Wednesday, August 17th, 2022 15:59:38

Standing Up To The Dragon

Updated: November 24, 2012 12:46 pm

It is exactly 50 years since China attacked India. We at Uday India thought of holding a symposium on “Dealing with China” so that a correct sense about 1962 India-China war and about the present China can be infused into the people of the country. This symposium was attended by eminent speakers such as Gen VK Singh, Dr Subramanian Swamy, Prof Bharat Karnad, Bhaskar Roy, LN Jhunjhunwala, Col RSN Singh and Prof Swaran Singh. The symposium was aptly moderated by former Foreign Secretary Lalit Mansingh. We reproduce below what these renowned speakers said at the symposium.

When we talk of China, I will talk of two things. One is how we look at China today and second thing is what it is that was in 1962 and whether it is something that we can put it in future from that perspective so that it allows us to look at things differently—militarily, politically and diplomatically—whether it is because without these three combinations, it is difficult for any nation to deal with any neighbour who is either friendly or inimical. Where is China today? It is aspiring to attain the status that it had when it was called the Middle Kingdom.

It is aspiring to be the peer competitor of the US and it has made tremendous economic progress from the time when Deng Xiaoping said: Whether a cat is black or white so far it eats a rat it is a good cat. And then liberalisation started. China has done its liberalisation very pragmatically, if I can say that. It has prepared it from the point of view as to what gains would accrue to China besides whatever the gains came out of its gains.

China has made gains in terms of infrastructure; it has made gains in terms of entrepreneurial skills; it has made gains in terms of technology that it has been able to acquire and that is something that needs to be seen because it is this technology that is helping China grow the way it is growing today. There have been a lot of writers that have predicted that the economic growth in China may implode because actually they know that whether the statistics that have been put out is actually true or not. In fact, there have been lots of people who say that if the central leadership says that this year the growth is 9 per cent, all the provinces which were saying so for that the growth rate is 8.9 per cent or 8.8 per cent, will subsequently start correcting it to 9 per cent.

Nobody knows what exactly the statistical growth is in China. But what is visible is certainly good and this implosion that was predicted almost a decade back. Still there are people who say that the way China has progressed, it has created its haves and have nots and this is going to create a problem in the future if not dealt with properly. And I am sure that Chinese leadership would be as aware of this phenomena as we are because the developmental work has been mainly concentrated in eastern part and then moved towards the west.

But still there are large minorities that play their dynamics in China and which is something that needs to be done and which needs to be monitored. For, this will have a certain effect as days go by, as certain amount of more liberalisation occurs. The interesting part is that there is a certain statistical part of China that we need to note. You will be surprised to know that China has less arable land than that of India. Yet productivity of agriculture of China is three times more than that of India. So what our farmer produces, let’s say one acre, is one third of that produced in China. This makes a difference. Similarly, if you see at literacy figures, officially our literacy rate is 67 per cent. But if you take functional literacy away, because the governmental definition of literacy is anybody who can write his name is literate, we are just 34-35 per cent literate, whereas in People’s Republic of China, the literacy rate is 97 per cent. So a tremendous progress has been made, which percolated down in all spheres to take China where it is today.

That is something we need to know for our future thinking as to how to deal with China. China has invested a great deal in ensuring that higher education becomes a priority. It has sent its people outside. It has done a great job as far as education is concerned. If we compare these things with ours, then we find that it has got 1100 universities, wheresas we have got 500 universities. There is a great amount of work done on the social front also because China’s leadership realised that there had to be an all-round development if you want the nation to move forward. And this is what has given China strength.

Today when we talk of cyber army of China, where does it come from? It comes from such universities where people are taught higher learning and they are forging ahead despite the fact that India remains a software hub of the world. China is catching up and it is making progress in fields where it can make a mark. Cyber security is one of those which has got both military and economic connotations. If this is the type of economic progress that it has made, if this is the technology it is able to borrow back and steal, if this is the energy that it is able to channelise both monetarily and otherwise into its forth modernisation that was military then where does it go? And that is something that needs to be thought of very carefully because as China grows and looks at its capabilities and goals, I am quite sure it would be ensuring in its own mind that it settles that is left to settle.

And so far as India is concerned we have got a very long border, and disputes over it need to be resolved. When we are dealing with a stronger person, the weaker person will always suffer. That is something that is the law of the nature and that is something which we need to keep at the back of the mind. Hence it is important of what we craft out as a policy in terms of diplomacy, in terms of our political initiatives and in terms of our military preparations in “coping up with China”.

I think that this phrase chosen is very good to say that is “coping-up-with-China” because we need to cope up in economic field, we need to cope up the way it has forced its links the world over because of its economic powers, because of its diplomatic initiatives. China has got much larger presence in the continents of Africa and South America than India has ever had. India doen’t have it and it will take a long time for India to catch up, given the way our procedural systems are. Similarily, it has been able to forge links on our peripheries, which are much stronger than what we are able to do on China’s peripheries. So there is a great deal to look at this perspective if we want to cope up with China—a great amount of energy, a great amount of single-minded-aimed policy is required if you want to cope up with China.

Without this concentration, without such policy, we will fritter away our resources and we won’t be able to deal with China which is resurgent in a very big way. One more issue where we need to look at where China is concerned is that the leadership changes that are taking place have always their own dynamics. Whenever there has been something in China which has had the effect on either the leadership equation or the way the leadership is challenged the way within, it has directed the energies of the people and attention to outside forces. That is where you will find a link between where China has been teaching lessons to various countries on its periphery. It has been able to direct the attention of the people, direct the attention away from the domestic issues to external issues and that is something that we need to watch as the leadership changes take place and the leadership solidifies. If the leadership doesn’t solidify, this question mark remains on our minds.

Let me now turn to what is termed ignominy of 1962. I think the people from that time always remember 1962 and I term it a kick which woke us up. It made us aware of what can happen to us if we are not prepared properly. And if we look at political field, diplomatic field or military field, everything seems to have gone wrong. We did not make a correct political assessment. Our diplomatic measures to engage China and to know the intentions of China were not there. Our intelligence failed to see the way the troops were moving from one place to another and we were actually caught napping. As far as the military is concerned, the general philosophy before 1962 was that the military was not needed in India. And the military was used for constructing housing projects. There are still many projects which are still standing; they have not fallen. That is the good quality of work that the Army did. And people are still living in them. That is the kind of work the Army was engaged in. Less attention was paid to modernisation. Less attention was paid to the type of threats that could come up. Certain amount of training was given but the training was restricted to what happened in the Second World War. It was not looking at the future.

