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Thursday, June 18, 2020

Nation should rise as One - support Army, Support the Country - War against China

The Sino-Indian War of 1962 is not a happy memory. It is remembered for the humiliation of India’s total defeat, the betrayal of Hindi-Chini-Bhai-Bhai and the devastating personal blow it dealt Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. It left us minus large chunks of territory and an inability to admit this that has resulted in the ridiculous policy of having to stamp every book and magazine that does admit this with the assertion that they are incorrect.

On Tuesday, after the violent stand-off between China and India at Galwan valley, CPI (M) came up with a statement on 16th June, wherein it did not criticise the neighbouring country. The party in its statement said, “The Government of India should come out with an authoritative statement as to what actually happened. It is imperative that both the Governments immediately initiate high-level talks to defuse the situation and advance the process of disengagement on the basis of the agreed understanding of maintaining peace and tranquility on the border.” ~ clearly making it known who are the masters and where one’s heart lies !!

Monday’s deadly clash  between Indian and Chinese troops has officials from both sides blaming each other for the violence that erupted amid a seven-week long military stand-off at their disputed border.  At least 20 Indian soldiers have died, with more reportedly injured. Indian media say there are 35 Chinese casualties but Beijing has not confirmed if any of its troops were killed or injured. The editor-in-chief of the hawkish Global Times Hu Xijin tweeted on Tuesday night that China was remaining silent on the numbers as an act of “goodwill” so that there would be no comparison of deaths that could inflame nationalist sentiments.

Today, Major General level talks are being held between India and China to resolve the issues related to the June 15-16 violent face-off, according to sources in the Army. Similar talks took place on Wednesday as well but they remained inconclusive without any changes on the ground.  India maintained that what happened in Galwan was a "pre-mediated and planned action that was directly responsible for the resulting violence and casualties." External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar made it clear that India wants restoration of old status quo along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) prevailing before May 2020 when the first reports of Chinese incursions started appearing.

As news broke that a vicious melee had broken out between Indian and Chinese troops along the Sino-Indian border in the Ladakh area on Tuesday (June 16), an illustration showing a Hindu god battling a Chinese dragon surfaced on social media.  It shows Lord Rama drawing a bow and preparing to shoot a huge arrow into a Chinese dragon beside the words "We Conquer. We kill." – not in India but  was posted on the Hong Kong social media site LIHKG.

Hong Kong Twitter user HoSaiLei soon shared it and wrote "An Indian friend has already finished this exquisite Sino-Indian war poster." Within 21 hours, the post had gained 861 likes, 300 retweets, and 34 comments. Many Indian netizens thanked HoSaiLei for sharing the image, and he responded to one user by saying, "Likewise!! Please know this, we support you!" Below the image, some Hongkongers jokingly posted screenshots of the character Dhalsim from the video game "Street Fighter" defeating the Chinese character Chun-Li. Netizens from Taiwan and Hong Kong alike took to social media to express their support for India in the clash with China. Curiously, many posts replying to the image spoke of a 'Milk Tea Alliance'. The Milk Tea Alliance is an informal term used on social media to reflect solidarity among countries in Asia that have a custom of adding milk to their tea—the notable exception in the region being China—where black tea is more popular. With India, Hong Kong and Taiwan each known for their milk tea, the concept of the milk tea alliance also reflects a larger anti-China sentiment in such countries.

The internet support comes as tensions between Taiwan and China have been growing, with Chinese warplanes flying inside Taiwanese airspace for the 4th time in two weeks on Wednesday. The war of words between Taiwan and China has intensified of late, with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen's assertion early in 2020 that Taiwan was an independent country and that Beijing must face this reality. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, Taiwan's  exclusion from the WHO also sparked calls for WHO reform and greater accountability of the role of China in spreading the virus across the world. Relations between India and Taiwan have been warming. Several Indians reportedly participated in a motor rally in Taipei on June 13 to thank the country for its successful contamination of the coronavirus. In May, two BJP MPs virtually attended the swearing-in of Taiwan's re-elected president Tsai Ing-wen. That month, Taiwan also donated one million masks to India to help in the national effort against the Covid 19.

