WORLD विचार

Bloody June – Nitin Saxena

New Delhi:  Indians failed to strongly pronounce their open declaration of patriotism but for the television channels that kept stoking the drawing room recipients to muster teeth-clenching provocation against China, the supposedly enemy of India for the last nearly 60 years, that had martyred 20 army personnel and a commanding officer, following a fist-battle on June 16 night near Galwan River Valley, the land which is contested by both the countries as their own.

The television news channels could not goad the jingoists and the heart-broken outcome was unexpectedly not a call for military revenge on China but a soft request made on the social media to stop using its goods.  Union Ministers Ramdas Athawala asked for boycotting the chinese food served in restaurants as well.  Another Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan also toed the common line of boycotting the Chinese goods.  The Indian railways scrapped the freight corridor project with a Chinese firm.

The Ministry of Commerce and Trade website gives an insight of how Chinese goods and services have permeated the Indian markets and the Indian households.  Their popularity is more than the Hindi film stars. Zomato, Flipkart, Xiaomi, Ola, Paytm, Big Basket,  Alibaba, to name a few. The boycott demand of Chinese goods will actually ruin the service sector.

According to data collected from China Global Investment Tracker (CGIT), Chinese companies  have invested over 10.5 billion US dollars in India spread over last three years in 43 deals of which over 20 are part of  greenfield projects.  China, perhaps, is not scared if its goods are boycotted temporarily as it knows that Indian market is dependent on it.

The live media updates are now focusing on the ‘boycott Chinese goods’ but sidelining the strategy India would adopt if the Chinese troops kept marching into the Indian border areas. The perception of many defence experts is that it was a military intrusion and not just a cross border clash.  The Chinese had entered almost  three kilometres inside the Indian territory.  Former Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru had once said that it does not matter if a small strip of land is in India or China or whether a village comes under India or Chinese territory. Nobody  lives there as a matter of fact. But what matters to India is the national prestige and dignity for which the clashes occur.

Knowing that the world is under a bitter pressure of COVID pandemic and economic slowdown, what prompted China to intrude into India’s border on an old dispute of owning the area around Galwan valley in Ladakh.  Land grabbing, corporate greed or is it the revenge?

The cause of the recent hand-to-hand battle echoes the wounds that China is nursing since Ladakh was given the Union Territory status after the abrogation of Article 370 .  The trump-card of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his company struck two goodies in one go.  The first was to give Jammu and Kashmir statehood thus putting restraint to the ongoing terrorist activities in the region.  Secondly, declaring Ladakh as a union territory, it came under Centre’s power

The changed status of Ladakh was a major blow to Beijing rolling it into an intricate delusion but did not lose hope of slashing New Delhi knowing too well that it had a failed attempt to capture Chushul in 1962.  Had the Chinese taken over Chushul, Leh would not have been with India.

The National Defense Ministry of China is well aware of the fight at Razang La in 1962 when Indian army was ill-equiped and was not accustomed to fighting at high altitudes and they fought the Chinese troops tooth and nail.  The 100 strong Indian troop of Kamaoni Regiment were all killed.  In a tribute to the dead soldiers, the Chinese had lined up their bodies and placed helmets over their bayonets.  Such was the respect that the Chinese showed for the dead’s bravery.

According to data collected from China Global Investment Tracker (CGIT), Chinese companies  have invested over 10.5 billion US dollars in India spread over last three years in 43 deals of which over 20 are part of  greenfield projects.  China, perhaps, is not scared if its goods are boycotted temporarily as it knows that Indian market is dependent on it.

Who hurled the first stone?  This will remain a mystery as both the countries are spinning  stories to their own benefit.  The soldiers on field and who  were  witness to the ‘shameful episode’ on Indian border would remain mum and don the cloak of secrecy that the army generally basks under it when it decides to remain non-committal.

Galwan River Valley skirmish is not likely to  bloom into a battle as both the countries are in discomfort in attacking each other in the times of COVID pandemic and economic slowdown.  American intelligence has quoted 43 casualties on the Chinese side reminding India of the October 1959 chinese attack on its reserve police which was revealed by a CIA bulletin three days later on October 24, 1959. Beijing then known as Peiping had officially endorsed the firing which killed 10 Indians  “Peiping (Beijing) also published its version of the incident on 23 October, claiming in a relatively mild statement that Chinese frontier guards had been compelled to fire in self-defense,” said the CIA bulletin on October 24, 1959

Nitin Saxena
Nitin Saxena is a Senior Journalist who dabbled into Films and Academics before coming back to Journalim as a Columnist and Communication consultant
https://vspnews.in

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