Therefore, when things came up, we were caught napping because troops moved up without equipment, without preparation, without adequate clothings, except for good morale, except for the determination that they will fight for the country, they had nothing else. I can quote an example from the unit in which I was commissioned. The CO of that unit was captured and he wrote a five-page narrative after he returned and in that he said that they had fifty rounds each. They constructed defensives which had been overlooked by the Chinese. And they had nothing to construct them except cutting trees and using them. And when the shelling started, they could see Chinese, who were able to directly fire into their bunkers and destroy them. They lost 282 people. The survivors were only one officer, one JCO and 30 other ranks—rest were wounded and captured. The unit was almost totally destroyed.

The lesson is that we were unprepared to deal with somebody who had the experience. The Chinese had prepared themselves—their troops were battle hardened in Korea and they knew exactly what was to be done. They had better intelligence of our area. In fact, we were able to get an account of the 1962 war which was written in China and was translated. What emerged out is very interesting. They knew exactly where the troops location was. They knew exactly the type of tracks that were used by the sheep, goat and yak herders. They knew exactly where the population was. They were able to put in people who were able to make friends with local people. So we were actually caught in a manner, which no military would like to be caught. In all this, there was a great amount of intelligence failure.

Despite all bravery, despite all valour, despite all determination, we suffered a crushing defeat. Nobody actually knew what was happening. Because the type of political interference that took place in nominating military commanders, things went totally wrong and it is something no military would like to think of. And our redemption came much later. But one thing did happen after this. The military woke up. There was a great amount of emphasis on what Chinese military had done and the lessons that we learnt and the things that we were able to do in 1965 and 1971 was thanks to this lesson learnt. The military became much prepared—mentally, physically and economically and in terms of equipment—because of what it learned from 1962. And there were a lots of interesting lessons that were learnt.

If you take your mind back to what happened in 1967 at Nathu La, we gave a very good account of ourselves. And a stage came when the Chinese pleaded that if we didn’t stop the shelling, they would have to use their air force to come inside and start bombarding our places. They suffered so much. And it was only because we learnt certain lessons in 1962. One of the main important things to be learnt was for any country of a size of China and the pride that it has. The most important thing is that China would not like to suffer a loss of face. And if that lesson is interpreted correctly, we will find a lot of military options that can be pragmatically applied to ensure that deterrence is there till the time we want or till the time we ensure that this philosophy is followed.

I would not elaborate particularly on this particularly philosophy. There was an incident at an old bunker at Dokala, where some Chinese troops came and destroyed it. That was in 2008. And what was said was that it was on the other side of the border. Words were said in terms of that it doesn’t concern us etc. The bunker was destroyed by the troops. In the latter part of that year, in 2009, there was a fence where Chinese patrol led by a major came. And they said that it was a new fence, though it had existed for last two decades. They told us to take it out. If we would have gone by the philosophy that was prevailing after the Dokala incident, we would have meekly submitted and said, “Remove it.” But we adopted a different methodology. The troops were told to deal politely but firmly. So when this patrol came and this officer from China came and touched this fence and started shaking it saying: “Take it out.” There was a young officer, a lieutenant from the unit who got hold of his hand and jerked it away and said, “If you touch it, I will shoot you.” The patrol went away and it has never come again to that place.

We have to be firm when dealing with somebody who is trying to test your weakness. If you show your weakness you will be overwhelmed. If you show firmness as well as a determination to take things forward, then the other man has to think twice that if he initiates something, it can result in damage. That is the damage that I call loss of face. So this loss of face is something that needs to be programmed into our approach at least in the military approach so that it ensures that we do not show the kind of weakness or appear to be weak or to be overwhelmed by something that is initiated by the other side.

Intelligence is another field which needs to be looked at very seriously. My experience has been that it is one of the major weaknesses of our country—whether it is any agency that is involved. Somehow, the focus on this issue is lacking, because resources get dwindled for something that is not actually required. And if you do not know what is happening around you, if you do not know what is happening on the other side of the borders, obviously you will be caught sleeping. This is something that needs to be looked at very seriously.

Lastly, how do we diplomatically and politically deal with China that has started saying in recent years that Arunachal Pradesh is southern Tibet? It never used to use these terms. If its troops come to Sona Zone and tell the local people that look here after five years Tawang will be theirs, how should we repsond? This diplomatic and political handling has to be crafted most astutely so that China knows that it won’t be able to do what it wants to in future. If these two issues are lacking, then we may find ourselves in different shoes altogether. Our border issues are very complex.

Somehow before 1962, there was no cogent and coordinated machinery which looked at the border issues. It was always one man’s opinion, one man’s mind or maximum two-three people were involved in it. And that is why we didn’t even know of what existed. We didn’t have any intelligence; we didn’t have any knowledge. We didn’t do adequate reconnainsance of those areas. I think the situation has to change. Today, things are better but they can be made better by a more coordinated, a more comprehensive mechanism, involving all stakeholders. Otherwise, we will have problems in the future.

By Gen VK Singh

(The author is a former Army Chief)


The 1962 war


The 1962 war is undoubtedly an event which is traumatic that I can remember in Indian diplomatic history and perhaps the most traumatic event that took place in our post-Independence history. The Chinese in a short two months, not only in the words of Mao, taught India a lesson but also inflicted a crushing defeat on our armed forces. They demolished our foreign policy based on non-alignment and hastened the death of our first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. 1962, I think, is an illustration of Murphy’s principle, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”

Well, it was a military failure, a political failure, a diplomatic failure and an intelligence failure. 1962 will always be etched in our minds because of the national humiliation that we suffered. Here is an example of this as to what happened on November 19 when the government had to sack an army chief by hindsight no fault of his, and secondly the Prime Minister of the country, a proud man on the international stage, who had proclaimed that non-alignment was the founding principle of our foreign policy, wrote very two pathetic letters to the American President requesting him to send him not only airplanes but also American soldiers and American weapons to save us against the Chinese.

I think it was a pretty low point in Indian diplomatic history. I think 1962 has left a mark, a traumatic experience that we still have, not recovered from. And the biggest casualty is our inability to stand up and deal with Chinese as equals. So it is important to remember that 1962 is not just an event. It was actually the culmination of the process that began in 1950 with a brutal occupation of Tibet by the PLA and steadily things went wrong because at hindsight we know it was a massive failure of judgment of dealing with the Chinese. This judgment made us surrender all the rights that India had in Tibet in the agreement of 1954.