Hong Kong too has seen its issues with China flare-up of late, as protests that raged through 2019 gradually resumed after a brief lull during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic in the city. A new bill by Chinese lawmakers that makes it illegal to insult the Chinese national anthem had sparked a new wave of protests, as had a controversial new national security bill. While 2019’s protests were initially sparked over a bill that would allow for Hong Kongers to be extradited to China to face much-harsher prosecution in certain instances, they later snowballed into a larger pro-democracy movement, in response to accusations of police brutality against the Hong Kong police. While the extradition bill was eventually shelved, the new national security bill could end up having the same effect, as a Hong Kong lawmaker recently pointed out that it too could be used to extradite Hong Kongers to China to face punishment.

Ladakh’s Bharatiya Janata Party MP Jamyang Tsering Namgyal on Tuesday responded to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s question on whether China had occupied the Indian territory in Ladakh with a detailed map, and claimed they had done so under the Congress’ regime.  The BJP leader claimed that the Chinese had occupied the Indian territory during the Congress’ rule. “Starting from the 38,000 sq km of Aksai Chin in eastern Ladakh seized by China in the 1962 war,” Namgyal wrote. “The Tia Pangnak and Chabji Valley [250m length] in Chumur area till 2008 during the UPA [United Progressive Alliance] time.”  The young leader from Ladakh asserted that "it was no longer the India of 1962, and the country is led by a courageous leader like Prime Minister Narendra Modi, not by the Congress". 

The Congress party’s kid-glove treatment to China and the soft-condemnation against the Communist nation has now raised eyebrows as to know why the principal opposition party has been soft towards the hostile neighbour of the country. It is being said that the close connections between the Congress party and the CPC may be one of the reasons why the principal opposition party has now chosen to remain mute in attacking the Chinese and instead has been unleashing all its attacks against its own government. During UPA1 in 2008, the Congress party and the Communist Party of China (CPC) had signed a deal in Beijing for exchanging high-level information and co-operation between them. The memorandum of understanding (MoU) also provided the two parties with the “opportunity to consult each other on important bilateral, regional and international developments”.  Interestingly, the MoU was signed by the then Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi and on the Chinese side, it was signed by none other than Xi Jinping himself, who was then the Chinese vice-president and standing committee member of the CPC’s politburo. The MoU was signed in the presence of his mother and party president Sonia Gandhi.

During the India-China war of 1962, the radical wing of the then Communist Party of India (CPI) opposed the unqualified support to the Nehru government, because of its class character, in its fight against China. This event was believed to be one of the major factors responsible for the split within the Communist Party of India. Thus, by 1964, the differences among the communists increased beyond reconciliation.  One India & Indian Express reports state  that the  former Chief Minister of Kerala V S Achutanandan who was a CPM politburo member at that time was sacked for suggesting that they should organise a blood donation camp for the Indian Army soldiers. The pro-India line he took was declared anti-party by the Communists. It was an known fact that during the 1962 war, the CPI had supported China. They cited ideology and put the same above the nation.  

The proposal of blood donation  was immediately shot down by O J Joseph a communist leader. VS however did not give up and tried at the next meeting. This led to a scuffle between him and Joseph. The jail authorities had to intervene and subsequently the news leaked to the media. Jyoti Basu who was part of the West Bengal CPI ordered an inquiry into the incident. The row escalated and VS dropped his plan. In 1965 a party worker filed a complaint with the party leadership. In his complaint he spoke about the anti-party activities of VS. A probe was immediately order and VS was found guilty. The Kerala committee of the party ratified the probe findings and came to the view that the views taken by VS was anti-communist. VS was then demoted from the central committee to the branch level.

A couple of years back, Kerala State Youth commission chairperson Chintha Jerome’s second book ‘Chankile China’ (China in my heart) was released by chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan.  The book is about her journey to China and should be a travelogue, yet its caption perhaps indicates something else ! .. she was to say that being  a Communist supporter, I uphold universal humanity.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

If you ever thought that photo of Lord Rama was posted by a Sanghi – you are wrong.  This appeared in Taiwan press in its first page !


  1. Wonderful and A thought-provoking and valuable information. Credits to you Sampath for posting much needed and knowledgeable and helpful shares.

    1. Wonderful and A thought-provoking and valuable information. Credits to you Sampath for posting much needed and knowledgeable and helpful shares.