PM says India and China are good friends. Of course we are. We have so much in common. Like Arunachal Pradesh.
- A joke on india todayin.
China is megalomaniac by delusion of being the greatest country in Asia. China shares common border with 16 countries which is a record in the world. The boarder between India and China is 3488 kms long , as stated in a document published by the Ministry of Home affairs. After China got freedom from the British rule, its attitude towards India has remained not only unfriendly but also belligerent. Possession over two regions are disputable: Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh.
Askai Chin is a region located in the Northwestern part of Tibetan Plateau. Few Buddhists and Muslims are living there. However scanty in population and insufficient in resources , this region is strategically important. It is administrated by the People’s Republic Of China, India claims its ownership on that region, saying it to be the part of Ladakh region of Jammu Kashmir state. China had already constructed its highway 219 in this area connecting Tibet to Xianjing, its eighth important division.( This place has prior importance for China as it touches the boarders of seven countries) The construction of this road began in 1951 and completed in 1957. The construction of the highway became one of the pivotal issues of Indo –China war ,1962.
Another hindrance is the region of Arunachal Pradesh where China often declared its tenancy. China has its eyes on the Tawang region , which is the Northern part of the state. The region has its spiritual significance as the biggest monastery of India is located here. By 1860s Tibet was recognized as a separate country, but until 1912 the boundaries were not clearly defined. The region was not frequently visited by the people.
In 1914, the then British Government of India tried to bring a solution. The Shimla convention was called. The representatives of the British India, Tibet and China assembled for negotiation. Sir Henry McMahan led the conference. The agreement couldn’t be signed between China and Tibet as the border problem persisted. The representative of China walked out and the meeting remained inconclusive. India and Tibet agreed to accept the border which was going to be known as the McMahan line in future. In order to avoid any controversy , the British neither displayed the McMahan line in the map nor published the matter of agreement until 1937. Later China denied to agree to the terms and conditions of The Shimla Convention. After possessing the entire Tibet in 1950 under the pretext of the exploitation of the common people by the Lamas, China wanted India to handover Arunachal Pradesh being the part of ‘original’ Tibet.
After gaining independence, China declared its intention to ‘cover’ Tibet, which was ‘originally’ its territory. Indian government verbally protested but supported China practically. We ventured to support China. Mr Jawaharlal Nehru took a personal interest in introducing China as an emerging country.China started constructing check posts in the area of Askai Chin. We ignored it. Mr Nehru considered only Pakistan as our enemy, while he treated China as a well wisher! He did not attend the conference at San Francisco in 1951,to discuss the problem of Japan, because China had not been invited!
In 1954, India signed The Panchsheel Agreement with China in Peking on 29 April 1954. India was represented by Mr Nehru while China by Zhou Enlai. The possession of Tibet was almost officially accepted by India. The slogan “Hindi –Chini Bhai Bhai ” was echoed . Both the countries promised each other to maintain peace and security. The reactions of the treaty were sharp and severe. Many political leaders and ex -freedom fighters (including Dr Ambedkar) warned Nehru to be cautious in this matter. Mr Nehru , on the other hand ,declared repeatedly that India didn’t have any boarder issue with China. Indian government decided to reduce the military force on China border, as it was a ‘friendly’ nation.
India was rudely shocked when China published the maps showing Arunachal Pradesh as its territory. China later declared that they were the old maps and published by mistake. The matter was thus, withdrawn cunningly and accepted by the contemporary Indian government. Then a spark turned into a blast when China brought an attack on India. The war was proved a living example of catastrophe. The entire world came to know what could happen if the most powerful military was guided by the weakest political powers. In order to maintain our impression as a peace-loving nation, India had paid least attention to military requirements.
Our military was not equipped with the modern weapons. Our leaders were busy in making the African nations free so they did not have time to understand the importance of communication in military. The Prime Minister Mr Nehru was so concerned about the global problems that he didn’t have the time to visit the border and listen to the problems our army was facing .India lost the territory. Aksai Chin became the official part of China .During the discussion in the Parliament Mr Nehru said that it was barren part and nothing was growing there .A parliamentarian Mr Mahavir Tyagi showed his bald head and said that nothing grew here, it never meant that I should give it to others!!
During the time of Ms Indira Gandhi no remarkable change was observed in Indo- China relations. The Prime Minister Mr Morarji Desai extended the hand of friendship by sending Mr Atal Bihari Bajpayee there. Gradual changes were observed in China’s attitude. Still China’s policy of issuing stapled visa to the residents of Arunachal Pradesh indicates that the relations have not been still normalized .
By Milind Majumdar