You Don`t Invite War which you cannot Fight..

Kunal Biswas

Member of the Year 2011
May 26, 2010
One of the reasons why the Sino-Indian conflict has remained a deep scar in the nation's psyche is that very few people know what exactly happened on the slopes of the Thagla ridge in October 1962, though one does not need to be Inspector Jacques Clouseau to discover why the famous Henderson-Brooks report has been kept out of the eyes of the Indian public for 50 years. The reason is simple: In 1962, the bosses in New Delhi were unable to tell the local commanders where the border in the Tawang/ Ziminthang sector was.

You do not invite crisis that you cannot tackle


Super Mod
Jul 2, 2010
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Found the article :D

Mao needed a pretext 'to teach India a lesson'. Some senior officers of the Indian Army and the country's politicians offered it to him, which is why 1962 happened

One of the reasons why the Sino-Indian conflict has remained a deep scar in the nation's psyche is that very few people know what exactly happened on the slopes of the Thagla ridge in October 1962, though one does not need to be Inspector Jacques Clouseau to discover why the famous Henderson-Brooks report has been kept out of the eyes of the Indian public for 50 years. The reason is simple: In 1962, the bosses in New Delhi were unable to tell the local commanders where the border in the Tawang/ Ziminthang sector was.

A few months after the debacle, the Union Government requested Lt Gen Henderson-Brooks and Brigadier Prem Bhagat (HBB) to prepare a report of the events which led to the fiasco. Many have since asked: "What on earth has stopped the Government to open the HBB report to the public?"

Between 1962 and 1965, RD Pradhan was then Defence Minister YB Chavan's Private Secretary. In his memoirs, he provides some insights on the issue: "Chavan was apprehensive that the committee may cast aspersions on the role of the Prime Minister or the Defence Minister." Mr Pradhan adds: "(Chavan's) main worry was to find ways to defend the government and at the same time to ensure that the morale of the armed forces was not further adversely affected." Mr Pradhan concluded: "Chavan earned the gratitude of the Prime Minister." Was it by classifying the HBB report forever?

In 2008, answering a question on the HBB Report, Defence Minister AK Antony told the Indian Parliament that the report could not be made public because an internal study by the Army had established that its contents "are not only extremely sensitive, but are of current operational value." Nobody will believe that a 49 year-old report is still of 'operational value'.

In 2005, veteran journalist and former MP Kuldip Nayar requested, under the RTI, the Ministry of Defence for a copy of the report.

During the hearings of the Commission in March 2009, the Defence Ministry articulated the official stand: "Disclosure of this information will amount to disclosure of the army's operational strategy in the North-East and the discussion on deployments has a direct bearing on the question of the demarcation of the Line of Actual Control between India and China, a live issue under examination between the two countries at present."

On March 19, 2010, in a 'decision notice', the Central Information Commission states: "The disclosure of information of which the Henderson Brooks report carries considerable detail on what precipitated the war of 1962 between India and China will seriously compromise both security and the relationship between India & China." As a result: "no part of the report might at this stage be disclosed."

Inspector Clouseau would say: "I know that".Let us return 50 years ago. In early October 1962, the Chinese military intelligence had gathered that Indian forces were planning to 'attack China' on the Thagla ridge on October 10 (Operation Leghorn). A few days earlier, Mao had told his Party's colleagues: "It seems like armed coexistence won't work. It's just as we expected. Nehru really wants to use force. This isn't strange. He has always wanted to seize Aksai Chin and Thagla ridge. He thinks he can get everything he desires."

Though there was no question of the Indian Army 'attacking China' with no food, no warm clothes, no armament or ammunition supply, the Chinese seemed to have perceived the situation differently.

Was Mao looking for a pretext?

The answer is to be found in the accounts of senior Indian Army officers, the unwilling actors in the 'Himalayan blunder'. Maj Gen Niranjan Prasad, the GOC of

4 Infantry Division in his book The Fall of Towang describes the setting: "The McMahon Line from just north of Khinzemane, as drawn by Sir Henry McMahon in 1914 with a thick blue [in fact, red] pencil on an unsurveyed map, was not an accurate projection of the Himalayan watershed line. "¦In this process the position of Thagla ridge was, to say the least, left ambiguous."

