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Wednesday, June 17, 2020

naked aggression of China - Indian soldiers killed at Galwan

Sad ! ~ lives of Indian soldiers lost by brazen aggression of a Nation always looking bloody.  To them war is an act of senseless passion coupled with political objective.  This Nation lost 14 million people of their Nation in WW 2, yet continues to be blood thirsty. Covid 19 emanated from its place, WHO was careful enough to name it in such a fashion that it does not reflect the place, the Nation or anything else and continued issuing false statements on Corona virus.

In civilized World too, there are ‘Rogue states’ – the ones that are to be outlawed for threatening global peace. In WW II, the scale of China’s involvement was massive. Chiang, for example, fielded four million troops, while China as a whole lost an estimated 14 million in the war. Had China folded, Japan’s capacity to fight the U.S. or even the Soviets would have been vastly amplified.  On the Chinese side, after 1949 when the civil war was over, the Nationalists had been exiled to Taiwan, and Mao was victorious on the mainland, it rewrote  a virgin history in the mainland of China—that the only people who had made a contribution to fighting and defeating the Japanese were the Chinese communists.

It is never a peaceful State nor the one that wants peace.  Now Xinfadi food market puts China’s capital city in a “wartime” contingency mode. Over 100 cases have now been traced back to the sprawling wholesale market since Thursday after the city had previously gone 55 days without a locally transmitted case. But rather than taking care of their own people, leave alone trying to contain it within the country, the rogue Nation is trying to get involved in another skirmish.

The Galwan River flows from the Aksai Chin region to Ladakh of India. It originates in the area of Samzungling on the eastern side of the Karakoram range and flows west to join the Shyok River.  It is named after a Ladakhi explorer from Leh, who first explored the course of the river. In 1899, he was part of a British expedition team that was exploring the areas to the north of the Chang Chenmo valley, when he ran into this previously unknown river valley.

A very sad day for the Nation.  Twenty Indian soldiers were killed in a "violent face-off" with Chinese troops at Galwan Valley in Ladakh, the army said on Tuesday, in the most serious escalation between the two countries along the border in five decades. News agency ANI claimed that sources had confirmed 43 Chinese soldiers have been killed or seriously injured because of intercepts, though the army's statement did not refer to this. A statement in the morning that confirmed the death of a Colonel and two jawans spoke of "casualties on both sides". India blamed the clashes on "an attempt by the Chinese side to unilaterally change the status quo there", rebutting China's claims that Indian soldiers crossed the border.

Colonel B Santosh Babu of the Bihar regiment, Havildar Palani and Sepoy Ojha laid down their lives for India, the army confirmed earlier on Tuesday. "17 Indian troops who were critically injured in the line of duty at the stand-off location and exposed to sub-zero temperatures in the high altitude terrain have succumbed to their injuries. Indian Army is firmly committed to protect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the nation," the army's fresh statement said.

For more than six weeks, soldiers from both sides have been engaged in a stand-off on at least two locations along the Line of Actual Control -- the 3,488 km de-facto boundary between India and China, and rushed additional troops to the border. They have been facing each other at the Galwan River, which was one of the early triggers of the 1962 India-China war, and at the Pangong Tso -- a glacial lake at 14,000 feet in the Tibetan plateau.

Since 1975, this was the first casualties for India due to a clash with the PLA. In 1975, Indian Patrol was ambushed by the Chinese troops in Arunachal Pradesh in 1975. The he three Service Chiefs, Defence Minister Rajnath reviewed the current operational situation in Eastern Ladakh. During the meeting, the external affairs minister S Jaishankar was also present. The area where the troops of both sides are confronting is the first time since 1962. Though the LAC is clearly defined here, this is the first time that tensions are brewing in Eastern Ladakh.

In 1962, China attacked India across the eastern and northern borders. And the construction of a road between Xinjiang and Tibet was the trigger for this. Around 179 km of this highway which passes through Aksai Chin in the Indian Territory is better known as G219. The road the Chinese had built then was without India’s consent. And since the Chinese wanted to control any movement by the Indian Army from West to East, mountain passes are required to go across the mountain ranges. And the Chinese have also ensured that the LAC goes through the highest Crestline and also which is located to the west. This means that India does not control dominating heights and there is more depth which stretches between LAC and the Chinese G219 highway.

The Galwan river is the highest ridgeline and it allows the Chinese to dominate the Shyok route passes, which is close to the river. Chinese are keen on controlling this area as they fear that the Indian side could end up threatening their position on the Aksai Chin plateau by using the river valley. India is trying to construct a feeder road emanating from Darbuk-Shyok Village – Daulat Beg Oldi road (DS-DBO road). This road runs along the Shyok River and is the most critical line of communications close to LAC. It comes up Patrol Point 14 (PP14).

The Sino-Indian War, also known as the Indo-China War and Sino-Indian Border Conflict, was a war between China and India that occurred in 1962. Chinese military action grew increasingly aggressive after India rejected proposed Chinese diplomatic settlements throughout 1960–1962, with China re-commencing previously-banned "forward patrols" in Ladakh. China  abandoned all attempts of peaceful resolution on 20 October 1962, invading disputed territory along the 3,225 kilometre- (2,000-mile-) long Himalayan border in Ladakh and across the McMahon Line. Much of the fighting took place in harsh mountain conditions, entailing large-scale combat at altitudes of over 4,000 metres (14,000 feet).  The Sino-Indian War was also notable for the lack of deployment of naval and aerial assets by either China or India.

37,244 square kilometres of land. That’s almost Bhutan, almost Kerala, almost Manipur and Nagaland put together. That’s Aksai Chin, the north-eastern end of India’s crown under Chinese occupation for many decades now, the first move made much before the Sino-Indian war of 1962.  Sixty one  years ago, Prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru had informed the nation, belatedly, about what the Chinese had been up to in Aksai Chin, “where not even a blade of grass grows”. Making a statement in Lok Sabha on August 28, 1959 (Jawaharlal Nehru: Selected Speeches, Volume 4, by Publications Division), Nehru said: “There is a large area in eastern and north-eastern Ladakh which is practically uninhabited. It is mountainous, and even the valleys are at an altitude generally exceeding 13,000 feet. To some extent, shepherds use it during the summer months for grazing… The Government of India have some police check-posts in this area but, because of the difficulties of terrain, most of these posts are at some distance from the International Border.”

Photo at the start - Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat's statue at the Jaswantgarh memorial in Arunachal Pradesh. He was awarded the Mahavir Chakra. (Photograph: Rajesh Karkera/

Paying homage to Indian soldiers – Jai Jawan !

With grief and profound sadness
S. Sampathkumar

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