The pragmatic idealism of Nehru

AVERAGE INDIAN

EXORCIST
Senior Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2012
Messages
3,079
Likes
3,474
Country flag
Somewhere in the files of the PMO there is a 1949 query by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to his Army chief, General K C Cariappa, asking if the Indian Army would be able to intervene and prevent the Chinese conquest of Tibet.

The General's response was that, given the capacity of the Army and the difficult communication links with Tibet, intervention was out of the question.

Nehru was not the caricature woolly-headed idealist that his critics make him out to be. He had to deal with the instruments under his command. And among these was an army that lacked the size and heft to take on the battle-hardened PLA across the Himalayas in Tibet in 1950.

Redeployment

India's response to the invasion of Tibet by China, beginning January 1, 1950, was, therefore, cautious. Nehru's interim government had already supplied weapons and trained Tibetans since 1946. But with Chinese power rampant, the Indian effort became covert.

According to one source, India quietly dispatched 40,000 rifles to the Khampa regions, the first to feel the weight of the PLA invasion.

Sardar Patel's famous letter to Nehru on November 7, 1950, warning of the dangers arising from the Chinese invasion of Tibet, was not meant as a critique of Nehru as many uber-nationalists claim, but as part of a policy review which was undertaken after the Sardar passed away a month later.



A committee headed by Major General Himmatsinhji, the Deputy Minister for Defence, was set up to examine the issues of the border and external intelligence.

The Committee, which comprised of senior army, intelligence and foreign ministry officials, submitted its reports in two parts, one dealing with the eastern border in April 1951 and the other with the western border in September.

The recommendations called for the reorganisation and redeployment of the military forces and an increase in the size of the infantry and supporting arms, the development of certain airfields, the setting up of radar stations in the east, and an increase in the size of the Assam Rifles to patrol the border.

It called for the strengthening of the administration in the eastern areas and the strengthening of the IB network.

The dilemma before Nehru was stark. His army could not take on the PLA in Tibet. So, he used diplomacy to delay that moment of confrontation. Unfortunately, it came sooner rather than later and its causes had as much to do with India's China policy as Beijijng's internal power struggles.

The Indian Army not only lacked the capacity to intervene in Tibet - it did not even have the ability to defend India's northern border. To right this, paradoxically, Nehru needed economic growth, which required minimising defence expenditures, while encouraging the creation of a domestic defence industry.

Towards that end, the government appointed Dr D.S. Kothari as the Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister and the head of the new Defence Science Organisation in 1949.

In 1957 India began work on the design and development of a combat aircraft which was to be done by a German team of Dr Kurt Tank and Engineer Mittelhuber, while an Indian team of Dr Ghatage and Raj Mahindra would design a jet trainer.

The first flight of the HF-24 took place in June 1961 and the trainer HJT-16 (Kiran) in September 1964.

But Nehru's diplomacy failed to synchronise with his defence modernisation plans. Also, it was hit by America's decision to arm Pakistan in the name of fighting Communism.

Even though India expanded its ordnance factories and established facilities to make and assemble trucks, aircraft and other equipment, poor management and scarce resources ensured that the armed forces were badly equipped when the crisis with China erupted in 1959, culminating in the disastrous war of 1962 that shattered Nehru's reputation and health.

Pragmatism

Nehru's pragmatism is best visible in his policy on nuclear weapons. He was among the first leaders to call for the abolition of nuclear weapons in the world. However, he was also the person who summoned Homi Bhabha and gave him the wherewithal to start India's civil nuclear programme.

In 1956, a nuclear reactor named Apsara, designed and built by Indian scientists and engineers, went critical. This was the first reactor to go critical in all of Asia. By 1958-1959, the DAE overtook the CSIR as the most important scientific institution in the country.

Criticism

One third of all R&D expenditures were flowing to the DAE. This led to the 1955 Canadian offer of a nuclear reactor called CIRUS (Canada-India-US) with the initial load of uranium fuel to be supplied by them came through. Nehru and Bhabha's strategy was to build India's nuclear capacity in such a way that it could be quickly transformed into a strategic capability.