The survey had been completed in 1913 by Capts Bailey and Morshead, but it is true that it was rather sketchy (one inch to eight miles). If one follows the watershed principle, the Thagla ridge was the logical border, but the fact remains that the old map which was the reference for India's position on the location of the McMahon Line, showed the Thagla ridge and the Namkha Chu, north of the Red Line. Further surveys were unfortunately not conducted after India's independence.

In 1960, the Government of India had mooted a new policy to establish posts right on the border; it was the famous 'Forward Policy'. The siting of these posts and their exact location was, however, decided mainly by the Intelligence Bureau and not the Army.

The local Commanders (Corps, Division and Brigade) were not happy and they made it known, but nothing could stop the folly of the 'authorities' in Delhi.

Brig Dalvi recalled: "Many generals, including General Umrao Singh [33 Corps Commander], opposed the indiscriminate opening up of more posts. "¦The setting up of posts in disputed territory is a different matter. It is an act of rashness, whoever decreed it and with whatever authority, unless we had the means to settle the resultant dispute on the battlefield."

As Maj Gen Niranjan Prasad noted, the local commanders had no choice, though they could certainly have resigned, but in an almost war situation, it was not an easy decision to take.

The Intelligence Bureau and its Director, BN Mullick had no clue about the exact position of the border and the Chinese preparations.

On 14 August, 1962, Brigadier DK Palit, Director of Military Operations visited the Corps Headquarters in Tezpur. He was told about the issue about the Line.

In his memoirs, War in the High Himalayas, Palit recalled the encounter: "On my return to Delhi I referred the Thagla dilemma to the Director of Military Survey. The latter commented that as the existing maps of the area were 'sketchy and inaccurate, having been compiled from unreliable sources'"¦ He confirmed that the recognised border was the watershed, but qualified this statement by adding 'the exact alignment of [the border] will depend on accurate survey"¦it would take two to three years to complete'."

When Palit enquired with S Gopal, the Director of the Historical Section, Gopal explained that since the boundary talks with the Chinese in 1960, the Government of India had been aware that the actual terrain in the area of the tri-junction was different from that depicted on the Simla map. But Palit adds: "What Gopal had not told me — and I found out only later — was that the Chinese had not accepted our arguments and had counter-claimed Thagla ridge, as Chinese territory." By then, it was already too late to go back, at least for the egos of the main actors in Delhi.

Mao needed a pretext 'to teach India a lesson'. Some senior Indian Army officers and politicians offered it to him. However, the fact that the Chinese attack occurred simultaneously in all sectors (Tawang, Walong in NEFA and Ladakh) is certainly proof that the operations had been prepared well in advance by the communist regime in Beijing, which didn't really need a pretext.

(The accompanying visual is of Indian troops moving towards the border to confront Chinese troops in 1962. Courtesy: Life)

You do not invite crisis that you cannot tackle


Senior Member
Jul 21, 2010
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Here's my account of the war ( originally written for echarcha,com in 2009 )---

How the war started---

it came about because the british and the chinese had left the frontier unmarked in the earlier stages of the colonial era.actually arunachal pradesh was under tibetian influence for centuries.

at first the british accepted it.but in 1914 they unilaterally expanded into it by declaring the macmohan line as the frontier of india,bringing arunachal pradesh and the famous tibetian monastory of tawang into india.

this was not acceptable to both the tibetians or the chinese emperor who claimed suzarainity over tibet. when tibet was occupied by communist china they naturally claimed arunachal -calling it southern it up would have been a massive human rights tragedy , however as the population of arunachal detested china and felt safe in secular india.surely giving it up would have been throwing it to the chinese wolves.

