Thursday, June 19, 2014
First ever Arya Samaj Gurukul named 'Pandit Lekhram Arsh Gurukul Mahavidyalay' dedicated to immortal Arya Missionary Pandit lekhram was inaugurated on 8 June 2014 at Arya Samajam, Vellinezhi by Swamy Pranavanand Saraswathi (Delhi). Dr.PK Madhavan (Noted Sanskrit scholar and President of Vidya Bharathi Dakshin Ksethra who is also a patron of this Gurukul) presided over the function, Acharya Dharampal and Sri. Vinay Arya (Sarvadeshik Arya Prathinidhi Sabha Dehi), Vanaprasthi Baleswar Muni of Rishi Udyan, Ajmer, Sri, Prem Kumar Arora (Represented on behalf of MDH Group), Prof.Sarojini Sankar,Sri.Vivek Shenoy and many dignitaries of Arya jagat attended the function. Sri.KM Rajan (Registrar of Gurukul) welcomed the audience and distinguished guests.Sri.V Govinda Das(Director of Gurukul) thanked all those in the function. 5 brahmacharis (student) initiated to Upanayanam (wearing of sacred thread) admitted to this Gurukul. The parents of the Students (Brahmcharis) were also attended and spoke on the occasion.
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Tuesday, August 13, 2013
AUGUST 15 FROM FORT RAMPARTS
By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM
Zee News guest coordinator Editor called me to invite for doing the running commentary in Hindi on the Independence Day ceremony at the Red Fort Delhi on 15th August 2013 on their international network. I gladly gave my consent to be a part of the 67th Independence Day of our Bharat as I had been doing for over four decades heretofore. Indeed sometimes I did the commentary on the Akashvani, sometimes on the Doordarshan, perhaps once for the Sahara channel and for the last many years I have been doing it for the Zee News. On the Zee News network I am the monarch of all I survey and the camera focuses on me for a fairly long time and carries my voice to all corners of the globe for the entire ceremony except when the Pradhan Mantri is addressing the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort.
DOWN THE MEMORY LANE
Jawaharlal Nehru, our first Pradhan Mantri, had unfurled the national flag, our beloved Tricolour, on 15 August 1947 at the dawn of the Independence after 190 years of the British rule in New Delhi. A special session of the Constituent Assembly was held in the Council House, now Sansad Bhawan, on 14 th August 1947 from 11 PM onwards. Dr Rajendra Prasad, the President of the Constituent Assembly had presided. Right at the beginning Dr Rajendra Prasad called upon Sucheta Kripalani to sing the National Song, VANDE MATARM, WHICH WAS HEARD WITH RAPT ATTENTION BY ALL MEMBERS INCLUDING THOSE OF THE MUSLIM LEAGUE. Jawaharlal Nehru had made his famous speech there” Tryst with Destiny” after all members had taken oath of allegiance to the new nation, to Bharat, our motherland.
The next day, on 15 August 1947, Lord Mountbatten, the first Governor General of independent India had administered the oath of office and secrecy to Jawaharlal Nehru as the Prime Minister of India in the Durbar Hall of the Viceroy’s House, now the Rashtrapati Bhawan. In the afternoon Lord Mountbatten, his lady wife, Edwina Mountbatten and Nehru the Prime Minister drove from the Raisina Hill down the King’s Way, now Raj Path, towards India Gate as the national flag hoisting was to take place in the Hexagon near the Princess Park ( now called the August Kranti Maidan) for the benefit of and participation by the citizenry. The all important people could not reach the venue of flag hoisting as the milling crowd all over left no space on the road for the State Coach driven by six horses to drive on. The Governor General, his consort, the Prime Minister and senior Defence officers stood to attention wherever they were at the appointed hour and Lord Mountbatten signaled to his ADC, standing near the flagpole, to hoist the National Flag of India and he did it dutifully.
There was no mention of a ceremony at the Red Fort on 15 August 1947. Many a commentator, including yours truly had been committing that mistake year after year glorifying the Red Fort flag hoisting by Pandit Nehru on 15 August 1947. Where ignorance is bliss, it is folly to be wise. Fortunately a research paper published by the Lok Sabha secretariat crossed my eyes and I was made wise. So were our colleagues. The record was set straight and it was announced by us thereafter that the first flag hoisting at the Red Fort of the national flag by Pandit Nehru was done on 16 August 1947. The first Prime Minister had the privilege of hoisting the national flag from the ramparts of the Red Fort 17 times and he addressed the nation on the national day as many times. The time allotted for the speech of the Pradhan Mantri is just 20 minutes but I have yet to see a Pradan Mantri adhering to it.
