"If this book, half a century after the events, can even now make us pause long enough and look at ourselves in the mirror, it would have achieved its objective. At the end of the day it is not the Nehrus and the Menons and the Thapars and the Kauls and the Bogey Sens who are the losers – it is the country as a whole."
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 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.