THE firm assertion by Mr. SS Deswal, Director General of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and the Border Security Force (BSF), that every inch of India’s land is under the control of Armed Forces, should put to end the unnecessary speculation and politics about the Chinese presence in the Indian territory. Despite multiple explanations and assurances by the leaders of the Government and the Armed Forces, some sections of the political and media community were all the time accusing that the Chinese were staying put on the Indian territory.

To all those doubting Thomases, the Director General of the ITBP and BSF now has given an unequivocal reply. We expect the uncalled for controversy to end now. Of course, it is actually useless to expect sense to dawn on these elements who have expressed time and again a total absence of faith in the Armed Forces and the Government. The democratic set up in the country operates efficiently through various mechanisms that form the basic infrastructure of the edifice.

An important part of this comprehensive mechanism is various committees where the Members of Parliament have an opportunity to clear their doubts and even take the Government to task. Congress leader Mr. Rahul Gandhi has been a member of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee on Defence. Unfortunately, he did not attend one single of the eleven meetings of the committee after its constitution in September 2019. Thus, instead of utilising the available official forum , Mr. Rahul Gandhi has often aired unfounded accusations against the Government for its so-called failure to protect Indian territory. At least now, Mr. Gandhi should realise that it to his own peril that he is indulging in senseless accusations. It has been proved beyond doubt by now that the Chinese are officially and openly disengaging from eastern Ladakh and are moving back several kilometres, under a strict vigil by the Indian troops and surveillance mechanics in technological domain.

Despite this, the Indian troops are on their toes to ensure that the Chinese do not trace their steps back and mount another silent incursion. This success of Indian military and diplomatic forces is being recognised the world over. Almost every nation is happy that India could checkmate the Chinese moves and eventually force the Chinese to step back. In this entire episode, forces such as the ITBP and the BSF have played a stellar role, which strengthened the Indian positions beyond the Chinese expectations. Their deployment levels were very high, and their performance on the ground was par excellence, almost shocking the Chinese.

This concerted action by India’s military machine made a critical difference, which is reflected so well in the assertion of Mr. SS Deswal. In fact, some international think-tanks had expected this to happen in Ladakh -- the tough response of the fully-prepared Indian Armed Forces and very alert diplomatic corps to the Chinese overtures. Some globally-acclaimed experts also had surmised that India’s preparedness was much stronger than the Chinese overall capabilities in the Ladakh region. All those observations and assessments have been proved right, making it known to the world that India of 2020 is not the same as India of 1962.

Moreover, many positive parallel developments also strengthened India’s position -- which China might not have anticipated. For example, the support of most major nations to the Indian cause. The willingness of France to lend military support to India in case of an open conflict, the possibility of the Australian participation in the Malabar Naval exercises in which India’s partners are the United States and Japan and a few other developments also consolidated the Indian position like never before. It is against this background that the internal doubters of the correctness of India’s position must learn the right lessons and start conducting themselves responsibly, failing which they should be made to suffer consequences of their brazenness in refusing to cooperate in the national cause.