Lal Bahadur Shastri unfurled the national flag at the ramparts of the Red Fort just twice. The diminutive man had risen tall in national stature after he ordered the Indian Army to cross the international border and attack both Lahore and Sialkot simultaneously. His decision worked like magic and the flamboyant Pakistan President, General Ayub Khan was forced to loosen his stranglehold on Jammu and Kashmir in the Chamb-Jaurian sector. Lal Bahadur Shastri had become the darling of the Indian nation. Alas! Untimely death of that great man in mysterious circumstances in Tashkent after he had signed an agreement with General Ayub Khan under the Soviet pressure to withdraw to pre-war location in all sectors.
We recall the great Shastri Ji for raising the morale of the Indian nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort and elsewhere when clouds of misfortune had gathered. Shastri Ji always saw a silver lining around dark clouds and gave us the slogan “JAI JAWAN JAI KISSAN”. To get over the food shortage and stranglehold of PL 480 of the US government he exhorted the Nation to miss a meal once a week and more, if feasible. He practiced what he preached and, therefore, his words carried weight and all Indians followed his advice both in letter and spirit.
HERE COMES INDIRA GANDHI
Indira Gandhi came on the scene after Shastri Ji’s sad and premature demise as a compromise candidate of the warring factions of the Congress Party. The regional satraps had chosen her because she had been known as the “ Goongi Gudiya” and lacked self confidence to answer queries and supplementary questions on the floor of the Lok Sabha. She always heaved a sigh of relief when the question hour was over without the Speaker calling upon her to face the opposition volleys.
Indira Gandhi had resilience and the more she was suppressed by satraps the more she came on her own and developed self confidence to take on the mighty men who had ridiculed her in the initial stages. As Prime Minister, she commanded the power of the State and learnt her ropes to success gradually. Whenever she was unduly hurt or harassed, be it Opposition parties in Parliament or the wily neighbor, Pakistan in the international diplomatic arena, she counter-attacked like a wounded tigress and carried the day. If one goes through the recording of her addresses to the Nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort on the Independence Day year after year, one will find that she grew tall as a Statesperson bit by bit and grew taller inch by inch. The friend and foe both held her in awe after she dismembered the arch-enemy of India, Pakistan in the 1971 war.
15 August 1972 – she ascended the stairs as her father used to do, like a victorious Roman General fresh from a campaign where the enemy was dissipated. By the way, the lift or elevator was built in Lal Bahadur Shastri’s time to take him on the ramparts since he had a heart condition. Now there are two elevators. The speech that she delivered after her victory over Pakistan was superb. Atal Behari Vajpayee, a Jan Sangh leader sitting on the opposition benches had likened Indira Gandhi to goddess Durga and lionized her in her hours of glory. It was well reflected in her voice, tenor, mannerism and the totality of impression of listeners was that Indira Ji has now come of age.
Indira Gandhi addressed the Nation after unfurling the National Tricolour at the ramparts of the Red Fort SIXTEEN times. Of course, it was in two instalments – eleven in her first tenure and then she lost power. Gut within two years she staged a triumphant return to power. She performed very well as the Prime Minister from the ramparts of the Red Fort FIVE times, taking the tally to sixteen, a close second to her father, Pt Nehru.
Indira Gandhi’s assassination in 1984 snatched her from the Nation rather prematurely. The ramparts of the Red Fort missed Indira Ji on 15 August year after year. Her gait as a lioness, her elegant sari with a broad border and the way she wrapped her sari made Indira Ji a class apart. As a radio commentator I made a word picture of Indira Ji’s personality, including her sari, not forgetting the border and it made a lively word picture pleasing to listeners’ ears. I loved the whole exercise immensely. I missed her every year when I climbed up the stairs to the ramparts of the Red Fort year after year as a commentator of the Akashvani. After her sad demise, things were never the same. When I changed over to the Doordarshan at my own request, I missed making the word picture. The cameras of the TV did that job that was so dear to me.
