By Claude Arpi
Issue Book Excerpt: 1962 and the McMahon Line Saga | Date : 20 Nov , 2012
China Invades Tibet: ‘The Gods are on Our Side!’
Before studying a non-existent India’s Tibet Policy, it is necessary to go back to the Fall of 1950. Before this, the Indian Government had probably never thought of the necessity of having a Tibet Policy, though back in August 1950, the rumours of an impending Chinese attack had trickled in; it did not bother anybody in the Summer of Delhi.
The demise of Sardar Patel, holder of a more holistic vision on the security issues of the Indian border, stopped the search for a Tibet Policy with all the consequences which can be seen today.
K.M. Panikkar, the Indian Ambassador in China knew about it; he was aware that the PLA’s troops had already entered some Chinese-controlled areas of Kham.1 In a communication to the Chinese Foreign Office on October 2, 1950, he told the Chinese that the Tibetan delegation, at that time in India, would be shortly leaving for Peking for negotiations; the Indian Ambassador expressed the hope that further military action would, therefore, not be necessary. “It will help the peaceful settlement of the Tibetan question if the Chinese troops which might have entered territory under the jurisdiction of the Lhasa authorities could restrict themselves to western Sikang.”2