There is a new body-posturing everyday by China over the parts of India, some already under its control in Ladakh, and China is now putting claim over Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim, and in the middle of this unfolding conflict India has lost 20 of its soldiers on June 15, 2020 1 who were unarmed 2  and succumbed to the iron rods and nailed clubs  3 to Chinese soldiers , which also triggered a question-answer session between opposition and government, in which government  gave a whole list of bilateral agreements with China,  of over the years, that both the sides patrolling at Line of Actual Control  were restrained to use firearms  4 but for a common citizen of India the gory dead-bodies brought back to their wailing relatives, it boils down to a question as to what purpose the stockpile of our arms is up to?

The agreement being citied dates back to November 29, 1996 5 and it says that neither sides shall open fire at LAC to which India seem to have adhered by ‘letter and spirit’ whereas China is claimed to have violated it, apart from the 2013 border-agreement  too 6  but for anyone trying to unravel the proverbial ‘steel-frame’  compliance of the agreements by India vis-a-vis China, and the confusion regarding the boundary dispute, which pervades our military even today, is too much of a difficult task,  if not the Bombay Cinema industry film Haqeeqat  comes out to put focus on it .  The film was released almost 56 years back and was filmed in the immediate aftermath of the Indo-China war of 1962 in which India was at a receiving end.  Haqeeqat is an Urdu word meaning reality.   

The film starred the legend Balraj Sahani as Major Ranjit Singh, who was superstar of his times along with Dharmedra  as Captian Bahadur Singh and Priya Rajvanshi who played as Angmo. The whole film was available on Youtube until recently I found that it has been removed and any amount of browsing on Youtube does not help, however, it is fully available on 7 which is to be a part of our discussion.  The film covers 2 hrs and 49 minutes and very easily takes the viewer to the high and real locales inside the mountains of Ladakh, army under live-tents-all exposed to real time weather and in combat with highly over-numbered Chinese, but surprisingly, there wasn’t any nationalistic xenophobia on the high-scale.   At 1:03:02 enters Ranjit Singh , with Hindi-Chini Bhai Bhai cries (shouts of Indian-Chinese are brothers from Chinese soldiers ) in the background, and Indian soldiers in a quandary as to whether they were sitting inside Chinese territory or that inside India’s boundary? Where sometime Chinese raise their posts and sometimes Indians put their tents into? And, that if it was an Indian land, which all was barren and deserted mountainous terrain, why would China put its stake on it?  Ranjit Singh gave a brief speech, which perhaps made to the bedrock of our defence policy, at least in terms of China which India deservingly needs to shackle-off.

Ranjit Singh asks his comrades if they had ever heard India to have ever invaded any nation and if in our history we find any Sikander, Taimur or Chenchez Khan and did our army ever went forward to capture any nation’s land, then how would we break our centuries old tradition to move forward to capture anyone’s barren and  desolated land. He then refers that when Indian forces went to Congo and Korea our leaders had said that we were a  peace-keeping force and we keep to the nation’s reputation,  but on the contrary (pointing towards China) they despite crying Bhai Bhai day and night , but what does their leaders say? Then, he takes out a book of Chinese leader from his pocket and confers that Chinese leader announces that those who don’t agree with them are not their friends and someone who is not a friend is an enemy and that whoever is enemy would be finished by one day by the Red Army of China. He then says that we do not consider anyone an enemy and they don’t consider anyone as friend and that India has been commending of them on various world forums and instead Chinese surreptitiously crept into our area and built their military-posts on it and that the Chinese army wants to establish its sway on whole of Asia, to put to end the peace of the world and that the Chinese soldiers were moving ahead like chess-pieces keeping in mind all the steps to checkmate ( us) and that it was our responsibility to put their manoeuvres to fail.  He then at, 1:05:12 informs that he has been ordered that there would be no fire and that Indians would not fire but that Indians will never forget that Chinese have not come here with any noble idea and they stand on our land and instead are seeking us to leave, at 1:05:34 his speech ends and he throws the book which has a picture of Mao Zedong through which a soldier puts his bayonet, an d the next moment the Chinese army is shown zeroing on the Indian contingent.

What followed next was Ranjit Singh frantically calling his boss who answers not to fire-first,  in order to invite a war but the war was there as an all out attack by the Chinese came soon from all directions.  The scenes are a damning similarity as to what had happened in Galwan Valley in which we lost our 20 soldiers on June 15, 2020. The film ends with the iconic song of Muhammed Rafi Sahab  kar chale hum fida jaan-o-tan-saathyon/ Ab tumhare hawale watan saathiyon (  We have forsaken our life and soul/It is for you to take care of the nation) written by Kaifi Azmi Sahab.  It also needs a mention that Muhammed Rafi Sahab along with Yusuf Khan aka Dilip Kumar Sahab had both gone to Himalayan heights during the 1962-war to bolster the morale of our army. Today, RSS inspired BJP wants to question the nationalism of Muslims for the country!

The world polity has changed a lot in the past six-decades as we have entered into the fifth-generation war and it is now where India needs to pick up the cudgels to fight it out with China with no more of its past hangovers, but then, India should also put into order that it is not to fight the US war which is locked with China in the race to supremacy.  US and China are into closing their respective consulates 8  as an eye-ball-to-eye-ball which is  right now going on in South China sea. But, will India go piggyback with US to outscore China? The answer is may be yes.

The writer is a former UP State Information Commissioner. He is also a lawyer based in Lucknow

References:

1-https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/indian-army-says-20-soldiers-killed-in-clash-with-chinese-troops-in-the-galwan-area/article31845662.ece

2-https://in.reuters.com/article/india-china-military-families/indian-soldiers-unarmed-and-caught-by-surprise-in-china-clash-families-say-idINKBN24704L

3-https://www.businesstoday.in/latest/trends/iron-rods-nailed-clubs—chinese-forces-attacked-indian-soldiers-with-these-objects/story/407311.html

4-https://www.indiatoday.in/news-analysis/story/galwan-rahul-gandhi-indian-soldiers-china-1690330-2020-06-18

5-https://peacemaker.un.org/sites/peacemaker.un.org/files/CN%20IN_961129_Agreement%20between%20China%20and%20India.pdf

6-https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/defence/chinese-action-violates-1993-1996-and-2013-border-agreements/articleshow/76405795.cms?from=mdr

7-http://www.zengatv.com/movies/2dc005fc-cf95-433e-b70e-8a242a1c5a42.html

8-China Orders U.S. to Close Chengdu Consulate as Payback for Houston Move


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