan Singh Kushwaha; Sep Gir Raj Singh; Sep Paresh Chandra Das; Sep Dalip Kumar Ghosh; Sep Narinder Bahadur Singh; Sep Ram Raj Singh; Sep Jatan Singh; Sep Dalip Kumar Mukerjee; Sep Ravindra Nath Bose; Sep Dinesh Chandra Chakarabarti; Sep Manik Chandra Kundu; Sep Ram Parksh Singh; Sep Dalip Singh; Sep Har Lal; Sep Virender Nath Chatterjee; Sep Mahindera Nath Naskar; Sep Hari Singh; Sep Santosh Kumar Chaudhri; Sep Kanwar Bahadur Singh; Sep Rajender Singh (2949302); Sep Subrata Narain Bhattacharjee; Sep Lilla Singh; Sep Badal Chandra Shah; Sep Nem Chand; Sep Ram Rikh; Sep Madai Kumar Biswas; Sep Chiranji; Sep Hirendra Chandra Acharjee; Sep Raghubir Singh; Sep Kishan Lal; Sep Bhura Ram; Sep Mathan Singh; Sep Sita Ram Rai; Sep Hari Singh; Sep Raghu Raj Singh; Sep Balbir Singh (2948486); Sep Munshi Ram; Sep Harbilash Singh; Sep Sher Bahadur Singh; Sep Gurpal Singh; Sep Sohan Pal; Sep Tara Chand; Sep Virendra Partap Singh;bSep Mam Raj; Sep Lukshmi Chand; Sep Bishram Singh; Sep Jagdish Singh (2948850); Sep Rati Ram Singh; Sep Sukh Pal Singh; Sep Samar Kumar Mukherjee; Sep Keshav Chandra Haldar; Sep Chittaranjan Das; Sep Nagendra Nath Das; Sep Rajendra Singh (2949158); Sep Parmal Singh; Sep Shiv Baran Singh Chauhan; Sep Raghubar Dayal; Sep Jagdish Singh (2949167); Sep Rajpal Singh (2949172); Sep Dina Bandhu Modak; Sep Jagdish; Sep Virendrapal Singh; Sep Sadhan Chandra Pal; Sep Bimal Chandra Paramanik; Sep Gauranga Lal De; Sep Ram Audh Singh; Safai Babu Lal (6402294); Safai Babu Lal (2930108); Safai Ram Lal; Barber Brij Nath; Washerman Khaital; Safai Mansha Ram; Safai Babban; Washerman Ram Datt; Masalchi Ganga Prasad; Washerman Mohan Baitha; Safai Ram Swarup; Barber Ganga Prasad; Safai Jaddu Behra; Civ Cook Prem Singh; Civ Cook Bhagat Singh; Civ Cook Babu Ram; Civ Cook Bahadur; Sep Mansha Ram

Names compiled from The Rivers of Silence (Maj Gen Ashok Kalyan Verma)

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Re: Inder Malhotra's series on 1962 war

Postby rohitvats » 19 Oct 2012 10:35

I think this needs to be linked here for people to understand what the Solider on the ground did to honor his commitment to the motherland:

Image

Image

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Re: Inder Malhotra's series on 1962 war

Postby harbans » 19 Oct 2012 12:20

Rohit Ji, thanks for posting. Last man, last round, to the bayonet...that should be text taught in every school book in India to every child that grows up. Major Pant should live forever amongst us. Glad you posted this.

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Re: Inder Malhotra's series on 1962 war

Postby ramana » 19 Oct 2012 19:01

SSridhar wrote:
Virupaksha wrote:I have a question which I cant wrap my head around. In late december 1961, in op Vijay, goa - we used the air force very much. An operation in which we lost ~35 soldiers. What happened within 10 months, that the airforce suddenly became "persona non grata" to Nehru when thousands of our soldiers got killed?

Virupaksha, there was a TV discussion yesterday where Gen. VP Malik said that GoI felt that using IAF in offensive ops would have escalated the conflict.



During kargil it was brought up in newspapers, mainly Hindu , that Swaran Singh had negotiated and agreeemnt with TSP in the aftermath of the 1965 war not to fly combat planes near the LOC by both countries. It was a hidden CBM from the public.

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Re: Inder Malhotra's series on 1962 war

Postby brihaspati » 19 Oct 2012 19:36

Even Krishna Menon's actual role should be explored more in - what is now so fashionable - "in a more nuanced way". We have repeated information that foreign policy and defence affairs were monopolized at their crucial levels - by the PM. Nothing moved at those levels without his direct consent, and as the bit from Parthasarathy shows - he demanded and made sure that all such relevant information and decisions were first cleared by him before they went out through the voices of his devoted minions.

Whenever there was blame to be apportioned from which he could not himself wriggle out - he would dilute it by cleverly using "we". Menon could simply be the front and cover behind which his own voice hid. The Chinese view of Menon appears to be that of a staunch insister on Indian rights to the territories - and something they blame on Menon as having broken the supposed initial attempts by Chen. Apart from Chinese potential deception about this, or misrepresentation, logically - they have no reason not to encourage Menon if Menon was really capitulating.

We should consider the very real possibility that - Menon was briefed and ordered according to a certain view and agenda by the PM, and was told to hold the fort publicly as it would be difficult for the PM himself to play around as and when necessary if the same policy was publicly connected primarily to the PM. Added to this, the insistence of the PM on having a direct finger in the pie in all decisionmaking - would keep Menon always on the edge and dependent and waiting for what the PM's weathervane at that instant pointed to. His swings and inconsistencies in that case would reflect the amateur foreign policy logicalities of the PM and their unreasoned or panicky swings.

Menon was otherwise quite an intelligent man - even if both he and JLN had interfaced with the British communist party at one stage. A little known fact worth remembering is that Menon had been in touch with the US establishment, all the while he was being thought of as a communist sympathizer.

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Re: Inder Malhotra's series on 1962 war

Postby Sushupti » 19 Oct 2012 19:53

Nice debate involving Gen VP Malik, Parthsarathy, Ajay Shukla etc on NDTV.

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Re: Inder Malhotra's series on 1962 war

Postby brihaspati » 19 Oct 2012 20:26

But Gen. Malik was cut off at the last.

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Re: Inder Malhotra's series on 1962 war

Postby abhishek_sharma » 20 Oct 2012 07:28

1962, a different story

Clearing the air: Air Vice Marshal Arjun Subramaniam

The past as prologue: Inder Malhotra

Remembering the military debacle of 1962 is not enough. India must ensure its security from a fundamentally adversarial China

There are two reasons for me to add to the tsunami of words on the 1962 border war with China that ended in a military debacle and political disaster 50 years ago. One, I lived through the trauma my generation is unable to forget; and two, it is not enough to moan the past — ensuring our security from the fundamentally adversarial northern neighbour is more important.

The army chief, General Bikram Singh, is entirely right in declaring that China would never be able to repeat 1962. The Chinese learnt this as far back as 1967 when the Indian army thrashed them in a spat in Sikkim at Nathu La. Even sharper was the message in 1986 at Sumdourong Chu. General K. Sundarji, wrongly blamed for having “acted on his own”, checkmated Chinese designs without firing a shot. He let them sit pretty at a post they should not have set up and deployed Indian troops on surrounding heights. “We have reversed the Namka Chu situation,” he told me.

Today, the gap between Chinese and Indian power is much less than then, but there is no room for complacency. Economically and militarily, China continues to be far ahead of us. More importantly, it makes no bones about its “supremacy” in Asia. Its assertiveness about its claim on the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh verges on aggressiveness. However, to determine what we need to do to maintain our current confidence vis-à-vis China, it would help to look back on the dark days half-a-century ago.

At the root of everything going absolutely wrong was the woeful misreading of Chinese intentions. Inexplicably, Jawaharlal Nehru had convinced himself that while there would be border skirmishes, patrol-level clashes and even somewhat bigger spats, the Chinese would do “nothing big”. No one, not his civilian and military advisers, nor his inveterate critics, questioned this judgement. “Panditji knows best” was the governing doctrine.

The personality and role of Krishna Menon, defence minister since 1957, enjoying complete immunity for all his excesses because of being the prime minister’s “blind spot”, was the second cause of our humiliation. By insulting service chiefs and playing favourites in top military appointments, he had done incalculable damage to the cohesion and morale of the army.