In 1985 the Lahori Gate, the Ghoonghat and the moat looked so different. The security considerations were primary concern of the State and everything else played the second fiddle. The Guard of Honour was also vivisected into two. The Inter-Services and Police National Guard was positioned in front of the ramparts for the National Salute and the band struck the National Anthem. A small Inter-Services and Delhi Police Guard of Honour was positioned near the small Lahori Gate well ensconced and hidden from public view by raising Kanats. Rajiv Gandhi, who succeeded his mother, Indira Gandhi, took the salute and reviewed this mini guard. The glamour was gone, that is what I felt.
Everything looked and sounded so different – a kind of hush-hush atmosphere. It was the requirement of the security people. Rajiv Gandhi was not an orator and the resonance of his voice on the ramparts was missing. Of course, we accorded him due respect that ought to be given to a Prime Minister. Perhaps his staff that wrote his speech or rehearsed him lacked the verve of a trainer. No wonder one Independence Day was referred to by him as the Republic Day throughout his speech. Swatantrata Divas was replaced by the Gantantra Divas and I wonder why no one had courage to quietly show him the correction slip.
May I be permitted to skip some of the Prime Ministers who just made a debut and disappeared forever. In the Army we have a saying,” Old soldiers never die, they just fade away.” But for Morarji Desai who appeared on the ramparts twice the one-timers were many like Chaudhary Charan Singh, DeveGowda, Indra Kumar Gujral and so on. Chaudhary Ji kicked up a row by saying from the ramparts that Israeli cows give good milk and the volume is satisfying. The Arab envoys protested but to no avail. Chaudhary Saheb was dead right factually.
ORATORY WAS REVIVED
Atal Behari Vajpaye of the Bhartiya Janata Party, is a born orator. The gift of the gab holds him in good stead. He revived the tradition of oratory and making important policy announcements from the ramparts of the Red Fort as the Prime Minister of India. Indeed his Hindi is worth emulating and many men and women joined his Fan Club hearing him roar like a tiger in command of the situation when he stood on the ramparts of the Red Fort behind the myriad mikes. Indeed Atal Ji took his own time to make a beginning, develop the theme, throw in healthy humour and gradually near the winding up operation. When he invited the assembled school children, the NCC cadets and citizenry sitting in front of the ramparts to join him in a chorus with a thunderous voice and say: JAI HIND. The assembly of young and old responded with matching Josh or enthusiasm. Jawaharlal Nehru had started this tradition of saying Jai Hind, as was the military tradition of the Indian National Army under the leadership of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and it has been going on for 66 years.
The 67th Indpendance Day will see Dr Manmohan Singh climb up the rostrum on the ramparts the NINTH time. Some political pundits predict that perhaps this will be the last opportunity to say to the Nation what he has been briefed about.
His zeal in making friends with Pakistan, notwithstanding that enemy country’s deceit, deception and surreptitious cowardly attacks on India and pushing the Islamic terrorists into India to indulge into bloodbath like the one in Mumbai, has certainly not endeared meek Manmohan to the common man who loves Bharat. One wonders why some of his ilk may not be loving Bharat less but they love Pakistan more.
We look forward to seeing the Indpendance Day ceremony on the ramparts of the Red Fort on 15 August 2014. Let us wait with Great Expectations to see and hear a new Prime Minister roar from the Red Fort ramparts and elevate the morale of the Nation and restore the Glory of the country called Bharat.
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Monday, August 12, 2013
COMMUNAL DIVIDE IN J&K ALWAYS PLAGUED PEOPLE
By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM
Dr Karan Singh, a Congress member of the Rajya Sabha made a candid short speech in the House throwing light on the incompetence of State Administration in handling the volatile situation in Kishtwar before9th August and thereafter too. A former Yuraj of the Hindu Dogra ruling dynasty and a Sadre Riyasat of the J&K State during the Sheikh Abdullah government, Dr Karan Singh knows the people and political under currents like nobody else. He made a true analysis by saying that the undercurrent of communal divide was always present there and he had represented the parliamentary constituency of which Kishtwar was a part for fifteen years. He deserves to be congratulated for telling the truth.
