India – China Dispute: How Much to Disclose?

Latest incursion by Chinese in Yangtse and subsequent action by Indian troops have precipated a huge uproar in parliament and media, even more than what happened during Ladakh crisis, while the crisis in Ladakh was bigger in scale and scope than the Yangtse one? Why?

NewsBharati    02-Jan-2023 17:00:49 PM   
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So many politicians and journalists want govt to come out with every detail of current India China dispute, hot spots and friction points are around Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh. These hot spots may increase or decrease in numbers as the situation develops or unfolds in future. Situation may be a military situation or political situation or even global situation which can precipitate action by any side on the border. Indo pacific friction may precipitate action on India China border. Assuming that only China can do it will be doing injustice to out of box thinking of Indian Army as shown during the occupation of Kailash range in 2020 to outmanoeuvre Chinese.
India and China
Latest incursion by Chinese in Yangtse and subsequent action by Indian troops have precipated a huge uproar in parliament and media, even more than what happened during Ladakh crisis, while the crisis in Ladakh was bigger in scale and scope than the Yangtse one? Why? Simply because Parliament was in session or there are so many factors associated with it? Invariably Chinese will try to precipate the exposure of Indian fault lines when parliament is in session or when India has some emergency to attend. During Ladakh crisis, it was Covid which Indian govt was fighting and now govt is fighting with opposition demand to have more disclosures with Yangtse crisis.
So, what is that information which opposition wants about Yangtse crisis? It is being compared with 1962 war and defeat against China. Nehru allowed the discussion during the process of defeat against China and same analogy is being applied now. What was there for Nehru to lose even after defeat? Nothing actually? War was already lost. He came back with thumping majority in next elections. Can Modi afford to have that luxury? Who is watching more closely than even Indian public? It is China. Exposure of Indian fault lines is the biggest entertainment for Chinese govt and CPC, this is the moment of exploitation for them. Can you compare the situation with 1962? Chinese were on roll in 1962 and our political leadership and bureaucratic follies ensured that Indian Army faced the biggest defeat in its entire history. What Chinese want now? They want the opposition to blame BJP govt and in return they want Congress hammering by BJP for 1962 disaster. Indian Army will be hammered in the bargain , when the entire debate becomes part of social media. Who will be more comfortable? In India, invariably, public will not speak against its Army simply because it has earned its trust but one can see the changing trend now.
Manoj Joshi in his book on India China – “Understanding the India China Border-Enduring the Threat of War in High Himalayas” has blamed Indian Military leadership for Ladakh crisis”. Chinese must be elated with this book because it tries to sow the seeds of lack of trust in Indian public about Indian Military capability to defend the borders. Now, look at the Chinese, how much we know about their military position or political debates?
Practically nothing. Where are the opposition parties in China or irresponsible media to demand from the govt how many Chinese soldiers have been killed in Galwan or how many have been thrashed in Yangtse?
Can any military situation be defined as black and white only? Just look at the military history and you will find that facts are told only when it is required to be told and not for complicating the already complicated situation. No country jumps to the war without giving diplomacy a chance. It is the time for diplomacy to work to create space for peaceful solution of the problem. Diplomacy has to create space for Military and vice versa. Military created space for diplomacy by occupying heights in Kailash range against all Chinese and global expectations. There is no reason to believe that it will not do it again.
I see lot of statements by Congress and other opposition leaders accusing the government of being scared of Chinese. While it can be good rhetoric, fact remain that diplomacy has to be given the chance and more often than not, diplomatic cover is used to get your own military preparation in place. Its very easy to warn against Chinese aggression, very difficult to execute the counter plans. Nehru also ordered the Indian Army to throw out Chinese Army in 1962. What happened? It is always good to know your enemy and its capabilities and prepare accordingly. Parliament is not the right place to disclose your diplomatic and military plans. Opposition leaders should be wise to know that. They have to opt for alternative suitable platforms to do that unless they want Chinese to create more and more fault lines in our political milieu while cementing their own to the discomfort of Indian institutions and agencies.
Rahul Gandhi is critical of our foreign policy? It is laughable that Rahul Gandhi is trying to tutor a career diplomat like S Jaishankar inept foreign policy. While Rahul Gandhi can be credited for signing the wide-ranging agreement between CPC and Congress party on 7 August 2008, details of which have not been disclosed, nothing substantial has come out to prove his credentials as a diplomat, even when UPA was in power.
Rahul Gandhi claims that UPA did not allow China and Pakistan to come together against India? Does any body in his senses will believe that? Nations protect their national interest and execute plans accordingly. We can not allow the incidents like 26/11 to go unpunished just because it will allow China and Pakistan to come together. Balacot and Surgical strike against Uri Attack are prime example.
Its time for the opposition to align with govt of the day on foreign policy. Merely augmenting fault lines is not the right action. Time to get wise otherwise they will find themselves on wrong side of history as Nehru was found after 1962.

Col Virendra Kumar

Col Virendra Kumar, a Military Veteran with 27 years of Army , alumni of Pantnagar, IIM Bangalore , Symbiosis Pune ,wears multiple hats . He has got national and international exposure during his Army tenures and corporate stint with leading US MNC He is passionate about Military history , Indian history , national and international affairs .