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The cat & mouse game

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With the recent incident of cross border firing by Nepalese Police, two days back, on four unarmed farm workers, wherein one of them unfortunately has succumbed to his injuries; questions are being raised on the intent of Nepal, and the possible response from the Indian Government.

India, historically has maintained a posture which states, that it is flanked on its North-West, North, North-East and Eastern borders by hostile neighbors; who have since the formation of independent India, have been stating false and unsubstantiated claims on India’s sovereign territory.

Owing to vested interests of the British, compounded by the selfish interests of Mohammed Jinnah and Jawaharlal Nehru, supported by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi; India found itself divided into two nations, and sandwiched by the two parts of the breakaway nation of Pakistan.

Sharing its borders with West Pakistan (Now Pakistan), on the Western and Northern front; and East Pakistan (Now Bangladesh), on its Eastern front; India initially, never realized that it was going face aggression and hostility from multiple fronts, not only from Pakistan, but also from its other neighbor China.

Contradictory, to what the past left liberal historians want us to believe, that Gandhi and his spinning wheel got India, its freedom; the freedom of India was obtained by the sacrifice of thousands of unsung heroes; and they are not Gandhi and Nehru.

The Indian freedom struggle can be actually termed to have started with the resistance to the Mughal Invasion, and subsequent challenges put up by the great warriors in the form of Maharaj Baji Rao, Guru Gobind Singh Ji, Maharaj Chatrapati Shivaji, Maharaj Prithviraj Chouhan, Maharani Laxmibai …  All this was augmented the valiant efforts of the likes of Mangal Pandey, Chandrashekhar Azad, Bhagat Singh, Netaji and many others against the imperialist Britishers. 

A certain theory that is present in several history books, is well documented, but has been buried on purpose is that the Britisher’s quit India, not because of the non-violent movement of Congress, under the leadership of Gandhi and Nehru; but had left India because of the return of over 50,000 battle hardened Indian world War II veterans, belonging to the Azad Hind Sena, along with the trained world War II veterans who had fought against the Nazi Dictatorship, as a part of the British Army.

The British feared mutiny, was one reason for them to leave. The other reason that attributed to the departure of the British was the cost of maintaining India as a colony. World War II, had left the British Empire bankrupt, and they did not have the infrastructure and industry left to process their loot of raw materials from the sub-continent, making the sub-continent a drain and burden on their own economy.

However, the British had no desire to allow the sub-continent to prosper, and in line with the ‘divide and rule’ strategy that the British always followed, the broke the country up on religious lines creating Pakistan; not only to hamper the prosperity of the sub-continent, but also to maintain chaos and unrest in this part of the world, as they envisaged that it will allow them to maintain some form of control, despite the era of colonization coming to an end.

One has to give due credit to the British, that in 1947 they eventually did achieve this objective quite successfully. They ensured that by dividing the nation on religious lines, a Hindu-Muslim animosity could be further nurtured.

This strategy worked especially well in the wake of the fact the Pakistan was establish with a focus of making it into a Islamic state; and history has witnessed that states that have followed Islam as a state religion and used it as a political tool, have grown into fundamentalist states, that are driven by the directive of the Sharia, over all other philosophies, and that has been instrumental in keeping them as, under developed, and at the mercy of the more progressive and developed nations.

In 1948, after the Indian partition, the consolidation of the Indian states was taking place. Spearheaded by the Iron Man of India, Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel, India was restructuring itself under one flag, and one constitution.

However, during this period Kashmir, was to be formally inducted into the Indian union; but owing to Jawaharlal Nehru’s blunder of taking the Kashmir issue to the UN in the same year; Pakistan managed to occupy a large section of Kashmir even to this day (POK & Gilgit-Baltistan, Saltoro Ridge, Sir Creek; roughly a total of 70,000 Square Kilometers).