Once again, unfortunately, they were let down by their instrumentalities. The DAE failed to deliver the plutonium reprocessing facility in time and the result was that India did not have the wherewithal to carry out a nuclear test shortly after the Chinese test of October 1964 or before the cut-off date of January 1, 1967 for the NPT.

It is easy to criticise Nehru today. His priority then, as it remains that of our country today, is to take hundreds of millions of poor Indians out of poverty and protect the country's territorial integrity.

Given the circumstances, he did not do a bad job, and he did it without murdering millions as was done in China, or overturning democracy, as was the case in many countries of the time.

But to understand him, you have to place yourself in his very large-sized shoes. Suffice to say, none of the heroes of today's uber-nationalists would be able to fill them.

The writer is a Contributing Editor, Mail Today and Distinguished Fellow, Observer Research Foundation

Read more: The pragmatic idealism of Nehru | Daily Mail Online
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
 

pmaitra

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2009
Messages
33,263
Likes
19,537
It is easy to criticise Nehru today. His priority then, as it remains that of our country today, is to take hundreds of millions of poor Indians out of poverty and protect the country's territorial integrity.

Given the circumstances, he did not do a bad job, and he did it without murdering millions as was done in China, or overturning democracy, as was the case in many countries of the time.

But to understand him, you have to place yourself in his very large-sized shoes. Suffice to say, none of the heroes of today's uber-nationalists would be able to fill them.
I completely agree with this part. Very well written.
 

Simple_Guy

Regular Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2013
Messages
938
Likes
577
A committee headed by Major General Himmatsinhji, the Deputy Minister for Defence, was set up to examine the issues of the border and external intelligence.

The recommendations called for the reorganisation and redeployment of the military forces and an increase in the size of the infantry and supporting arms, the development of certain airfields, the setting up of radar stations in the east, and an increase in the size of the Assam Rifles to patrol the border.

It called for the strengthening of the administration in the eastern areas and the strengthening of the IB network.

The dilemma before Nehru was stark.
The author claims to know the details of the General Himmat Singhji report......lol

Claude Arpi: Where is the Himmatsinghji Committee’s Report?

he Himmatsinghji report, prepared after China's invasion of Tibet in October 1950. It seems to have been misplaced in some North Block almirah.

In November 2011, under the Right to Information Act, a petitioner applied to have a look at the Himmasinghji Report................the report was not available with the MoD and the question of supplying it to the appellant does not arise.

Can you believe it?

Does it mean that the Himmatsinghji Committee Report is lost forever?

it is undoubtedly Patel's letter to Nehru (and an earlier one to Sir GS Bajpai) which started the ball rolling. Patel wrote to Bajpai: "The Chinese advance into Tibet upsets all our security calculations. Hitherto, the danger to India on its land frontiers has always come from the North-West. ...For the first time, a serious danger is now developing on the North and North-East side."

On December 1, a Committee was formed with Major-General Himmatsinghji, Deputy Minister of Defence as a Chairman.
Some rumours have recently circulated that Nehru did not know about the Tawang operation; this would truly mean a serious lapse as the Assam Rifles worked directly under the Ministry of External Affairs and Nehru was then the Minister. A 'military' operation of this scale certainly could not be decided locally and needed the approval and funding from the Central Government.

Did Patel and Bajpai decide the operation on their own and order Jairamdas Daulatram accordingly?

It is impossible to answer this question unless the related files are found.
 

Srinivas_K

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2009
Messages
7,062
Likes
11,314
Country flag
Stockholm syndrome, or capture-bonding, is a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors, sometimes to the point of defending and identifying with them.:lol: These feelings are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims, who essentially mistake a lack of abuse from their captors for an act of kindness.[1][2] The FBI's Hostage Barricade Database System shows that roughly 8% of victims show evidence of Stockholm syndrome......... hence it proved on avg 8% Indians are suffering Sicklurholm ooooops Nehruholm syndrome :lol:
:lol::lol::lol:
 

Srinivas_K

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2009
Messages
7,062
Likes
11,314
Country flag
What so funny....... Sickular nehru have many achievements like Nkorean Kim

He established dynasty
Both countries have voting rights without alternative
People voted for them, there are alternatives like communists but they never gave competition to congress, until right wing nationalism emerged.