matters became further complicated when china also claimed aksai chin a part of kashmir in the northeast tip of ladakh.the reason for this was that it wanted to build a highway through it linking tibet and sinkiang ,actually eastern turkestan ,another region perpetualy in revolt against china. this highway could not be built through the common border of the two provinces as the impassable kunlun mountains are on that border . so chinese built it through india!!!

the indian govt had never sent an expedition to uninhabited aksai chin, and did not know that china had occupied it at all.k m pannikar nehrus friend , ambassador to china and sinophile was happily singing hindi chini bhai bhai when this was happening.

india received a rude shock when a chinese magazine truimphantly proclaimed
completion of the highway and posted photoes of it calling it a engineering marvel in the high himalayas.

india now began to send expedition s in that region. this led to clashes with chinese troops. slowly the intensity of the clashes increased.

diplomatically , the chinese offered a solution- you give up aksai chin, we will give up arunachal - thus trading indian territory for indian territory.india refused.

the clashes on the border became more frequent. matters came to a head when indians started patrolling the macmohan line in arunachal which it had not earlier.the chinese govt decided to teach india a lesson it would never forget.

it overran arunachal in the war.but returned back to its original position giving arunachal back to india- offering the same 'magnanimous' solution- you give up aksai , we will give up our claim on arunachal.
secretly the indian govt was inclined to aceppt the solution as aksai was uninhabited and useless while the population of arunachal wanted desperately to remain in india.but the jana sangh promised to raised hell over it as it was national territory.

so the problem remains.......

according to colonel anil athlye the military supplies to chinese troops in tibet came through calcutta!!! tibet did not have any roads and was virtually impassable due to high mountains. the chinese govt had signed an agreement with india to route civilian supplies to tibet through calcutta which would come by sea from mainland china and then through calcutta to sikkim to tibet. once the agreement was signed nobody in india bothered to check if the supplies were military or civilian.the chiinese happily continued their military build up in tibet to attack india by passing supplies in carefully sealed boxes through calcatta and then through the nathu la pass in sikkim to tibet.

Actual fighting---

these details i have taken from neville maxwells -INDIAS CHINA WAR.
one word of caution though- dont read the book! neville is a british communist and and everything he writes is pro china. i almost got convinced of the chinese case myself!

once the reports started coming out of the newspapers of china having built a highway through indian territory in aksai chin,the indian govt was awoken from its dreamworld of india china bhai bhai.

jana sangh raised hell in parlament about the neglect of national security which had led to this lapse.

the nehru govt was compelled to send patrols in to aksai chin.initially they met with some success.

this was the pattern . some forty of our soldiers would establish a post inside chinese occupied territory.the chinese would confront it and an eyeball to eyeball confrontation would take place between the two forces. some time later the chinese would back down. the chinese had obviously not been given the order to attack our soildiers.this happened several times.

the nehru govt-fresh from its success in kicking out the portugese form goa felt it could achieve a similar success in kicking out the chinese . nehru felling a false sense of bravado talked in parlament of ''throwing them out back where they came from.''

as indians inched closer to the highway the confrontations led to actual clashes.

the govt took the decision to patrol the macmohan line in arunachal, what the chinese called the line of control.

the problem arose when indians decided to patrol thagla ridge at the western tip of arunachal . here the macmohan line itself was disputed as the chinese felt that the line passed through the namka chu river to the south of it.

the indians however decided to press their claim and deployed a brigade of troops under brigadier john dalvi onto the ridge.

this finally angered the chinese to teach india a lesson.

they attacked the indians on thagla ridge. the frontal assaults failed but the chinese had enormous numerical superiority.they captured the tsangle position on the flank which was less well defended and then attacked from the flank. soon the indians were forced to withdraw from the thagla ridge and retreat to the namka chu river.


the indians thought that the namka chu river position was safe as the chinese had accepted it as the line of control. the thagla ridge action had been a pure local action to remove them from disputed territory ,they thought.

they were in for a shocker when the chinese made a full scale frontal assault on the position.. this time they used human wave tactics- that is wave after wave of chinese soildiers would attack the indians.when one wave was exhausted the second and then the third would attack - sometimes without weapons and picking up the weapons of their dead comrades on the way.

