Scattering the fog of war in Ladakh

Discussion in 'China' started by CCP, Sep 25, 2014.

  1. CCP

    CCP Senior Member Senior Member

    Jan 19, 2014
    Likes Received:
    Scattering the fog of war in Ladakh - Indian Punchline

    The postponement of the traditional visit by the army chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag to Bhutan as his first official engagement abroad has fueled speculation that it was due to the tensions on the border with China. If so, it is a silver lining on the horizon.

    The only time I met the general was last year on the hallowed grounds of the Army War College in Mhow, where I had gone to lecture as a guest speaker, at the Commandant’s residence in the evening at a splendid dinner. (When dusk falls on an old British-era cantonment that was pivotal in the 1857 Mutiny, strange inchoate emotions well up.) The general was the eastern corps commander at that time and we naturally drifted into a conversation regarding India-China relations.
    What struck me was the general’s profound knowledge of the multi-faceted “China challenge” that India faces and his remarkable intellectual depth and erudition to discuss it calmly, rationally and with a long-term perspective.
    In fact, except for a handful of “ex-faujis” in Delhi who after retirement took to the pleasures of geopolitics and “think-tanking” (much like gardening or fishing), my experience in the foreign service from the Pakistan desk for over a decade has been that most senior minds in the Indian military establishment are not given to impetuous, vacuous saber-rattling and would regard war as serious business and consider it their professional task, in fact, to avoid causing wars. Indeed, wars cost human lives and plunge whole families into unspeakable sorrows and results in a wastage of the country’s latent talents and resources.
    I say this, because there is so much irresponsible talk in our television channels today about an impending war that China is allegedly planning against India. Alas, even former diplomats gleefully contributed to the misinterpretation of the reported remarks by Chinese President Xi Jinping to fight “regional wars” as if it were holding out a direct threat to India.
    A refreshingly candid article appeared in Business Standard today, written by a usually well-informed columnist with military background and access to the top brass, which puts on the table the actual state of play — “Indian commanders in the Leh-headquartered 14 Corps, however, are sanguine that this confrontation, like every other in the last four decades, will be resolved through discussions. “The Chinese are making the point that this area remains disputed,” says one general. “They absolutely don’t want a shooting war.” (here).
    I wish the author hadn’t stopped short of entering into an insightful discussion as to what actually led to “this confrontation.” There are reports to the effect that it all began when the Indian side began dispatching “civilians” under the (in)famous NREGA program to dig irrigation canals in that tense disputed region where face-offs with the PLA usually happen.
    People say in informal conversations in Delhi’s social circuit that India may have provoked “this confrontation”. Is it really so? The country has a right to know. Don’t throw us to the wolves in the Delhi TV studios.
    Pray, wasn’t it downright stupid not to have deferred that noble mission to create purchasing power through the NREGA , unemployed (and unemployable) Indians who may be living in those parts until at least Xi’s visit got over?
    After all, it was in our interests that we made use of Xi’s visit optimally. It’s improbable that Xi would visit India during his 10-year term again. It’s also plain common sense that China, which outstrips India by almost a half century in development, is a hugely important neighbor with which we need to learn to live with in peace and cordiality.
    What troubles me really in all this is something else: Who ordered this stupid NREGA initiative on those vacant spaces where India and China are struggling to create a border where none existed in all of our two ancient histories? What was the chain of command like?
    Was it a stupid decision taken at a miserably local level to provoke the Chinese PLA commanders on the border or to test their reflexes when their president was due to visit India? Or, was it with the knowledge and approval of the Army Hqs? I shudder to think the latter was the case.
    Besides, where does the Indian leadership come in here? After all, it is Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is being caricatured today by the opposition Congress Party as spineless and cowardly in squaring up to Chinese “aggression”. Indeed, he was made to look foolish and out of touch realities on our TV screens that historic afternoon and evening on the Sabarmati river banks last Thursday.
    Specifically, was National Security Advisor Ajit Doval who prepared Modi’s approach paper on Xi’s visit in the loop? I fervently hope that wasn’t the case and Doval was completely taken aback by our NREGA initiative. But then, that would also cast him in poor light as someone who doesn’t see the weeds growing beneath his feet and is perennially doomed to stumble in his handling of foreign and security policies.
    To be sure, someone at a responsible level needs to take the nation into confidence. (I don’t mean the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.) The dangerous misperceptions and alarmist rumors that swirl around India-China relationship will only make it that much harder for Modi to stabilize that relationship and put it on a stable, predictable long-term trajectory, leave alone to pitch for a “fair and just” border settlement with China, which is no doubt in the country’s “enlightened interest”.
    General Suhag should, perhaps, speak up and clear this fog of war so that sunlight penetrates the national discourse. An exclusive interview with the chief anchorman in Headlines Today, perhaps? Of course, I can’t help chuckling with pleasure in anticipation.
    Posted in Military.

    Tagged with 1962 India China war, Line of Actual Control.

    By M K Bhadrakumar – September 24, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2014
  3. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

    Jul 11, 2011
    Likes Received:
    What about the development and welfare of settled populations ?
    MNAREGA is not applicable for the population of the district of Ladakh? Because MK Bhadrakumar considers them Chinese ?

    So Construction of Canal to provide water to settled villages along the LAC is provocation ? But denial of water to the population is not provocation ? What kind of an argument is that ?

    And MNAREGA is stupid because its implementation on LAC is becoming bone of contention ?? Perhaps MK Bhadrakumar belongs to that genere of foreign service which believe in the theory that border areas should be ruled by Foregn Service ( and they did that once upon a time)..

    His remarks on Ajit Doval also emenate from the same prejudice that only a foreign service officers can understand the national interest and not a police officer. Who would not understand the idea behind unkind remarks of the author.

    When the Chinese president calls upon the PLA for Regional war when PLA is bullying India in Demchok and Chumar, does it take for a man like the author to understand that the President is actually meaning Japan ?

    He is quotting a man called Ajay Shukla to butteress his claims who would have never ever served north of Ambala ?

    Good luck to him !!
  4. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Apr 17, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Bhadrakumar is one of those diplomats who revels in status quoism and not rocking the boat and let the drift of the political waves float him into higher echelons of his career.

    A passive time and appointment slotter is what the US Army colourfully call such listless, unimaginative reptile like creatures dotting the human world.

    The Chinese can build roads, bridges, airports etc on the 'disputed' areas, but India but hold back and not 'provoke'.

    Some logic indeed!

    It is because incompetents of the ilk of Bhadrakumar, KM Panniker, (Nehru;s China man). Mani Shankar Iyer, et al that India finds itself on the backfoot and grovelling.

    China capitalises on the weak and devours them at will.

    It baulks when given a dose o ftheir own medicine.

    Can Bhadu (Bhradrakumar) give one reason why we should not develop our own territory?

    Have we as a Nation no obligation to those who live in remote lands of our Nation?

    And if the Chinese can improve their infrastructure, what good reason in the name of Christ, indicates that we do not do likewise?

    And Ajai Shukla?

    Give us a break!

Share This Page