No channel except Govt propaganda media(DD)
India, China and most of the countries followed socialist policies, back then India is not an attractive destination for investments and also private players not encouraged in the name of socialism.

Sickular,Socialist policies and curtail pvt entrepreneurship by some rules(here License raj)
Secularism is not a drawback it is a strength!!

Glorifying Islamic mass murders ,fakir(gandi) in Text books......... brain washing kids
The history is taught in the wrong perspective in some areas for sure, But most of the history textbooks are fine !!
Some of the heroes are ignored for sure !!
Gandhi spear headed the Independence movement and his place in the history is apt.

Cunningly elected as CONgi president thus PM (cong party selected Patel but gandi insisted Nehru)
Not correct, Nehru is better leader and a statesman.

Wow such a Idealistic,Pragmatic person :lol: :lol:
The drawback of Nehru is socialistic policies and 1962 China incident. Even China is a closed economy by then.
 

Srinivas_K

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2009
Messages
7,062
Likes
11,314
Country flag
I think u don't know NKoreans still WORSHIP KIM family,they thinks his policies are best and their country is best like many brain washed Indians :rofl:


:rofl:
These are state sponsored cries :lol:
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Simple_Guy

Regular Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2013
Messages
938
Likes
577
Archives

India which had inherited special rights and obligations in Tibet was expected both on moral grounds as well as in the interests of her national security to help Tibet to preserve her freedom so that she might continue to be a buffer between India and China. She could have achieved this end by helping Tibet to secure membership on U.N.O. or by securing guarantee of non-interference in Tibet from the communist Government of China before she gave recognition to it in 1949.

But Pt. Nehru, the sole architect of India's foreign policy, would not allow such mundane considerations to influence his policy towards his new found friends of Communist China. Like the proverbial fools who rush in where the angels fear to tread, the great Pandit of India not only failed to get any assurance from Communist China in 1949 but, what is worse, did nothing to prevent her from committing flagrant aggression against a weak and peace loving Tibet in 1950.

The argument that India was not in a position to halt Chinese aggression in Tibet in 1950 is fallacious and misleading. India with her three military posts within Tibet and with the support of the free world could have surely and effectively checkmated the Communist Chinese designs over Tibet at that time.

Pt. Nehru's bungling in regard to Tibet like his bunglings in Kashmir did not end there. After having made a gift of Tibet to China with all the destruction of monasteries and genocide that followed it in the name of peace, he started such a campaign of Hindi-Chini Bhai Bhai-ism that any objective assessment of Chinese aims in occupying Tibet, its fast signification through settlement of large number of Chinese there and building of large military cantonments all along the Indian frontier began to be pooh-poohed by the Indian Press and Political elite. Nehru Chou fraternization culminated in the so-called "Panch-Sheel" Treaty of 1954 between India and China.
The internal situation in Jammu & Kashmir State and the attitude of the Government of India suited China's purpose admirably. During the Maharaja's rule an effective administrative control had been extended to the remotest parts of Laddakh, Baltistan and Gilgit. The Laddakh-Tibet border settled by tradition and usage of centuries had been confirmed by the Treaty of 1842 between Maharaja Gulab Singh and the Government of Dalai Lama. The State officials who were deputed for the frontier duty were required to go right up to the border at least once in their three year term. As a result there was no scope for confusion or uncertainty about the frontier.

But ever since power was transferred to the Kashmiri dominated National Conference, administration of Laddakh and other outlying parts of the State outside the Kashmir valley began to be neglected......Kushak Bakula, the Head Lama of Laddakh and then Minister for Laddakh Affairs in the Jammu & Kashmir Government, informed the State Assembly on March 1, 1963 that he, had warned the Governments of Kashmir and India about the Chinese plans of aggression after his visit to lake Mansarowar and Lhasa in 1954.