A catastrophic consequence was that, after the decision to “throw the Chinese out of Thag La”, Menon gave overall command of the battlefield in the Northeast to his “hottest favourite”, Lieutenant General B.M. Kaul, a first-rate military bureaucrat but totally bereft of experience in combat. He then compounded this folly by insisting that the seriously ill Kaul, evacuated to Delhi, would continue to command the distant battles from his sickbed! Apart from Menon and Kaul, only three other men, all of them Menon’s acolytes — foreign secretary M. J. Desai, Intelligence czar B.N. Mullik and the defence ministry’s all-powerful joint secretary, H.C. Sarin — were allowed any say in the conduct of war. Had Mullik, instead of messing around with policy that was none of his business, done his job of collecting intelligence on China, the course of events might have been different.

Against this bleak backdrop, the India-China power equation is far more reassuring today and our intelligence has greatly improved. China’s deployments across the disputed border are much, much greater than India’s. But the Chinese know that India’s defensive capacity along the border is more than adequate. However, India has no offensive capacity while the Chinese ability to go on the offensive is ample.

Yet the possibilities of a Chinese offensive in the high Himalayas are considered remote, because unless Beijing can be sure of a full military and psychological victory, it would have no use for a military attack. And although Chinese infrastructure at the land border is superior to this country’s, they also have to take account of India’s maritime power in the Indian Ocean, through which pass the bulk of China’s energy supplies. They also have to worry about serious revolts in Tibet and Xinjiang.

In 1962, we did not have a clue to the thoroughness with which Mao Zedong and his top military and civilian advisers had planned the carefully calibrated, limited operation that they eventually delivered to “teach Nehru and India a lesson”. Nor to the skill with which he had turned the Sino-Soviet split (highly advantageous to India) upside down by using his foreknowledge of the looming Cuban Missile Crisis. At the regular, if informal, talks with the US at Warsaw, he had also secured America’s assurance that it would not “unleash” Taiwan on him, as Henry Kissinger has reminded us in his latest book.

This time round, the international power play is arguably to India’s advantage. Beijing dislikes the growing warmth between New Delhi and Washington. But it is aware that America has shifted the “pivot” from West Asia to East Asia or the Indo-Pacific region, as it is often called. China has tense relations with its other neighbours, such as Japan and South Korea, with whom we have good bilateral relations. China’s maritime claims in the South China Sea have caused deep resentment in Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei and so on.

Burgeoning trade and economic relations are a deterrent to belligerence because those who trade heavily do not usually trade blows. But then look at the extent to which China went in its dispute with Japan, though at the end both sides calmed down.

The one thing we have to worry about is the “gap in our defences”, of which General Bikram Singh spoke so candidly. We are dismally slow to fill these. The report of the Task Force on National Security has yet to be published. But, to the best of my knowledge, it has emphasised that “asymmetry in Chinese and Indian power” would expose us to grave danger.

Incidentally, the Chinese aren’t doing anything on the 50th anniversary of the 1962 War and have indeed been arguing with us that we should avoid scratching old wounds that have healed. They have no answer, however, when asked why they “keep observing the anniversary of Japanese occupation of Manchuria and of the Marco Polo Bridge Incident”.

The writer is a Delhi-based political commentator.

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Re: Inder Malhotra's series on 1962 war

Postby nvishal » 20 Oct 2012 09:34

1962: How China lost the battle for hearts

This is just f$king outrageous and embarrassing. I think i now know why the indian govt is withholding the release of 1962 war files. It's because of that idiot nehru. Releasing these files would show that he disregarded intel/warnings and later abandoned the locals to fend for themselves.

You don't need the indian govt to tell us what happened. Just ask the locals.
1962: How China lost the battle for hearts

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By Ajai Shukla and Sonia Trikha Shukla
Business Standard, 20th Oct 12

It was the 19th of November, 1962. The sounds of battle were still audible, echoing through the valleys. The previous two days had been nightmarish for 9-year-old Phurpa Lhamu, an eruption of artillery and machine gun fire in the hills around the idyllic Sangti valley. Chinese columns were converging here, pushing back the Indian Army frontally. Simultaneously they were rounding the Indians, ambushing them from the rear and converting every bottleneck into a bloody killing ground.

Even more terrifying for Phurpa was the absence of the village youngsters, who the Gaon Bura (the village elder, referred to universally as GB) had rounded up and sent off to haul ammunition to the army’s forward posts. For three days and nights, almost without a break, they had ferried supplies to the Indian picquets at Thembang and Chhander. This had served no purpose; the advancing Chinese had blown away those positions in a night. And the retreating Indians had walked into their ambushes.

Peering out of her window in the early morning light, Phurpa saw two lines of soldiers, in battle fatigues, moving cautiously down the twin spurs that led down to Sangti. At first she assumed they were Indians but, as they came closer, she realized that they walked differently, more spread out and weapons at the ready. Even when they were in plain sight and she could see their Chinese features, the awful reality took some time to sink in: the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) was here in Sangti. The Indian Army was gone. Nobody knew, or was ready for, what might lie ahead.

As the Chinese crossed the Sangti Nala and approached the village, Phurpa saw the elders walk out to greet the Chinese, holding out khatas (white silk scarves) in the traditional Buddhist welcome. Phurpa could hardly believe her eyes. These were the monsters who, just three years earlier, had tried to kill His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Lhasa, causing tens of thousands of Tibetans to flee their homeland, passing through the Dirang and Sangti valleys on their way to new lives as refugees in India.
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But here the Chinese were, bowing politely and accepting khatas, behaving for the world like honoured visitors. And for a full month to come, they would continue to live in the area, cultivating the villagers, fetching water, harvesting crops and even holding feasts. But the PLA would never succeed in gaining the trust of locals or in becoming a part of their lives.

In all the writing that has come out of the 1962 war, and in the popular Indian imagination, that disaster appears to have unfolded in a freezing, uninhabited, high-altitude desert where a star cast of ill-prepared soldiers struggled manfully to implement ill-judged orders from misguided politicians and bureaucrats. This is true to some extent in Ladakh. But the North East Frontier Agency, or NEFA --- as Arunachal Pradesh was called in those days --- is also the story of an Indian people who were abandoned to the Chinese by the Indian army and administration that had neither the grit nor the capacity to stay with the people that they had made their own.

Forgotten in the shame of 1962 are the stories of the Monpas of Monyul; the Membas of Menchuka and the Mishmis of Walong. These are the only Indians who have lived under foreign occupation since independence.

And when Indians cringe at Nehru’s abandonment of Assam in the face of China’s advance --- his infamous response, in an All-India Radio Broadcast, was, “My heart goes out to the people of Assam” --- how much shoddier then was the treatment of NEFA’s people who did not even rate a pro forma mention.

On 22nd October, the Chinese swept into Tawang, quickly consolidating control over that densely populated valley. In a second offensive on 18-20th November, the PLA captured the areas beyond Sela --- the fertile Dirang valley, Bomdi La, the Rupa-Tenga valleys, Kalaktang, and all the way down to the eponymous Foothills, on the border of Assam. After declaring a unilateral cease-fire on the midnight of 20th November, the Chinese stayed in Dirang and Tawang till the end of December, governing Tawang for two months, and Dirang for a month. Simultaneously, the PLA occupied the Menchuka valley, and the Walong valley, along with small enclaves elsewhere. Here too, they governed till the end of December.
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Telling the story of China’s short-lived rule over these areas is not just an act of catharsis or self-realisation. It is also the story of India’s only real victory of 1962, where China’s spectacular military success was rendered meaningless by the refusal of NEFA’s people to warm to the conquerors or to succumb to their blandishments. In that war, as in those of the 21st century conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, victory was less about destroying military forces, than about winning the public affection.

The PLA had come prepared to fight, and also to win hearts and minds through a coordinated, made-in-Beijing, public relations campaign. This was uniformly implemented, down to the last phrase, across all the areas that they occupied in 1962. Our research across the Tawang area; in Menchuka, and in Walong and Kibithoo in the eastern corner of Arunachal Pradesh, finds locals recounting exactly the same phrases that the PLA soldiers used while dealing with the people of NEFA.

In the confusion of defeat after the Namka Chu battle on Oct 20, 1962, as Monpas fled Tawang on the heels of the army and the administration, it was easy to be overtaken by the fleet-footed PLA patrols. The Monpas who were caught, and those who stayed behind because they were too poor, old or infirm to leave, found the Chinese giving them a uniform message. Tashi Khandu, who went on to become an MLA in Arunachal Pradesh, stayed on in his village, Kitpi. According to him, the Chinese would regularly say, “Our fight is with the Indian government, not with the people of Tawang. Look at you and look at us: we are the same people.”

