14 Nov , 2014
To some, the India-China War, which started on October 20, 1962 with the Chinese Army walking across the contested and an undefined border, was not a war at all but an armed incursion across the mountains. Call it by any name, the event continues to rankle all and sundry in India; it should be but natural, therefore, for the leadership, military and civil, to analyse and study the happenings of that one fateful month of 1962, to prevent errors supposedly committed. But why is it that the errors, and errors had been made, are still considered as ‘perceived’ and the lessons learnt, if they have been learnt, never been placed in the public domain?
The Report, believed to be highly critical of India’s military and political leadership of the time, continues with the tag of “CLASSIFIED”…
If October 2012 was the 50th anniversary of the forgettable war, the Sino-Indian conflict, March 2014 was the centenary of the ‘birth’ of McMahon Line, which can be considered as the key attempt at defining and de-limiting the India-China border in the Eastern sector, and probably the genesis of the conflict. China’s response to the McMahon Line and its application to demarcate the India-China border has been one of outright rejection on grounds of ‘imperialist legacy’. Whether China’s stand on the issue defensible or not can be a definite subject of debate and perhaps, of mutual accommodation. China’s persistence in claiming the entire present-day Arunachal Pradesh, however, can be an indication to staking a claim for a swap in the Western Sector.
China, all along, wanted a route to Tibet through Aksai Chin and could not be bothered about facts from history. China had been active in that area for a decade prior to 1962, but in 1953, Nehru decided to redraw the boundary as per the Johnson Line of 1865, which included Aksai Chin in India; this was contrary to the British stand of 1899, which had kept it out of India. The Chinese have continuously argued that the Ladakh border has never been clearly delineated and, if at all, any border demarcation has to be as per the McCartney-MacDonald Line, which favours China.