Since then, we have been dealing with China on the basis of Chinese strength and Indian weakness. It is a posture I don’t think we have given up. So while we go back to 1962 as a marker, let us remember that this symposium is not about 1962, it is about how to deal with China. So our effort should be not to relive the humiliation of 1962, but to confidently face a still belligerent and aggressive China in the 21st century and that I hope our very distinguished panelists will discuss. I could not have hoped a better group of people to discuss China. We have a star cast here–a panel of military experts, political experts, academic experts and strategic experts.

 By Lalit Mansingh

Chinese Economy


Before I get to the economy of China I would like to say it is not a question whether we like China or not. It is our neighbour. Because of our policy errors we have them right on our border. We have not sorted out our problems. It is not the question whether China betrayed us or not in 1962. We have not sorted out our problems at an appropriate time even when we got a very good price. There is a long letter of Sardar Patel written to Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru where he warned of the consequences of capitulating on Tibet. Incidentally, capitulation was not only by Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru but, in fact, in 2003 Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee signed an even bigger agreement on Tibet where he even accepted the partition of Tibet into four parts. Today Tibet is not that Tibet of old days. It has been broken into four parts. Sichuan is one portion, Gansu province is another portion and it is now a truncated Tibet that we see today. So, it is of no use blaming the Chinese for taking advantage of our regions.

Now I would like to say what General Singh has said that any country has two kinds of policies that they has to harmonise. One is the policy for defence, which can be objectively structured because it is based on the capacity of your redressal. It is an assessment that you have to match. How many tanks does China have; how many divisions does China have; what is its logistical position? These are an assessment you can make objectively and, therefore, you have to match them. Not necessarily that if they have 1000 missiles, we also should have 1000 missiles. We can do it differently: If they have a fort in Ladakh, we also should have a fort somewhere else. We, for example, should work out on an agreement with Indonesia to police the Malacca Strait from where 90 per cent of Chinese trade passes through and we will be able to choose that at any time there are very alternate ways of doing things.

The assessment of defence capacity of our enemy or our adversary or even our friend is objectively assessed and we have failed to do it. General Singh talked about houses being built. I remember coffee park was also being built together with tennis balls for the cantonment tennis court and so. Therefore, that was the error we made and that is the error we should not repeat. Today, what is the proportion of our budget for defence—less than 2.2 per cent. China has maintained the consistent 6 per cent defence expenditure of the GDP which itself is going up pretty fast.

The second aspect of our policy is foreign policy where you try to make friends and try to choose friendships. Here ultimately, according to me, the Chinese policy boils down to two things, first you have to make up your mind whether the border solution is a consequence of a political solution and if you come to a conclusion that the border solution will not precede a political solution but must follow a political solution then you must decide what your political solution is. You must decide what are those elements which have come to the political solution, particularly how you are going to deal with the United States vis-a-vis question of China’s concern, which is definitely the strategical advantage that the United States would enjoy if we have extremely close relationship with the United States. You have to make a choice over there. Secondly, what the border solution is. Of course, I have always mentioned in the discussions held with the Chinese that since they have mentioned McMahan line with Burma in a formal treaty where they have mentioned that the McMahan line is the border between Burma and China, therefore they should not have difficulty accepting the McMahan line for India too. When I first mentioned in their State Council Research Institute they did not believe that such an agreement was signed by Burma. When they called to their research staff, they came to know that it had been done so.

So in my opinion for China the border solution is not by direct negotiation on border question, it is by first settling our political relationship with them. In the question of capacity, what is the status of the economy of China vis-a-vis India that requires a great deal of assessment and accurate assessment? Unfortunately, our academicians are all mostly left wing and are quite passionate to speak in glowing terms about China. First of all, we do not know when they say about the GDP what it includes. General Singh was absolutely right. As far as food grains output is concerned, I must say many years ago, I found that they lay their rice before the husk is taken out and we lay our rice after the husk is taken out. In fact, internationally it is after the husk is taken out. They include potatoes in food grains but we do not include potatoes in food grains. In fact, nowhere in the world are the potatoes included in the food grains. You make these corrections and there is a 25 per cent drop in the food grains production of China in the way we know it. The same applies to FDI comparisons—at least ours is not according to their definition.

We include in our definition the difference between China which will change from 10 to 1, to 3 to 1. So getting the accurate data, assessing it reworking on it accurately is very important and that is something which none of our academicians do and I did it in the 1970s. I wrote a book, my first book on comparing India and China came out in 1970 for which I was universally condemned in India because I said that growth rate between 1952 and 1970 or 1980 was about the same between India and China at 3-1/2-4 per cent per annum each and again that the growth rate in 1981 was about the same in China. The statistics, so far collected by us, was all bogus. It would now require setting up a National Bureau of Statistics to make it a criminal offence to falsify statistics. Even today that problem is still there where there is a pressure on the provincial authorities to produce data very quickly. If you look at the Chinese publications, you will find by the end of January they have already produced statistics for the whole previous year. How is it possible?

At least in India and even in the United States, it is not possible. For, the Chinese do not have established traditions of statistics. Their first population census was taken in their history in 1982 and we have population census all through, and formally in the present internationally format since 1871. So we have much longer tradition of statistics. The second aspect is that a lot of our opinions are formed by what is called anecdotal or visual—somebody goes to Shanghai or Beijing and comes back all in ruptures. We have a great deal on higher education is a priority. There is a great amount of social work done. Today when we talk of cyber army it is making fields of distinguished panels in China.

I had got the privilege to go to Gansu or Yushu. On the other hand, India is an open society. There is no bar to prevent beggars from coming and receiving you at the airport whereas in China they a very strict control on the issue—how to deal with the international migration. There are a number of issues on which you can get off-sided views on the economy. Having said that let me take you to the question that how you should view the economy? Broadly speaking, there are four phases and I will deal with the last phase. The first phase is the initial condition in 1950. Both India and China were victims of imperialism. There was a difference from ours. There were five powers demanding reparations all the time and there was a continuous instability in China. India had the most stable 100 years from 1850 to 1947—almost 100 years. We had a central British government from 1857; centralised control and nobody can say that India lacked stability. But the economic performance of an unstable China was subject to numerous wars from Japan, from five powers which had stationed themselves in Shanghai. Despites all these facts, their performance, economic performance, was a low performance like ours was about the same time. And in the end, they did not have the Zamindari system; they did not have the British siphoning off the resources from our agriculture and financing their own industrialisation, so the Chinese agriculture was in much better shape than that in India. That’s how we started off.

