Jawaharlal Nehru pleaded for US help against China in 1962 Read more: Jawaharlal Neh

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by ejazr, Nov 16, 2010.

  1. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

    Oct 8, 2009
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    Hyderabad and Sydney

    NEW DELHI: Ironically, at a time when the US is said to be helping India emerge as a counter-balance to China, comes evidence that the fading superpower was of little value for New Delhi when it desperately needed help to keep the same China at bay in the 1962 war.

    While bringing back memories of perhaps the worst humiliation independent India suffered, the disclosure in the US of details of letters written by then PM Jawaharlal Nehru to President John F Kennedy seeking "comprehensive assistance" from the US against China shows the pragmatic dimension of his policy of non-alignment.

    According to reports, Nehru sought aid from the US in these letters, which have been made accessible by the JFK Library in Washington, in the form of air power including fighter aircraft and pilots to handle them and train Indian staff. While it was known even at the time of the 1962 war that Nehru had sought `general' help from the US, the extent to which Nehru had gone in seeking military aid was not known.

    The two letters are still classified by the White House and State Department apparently at the request of the Indian government. The Indian government in the past has denied existence of these letters.

    While seeking comprehensive aid in the second letter, Nehru said India had not asked for more help, particularly air power, because of "wider ramifications" and because it did not want to embarrass its friends.

    Admitting that Indians couldn't use air strikes against the rampaging Chinese army for fear of retaliatory action, Nehru went on to specifically ask for 12 squadrons of supersonic all-weather fighters and a modern radar system. He also mentioned that these aircraft would have to be manned by US personnel while the Indians were still being trained.

    Apart from it having the potential of embarrassing the Congress party, the disclosure has also been described by foreign policy experts, including former foreign secretary Kapil Sibal and former diplomat G Parthasarathy, as a clear case of US letting India down badly. "What has come out is factually correct. These facts came out after the event too but the important thing is that only after we got nothing from the US did arms supplies from the Soviet Union to India commence," Parthasarathy said.

    Sibal described the contents of the letters as Nehru's desperate bid for help against all the principles he had espoused as a leader of the non-aligned movement even though he added that what Nehru did should be judged in the context of history. "Given the Cold War and Communism, it was the only available option for him. Our forces suffered a rout and it was a personal setback for an ailing Nehru given what happened to his Hindi-Chini initiative. The moral of the story is to build up a strong defence against China," Sibal said.

    AICC spokesman Manish Tewari, however, justified Nehru's action. "It is part of historical record that India did request the major powers including the US for logistical help to repudiate the Chinese aggression. This is exactly what enlightened national interest means -- that is putting the nation first," he said.

    Read more: Jawaharlal Nehru pleaded for US help against China in 1962 - The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...in-1962/articleshow/6931810.cms#ixzz15O4uzwwJ
  3. Tomcat

    Tomcat Regular Member

    Nov 6, 2010
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    Sharjah United Arab Emirates
    the real fact is that 62 was a rude awakning for pandit from his utopian and rather idiotic internationalism and the AICC is just trying to paint a rosy picture of nehrus weakness how lame
  4. maomao

    maomao Veteran Hunter of Maleecha Senior Member

    Apr 7, 2010
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    Exactly my thoughts!

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