On the other hand, China, which was officially created in 1921, became ‘Peoples Republic of China’ in 1949, under the Communist Party’s rule. With this new power center taking control of China; China embarked on its plan to gain regional supremacy, resulting in China claiming neighboring countries territory as its own.

One of its earliest forays in this direction was the invasion of Tibet in 1950-51. This resulted in the Tibetan uprising, and Dalai Lama fleeing to India, under the guise of seeking political asylum.

Meanwhile, according to a report published in ‘The Hindu’, of 10 January, 2004, the then UN Under-Secretary General ‘Shashi Tharoor’, revealed that Jawaharlal Nehru, “declined a United States offer”, to India to “take the permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council” around 1953 and suggested that it be given to China, which China occupies till date.

With China’s permanent entry into the UNSC, that gave it the power of ‘Veto’, and India’s granting asylum to the Dalai Lama; increased the hostility between the Indians and Chinese, and eventually led to the India-China war in 1962. Which, India lost, as being ill prepared and other reasons; the government of that time, led by Jawaharlal Nehru, did not allow the ‘Indian Air Force’ to participate in the conflict.

At this point in time, India faced a precarious situation; it had two hostile neighboring countries flanking it from three sides West, North and East; its economy still hungry for growth, primarily dependent on monsoon driven agriculture, and with hardly any industry leadership; lack of basic infrastructure, education and healthcare facilities; and with a weak and visionless government led by an equally glorified Prime Minister, in the form of Jawaharlal Nehru. The country was surviving with nothing else, but the grace of God.

However, in 1964, Nehru passed away, and India got one of it’s finest Prime Minister’s till date, in the form of Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri.

Having witnessed Indian responses under Jawaharlal Nehru, and by studying the geo-political power balance in the region, Pakistan attacked India in 1965, as a result of a culmination of skirmishes that took place between April, 1965 and September, 1965 between Pakistan and India.

The conflict began following Pakistan’s Operation Gibraltar, which was designed to infiltrate forces into Jammu and Kashmir to precipitate an insurgency against Indian rule.

Pakistan, had expected a weak Indian response, as it would have had been under the leadership of Jawaharlal Nehru; but to Pakistan’s utter surprise they were met with a firm resolve of India, both by the armed forces and by the political establishment, then led by Shri Lala Bahadur Shastri. Pakistan was disseminated.

Unfortunately, Prime Minister Shastri’s term did not last long. He died under mysterious circumstances in Tashkent, in 1966. He was succeeded by Mrs. Indira Gandhi, the daughter of Late Jawaharlal Nehru.

In 1971, Pakistan once again thought of the opportunity to attack India. It attacked preemptively attacked 11 Indian air Bases, forcing Mrs. Indira Gandhi to declare war on Pakistan. The 1971, war is perhaps one of the shortest wars in history, lasting a mere 13-day, splitting Pakistan into two countries in place of one (West & East Pakistan), which today is known as Bangladesh.

Resulting, the hatred and animosity of Pakistan towards India is prevalent till date.      

All along this time, China was slowly, but steadily working towards its goal of regional dominance.

During 1970s till 1991, the world powers were divided into two groups; the first being countries that were democratic and advocated capitalism, encouraging free market economy; the other were countries which were behind the then so called ‘Iron Curtain’. These countries were governed by authoritarian regimes, under the barb and guise of communism, and were closed clusters, of whose internal functioning was little known to the outside world.

China, was aligned to the group of countries that were behind the Iron Curtain, as it suited the mode and method of functioning of the communist party that had been ruling China.

However, during the 1980s, China had realized that the longevity of the communist block itself was under possible peril; and had begun to work upon plans to expand its influence, single handedly.

In 1991, with the eventual disintegration of USSR, China saw an opportunity to occupy the front seat to challenge USA as the leading powerhouse of the world.

With this realization, China further increased its aggression, with almost all of its bordering countries, and also with countries where it has maritime interests. This aggression was witnessed by the world in different forms of incursions into neighboring countries, disputes over maritime assets, blockages of shipping lanes, false tittle claims over land, air and sea jurisdictions.

