India China Border – McMahon Line & the War on the Himalayas
China says it does not recognize the McMahon line – the border line between India and China. They has chosen to assign a name to Arunachal Pradesh (a norther state of India) as South Tibet, & now claims it is their.
If McMahon line is not accepted as final boundary at the India China Border, then both sides of the line i.e. Arunachal Pradesh of India & Tibet in China becomes disputed. China says Arunachal Pradesh is disputed but Tibet is China’s. – The Saying ‘ What is mine is mine, what is others is disputed ‘. Its delusion induced by a feeling of superiority.
Not that they direly needs some land from India. They have a far bigger landmass. But this is possibly an attempt to keep their neighbor under the heat, expecting India will bow down to the ‘aspiring super power’, if kept under some kind of pressure. The article below speaks of the days around the year of 1914 when the British Government and Tibet mutually agreed upon a borderline separating Tibet from India, and naming it after the Chief British negotiator Sir Henry McMahon.
Almost four decades later, came the Chinese Attack and Takeover of Tibet, 1950. In October 7, 1950 around 40,000 well prepared soldiers of the so called Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) of China barged into Eastern Tibet. Tibet was ill prepared with only 4000 troops who were overrun with ease. Had Tibet proactively taken up a modernization of its country with scientific & military advancements instead of just basing its society on the religion of Buddhism, then in the words of the Holy Dalai Lama ” I am quiet certain that Tibet’s situation would have been very different”. The Chinese forces advanced into Lasha and declared it had ‘liberated’ Lasha. The annexation was done under duress, against the principles of the United Nations. (Refer to article in bibliography www.factsanddetails.com)
Coming back to 2017, India has refused to accept their northern neighbor’s dictates (new as they are). Hence it has heavily fortified its border to prevent aggressive attempts. The attack of 1962 lead to a war with heavy casualties on the Indian side. It is proof of the true intention’s of a nation that attacks another without any provocation or threat of war. On the contrary India had actually invited the Leader Dictator of China just a few days before that.
India is the competitor that China never wanted to have. Today India and China are the fastest growing economies in the world. They are both among the top 5 military powers in the world. Both nations have achieved great heights in Space Technology. In fact India surpassed China in Mars expedition, by being the first nation in the world to orbit a satellite on Mars at first attempt. India also holds the record of launching the maximum number of satellites into orbit with a single launch. China was right in predicting the rise of India back in 1960’s and thought trampling it would be worth the while.
Back in 1962, India was just emerging from the ashes of its freedom fight from British rule and final liberation in 1947. It was eager to establish peace both inside and out. Hence it extended an arm of friendship to other nations including China. So much so that the then Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru visited China in 1954. And in fact six years later the Chinese Premiere Zhou Enlai came to Delhi in 1960. India, perhaps in its excitement, floated the slogan of “Hindi Chini Bhai Bhai” the Indian phrase for India & China brotherhood. In the early morning of October 20, 1962, at 5 am approximately 10,000 to 20,000 of Indian troops at the border were faced with an onslaught from 80,000 Chinese soldiers armed to the teeth. The Indian soldiers fought till the finish with limited weaponry & preparedness in anticipation. The Indian leadership under PM Jawaharlal Nehru was caught off guard by this act of war.
It is a tribute to the martyrs of India that never after did China consider going to war with India, to this day.
China launched attacks on both the McMahon line ( the state of Arunachal Pradesh ) and Ladakh. Indian soldiers were outgunned and outnumbered. The only option the Indian Military had at that point of time was to fight till the finish, till the last man and the last bullet. And so they did. Adopting a policy of inflicting the maximum possible damage with minimum resources, a battle where even in the face of defeat the damage inflicted on the attacker is significant enough to not make the attack worthwhile. Records have it that one such instance was that of Commander Major Shaitan Singh whose team of 120 killed close to 1300 enemy soldiers. Only six of the 120 got to live on by destiny’s grace only to tell the tale. Another such instance was of Jaswant Singh who is himself known to have killed 300 enemy soldiers all alone by firing from different bunkers to dodge & shoot the attackers.
I have had the privilege to view one of the telecasts in India where Veterans and military experts on the 1962 Sino India war shared their observations. One of them revealed that when they went into the battle field to bring back the bodies of the injured and the fallen Indian soldiers, they found that the bodies had bullets all over the Front side, but none on the back. They were soldiers who never for once turned their back while facing the enemy fire. They took all the bullets facing forward. There is the saying ” Great is the sin of an unnecessary war ” – John Adams. To every soldier of this land, Great is the glory of a war for justice.
Now, to understand if at all it was China who was at fault, we may refer to an article released by Chinese source Global Times as attached in the Bibliography. It claims perfect innocence on their side and goes further to glorify their misadventure as a ‘ War for Peace ‘ act. Just read between the lines and the true intention will reveal itself. The source explicitly states that – ‘ War is a negotiation approach, not a goal ‘. What it means is negotiating ( with the weaker party) at Gun Point, the perfect definition of a goon. It also boasts of US & Russia being startled by China’s exceptional performance.
Fast Forward half a century ahead, to the year 2017.
China asks Indian forces to withdraw from Doklam claiming it to be Chinese territory. India refuses. They declare that India has not learnt its lessons from 1962. Refer to Bibliography. Unwittingly revealing that the true intention of the Chinese attack in 1962 was to subordinate India by imparting it a lesson. But India did learn its lessons well, one of them being that weakness is not an option for a nation with rogue neighbors. India declared ‘ India of 2017 is not India of 1962 ‘. The promised war on India never happened.
The India China Border remains peaceful.
Disclaimer: The observations made are personal. Article expresses the opinion of the author.