Dr Karan Singh further said in Hindi “ Agar aap samajhte hain ki gaadi wahan chal rahi hai to main bata doon ki gaadi ekdam chal nahi rahi hai.” Apparently he was referring to incompetence of the Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, in general and criminal delay in handling the riots in Kishtwar effectively in particular. Dr Karan Singh’s national credentials have always stood the test of time. It was he who, as Sadre Riyasat of J&K had signed the warrant of arrest of Sheikh Abdullah in 1953 when the latter had strayed from the path of secular nationalism and had nurtured a dream of becoming the Sultan of Kashmir. Sheikh’s ideas and speeches were more communal than that of the Muslim League and he had become more anti-India than the politicians of Pakistan. He had even raised doubts about the legality of that state acceding to India.
Even Jawaharlal Nehru, a bosom friend of the rebellious Sheikh was alarmed and perforce gave a nod to his removal from the office of CM and arrest. It was Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad, the new Chief Minister, who fully integrated that State with the Republic of India. Omar Abdullah is the grandson of the same Sheikh Abdullah. No wonder he raises the cry of J&K reverting to the pre 1953 constitutional status. Thus he indirectly stokes the fire of separatists in their slogan for AZADI that was raised every now and then in Kishtwar before the situation flared up.
Dr Farooq Abdullah, Sheikh’s son, never took any action against the unruly and riotous Kashmiris who burnt the Indian National Flag and raised pro-Pakistan slogans in his presence time and again. He never came down on the separatists and pro-Pakistan elements among Kashmiri Muslims with a heavy hand.
MAHARAJAH’S MUSLIM TROOPS REVOLTED
Going back to the partition days in 1947 when J&K was still an independent territoty under Maharajah Sir Hari Singh, father of Dr Karan Singh, when the Muslim troops of his State Forces in Gilgit and Chitral has revolted against His Highness on communal grounds and hoisted the Pakistan flag. Thus a large part of the State was handed over to Pakistan on a silver platter by the Maharajah’s Muslim troops. It was rank communalism.
In the same year when Jinnah launched the Pushtoon and other tribals, officered by Pakistan army officers, in an outrageous attack of the Maharajah’s J&K, the Muslim troops of Sir Hari Singh revolted against the Hindu ruler and joined hands with the raiding tribal Muslims. Wasn’t it a proof of communalism that the Namak Haram soldiers joined hands with the invading enemy?
ETHNIC CLEANSING OF KASHMIR VALLEY
In 1989-90 terrorism of Islamic Jihadis peaked. Many senior judges and bureaucrats belonging to the Kashmiri Pundit community were killed by Muslims. The hate-Hindu campaign of rabid communal forces was crysal clear when terrifying slogans were raised from mosques on microphones asking the Kashmiri Pundits to quit Kashmir. They were threatened with rape, loot and genocide. Almost all the self respecting Kashmiri Pundits left the Kashmir valley and moved to Jammu, Delhi and other safe places. None of the so-called secular Muslims of Kashmir came to their rescue. The vacant houses, temples and other places of Hindu worship were burnt down. Who will say that there is brotherhood between the Hindus and Muslims in Kashmir valley? This kind of brotherhood and secularism is just a myth to lull the Government of India into sleep and allow the inflow of Indian tax-payers money flow into the pockets of communal Kashmiris.
When the Hindu houses and shops burnt by Muslim mobs of hooligans, the district police, civil administration and even the State’s Home Minister, Sajjad Kitchloo were just mute spectators. They did not swing into action to douse the fire of communal frenzy. Why? When accusing fingers of partisan attitude and of inciting mobs to loot and plunder, commit arson and murder were raised, he had little option but to resign. It is reported that the Governor, Shri N.N. Vohra has accepted his resignation on the recommendation of the Chief Minister.
By the way no arrests of murderers and arsonists were made from 9th August to 12th August when Parliament discuss the Kishtwar mayhem and put the Central government on back foot. It was only then that the State Administration swung into action and made some arrests.
When Rome was burning Nero was fiddling. In J&K when Kishtwar was burning Omar Abdullah was tweeting. He derives comfort in waging a tweet war with the BJP leaders rather than take action on the Intelligence inputs about simmering situation in Kishtwar. Because of his inaction against the separatist elements, the latter have grown from bold to bolder and preach anti-India philosophy. On the pubic and private walls in downtown Kishtwar, posters of condemned traitors like Maqbool Bhatt and the hanged attacker of Sansad Bhawan were posted and the traitors were eulogized. When the nationalist Hindus protested, the large crowd of Muslims from Eidgah came down with a heavy hand on them. The teenage son of the President of Kishtwar Bahujan Samaj Party president was brutally killed. The goons pumped as many as seventeen bullets into his body. The police remained an inactive spectator. The district administration and the Minister of State for Home, Sajjad Kitchloo were gripped with inertia. Or were they a part of deeper and sinister conspiracy to cleanse Kishtwar of the Hindus?
