By Syed Ali Mujtaba
The People’s Liberation Army of China is inside the 5 kilometre of the Line of Actual Control and is occupying the Indian Territory. The situation is alarming and either an all-out war or a hard bargain with China can defuse the situation.
At this moment, when India is fighting with the pandemic and our PM has the flattened 5 trillion economy, can India afford to go to war with China? Can our PM reinvigorate the sick economy in such quick notice and go for all-out war with China?
I am sure our PM will be back with ‘Deshwasio’ phrase, asking the countrymen to bear the expenses of war and save the motherland. Will, the people say, “Heil, mein Führer!” and do so to please this ionic leader of India.
Here I like to quote General Sam Manekshaw’s often quoted phrase that he told to Mrs Gandhi when she broached the idea to go to war with China. The celebrated General told her point blank; ‘only a military man knows the India’s vulnerability against China in case of war, politicians have no clue about it.’
So our PM has to think over about deciding to go to war with China. Going about the military gap, this well fought war may not be short lived but it may put our sovereignty at stake.
As far as negotiations are concerned, the incursion by China is deliberate thought out plan, as it wants its pound of flesh from India on the negotiation table.
In the negotiating table the Chinese side may either demand some economic benefits or political settlement with India to pull back its troops.
Economic benefits is hard to fathom but it could be India entering the Regional Comprehensive Trade Agreement or joining the one belt one road policy, both of these has been rejected by India.
The political settlement could still be a bad bargain for India. This has come out in open after the Modi-Li meeting at Mamallapuram, near Chennai on October 11, 2019.
After this meeting the Chinese media reported that its leader had suggested Indian leadership to have a joint mechanism with Pakistan to settle the entire gamut of boundary question with India. The Chinese media reported that Modi had given a head nod to this proposal but did commit to any forward movement.
As we all know this joint mechanism may bring into the territorial dispute of the J&K that has aggravated due abrogating the article 370 called and creation of Ladak as union territory. The fear is the kind of situation that is developing in Ladak will not give an easy exit route to India.
So the Modi government has to make up its mind, what bargain it may get in any such negotiation to defuse this crisis. At the heart of this situation is the Modi government’s move to reorganize J&K state. If India may face loss, the responsibility has to be fixed on the current government.
Tail piece- I was witness to a discussion at a think tank in Chennai where a retired Colonel was narrating the land boundary dispute with China and Russia erupted which resulted into a bloody skirmish. The Chinese side then used a special gun that killed 500 opponents in one fire. There was more blood spilled on the ground then water in the lake nearby. I pray this never happens with India- China dispute.
Syed Ali Mujtaba is a journalist based in Chennai. He can be contacted at email@example.com