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Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Kaushal
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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby Kaushal » 27 Oct 2002 10:26

I have to collect my thoughts on this, but there is a tactical and a strategic side to the 62 war. The tactical side is the Aksai chin hwy. Clearly aksai chin saved the chinese some major headaches connecting tibet to Xinjiang.

On the strategic side , the Chinese felt more comfortable defending both Xinjiang and Tibet with the road in place. But maybe we are placing too much emphasis on the road, which the Chinese built simply because the Indians were asleep at the watch. Clearly the war was fought to divert attention from Aksai Chin to Arunachal.

Another point to note is that along the entire Himalayan range, the portion that India controls is not very much . There is J&K, where most of the Himalayas are not within indian controlled territory and there is Himachal and that is about it. Most of the Himalayas are in Nepal and TSP and yes in China. So if India yielded on Aksai Chin what little we had of the Himalayas was seen to be slipping away into Chinese hands. I guess that is the sense of the Great Game here. This is another reason why IG took over Sikkim. if you notice Deng was scornful to Henry Kissinger on the reasons for India annexing Sikkim (even to this day the Chinese deride India for it and do not recognize India's suzerainty over it.

On the whole by the time Nehru realized the situation it was too late , he had given away the store by agreeing to China's suzerainty over Tibet, for which we have to thank another one of JN's buddies KM panniker. Oh well , live and learn ...in this case a costly lesson.

Kaushal

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby jrjrao » 29 Oct 2002 02:23

The author actually means that Indians have been in denial...

Border on denial
A.G. Noorani
October 28

http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_92930,00120001.htm

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby Sunil » 29 Oct 2002 03:20

I fail to see the point of Mr. Noorani's article, everyone knows that Neville Maxwell's book is pretty much what the HB Report had to say.

Who is Noorani seeking to bring to account with the release of the HB report? Is Panditji still alive to answer any posers in the report? Is Sri. Krishna Menon around to answer the questions that will be raised by people after reading this report?

Sri. Kaul, Sri. Dalvi, Sri. Palit have all had their say. The great Sri. Praval has weighed in on it, and Sri. Ashok Krishna has offered insights into the matter. In case you missed it there is reams of stuff written about the matter by graduates in the military schools over the country. Barring the last category all the other books are available in libraries in India and can be purchased in Indian bookstores.

The population at large only knows that a pitched battle was fought in 1962 and that India was not able to protect its interests. I submit that the details of this are irrelevant to the bulk of India's population. If any of them choses to take a specialist interest in the topic then all the resources needed for this are available in India.

There is no doubt in my mind that Nehruji failed to size up Communist China properly and that strategic policy making was skewed. This is an impression prevailing the minds of most people who I have talked to about this.

What I can't understand who in the blazes is Mr. Noorani trying to educate by asking for the release of the HB report?

I am immensely grateful to Mr. Noorani for bringing to my attention this little nugget from Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Wang Yi in September 2001.

" China was not sure “if the Indian political establishment had arrived at a democratic consensus that would be required to sustain the difficult negotiations… I am not sure of the conditions concerning ‘mutual understanding and mutual accommodation’ is agreed to by Indian friends”.

Well my response to this is that Mr. Wang Yi Sir, when has the PRC reached a "democratic consensus" on anything? and more precisely what business is it of yours if India hasn't done so? with deepest regards Sir, Go suck an egg!

This imo is what Mr. Noorani *should* have told Mr. Wang Yi, but instead he chose to tell Indians this:

" And even if we are, our leaders lack the guts and the clout to put it through. It is not flattering to recall that precisely this taunt was cruelly hurled by Zhou to Nehru on April 20, 1963. "

Shame on you Mr. Noorani and shame on Mr. Wang Yi for conducting himself in a way unbecoming of a diplomat.

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby Sunil » 29 Oct 2002 03:46

> Neville Maxwell.

Mr. Maxwell was `hired' by people close to the government to write a version of the 1962 story that was to convey GoI's point of view. To this end he was shown the HB report and given access at a level that was unparalleled at the time.

The only problem is that when the Mr. Maxwell wrote the book it was quite obvious that he had been turned from his original purpose at the time. The establishment struck back, but the damage had been done. Mr. Maxwell is png in India.

Some of you may recall another person who has suffered a similar fate, but that is another story.

I see nothing to be apologetic about in the context of Mr. Maxwell. He got what was coming to him and whoever hired him got their due as well. As regards India's image and the PRC perspective, well look at it this way.. we have Mr. Maxwell to thank for Sumdrong Chu.

It simply went to their head.

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby Mohan Raju » 29 Oct 2002 04:21

Some of you may recall another person who has suffered a similar fate, but that is another story.
I think I know what you mean, and you're right, that is another story. :cool:

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby Manne » 29 Oct 2002 04:39

Originally posted by Mohan Raju:
[b]
Some of you may recall another person who has suffered a similar fate, but that is another story.
I think I know what you mean, and you're right, that is another story. :)

BTW, I could not find much on Sumdrong Chu. Can someone narrate ?

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby Sukumar » 29 Oct 2002 05:16

Originally posted by dsandhu:
The article regarding Rifleman Jaswant Singh of 4 Garhwal Rifles is pure bakwas , regarding his head bust etc.

Jaswant Singh was killed when he and two others attached a chinese machine gun position which was causing trouble on one of the flanks of 4 Garhwal rifles. These guys managed to put the chinese machine gun out of operation and while Jaswant singh was returing with the machine gun he was hit and died. A Naik the only survivor of the group brought the machine gun back to the Grahwal Rifles positions. Jaswant Singh won the MVC and the Naik got the VrC.

Indian are famous in making shrines and concoeting the story. this is one such example of the bakwas. There was no head chopped off and no bust made by the chinese. This fairy tale was started by the Indians only. There is also a fairy tale of two girls called Rupa and Sela associated with Jaswant Singh and the bakwas goes on to say that the girls fought and died with Jaswant Singh and in their memory the people named two places as Rupa and Sela.

[b] give us a break from bakwas like this


JAI HO![/b]
DSandhu, bakwas it is not - these legends and folklore go a long way in building the fighting spirit of the soldiers and exhort them to perform deeds of great valor in battle. All armies have them.

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby Bir Bikram » 29 Oct 2002 05:26

Is it true that India attacked china in the 1962 war? I thought it was china who attacked India first and India retaliated. I had a debate on this topic with a chinese guy but I was embarassed to see this <a href> http://www.rediff.com/news/2001/may/23spec.htm </a>. Is this true??? :confused:

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby JCage » 29 Oct 2002 05:29

Here we see the first victim of Neville Maxwell and Rediff mythmaking!Zindabad. :(

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby advitya » 29 Oct 2002 05:41

I have just sent rediff a strongly worded letter. Inundate the *******s with e-mail.

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby svinayak » 29 Oct 2002 06:11


" China was not sure “if the Indian political establishment had arrived at a democratic consensus that would be required to sustain the difficult negotiations… I am not sure of the conditions concerning ‘mutual understanding and mutual accommodation’ is agreed to by Indian friends”.

Sunil,
THis shows how the chinese have studied the fractured polity in India and are using it for their advantage. The chinese may want to influence the constituents to weaken any tough stand taken by the GOI. THis reading of the Indian polity is done by several large powers and also by our western neighbour.
The Indian polity was considered pretty mailable before the advent of BJP and after 1998 there may be many sceptics including the chinese.

