by Brig Arun Bajpai (Retd)

Let there be no doubt that in the case of India history always repeats itself because we refuse to take any lessons from past mistakes, or more appropriately the blunders. Did we learn any lesson from so called Kabaili attack in Kashmir of Oct 1947, or blunder by Nehru of going to UN against the advice of the Army in 1948, 1962 Indo -Chinese war in which we were soundly defeated by China because Nehru was still dreaming of Hindi-Chini Bhai Bhai concept , surprise of 1965 Indo-Pak War, Surprise of Kargil and now once again surprise by China in Eastern Ladakh ? What is our plethora of Intelligence agencies, border guarding police forces like BSF and ITBP who call themselves first line of defence doing? why is always the Army who has to retrieve the situation from the jaws of defeat? Can anybody in know of actual situation in Eastern Ladakh deny that once again we have been caught napping.

So far Chinese have been coming to Depsang plains and further down South Chumar in comparatively small numbers to test waters. However, after testing waters and well knowing our Babu-Neta control over happenings in India with Indian Armed Forces neglected in all spheres including weapons, Rajneeti and Kootniti being the order of the day, with Neta -Babu combination running the country, China under Xi Xinping Command, decided to carry out incursions in India in a big way. This time they have opened so many fronts in Eastern Ladakh like Depsang Plains, Chip Chap Valley, Qara Qash, Galwan Rivers, Hot Springs, Pongong Tso and Spanggur Tso. All those who have served in these areas know that in these High-Altitude area’s troops can not be moved overnight and that also 60000 troops as Chines have done. What was our first line of defence ITBP doing? what was our intelligence agencies doing? Even though almost six months have passed since this Chinse incursion but not a single head is rolled and none will roll. For our netas they do not ruffle the police feathers as they are more important than security of the country.

Truth is that our netas suitably advised by their bum chum police babus have placed 90000 strong ITBP to guard the 3488 km long border with China but despite any amount of advice from Army, have not placed this force under command of Army, because police force people apart from their normal work, do so many other works for our Netas. So, what wonder if ITBP did not notice incursion by Chinese troops that also in such large numbers till Apr- May this year? Instead of reporting to local Army units and formations, at least forwarding a copy, they follow their own channels and report to Home Ministry. As a result, lot of crucial time is lost, but then who is bothered? When incursions take place it is Army which is called to explain so then what is 90000 strong ITBP doing there when Army has to answer and ITBP slinks away? As for ITBP is concerned they carry out border management and guarding in a police manner. First to be taken care off is the comfort of its coy commander and it headquarter. The Unit headquarter is not deployed with the troops and are located in more congenial areas. As a result, the front-line leadership gets a go by. Now how and why this happens only ITBP can answer.

As for our intelligence agencies, one finds them always involved in other actions till the problem comes on head and then they wake up. Since our independence, except for one or two occasions this has been the pattern.

Chinese incursions in Ladakh are deep rooted. Since 1949 our combination of Neta’s and Babus have been signing various accords with China, they all talk of peace and tranquillity on the LAC but where is the LAC? China does not want to demarcate the LAC so that it can keep on claiming Indian territory as theirs and keep on doing their Salami slicing Act. Just two days back China has made an official statement that it does not recognise Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh as part of India. The other day some pliant Indian news papers said that China has hinted on India that India should accept LAC as offered by Chou-En Lai in 1959.Are Bhai which LAC? where it is demarcated? Truth is that our current Govt like previous Governments led by Diplomats-Bureaucracy-Intelligence Combine have been ignoring the intrusions by China pushing them under the carpet. In 2013 when Salman Khursheed was Foreign Minister, Chinese entered 19 kms inside India in Eastern Ladakh with about 60 troops and sat there for more than three weeks and our FM was calling this intrusion as just a pimple on the cheek. At an average every year Chinese military does 600-1000 intrusions in Indian territory and we have ben giving explanation of these intrusions that they are because of perceptual differences. Question is why these differences even though perceptual? Then our Babus have signed a pact with China that both sides, specially in Ladakh will not carry a firearm? Why? how can you separate soldier with his firearm and why they can not be used? Galwan flare up between Indian and Chinese troops of 15 Jun this year is case in point.

Truth is that Modi Government like other Governments before it followed a spineless and timid approach against China, there by giving courage to China to twist us as they please. Indian Army has been advising all Governments in power that China only understands power and our appeasing and timid approach will not do but nobody listened. It is reported that it was Feb this year that China started moving its troops and infrastructure towards Eastern Ladakh, it is impossible that US, Israel and Indian satellites had not detected this move but our Neta’s and Babus did not take it seriously. Reportedly in April Russia was asked about it, but they told us that this is all routine and we took it as Gospel Truth. Enough of this nonsense, time our Neta’s and Babus become strong and aggressive and start understanding World happenings. Though there are signs that Modi Government has learnt its lessons and that is why seven rounds of military level talks with China has taken place side lining our MEA Babus. Let us hope this trend continues.

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