An impartial inquiry by an unimpeachable individual or a body of civil society must probe the sisnister Kishtwar episode to find out the truth. The blame must be laid at the door of culprits whosoever they may be. Further those who have suffered the loss of loved ones and whose property has been burnt or destroyed must be compensated adequately.
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Sunday, July 7, 2013
MAHASHAY VISHWANATH REFLECTED OLD WORLD CHARM
By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM
Vishwanath Ji was uprooted from his home and hearth at the age of 27. He was born in Lahore in 1920, brought up in an Arya Samajist home, imbibed the old world charm in company of poets and men of letters who worshipped the Muse irrespective of the Faith their families professed. And yet he lost everything that he had stood for, for the last quarter of a century plus. He saw his literary real crumble like a house of cards, friends turned foes, worshippers of the poetic culture turned killers overnight. The young man who had inherited the profession of publication from his late lamented father, Mahashay Rajpal Ji, a martyr for the cause of freedom of expression, of which right to publish was an integral and unalienable part, burnt the midnight oil to rank among the first and the foremost. Alas! Partition of India at the behest of vested interests raised a unbreakable wall against which our young man’s hopes were dashed.
SHOW MUST GO ON
Young Vishwanath, all of six, had seen his father, Shaheed Rajpal Ji breathe his last after being stabbed by an illiterate Muslim, coached and trained by bigoted Mullahs. By exercising the right of freedom to publish and actually letting a booklet based on Truth see the daylight, Rajpal Ji was dragged to various courts of Lahore but was eventually acquitted with honour by the Punjab High Court. Vishwanath Ji had stood by his father and even penned his thoughts on how lonely his dad had been in fighting the legal case for years.
Vishwanath Ji had inherited the grit and determination of his fighter-father and in his young mind was sown the seed of “ rebellion against oppression” and he let the seed germinate and blossom into a banyan tree. For him to become an independent publisher was the best course of action, that is karma of the rightful order. What better stage there could be to carry on the Mission of Truth than the Arya Samaj. He chose just that. As a matter of fact he had inherited that too from his father too in ample measure.
CITADEL OF ARYA SAMAJ
Lahore was the citadel of the Arya Samaj and Dayanand Anglo Vedic school and college. On the sad demise of Swami Dayanand Saraswati at Ajmer on the Diwali evening in 1883, the Aryas of Punjab made a decision to open educational institutions charged with the mission of Dayanand to carry forward his principles and practices to groom the youth for future. Indeed a correct decision it was. The DAV School and later DAV College did see many young men pass out of its portals who were second to none in patriotism, scholastic and administrative achievements and what have you. Vishwanath Ji was one of them who turned out to be a shining star in the firmament.
Linguistics was his forte. He was equally at home in English, Hindi, Urdu and Punjabi. A voracious reader, a prolific writer, Vishwanath Ji was fond of attending poetic symposia both in Hindi and Urdu. He would compose, recompose until he was fully satisfied with his own finished product. Generally speaking, the audience applauded him and boosted his morale on stage. Just before our motherland was vivisected and that factory of Islamic terror called Pakistan was born, the poetic symposia in Lahore were sometimes overladen with lines that eulogized communal philosophy in political and literary writings and speeches but Vishwanath Ji kept aloof. He was an Arya patriot and fought for the causes that were so dear to Swami Dayanand Saraswati but he had no rancor for men of other religions who did not see eye to eye with the philosophy of Swami Dayanand Saraswati.
I recall an incident in connection with presentation of Merit Awards to writers of eminence on rolls of the DAV Colleges in Delhi and elsewhere. He had written to me to compere the function being held in honour of Shaheed Rajpal Ji. I immediately accepted the offer and prepared my notes of compering accordingly. Just at the eleventh hour, as the honoured guests were being seated on the dais, he walked over to me and said” Please see that you do not overplay your criticism of the assassin and his co-religionists who had assassinated my father”. I just smiled. Mahashay Vishwanath Ji was a changed man. He had mellowed a lot and did not want to associate with rabble rousers. The time for VAJRA PRAHAR ON OPPONENTS OF VEDIC DHARMA WAS OVER. The era for winning them over with love and compassion has begun. The perception had undergone a discernible change.