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby svinayak » 29 Oct 2002 06:17

Kaushal, I have a potential question which I have been thinking for sometine.
Did Nehru know about the great game and did he figure out what would be India's role after 1947?

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby Bir Bikram » 29 Oct 2002 07:20

The link that I posted was shown to me by a Chinese guy. Is there anyway that I can prove to him that the author was wrong?

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby JCage » 29 Oct 2002 07:51

Originally posted by Bir Bikram:
The link that I posted was shown to me by a Chinese guy. Is there anyway that I can prove to him that the author was wrong?
You can tell him Neville dearest is a jackass and known as such in India.And that Rediff is not representative of India re:this war by any stretch of imagination.At least not sane India.

Point him to *this* site and the effects of Communist indoctrination might seep out.If not away.
http://sinoindianwar.50megs.com/

And perhaps the turds at Rediff would care to look at this.

http://sinoindianwar.50megs.com/cgi-bin/i/images/pics/modern_pics/ia_memorial.jpg

A monument dedicated to the fallen soldiers of the 13 Kumaon Regiment.
The inscription on the monument, right above the wreaths reads

*******How can a Man die Better than facing Fearful Odds,
For the Ashes of His Fathers and the Temples of His Gods*******

Regards,
Nitin

Kaushal
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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby Kaushal » 29 Oct 2002 10:18

Did Nehru know about the great game and did he figure out what would be India's role after 1947?

Acharya, The general supposition is that he was far too well read not to have known about it.From here on there are conflicting accounts. Some say he was as much a 'realpolitiker' as he was an idealist. My own feeling is that he was not schooled in military matters and geopolitics and his personal predeliction was 'idealist' in scope.

His non-alignment policy was certainly brilliant in the grandness of its conception but was poor in execution. I concede however given the arrogance of the west towards india in many matters, whether he had a choice of doing anything different. What i dont understand is the skepticism that he exhibited towards the west on the one hand while exhibiting a high degree of naivete towards China and even in the functioning of the UN.

Bharat Karnad's book gives a glimpse of Nehru more worldly than I have painted - this is Raja Menon's review (incidentally I have raja Menon's book on Nuclear strategy - it is pretty good)

"If one accepts Gandhi’s overarching philosophy as being politics, rather than idealism, there doesn’t appear to be any break between the Gandhian and Nehruvian eras. Karnad holds the view that Nehru plainly followed realpolitik, while simultaneously traversing the moral high ground purely as a stratagem.

If Nehru played a lone hand in realpolitik while seemingly travelling in the clouds, he must have had access to more information that was or is generally in the public domain. One such area is the supposedly smooth handing over of the control of the armed forces by the British to Indian officers, along with the hardware that was available. "

So the picture is murky. The 64 million $ question is why did he take the Kashmir question to the UN ?. if we have a complete answer to that we can unravel the mystery of whether Nehru was an 'idealist' or a 'realpolitiker'.

kaushal

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby Rishi » 29 Oct 2002 14:30

Originally posted by Manne:


BTW, I could not find much on Sumdrong Chu. Can someone narrate ?
BHARAT RAKSHAK MONITOR - Volume 3(3) November-December 2000



The Sumdorong Chu Incident

V. Natarajan



The Sino-Indian border has been a long and vexed issue and its role in the 1962 conflict needs no elaboration. Barring an armed clash at Nathu La in eastern Sikkim in 1967, the border between India and China (Tibet) – and specifically the ill-defined Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh/Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh - had remained free of any major incidents through the '70s and the early '80s. While relations between the countries remained frosty for the most part, official statements from Beijing and New Delhi professed a desire to solve the border tangle peacefully through mutual consultations. Beginning in 1981, officials from both countries held yearly talks on the border issue and these talks continued till 1989 [1]. The 7th round of border talks held in July 1986 was overshadowed by reports in the Indian media of Chinese incursions into the Sumdorong Chu valley in Arunachal Pradesh. This was followed by reports of large-scale troop movements on both sides of the border in early 1987, and grave concerns about a possible military clash over the border. While this incident raised the temperature in Delhi and Beijing for a while, it soon faded from the headlines, overtaken by other events in both sides of the border - Operation Brasstacks, Rajiv Gandhi's visit to China in 1988, and the Tianamen Square incident in 1989 among others.

This article is an attempt to piece together the events that occurred, beginning in the summer of 1986 at the Sumdorong Chu valley. A description of the initial incident is followed by the subsequent escalation in tension in early 1987 and the diplomatic steps taken to cool those tensions. In the concluding section, some speculations concerning the motives behind the actions of the two countries are examined.

The Incident: June - October 1986

Sumdorong Chu (S-C) - referred to as Sangduoluo He in the Chinese media - is a rivulet flowing north-south in the Thag La triangle, bounded by Bhutan in the west and the Thag La ridge to the north. On June 26, 1986, the Government of India (GoI) lodged a formal protest with Beijing against intrusions in this region by Chinese troops, that had occurred beginning on June 16. Beijing denied any such intrusions and maintained that its troops were in a location north of the McMahon Line (ML), while the official Indian stance was that the Chinese troops had intruded south of the ML. (The actual region of the incursion has been described as the Thandrong pasture on the banks of the S-C, and also as the Wangdung region - which comes under the Zimithang circle of Tawang district [2]). This region has been located to the north of the ML by outside sources [3,4], as also by independent Indian observers [5,6].

This region falls along a traditional route from Lhasa to Tawang - and from there to the Brahmaputra valley - and the nearby Thag La ridge had witnessed serious clashes in the '62 conflict. The area had been considered a neutral area by both sides since 1962/63 [5,6] and had not been monitored by India between 1977 and 1980 [4]. However with the improvement of logistics on the Indian side, the Indian Army sought to reinforce and strengthen forward areas in Arunachal Pradesh in the early '80s. Patrols resumed in 1981 and by the summer of 1984 India had established an observation post on the bank of S-C [5,6] – which apparently afforded a view of Chinese positions on the other side of Thag La [3]. This post was manned by personnel of the Special Security Bureau (SSB) through the summer and vacated in the winter. In June of 1986, when a patrol from the 12th Assam Regiment returned to the area, it found a sizable number of Chinese already present, engaged in constructing permanent structures [2,8].

Initial reports put the number of Chinese at 40 - some of them armed and in uniform - who were soon reinforced to a total strength of about 200 men. Statements by Indian ministers in the Parliament described the intrusion as being between 1-2 km deep as the crow flies, supplied by mules along a 7 km trail [2]. By August the Chinese had constructed a helipad and began supplying their troops by air. Regarding the Chinese presence as a fait accompli and to prevent further 'nibbling', the Indian Army began aggressive patrolling across Arunachal Pradesh at other vulnerable areas. In September ’86 – while under pressure from both the public and opposition MPs to adopt a strong posture - the GoI sought a way out of the crisis by suggesting that if the Chinese withdrew in the coming winter, India would not re-occupy the area in the following summer. This offer was rejected by China whose troops were by now prepared to stay through the winter. By September-October, an entire Indian Army brigade of the 5th Mtn. Division was airlifted to Zimithang, a helipad very close to the S-C valley. Referred to as Operation Falcon [7,9], this involved the occupation of ridges overlooking the S-C valley, including Langrola and the Hathung La ridge across the Namka Chu rivulet. (These ridges are to the south of Thag La.)

