India’s silence is providing China with a nicking edge to turn even more aggressive around LAC in Arunachal Pradesh and Ladakh. What I find shocking is the fact that we do retaliate and backfire at Pakistan and Sri Lanka (1989) but keep a mum on China which has been the most contemptuous violator of the border norms. Thus said Prof P Stobdan, senior fellow of the IDSA and former member of National Security Council, at a round table discussion on “India China Border-The Current Situation” organised at the India International Centre by Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation (SPMRF) on September 24. The round table discussion attracted a large number of scholars and diplomats from as many as eighteen countries in a jam-packed hall with participants from politics, academics, social work and media like Prof Srikanth Kondapalli, chairman, Chinese Studies, JNU, Mohan Guruswamy, senior Sinologist and director, CPA, Ram Madhav, Member, National Executive, RSS, Balbir Punj, national secretary, BJP, Tapir Gao, former MP, Arunachal Pradesh, Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Shankar Prasad, former Director General Infantry, Indian Army, Bishnu Pada Ray, MP, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, and former Ambassador TCA Rangachari.
Prof Stobdan said that in around three-and-half decades, since Deng’s emancipation of China, it has taken away India’s land inch-by-inch under its move forward policy. He added that he belongs to Ladakh and has been a witness to the Chinese aggressiveness. What is most concerning to India is the fact that they are strategically developing the region just 50 metres away from LAC.
Shri Ram Madhav said that the Chinese have been arguing that they do not consider McMahon Line the actual control line, as it was drawn by the imperial power.
Prof Srikanth Kondapalli, made a powerful presentation to show as to how China is moving forward with a motive to engulf India.
Shri Tapir Gao was very upset over the way security issues have been ignored in the north-eastern states by the political and ruling class sitting in New Delhi. He said that Arunachal Pradesh Assembly’s Speaker was denied a Chinese visa and Government of India did not utter a single word. He added that the PM was to go to Tawang, but returned from Itanagar under Chinese pressure. He lamented that if the PM is not able to move in his own territory, what protest he can make, if a speaker, that too of Arunachal Pradesh, was denied a Chinese visa. He said the Chinese are engaging the cadres of NSCN and ULFA to act as its political propagandists and agents on a regular basis. Out of twelve aeroplane landing facilities in Arunachal Pradesh, only two are working under lame-duck situation.
Lt Gen (Retd) Shankar Prasad said that the Army should not be blamed, but the government and its officials are the major hurdles and they ought to be blamed for what is happening along the border. He also said that in contrast to China developing its strategic weaponry and position, we are running miles behind their preparedness.
Shri Bishnu Pada Ray proved through a well-researched presentation that the oil finds in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands have attracted China to push its strategic interests through its bases in the Coco Islands of Myanmar, which are just 40 km from the shores of Andamans.
Director of Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation and a scholar on Chinese affairs, Shri Tarun Vijay emphasised that China is needed to be studied deeply, as a knee-jerk reaction would not serve the purpose. We should look at China through Indian eyes and not through US or French news agencies.
Shri Bala Saheb Apte, president of the Foundation and national vice president of BJP, welcomed the participants. Dr Harsh Vardhan, secretary of the Foundation, proposed a vote of thanks. Acharya Giriraj Kishore, member, Advisory Board of Vishwa Hindu Parishad and several MPs were also present on the occasion.