- A democratic party member has claimed that the US has always been on the Indian side throughout the history
- Based on his historical knowledge (lack of), he has asked India to condemn Vladimir Putin
- However, the fact is that Russia has always been on India’s side while the US has never been
Ever since the Ukraine crisis has unfolded in a way not liked by America and its allies, they have been pushing for India to get harsh on Russia. One common argument brought forward is that the USA has always been supportive of India. Recently, Ro Khanna, a member of Joe Biden’s party, proposed similar arguments, which can easily be labelled as assumptions not based on historical evidence.
Ro Khanna asks India to condemn Russia
During the Congressional hearing on the Indo-Pacific, Khanna did not seem convinced with the Pentagon’s assessment of India’s abstentions in the UN. Flaunting his Indian-American credentials (even though he is American by birth), he expressed his perplexion on India not condemning Vladimir Putin. He claimed that while the USA supported India during the 1962 war, Russia did not do anything.
Claiming that the US would be standing against China, Khanna asserted, “I think it’s obvious that the US would stand against Chinese aggression on the Line of Actual Control far more than Russia or Putin would, and that we really need to press India to not be as dependent on Russian defence and to be willing to condemn Putin’s aggression in Ukraine, just like we would condemn Chinese aggression beyond the Line of Actual Control,”
Khanna does not seem to have studied the relationship between India and USA in detail. Right from the time India got its political freedom, no US president other than Donald Trump has supported India in clear and unequivocal terms. In fact, most of the time, the US has only hurt Indian interests.
The only 4 years the US of A was friendly with India was during Donald Trump's reign and I love the madman. https://t.co/Kx0QQEM1o3
— Atul Mishra (@TheAtulMishra) March 20, 2022
Support to Pakistan
The USA was one of the first nations to recognise the existence of Pakistan as an independent nation. Recognising Pakistan was crucial for the USA as it acted as a buffer for Uncle Sam against the USSR.
When India got free, it was clear that India did not have much infrastructure of its own. Along with infrastructure, India also needed a proper redistribution system due to inequality. Apparently, even if India would become a mixed economy, it would have a socialist tilt, which proved to be true in later years. That meant that India would give preference to USSR over the USA.
This is exactly why the USA pounced on the opportunity to provide support to Pakistan. On the other hand, the Pakistani state’s biggest dream is to destroy India. So, to fulfil its aim of not allowing the USSR to flourish, the USA provided every bit of support to Rawalpindi. The USA provided Pakistan with money, modernized military support, arms and ammunition like Patton Tanks etc. Even though the USA knew that Pakistan was using its support to foster terrorism in India, it did not take any decisive action on the terrorist state for decades.
The USA did not support India during the Indo-China war
When Mao’s men were hell-bent on destroying the lines demarcating India and China in 1962, India had sought help from the John F. Kennedy administration. Indian Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru had, in fact, demanded air support from the USA in writing.
The USA however was not willing to support India. American President directly told Nehru to not use airstrikes against China, no matter how many casualties Indians suffer. Apparently, according to Kennedy, if India had used airstrikes against China, it would have escalated into a world war. Simply put, the USA effectively asked India to keep tolerating China’s brutalities and not retort.
Nixon wanted China to attack India during the 1971 war
If the USA missed out on openly supporting China during the 1962 war, it made amends during the India-Pakistan war of 1971. In order to support its ally Pakistan, the USA asked China to intervene and attack Indian forces. US President Nixon and Henry Kissinger, his Assistant for National Security Affairs held various rounds of discussions to encourage China.
In carefully constructed sentences to China, Kissinger said, “The President wants you to know that… if the People’s Republic were to consider the situation on the Indian subcontinent as a threat to its security, and if it took measures to protect its security, the US would oppose efforts of others to interfere with the People’s Republic.”
However, the Chinese were more aware of ground reality. Within less than a decade of the 1962 war, India had exponentially developed its military capabilities. Compared to 1962, India had more than doubled its deployment in border areas close to China. Chinese had faced the brunt of India’s increased strength in Nathu La and Cho La clashes of 1967. According to official numbers, 340 Chinese personnel were killed while 450 were badly injured.
This is the reason why the Chinese did not heed Nixon’s encouragement and decided to not go ahead with his plan.
The US did not support India being a nuclear power
It’s one of the biggest oxymorons that to have peace, countries need to have nuclear weapons in their armoury. India realised this when it was subject to multiple offences by its neighbours. It was clear that India needed nuclear arms to deter its enemies.
However, the USA did not want that. When in 1995, USA‘s satellites detected signs of possible Indian nuclear test at Pokhran, the Clinton administration left no stone unturned in stopping India from doing so. The USA stopped the Narsimha Rao government from conducting India’s nuclear tests.
However, in 1998, despite facing the possibility of sanctions, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee went ahead with the nuclear tests and declared India a nuclear-capable nation. After the declaration, the USA hurled a flurry of sanctions on India. The USA refused to provide India with defence and economic assistance. Through various diplomatic channels, it asked India to roll back its nuclear programme, which the Indian government rightly refused to do.
Dear @RoKhanna ,
A lie cannot be masked with heavy words, it bursts open like a ripe abscess.
No US didn't support India ever
But US did threaten India in 1971 and nuke tests
Nixon-Kissinger asked China to invade India
Pakistan was USA's favorite after the partition of India pic.twitter.com/F0PDRTS3sJ
— Atul Mishra (@TheAtulMishra) March 20, 2022
ABCDs – America born Confused Desis
There is a category of Indian looking politicians residing in America. These are colloquially called America Born Confused Desis (ABCDs). Because Democratic Party (Biden’s one) tends to be pro-migrant and mainly chooses candidates based on their identities, these ABCDs gain easier entry into the party.
After getting a position, they start using utopian and politically correct words like peace, world, and harmony to persuade Americans. They tend to have no independent opinions on their own as anyone speaking different from their party line is totally outcast from the party, like it happened with former Presidential candidate and pro-Hindu leader Tulsi Gabbard.
So, without even knowing that it’s not their own, they start to utter some words like an AI device trained to do so. Basically, if everybody is shouting ‘Russia is wrong’, these ABCDs won’t look into the facts and simply utter the same phrase. This is exactly what Ro Khanna did here.
ABCDs do not go into details
However, facts tell a totally different story. Russia always had the opportunity to side with China whenever India and China came neck to neck. For a major part of the 20th century, both countries followed the same ideology as well. However, Russia always chose to support India, not through men and muscle, but definitely through diplomacy and other channels.
On the other hand, it was only during the Trump era that India got full support from the USA. Trump administration laid down its support to India during the CAA riots. Similarly, it tightened its noose on the money flowing from US coffers to Rawalpindi. Additionally, Trump was also a pro-Hindu leader, one of the few qualities good enough to rattle the Islamist lobby.
Looking at the historical facts, it becomes clear that Russia always stood by India, while the USA never supported India in clear terms. In short, Russia may not be the best friend that India has, but America is definitely the worst enemy that India has.