Escalation: October '86 - May '87

In October, the Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping warned N.Delhi that if it continued nibbling across the border, China would have to "teach India a lesson" [10]. This threat – identical to that made to Vietnam in 1979 - was conveyed by the US Defense Secretary during a stopover in N.Delhi from Beijing. The rise in tensions was not helped, when in December 1986, Arunachal Pradesh was made a full state of the Indian Union. This drew a chorus of protests from across the border and Indian reactions that any change in Arunachal Pradesh’s administrative status was an internal matter. The spring and summer of 1987 saw media reports of heavy troop movements on both sides of the border and the very real possibility of a serious military clash [11,12,13]. Deng Xiaoping's earlier warning was conveyed again on March - this time by the US Secretary of State. By spring '87, Indian and Chinese camps were right next to each other in the S-C valley [3,10].

China – which has always had a large military presence in Tibet since its occupation – was said to have moved in 20,000 troops from the "53rd Army Corps in Chengdu and the 13th Army in Lanzhou" [23] by early 1987 along with heavy artillery and helicopters. By early April, it had moved 8 divisions to eastern Tibet as a prelude to possible belligerent action [6].

Troop reinforcements on the Indian side – which had begun with Operation Falcon in late 1986 – continued through early ’87 under a massive air-land exercise. Titled Exercise Chequerboard, it involved 10 divisions of the Army and several squadrons of the IAF and redeployment of troops at several places in the North-East. The Indian Army moved 3 divisions to positions around Wangdung [14], where they were supplied and maintained solely by air. These troop reinforcements were over and above the 50,000 troops already present across Arunachal Pradesh [11].

Denouement: May '87 - present

Rising tensions were lowered after a visit to China by the Indian External Affairs Minister in May 1987, where both sides reaffirmed their desire to continue talks on the border issue and to cool things down on the border. In August '87, Indian and Chinese troops moved their respective posts slightly apart in the S-C valley, after a meeting of the field commanders. During the 8th round of border talks on November '87, it was decided to upgrade the talks from the bureaucratic to the political level. Following Rajiv Gandhi's visit to China in 1988, a Joint Working Group (JWG) was set up to discuss, among other things, the alignment of the LAC [15]. In 1993, an agreement was inked between the foreign ministers of the two countries on the reduction of troops along the LAC. It was decided to pull back from respective forward check posts in the S-C valley from a situation of "close confrontation" and in 1994, the Indian MEA described the situation as one of "close proximity" where the respective posts were 50-100 yards apart [16]. Following the JWG meeting on April 1995, the two sides agreed to a simultaneous withdrawal of their troops from the four border posts - two Indian and two Chinese - in the S-C valley [3,15,17]. As of June 1999, the valley was unoccupied by either army, and their respective posts in the area were close to a kilometre apart [18].

Conclusions

The initial incident at S-C valley, viz. the establishment of a SSB post in the summer of 1985, can be considered to be a consequence of the uncertain and disputed nature of the LAC. The Indian side has been criticized by some [5] for being the first to intrude in a neutral area, and the subsequent events characterized as a Chinese reaction to India's 'forward policy' in the early '80s.

On the other hand, there is no unanimity as to the reason an isolated incident on the border should have led to such an increase in tension in early 1987. Prevailing international and domestic developments have been suggested as possible explanations. The troop reinforcements on the Indian side in the later months - during Operation Falcon, leading on to Exercise Chequerboard - have been thought by some to be an Indian reaction to growing Sino-Soviet rapprochement in 1986 [1,11]. The Indian reactions were apparently to test the extent of normalization in relations between China and the USSR and its effect on the Indo-Soviet relations. Reiterating his analysis of the 1962 conflict, Maxwell holds India solely responsible for the escalation [12], claiming the incident to be Rajiv Gandhi's method of provoking a confrontation with China in order to unite the nation and facilitate the imposition of an internal emergency. Regardless of the plausibility of some the explanations offered, many observers are agreed on the effect of the robust military moves on the Indian side. It is believed that the Indian Army used the events through 1986/87 both as an effective palliative for the bitter events of 1962, and to demonstrate the difference in the ground situation since that time, to the Chinese military [6,19,20,21].

On Chinese motivations behind the escalation, the consensus view seems to be that it was part of a strategy of indicating that the border issue in the Eastern sector was far from settled. While the early border talks had focussed mainly on the Aksai Chin region and not on the Eastern sector, the mid-'80s saw a change in Chinese attitude. The Chinese strategy changed to linking the border issues in the Eastern and Western sector, and demanding matching concessions in the Eastern sector for any Chinese withdrawals in Aksai Chin/Ladakh, in contrast to the Indian position that the two sectors be considered separately. In this view, a Chinese reluctance to react to a strong Indian military presence near or over the ML would weaken their negotiating position.

While an exchange of maps of the LAC would be an essential step towards the avoidance of such incidents, and eventually to a resolution of the boundary dispute, there has been a marked Chinese reluctance to comply with this, even after several years into the multi-level border talks [22]. There have been some reports following President Narayanan’s recent visit to China, of the increasing likelihood of such an exchange, particularly in the "middle sector" (Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh) [24,25]. It remains to be seen if such an event comes to pass.

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby Manne » 29 Oct 2002 22:49

Thanx Rishi.

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby svinayak » 30 Oct 2002 02:45

The incident in Oct 86 to May 87 on the Chinese border should be taken with other developments elsewere.

Sept 86 - Operation Brasstracks mobalization starts and ends until May/Jun 87

Afghan War - Oct 86 - CIA upgrades the Mujahideens with Stringer II missiles with better success rate to down soviet aircrafts. AFter Oct 86 Mujahideen have upper hand in the afghan war and US and Pakistan set the terms for ceasefire with FSU.

August 87 - Pakistan indirectly announces that it has the Bomb.

Feb 88 - Pakistan signs the agreement for FSU troops withdrawal from Afghanistan starting from Feb 89.

1988 - India leases Charlie class nuclear Submarine from FSU.

May 88 - Gen Zia ul Haq dies in a plane crash.

Sept 88 - New govt of BB takes over in Pakistan

Sept 88 - PM Rajiv Gandhi visits China to set in process normalization of dialogue.

Feb 89 - The last soldier of FSU leaves Afghanistan.

May 89 - The first mass demonstration takes place in Lal Chowk Srinagar by the Kashmiri separatists and AK 47 is introduced in the Kashmir valley. The first victim of the terrorist bullet is a Kashmiri Muslim. The first victim of a rape is a Kashmiri woman.

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby Kaushal » 30 Oct 2002 06:27

http://www.hvk.org/hvk/

‘We were done in by Nehru’s stupid ideas’ (Interview with General D.K. Palit)
Author:
Publication: The Indian Express
Date: October 27, 2002
URL: http://www.indianexpress.com/full_story.php?content_id=12026
As Director, Military Operations, during the Chinese aggression in the autumn of 1962, Major General D.K. Palit, then a brigadier, played a key role. Speaking to Saikat Datta, he says he authored War in the High Himalayas, years later, as an ‘‘answer to the lies’’ that had been written about the war so far.


Q.: How do you look back on the Chinese aggression?
A.: We were not clear in our minds about what the enemy was like. Nehru had fixed ideas and was convinced that ‘‘Hindi-Chini’’ were bhai-bhai’’. So he never thought they would attack. We were amateurish and had never fought a war outside the Commonwealth. We were done in by Nehru’s stupid ideas.

