India-China Dispute: Courage and righteousness will prevail
by Jaibans Singh on 14 Jul 2020 17 Comments

In the Mahabharata, the Kaurava Army had better warriors and generals than the Pandavas; their forces were also much larger and better trained. It was on this strategic calculation that Prince Duryodhana decided to fight against the Pandavas. The Pandavas won because they had Dharma (Righteousness) on their side. The Kaurava Generals were not convinced about the righteousness and justification of the claims made by Prince Duryodhana; they were fighting more due to pledged loyalty than a conviction for the cause. This weakness led to their destruction and that of the entire Kaurava Army. 


If we apply the same template to the situation between India and China, we can conclude that the Chinese are going through the paces with a distinct lack of conviction. To move from mainland China through thousands of kms of Chinese Occupied Tibet (COT) and Chinese Occupied East Turkestan (COET) and then lay claim on territory that has been a part of another country for millennia, is neither righteous nor justified. There is also no support for the cause from the Chinese people. Such a misadventure, therefore, distinctly lacks courage of conviction and has left the Chinese soldiers confused and scared; their resolve to fight stands seriously eroded. Their situation, therefore, is the same as that of the Kaurava army - the strength is there but courage of conviction is lacking.


The Indian Army, on the other hand, is fighting for a cause that is absolutely righteous, justified and close to the heart of all Indian nationals who are backing their forces completely. Ladakh is a region which our noble ancestors gave their lives to defend in 1962. There is no way that the present generation of Indian soldiers will let down their ancestors. Indian Army, therefore, is in the same situation as the Pandava Army.


The nation’s morale received a considerable boost when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Ladakh on July 3. He met the injured soldiers in hospital and gave a very motivating speech to the troops deployed in the region. “Our enemies have seen your fire and also your fury,” he said. “Your courage is higher than the heights where you are serving today… Not only me, the entire nation believes in you. We all are proud of you”. More significantly, the Prime Minister quoted the Bhagwad Gita, “Veer Bhogya Vasundhara” which means “the brave shall inherit the world”, and in an oblique reference to Chinese perfidy said, “This is the era of development. The whole world has made up its mind against expansionism.”  


Earlier, a lucid insight was given by Ram Madhav, national general secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Party, in the course of a discussion with prominent domain experts through a Webinar. He said that China is pursuing a military doctrine of “victory without war” as advocated by their legendary strategist Sun Tsu. The attempt is to register nibbling land grab victories against India without firing a bullet. This is the reason behind China not agreeing to the demarcation of the LAC and yet not firing a single bullet over the last many decades. 


Ram Madhav said that the ruling NDA Government has adopted a counter policy of claiming ownership of the LAC as perceived by her. The circumstances have made untenable the nibbling policy that China had so successfully applied for decades and which saw them, in 2013, coming 19 kms into Indian territory in Depsang and pitching tents. The Government of India, under the BJP, will always strive for peace, but with self respect. India will not accept humiliating compromises anymore and if this makes China prone to misadventures then India will respond adequately and assertively. An application of this policy and posture has been witnessed in Doklam earlier and in Eastern Ladakh now. “We do not want war, but we will not settle for the peace of the graveyard,” Ram Madhav asserted. He added that India is improving infrastructure in Ladakh at a very rapid pace and will continue to do so.


There is absolute truth in what Ram Madhav has said and in what the whole of India believes. Ladakh has been part of India for over a century. The Dogra ruler captured the region in 1834. After independence, Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession and made Jammu and Kashmir an integral part of India.


The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was created in 1921 and came to power in 1949 much after the boundary between Tibet and Ladakh had been finalised by the British through the Simla Convention of 1914. The CCP has forcefully annexed its own mainland and many adjoining regions like Tibet, East Turkestan, Mongolia etc. It definitely has no claims on these annexed territories, what to talk of Ladakh or any other Indian territory.


Even if one concedes a small edge in military capacity to China, it is the professionalism of the Indian Army, its commitment to the nation and its noble legacy that will prevail. The PLA is a politicised force used more for keeping the iron control of the CCP on the subjugated people, especially China-Occupied Tibet (COT) and China-Occupied East Turkestan (COET).


Indian citizens have every reason to have faith in the Government and the Army who are taking all necessary actions to safeguard national interest and sovereignty and are achieving great success in their endeavours. The need of the hour is to stand by them and boost their morale. 


(Jaibans Singh is a reputed strategic analyst, columnist and author)

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