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An Other Autopsy?

A casual approach, or even a bit of ignorance, is capable of triggering a great crisis in the future, as far as the Foreign Policy is concerned. A Nation cannot afford to exhibit such an attitude, especially if it deals with an aggressive neighbour, like China! In his newly-published book ‘End of an Era, India Exits Tibet’, well-known French-born Author, Journalist, Historian, Tibetologist and China-Expert Claude Arpi has stated that first Prime Minister of India Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru (November 14, 1889 – May 27, 1964) had ignored an intelligence report of construction of roadways by China in the Indian territory in 1957, thus, allowing the Asian Giant to create a Border Tension!

In his publication, Arpi claimed that an Indian Army officer had arrived in Aksai Chin in early 1957, in an audacious secret mission! Lieutenant Colonel R S Basera and one of his subordinates, Havildar Diwan Singh, had reportedly joined a group of yak grazers in disguise, and received first-hand evidence that China had illegally built a road in the Indian Territory. Although they took a lot of risks while gathering these pieces of information, the then Defence Minister of India, V K Krishna Menon, and Prime Minister Nehru remained silent about the exact location of the road made by the Chinese people… A couple of years later, the Nehru Administration admitted in the Parliament that China had indeed constructed a road inside the Indian territories!

Lieutenant Colonel Basera reportedly informed New Delhi that China had already built motorable roads inside the Indian Territory that could enable the Chinese troops to reach the Indian border area fast. He sent a note to the Government of India, stating that Chairman Mao Zedong – annoyed by the asylum extended to the Holy Dalai Lama and attempts by Nehru to undermine the leadership of China in the Third World – decided to attack Indian positions in October 1962. Lieutenant Colonel Basera had reportedly sent the note after measuring the roads in an approximate fashion. However, Nehru and his Defence Minister had seemingly asked the Director of Military Intelligence to confirm about the construction of the road by a map. Getting to learn about this, Lieutenant Colonel Basera informed the Director of Military Intelligence that it was not possible for him to carry map because of security reasons.

Arpi has revealed the fact on the basis of papers kept at the Nehru Memorial Library, de-classified Indian and Chinese documents and some personal interviews… He also went through voluminous reports by the French Agencies about the ominous consolidation of China’s occupation of Tibet that had failed to prod India into action. According to Arpi, India’s failure in influencing Tibet ultimately helped China claim a part of the Indian Territory as its own! He has, in a way, blamed Nehru for not preventing the ‘Sinofication’ of the Tibetan Culture

Jawaharlal Nehru (R) with China’s Premier Mao Zedong (L) in a picture dated October 27, 1954 during the Indian Prime Minister’s visit to China

The French Historian is of the opinion that India did have different options to counter the Chinese aggression at that period of time. As the Indian Air Force was clearly superior to the Chinese Air Force in the 1960’s, the South Asian Nation could definitely help Tibet resist the Chinese forces. Furthermore, the Nehru Administration did not even use India’s strong presence through trading centres in the region in order to corner China, diplomatically, over the Tibet Issue!

Even before Lieutenant Colonel Basera’s secret mission, British Mountaineer Sidney Wignall had arrived in Tibet, with the knowledge of the Indian Armed Forces. Although the Chinese Authorities detained him, Wignall got released at a high pass and had managed to return to India. In PM Nehru’s presence, Defence Minister Krishna Menon reportedly dismissed the Englishman’s report of the Aksai Chin road as CIA propaganda.

Claude Arpi

Now, India is paying the price as its relations with China have deteriorated in recent times over the border issue. China has started sending hardcore ambassadors to South Asia in order to push its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and to undermine India in its own backyard. Beijing has appointed Nong Rong – a Chinese politician with close links to United Front Works Department (UFWD) – as the Ambassador to Pakistan. Ambassador Nong has replaced career Diplomat Yao Jing in Islamabad. Similarly, Hou Yonqi – the Chinese Ambassador to Nepal – is an Asian Affairs expert with a PLA Intelligence background… she had served as the Director of Department of External Security Affairs in the past. Fluent in Urdu Language, Ambassador Hou has been asked by Beijing to keep the Communist Movement in Nepal together. Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jiming and former Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Cheng Xueyuan, too, had links with the UFWD. Experts believe that the main aim of Beijing is to influence the politicians, economists and intellectuals in neighbouring countries, and to push the systematic penetration into systems of the targeted countries…

Had PM Nehru not committed the blunder, India may have been well be in a better position in its diplomatic war against China, today!

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