1962 the Flames of the Sino-Dragon Essay

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1962: The flames of the Sino-Dragon 20th October earmarked the 50th anniversary of a war that Indians are not really proud of. Let’s reflect today over what conspired the giant of a nation to break their tradition of peace, sprawling over two and a half millennia which the longest in the world. What went wrong in 1962? The backdrop of the India-China War: India and China, both ancient civilisations, had lived as good neighbours for centuries. Ideological difference apart, “the Hindi-Chini Bhai Bhai” (Indians-Chinese are brothers) syndrome held sway till the late 50’s when the signs of discord started showing up. In 1957, China linked Tibet with the mainland through the Aksai Chin road across Ladakh. She also laid claims over large areas of the Indian territory in Ladakh and the erstwhile NEFA. The upsurgence in Tibet and the consequent flight of the Dalai Lama to India, in March 1959 introduced fresh complexities and misunderstandings. By mid-1961, Chinese border forces had advanced 70 miles west of the Sinkiang-Tibet road from the position they had held in 1958. This meant the occupation of 12,000 squares miles of Indian territory. The border dispute came to a head when, in the early 60’s, India responded to the expanding Chines presence on the border areas by establishing new posts on her side of the border. Many years after the war, the then defence minister V K Krishna Menon that nobody in India appreciated the fact that India ‘encroached on 4,000 sqm of territory belonging to China. The presence of the two armies at close proximity led to skirmishes which culminated in the subsequent conflict of the two nations. The war was, however, preceded by a series of events. Somewhat peeved by the criticism, then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru ordered General P N Thapar, the then chief of army staff, to evict the Chinese from the posts they had built within

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