Arya Samaj was his First Love and he stuck to his Vedic guns till he breathed his last. I always addressed him as Mahashay Vishwanath. He did not resent and I carried on with this form of address for years. He was almost fourteen years senior to me in age but never let it be reflected in our interaction. A chat or a discussion on a Vedic topic or on a political subject always ended up without any conclusion. But never did he raise his voice to denote disapproval of a point, an issue or the manner of delivery. Having lived in Lahore in the pre-partition days when the Indian youth was sucked in by the freedom movement, he just could not afford to remain untouched by the political TSUNAMI against the British Raj. As far as I know Vishwanath Ji was not a part of the Satyagrah movement but he did admire Mahatma Gandhi. Indeed that was a point of disagreement between him and me because I had several reasons to blame Gandhiji for all the troubles that the Hindus had suffered. We may keep the issue in reserve for another day used to be our finale on the issue.
Vishwanath Ji was an enthusiastic Ved pracharak too in his youth in the rural areas of undivided Punjab. After alighting the railway train at Multan, he hired an Ekka on a sharing basis to go to a remote village where an Arya Samaj activity had been organized. As they entered the interior of the backward rural area, came melodious singing sound of Punjabi women and the song was in Hindi promoting spinning wheel as harbinger of SWATANTRATA. Vishwanath Ji was very pleasantly surprised to hear a Hindi song in a backward area where even Punjabi was not correctly spoken. Of course, he gave the credit for this awakening to Gandhiji. On hearing this anecdote, I had little option but to go in for a pucca Maun Vrat.
EDITING NO JOKE
Vishwanath Ji was a born editor. He took to editing as fish takes to water. When He and his brothers shifted their book shop and publishing outfit to Delhi from Lahore, teething troubles were experienced. He and other members of the family took it in the normal stride of life. With hard work, customer care, literary drives, launching Pocket Book edition with his brother Dina Nath and many such steps produced positive results. Rajpal and Sons made a name for themselves and were back in business in the right way.
Arya Samaj, DAV School and College, Lahore left many indelible impressions on the personality of Vishwanath Ji. His love of Hindi always remained undiluted. Even as a student of the DAV School, Lahore he had opted for Hindi and Sanskrit. This held him in good stead in later life. When he wished to please the Muse, it was Hindi language that he chose to write poems in. ANTARA is a book containing his new poems in Hindi.
He mentioned to me that it was opposition of the Arya Samaj to casteism that prevented him and his brothers from adding the caste name as a suffix. Just VISHWANATH. That was it. Commendable indeed. We loved him for that. Today we miss him more than ever before. His departure from this world is forever. When his soul enters a new body, he will have another opportunity to complete the mission that remained unfulfilled in this life.
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Friday, July 5, 2013
CHINA THREATENS BUT INDIA COWERS NOT
By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM
A.K.Antony, India’s Raksha Mantri is now in Beijing leading an official delegation. China knows all about the mild personality of the man from Kerala who never gets provoked and always keeps his cool. What he says carries weight because the world knows that he is Sonia Gandhi’s man. He is an honest man. So he has not purchased any type of guns for the Indian Artillery in the last quarter of a century. Bofors was the last of the long range effective howitzers bought by Rajiv Gandhi before his fall from grace and loss of his Congress party at the polls. Antony is against the concept of history repeating itself. Keep smiling is his motto. Never mind what the Chinese PLA General, Luo Yuan said in public and our press corps interpreted it as a warning.
China is a powerful country both economically and militarily. Much water has flown down the Ch’ang Jiang river between the colonial days more than two centuries ago when eight nations, including USA, UK, Japan etc had divided China among themselves and controlled both economy and governance. That was the time when China lost the Opium war and was forced to cede large territory around Hong Kong to the United Kingdom. The wheel of history has turned full circle and the Chinese have recovered lost ground diplomatically without firing a shot.
ART OF WAR
Sun Tzu was a great philosopher and past master of strategy who wrote treatises on Art of War. His concept is taught and discussed in colleges of combat in many countries including India. Acharya Chanakya wrote and practiced the Chanakya Neeti and became a famous philosopher in both civil and military circles. Unfortunately Acharya Chanakya did not come in the limelight as his present day compatriots slavishly followed the former British masters and the latter had degraded every thing that was Indian in origin.
