By Adeela Naureen and Umar Waqar
Last two weeks have witnessed increasing and loud anti Chinese rhetoric from Indian establishment, opposition and main stream media, blaming Chinese forces of infiltration of Line of Actual Control in the Laddakh region/Aksai Chin area. China has so far remained cool and calm and has advised the Indian establishment to clear their position on the issue. Lying in the harsh and freezing heights of Himalayas, Daulat Beg Oldi is a quite place near the old Silk route; that is where India has accused China of a strategic infiltration of the Line of Actual Control.
Chinese media realised it a bit late that Indian main stream media was going beyond limits to malign China for an incident which never occurred at the first place. One of the vastly read and followed Chinese newspapers, Global Times described the situation in following words, “The Indian government ought to clarify the so-called “intrusion” in a timely way and assume the responsibility of maintaining a good atmosphere. However, it hasn’t done so. It has remained silent and ambiguous, which indulges Indian media habits. Indian media have continuously created trouble for the Sino-Indian relationship. India seems to be in the driving seat of the bilateral relationship. Indian policy toward China can be fickle, while China’s levers for balancing the relationship are much simpler and scarcer. Therefore, Indian media and opposition should be balanced, so as to prevent them from enjoying privileges outside intergovernmental communications and negotiations. Either the Indian government should stand up to report true information to Indian society, or it should let Chinese public opinion contend with India’s. Staking claims to its borders is of crucial significance to China and peace and stability along the border are also vital to India. Current peace and status quo is not bestowed by India alone.”
Whereas the Chinese have been more balanced and accommodating in dealing with their uneasy neighbour in the south, Indian media, its military establishment and major political parties have raised the ante and made the entire issue into a Strategic problems. The Hindu ran the story of reaction of BJP leadership to Chinese incursions on 29 April as, “In an interaction with selected audience, Mr. Jaitley said although it was a serious issue concerning the nation’s security, the Centre had left everyone clueless on how it was going to deal with this issue and what policy it would follow in this regard. Moreover, it was highly condemnable that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had termed it a localised problem. Dr. Singh must take a serious note of the issue and take all political parties into confidence. The Bharatiya Janata Party would support any such move.The BJP was acting responsibly on this issue. “But our patience is running out, so is the patience of people.” India should take a firm stand on such serious issues and the government must explore various instruments such as military, diplomatic, international pressure, the issue of Tibetan autonomy and such others to handle this issue.”
India has maintained a very strange relationship with all of its neighbours, most of the time this relationship has had been tailored to address Indian anxiety derived from past history of 2000 years and more recently for building a false clout of its greatness. The media and Indian establishment have blamed India’s neighbours for most of ills related to security and poor governance in the Union, however the track record shows something reverse. India occupied Kashmir in 1947,fought war with China in 1962 and suffered humiliation, absorbed Sikkim in 60s,dismembered Pakistan in 1971,created LTTE in Srilanka to create a civil war and then through a classic Chankya strategy intervened in Sri Lanka to help it fight the LTTE created by its prime intelligence agency, the RAW.India has subjugated Bhutan to a subordinate status, steals Bangladeshi and Pakistani water being upper riparian and steals Nepalese electricity by making dams inside Nepal being a lower riparian, even intervened in Maldives..so who is left? That reminds us of Indian latest adventure in Afghanistan where it has used ten Indian consulates and RAW operators to keep Duran line on fire through proxy war and terrorism campaign in Baluchistan and KPK. Some analysts have even blamed India for fomenting tensions in Chinese state of Sinkiang and Tibet. India played a dirty game during Beijing Olympics by involving Tibetan dissidents when the Olympic torch passed through India.
Indo China conflict across the Himalayas dates back to British times when they arbitrarily demarcated the international border with China and vast swaths of bordering territory remained in dispute. Following Independence of both countries the issue of border dispute has been surfacing regularly and resulted into a major war in 1962.Nehru’s forward policy in the Himalayas was effectively checked and rolled back by PLA when Chinese forces not only destroyed Indian military capability in Aksai Chin and NEFA(current Arunachal Pradesh) but also set the tone of future political discourse in this dispute.
Current Indian rhetoric may be a ploy to gain politico diplomatic advantage against China on behest of powers that be, India has played on psyche and anxiety of the West against a rising China and still tries to woo Chinese in forums like BRICs. The change of guard in Beijing and President Xi Jinping’s proactive foreign policy(which is need of the hour) may look for an opportunity to solve all outstanding disputed with Chinese neighbours with more determination and honour. India is probably miscalculating Chinese resolve as it did in 1962.