There seemed to be little recognition, or at any rate acknowledgement, amongst the PLA soldiers and apparatchiks, of the bitter anti-Communist feeling amongst the Buddhists of NEFA (and Chinese ingress was almost entirely in Buddhist areas). With the Monpas having actually seen the Dalai Lama pass through the villages of Tawang after entering India at Khinzemane in March 1959; and after hearing first-hand from Tibetan refugees about the PLA’s brutal subjugation; there were few Monpa buyers for the PLA’s simplistic thesis that the Chinese and the Monpas were one people.

But the Monpas’ inherent politeness, combined with a sense of self-preservation, held back the local people from countering the Chinese propaganda. As Phurpa Tsering of Dirang points out, “Our elders met the Chineses soldiers with khatas (silk scarfs), not because they were happy to see them but because they were community leaders, responsible for their people, who had to work with whoever was in charge.”
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Along with political commissars, the PLA contingents in each area were equipped with Monpa-speaking translators, usually Monpas from Tsona just across the McMahon Line. This made the locals even more suspicious of the Chinese. Tashi Khandu says, “Since they had translators, none of us spoke while the Chinese were offered tea. And when we spoke, we made sure we said nothing that would anger them.”

But the Chinese --- who favourably contrasted the Monpas’ cheerful cooperation with the sullen resentment that they continued to face in Tibet after the 1959 revolt --- believed they were making headway in winning hearts and minds. During the period of occupation, the PLA’s young soldiers routinely offered to help locals till their fields, harvest the crop, and even gifted them clothes. Leaving a vessel full of water on the doorstep of an elderly Monpa was another PLA tactic.

Even as the Monpas subconsciously rejected these gestures, there was admiration for the discipline that the PLA displayed, especially when contrasted with the unseemly flight of the defeated Indian Army. The Chinese would always dress smartly, and they would never ask the locals to work as porters, something that the Indian Army of that time regarded as a natural privilege. Although most of the Chinese soldiers were very young, not a single case was recounted of misbehaviour with Monpa women. Anything taken from the locals was scrupulously paid for.

But while generating respect, the PLA failed to generate trust. As the Chinese pull out neared, the PLA invited local notables for bara khanas (community feasts) in all the big villages. There was little choice but to show up, but as one invitee recounts, “We drank their liquor, but nobody ate their food. Everybody believed the Chinese were serving us dog meat”.



Poised to leave in December, before the passes were closed by snowfall, the PLA sent out a farewell message: “We are going now but rest assured, we will return. This is a part of China and we know that you are not happy with what the Indian government has done for you. But the Chinese government will be different. We will look after your interests.”

Lekie, who lives in Thembang village on the route of Chinese invasion, describes her response: “We were happy that China was leaving and that the government of India would come back. Even though India’s officials and army had run away we knew they would do good for us when they returned. But if the Chinese were to stay, we were afraid that they would kill us.”

Such steadfastness from a people who had experienced Indian administration for barely a decade, and who had very recently been abandoned, did not occur by accident. Its stemmed from India’s restrained and sensitive non-interference with local tradition, a policy backed by Nehru himself, his powerful tribal affairs advisor, Verrier Elwin, and a superb cadre of officers that was organised in 1953 into the Indian Frontier Administrative Service. The sophistication of this policy is reflected in an entry in Elwin’s diaries, which remarks on Nehru’s belief that this frontier was not necessarily India, but it could be made so.

That belief has been vindicated. The People’s Republic of China continues to struggle in Tibet, the underlying reason for China’s military attack in 1962. Notwithstanding India’s military defeat, Arunachal is today a full-fledged and enthusiastic Indian state and the only one amongst the Seven Sisters of the northeast that has never had a separatist movement. In 1962, the Chinese guns spoke, scattering the Indians. But the people of NEFA spoke too, and they have won India the war.

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Re: Inder Malhotra's series on 1962 war

Postby harbans » 20 Oct 2012 10:42

^ I will repeat this again. But Nehruvian Secular socialism was at the expense of negation of Dharma. No kind of feeling was prevalemnt in the bureacratic secular socialist establishment to the plight of those that fell to the inane Chinese Han Communist. The ONLY way out is again getting Dharma to center stage in the Indian Governance scheme of things. Only then will the feeling of kinship amongst all of us rekindle against the adharmic onslaughts. That kinship will not happen with narrow Hindutva, neither with secular socialism. Time to try what Rama and Krishna really fought for and exhorted others to follow and fight for..Dharma.

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Re: Inder Malhotra's series on 1962 war

Postby harbans » 20 Oct 2012 10:48

But the people of NEFA spoke too, and they have won India the war.


Vishal Ji thanks for posting that excellent article! So India did win the 62 War! :)

As for the Dharmic people of AP, my sincere regards and best wishes. May your culture bloom and blossom. May Dharma always prevail amongst you. We shall strive never again that any enemy of Dharma shall over run any inch of the sacred territory. We will get back Tibet once again too..under the Dharmic banner. The time will come.

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Re: Inder Malhotra's series on 1962 war

Postby suryag » 20 Oct 2012 10:59

Is there any possibility of VK being sold out? given he was a marxist to the core

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Re: Inder Malhotra's series on 1962 war

Postby wig » 20 Oct 2012 11:22

a tribune , chandigarh series on the 1962 war.

TODAY MARKS THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE SINO-INDIAN WAR
excerpts
Can india militarily take on china today ?
We look ahead and review the existing military capabilities of the two countries. On the face of it, the military balance clearly favours China, but in the improbable event of another conventional war, it would be no cake walk for the Dragon
OCTOBER 20, 1962 is not a date Indians would like to remember. During the 1962 border war with China, the Indian Army was far inferior and far inexperienced compared to the Chinese and also compared to what it is today. The Indian Army had then never really fought a full scale war, certainly not with a country of the size of China.

The Navy, equipped mostly with hand-me-down British warships, was far too tiny. Similarly, the Indian Air Force (IAF) comprised world war vintage aircraft.

Prior to Independence, the officer cadre of the Indian Army comprised junior officers with just one brigadier rank officer, later Field Marshal Kodanandra Madappa Cariappa, who in 1950 became the first Indian to become India's Commanderin-Chief of the Indian armed forces, a post that was later abolished. Army Chief. The Indian Army, raised entirely by the British colonialists, had fought under the command and leadership of British officers in various theatres overseas during the two world wars.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2012/20121020/edit.htm#10

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Re: Inder Malhotra's series on 1962 war

Postby nvishal » 20 Oct 2012 12:40

@harbans
Shukla is saying two opposite things:

1) Shukla says that indian politicians and bureaucrats were ill-judged and misguided

on the other hand he says that:
2) Indian politicians were aware that china would shoot her own foot(by invading arunachal)
--------

In simple words, the prospects of tibet willing to be under a han confederation has diminished considerably. The han will have to keep the region under a perpetual house arrest if they wish to administer it.

Image
Kashmir valley is 15,948 square kms
Xinjiang(red) is 1,660,001 square kms
Tibet(yellow) is 1,200,000 square kms

India has to keep its military in 16000 square kms of land
China on the other hand has to keep guard of 28 lakh square kms of land

Do you understand their headache?

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Re: Inder Malhotra's series on 1962 war

Postby D Roy » 20 Oct 2012 16:05

and that is precisely why they have some 1300 combat aircraft while we have 700. (yes these are closer to the real numbers not the PLAAF has xxxx fighters snake oil peddled by people with 1990s data.)

nor do they have 7000 operational tanks or e ~70 principal surface combatants. Many of the ships they call frigate we call corvette. And i don't think the Jianghu class can be used for anything but target practice.

neither do they have a 1.6-2.2 million army. The current size of their army is 1.25 milliom. Yes they have a PAP but that is also used for holding onto Tibet. Currently they have 400 thousand troops in the two MRs that border us.

and China has only 450-500 fourth generation fighters not 700-800. J-8II and J-7UPG do not a fourth generation fighter make. Even the first trance of J-10As cannot be called that.

Chicom has a much larger airspace to defend. They have far less leeway in moving their airpower around then we do. This was true of the soviets vis a vis the US as well.

Also, We have a number of bases which can take on Paki as well as Chicom.

Once we get to the sixty squadron mark ( yes I know Air Chief is talking about 42 by 2027, but that will change)

its curtains for PRC and Paki.