Similar warnings had come from other quarters as well. But nothing perceptible was done either by the State Government or the Government of India to draw the People's attention to the Chinese threat or to checkmate it. As a result the Chinese were able to follow up their cartographic aggression by actual aggression. They built the road linking Sinkiang with Gartok in Western Tibet right through Aksai Chin and also occupied a number of strategic outposts.
Sardar Patel, who had by that time integrated over 500 princely States but had scrupulously refrained from taking interest in the handling of Kashmir problem because of Pt. Nehru's insistence upon treating it as his close preserve, for once thought it necessary to put his foot down on Sh. Abdullah's amibition. His one frown made Sh. Abdullah realise that he could not take support of New Delhi for granted.

The incident made Abdullah uneasy and fearful of Sardar Patel who as Home Minister was getting authentic reports about Sh. Abdullah's activities and policies which showed that he had scant respect for India's wider national interests and the aspirations of the people of Jammu and Ladakh regions.

The death of Sardar Patel toward the end of 1950 removed from the Indian scene the one man who could have kept Sh. Abdullah's ambition in check and cleared the mess that Pt. Nebru had made in Kashmir by his unrealistic and erratic handling of the problem from the very beginning.
Sardar Patel had a far better grasp of military and strategic affairs, while the woolly headed Nehru was more suitable as a diplomat. It's India's enduring tragedy that Gandhi forced him on us in place of Patel.
 

Prayash

Regular Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2017
Messages
362
Likes
765
TE="anoop_mig25, post: 1267801, member: 801"]your point of dumping in this very old thread?????[/QUOTE]
Just couldn't find relevant thread. Sry if any mistake:smile:
 

roma

NRI in Europe
Senior Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2009
Messages
3,578
Likes
2,500
Country flag
Stockholm syndrome, or capture-bonding, is a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors, sometimes to the point of defending and identifying with them.:lol: These feelings are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims, who essentially mistake a lack of abuse from their captors for an act of kindness.[1][2] The FBI's Hostage Barricade Database System shows that roughly 8% of victims show evidence of Stockholm syndrome......... hence it proved on avg 8% Indians are suffering Sicklurholm ooooops Nehruholm syndrome :lol:
i was reluctant to post about his personal psychological traits , until i saw your post

Honestly the man seemed to have some symptoms of dual personality or schizo ....perhaps not medical schizo, but a very mild non -medical form

on one hand he wanted to stop china in tibet , otoh he did nothing when seeing them advance , he did nothing to arm india and then even called china a brother

i think he had serious problems going on internally in his mind , the result of which if you look at h is decisions , at his behaviour, there are wild swings from one extreme to the other , not a rational middle of the road ...perhaps he was simply out of his depth in such matters and found the challenges overwhelming to the extent of causing personality type repercussions

on one hand he would act megalomanic otoh he would exhibit symptoms of serious and irrational fear

rationality is what the man lacked and you cant have a person in the PM's post exhibiting such a lack

sardar patel would have been better , but again it is an imaginary proposition ,,,, in reality we had JN as our lot in life

He would have made a superb Chancellor of a University or even as Minister for Education ...he would easily have excelled in that ....which makes me think that considering India's position geopolitically, any future PM should have had sufficient time as Defence Minister before being qualified to be considered for the PM's post

The other way of looking at it is to realise that he was probably the best we had , maybe realistically , the only one we had ..... so we had to make do with it ??

@pmaitra @Willy2 @Prayash @anoop_mig25 @Srinivas_K
 
Last edited:

anoop_mig25

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2009
Messages
5,740
Likes
2,936
Country flag
Looking at Tibet physical map i think Indian at time of freedom could had hardly anything to prevent its capture by Chinese without help of Big powers of which ussr was pro-china and india was anti-west

Only stupid he did was not capturing full J&K and becuase of his short-shightness we are still paying in terms of lack of connectivity to CA/Europe

@roma

But what do u think of he begin projected as libreal /progressive

considering that under his leadership constitutional amendment was done to limit free speech

Also instaed of future PM begin from defence

What i think is having team PM/CM who could unleash power of indian business /economy so as just to achieve growth just kike what china achieved in 80-90-00

with financial muscle we could easily get desired militarily muscle

sadly none of current leadership of any political party inspires much
 
Last edited:

Latest Replies

Global Defence

New threads

Articles

Top