We had, of course, more foreign textile mills, more railway lines. We had certain advantages which arose out of the fact that imperialism needed it. These things have to be set up. But both India and China made the fundamental error of adopting the Soviet model and the Soviet model meant no foreign sector, no export or import, unless absolutely essential; extracting of resources from agriculture to finance industry—everything was on quotas and licenses and we lived on it for quite a number of years from 1950 to 1980. For thirty years we had lived on the dream that the communists sold to us, that there is no poverty in the Soviet Union, that there is no inflation in the Soviet Union, that there is no unemployment in the Soviet Union. The only thing that we found later on was that there was no Soviet Union any more! It was broken into sixteen countries.

The Chinese realised that much earlier and in 1980 they found themselves different than the Russians. They started disbanding the Soviet systems. For us, it took ten-twelve years more. Whatever the gap came between India and China was really put in between 1980 and 1992. After 1992 when India embarked on the economic reforms that gap remained more or less the same, once you corrected the data for China. If China says 10 per cent per year, subtract 2 per cent, so it is 8 per cent per year. If today they are assessing it as 8 per cent that means they are drawing it to be at 6 per cent. That is a rough rule of thumb. I would say that the gap that was not there in 1947, not there in 1980 emerged in that 12 years—from 1980 to 1992—when we still stuck to our loyalty to the Soviet model and the Chinese began disbanding the Soviet system and started going on for the market system.

Now since 1992 both of us have pursued more and more towards the market. The Chinese have been much more open. They have taken vast amounts of direct foreign investment and they have worked out a unique foreign trade system by which they have gained enormously. East Asian countries i.e. Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong and South Korea were called tigers by the World Bank. They realised that their wages had risen substantially. They could not export to the USA as they had been doing before. These countries certainly realised that their wage rates had risen substantially. They were not able to penetrate the American market on sheer exports. They came up with this idea that they would export to China semi-processed goods and allow China to add value to it and then export it to the United States. So the Chinese imported it from all East Asian countries like Taiwan with which they had political problems. They imported goods in semi process. For example Lenovo computer, it has got the label of China but actually the material is from Taiwan. They put it together. I know that it is not a Taiwan’s company, even i-phones. Most of the things made in China are actually and substantially made somewhere else. They add value to it and sell it to Europe and the United States. If you see i-phone parts assembled in China but made in USA stamp on them, you will notice that material is to get from Taiwan. IBM was renamed as Lenovo. So, most of the goods that you see “Made in China” are actually/substantially assembled somewhere else and then come very cheaply and they sell it in Europe and the United States at a much higher price. So if you look at the figures of China, you will find that there is a deficit of trade.

Most of the things that you see in the USA or India which say “Made in China” are actually/substantially made somewhere else. They come quite cheaply. They add value to it and sell it to Europe or the United States at a much higher price. If you look at the trade figures of China you will find that it has a deficit of trade in the balance of payments with East Asia and a surplus in the balance of payments with the West, which is much larger than the deficit with East Asia and, therefore, the China’s reserves began to rise. When the economic crisis took place and the imports from China dropped in the western countries, what China did was it cut imports from East Asia. It transferred the depression of America or the recession of America and Europe to East Asia. That is how East Asia got affected. We got affected because of its participatory notes or scandalous things that we invented. We have used our brains in wrong things in the Indian economy. But I would not discuss those things.

The main engine of growth has been this. You will be surprised to know that over 60 per cent of the goods that are produced for exports in China are not actually produced in China. They are foreign aided Chinese companies. Chinese companies domestically producing for China are a very small proportion of its industrial output and, therefore, China very skillfully used and leveraged the world economy for its benefit, and thanks to whom! To all the Taiwanese, Indonesian and Singaporeans companies. China had no market intelligence. But the Chinese were benefited by the overseas Chinese—but we cannot be benefitted similarly by overseas Indians because they are motor mechanics, or software engineers or something else. They are not in business so much. So, therefore, market intelligence is something that we never got from our diaspora.

Now the question is if you want to disrupt the Chinese economy, you make it profitable for East Asia to send its semi processed goods via India. These are democratic countries. They are not very comfortable with China. They are not happy with intellectual property rights loss of China and the implementation and why don’t they come via India? Well we have to improve our infrastructure first. Our octroi is well to drive anybody nuts, the system needs to improve. Why don’t American countries put their influence to go products through Indian market? In India it has to go all the way down to the octroi and, therefore, it is very difficult to handle the international business. China is corrupt but if the appropriate decision is taken everything goes smoothly. In India you have to go all the way down—down to the octroi and, therefore, international business is finding very difficult to come here. No foreign company wants to come here because of hassles appearing herein. You have to minimise hassles. International businessmen will go where they will find profit. If you minimise the hassles they may decide to come. This is the model on which it comes.

Now, we can discuss what the strength of China is and how we can leverage ourselves on it. Their strength is their high reserve of dollars that they have built. It is shaking the international system. In fact, Americans are not so stupid as they look but they are even smarter than what they look. Chinese have enormously large amount that is shaking the international system. They have created a huge hype that Chinese currency is undervalued. A vast amount of money from different parts of the world particularly through Hong Kong has now entered China officially and they are waiting for a revaluation of the Chinese currency so that they can go out without having made a killing, without doing any work that is called leveraging. One of these days they are going to realise that China is not going to revalue it because once they go to revalue it too much their exports are going to be hurt and that money will come out and once it comes out then I think the Chinese market is going to be thoroughly destabilised.

We have seen this in 1997. Remember in 1987 onwards till 1997 there was an impression that Japan would buy up America. In fact, Japan had bought up Rockefeller Centre and was among the top in America between 1987 and 1997. There was another impression that Japanese will be the new lingua franca in America. They had entered vast areas like automobiles, radios, televisions, everything. Japanese were growing at 10 per cent, 12 per cent and 15 per cent—everybody was under the impression that Japanese were going to be next economic superpower of the world. In 1997 the entire East Asia faced economic crisis from which they have still not recovered. Japanese are in a pathetic state today. They are affected by the ageing population. They are affected by their inability to clear the non-performing assets of their banks. How did that happen?

