by Brig Arun Bajpai

2020 is not 1962 when we got a bad defeat from China, all fault of that Nehru who was then PM of India and that Jeep scandal Defence Minister Krishna Menon. This duo had sent Indian Army to fight Chinese Army equipped with latest weapons especially automatic rifles while our Army had old WW 2, 303 rifles and summer uniforms in extreme cold conditions, still they fought with full courage. Nehru and Menon duo did not use our Air Force having latest vampire fighters in fear of China when China had no airbase in Tibet from where fighter aircrafts can take off with their weapon loads. They even selected General Kaul as over all commander who was from ASC and has been counting eggs for the troops all the time. This was 58 years back, now we have a battle-hardened armed force which are more than a match to Chinas Armed forces that have last fought in 1969 against Vietnam and there also got a bloody nose.

Unfortunately, Indian Governments both of Congress for ten years and for last six years Modi Government of BJP have ben too indulgent with China. Congress Government of Manmohan Singh which ruled the country from 2004 to 2014, full ten years, neglected Indian defence and just depended on politics. This gave impression to China that they can brow beat India and keep on acquiring Indian territory by their salami cut tactics while India will always look the other way. They had the gumption to claim entire 90,000 sq. km of Arunachal Pradesh and 38,000 km of Aksai Chin as theirs. Congress Government and later on Modi Government had so many rounds of border talks with China but with no results.

Matter is very simple; China does not want to settle 3844 km long its boundary with India and wants to keep this boundary issue alive so that it can continue its nibbling and gobbling Indian territory by making stupid claims at different times. Case in point being the recent skirmish which took place between Indian and Chinese troops on the night of 16 Jun 2020 in Galwan Valley of Ladakh. This area was never under dispute and never claimed by China. However, after this skirmish where we lost 20 soldiers martyred and Chinese lost 43 soldiers, Now China is claiming whole of Galwan Valley as theirs and saying that it were Indian troops who were aggressors. While China does not want to settle its boundary with India it must be noted that it has settled all its boundaries with other countries including Myanmar.

Enough is enough. India of 2020 is not India of 1962 where the 4 div which was busy making houses in Firozpur instead of training for war, because the defence Minster sahib, Mr Menon, thought that this is most useful employment of Indian Army during peace time, was moved overnight to fight Chinse in 1962 war with China. Indian Army of 2020 is a battle-hardened force which has been facing bullets daily thanks to Pakistan and its dependence on jihadis. It is time Indian Neta’s understand this. most of the time these Indian Neta’s get away with explanation, when any India-China skirmish takes place, that this is happening because of perceptual differences of boundary between China and India. No Sir, no more these perceptual differences.

If China is not ready to demarcate its boundary then let us demarcate it and tell china that we do not have any perceptual difference. If Chinese come to our laid down area let us shoot them. Yes, this will lead to number of clashes but then so be it. Let us not lose any more territory due to this nibbling tactics by China. Let China know that we mean business. Yes, for this we will have to further strengthen our Armed Forces. We will have to restore our mountain strike corps to its original strength of one lakh troops. Also, our navy must be made a Navy of 200 ships from the present 130 ships and Air Force from current 31 fighter squadrons to the authorised 42 Sqns. These are occupational hazards which we will have to tackle, come what may. Similarly, if China is now claiming Galwan valley as theirs then we should also keep on claiming their area as ours and do the same salami cut tactics as employed by China. Let us not forget that it takes two to Tango.

Brig Arun Bajpai (Retd) is a distinguished Defence and Strategic Analyst. Views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of IDN. IDN does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same