How far India can tolerate Chinese aggression?

     How far India can tolerate Chinese aggression after 1962 war, stand off at Dokhlam in 2017 and the skirmishes at Galwan valley last year? The 1962 war, the skirmishes at Dokhlam and in Galwan valley put together has killed hundreds of brave Indian army men. And I am of the opinion that a friendly relationship and mutual cooperation will help both countries and the world around.
     On 5 September 2021, ‘India Today’ reported that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s approval rating remains highest among thirteen global leaders surveyed by US based ‘Global leader approval tracker morning consult'. The survey concluded that PM Modi is ahead of thirteen global leaders which includes US president Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. It is the same ‘India Today’ who conducted a survey called ‘Mood of the nation' in August 2021 and concluded that prime minister Narendra Modi’s popularity fell from 66% to 24% in one year.
     Back in 2010, Man Mohan Singh was the elected prime minister of India for the second consecutive term and had been in power for seven years, like what Modi is now. At that point of time, Man Mohan Singh’s popularity was fading. And it was the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, whose popularity was on a rise. So it should make us ask ourselves; is there any opposition leader like Rahul Gandhi, whose popularity is on a rise? The obvious answer is no. And that brings an end to any hope for better governance. This also means Narendra Modi’s popularity has gone down due to hardships faced by the people due to Covid-19, lockdown, economic slowdown, which is not a man-made calamity. 
‘Mood of the nation' survey results could be due to NDA government not meeting the expectations of the people, other than the anti-incumbency of those who voted against BJP and NDA in 2019 general election. Of course the public is not happy with price rise, inflation and the increase in cost of living, which is becoming unaffordable for the poor. It is needless to say that people are not happy with rise in fuel price and the essential commodities becoming unaffordable due to increased fuel price.

     India is a country, where there are several who got free LPG (cooking gas) connection, along with stove and cylinder through Modi’s initiative called PMUY (Pradhan Mantri Ujjwal Yogana). And many of them continue to use firewood for cooking, because they found LPG (clean fuel) expensive. They live on a very low income and are happy to use firewood, which is available freely in rural India. Such people and those who use LPG, but are not happy with removal of subsidy don’t understand ‘nation building’. The middle class of India, who are educated and follow news, as well as the intellectuals don’t understand ‘nation building', which makes the commoners pay exorbitant price for essential commodities and services like fuel, food stuff, railway platform tickets, etc.
     We all need to understand that our country along with the rest of the world has suffered economic losses and have lost several lives. It will take several years for our economy to get back to where it should have been, if we had a cure for Covid-19 without this lengthy lockdown. Every nation and it’s leaders should do whatever it takes to achieve economic stability, which is required to face another calamity like Covid-19.
Former president of America, Barack Obama once said while addressing Kashmir issue; ‘give space for peace'. If I am not wrong, he didn’t mean, ‘give peace a chance’. But back then the Indian leadership, political and economic condition was entirely different from what we have today. Now with a far better leadership, I am saying that a amicable settlement of boarder issues with China will benefit India a lot. Indian leaders should think of a permanent solution for boarder disputes at a larger interest. The stand off in 2017 at Dokhlam and the skirmishes at Galwan valley last year was actually an opportunity for Indian leadership to initiate talks with China, without attracting much criticism from the West. Even now, it is an option for Indian leadership, in the best interest of our country. Any criticism from the West or from within India will fissile out in no time. 

     First Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru is the one to be blamed for most of the issues faced by contemporary India. This includes boarder dispute with China, Pakistan and Nepal. Nehru’s origin was from Kashmir and pundit was part of his name too. But, he betrayed pundits as well as India with Article 370. Article 370 stopped people  from India migrating to Kashmir and Article 370 helped separatists to do ethnic cleansing of minority pundits from Kashmir. Article 370 made Kashmir a burden for India, until it was recently removed by present Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Even the credit for 14th August 1947 goes to Nehru, which present Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently asked the nation to observe as ‘partition horrors remembrance day'.

     China tried to solve the boarder dispute with India from 1960 till 1962. The then Prime Minister Nehru was not interested in an amicable settlement and was carried away by American advice through American envoy John Kenneth Galbraith, who made India run American war policy. India supporting Tibet Uprising and India giving asylum to Dalai Lama was intended to provoke China. This along with India’s defensive forward policy resulted in India/China war in 1962. India lost 1383 brave soldiers, who were ill-equipped and 1047 were wounded. Another 1696 Indians went missing and over 400 were taken as prisoners of war. India’s humiliating defeat brought an end to defensive forward policy of India. It also spoilt Nehru’s foreign policy with China and his stated concept of ‘Brotherhood’. Pakistan signed a boarder treaty with China, which India failed to do and the issue continued as a burden, despite the losses we suffered. 
The John F Kennedy administration called it, ‘blatant Chinese communist aggression against India’. Most of the wars on earth were fought for power, money and land and not for an ideology. India did not get help from both Russia and USA as expected, during war against China due to ‘Cuban missile crises’ in August 1962. The US air force flew in supplies to India in November 1962. By then China declared cease fire and neither sides wished to continue hostility. By 1964, China had developed its own nuclear weapon. America who discussed nuclear option in the event of another Chinese attack on India, reviewed their nuclear policy in defence of India. It took several decades for India to develop nuclear weapon and China neither provoked India, nor attacked. Yet we see China as a threat. Had there been a good understanding between China and India, then Pakistan wouldn’t have promoted so much of violence and cross boarder terrorism.