the chinese obviously were carrying out a full scale invasion. certainly this was no impromptu decision and they had been preparing for war for years .
dalvi watched the slaughter of his men helplessly.certainly they killed many more than they lost-human wave tactics are costly in terms of lives-but the chinese thuoght their soldiers expendable and had far more to lose.

when all was lost dalvi tried to escape. he was caught and became among the first prisoners of war. he survived the war to write a highly emotional and personal account of the war-HIMALAYAN BLUNDER.

the news stunned the nation.the immediate effect was to abandon the famous monastory of tawang as resistance in this part was thought to be hopeless.

the experts advised to hold the position at bomdila-sound military advice as the position here was was far away from the chinese troops and by the time they came there the indians could have built massive supiriority. but that would mean abandoning a large part of arunachal to the invaders- politically inpossible to do.

so it was decided to hold the se la pass nearer to the chinese, also bomdila far behind it and darang dzong in between them.

the chinese decided not to carry out a frontal assault on se la. the instead found a route through the mountains called bailey trail- explored by britisher bailey a long time ago.

they defeated the weak troops defending the trail and came up behind the sela pass and in between that position and bomdila.

obviously sela had to be abandoned . but the senior officers began to pass the buck for taking this decision as it would mean the end of the carreer of the officer who ordered this retreat.

at night it was decided to remove part of the force and keep the rest.this news led to collapse of morale at sela as the troops felt abandoned to their fate.
the chinese quckly took advantage to capture it along with plenty prisoners.

now the position at darang dzong came in danger, so a force was detached to defend it thereby weakening the position at bomdila.
darang dzong was captured before the force could reach it and the force also was caught in the open on the road where they could shot at and was annihilated. the force at bomdila was too weak to defend its positon now and was defeated.

at the eastern tip of arunachal the chinese attacked the strongly defended airstrip of walong . they were completely defeated and driven out sustaining heavy losses.the indians were stupid enough to take advantage of this to attack the heavily defended chinese positions and failed-taking heavy losses themselves.the chinese quicking attcked to capture walong- now there was not a singli indian soldier in NEFA- as arunachal was called then.

in aksai chin the chinese drove out all the posts indians had established in the past few years.

nehru became the laughing stock of the world in the very non aligned summits where he once strode like a collosus. he wasnt caring anyway- he used to spend his time slumbering in thse summits after the war.

he was probably dreaming of the next world. his end was near........


Senior Member
Jan 17, 2010
How comes the uninhabited Aksai Chin is part of Kashmir, or of India?

The etymology of Aksai Chin is uncertain regarding the word "Chin". As a word of Turk origin, aksai literally means "white brook" but whether the word Chin refers to Chinese or pass is disputed. The area is largely a vast high-altitude desert including some salt lakes from 4,800 metres (15,700 ft) to 5,500 metres (18,000 ft) above sea level.

The Macartney-Macdonald Line
In the 1890s Britain and China were allies and Britain was principally concerned that Aksai Chin not fall into Russian hands.[7] In 1899, when China showed an interest in Aksai Chin, Britain proposed a revised boundary, initially suggested by George Macartney,[8] which put most of Aksai Chin in Chinese territory.[7] This border, along the Karakoram Mountains, was proposed and supported by British officials for a number of reasons. The Karakoram Mountains formed a natural boundary, which would set the British borders up to the Indus River watershed while leaving the Tarim River watershed in Chinese control, and Chinese control of this tract would present a further obstacle to Russian advance in Central Asia.[9] The British presented this line to the Chinese in a Note by Sir Claude MacDonald. The Chinese did not respond to the Note, and the British took that as Chinese acquiescence.[7] This line, known as the Macartney-MacDonald line, is approximately the same as the current Line of Actual Control.[7]


Nov 28, 2010
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There are lots of Indians who are "slanty eyed lighter skin people", as you put it. Your so-called "pun" is not funny at all.

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