It happened just by one trigger. The American stock market. American bond market had raised bond rates. They had obviously studied it. This is my allegation. I do not think that there has been something about this in any book. The East Asian countries were importing a vast amount of money of short run, which is called portfolio and sometime it is called hot money. They used this money in a big way in long-term projects such as residential projects or building infrastructures and so on. Now what happened is that the bond rates suddenly went up in the American market. Consequently, this money decided to pull out because they would be earning in the bond Market with less risk. There was a run in Thailand and this run got translated into every East Asian country with same reasons. All East Asian countries had a massive economic crisis—financial crisis for the same reason in 1997.

The same thing happened to China. For the same reason there was a time bomb ticking on the amount of cash that had come with the expectation that China would revalue it. They will come at a better rate. They will come out with higher valued Yuan that they have acquired by coming in. This is the main problem of Chinese economy. Chinese has also strength in infrastructure which is far superior to ours. It is grossly underutilised. The other aspect of China is the foreign firms—they are the largest producer of exports goods in China. Once they withdraw their support then again it will become a big problem for China.

Chinese banking system is also a big problem because the whole banking system is largely owned by the State. They have big public sector units inherited from the Communist period which they cannot afford to close down since most of the workers are from the Communist Party who believe that everything is guaranteed—free education, free medical attention and free housing, everything is free because they are workers. Chinese system is, therefore, perpetually at loss. The banks have huge non-performing assets like home loans which have not been paid back—a very substantial amount. Informally, it is told that the highest is 40 per cent, whereas at one stage the Chinese agree it is not more than 25 per cent and on the other they say it is much less. But it is a very heavy and substantial amount of loans to be recovered.

The second thing is that the Chinese pay either nothing or about 2 per cent on fixed deposits of household savings. This can be compared with us—we give 7 per cent on our three-year term deposits, whereas in China largely they do not give anything. You can have it secure and safe. People do put money for the security and safety in Chinese banks but they are not paid any interest. The Chinese banks do not pay anything. There is an agreement between the Chinese and the United States to allow foreign banks to accept deposits. Of course, foreign banks can come to China but they cannot accept deposits from the public. If a foreign bank comes to China and accepts deposits from public at the rate of 4 per cent, the Chinese banking system will collapse because no one will put money in Chinese banks as they are getting nothing out of them or at the most 2 per cent whereas foreign banks are offering 4 per cent on their deposits. This is the Chinese system—similar to the Japanese system because it is based on the recommendations from the people you know. In China also it is how you know the people. In Japan that is all really matters—you must have the cozy relationship between the government and the business.

Here too in my opinion if somehow India acts together—builds an excellent infrastructure, cuts down hassles, I am sure that East Asian countries would prefer to add value to their production through India and this will undermine China in no time—if you are able to do that. Most of our people do not even know that such things are possible. The second thing is that, if we are able to use our resources more efficiently—because China uses all its resources very inefficiently and, therefore, it has to have much more oil than what it produces per barrel of oil. The amount of GDP they produce is much smaller than ours. In fact, you compare with China, it has much more inefficient economy than India. Income distribution-wise China is much more unequal than India. In the last 20 years it has reached the Brazalian level if you measure by Lawrence ratio. I would conclude by saying that we have better institutional set-ups in India. Maybe, it does not work. I think we underestimate our institutional quality in terms of constitutional set-up, in terms of constitution. We have far superior system to that of Chinese. Chinese have everything, dynamism in the market, hard work and all that but they do not have institutions. Chinese system is like the Japanese. It is based on family relations, relation with friends.

By Dr Subramanian Swamy

(The author is a former Union Minister and Professor at Harvard University)


I think one thing that strikes me very starkly when I contemplate China vis-a-vis India is the historical sense of humiliation, which has not been mentioned so far. The Chinese are very historical minded. And they remember slights that occured long ago. It was said of Zhou Enlai that he remembered the fact that his hand was not shaken when he offered it to John Foster Dulles in 1954. And the Chinese remembered it and therefore to correct that imbalance, Richard Nixon was advised to make it a point to go first for the hands of Mao in Geneva in 1955. Nixon did likewise as he went ahead and held up Mao’s hands, as if to make up for the fact that Zhou Enlai was insulted.

The historical mindedness is very important—because we have China that cannot forget its 100 years of humiliation. And yet in India, we have been colonised, depending upon when we consider our colonisation as having begun—for a millennia. Yet it does not impact our mindset—we feel no shame, we feel no regret, we feel there was nothing wrong. This in a sense defines us—as a people, perhaps as a nation. And if we see comparatively how China defines itself then we would find ourselves as deficient. So in this respect I think we act on the premise of weakness.

You may have your army strong, and as Gen Singh would back me up, we seem not to be able to sustain our strength. As Gen Singh talked about an incident at a post in Eastern Sector in 1987, how we established ourselves and our credibility with Chinese—very frontal, very aggressive counter-measures. And yet I wouldn’t be disclosing any secret if I were to say that the army today is weaker than that it was in 1987—in disposition terms, in terms whether or not we can handle China with the same alacrity, with the same force as we were able to do in 1987 in the Eastern sector. Why is it that? In one sense because we don’t seem to have the classical Halford Mackinder concept— Halford Mackinder was a great geo-politician, geo-strategist. He emphasised that a statesman should have a map-reading habit of mind, the geographical sense of a nation, which we don’t seem to have.

When people say very loosely, and I am talking about BJP, which is supposed to be very nationalistic, that our security is civilisational, it does not mean anything, because you are not rooting it in territory on the ground. On the other hand, Chinese are very territorial minded. We may say, as our defence ministers have been saying since the very beginning, and certainly since 1962, and the parliamentary resolution, which says that we will regain every inch of territorial loss. If you recall, that resolution still stands. It has not been outvoted or certainly not withdrawn. And this term of every inch of territory, in military term and Gen Singh will tell you, is nonsensical. You cannot guarantee the defence of every inch of territory. The point ultimately is that: Are you able to be pro-active in your defence? This every inch territory rhetoric has limited us rather than expanded our views on security. Because when you say every inch of land, our military naturally takes a cue from our politicians that every inch of land means that they are going to be entrenched in defence and therefore you have been virtually unprepared for any kind of offensive operation. And if all you can do is defence, you are going to lose.