Q.: At the Army headquarters, what was the atmosphere like? Today, historians say you, as DMO, had major differences with then army chief General Pran Nath Thapar on evacuating Tawang.
A.: When the Chinese attacked, Thapar said ‘‘let us defend Tawang’’. I told him that was impossible because it was on an incline. So we went to Nehru. But he just said, ‘‘I am not a military man, these are decisions you have to take.’’ We had several meetings and only Lt Gen Umrao Singh (commanding XXXIII Corp) kept saying, correctly, that we were not ready. He even asked me, ‘‘what is the chief doing?’’ I told him to go and ask the chief. He never went.

Q.: What was the relationship between the military and political leadership like? How much did Lt Gen B.N. Kaul’s relationship with Nehru affect the course of events?
A.: Thapar was a weak man and allowed himself to be pushed around by Nehru. To the Chinese, it was important to build a road from Sianking to Tibet. We should have let them and imposed a nominal rent. All the senior army commanders hated Thapar. He had no combat experience. Yet, he was appointed corp commander of IV Corp. Kaul was a good Chief of General Staff but had no experience of command.

Q.: Why wasn’t the Air Force deployed? Would it have helped?
A.: Someone wrongly advised the government not to deploy the Air Force as the Chinese would the attack Indian cities. But they did not realise the Chinese didn’t have air fields in Tibet so they couldn’t have done that. Had we deployed the Air Force, we could have hit targets in Tibet.

Q.: What did the 1962 war teach the military?
A.: The lessons are mainly related to the logistics of conducting a war. There was a time during the war when our troops had enough ammunition to fight just an hour’s battle. With no roads, we were dependent on air drops. The Chinese were by no means great tacticians and were even bunching up during patrols. But there were misconceptions that they came in waves. So, although the Indian jawan is a brave man, we simply ran away from Se La pass.

Q.: What about the books that followed the war?
A.: The government is yet to publish an official history of the war and the Henderson- Brooks report has been buried.

Most of the books were pieces of self-justification. There isn’t much in the Henderson-Brooks report. The government must publish an official account because the people have a right to know. I had to back people like Thapar and Kaul because I was merely processing the government’s instructions. But I wanted my book to be an answer to the lies and it’s all there.

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby Kaushal » 30 Oct 2002 06:52

The Confiscation of history
Author: Claude Arpi
Publication: Rediff on Net
Date: October 23, 2002
URL: http://www.rediff.com/news/2002/oct/23chin.htm
If someone asked me what is the greatest scam since Independence, I would have some difficulty answering. I might initially consider the 'Jeep case' involving Krishna Menon, or the smoking guns of Bofors.

But in the end, the one that I find the most stupid, and perhaps the most harmful to India's interests in the long run, is the confiscation of history by government babus under the Public Records Act.

These rules vaguely state that "unclassified public records more than 30 years old should be made available to any bona fide research scholar, but subject to such exceptions and restrictions as may be prescribed".

Because of the last part of the sentence, the people of India are today not able to know about their recent history. One of the main casualties is the 1962 war with China. As a sad result of this policy, the Chinese version of history is often prevalent, even in India.

A few weeks after the debacle of October-November 1962, Lieutenant General J N Chaudhuri constituted a committee to study the causes of the 'Himalayan blunder'. An Anglo-Indian general called Henderson Brooks was requested to go through the official records and prepare a report on the war. Sometime in 1963, the general presented his study to Nehru and a couple of his ministers. The report was immediately classified 'Top Secret'.

One can understand that at that time the prime minister did not want the report made to be public, as he may have had to take responsibility for the unpreparedness of the army and, most probably, resign.

The tragedy is not that the report was 'classified' in 1963, but that it continues to remain classified today. Forty years later, nobody has still seen the report. That is, except for one person: a British foreign correspondent named Neville Maxwell. The rumour is that a senior minister passed on the report to him.

Nine years after the war, when Henry Kissinger made a secret trip to Beijing to prepare President Nixon's visit to China in February 1972, he stayed five days in China and had a series of 10 crucial meetings with Zhou Enlai, the Chinese premier.

The transcripts of these talks, which were recently 'declassified' by the US administration, are mind- opening, particularly in the above context. Here are some of Kissinger's remarks to Zhou Enlai: "I read the book by Maxwell that the prime minister recommended to me last time, and it is our view, certainly at the White House, that the Indians are applying the same tactics to that situation as they did to you."

Kissinger refers to Maxwell's book India's China War, which shows India as an aggressive nation that bullied China during the 1962 war. Later in the discussion, the Chinese premier comes back to Maxwell's book: "We [the Chinese] understand best the traditions of India. After having read the book of Maxwell you also believe it [that bullying others] is the traditional policy of India."

It is amazing that Maxwell, thanks to the Government of India's propensity for secrecy, is the only person who has managed to see the Henderson Brooks report. Maxwell stated himself in the Economic & Political Weekly in 2001: "The report includes no surprises and its publication would be of little significance, but for the fact that so many in India still cling to the soothing fantasy of a 1962 Chinese 'aggression'."

Yes, the theory put forward by the Chinese and Maxwell is that the war was only due to Nehru's aggressive policy and China had no other choice but to launch a 'pre-emptive attack' on October 20 on the slopes of Tagla ridge.

Not only did India lose the Aksai Chin and other territories in Kashmir in the 1950s, but India became the bully, the 'expansionist' nation.

One can only be sad that 40 years after the event, the Government of India is still adding water to the Chinese half-baked history mill by continuing to hide what is most probably a quite insignificant report.

The burial of the Henderson Brooks report, however, raises several other questions. When one reads Indian newspapers, one gets the impression that the people of India (or at least the journalists of India) are greatly interested in history. For the past few years, not a day has passed without one comment or another on the history textbooks that have been revised by the NCERT; or the HRD minister who is supposedly spending his time 'rewriting' Indian history, or adding colour to historical facts.

But tell me, what is wrong in 'rewriting' history books when it is necessary? The great son of India, Gautama Buddha, once told his disciples: 'As the wise test gold by burning, cutting and rubbing it on a piece of touchstone, so are you to accept my words only after examining them and not merely out of regard for me."

As long as there is new information, new inputs or documents, history needs to be researched and researched again, in the Buddha's fashion. Is it not in the interest of a nation to know her past?

The great misfortune in the case of the 1962 war is that there is no will from the government's side to give the means to those inclined to do this research to obtain a truer picture of the past.

Personally, I faced a similar problem when I tried to research my two pet subjects: Tibet and Kashmir. Going through the painful exercise of trying to access some documents at the time of the Chinese invasion of Tibet (1950) was a nightmare.

At the National Archives of India, I was told that all documents for the NEFA area (which included Tibet and Bhutan) were 'classified' after 1913 and nobody could access them. For 'Gilgit area' [read Kashmir], the date is 1923. This colonial terminology gives an indication of the backwardness of the historical studies in India. Have not the British left India 55 years ago?

What about the famous 'Nehru's Papers'? They are kept in the Nehru Library by a private trust, chaired by the leader of the opposition, and you have to obtain her consent to see them. In any case, you cannot see them, as they are 'restricted'.

Only 'official' historians are able to study them. The very helpful staff can only tell you: "Sorry, sir, this is the rule." India must be the only nation where the prime minister's official papers belong to his family and not the state!

In my case it was even more stupid because most of the political files regarding Tibet from 1914 till as late as 1952-53 were freely available for researchers in the India Office Library and Records in London. The moral of the story: go to London to study Indian history.

Different reasons are given as to why historical documents should not be 'declassified'. The most current and irrelevant argument is that these old documents are of a 'sensitive' nature and their circulation may jeopardize India's security.

