The standoff in Ladakh takes the mind back to External Affairs Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee’s 1979 visit to Beijing. That visit was conceived in a context. Until 1971, with the Cold War at full throttle, a tiresome parity existed between India and Pakistan.
Tibet, Ladakh, Bhutan, Sikkim, Mongolia, Myanmar and Sri Lanka, are all bound by Buddhism, though sometimes of distinct Mahayana and Hinayana strands. How many of these would possibly be brought into play in President Donald Trump’s strategy of encircling China?
After his return from Beijing, the National Security Adviser, Ajit Doval, must brief the diplomatic corps in New Delhi which so far has heard only from the Chinese here and in important capitals.
The purpose of this article however is to sensitize the readers about the larger objective of China in effecting a thrust from Chumbi Valley into Bay of Bengal through Indian territory and the land of Bangladesh in fanatical pursuance of ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative.
A section of the confidential Henderson Brooks-Bhagat Report, which has been lying with the Defence Ministry for over 50 years now, has now been put online by Australian journalist Neville Maxwell. The report was a result of the government inquiry into the humiliating defeat at the hands of China in the 1962 border war. You can read the report here.
The details of conversation between the US President his top officials clearly suggest that US did try to convince China to initiate a military action against India while the 1971 India-Pakistan war was on.
The dominant view of US strategic thinkers is pivoted on the looming importance of Indian Ocean as a region of competitive interests.
Among the numerous viewpoints regarding India’s potential to make it to the big league, one of the most important opinions held by many analysts is that India has even failed to decisively counter the challenge of terrorism directed towards it from its neighbour, which is one-eighth its size.
Experts opine that the defeat and humiliation at the hands of the Chinese in 1962 has been largely overlooked in the planning of future strategies. According to them, there is a lot of hype about India’s emergence as a great power. But as we take credit for limited successes against a small adversary, there is little or no public knowledge of a well laid out doctrine regarding future engagement with a superior power like China.
The Delhi High Court on July 16 directed the Union government to place before it the Henderson Brooks-Bhagat Report.
The court issued a notice to the government to file its response on a petition filed by veteran journalist Kuldip Nayar.
The report, lying with the Defence Ministry for over 45 years now, was a result of the government inquiry into the humiliating defeat at the hands of China in the 1962 border war.
The Government of India still treats the report as a classified document and have no concrete reasons for not making it public after so many years.
The Indian government's record in declassifying past records is appalling compared to mature democracies like the United States where even war secrets are declassified after the usual 30-year period. And in the "world's largest democracy" important documents relating to our history are not made public on flimsy grounds.