There is a 4,700-kilometre border with China, but you cannot defend every inch of territory. Therefore, you have to have offensive strength in the conventional context. Hence, offensive mountain core is at the centre of it. Gen Singh had pushed for it but now it has been again deprioritised—for reasons unknown. Actually, just one mountain core cannot help us, we need three mountain cores—one for each sector, northern, central and eastern. But the Finance Ministry, which the last I heard did not have the strategic sense, made negative the idea of mountain core, because the Finance Ministry said that China was no threat in the foreseeable future! This you may have seen in the news reports. And secondly, it said, India could not spare Rs 4060 thousand crore!

Furthermore, Pakistan is killing us both in military and political senses. I am not worried about political aspect, but when two-third of Indian army is deployed against Pakistan, and only one-third against China, it immediately sends the message of a ridiculous threat perception. Pakistan is one-seventh the size of India. Or let’s put the other way round, India is 76 per cent of the geographical space of South Asia. It amounts to 76 per cent of national income of South Asia. India accounts to 72 per cent population of South Asia, yet we fear Pakistan! We have two-third of our military strength deployed against Pakistan! Instead of deploying our switchable forces in the West, they are sent to the East. This is where the additionality notion really works against us, because for the military, I am sorry to say, everything is in addition to what it has. That’s where the misuse of resources comes in.

We are classical misusers of our resources. We seem unable to prioritise our threat. We are unable to see the threat, in the first place, forget the priority. We go by some sentimental notion of enmity, which is so nonsensical. For, we can easily cope up with Pakistan and can devote our resources to the real threat that looms large in the north, and in the east. But our sentimental passions get better of us and we lose our strategic balance. There are policies that absolutely make no sense. Therefore, we get very little respect in the word. If the country like India keeps talking about Pakistan as a threat, then all it does is to reduce our ability; it enhances Pakistan. It is noteworthy that all big countries are known by the enemies they keep. If Pakistan is our enemy, then we are reduced to the size of Pakistan. That’s why I always maintain that Pakistani foreign and military policies have been very successful, as they have reduced India to its own size. This is really an axion of policies we missed out to. This imbalance is going to cost us plenty. For, we are virtually gifting political and strategic weapons to the Chinese, that is why their nexus with Pakistan. They have used it very beautifully by arming Pakistan with nuclear missiles.

What should have been our counter move? For 20 years I have been saying that our counter move should be simply tit for tat, whichever country that is on China’s periphery and wants nuclear missiles, arm it with nuclear missiles. Arm Vietnam with nuclear missiles, because that is one country China has great respect for. Ultimately, and I am sorry to say that because of our pacifist profession we have made a habit of lowering ourselves. It is to be noted that military or national reputation is made from military loss or defeat. We are still marked by 1962, and for Pakistan, 1971 marks its lowest point.

We are so used to downgrading hard power, as we often talk about Bengaluru, IIT, etc. We may have all the capabilities lined up, as is witnessed on Republic Day each year on the Raj Path, but if we do not have a will to use them, then our credibility is reduced even further. This seems to be our position across the board—we are talkers, not doers.

I end on this little note—in 1982, Israel offered to join India in bombing Kahuta nuclear facility in Pakistan. But we didn’t take it, despite Israelis saying that they would come in their own planes. It may be remembered that in 1980, Israelis had bombed Iraq’s nuclear facility. So they are experts in doing such work; they are not amateurish, as they have done this job in the past. But we did not take that option. Now we complain that Pakistan is a nuclear power. When the opportunity arose, we did not take it, so why do we complain? If we had taken a concrete step then, this problem would not have arisen. That’s why, the Chinese, time and again, exploit this weakness of ours. They do not take us seriously, as they think we are only the talkers. We depend on rhetoric to the extent that we end up weakening ourselves and we do not take hard options.

By Prof Bharat Karnad

(The author is Professor at Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi)


Talking about China’s new leaders, the main focus is on the Politburo Standing Committee of nine members. And the question is whether it would be of nine members or it would come down to seven members. That is for the Chinese concern and not so much for the Indian concern. We have to look at what policies we have to emulate and what they have been doing and the challenges that the Chinese are going to face.

It is not all that is hunky dory in China. Somehow you get a feeling that China is overwhelming. And if we believe that China is overwhelming then all the statistics as Dr Swamy pointed out are unreliable. But they have been laying emphasis on their military buildup, military affairs and several warfares and we have to be careful about that.

At the moment, the Chinese transition is badly shaken up by the scandal of one of their top leaders who is almost sure to leave the Politburo Standing Committee, Bo Xilai, a ‘princeling’ as his father was a great revolutionary leader. And the scandal includes the murder of his British business partner Neil Heywood. And one is not very sure how he was killed because the Chinese forensic experts say that it was cyanide.

Mr. Bo Xilai’s trials have started. He has been expelled from all the organs of the state and party and his police chief Wang Lijun has been jailed because he also got involved in it and he tried to claim asylum in the US consulate at Chengdu. What this incident shows is that his character has not been spared by the official press—something like this we have not seen in China before.

Other people like Shanghai party Chief Chen Liangyu has been known for corruption but every time something like this happens it is not always for corruption. Corruption is that almost every Chinese leader is involved in. It is a serious major political problem. It was Bo Xilai’s efforts to bring back the aspects of the cultural revolution. And that is something that cannot be tolerated. As Wen Jiabao said that if we stop making political reforms, economic reforms will also stop gradually and we will enter the cultural revolution.

And why his name is now leaked out is that the leftist and conservative groups are now hitting back at him. The conservatives are not on the top all over the place but they are around. If conservative take over back to China, it would be very difficult for countries around China including India, Taiwan, Japan and South-East Asia. Even then it is not going to be easy here forth. Chinese have their own problem like social instability.

Even in India we have protests over land grabbing or corruption issues by the government officials. But being a democratic country we can get over them but China is a one party system. So such a major situation is there. Is it going to explode? Not at the moment. But the ire of the people that we are coming across the internet blogs is something like the incident at Tiananmen Square. People want a clean government; people want a corruption-free government. They want the party to address the people. They have not challenged so far for the multi-party system although something like this is growing. If that grows we have to see how it can. Will there be another Tiananmen Square? But if that happens it is very unlikely for the party or the government to use the army to crush and kill the people. If that happens there is a risk and they are quite aware of it. The economic discrepancies are growing. They have their own problems, which can be reflected outside. The Chinese have shown no sign of resolving the border issue with India. They will solve their own problems nearby and then they will apply here. Unfortunately, Chinese threats are not taken seriously and we continue to see them under the red carpet which is not going to help.

