A letter by sardar patel to jawaharlal nehru

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by sesha_maruthi27, Oct 31, 2011.

  1. sesha_maruthi27

    sesha_maruthi27 Senior Member Senior Member

    Aug 15, 2010
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    Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh(INDIA)
    “My Dear Jawaharlal” – Sardar Patel on China

    by Indian Army Fans on Monday, October 31, 2011 at 9:02am

    *** Excerpts from Sardar Patel’s Letter to Nehru on China dt. 07 Nov, 1950 ***

    My Dear Jawaharlal,

    Ever since my return from Ahmedabad and after the Cabinet meeting the same day which I had to attend at practically 15 minutes notice and for which I regret I was not able to read all the papers,I thought I should share with you what is passing through my mind.

    I have carefully gone through (all) the correspondence…but I regret to say that neither of them (our Ambassador and the Chinese government) comes out well as a result of this study…The Chinese Government has tried to delude us by professins of peaceful intentions. My own feeling is that at a cruicial period they managed to instil into our Ambassador a false sense of confidence in their so called desire to settle the Tibetan problem by peaceful means.

    There can be no doubt that during the period covered by this correspondence,the Chinese must have been concentrating for an onslaught on Tibet. The final action of the Chinese, in my judgement, is little short of perfidy. The tragedy of it is that the Tibetans put faith in us; they chose to be guided by us; and we have been unable to get them out of the meshes of Chinese diplomacy or Chinese malevolence. From the latest position, it appears that we shall not be able to rescue the Dalai Lama.

    Our Ambassador has been at great pains to find an explanation or justification for Chinese policy and actions. As the External Affairs Ministry remarked in one of their telegrams, there was a lack of firmness and unnecessary apology in one or two representations that he made to the Chinese Government on our behalf.


    …During the last several months, outside the Russian camp, we have been practically alone in championing the cause of Chinese entry into the UNO and in securing from the Americans assurances on the question of Formosa…In spite of this,China is not convinced about our disinterestedness; it continues to regard us with suspicion and the whole psychology is one, at least outwardly, of scepticism,perhaps mixed with a little hostility.

    I doubt if we can go any further than we have done already …Their last telegram to us is an act of gross discourtesy not only in the summary way it disposes of our protest against the entry of Chinese forces into Tibet but also in the wild insinuation that our attitude is determined by foreign influences.It looks as though it is not a friend speaking in that language but a potential enemy.

    With this background, we have to consider what new situation we are now faced with as a result of the disappearance of Tibet…Throughout history, we have been seldom worried about our North-East frontier. The Himalayas have been regarded as an impregnable barrier against any threat from the North.

    …We can therefore, safely assume that very soon they (Chinese government) will disown all the stipulations which Tibet has entered into in the past. That throws all frontier and commercial settlements with Tibet, in accordance with which we had been functioning and acting during the last half a century, into the melting pot.

    …Chinese ambitions in this respect not only cover the Himalayan slopes on our side but also include important parts of Assam. They have their ambitions in Burma also.

    …While our Western and North-Western threat to security is still as prominent as before, a new threat has developed from the North and North-East.

    Thus for the first time after centuries, India’s defence has to concentrate on two fronts simultaneously. Our defence measures have so far been based on calculations of superiority over Pakistan. We shall now have to reckon with communist China in the North and North-East, a communist China which has definite ambitions and aims and which does not in any way seem friendly towards us.

    Let us also consider the political conditions on this potentially troublesome frontier. Our Northern or Northeastern approaches consist of Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim, Darjeeling and tribal areas in Assam. They are weak from the point of view of communications.Continuous defensive lines do not exist. There is an almost unlimited scope for infiltration. Police protection is limited to a very small number of passes. There, too, our outposts do not seem to be fully manned. Our contact with these areas is by no means close and intimate.

    …I am sure the Chinese…would not miss any oppurtunity of exploiting these weak spots, partly in support of their ideology and partly their ambition. In my judgement, therefore,the situation is one in which we cannot afford to be either complacent or vacillating. We must ahve a clear idea of what we wish to acheive and the methods by which we should acheive it. Any lack of decisiveness in formulating our objectives or pursuing our policy to attain them is bound to weaken us and increase the threats.

    Along with these external dangers, we shall now have to face serious internal problems as well. Hitherto,the Communist Party of India has found some difficulty in contacting communists abroad, or in getting supplies of arms, literature etc.from them. They had to contend with the difficult Burmese and Pakistan frontiers in the East or with the long seaboard. They shall now have a comparitively easy means of access to Chinese communists, and through them to other foreign communists. Infiltration of spies, fifth columnists and communists would now be easier.

    …It is, of course, impossible for me to exhaustively set out all the problems. I have, however, given below some of the problems which,in my opinion, require early solutions, around which we have to build our administrative or military policy measures.

    A military and intelligence appreciation of the Chinese threat to India, both on the frontier and internal security.
    An examination of our military position and such re-disposition of forces as might be necessary,particularly with the idea of guarding important routes or areas which are likely to be the subject of di(s)pute.
    An appraisement of the strength of our forces and, if necessary, reconsideration of our retrenchment plans for the Army in the light of these new threats.
    A long term consideration of our defence needs.
    The political and administrative steps which we should take to strengthen our Northern and Northeastern frontiers.
    Measures of internal security in the border areas,such as U.P, Bihar , Bengal and Assam .
    Improvements of our communications,road,rail,air and wireless in these areas and with the frontier outposts.
    Policing and intelligence of frontier outposts.
    The future of our mission at Lhasa and the trade posts at Gyangtse and Yatung and the forces we have in operation in Tibet to guard the trade routes.
    The policy in regard to the McMohan Line.

    *** End of Excerpts ***

    * This letter of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel is excerpted from the book:”Makers of India’s Foreign Policy : From Raja Rammohun Roy to Yashwant Sinha” – by J.N. Dixit, published by India Today.

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  3. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Apr 17, 2009
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    And yet.........!!!!!!
  4. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

    Mar 24, 2009
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    We this is a known letter and I have used this in context in another active thread today.

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