With India, post 1962 war, China illegally occupies Aksai Chin, Depsang Plains, Trans-Karakoram Tract, and parts of Arunachal Pradesh; amounting to almost 45,000 Square Kilometers.

China, today in 2020, has miscalculated; post COVID-19, China is facing a global backlash. China built its economy by closing its own internal markets to other nations, while manipulating the global community to give access to Chinese products. With 123 countries asking for China’s accountability not only in the outbreak of COVID-19, but also in SARS (H1N1), in the WHA; and seeking a global compensation amounting to several trillion US dollars; China, not only is facing the threat of a financial penalty, but is seriously starring at the prospect of closure of several major global markets for its products, and also the exit of several global manufacturing conglomerates from its shores.

This would have a crippling effect on the Chinese growth story, and break the backbone of their economy. It is not only the economy that is a worrisome factor for the Chinese, but also the fact that there is a growing dissidence amongst the normal Chinese population against the present ruling regime; the fear of a civil uprising at this juncture is a matter of concern for Xi Jingping, and his stronghold.

Finding the odds being stacked against itself, China will, and is now adopting a strategy that is a combination of conflict, confusion, deceit and betrayal. It in place of getting into direct conflicts, is nurturing proxies to do its dirty work.

Pakistan, has always been more than willing to play up to the Chinese tune. However, with the fall of monarchy, and with the establishment of a Pro-China Communist Government in Nepal; the Nepalese have too joined this bandwagon.

The recent firing across the border by the Nepalese Police on unarmed Indian civilians is an indication of the orders that have been received by the Nepalese Government, by their Chinese paymasters.

However, hopefully Nepal must be realizing that it is in an extremely delicate situation. China, is nobody’s friend, it will attempt to claim territories from one and all. Whether, it is obtaining territories by making a country bankrupt, as is the case of Pakistan, or forcefully occupying someone else’s land mass, as it did in Tibet; China will, and is claiming stake at parts of Nepal, which includes Mount Everest. If, Nepal wants to keep its sovereignty, against China, it needs India.

Secondly, Nepal is a landlock country; which means Nepal has no direct access to the sea. All of Nepal’s sea trade is done through Kolkata Sea Port. There is no other sea port accessible to Nepal.

This purely indicates that the present government in Nepal, is sold out to the Chinese, and has put their own national interest at a high-risk level.

Under such circumstances and operating within such a hostile environment, the Indian Government is reciprocating the Chinese advances by mirroring the Chinese itself.

Traditional warfare is a combination of four individual strategies, namely ‘Defense, Attack, Flank and Guerilla’; And, the great Indian strategist Chanakya gave his Guru Mantra of “साम, दाम, दंड, भेद”

The Think Tank’s in the Indian defense and political establishment understand this well. They have defined but dynamic strategies in place to deal with all hostilities that surround us.

To handle China, we respond with an eyeball defense strategy, clubbed with साम and भेद; wherein we confront, negotiate and diplomatically treat the situation.

We handle Pakistan with ‘confrontational defense’, ‘covert attack’, clubbing it with elements of दंड and doses full of भेद; whether its POK or Baluchistan.

Nepal, which we have historically treated as a younger brother needs to be handled like a disturbed child with not military engagement at this point of time, but by a lot of साम, some amount of दाम, an indication of दंड, and a little bit of भेद.

The stalwarts and agencies that shoulder our defense responsibility are extremely proficient in these exercises; be it Ministry of External Affairs led by Shri S. Jaishankar, or Home Ministry under Shri Amit Shah, advised by NSA Shri Ajit Doval and assisted by IB, RAW and NIA. Or be it the Ministry of Defense, currently spearheaded by the level headed Shri Rajnath Singh, along with CDS General Bipin Rawat, and the three Chief’s of Army, Navy and Air Force; we have an excellent team at the helm of affairs, that under no circumstances will compromise with national interest.

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