(The author was formerly in Cabinet Secretariat)


By LN Jhunjhunwala

What is extremely painful to me is to recall that we had this humiliation at the hands of China in spite of repeated warnings. I recall a speech of Vivekananda in 1897 after he had returned four years of staying in America and England. He said: “I see a picture on the wall that the British will leave India in 50 years but then India will be attacked by China.” India became free in 50 years. Unfortunately, Gandhiji who said that partition would be over his dead body completely became neutral during the partition.

If Gandhiji wanted he could have stopped the partition. There is no doubt about it. But the fact remains that the day he was assassinated he spent two hours with Pt. Nehru and Sardar Patel and he was trying to sort out the differences between them. Sardar Patel told Gandhiji that he wanted to be out of the government and he did not want to work with Jawaharlal as he humiliated him in front of the office and all that.

In that background when Gandhiji was tackling these things, he was shot dead. I remember that Sardar Patel wrote a long note to Jawaharlal saying that he was not very happy with the Chinese intentions on Tibet. First Vivekanand and then Sardar Patel and in spite of that in 1954, Jawaharlal signed the Panchsheel agreement. It was very clever of Chinese to allure this country by calling it Panchsheel.

They could have used a Chinese name but to get the Indian sentiments they called it Panchsheel. Pandit Nehru did it because he was dreaming of being the world leader. He thought there were two blocks, i.e. the American block and the Russian Block and by creating a non-alignment block, he would become an equally great leader. So this Panchsheel agreement came and this disaster happened. I remember the days of 1962, when I happened to be in Calcutta and we heard Jawaharlal Nehru saying good bye to Assam and all.

I am sure that if Sardar Patel and Nehru had been on good terms, things would have been different. We have seen people like Kriplani telling in the Parliament that Panchsheel had been born out of sin and we had murdered Tibet. And in spite of all that this happened. While I have heard all the speakers, my main concern is that 50,000 square miles of land of our territory have been occupied by China. Are we going to get it back?

When China lays claim to Arunachal Pradesh, we don’t protest. We lie mildly. Yes it is true that China is a very strong country but we are also not weak. We are not a small country. After all we are the second largest in the world. We have seen Vietnam, a very small country. They didn’t lie low against America. There have been so many countries in the world who have been able to fight against much stronger countries. So my submission is that how to get our territory back?

China has been spreading its tentacles in Nepal and Myanmar. We are dealing with a country who can betray us. Its moral values are entirely different from that of ours. We need to think about it very strongly. It is asking for territory and we are looking for big trade with it. I don’t understand how we can recover our territory if we are trading with it. I am not a scholar. I am a businessman and I don’t understand all these things but I do understand that lot of our territory has been lost and it needs to be regained.

By Bhaskar Roy

(The author is Emeritus Chairman, Bhilwara Group)


Several of us are still in a time warp sleep walking. That’s my first comment. Then there are demon lies and statistics. One does not need to be a left wing economist to see that China is rising. It is the largest trading partner of any country you can think of barring a few. My focus will precisely be on dealing with China. First topic which is important to me is much of the debate and continues to be on the border being the fundamental dispute between us and I want to lay emphasis on how geography is actually becoming history. In human evolution, much of all human knowledge, both production and dissemination from surgery to poetry is a result of interface of five human senses and nature. That fundamental activity is shifting. Ask young man in urban centre how to milk a cow, he will Google it. So we are fundamentally de-territorialising our lives and that needs to be understood.

Most of the people who make decisions, who generate knowledge, who guide that destinies are either in virtual space or outer space. They are never in terra firma. So does that influence the way we consider what China is or how to deal with China? Secondly, much of China debate is securitised. It is not politicised, it is securitised. And securitisation issue fundamentally means a speech that can articulate that it is a crisis which is an existential crisis and therefore needs extraordinary responses which are not normally permitted by either existing laws or norms.

So if that is the understanding that it is securitised, security itself is changing. Whether it is sovereignty, which we keep hopping upon to emphasise every inch of the Indian territory or security, fundamentally, they are shifting. Sovereignty is no longer power, it is responsibility, and security is no longer defending the boundaries but is providing and protecting for the people. Does that influence our understanding of what China is and how to deal with it? Third point is we are shifting and drifting actually, as exponential globalisation trends tell us who we are, where we are, what we can do and what we cannot. This brings us to the fourth point that we all need to differentiate between what desirable is and what feasible is. And the debate continues to be on what is desirable and that is dreamy.

I want to underline that let us begin with a premise that China-India is a asymmetric relation which is the truth. You run away from it and you make mistakes. That does not make weak relations; that does not make India weak. The greatest example for me is Gandhi. He turned fasting into the greatest weapon against the British. We Indians either had no food at that time or we were very comfortable without food. He turned that into a weapon against British.

Now asymmetrical relation is not something where India should feel weak but understand China-India is a fundamental and asymmetric relation and we have to work on that premise. Fifth point, states are becoming less important. It also means that states are becoming one of the agencies and very often there are a lot of external agencies. We were talking of Wal-Mart entering Indian politics and influencing Indian politics before starting this debate. How several actors and I talk about six constituencies in India that decide what China policy would be. In first 30 years, these constituencies, Diplomats, very rare people who had posting in China, had bad experiences during cultural revolutions, bad memories and people posted on the border did not know where they were. It is like people in Aligarh in 1947 thought that they were in Pakistan. I mean how many of common people knew geography. The same soldiers are patrolling the borders—again a very bad experience. Again confused. So three constituencies in the first thirty years told us that China was all bad and we didn’t understand China. What are the three new constituencies that we have added in the last thirty years? Small town, small time, sorry I am using a very low expression, business people whose livelihood runs by flying to China, picking up things and selling them ‘made in India’. Large numbers, 11,000 of students are extremely happy because they live in something known as Indian houses, getting Indian food, and of course also diamond cutters about 2,500 outside Shanghai. And also regular visitors; they increasingly are large number of academicians and journalists who are spending time in China.

For these three constituencies China is rising; China has a positive influence on global economy. India must partner with China and therefore we must come out of the time warp that I just mentioned. Final point: How to deal with it if these are the broader trends that are guiding principles of what our understanding should be of what China is and how to deal with it?