In fact chicom even now doesn't want to engage. and all this talk of BM attack is okay, but it will not be able to really dent our sortie rates. Yes I know about the RAND study etc etc.

the real threat from Chicom and Puki is on the nuke side. Indian planners understand this. Which is why India is moving towards full scale MAD symmetry and people like BK are talking about 'when' not 'if' wrt something.
Last edited by D Roy on 20 Oct 2012 16:42, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Inder Malhotra's series on 1962 war

Postby svinayak » 20 Oct 2012 16:29

nvishal wrote:@harbans
Shukla is saying two opposite things:

1) Shukla says that indian politicians and bureaucrats were ill-judged and misguided

on the other hand he says that:
2) Indian politicians were aware that china would shoot her own foot(by invading arunachal)
--------

In simple words, the prospects of tibet willing to be under a han confederation has diminished considerably. The han will have to keep the region under a perpetual house arrest if they wish to administer it. India has to keep its military in 16000 square kms of land
China on the other hand has to keep guard of 28 lakh square kms of land

Do you understand their headache?


This article is very important. I am delaing with Chinese Baptist who are working on Tibetian people.

Our fight is with the Indian government, not with the people of Tawang. Look at you and look at us: we are the same people.”

There seemed to be little recognition, or at any rate acknowledgement, amongst the PLA soldiers and apparatchiks, of the bitter anti-Communist feeling amongst the Buddhists of NEFA (and Chinese ingress was almost entirely in Buddhist areas).


THis is the same quote they used with the Tibet region and surrounding area.
Our fight is with the Tibetian government, not with the people of Tibet. Look at you and look at us: we are the same people.”
This is very critical that we understand what they did in the 50 years, PLA has raised its profile worldwide amd worked with the Baptist to go after all the people in the region. North East, Burma, Tibet, Bhutan are the target and effort is to create a large social movement and identity to have closer relations with mainland china. They have been persistent to focus on the image and culture after what they learned in 1962. But other foreign govts are with them and that is the most dangerous part.

This large scale social engineering has never been tried before in the world but what PRC is attempting to do in TIbet and other area is one of a kind. Without the people in their side no mil force can sustain for decades.

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Re: Inder Malhotra's series on 1962 war

Postby chetak » 20 Oct 2012 16:38

PoW in Tibet


By Maj Gen KK Tewari
Issue Courtesy: Uday India | Date : 19 Oct , 2012
On October 20, 1962, the Indian prisoners were marched along a narrow track across the Namkha chu (river); later we went up to the Thagla pass (about 15000 feet). On our way, we passed huge stocks of unfired mortar shells by the sides of our mortar positions, while on the northern side of the ridge, Chinese parties were still bringing up 120 mm mortars on a man pack basis.
In 1962, Maj. Gen. K.K. Tewari was Commander Signals of the 4 Infantry Division based in Tezpur, Assam. On October 20, 1962, as he was visiting his forward troops, the Chinese attacked India. He was taken prisoner and sent to Tibet where he stayed for nearly 7 months. He is today 90 years-old and lives in Auroville, South India. He spoke to Claude Arpi
After 3 days walk, we reached a place called Marmang in Tibet. From there we were taken in covered vehicles at night. During the journey, the Chinese tried to demoralize us; they would make fun of our army: “You do not even have cutting tools for felling trees. You use shovels to cut down trees.” It was true; they had seen our troops preparing their defensive positions near the Namkha chu. There were other remarks such as, “You people have strange tactics. You sit right at the bottom of the valley to defend your territory instead of sitting on a high ground.”
We arrived at the PoW camp located at Chongye [in Central Tibet] on 26 October and were accommodated in Lama houses which were all deserted although we could see some activity in the monastery above these houses on the side of a hill.
We were to spend over five months in this camp, located south west of Tsetang, off the main highway to Lhasa. The prisoners were segregated into four companies: No. 1 Company was all officers, JCOs and NCOs. Majors and Lt Colonels were also separated from the JCOs and men. No. 2 and 3 Companies were jawans of various units. No. 4 Company, consisted only of Gorkhas and was given special privileges, for obvious political reasons. Each company had its own cookhouse where the Indian soldiers selected by the Chinese were made to cook.
In our house, we were four Lt Colonels (M.S. Rikh of the Rajputs, Balwant Singh Ahluwalia of the Gorkhas, Rattan Singh of 5 Assam Rifles and myself), while John Dalvi was kept in confinement in Tsetang, a few km away from Chongye.
When we made representations to the Chinese that under the Geneva Convention on PoWs, officers had the right to be with their men, we were told quite bluntly that all these were nothing but imperialist conventions.
“Then why did you attack us on 20 October?” They would try to explain that India attacked first and the Chinese attacked only in self-defense.
I shivered through the first couple of nights but then had a brain wave. I had noticed a pile of husk outside. We asked the Chinese if we could use it. Luckily, they accepted, and we could use the stuff as a mattress as well as a quilt.
For almost a month after our arrival, we were not let out of the room. Each of these lama houses had its own latrine in one corner with an open but very effective system of soil disposal. Unfortunately, by the time we arrived, the `disposal squad’ of pigs had itself been disposed off by the Chinese.
There was an English speaking Chinese officer, Lt. Tong who was with us almost throughout our stay in the POW camp. He would come daily and talk to us individually or together. The theme of his talk with the POWs was monotonously the same: the Chinese wanted to be friends and it was only the reactionary government of Nehru, who was a lackey of American imperialism that wanted to break this friendship. “Then why did you attack us on 20 October?” They would try to explain that India attacked first and the Chinese attacked only in self-defense.
On 5 December, we were given for the first time some books and magazines to read. This consisted of Mao’s Red Book, some literature on the India-China boundary question and a few Red Army journals. But whatever they were, they were most welcome for me at least. There was something to do at last to occupy the mind. I took notes from the Red Book. It is a pity that our government did not read some of the Mao’s thoughts. I noted them down at that time: “Fight no battle unprepared, fight no battle you are not sure of winning” or “The enemy advances, we retreat; the enemy halts, we harass, the enemy tires, we attack; the enemy retreats, we pursue.”
Towards the end of December 1962, the Red Cross sent us one parcel each with two packets in it. One packet had warm clothes, a German battle dress, a pair of long johns, warm vest, muffler, cap, jersey, warm shirt, boots and a towel. The second packet contained foodstuff including a bar of Sathe chocolate, tins of milk, jam, butter, fish, packets of sugar, atta (wheat flour), dal (pulses), dried peas, salt, tea, biscuits, condiments, cigarettes and vitamin pills. It certainly was a very well thought-out list of items.
In the first week or so, the only available paper to write on, were some sheets of toilet paper in my para jacket pocket.
Perhaps to demoralize us, the Chinese would often play Indian music on the public address system in the camp. One of the songs which was played repeatedly was Lata Mangeshkar’s “Aa Ja Re-Main to kab se Khari Is par….” [Come, I have been waiting for so long] This would make us feel homesick.
With my habit of writing a diary, I kept notes as a POW also. In the first week or so, the only available paper to write on, were some sheets of toilet paper in my para jacket pocket. The question was how to keep these papers from being discovered by the Chinese. What I had done was to open the stitching on the ‘belt’ part of the trousers and then slide the folded papers inside. This was how my diary notes on toilet paper could be brought out to India.
One other episode of our stay in the camp is worth recording. One day, towards the end of our stay, at our request we were taken to see the palace and the monastery. It was a shock to see the palace with all the beautiful Buddha statues of all sizes and fabulous scrolls (tankhas) lying broken, defiled and torn and trampled on the ground.
On 25 December, we, the seven field officers were taken in one of the captured Indian Nissan trucks to spend the Christmas morning with Brig. John Dalvi at Tsetang. He was kept all alone and was comfortably accommodated. We had breakfast and lunch with him and were shown a movie. Dalvi had suffered a great deal mentally — being all by himself. He was now better.
In my opinion, the Chinese had prepared their attack for at least 2 or 3 years.
The first letters we received from home came only in the third week of February 1963. Some of us, including myself, received parcels of sweets too.
On March 26, we were informed that we would soon be released and taken for a conducted tour of the mainland China. Suddenly we became VIPs, though still held as prisoners. We were given various comforts and given new clothes and shoes.
Before leaving the PoW camp, we asked the Chinese to take us to the graves of our soldiers who had died in our camp. There were seven of them including Subedar Joginder Singh, who had been awarded a PVC. We were told by the Chinese that he had refused to have his toes, which were affected by frost-bite, amputated. According to the Chinese, he had told them that his chances of promotion to Subedar Major would be adversely effected if his toes were amputated. We were told that he died of gangrene.




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Re: Inder Malhotra's series on 1962 war

Postby pentaiah » 20 Oct 2012 16:58

My memory is God blessed
I remember even listening to on Air India and the dragon program to tell the nation what india was going through....
I was in Bombay Naval primary school in Colaba, and we used live in strand barracks...
Ten years later I read
Himalayan Blunder by brig. JP Dalvi who was pow
I read Untold Story by BM Kaul

My father always cursed JLN, Meanon,and Kaul who he called spineless political appointee

So many heros made supreme sacrifices even today as I type this my eye go moist and my mom donated two gold bangles to the National Defense fund.....

