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.
"In these circumstances, one thing, to my mind, is quite clear; and, that is, that we cannot be friendly with China and must think in terms of defense against a determined, calculating, unscrupulous, ruthless, unprincipled and prejudiced combination of powers, of which the Chinese will be the spearhead." "There might be from them outward offers or protestations of friendship, but in that will be concealed an ultimate hideous design of ideological and even political conquest into their bloc. It is equally obvious to me that any friendly or appeasing approaches from us would either be mistaken for weakness or would be exploited in furtherance of their ultimate aim," the letter states.
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.
There are different views on the Indian policy towards China and the Tibet issue. I will write more on that some other day. I have reproduced here the letter written by then Deputy Prime Minister of India Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel to the Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru on November 7, 1950 on Tibet issue. The letter throws light on the thought process of the Indian government vis-a-vis Tibet and China in the initial years after the independence.