I think multiliteralism is perhaps the way India can deal with China and we are increasingly getting into that. Perhaps we are not exploiting that too much as of now. One simple example is December 2010. Five great leaders of E5 or N5 came to New Delhi. Wen Jiabao came also. The Prime Minister was addressing a press conference in Delhi and saying that Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao last came to Delhi in April 2006 and that was about five years earlier. And during that period the Prime Minister had met him and Chinese President Hu Jintao twenty times in various regional and global forums. That means when India and China stand together in other forums, they have identical views and identical issues to discuss and develop strategies. Climate change is an example.

In any case, of world we talk of space and time crunch. Where do we see borders—on airports. That is the only border most of us see. My last point is India is a multi multi multi the way you look at it, it is a multi-ethnical, multi-lingual, multi-regional or multi-national. It is a way of life for us. We have always been multilateral. Look at coalition politics—perfectly multi lateral.

Chinese have a disadvantage here. If you look at China, it is 90 per cent one language, one ethnic community. It is only one fundamental language that goes across China. Even in traditions, Kautilya talks of concentric circles, Gandhiji talks of concentric circles, non-alignment movement and you can go on talking about it. India has always been firmly grounded throughout in multilateralism and China was always skeptical about multiliteralism.

They are recently getting gradually into it. So if we exploit that and use multilateral forums to generate goodwill and understanding and keep tabs of all the large fundamental trends of change which are occurring then use those prisms to understand China. Perhaps then we would be able to achieve something far more effectively than the old stereotypical wisdom that has existed. I am happy that the moderator mentioned me as the youngest speaker on the podium. Perhaps this is the time to break the time wrap and come out of it.

By Prof Swaran Singh

(The author is Chairman of the Centre for International Politics, JNU)



My topic today is China and its support to the Maoists. The government has been telling lies to the people that 26/11 (the attack on Mumbai in 2008) was not a war. It was a war. The government did not accept it because if they accepted it some political decisions would have been required to be taken. Similarly for last six decades, ever since independence the government has not acknowledged that Maoism is a proxy war from China. It has shied away from this fact. And now my talk today is based on hard facts. I will start from a recent incident that occurred, I guess, in 2011. Two activists of the PLA of Manipur, Dilip Singh and Arun Kumar Singh said that they had forged a strong strategic united front which comprises the jihadi elements, the militants from Kashmir, the militants from the North-East and the Maoists. Then there was a gentleman called Antony Shimray. He is the nephew of the chairman of the NSCN, Mr. Muviah and he said that NSCN is in league with the ISI as well as the Maoists.

One Maoist leader Srinivasan was on Lemon TV and he clearly said that he received training in Yunnan province of China. I spoke to the famous expert on that region Mr. Button Letnur and he said that Chinese established an AK 47 manufacturing facility in an area of Myanmar which were being supplied to the Maoists. So is it new? No. Right after Independence, after Operation Polo for the incorporation of Hyderabad, a segment of Indian Army was diverted to deal with the communists. And let me tell you that Communism was started as a violent revolution in the country. And do you know how had they captured areas? They had captured 3000 villages and set up communes on the Soviet model. And the Indian Army was inducted and they killed 2000 communist this time and at least 10,000 communist were apprehended.

In 1971, Mrs Gandhi was fed intelligence inputs and that was already when war clouds were hovering. She was given inputs that Maoists in collusion with Pakistan and China were going to act as fifth columnists. And that was the time when Mrs. Gandhi in the Parliament said that they would be crushed whatever it took. And Operation Steeplechase was launched. The Indian Army was again used against the Maoists. And if I remember there were 2000 arrests in West Bengal, 1000 arrests in Bihar, and more arrests in Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and other states.

So therefore it is nothing new. This has been growing over the years and now we have 232 districts out of 608 districts, which are under Maoist influence. Now what happened after the 1962 war. There was a split among the communists but there was a very strong segment supporting China. But whatever they were called, when it came to China, all of them were totally subservient. Now let me take you to 2004, there was a merger between the People’s War Group and the MCC. Now no sooner did the merger take place than a long haul, ten long trucks of machine guns were seized in Bangladesh and the national security intelligence of Bangladesh says that these were also meant for the Maoists in India. The merger of these groups and the seizure of consignment there was just not a mere coincidence. Now the former Home Secretary Mr Pillai has gone on record as saying that Chinese smugglers have been supplying arms to the Maoists.

Now let me read out to you what the IB says. The late Mr Mulaidhar wrote and highlighted the facts of the existence of the Maoists groups in the North-East, Bangladesh as well as Nepal to emphasise the fact that sophisticated weapons were inducted from Chinese arms spreading mafia through the Maoists in Manipur, Nagaland and Assam. The Bangladesh-based Maoist parties are in cahoots with the Indian Muslims. He further added that the arms of Chinese origin were being inducted from sea routes of Haldia and Narayan Garh area. Now I am reading a press release of central committee of Maoists of 2009. This explains their international character. It says that US imperialism and Indian expansionism are particularly perturbed over the growing influence of China over the region. Consolidation of Chinese grip over Sri Lanka and fear that the Govt of Nepal is moving closer to China are common to India and the US so they have pushed these powers to oust the government led by the Maoists to install a regime which is loyal to them. Indian Maoists pledge all their support to the Maoists of Nepal in their fight against expansionism.

Now let me add another angle to this which is a very worrying angle. And that is that there are lot of people in countries who are feeding on this Maoist terror. There are ultra leftist groups in Italy. I have at least five or six names. There are two three groups in France. There are groups in Germany. The international meet is going to take place in Germany. The Italian angle was quite evident when two tourists, one was Paulo and other was Clauda, despite the travel adversaries, visited here and were caught. So there are a lot of ultra leftist groups feeding on the Maoists groups.

In the end, I would like to say that if you look at the map of India, you see this entire corridor of 232 districts linking to Nepal with the insurgencies of the North-East with the Kashmiris. You get a very frightening picture. Now you can talk about any type of economic reforms. But who would like to invest in this Maoist corridors? Who would like to invest in the Kashmir Valley? Who would like to invest in the North-East? So this is the picture for you. And this is what Moist terror has done. My contention is if the Indian Army was used to consolidate the nation, while cooperating the states and against the Maoists right after Independence, why can’t Indian Army be used today to save the country? Today a situation has come that nowhere in this world has the total number of central armed police force’s strength gone to 13 lakh and the army’s strength has gone up to 11 lakh and still there is no solution. I leave with this thought.

By Col RSN Singh

(The author is a former official at Cabinet Secretariat)

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