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Re: Inder Malhotra's series on 1962 war

Postby abhishek_sharma » 21 Oct 2012 02:39

Image

From the Indian Express

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Re: Inder Malhotra's series on 1962 war

Postby abhishek_sharma » 21 Oct 2012 02:40


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Re: Inder Malhotra's series on 1962 war

Postby Virupaksha » 21 Oct 2012 03:01

SSridhar wrote:
Virupaksha wrote:I have a question which I cant wrap my head around. In late december 1961, in op Vijay, goa - we used the air force very much. An operation in which we lost ~35 soldiers. What happened within 10 months, that the airforce suddenly became "persona non grata" to Nehru when thousands of our soldiers got killed?

Virupaksha, there was a TV discussion yesterday where Gen. VP Malik said that GoI felt that using IAF in offensive ops would have escalated the conflict.

Nehru didnt think that loss of 2 states was not "escalation" enough :evil:

well tells us all what that ****** thought India is.

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Re: Inder Malhotra's series on 1962 war

Postby ramana » 21 Oct 2012 03:17

Abhishek, Do us a favor and post the whole article with the link.

Thanks,

ramana


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Re: Inder Malhotra's series on 1962 war

Postby harbans » 21 Oct 2012 03:59

There is one very significant point about Indian militarization pre 62 on the Indo Tibetan border that analysts have a complete blind spot on. Not one article i have read has ever mentioned this major reason as a cause for military defeat.

Till Tibet was independent India bothered about manning and arming the Indo Tibetan border as much as it does the Indo Bhutan or INdo Nepal border today. In other words there were no plans to man it, to mine it to patrol it. Indians through centuries went to and from Tibet on pilgrimages and such without border controls much as they do with Bhutan and Nepal. Chinese aggression changed that cosy relation. After the aggression many left planners seeped in socialist values thought China suffered as a colonial underdog too and they would not even think of any militarization beyond the towns of Lhasa. Despite the fact the intelligence reports started to filter through that Chinese militarization and road making activities were on near border areas or finished, India did not stand a chance of completing any sort of infrastructure along the Indo Tibetan borders. The Inertia of a cosy border reinforced thinking China would never hurt India as India had recognized Chinese aggression over Tibet, Bhai Bhai and Indian feelings of goodwill to their fellow emerging nation were good enough to deter and keep the borders as they were for centuries.

Indian Foreign policy was propagating a live and let live approach. This assumed heavily that despite having completely different civilizational / Governance doctrines all nations could get along with each other. From India's part to prove it's sincerity Indian leaders like Nehru even contemplated not having an Army, thinking that would give confidence to any enemy that India was really not an enemy.

The realization NEVER struck analysts and GOI functionaries that to have cosy borders one must have civilizational and doctrinal continuity of some sort amongst the neighbors/ neighborhood. And India must diplomatically work and influence it's outlook in the neighborhood. As a policy it should have been clear where it does not work or we cannot change mindsets, a tough military presence and posture should have been in place. India on the other hand was completely ideologically blinding itself with 'non interference' in foreign affairs and intel reports on buildups near borders were ignored at a junior bureaucratic level many times.

While China had finished building roads and depots to most major border areas, India hardly came to know about these, and when it did, it was neigh impossible in terms of money and effort to build up infra to that scale in short time. To do that required policy changes and commitment at the highest levels which was completely lacking too because of ideological blindfolds our establishment had imposed on itself.

If we had realized this fact even after the obvious military setbacks in 62, we would have promptly built up and reinforced our northern borders, de recognized Chinese aggression of Tibet and started to honor HH the Dalai Lama officially. We didn't and continue to this day to try and appease the CPC.

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Re: Inder Malhotra's series on 1962 war

Postby ShauryaT » 21 Oct 2012 04:06


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Re: Inder Malhotra's series on 1962 war

Postby ramana » 21 Oct 2012 08:10

Guys I know a medic who fought in battle of Chusul and knew both Dhan Singh Thapa and Shaitan Singh.

Would you like to read his reminiscences?

He retired as a Brigadier in the Armed Forces Medical Corps.

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Re: Inder Malhotra's series on 1962 war

Postby Philip » 21 Oct 2012 13:34

Better late than never.Honouring the heroic victims and veterans of '62.In one respect,the very fact that we have cast aside our former "sweep under carpet" attitude to the events of '62,indicates a greater confidence in the Indian armed forces and steely will to ensure that like the famous US battle cry,"remember the Alamo!", "'62,never again !" will be our own battle cry for the future.

However,wish and will will also have to depend largely upon how well we build up our infrastructure this side of the LOC and establish a string of bases and forward positions as envisaged by many experts from Lt.Gen. Thorat downwards,along with the ability to see that all logistic issues can be smoothly achieved in a crisis.Lt.Gen Sinha (rtd) has also been writing some excellent pieces in the Deccan Chronicle on the '62 war which should also be posted here. The amount of media space being given to the '62 war is also remarkable,as it has clearly focussed the current and growing threat from the PRC,which is sabre rattling today in many territorial disputes,creating alarm all across Asia and the Pacific.We must plan and equip ourselves to deal for a two-front land war with China and Pak simultaneously,which will also be conducted in a third front at sea in the IOR and Indo-China Sea.

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Re: Inder Malhotra's series on 1962 war

Postby srin » 21 Oct 2012 15:28

Series of articles in Outlook

Including an interview with you-know-who who still has a you-no-poo problem - Neville Maxwell ...

British journalist Neville Maxwell is often excoriated for his evident hostility to the Indian narrative of victimhood in the 1962 war. But in the course of an hour-long interview with Kai Friese, he surprised his interlocutor with the force of his conviction, undimmed 50 years after the events, that India’s China war was a unilateral act of passive-aggressive folly by Jawaharlal Nehru’s government.

Readily provoked and eagerly provocative in conversation, Maxwell’s famous account of the conflict, India’s China War (1971), is not easily dismissed. It was widely praised at the time of its publication across an unlikely range of opinions, from A.J.P. Taylor to Zhou Enlai, and has the reputation of having eased the Sino-American entente of 1972. Even Kissinger, it seems, was a fan.

Given the close attention and enduring respect Maxwell’s book has received in such disparate quarters, ICW also deserves scrutiny as a master class in tone and for its marshalling of archival and journalistic data. Much of its force derives from the bald fact that it is built primarily on the Indian record—and thus on one nation’s dirty laundry. Given Maxwell’s own account, in this interview, of his conversion from a liberal anti-Communist to a frank admirer of Maoist China, he may well be accused of serial amblyopia. “Forget Maxwell!... Read ICW!” he hectored his amused interviewer—who has of course read the book (twice)—and has no intention of forgetting its author with whom he has threatened further skirmishes. “It will be a tutorial,” countered the veteran. Here, while the truce lasts, are excerpts:


It’s been fifty years since the India-China war, and some forty-two years since your book India’s China War came out, and in preparing for this interview I’ve been quite surprised at how many people have strong reactions to your book, and to you. And also at your strong feelings about the issue and about many of the characters. Can you start by telling me what led you to write the book and then talk about the reaction to it and your feelings—were you surprised?


The first point to make is that the Indian government was highly successful at disguising its actions during the emergence and development of the border dispute with China. A multitude of people were taken in and to my shame I was one of that multitude. During the 2 or 3 years between my arrival in India in late august 1959 and the mid-60s, I was one of those multitudes totally taken in by the casuistry and dishonesty and successful deceptions of the Nehru govt. When the penny began to drop and I saw how we had been misled, I saw it as my responsibility and guilty obligation to set the record straight. And accordingly, I exposed the deceptions and turned truth the right side up in ICW. I saw that book as a necessary rectification of a falsified record.

And I was astounded by the reception it received in India. I thought the government would be furious but I expected the Indian reaction to be rather as mine had been ‘Good god! How could I have been such a fool?’ Instead, 90% of the reaction, to what was actually a whistle-blowing attempt, was ferocious personal hostility to me and vicious attacks on the book as if it had been straight Xinhua, People's Daily propaganda. It was a deeply disappointing reaction. And I remain disappointed with those Indians who still harbour those reactions. The disappointment and antipathy is strongly mutual.

The book was banned in India was it not?


This is a mistake. It was never banned in India. It was published very bravely by Jaico. And sold out immediately. It was never banned. I’m working on a revised edition to be published by Natraj this year I hope.

Can I now return to the issue itself rather than the book?

