Rarely has any political power in History gone to become a super power without defeating, conquering and colonizing its weaker opponents. In the recent past the Central Asian Muslims, British, French and other European powers all have gone to become Super Power only by crushing the weaker empires.
As Georg Hegel famously said -“The only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history”
Sadly the Indian Governments from the past 70 years have forgotten this fact. We have lost sizeable territory to China due to the lackluster policies of Nehru in 1962. It has gobbled up Tibet which is 5 times the size of Uttar Pradesh and the world community was a mere spectator. It now plans to do the same thing with brute force and money power with all its neighbors. Couple of years back it claimed territories of 23 countries, though it had border with only 14 countries.
While it’s easy to arm twist smaller nations like Taiwan, Vietnam and Indonesia and bribe the governments of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka to fulfill its own agenda by investing huge sums of money as Infrastructure development for them. The problem arises with India which also has the same history and civilization like the Chinese and is also on its way to become a global power.
While the past leadership although losing to China was always soft to its eastern neighbors, Modi government has taken a strong approach from a position of strength and its repeated frustration over China on NSG, banning of Masood Azhar and construction of CPEC over POK.
Last week China renamed six places in Arunachal claiming it was it’s ‘lawful right’ to rename these places according to the Momba and Tibetan Chinese cultures who have used these names for generations.
India also hit back stating “assigning invented names to towns of the neighbor does not make illegal territorial claims legal”
I am not going to endorse any view like the Main Stream Media on describing it as just “another Territorial dispute” since it is the only country in the world which has border disputes with almost all its neighbors. The countries it has all weather friendship are the rogue states of North Korea and Pakistan. I am going to suggest ways to up the ante from here to not lose the momentum it has gathered:-
Short Term Ways:-
- India should immediately rename the road which is running in front of Chinese embassy in New Delhi from Shanti Path to “Dalai Lama Road”. This will be a huge embarrassment for the Chinese embassy people since every day they have to approach the “Dalai Lama Road” for attending their official duties. Dalai Lama is an international icon of peace which they can’t just ignore.
- All Tibetan refugees should be provided Indian passport. The Dalai Lama is 81 years old so India should use it to its fullest extent by allowing the Tibetan Govt. in exile greater freedom in conducting its business in India. We are running short of time here.
- Kiren Rijiju should be made a permanent part of all delegations to China. This will irritate China like anything. This move will also give more voice to people of Arunachal and will help in addressing the neglect which it has faced during decades of Congress Rule.
- Some parts of CPEC passing through POK should be immediately renamed since these are Indian Territory legally. Muzaffarabad as Udabhanda can be a good start keeping with its historical roots. This single move can irritate both China and Pakistan and would rub salts on their much famous CPEC project.
Long term Ways:-
- Immediate infrastructure development of Arunachal Pradesh is needed. While Guwahati the nearest city with Rail and Air connectivity to Arunachal-China border is 15 hours’ drive. Nyingchi the city with Air, Road and Rail connectivity is only 2 hours’ drive from the border. It is a shame that Itanagar the capital of Arunachal does not have any Airport or Rail connectivity with rest of India.
- The Entire north east passes through an extremely narrow stretch known as the “Chickens Neck” or “Siliguri Corridor”. Despite having high HDI northeast has suffered time and again due to transportation and logistics issues. The only way to solve it is through Chittagong port which will open a separate gate for the entire North East. After giving $5 billion loans to Bangladesh, we can expect a quick turnaround on the issue and an opening of a new trade corridor which will develop the entire North East along with Bangladesh.
- India should answer China’s string of Pearls through increased defence cooperation between India-Australia-Japan-Vietnam-Indonesia.
We have suffered for long after the humiliating defeat of 1962.The past government’s policy of Hindi-Chini Bhai Bhai has done no good for the country. It’s time for the Tiger to take a strong stand against the Dragon.