Dokalam Face off : India Must Hold Ground

For sometime now Indian and Chinese armies are standing eye ball to eye ball, in the Dokalam plateau of Bhutan. The main dispute was China wanted to construct a road on Dokalam plateu. Any such road will allow them to mobilise military hardware easily incase of a confrontation. The areas is in the tri junction between China – India – Bhutan. Legally, the area falls under territory of Bhutan. China, of course, thinks otherwise. The area also has Indian interest because any development in the area may have potential to cutoff Indian North East from the Indian mainland. Besides, India is dutybound to protect Bhutan incase of any security threat.

Predictably, the facing off of two armies has generated a lot heat and dust. China has threatened to dismember India of its territories in the North East as well as in the North West. China has promised to eject Indian soldiers by force and give India a defeat more embarrassing than India suffered in 1962. India so far has remained unusually quiet but firm in her resolve not to allow Chinese to undertake construction in the Dokalam area.

There has been much analysis about Chinese motive, Indian stand and potential danger of provoking an army that is numerically larger, technologically superior, and a nation economically richer and well developed interms of infrastructure. Besides, trauma of 1962 defeat is very raw in Indian minds. Noted journalist Mr. Prem Shankar Jha wrote that the standoff between India and China should be sorted out through discussion. Mr. Jha went to extra length how Chinese authorities may not be on the know of what is happeining at Dokala. How a private Chinese company is building a road in the area. How Bhutan should be left to sort out its own issues with China. How, vastly unprepared and underprepared Indian army soldiers are used as a cannon fodder in front of a vastly superior Chinese army. All points raised by Mr. Jha are valid. However, Mr Jha should also note that Indian diplomats are saying all lines of dialogue are open. It is China that is asking India to unilaterally move out before coming to discussion table.

Sometime in life, even the weakest of the weak has to take a stand. Otherwise, his ability to stand up with head held high becomes difficult. Time and again China has dictated has insulted Indian leaders. May be their perception of India as a weak chaotic, poorly administered country has bolstered this view. Consider the following points :

  • Chinese army intruded into Chumur region of eastern Ladakh when President Xi was being hosted by Prime Minister Modi. This may mean President Xi has no control over his army. Or President was well aware of designs of his forces. In either case any discussion becomes futile.
  • China regularly destroys bunkers that they think will harm their security position. Yet, China wants to construct road in an area that India considers sensitive for her security. Yet, China is building road through Jammu and Kashmir, which is an area of dispute between India and Pakistan. Now China claims, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh are disputed areas between India, Pakistan and China. By this analogy, China can claim New Delhi to be part of China, because Chinese embassy is an sovereign territory of China based in Delhi.
  • China has not settled border dispute with India. China claims Arunachal to be part of China. China has occupied Tibet using force. Forget about disputes on south China sea with other countries. All these have been done based on historical evidence. That way, India can claim Tibet to be ours, we can claim Bay of Bengal belongs to us. China does not acknowledge MacMohan line, but wags an 1890 Sino British treaty that Bhutan was not part of as the basis of their claim on Dokalam plateau.
  • China has armed Pakistan with nuclear weapon to contain India on her Western Border. The fact that China has stopped India from becoming a member of Nuclear Supplier Group, a member of security council, and spurned Indian request to condemn global terrorists based in Pakistan, should be considered as an indication to their intention.

By virtue of its superiority, China can capture and claim Indian territory in a fight with India, but battle will be bloody. If conventional war does not work, then unconventional war will have  to be fought where superiority of armed forces come to nothing. If most powerful army always won a war, then America would have captured Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq etc. Russia should have been ruling in Afghanistan.  I hope this never comes to a situation where bullets are fired. But if provoked repeatedly, then even the weakest has the right to protest.  If India does not standup then what is the point of having an army?

  1. As China changes border script, India can’t afford to back down:

3 thoughts on “Dokalam Face off : India Must Hold Ground

Add yours

    1. I do not know. This is my view. I think so far Indian officials have tried diplomacy while holding ground. Let us see how far we can hold.


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