Ok


It’s best remembered that there are two disputes. The first one was created by the British, specifically by a man called Olaf Caroe in the mid 1930s. When he resurrected the idea of annexing a swathe of Chinese territory in the Northeast, in order to give India what in the 19th and early 20th century was called a strategic frontier. A nonsensical concept in the modern age. At any rate the idea was to annexe a swathe of Chinese territory at the edge of the Tibetan Plateau. And the original 1914 attempt failed, it was a fiasco. And the idea was forgotten but resurrected by Olaf Caroe in the mid-1930s. So that India inherited a border dispute with China. It had been going on from the early 1940s when the British began to move into the territory they wished to acquire. And the Chinese government Complained and Complained and complained again at the British intrusions into what the Chinese regarded as their own territory. And not only Chinese but international maps all showed the international border at an alignment beneath the foothills. That was common ground between London, Delhi, Shillong, Nanking, and Lhasa. All five governments concerned knew the border lay beneath the foothills. But beginning 1940 or thereabouts the British began moving forward into that territory to acquire what they thought of as a strategic frontier. So that dispute was alive and kicking and it was the first matter to be addressed by Prime Minister/Foreign Minister Nehru when India became independent and he assumed those offices.

And at that point, fatally he made a profound political, diplomatic, psychological mistake. He came to the conclusion that provided India quickly made good that new boundary alignment, he could then say to China “Well that’s it, that’s our boundary, nothing more to discuss about it, it’s not open to negotiation, you’ve got to live with it.” An extraordinary misjudgement and the one that was to destroy him and to cost India, China, and Indeed the international community dearly.
That’s the first dispute, inherited by India, grossly mishandled by Nehru and alive and a curse to both countries today. Bad enough you might think but worse was to follow.

Nehru then used that same approach and applied it to the other sector of Sino-India territorial impingement, the western sector. And decided that this was not a matter to be discussed with China. The alignment of the Western border was to be ascertained by Indian enquiries into the record. By consideration of it’s own interests. And he and his advisors came up with an alignment far in advance of anything ever claimed by the British, an alignment that according to the sole objective Indian analyst of this period, Karunakar Gupta, was an alignment that lacked any foundation in history, treaty, or practice. AN alignment which claimed Aksai Chin.

Well up to that point, no great damage, no great risk. Because countries going into boundary negotiation will always go in with a maximum demand. They can retreat during the process of negotiation. Because to negotiate means to compromise. So up to that point no harm. But then again Nehru took this nonsensical absurd approach: “I won’t negotiate, I’ll tell them where the boundary is. Tell them “That’s our boundary. There’s no question about it, there’s no dispute, it’s non-negotiable. You must accept it.” Again you create a dispute and at the instant you create it you make it insoluble! An act of the greatest personal folly for which Nehru can never be excused.

You’re glossing a lot and you haven’t touched on the issue of China’s territorial instability and it’s absence from Tibet for long stretches of time and certainly at the moment of Indian Independence. I suspect Nehru made the mistake of dealing with the Chinese, when they arrived as if he was dealing with the Tibetans.


Well Nehru had been to China, he was fully aware of China as a separate state and I don’t think it’s appropriate to excuse this fundamental error as an attitude to Tibet. I mean even if he was dealing with Sikkim or Bhutan surely he wouldn’t say “I’ll tell you where your border lies and you’ll have to accept it.” The agreement of a formal boundary of two separate states requires agreement by those two states. One state cannot impose a boundary, unless it’s victorious in war. And yet India attempted to impose a boundary on China in the western sector and to force it to accept McMahon’s, Caroes’ alignment in the eastern sector. It was from the very beginning an approach which could lead only to conflict and in the last resort to war. There was no turning back. It was like a railroad with a single junction. A buffer at the end: War.


The obvious Indian response to that, at least as far as Aksai Chin is concerned is that the Chinese equally imposed their understanding of the boundary on India.

It would be quite false to say that China tried to impose anything. China said “this is our understanding of where the traditional and customary boundary in that sector lies and we would be very happy to discus it because you may have very different ideas, and between us we are sure we will find an alignment perfectly acceptable to both of us.” And this is an approach that they have applied with every one of their neighbours and they have a dozen mutually satisfactory boundary agreements to show for it. So I would not accept your statement that from the Indian point of view they tried to impose a border. They never did they never have, they never will, they are always ready to negotiate. And they will compromise and compromise provided that the compromising is reciprocal. So that any two groups of officials can easily find a mutually acceptable line in Aksai Chin. There’s one already, it’s called the MacCartney/MacDonald Line, and was proposed by the British in 1899.

Your contention that China will always be reasonable is contradicted by her ongoing maritime disputes with several nations. To some extent it seems that the focus has shifted to the Indian Ocean and China does not seem very tractable in it’s disputes there.


Point taken. Let me address it. Largely because of the Sino Indian dispute but also because of the Sino Soviet Dispute, China has the unearned reputation of being unreasonable and forceful in dealing with territorial issues. The opposite is the truth it has again and again shown a remarkable willingness to compromise, even on matters of fundamental principle. The Sino-Russian agreement is an example of that. And in the South China Seas again, China has been calling for individual negotiations with any of its rival claimants, none of them have agreed so far—not China to blame. But now, the United States has come steaming into the South China Seas, encouraging all other claimants, “Stand Up! Don’t negotiate, if it’s yours; act as if it’s yours!” Deliberately attempting to create anti-China attitudes. You must always recognize that when you hear of the ‘international community’ it often means the United States. Which is implacably hostile and would like nothing more than to see regime change in Beijing.

I don’t want to get too distracted from the 1962 war but it seems excessive to me to argue that all China’s maritime disputes in the IO/SCS have to do with American instigation. Surely all these nations: Vietnam, the Philippines, Japan, Taiwan, have their own interests at heart. It would be hard to make a case that Vietnam is toeing the American line.


I quite see that, so let’s not argue about that, Point taken.

To go back to Indian reactions to you and your book: you are also well remembered and a little notorious for your piece on the ’67 elections—it’s cited as a discussion point in school text books to this day. What is your assessment of that opinion of yours today? And also to connect back to 62, do you think that the Indian government was hampered in its conduct of both boundary negotiations and of the war itself by the pressures of democracy—something that China did not face. And did the experience of the war colour your opinion of the viability of Indian Democracy?


Apart from reminding me of a very foolish thing I wrote in an article—something I’m always open to accept—I don’t see any relevance between what I wrote in 1967 and my analysis of the Sino-Indian dispute. I do not accept that there is any connection.

To go back to your question was the Indian approach to the Sino-Indian border in some sense handicapped or distorted by the pressure of an aroused public opinion—that is, by it’s democratic nature?
That would be an easy cop-out. It doesn’t stand up. The enraged public attitude was the creation of the Indian government. The moment they began to accuse China of aggression, the Indian public became enraged. What people wouldn’t?

But analyse if you can what the Indians called ‘aggression’ when I say Indians I mean the Nehru government or let’s say Nehru. So Nehru gets his acolytes, “bring me a map! What should be our territory?” So they look at the books and they see what they would like, what they wouldn’t like, and they pick something far more extreme than the British have ever suggested to China and they say “Panditji, that’s where India’s International boundary lies”. And he says “that’s fine, put it on the maps and mark it as a full formal international boundary. There can be no further discussion or certainly no negotiation about that.” The next thing he finds out is that this new boundary includes thousands of Chinese; it’s Chinese occupied territory. So instead of saying, “well something must be wrong there”, he says “What! Chinese on territory that we have unilaterally declared as ours! —That’s aggression.”

If in diplomatic terms use the word ‘aggression’ that’s like putting your hand on the pommel of your sword. It’s threatening violent action. And the Indian government first used the word ‘aggression’ against the Peoples Republic of China in 1958 when they found a small Chinese/Tibetan outpost in the middle section of the frontier—Uttar Pradesh [Bara Hoti]—on Indian-claimed territory.

The point for Indians to keep in mind is that there is not and never has been a legal international boundary between India and China in any sector. The McMahon Line is not a legal boundary; it is an Indian claim line.

As it happens, until recently, the Chinese were eager to confirm that alignment and live with the McMahon Line provided only that India would negotiate it.

It is the Indian refusal to negotiate that created the boundary dispute, that makes it impossible to resolve it, and will make it always impossible until some Indian government appears, and as Gorbachev once did, says “we’ve got it wrong, you’re right. We’re ready to sit down and negotiate. Which doesn’t mean we’re going to give you territory but it does mean we’re going to discuss with you and argue with you over where the boundary should lie.”

