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Friday, October 16, 2015

The Naive Nehru and his Biting the Dust vs China

How Nehru was Misled by his Proteges on India - China Border Dispute

India and China are rivals in Asia, but China has stolen a lead over India. The blame for this squarely rests on Nehru who showed himself to be a naive leader easily misled by his advisors

Background



The Chinese President Xi visited India a few days back. Despite the bon home nearly 1500 Chinese troops intruded across the line of actual control in Ladakh. What did this signify? What were the Chinese trying to convey at a time when their President was signing pacts after pacts in Gujarat and Delhi?
The fact is the Chinese were reminding India of 1962, when the Chinese army had struck across the border and surprised the Indian army and the Indian Prime Minister JL Nehru. At this juncture one can look back to that period and see that it was an unreal time and the 3 principle characters in this sordid drama were Nehru, General Kaul and Mullick.

India’s China War and role of Kaul and Mullick

What actually happened in 1962? After the defeat at the hands of China the government commissioned an inquiry under General Henderson Brooks to pinpoint the reasons for the Indian debacle. This report was never made public and still gathers dust in the archives of the Ministry of defence. The popular perception in India among the people is that China launched an unprovoked attack on India in 1962. However now it is known that perhaps this may not have been the case. Two Books one by Brigadier Dalvi titled ‘Himalayan Blunder’ and the other by Neville Maxwell ‘India’s China war ‘paint an entirely different picture. These books point out that Nehru lived in an unreal world and never understood the concept of military might. Despite a weak and under armed army he asked the army to launch ‘forward policy’.

This effectively meant Indian troops entering areas held by Chinese troops and trying to set up posts with a view to exercise Indian control over Ladakh. This alarmed the Chinese. How did Nehru come to approve this policy without the necessary muscle in the Indian army? It appears Nehru went by the advice of two people namely his distant cousin Lieutenant General BM Kaul and BN Mullick, the then chief of the Intelligence Bureau. Both these men completely misled Nehru.

Nehru and BM Kaul



In the sordid events of 1962 the role of Lieutenant General BM Kaul is of great importance. He had won the confidence of the Prime Minister Nehru. Kaul was a Sandhurst graduate, but the negative side was that he had spent the entire world war as a staff officer and never saw actual battle against the Japanese. He had mainly worked as a PRO (public relations officer).

This man by the fact that he was a Kashmiri like Nehru as well as related to him led him to inveigle into the inner circle of Nehru and became the main advisor on all military matters. The forward policy as defined by Nehru was on the advice of Kaul. The military and political leadership failed to realize the grave provocation to the Chinese. They also failed to realize that the posts manned by 8-10 soldiers were unsustainable in a conflict. A Chinese reaction was inevitable and Kaul has gone down in history as a losing general, while Nehru has had his reputation tarnished as a great world leader. He lost to the wily Mao.

The Role of BN Mullick

Another character who played a significant role at that time was BN Mullick who was the Intelligence Chief during those crucial days. BN Mullick to ingratiate himself with Nehru gave the advice Nehru wanted to hear. His advice was bereft of any military or other intelligence and he was able to convince Nehru that the Chinese would not attack or risk a war with India. Unfortunately Mullick fed Nehru with information, Nehru wanted to hear. Mullick’s intelligence information was a joke. The fact is this man misled Nehru as well and gave a sense of false confidence to Nehru.

Last word

It's more than 50 years since the war was fought. The Chinese again are needling India. It is a fact that India has not been able to build up infrastructure to match the Chinese as the Central leadership has let India down.

Hopefully with Modi as the Prime Minister the policy of appeasement and neglect of the northern border will change. One must remember the Chinese understand only the politics of the mailed fist. Failure to realize may well give China another brownie point in the game of world history.
all photos from wiki free