I believe that some years ago, a 'group of secretaries', the most dreaded order of the babu species, stopped the publication of the report of the 1965 war because: "it gave information about certain aspects of command and control." Luckily, a Good Samaritan managed to get hold of a copy and post it on an Internet site.

But something is even more incongruous. While the Government of India is holding the Henderson Brooks report close to its chest, a very historic international conference was held in Cuba recently.

Many will remember that the week the Chinese troops entered in the Northeast and in Ladakh, humanity was coming very close to its first nuclear war. This was the Cold War's climax: the confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union in Cuba over the installation of ballistic missiles targeting American cities threatened to degenerate into World War III.

To commemorate the stupendous events of the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban government, with the National Security Archive of George Washington University, organized a conference titled "The October Crisis: Political Perspectives 40 Years Later".

Some of the veterans who participated in those historic days were invited to discuss the conflict between Khrushchev and Kennedy.

During the last session of the conference, the participants, including Cuban president Fidel Castro and former US secretary of defence Robert McNamara discussed some newly declassified documents.

The documents show that the Soviet nuclear-armed tactical weapons in Cuba stayed there after the missiles were withdrawn, and may even have been intended for Cuban custody.

"Documents released today included verbatim Soviet records of the contentious meetings between top Soviet leader Anastas Mikoyan and top Cuban leaders, including Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, during Mikoyan's trip to Cuba in early November; Soviet orders first preparing the tactical weapons for training the Cubans and then, on November 20, ordering their withdrawal; and a prophetic summary of the crisis written by the British ambassador to Cuba, who predicted that the crisis could ultimately rebound to the benefit of the Castro regime and the long-term survival of Communism in Cuba," said a press release.

Some may think that Cuba is a totalitarian banana republic, but Fidel Castro did organise the conference and participate in it.

We cannot dream of such a debate in India today. Why? I have no answer.

We have in Delhi many universities, policy centres, think-tanks, a host of retired 'thinking' generals (as if the serving generals are not able to think). Why can't any of them take up the challenge and open a debate on what really happened in 1962? Many fields of research have remained untouched. To give a few examples:

* When was Aksai Chin really occupied? Why did the government react so late?

* The relation between the 1959 uprising in Lhasa and the 1962 war (one very symptomatic fact is that the Chinese followed the same route as the Dalai Lama took when he escaped to India in 1959) as well as the Panchen Lama's petition against the party in 1962;

* The importance of the split between Moscow and Beijing, which came into the open in October 1962; and Moscow's sudden change of stance vis-à-vis India in the midst of the conflict;

* The relation between the Cuban crisis and the 1962 Indo-China war;

* When did China prepare the 1962 operations and what were her real motivations;

* The internal political factors in China and Mao Zedong's own motivations (he was facing strong opposition from within the Communist Party after his disastrous Great Leap Forward and was sidelined);

* The reasons for the sudden unilateral withdrawal by the Chinese;

* The role of the Indian Communists during the war;

* The non-intervention of President Ayub Khan.

The recently 'declassified' documents available in the Russian, Cuban, and East European archives, as well as the already available materials collected by organizations such as the National Security Archives or the Cold War International History Project of the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars in Washington, DC, could certainly be of great help.

But is India interested? This seems to be the main problem. If the media and the public had made the same amount of noise for the Henderson Brooks report and other archival materials to be released as they have done for the so-called 'rewritten' textbooks, we would have had a truer picture of 1962 war history today. No harm in hoping!

(Claude Arpi, author of The Fate Of Tibet (HarAnand), which has also been translated into French, writes regularly for rediff.com)

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby daulat » 30 Oct 2002 20:38

a lot of readers on this thread are mightily perturbed about anyone claiming that India might have brought the 62 war on its own head. i too used to feel the same way... however, lets be practical, from the chinese perspective that is how they see things, we have to recognise that and understand what makes the chinese tick - or used to tick

the central issue ofcourse is the starting point. if our maps said x and theirs said y, then each of us can feel aggrevied if x=/=y whichever way round you look at it. we began with someone else's maps (the brits) and carried on from there

the big leap forward is that india and china can agree to the let the maps alone and move on with more mature issues

in 20 years time, the chinese might come back to the maps, or like britian and france or france and germany - they might forget about the whole thing (e.g. channel islands or alsace/lorraine) because there are other more important things to worry about - like trade, football, etc.

the same might happen in pakistan, assuming ofcourse that they can ever have a modern democratic civillian gov't...

i say, is that a squadron of pigs in F7's zooming by?!?!

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby ramana » 31 Oct 2002 02:05

Kaushal, When you are in B'Lore try to contact this gentleman....

10 April 2002
9.30 am.
NIAS Lecture Hall

Speaker: Mr Arvind Kumar
Title: Review on 'War and Diplomacy in Kashmir during 1947-1948'

Abstract

The recent revelations made by Sri C Dasgupta in his book 'War and
Diplomacy in Kashmir during 1947-1948' on the genesis of Kashmir problem
will be discussed and
analysed in greater detail. The talk will make a modest attempt in
analysing the following four major objectives of Dasgupta's work:

- Why India took the Kashmir issue to the United Nations;
- Why India did not carry the war into Pakistan;
- The reasons for India accepting a cease-fire; and
- The interplay between diplomatic and military developments.

The conflict, which broke out between India and Pakistan in 1947, was very
much unique in the history of wars in the twentieth century. It was a war
in which both the opposing armies were led by nationals of a third
country. It is pertinent to point out here that British generals commanded
the armies of the newly independent states of India and Pakistan. Hence,
it would be worthwhile to critically examine and review the role of the
British officers at the helm of the two armies and, in the case of India,
the British Governor-General, Lord Mountbatten.

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby JCage » 31 Oct 2002 03:12

Daulat,
No problem with the "it takes two hands to clap" theory or that border conflicts are inevitable-in a sense-when borders arent delineated.The thing is,Maxwell and co make it appear that India initiated the conflict whereas China played the cool headed chap....
This ties in what all the other propoganda stuff portrays-India as an opportunistic hegemon,etc.
Net,thats the crux of our dislike for Maxwell.

Regards,
Nitin

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby ramana » 31 Oct 2002 03:56

Nitin this strand that India is a potential hegemon and China a benign power runs thru the Western analysts mind since 1947. How did they come to this conclusion? And its negative impact on India thru the decades is a worthy topic.

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby svinayak » 31 Oct 2002 04:05

Originally posted by Nitin:
The thing is,Maxwell and co make it appear that India initiated the conflict whereas China played the cool headed chap....
This ties in what all the other propoganda stuff portrays-India as an opportunistic hegemon,etc.
The Indo-China war happened in 1962. The Henderson report was written after that around 63-64. Maxwell book was written around 1971-1972. Maxwell was introduced probably to the GOI but was really a stooge for the west; since the west knew that China knew about the west's hand in the war.
So the Maxwell book was used by the west/US to appease and get favor from China during the Sino-US dialogue initiated by Nixon administration. THis helped to create the perception of India as a hegeomon which is what China wanted to hear and get agreement from other powers. Russia sided with China in the 62 war since it need support during the Cuban crisis. Brahma Chellany has good report on that for the first time.

India was used as a scapegoat with the Maxwell's report. India was caught in a time of disadvantage which China used to the maximum effect.

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby JCage » 31 Oct 2002 07:24

Acharya ,
Thanks,precisely put.