The current LoC has been essentially stable since 1962, and I wonder whether either party really feels motivated to settle the dispute and whether it isn’t mutually or equally convenient to let it lie. Something both sides can occasionally finger each other with. For any Indian party in power it would be very tricky to enter into negotiations that would lead to altering the sacred map…


Part of the tragicomedy of the Sino-Indian dispute is that there was no real conflict of interest between them. The territory claimed by each was not in any way needed or desired by either. The only change was when Nehru put a claim on the map and pretended that it wasn’t a claim, that it was a formal international boundary! From that point on retreat became very difficult. And as you have just said it would be very difficult for any government of India to say “We and our predecessors have always been wrong and that territory which is marked as Indian on our maps is not in fact our territory, it never was and we never should have claimed it. And the maps should be quite different.” Terribly difficult to do now. Indeed, politically impossible. But the brighter side is that the present situation is fully acceptable to both parties. However when Narasimha Rao was PM with his very sharp Foreign Secretary, Dixit, he had the wisdom—unique—he is the only PM who’s ever tried to move towards settlement—to negotiate with China to achieve peace and tranquillity along the boundary. If such a treaty could be passed again, because that one has fallen into disuse, and actually be observed by India with the creation of an agreed line of actual control, which is a swathe of territory, 2-3km wide, not a precise line, a general line, with both sides saying ‘we’ll keep well away from that’ then you pacify the border and in 50 years a new government can say ‘What’s this? An old issue, of course we’ll resettle the boundary on the lines of the present line of actual control. But it’s got to be frozen for 50 years. And the Indian attitude is of constant wariness, anticipating aggression, always on the lookout for some sort of intrusion. A patrol! What are they after? And India is rearming in the border sectors, breaking the Narasimha Rao agreement, which was to keep military forces at a basic level. That’s been broken by India. India’s now openly building up its defence forces.
Surely the militarisation on this frontier is and has always been much stronger on the Chinese side?

I quoted the treaty signed with China, which provided that both forces would keep their armed forces to a minimum level and it’s not me saying there’s been a build up, and people in India have announced the build up. New squadrons of Sukhoi aircraft, new divisions being formed, sent up to the borders, that’s on the record. Why are you questioning it?

It’s all done in the context of the disputed border and India’s sense that in 1962 it experienced an aggression by China. Once that perverse falsification of the record is put aside, then the issue of Sino-Indian relations can be looked at honestly, and practically, rationally. So long as India accepts the Nehru falsehood, so long as that view is widely held in India, there will always be the risk of further hostilities.

It must be understood that India was the aggressor in 1962, and if you read carefully, India’s China War, even you will be convinced.

Don’t you ‘even you’ me!

I should have said, even the most committed Indian will be convinced and will have to say as I had to say once, ‘how could I have been such a fool? How could I have been so gullible when all the evidence pointed in the other direction, how could I write about Chinese aggression and report it in the Times. Disgraceful performance on my part.

I’d like to run a few names past you to which I’d like your immediate short response. Let's start with Jawaharlal Nehru.


I went to India as a profound admirer of Nehru. I had been reading his books. I had an experience in India before independence, as a boy, I had long been interested in India and I went to India with a profound admiration for Nehru, which I maintained as a foreign correspondent and twice president of the foreign correspondents’ association, I came into contact with him. As the Times correspondent I had some reasonable access to him, and my admiration for him didn’t falter. He was a very attractive personality; people liked him even when he was angry with them. There was a wide national affection for Nehru, and correspondents generally and I personally shared that view. I became quite fond of him.

And it was quite a bitter blow as I came to see how foolish he had been in his approach to China over the border. How irrational. And in a sense I cannot still quite understand the degree of irrationality. It was as if he sought, despite his feeling that there should be amity between India and China, it was as if he was driven by some subconscious force into deep hostility, and as if he even desired war with China. It’s an astonishing thing to say and many Indians will think there’s that mad ******** Maxwell again. But if you read the record, certainly B.N. Mullick, he discloses that Nehru told him when he first became director of the intelligence bureaus, “India has two enemies, one is Pakistan, the other is China.”
So maybe there was an underlying fear of China, and underlying jealousy which led somehow toward an unconscious enmity towards China, which could explain what is otherwise an entirely irrational policy maintained to the point of war.

Mao Zedong?

Mao’s attitude is now known. In the new edition of India’s China War I can quote him. And you can see the Chinese scratching their heads. “What on earth are the Indian’s up to? Why are they provoking us? They know we are stronger than they are militarily. They know they can’t defeat us. Why are they pushing us to war?” They are puzzled. And finally they accept it. “They have pushed us to a point at which we cannot avoid war.” Mao Zedong is on record saying, “well, they want war, we’ll give them war. We’ve fought Chiang Kai-Shek, we’ve fought the Americans in Korea. We’re not frightened of war.” And Zhou Enlai comes in to that conversation and says “yes, we’ve done everything we possibly can to avoid war, now we cannot avoid it, Nehru has declared that he’s going to attack us in our positions north of the McMahon Line. He’s made a public declaration. They’re building up their pathetically weak forces beneath Thagla ridge to attack us. Why should we wait to be attacked?

And indeed General Niranjan Prasad said exactly the same thing. ‘Nehru said he’s going to attack China and they’re certainly not going to wait to be attacked. You must expect a pre-emptive assault.’ Which duly came.

I was hoping more for your personal feelings or assessment of Chairman Mao.


I didn’t meet Mao Zedong. I replied to your question only by quoting to you what Mao Zedong said about the Sino-Indian dispute when war became inevitable. I have no other opinion of Mao, not having met him.

Krishna Menon?


Always got on well with him, very interesting character, very mixed up, highly westernized, very westernized Indian, very abrasive, didn’t like the military, though he was Defence Minister. Don’t forget that in that period, the 1950s, Congress people generally didn’t like soldiers very much. Didn’t like soldiers of the old guard. Soldiers of the Thimmayya generation. A bit too much the colonial sahib in manner. And they were therefore quite amenable, quite approachable, by a new type of soldier, of General Kaul’s type. So there was a division. And Krishna Menon’s weakness was that he liked to humiliate generals of the old school and was altogether too fond of and too open to persuasion by the generals who were known as the ‘Kaul boys’ in those days.

It was Maneckshaw who came up with that.


Yes, Maneckshaw’s coinage. A great soldier. Someone should write his biography.

I was going to ask for your opinion of Kaul next.


I’ve expressed my opinion of General Kaul in my book; I wouldn’t wish to do so personally.

Sardar Patel?


He died very shortly after I arrived. I never met him.

I think many Indians have wondered if things would have been different had Patel been around. He had a reputation as an Iron man, as more of a realist. Do you share that view?


The question to ask is not whether he would have been more of a realist. But would he have been less of an ass than Nehru. Because this was an act of folly. The way to a boundary settlement was open. The Chinese were eager to settle on the McMahon Line. Zhou Enlai came to India in 1960, begging for an agreement on the McMahon Line. But because of the idiotic Indian claim for Aksai Chin, this fanciful irredentist claim to territory that had nothing to do with India, boundary settlement became impossible. Would anybody else have been so foolish?

I fear that any Indian would possibly have been so because of perhaps this deep, deep national ill will towards China. It’s up to you people to explain, not me. I should ask you, why was it that Nehru followed such a course? Why did he destroy the friendship with China that he had said was so important for India? You tell me?

I don’t want to interview myself but I’m uncomfortable with the suggestion that there’s an inherent antipathy to China in the Indian nation state. Obviously we inherited the boundaries or frontiers of the empire just as the Chinese inherited…


No! Sorry! Sorry! Please! You did not inherit any boundaries...

I said frontiers!


Yes, frontiers but unfortunately the Brits left you with no boundaries. All of the successor states of the Subcontinent: India, Pakistan Nepal, Bhutan—they are all left with the task of settling the boundary. Pakistan did it, no great problem. Nepal did it; there was the makings of a great dispute over Everest but no dispute because they said, “oh all right we’ll divide it. You take half, we’ll take half. No problems. Boundary negotiation is not difficult if both sides seek agreement. It’s straightforward. It’s only if you refuse to negotiate that agreement becomes unreachable.

The last name I wanted to toss at you is Olaf Caroe.