     I don’t understand the reason for the world looking at China as a threat. One would see the growing resistance against China and campaigns which tells people to boycott China and Chinese products. One will find documentaries, videos and news which shows China in bad light.
     Barack Obama cancelled his stay in traditional Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York after Chinese take over. 
India banning Chinese apps and former US president Barack Obama cancelling his stay in Waldorf Astoria hotel was to avoid possible espionage. But what makes the world say this? Hating China and Chinese products is nothing but jealousy. 

     Of course China has global plans and so does every other developed and developing country. China has invested across the globe. They are wealthy and are after business opportunity. China is not trying to conquer the world and is not interested in becoming the next superpower. China does not want such responsibility and are not ready to spend like American Aids. China spends in other countries, only if it helps them to make more money. China is a nation, which will reduce the value of their currency every now and then to make their business flourish. The West, including America is welcoming investment from China. China is not a threat to the world, other than the fact that they eat bizarre food, which creates dangerous viruses time and again. The international community should bring pressure on China to stop such things coming from their wet markets. And we cannot blame a neighbour who lends, for those needing money. We also cannot blame a wealthy neighbour for we not being rich.
A war with China is not an option for India. It is not an option, even after getting all 36 Rafales from France. Indian economy just cannot afford a war with China. Moreover, an all out war could mean mass destruction on both the sides, which will be bigger than the world war I and II. India shares 15106.7 kilometres of land boarder with it’s neighbouring countries. 
     Among them Pakistan is aiding and abetting cross boarder terrorism and are war mongers over Kashmir issue. The present situation in Afghanistan is volatile and can escalate to a situation like in Iran, Syria or Libya, which is not good for India.

Bangladesh does not have boarder issue, but are taking advantage of unfenced boarder for illegal immigration. Those illegal immigrants are real threat to India. Ministry  of Home affairs informed Lok-Sabha on 3 August 2021 about its plan to cover unfenced boarder which is about 24%. The proposed plan includes physical fencing and technology solution in the form of ‘Integrated Boarder Management System'. Nepal has already expressed their concern about disputed boarder with India. Dokhlam standoff and the skirmishes in Galwan valley last year talks about the hostile situation and the boarder dispute between India and China.

     China on the other hand is world’s best in economy and military strength. China has the capability to intercept even the most advanced missiles in India. Chinese economy will not suffer much, in the event of a prolonged war.
     So the best option for India is to initiate talks with China to settle the boarder dispute forever. It is not just few inch of land, India can actually give away a little more than few acers of land to China. India can generously offer land to China along the boarder, including in Kashmir for their ‘Road and Belt' initiative. The West, which is not happy with China’s ‘Road and Belt’ initiative, is more than happy to explore any business opportunity they get from China. Why can’t we create a situation where both Indian and Chinese army together will guard the boarder to stop infiltration, cross boarder terrorism and violence from Pakistan. It is possible, if both India and China has a common need, which is business. A comprehensive plan for trade, commerce and barter treaties. A plan for robust economic development of both countries than just allowing China to dump finished goods to India. India can benefit from large scale investment from China as well as industrial and infrastructure development.

      The world around is changing very rapidly and a road connecting most parts of the world will be an advantage for India as much as it is for China, who builds it. I understand and appreciate the sentiments of India. It is a sensitive topic. But what is the point in having a lengthy boarder around our country, where hostility and anxiety exists. The boarder which is not good for human habitation, the boarder where development and commercial activities cannot take place. Of course we cannot have commercial activities. So can we have our military bases setup? No, we can’t. It will raise tension in both countries. It will make us live in the shadow of fear. Dokhlam standoff is an example for this. Then how about making use of this disputed land for business purposes, which will benefit both the countries. There can’t be a bigger force on earth to defeat it, if it is India and China together.

      The opposition in India can blame Modi, BJP and NDA for such decision. But can they come up with a better plan, if at all they come to power anytime in the future? Nuclear deal is something which former UPA government could not sign. The left parties who were an ally, left UPA over Nuclear deal. Modi was abled to finish the nuclear deal with ease. Similarly, the entire opposition said that removal of Article 370 will bring the sky down. Now it is removed and Kashmir is returning back to normalcy. And the sky remains as it was.

     The West will not be happy with this article and it is not meant for them. However, you can expect a contrary version of this article (three paragraphs) on coming Monday, which is meant for USA and UK.


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