Ramana,
I think that China has really hitched onto that "inscrutable orientals" bandwagon as far as perception goes.Western analysts-as far as the ones i've read-love to talk for hours about Sun Tzu and how the Chinese would win a war without fighting it etc.That basically,the Chinese are "chess players",not given to rash impulses or vengeful behaviour.Everything is portrayed in this light and in a few accounts ,even the Korean War or the Sino-Vn war are explained away in this light.
All this dovetails with the image-as perceived-of China being an ancient civilization and which operates by its own esoteric principles.Again Sun Tzu.Some western military analysts and their adoption of certain chinese military/linguistic terms-Gung Ho by the marines and the constant references to "winning a war without fighting it" make it appear that this *has* been the well reasoned Chinese strategy all along.

Also China-once the Russian Chinese detente ended and clashes escalated-became a prime ally in the war against the real communists in Russia.

http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/ops/war/prc-soviet.htm

All the more reason to depict China as a responsible power and not the real maverick.The official UN seat taken from ROCA and handed over to China in the same timeframe.

Also once ,China,with a bit of American prompting took on Vn in 79,i'd say they were firmly established as "ok" in some ways,with the Korean war memories banished.

In the meantime we were,in a sense,sticking it to the west and surviving to boot with NAM.One day with Nasser,buying Russian arms....certainly not "reasonable" by any means.

Also our bold steps to drive the colonials out,(portugese)also had a few repurcussions i believe.We were a bit too assertive for western taste.

Everything has been portrayed to suit this spin.65 as a military success for redoubtable pakistan(the western news accounts make one wonder..).

Assertive,in your face,Leaders like IGandhi on top of it,are still portrayed as hegemons by western analysts.
Whether true or not,a "lineage" is depicted all the way to RG getting involved in SLanka and how this was to avenge a snub(afaik this was what one *pdf said)wherein SL allowed overflight rights to PAF in 71.

Thats where Maxwell also nicely dovetails with the spin .Reasonable,massive China.Intemperate,immature India.Acharya has already noted how Maxwell's report is extensively used by both China(to explain their action) and the US(to agree and further assuage China).

Much of the US/Western writing is,i feel,written per what the bosses of the time,wanted to hear.Anything which might upset the applecart or
what they wouldnt like to hear ,is conveniently left out.No mention of powerplay in China,or that China is extremely capable of being nutty....nothing.No mention of how Chinese leadership have regarded India("artificial entity").

Pakistan has also freaked out due to the same.One Chinese article (Pladaily,iirc) referred to how Pakistan "used its good offices " to bring China and the US together.Apparently wrt Kissingers secret dash via Pakistan.So the Chinese have some historical affection in this regard for the Pakis and the Pakis have used it to the T.Again the Indo pak wars with Pak being iirc CENTO and the China US mediator have led to India being portrayed as undesirable and hence the need for it to be controlled.Also we have already seen that some western powers wanted paki goodwill in 47-48 itself in an effort to get to the CAR or the Arab community per se.

By being NAM,we ensured our survival and freedom from both powerblocs to a large degree;but also ensured our place as a nuisance to be dealt with or disparaged by the powerplayers of the west...thats the impression i get.

Also whats really ironic,is one of the reasons for Chinese ire -given in Chinese quotes re:62,is the involvement of India in the Khampa rebellion.Started by,motivated in large part by the US of A.At the end of the day,we were left with the war and the US smoothly moved on.

Net,apart from the geopolitic angle,China has also used PR beautifully.Note the interest in China as a "civilization" and the no. of instt dealing with the same,chinese studies..and the like.Many of teh so called experts are chaps with one book on China or running an obscure instt in some backwater,somewehere.Wonder who funds them...
There are panels and panels....
All we have is a few SAsian chairs..i mean the Chinese PR machine,is really huge.

Regards,
Nitin

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby daulat » 31 Oct 2002 14:57

Nitin - we seem to unintentionally cross swords on more than one thread! :)

I don't disagree with your perspective, what I am saying is...

1. so what if india is a hegemon, we should be!
2. so what if we were aggressive to china, we should have been (but more prepared first!)
3. so what if we are vocal about our status -we damn well should be

but lets understand where the dissenting opinion comes from and then be truthful about ourselves. if we were aggressive, then thats fine - we don't need to play the passive victim. we played our part in starting that war, fine - we made a mistake, we learned from it. next time we will be smarter - perhaps we have already demonstrated during the other incidents that we have been!

most of the writing reflects political priorities - i.e. US support for Pakistan hence India must be seen in a bad light, etc. etc. Appease China, therefore denigrate India.

It is our fault for taking their opinion seriously. The same applies to the numerous human rights abuses stories about kashmir

so anyway - although we may not be able to have a demilitarised tibet as a buffer, we absolutely have to keep the chinese in check in the indian ocean and focus on the greater strategic objective of economic development and eventual parity.

i feel optimistically that the chinese might even have seen the light about their misguided support for pakistan and might be moving towards a new realpolitik

the age of ideology is dead! long live practicality!!

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby svinayak » 31 Oct 2002 15:03

Net,apart from the geopolitic angle,China has also used PR beautifully.Note the interest in China as a "civilization" and the no. of instt dealing with the same,chinese studies..and the like.Many of teh so called experts are chaps with one book on China or running an obscure instt in some backwater,somewehere.Wonder who funds them...
There are panels and panels....
Nitin, This is funded by Chinese PRC govt and other sympathetic bodies( and by US during the cold war to beef up the image of China to deter USSR). The chinese learnt it from the US during the cold war about; how US made sure that the free world mattered and they are in the right side of history. ( Book: The cultural cold war).
THis think tank business has been perfected by the chinese very well in US and other influential capitals and used as a lobbying groups. The creation of China as a civilization is also recent and the homogeneous character of the population is also another creation of the PRC nationalist elite.

>>
China DID exist
as a state, but, NOT as a nation until the first few decades of the
twentieth century (all that stuff on the internet about the present
largest ethnic group in China (the Han Chinese) calling
themselves 'Han' from the time of the Han dynasty is a modern
nationalist Chinese invention. Till the time of Sun Yat Sen in the
twentieth century, China did not even have a name! Some websites
assert that China was named after the first dynasty, the Ch'ing or
Qin dynasty. This is true only in the sense that foreigners
recently (about the last three hundred years) started using that
name to describe that country). Chinese nationalists have successfully
created a national myth for China, in which past glories have been
extolled - and, very frequently, exaggerated - and the future is
gazed at with expectation. The cultural unity of China throughout
the ages has been stressed, and major differences (in spoken
languages etc) have been downplayed.
<<<

There are certain characteristics of a authoritarian govts which makes them to be manipulated like no other ones. PRC with acute sensitivity to 'loss of face' has been very well handled by US during the cold war. The collateral damage has been India.

All this dovetails with the image-as perceived-of China being an ancient civilization and which operates by its own esoteric principles.Again Sun Tzu.Some western military analysts and their adoption of certain chinese military/linguistic terms-Gung Ho by the marines and the constant references to "winning a war without fighting it" make it appear that this *has* been the well reasoned Chinese strategy all along.

This is part of the beefing up strategy. The indian word is 'maska polish'. This great desire by PRC CHina to be regarded high and respected ;and be one of the powers which will matter has been well exploited by US policy makers for a long time successfully. Overemphasis on certain civilizational doctrines and strategies are some of the methods used.

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby harishn » 31 Oct 2002 18:52

Daulat, something about u makes my Troll alarm go off.

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby Nikhil Shah » 31 Oct 2002 19:28

Wouldn't GoI coming out with declassification resolve all these issues? And why not? It has been 40 years...and I as an average joe expect my govt to provide me with factual details. I don't have time to research every single article and it is not my job to do so. So it does matter to me what happened and I EXPECT my govt to comeout with the reality.