Yes, he’s very important for India in this whole subject. It should be called the Caroe Line not the McMahon line. Because the McMahon Line never existed except as a failed attempt to trick China. But when Caroe picked it up in the 1930s, he had the drive and the force to convince those in Delhi and in London that the advanced border in the Northeast was of such strategic importance to India that the record should be falsified by forgery of the diplomatic record, of Aitchison’s Treaties, a new concocted version was produced and passed off to replace the withdrawn 1929 original edition—a crude diplomatic forgery. Skulduggery. And this was Olaf Caroe’s work. However the Brits were up to it, this was an imperial state. So Olaf Caroe is a guilty man. The very idea of a strategic frontier was out of date by the 1930s. Any sensible soldier will tell you if China is going to invade India from the Northeast the place to meet them and to resist them is at the foot of the hills. SO when the invaders finally come panting out of breath and ammunition, you can meet them from a position of strength. The last place, strategically, to meet the Chinese was along the McMahon alignment. Caroe is very much the guilty party in all of this.

It’s a piquant irony that Nehru didn’t like Caroe


He did not.

And he pushed him out of office, and yet he himself relies on a Caroeist position


The big question we will never know. I will never know, you may but I doubt it: will India ever open the papers from that period? The big question is at what stage did the Indian government become aware that the McMahon Line claim was based on a British diplomatic forgery. It became known around 1963 or ‘64 when an English diplomat discovered the forgery by comparing two volumes in the Harvard library. Until that point it was not public knowledge. But it must have been known in the Indian foreign office. Did anyone tell Nehru that the McMahon Line claim was based on a forgery? We won’t know that unless and until the papers of that period are made public.

Speaking of secret papers, I met your friend Brig. Gurbax Singh last week and the first thing he asked was, “Did Neville tell you how he got hold of the Henderson Brooks Report?”


I’ve never told anyone how I saw the Henderson Brooks Report. Gurbax certainly doesn’t know, and nobody ever will know!

I had to ask.


No worries.

To wind up a bit of a tangential question which emerges again from your reputation as an apologist for China…


I’m going to pick you up on that, because I have no reason to apologise for China in the Sino-Indian context. China is the aggrieved party. With the ‘forward policy’ India became the aggressor in 1962.

What I want to know is what your own attitude was to the Chinese entry in the early 1950s, into Tibet. Did you have any political or sentimental opinion on Tibet’s autonomy, suzerainty, sovereignty, nationality?


Like Nehru, I accepted that Tibet was part of China. I read a lot about Tibet and I found two different schools among the British who wrote about Tibet. I call them the ‘Aah! School’ and the ‘Ugh! School’. The Aah! School said this is Shangri La. What saintly people. The Ugh! School said what an appallingly ugly society, beastly feudal domination with a tiny oligarchy running the place with an oppressed and tortured serf population. Personally I found the Ugh! School much more convincing. When I finally got to Tibet I found no reason to change my view. I think that the old Tibet must have been a hideous society.

But don’t forget that when I transferred from Washington to Delhi I was very much the liberal anti-communist. I didn’t have much time for communism, very little interest in Chinese communism, nor much knowledge of it. I hadn’t begun to study it. I changed my view very much when I did begin reading about China and certainly when I went to China and I saw the extraordinary success of their basic needs development approach. Coming from India where there was so little progress in terms of development and amelioration of the condition of the poor, to go to China and find so much progress on Basic Needs was quite a big shock. A good shock I should say.
Well, It’s been a pleasure to talk, I’m sorry if I’ve been acerbic. I admit that it’s the right of anyone to say “Maxwell what a bloody fool you were to say that this is India’s last general election.” I heartily agree. But I wrote it, I can’t unwrite it, fortunately I was mistaken but it has nothing to do with my analysis of the Sino-Indian dispute. And Indians should just forget about Maxwell, just read the evidence, and one day, like him, you will say to yourself, “How could we have been such fools?”

Well I shan’t hold forth myself. My opinions are oddly probably less emotional than yours on this. I see the conflict as something between two parties who are out to get the best deal for themselves, almost a conflict between two egos. But I agree with you that negotiation would have been more sensible, possibly through a third party.

I don’t think that any Indian government could now negotiate. But what could be done is that the Narasimha Rao treaty could be revived and refreshed, and this time the Central Government could order, “Don’t get involved in arguing about 300 yards here or a kilometre there, agree and mark out a line of actual control. Make it a kilometre deep or five kilometres deep, so there’ll be no more friction on the border.” That’s what I would urge the Indian Government to do now: revisit the Narasimha Rao negotiations and implement it this time with the result that you get an agreed and marked out Line of Actual Control, no more doubt on either side where troops can or cannot go. That’s the way ahead, the only way ahead.

I think that things will stay as they are for a long time because the Map of India, the Image of India is an incredibly powerful icon…


Absolutely. It’s a false icon, a falsehood imposed on India by Nehru. He should never be forgiven!...Sorry!

That’s all right; all of this happened a year before I was born!


Exactly, and for me it is so vivid, every nuance of it I remember. I kick and kick myself. You see, I fear, I feel, that I did an injury to India. A deep injury. Had I been sharper, had I been quicker to realize what was going on, had I not been gullible, had not only the Xinhua correspondent but the Times correspondent been saying day after day week after week, “this will lead to war, India is mistaken, China wishes to settle, this is a false territorial claim.” To kick out the Times correspondent would have been very difficult indeed, I doubt that India would have done it. So I failed India. So did every other correspondent but I feel it particularly. Had I understood sooner, I could have saved these two countries from that hideous catastrophe of war. And ongoing hostility. And this false impression of India that they were the victims of Chinese aggression.

You must go to political psychoanalysis and emerge saying, “I now understand, India was the aggressor!”

Well don’t torture yourself too much, I don’t think any journalist could have made a significant difference.


It only needed one!





The context of Tibet annexation, building road via Aksai Chin (that was the original aggression sadly uncontested) - just see how he glosses over them.

The non-disclosure of even parts of HBB report to probably save the reputations of the dead-and-gone worthies of the day has resulted in understanding the 1962 conflict through the eyes of people like Neville Maxwell.

brihaspati
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Re: Inder Malhotra's series on 1962 war

Postby brihaspati » 21 Oct 2012 20:35

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2010-02-27/book-mark/28139705_1_mi5-high-commissioner-k-krishna-menon

What is most interesting is the cosy relationship which India established with British intelligence after independence. The relationship was forged very early in the day according to declassified documents quoted in the book. MI5 got a security liaison officer to be based in Delhi after the end of British rule. The secret agreement was agreed with the Nehru-led government in March 1947, a good five months before independence.

Soon enough, there appeared to be a convergence of interests between the newly-independent nation and its former rulers when it came to intelligence assessments. MI5 deputy director-general Guy Liddle and T G Sanjevi, the first head of India's intelligence agency, which was curiously called Delhi Intelligence Bureau (DIB), were "united in their deep distrust of the first Indian high commissioner in London, V K Krishna Menon, the Congress party's leading left-leaning firebrand," writes Andrew.

"We are doing what we could to get rid of Krishna Menon," Liddle wrote in his diary, about a man who, in Andrew's words, had a "passionate loathing for the British Raj which independence did little to abate" . How it wanted to "get rid" of the Communist-loving high commissioner is not clear. Andrew also reveals "plots" to kill Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi during a state visit to Britain in October 1985 were unearthed by MI5. "Good intelligence, combined with the arrest of Sikh and Kashmiri extremists, was believed to have frustrated plots to attack Rajiv Gandhi during the state visit," he writes.

It is for all this and more that we owe Andrew gratitude. He will be possibly surprised to know that India's PMO alone sits atop some 28,000 files which it refuses to declassify. A few years ago, it declassified 37 files dating back to 1947, up from a single file in 2005. It is a wonder that history gets written at all in India.


Can Maxwell saab speak about the post 1955 role of MI5 and its interfaces to China and Russia - please?

brihaspati
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Re: Inder Malhotra's series on 1962 war

Postby brihaspati » 21 Oct 2012 20:47

Most of what led to 1962, is hidden up by all four relevant parties - UK, Russia, China, India - government/states. USA was a secondary if not disinterested player. The roots of what happened can be traced out - to as early as 1937, when most of the elements of the future four-nation interface was forged. It involved vetting and selection of future leaders, with whom UK could work along and come to "understandings", fornation of close interfaces between respective intel services and structures. A single network coupled with subnetworks officially claiming loyalty to "independent" nations, would be an ideal mechanism to control and manipulate respective national machinery and publci opinion where legitimacy was concerned.

People inimical to British imperialist interests - in the event of actual world war through which Brits would be forced to adjust and deflate their imperial involvement because of exhausted economics, would have to be cornered, sidelined, or eliminated. Alliance with less conrollable nationhoods forged, and direct selectiona nd promotion of favourable and dependent leadership in countries more directly controllable - would have to be worked out.

All the networks had to be controlled in ways that would undermine US dominance and balancing - so that UK could play the field. A very easy way - is to feed "proper" information to sway decisions.


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