Monday, October 15, 2007

CHINA'S NUCLEAR VICTORY

The Chinese have won again. This time without firing a single bullet and without sending a single soldier into Indian Territory.

When the UPA government was sworn in, Cho Ramaswami, the irrepressible editor of the Tughlak had said, ‘If the Left has a future in India, India has no future left’. Those words sound almost prophetic now. This is the first time since Independence that the Left has got such a critical voice in the government of India, without any responsibility of governance. What is their sole crowning achievement, as they would like to call it? Scuttling the Indo-US Nuclear deal.

Indian communists see sinister US designs in almost everything, but have simply no, absolutely zero, alternative answers for addressing India’s strategic security concerns. So, we have loud protests whenever there are joint military exercises with the US and any talk of increased security cooperation between the two countries. And what do the leaders of the Left suggest that India should do in the present and emerging global security scenario? India should champion multi polarity and take on its traditional leadership role of developing countries! Something better too: India should reduce its defence budget since relations with China and Pakistan are improving!

What Indian communists want is quite straightforward: India should continue to wallow in the company of small insignificant nations of little relevance on the global stage; China should never face any challenge whatsoever from India in the pursuit of its well thought out and relentless march to take over leadership of the world from the US in the not too distant future; India should remain militarily weak enough to remain stuck in its policy of being almost totally tied to and stymied by Pakistan.

Is it not amazing that there is such a communist cacophony, warning of the dangers of the hegemony of the US, something that is presently of only remote concern to India, while there is a stunning silence about Chinese hegemony which is right on our backs?

China has always had a clear focus and vision of its security requirements determined by its ambition to take its rightful place in the comity of nations as per its size. It had border disputes with all its neighbouring countries, including the erstwhile USSR, but has negotiated and settled all of them except with India. Is that an accident? Or is it part of a long term design? The answer is unambiguously clear but to the very blind.

After the communists took over China, it occupied Aksai Chin, the whole of Tibet, laid claims to large parts of India, including Arunachal Pradesh, occupied large parts of Indian Territory claimed by it, and legally acquired a part of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir from Pakistan. Despite thirty years of border talks, it has not reached any agreement with India. To date, its military patrols continue to make aggressive incursions into Indian Territory regularly, while the Indian government keeps underplaying, even hiding them, from the nation just because it is afraid of annoying the Chinese.

This is not all that the Chinese have done. They have systematically tried to encircle India from all sides. Pakistan is their ally. Besides supplying conventional military hardware, they are rumoured to have transferred nuclear and missile technology to Pakistan. The clear as the proverbial crystal objective of China is to enable Pakistan to keep India’s military machine tied down to addressing the security threat from that country.

This almost incapacitates India from even thinking of a credible offensive riposte to the military challenge it faces from China, without significantly upgrading its military capability. A credible enhancement of military strength to match Chinese efforts has not so far been seriously considered mainly due to legacy of weakness and lack of strategic thinking inherited from Nehru, coupled with the pervasive fear of annoying the Chinese.

The Chinese have built a highway from Tibet to Kathmandu in Nepal, and are active there, something which should of some serious concern to India. In Burma, they have built a highway right up to Mandalay and are believed to have even sent in Chinese settlers who have made parts of Northern Burma their home. The Chinese, not content with their military virtually sitting on India’s head in Tibet, have created yet another avenue, easier than the very difficult one through the Himalayas, to march into the plains of Assam, whenever they choose to.

Having virtually completed the encirclement of India on land has not satisfied the Chinese. They are now building their Navy to acquire the strategic sea dimension to their already overwhelming military superiority over India on land. They are also designing and building strategic military aircraft to achieve air dominance in any future conflict.

Why are the Chinese building such a massive military capability at such a furious pace? What threat are they facing and from whom? They have settled all their border disputes, except with India, and have excellent relations with all their neighbours as well as the US. If the logic of our Left is sound, then the Chinese should actually be cutting down their defence expenditure and reducing their military strength. Why are they doing exactly the opposite? Does it need any great analytical ability to understand that the Chinese have some serious plans of spreading their hegemony and that they see the US as the only rival in their path, a rival they are working towards deterring and then neutralizing militarily?

The world may seem unipolar now; if the Chinese have their way, it will be bipolar again, sooner rather than later. And the Chinese are bent upon ensuring that India, a neighbour which is almost as large, is rendered impotent enough not to even think of spoiling their party. The unresolved border dispute is the perfect tool to use to humiliate India again, should it ever even try to think as big as its size, resources, population and civilizational continuity and culture demand it should.

The now torpedoed Indo-US nuclear deal had the Chinese worried. They saw that India was at last getting into the bus it missed in the 60s, when China exploded its first atomic bomb and humiliated India into meek and disgraceful submission. They could visualize that, with some American assistance, India had not only begun to wake up to the real, unacceptably unaddressed threat posed by the Chinese, but was also finally beginning to wake up to its balancing role in checking the ever increasing hegemony of China in Asia. China and others know only too well that India is the only Asian country that can realistically do so. It has just to realize its potential and express willingness to assume that leadership role.

To the Indian Left, however, any national response that even obliquely antagonizes the Chinese and threatens their dominance is a no go. Comradeship to them is more important than citizenship. It is painful to see otherwise intelligent looking people so blinded by the dead economic ideology they picked up at JNU, that they see India’s real long term strategic foe as their friend and master.

China seems to have won the latest nuclear war with India. As long as the Indian Left has its disastrous and disruptive voice effective in this country, the Chinese do not need to send their own troops across the Himalayas to settle anything in their favour.

The tragedy of our form of democracy is that the Left which has successfully held the government hostage is now no more than a very limited regional grouping whose voters have voted for entirely local reasons which have nothing to do with their leaders' JNU ideology.

Surely this country has to find a way fast to protect itself against such a democratic blackmail by the few in future. There is no other way if India has to close the multi dimensional gap that the Chinese have created and claim its rightful place in the world.

Till that happens, China will keep scoring easy victories over India, using cheap Indian fodder.