What exactly is GoI trying to hide?

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby daulat » 31 Oct 2002 21:03

R Nathan : Daulat, something about u makes my Troll alarm go off.

not entirely sure what you mean by that, :)

but - my point is pretty simple: India is a regional power with aspirations for great power status. our smaller neighbours accept that more or less. two of our neighbours do not. one will drag us down into hell if they're going, the other will sit on the sidelines and smile inscrutably and stir up the smaller neighbours 'whenever, wherever' in more effective ways than Shakira, just to ensure that we do not challenge their own hegemony.

now if we are to rise to our potential, we have no option other than to deal with china from a position of strength. I do not believe that there will ever be a real war between India and China, but there will be plenty of conflict and contest - some played out by proxy some in international fora, etc. etc.

do not forget that the communist gov't inherited their foreign policy from the nationalist one, and they from the Manchu's and they in turn from previous dynasties all the way to Kubilai Khan. And this foreign policy (never officially rescinded) is along the lines of 'all lands from sunrise to sunset will pay homage to the great khan' else they'll get a kicking

this is the unshakable belief by which China claims Tibet and all its other disputed territories. Even when kings sent friendly tribute to the Emperor (not as vassals but as friends) the court recorded it as a submission from so-and-so king. this was then legitimised in the official record and then it becomes a fact and the chinese belive that this is so. this is the case for bhutan.

now what really bugs the chinese is that indian cultural influence is widespread in asia through hinduism and buddhism and they feel the threat of indian influence in many of the lands they see as their own sphere of influence. this to a large extent forms their emotional viewpoint of us, since they assume that like them - we too want our vassals to pay homage. they have not understood that we will not cross the boundaries of Bharatvarsha

so, they will strive to contain us, and unless we act to contain them, we will be pushed off our own spot. 90% of this war is fought in the UN general assembly and WTO and other fora, 10% of it is us needing to maintain a constant armed vigil along our northern border and a robust presence in the ocean

a bit like tigers peeing on trees you might say :)

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby Kaushal » 31 Oct 2002 21:57

daulat, agree with your diagnosis.

This has always been the conflict between India and China through the ages. India has always outscored China when it came to exporting civilizational values especially in SEAsia, but also in China proper. Even today Singapore(Sinhapura) looks more like an Indian city rather than a Chinese one (albeit a lot cleaner). In fact on my first visit to Singapore in 63, i couldnt tell it apart from madras.

China's impact on SEAsia was not significant inspite of the fact that they made many military overtures over the centuries. India got a bigger bang for the buck by exporting her values.

This process of Indianizing of SEAsia was interrupted in 1000 CE and over the centuries was impacted by the fact that India became progressively weaker and more fragmented (culturally speaking).

Crossposted from the GHCA forum

"I have been browsing an interesting book titled 'The Indianized states of Southeast Asia' by a frenchman by the name of G.Coedes (university of Hawaii Press, Honolulu,1964).

He traces the first instances of indian intellectual influence in South East Asia to the first centuries of the common era. He refers to most of the regions where indianization took root as 'farther India'.

Among the remarks he makes ;

"It is astonishing that in countries so close to China - countries that entered into commercial and diplomatic relations with her from the first centuries of the Christian era - the cultural influence of the middle kingdom has been insignificant, although it was intense in the deltas of Tongking and North Vietnam. We are struck by the fundamental difference of the results obtained in the countries of the far east by the civilizing activity of China and India.

The reason for this is the radical diffference in the methods employed by the Chinese and the indians. The Chinese proceeded by conquest and annexation; soldiers occupied the country and officials spread Chinese civilization. Indian penetration or infiltration seems almost always to have been peaceful; nowhere was it accompanied by the destruction that brought dishonor to the Mongol expansion or the Spanish conquest of Anerica. Far from being destroyed by the conquerers , the native peoples of Southeast Asia found in Indian society, transplanted and modified, a framework within which their own society could be integrated and developed."

The lesson is that Power and the means to project it across the oceans is important, a point not lost on the early military planners in the 50's, when they acquired their first aircraft carrier.That does not mean conquering countries or an irredentist impulse like that of China or Pakistan, but it does mean a robust military. In fact it was Nobel Prize winner PMS Blackett the british scientist, who convinced Nehru that India needed an aircraft carrier in the 50's. A civilization cannot last merely on the basis of civilizational values, as India has realized immediately after independence.

Kaushal

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby kgoan » 31 Oct 2002 22:07

Civilisational conflict eh? Well, as we used to say at high school, Poohbumduck to that.

Sun Tzu may talk about "defeating ones enemies without going to battle", but that's all it is, talk. As far as I'm aware, India is the only country to have comprehensively defeated and conquered China (and every other nation east of the Brahamputra) without firing a shot.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, look up "Buddhism"!

So if it comes down to a "civilisational conflict", China doesn't quite make it as "competition". The drones of the CPC are hardly anything to worry about.

Hollywood, you say? Oh really. Tell you what, look up the name "Rekha". (Hint, try the Guiness book of Records!!). As far as the Great Unwashed of Asia go, I'll bet on Bollywood to cr@p all over Hollywood and all the inscrutable Geriatrics in the CPC anyday. Only the HK film industry comes close.

The Indo-China dynamic will entail comflict, competition and cooperation on many levels over a span of decades. We've barely got started. It hardly calls for a chicken-little act just yet.

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby kgoan » 31 Oct 2002 22:19

Kaushal, we cross-posted, but I'm glad you added that post. There was an undercurrent to this thread that I wasn't to thrilled about.

I'm not having a shot at anyone or anything specific here, but when we talk about China this undercurrent always seems to be present, a litle niggling worry that seems to come across when China is mentioned.

Annoys the cr@p outta me. Funny thing, I used to notice the same thing 10 years or so ago when we (Yindoos all), would gather for various festivals and talk about "the West". This doesn't happen anymore. Don't quite know why. Nowadays China seems to have, via some unknown process of transference, become our bug-bear.

Don't quite know why there either.

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby JCage » 31 Oct 2002 22:50

Acharya,
Thanks for the erudite response.Food for thought indeed.The authoritarian regime and loss of face factor makes a lot of things fall in place!

Daulat,

No intention to cross swords per se. :)
Thing is,the mere size of India necessitates that our neighbouring countries are sometimes economically overpowered,and yell "hegemon" to get their own back.In turn the local politicos also use this concept as a warcry to rally their faithful ; one prominent example being Bangladesh and the anti-india feeling assiduously built up post 71.In such a scenario whenever India does try to portray its point of view in the international arena,there are inevitable cries of hegemon.If we truly were a ..,that would be another issue.But everything from Pak sponsored terror in Kashmir to Sikkim joining India is held up as proof of India's belligerence.Ie if India had not "illegally grabbed territory" J and K, Junagadh ,Hyderabad state..everything would be hunky dory.Comparisons are made to equate us and the unwashed in Pakistan on the same line by the Cohenista's.Large democracy,yes....but hegemon.Suffice to say,as long as this view is given credence,India does have a lot of ground to cover.International opinion however trite it may be does count to a degree.

The degree of influence that such think tanks may have on actual Govt decision making may vary,but it certainly hurts to be portrayed as a culprit deserving punishment,day in and day out via the efforts of sponsored authors,analysts and the like.

And this same propoganda is used to influence the general public in India itself !See Maxwell and Rediff linkup!
Now thats a bit too much,wouldnt you agree?

