In 2013, when the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops came in as deep as 18-19 kilometers into Indian territory in Rakinala, The then-Prime Minister Manmohan Singh chose to cede around 640 sq kilometers of Indian territory to China. In return, Manmohan secured an invitation to address the Central Party School affiliated with the Communist Party of China in October of 2013. A soft-spoken Manmohan Singh outlined seven principles of cooperation between India and China and said that two countries should show sensitivity towards each other’s interests and sovereignty. The speech was well-received with a standing ovation and his speech on “India, China – A New Era” was given a huge round of applause by an exalted audience.
The BJP, then in opposition, had launched a scathing attack on the ruling Congress Party over Singh’s soft stance on China’s hostility. Ajai Shukla, India’s so-called defense expert, was seemingly entrusted with the job to spin the narrative encompassing China’s intrusion, who worked overtime to peddle pro-Congress agenda and actively denounced the theories of Indian territory being handed over to the Chinese government. In a TV program, Ajai Shukla even acquitted the Chinese PLA of any wrongdoing at the Indian border and said, “Only an Indian can say that China has transgressed into our territory.”
— Shefali Vaidya. 🇮🇳 (@ShefVaidya) June 19, 2020
After Prime Minister Narendra Modi assumed power in 2014, Ajai Shukla did little to hide his anti-Modi stance. He has not even shied away from inflicting insults on the men in uniform, just to further his anti-government agenda glutted with lies and fakeries. In May last year, Ajai Shukla was the very first journalist to claim that around 5000 Chinese troops had entered into Indian territory, only to be called out by the OSINT community and PIB officials later on. Even after that, Shukla attributed a completely false story to India’s defence minister that had to be withdrawn subsequently.
Along expected lines, Ajai Shukla went on to make grotesque claims this year too. On Wednesday, Business Standard had published his report claiming that there were fresh clashes between Indian and Chinese forces in Easter Ladakh, a claim that was immediately refuted by the Indian Army. Even after having been rebutted by the Indian Army, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi immediately picked up the story to launch the latest round of attacks on the Modi government.
Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter to call out the Indian government’s ‘weak defence policy that has weakened the country and has made it vulnerable like never before.’
GOI’s use of foreign and defence policy as a domestic political tool has weakened our country.
India has never been this vulnerable. pic.twitter.com/1QLCbANYqC
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) July 14, 2021
The fact that Congress itself ceded a major chunk of Ladakh’s territory to China under Manmohan Singh’s rule is prompting the likes of Ajai Shukla to blame the territorial loss on the current Modi administration altogether. The Manmohan-led Congress government averted any major escalation with the Chinese Army by ceding more and more Indian territories to China. However, as the incidents of a military standoff at the LAC become more and more usual under the current administration, pro-Congress journalists like Ajai Shukla are now leaving no stone unturned in setting up the intuition that China has seized whatever-lost Indian territory under the Modi administration only.
Much to the dismay of the Congress party and its die-hard supporters in the media, the Modi government has successfully steered the country away from the shackles of the Covid-19 pandemic. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s approval ratings remain intact and BJP is still singlehandedly drubbing the Congress party in local polls. As the Congress party’s hit job on the Corona issue has bitten the dust, the opposition has now resorted to peddling deceitful anti-government agenda to invoke nationalistic sentiments among the voters and make them choose Congress over PM Modi.
Prime Minister Manmohan carried a defeatist China strategy. India under UPA never dared to assert India’s claims over its territory, allowing China to grab as much territory it wanted as Manmohan timidly acquiesced to China’s exorbitant territorial claims. Even the infrastructure at the Sino-Indian border was not developed as the ruling elitist believed that a robust infrastructure at the border region could give Chinese troops an easy path in case of another 1962 war-like event.
Prime Minister Modi, however, is cut from a different cloth. From the Doklam standoff in 2017 to the Galwan clash in 2020, India has not allowed the Chinese troops to seize even an inch of India’s territory under the current administration. Under Prime Minister Modi’s leadership, India doesn’t give in to Chinese demands and asseverates its claims every time the troops from the two countries come face-to-face. This is in sharp contrast with the defeatist strategy of the UPA era.
Under PM Modi, India is asserting its claims strongly and boldly. It was only under PM Modi’s leadership that Xi Jinping’s little emperors went back with a bloody nose and even suffered scores of causalities at the hands of the mighty Indian Army in Galwan. The unprecedented political support that PM Modi has extended to the country’s security forces has boosted their morale like never before, and a palpitating Chinese army is left with no choice other than to engage India in border talks and negotiations.