Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Are Indian Government and our leaders weaklings?

Our Prime Minister, Mr. Manmohan Singh, had visited Arunachal Pradesh on October 3, 2009 and addressed an election rally, in the wake of 2009 Assembly Elections there.He was there to campaign for elections and not to talk about Indio-China Border Dispute. He never said a word about the dispute while he was there. However, the Chinese did not seem to quite like his visit and their Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ma Zhaoxu issued a statement ten days after the visit, saying: "We demand the Indian side address China's serious concerns and not trigger disturbance in the disputed region so as to facilitate the healthy development of China-India relations. China is strongly dissatisfied with the visit to the disputed region by the Indian leader disregarding China's serious concerns.”

We know that China has been claiming that Arunachal belongs to them. We know that they do not respect McMohan Line, a line agreed to by British India and Tibet as part of 1914 Simla Accord. We know that the said border region was the reason why China fought with India 40 years ago. We are constantly worried about the news that China is engaged in military manoeuvres in Tibet, along our border and that our Government seems to be doing nothing about it. And now we know that China did not like that Indian PM visited Arunachal Pradesh, they had openly stated it and the news is all over the place.
The comments I saw in Times of India, in response to a news story on the issue is what made me write this post. I could see a general tendency among the people who commented to blame that Indian Government and Indian Leaders are afraid of China. I would like to show you a few comments that made me wonder, are Indian Government and our leaders weaklings that they cannot move a finger against China and answer their arrogance in the same coin?
However, while Chinese diplomacy is proactive, ours is purely defensive. How else, we have never objected to developments taking place in Chine-occupied areas of Arunachal Pradesh or that part of Jammu & Kashmir ceded by Pakistan to China? There is need to raise voice over the actions taking place in Pak-occupied Kashmir and the areas ceded by Pakistan to China, as and when necessary, loudly and clearly, when we claim that the entire Arunachal Pradesh and J & K (including occupied by Chinese and Pakistan )are integral parts of India. P.S.Lally,New Delhi on TOI
India doesn't make any noise when Pakistani leaders visit POK.It simply means that either we are too meek or the Chinese are too aggressive. Pankaj, Delhi on TOI
Indian Govt is unusually quiet when it comes to Chinese provocations. So unless they are totally at a loss for policy right now, there is certainly something going on in the background which none of us know about. Shrikant,Noida on TOI
China & Pakistan knows well that India can be bullied and Govt. Of India would not have guts to respond like the Israel does for its territorial integrity.The weakness, real or perceived, of Indian Government is the cause of all the problems.The state governments are pulling central Govt. down.Its shame on our part of so called democracy. Manu,Calgary on TOI
Well, these are some sample comments I wanted you to take a look at in case you did not want to read the news story before you finish reading my post. These and most of them, at least 90% of the comments, point to a single assumption: Indiedan Government is weak willed! Is that really true?
india-china101 I think when we need to read this Chinese outburst between the lines. Now, Ma Zhaoxu made the statement only after ten days of the visit. PM’s visit was not a secret and Chinese did not react either before or immediately after the visit. This, read along with the Chinese PM’s invitation on October 14, 2009 to Indian PM to discuss India-China differences during the ASEN Meetings, is evidence enough that China is in fact playing to the home crowd. Our President, Ms. Pratibha Patil visited Tawang, the most disputed area, on April 2, 2009 and the Chinese did not say a word against it. Now that the Assembly Elections were happening in Arunachal Pradesh and the Indian PM could peacefully address an Election Rally there had pissed the Chinese off. The do not like democratic process and they probably wanted to save their face at home ground.
Now, I know that does not answer the question! What do you suggest Indian Government should have done? Go to war with China for issuing a statement?Ask them to get out of POK? Tell them, we care like hell about what they feel about Arunachal Pradesh? I think emotional reaction is a sign of bad understanding of foreign policy. I also think the Indian Government has done enough to make the Chinese Government understand that Arunachal Pradesh is ours.
We are a democracy. [It is very sad that some people attack and blame everything on democracy the moment something goes wrong] And the Arunachal Elections were answer enough to China, were I am concerned. The fact that almost 70% of the people came out to vote during this election itself tells China that people of Arunachal Pradesh is in solidarity with India. What other good answer do they need? If Indian Government could make that possible, if they could make 70% of the people vote, to me that Government is good enough.
Indian Air Force has already made it clear that we were purposefully not reacting to the Chinese Military Exercises along our border, in Tibet. It is, at least for now, internationally accepted that, Tibet is under China. It is not our concern right now, what they do in their country. Our concern is if we are strengthening our side of the border and I think our military is just doing that. IAF vice chief Air Marshal P K Barbora makes it very clear that we are upgrading our Advanced Landing Grounds, improving Air Force Infrastructure along the border, acquiring more Akash Surface-to-Air Missile Suadrons etc.
To me India follows a gentlemanly foreign policy! And that will do us good in the long run.Till then we will watch China’s frustrated and funny foreign policy gimmicks while we are getting ready for the worst! You must notice that Indian PM did not say a word about the border dispute during his visit to Arunachal and after it. He also has not responded to the Chinese Statement about his visit to Arunachal! Do not think it is because he is afraid of China?!
There are three ways to respond when a dog barks at you. One, run away. Two, pelt a stone at it. Three, just stand there and stare it down! I think, Indian PM is staring the Chinese down!

As I finished writing this post, Hindu reported that “ India has called upon China to stop developmental activities in areas illegally occupied by Pakistan.”  Are you, tit-for-tat guys, happy now?


  1. Inforamative post. I neither watch TV nor read daily newspapers, so I guess visiting your blog wil give me news with analysis. Thanks.

  2. Thank you very much for the encouraging comment aativas :)

  3. China is trying to capture as much as land possible in arunachal pradesh to guarantee safety to its revolutionary hydel power project on brahamputra in case of a war with india .....
    n India needs to keep a firm stand n eyes open this time ... we dont wat to repeat last indo -china war of 62

  4. Sure Naveen, we need to keep our eyes and ears open this time! But I hope that doesn't mean we jump into war!

  5. Awesome work.Just wanted to drop a comment and say I am new to your blog and really like what I am reading.Thanks for the share