On the same lines,maverick decisions by China -on which international opinion and agreements may bind to a degree-ie nuclear weapon and missile proliferation is also glibly explained away by such terms.

India's efforts to dominate its neighbours has led to a "balance" through Chinese intervention.The frequently cited canard of the fake "stability" in South Asia and how it should be maintained ,also falls into this same category.This myth making is,to say the least,inimical to Indian interests!Whether it be purchase of a "force multiplier" or western nations winking at rampant and frequent nuclear and missile proliferation,under the guise of "stability" ;a balance b/w belligerent India and meek neighbours and the like.

KGoan,
The basic issue wrt China,is their arming Pakistan to the teeth.With Chinese weapons and making sure that its a rabid dog spitting,snarling,barking,clawing at India.This duplicity,part containment strategy,for lack of a better words,on the part of China will make sure we will always have to look upon Chinese intentions with a wary eye!

I have no doubts that if China does try a 62 ,we can hold our own and more ,this time around.Heck,we proved our point in 87.But the Chinese strategy is far more aggressive.They have gone so far as to spread the brahmastra around to lunatics,just to keep India a potential rival-at bay.With actions like these,who'd wonder if the word China elicits a suspicious look in India.

Regards,
Nitin

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby Richard Masterson » 31 Oct 2002 22:59

The religion of the Chinese, is it Confucianism, Taoism, or Buddhism ???
I asked my Chinese friend who lectures at an American University here about the Chinese religious beliefs, and he explained thus.According to my Chinese friend, the most important beliefs of the Chinese (in the ML, Taiwan, HK, overseas Chinese) and ,not including belief in communism, are;

Confucianism
Taoism
Buddhism
Christianity

If you visit a Chinese home, you will see his ancestrael tablet (Confucianism ) and various Taoist Deities. Hence Confucianism forms the core of the Chinese Cultural beliefs. Yes, there are some buddhist temples around, but the Chinese will visit the Budhhist temples only on the ocassions of the Birthday of Loed Buddha, "Wesak Day"

The Chinese have their own version of Buddhism, which is "Zen Buddhism"

Hence the Chinese belief in the "Trinity" of HEAVEN, EARTH and MAN. Heaven being the Universe, Cosmic, (religious, spiritual), Earth, being Mother Earth, our earthly environment, and Man, being his relationship to his fellow men , and his ancestrael worship.

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby daulat » 31 Oct 2002 23:00

I say again - China is the long term strategic threat for india, not to be over or under estimated, but to be dealt with. [its only the journalists who keep our focus on our 'tactical' problem in pakistan]. the 62 war was a rational outcome of one dimension of that threat/conflict - from a chinese perspective - they had to do it. we just didn't think that they would.

Civilisational conflict is what it partly is, a long term slow simmering one, unlikely to erupt into the spasms that we have with the ideological/civilisational one with extremist islam - since the latter are off on their own special trip.

i also believe that the solution to the indo-pak problem also lies in a different dynamic being achieved between india and china

if china believes that it no longer needs to directly compete with india in the military sphere on her borders (in the same way that the US and USSR were not overly hostile across the bering straits) and that the pakistani terrier has outlived its nuisance value, they will stop winding it up and pointing it at india

pakistan then has the chance (without a military and/or jehadi death grip) to start becoming a normal country and can have good relations with india

the big 'if' ofcourse is the military/jehadi death grip! and whilst uncle sam believes that mushy is the man, that will continue

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby daulat » 31 Oct 2002 23:11

nitin - my previous post missed your response by seconds so does not include your observations! i think you have summarised the situation well. western and chinese writers are always happy to denigrate india and therefore must be resisted as the running dog lackeys of the revisionist cliques that they are!! :)

popular western concepts of the two countries are that china is a strong powerful orderly nation, india is a weak wobbly corrupt place full of confusion and dirt. the west is happy to have poor countries ruled by dictators since it gives them a feeling of safety and control. big strong democracies are not as useful as weak docile ones, and a big powerful totalitarian regime with huge nuke missiles - well you just have to respect them dont you?

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby kgoan » 31 Oct 2002 23:17

Originally posted by nitin:
KGoan,
The basic issue wrt China,is their arming Pakistan to the teeth.With Chinese weapons and making sure that its a rabid dog spitting,snarling,barking,clawing at India.This duplicity,part containment strategy,for lack of a better words,on the part of China will make sure we will always have to look upon Chinese intentions with a wary eye!
[/QB]
Hey Nitin,

Jeez dude, don't mis-understand me. No quibble whatsoever about China being our real competition. My issue is the way we look at them.

Wariness is not what I'm talking about. It's the undercurrent of awe and defeatism that occasionally comes across in DDM stuff that p!sses me off. Not that it's anything specific. Just an attitude.

'Course maybe I'm reading too much into it. Too many in the West treat China as something "special". For the west, that's cool. Inscrutable orientals and all, eh. But for us to do that, is plain daft. Thats the crux of it really. After all, Chinese civilisation is based on Indian civilisation just as EVERY Asian nation is and just as European civilisation is based the ancient Roman and Greek civilisations.

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby ramana » 31 Oct 2002 23:54

To understand this bias of 'Western'(read Uncle's) minders one has to go back to the last century. The American experience with China was through the Mary Knoll missionaries, the trade missions. The US was the one that wanted equal access to all Western powers for the China markets. During the Boxer Rebellion it was the US troops that rushed to free the 'hostages' - with the Indian Cavalry regiments alongside! Ref. Battle Honors of the Indian Army.

The Mary Knoll missionaries are responsible for portrying a benign China which is being kept down by greedy powers. The brutal Japanese invasions did play a major role in forming the opinion of a 'bechara' China. I also dont know the role these worthies played in letting the Commies takeover. Sort of blood letting by medieval barbers to cleanse the system.

Lets turn to India. Post Independence the state was never expected to last. The big cards per uncle's think tanks were Punjab and Tamil pride. (How many know that the US Army had spent the last years of WWII in cultivating the Indian leadership for post Independence utility? And this was a covert op. Most of these operators became leading lights of the Uty think tank circuit and India 'scholars'.) The idea is these are somehow removed from Indian mainstream and could exert centrifugal tendencies which could be fanned to unravel India. When post Independence India rushed through the states integration which was quite bloodless- recall English Civil Wars, French Revolution, Bismark's completion of Napoleon's German integration, march of Russia etc. India not only integrated but brought in representative govt. This sent shock waves in the thinktanks about an expansionist civilizational power on the rise. All th ills of the Japanese during civil war- co-prosperity sphere etc were visited on India. This fear that India will swallow its neighborhood is cultivated in its near abroad to gain toeholds in the region- Sri Lanka, Nepal etc. Even the Pakis fear cultural assimilation with India.

So you see the Nixon-Chou dialog reflects these fears. True you may say India is not guilty of these charges. But these outside powers interpret every action by India in that light.
Also just because Indians are not in the know about JLN's true intentions and thoughts it is wrong to assume these outsiders didint.

I am still trying to get a copy of his article in Foreing Affairs written in 1937 prior to WWII. I have read his article in 1963 and those written by his daughter in 1977 on India's world view. What struck me about the 1963 article is that JLN thought the 1962 episode was a bump on the road and could be managed.

And also we really dont know what horse puckey has been fed by the Indian commies/lefties to their cohorts and vice versa. One of the most touching things is the CPI Marxist belief that the Chinese are just round the corner ready to assist them in capturing power.


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