The Art of War by Sun Tzu as practiced in China emphasizes brow beating the enemy to such an extent that he loses will to fight and surrenders. The Chinese generals of today dutifully follow the philosophy of life, the art of war etc as enunciated by their ancestors many millennium ago. Ancestor worship is a part of Dharma in China.
With a view to browbeating the Indian leadership before the arrival of Antony led delegation in Beijing, a Major General of the People’s Liberation Army issued a public statement to be carried by the global media, warning the Indian authorities to desist from provoking the Chinese government and their powerful military lest it boomerangs and harms the Indian interests. It would be appropriate to recall that just before the arrival of the Prime Minister of China in India, the Chinese PLA troops had intruded almost nineteen kilometers into the Indian territory, destroyed some hutments, had threatened the local cowherds before withdrawing on a reciprocal basis. Their aim was to put the Indian Prime Minister, meek Manmohan Singh on the backfoot and psychologically dominate his thinking so that he accepts whatever the Chinese Prime Minister dictates. The Chinese strategy was a success.
What General Luo Yang said and did is a repeat performance of the previous script that was successfully enacted by the Chinese in the Ladakh region that had its direct effect in Delhi. Let not a shot be fired and force enemy psychologically to surrender. Men like Manmohan Singh and his foreign minister are ever keen to walk into the Chinese lap to avoid an aggressive argument. After the Chinese intrusion into Ladakh, when the Indian Foreign Minister visited Beijing he cared not to raise the intrusion issue with his Chinese counterpart as he did not believe in grave digging to unravel the past. A wek kneed policy that brought shame to India.
ROBUST RESPONSE NOW
Antony may be what he is but certainly not to be compared with the personality of Mark Antony of Rome and Cleopatra fame. One need not worry in New Delhi now. As members of the Indian delegation are Lt General Dalbir Singh, an Army Commander slated to be Army Chief in due course of time, and,of course, Admiral Kohli already nominated to be the next Chief of the Naval Staff. These two Chief material officers know how to stand their ground in a discussion on military strategy and not allow the Chinese generals to have the upper hand. India in the year 2013 is much different from India of 1962 that the PLA of China had defeated in NEFA, now Arunachal Pradesh. Even then Ladakh was a different story. More about that on a later date and not now.
Suffice it to say that the Indian troops in 1962 were ill clad, ill armed and ill trained for mountain warfare. There was more politics practiced in the corridors of power and the Army Headquarters than military strategy. The situation is so different now that the Chinese generals would not like to launch a probing action and burn their fingers. Just issuing a public statement warning Indian generals to desist from war mongering would be good enough for the time being. Nevertheless India must not lower its guards and must be ever ready to go to war. Prepare for war and look for Peace to enjoy life.
KNOW THY ENEMY
In the diplomacy of today we meet diplomats and strategists of every nation and say, Good Morning with a smile. Even when armies have moved forward and stand deployed in the battle zone in battle order, never lose a chance to negotiate Peace. We all know that Peace brings Prosperity but war brings destruction and devastation. However, to talk to enemy, we must know the enemy. Let us assume for a moment that the Chinese nation would be India’s adversary, if not a declared enemy. With a view to dealing with the adversary effectively, a thorough knowledge of his culture, language, people at large and behavior of common man or average citizenry in war and peace is an absolute must. Lack of knowledge about the enemy may be suicidal. So, before knowing yourself and your allies, make an endeavour to know the enemy.
The Chinese are an enigmatic people. Everything in China is an enigma. One has to understand nuances of a particular question or reference made before answering it. It does not matter if answering a query takes time; take your time but understand it well before answering it. It is said that the Chinese diplomats and leaders are, generally speaking, non-committal even on issues of normal conversation, what to say of matters military and issues of international diplomacy. If you meet a Chinese person in the morning and after saying Good Morning, just ask him, out of courtesy, how is the weather today?, he will look up and down, look at your face and just smile rather than committing about the state of weather. No wonder it takes a lot of time in discussing an issue of international diplomacy and preparing a document for signature of political or military representatives of both India and China.
The present delegation of India in China knows how to stand firm and not yield ground to wily opponents. The Indian delegation comprises of seasoned army and navy officers who know what is what and are not to cower before an empty threat of a Major General of the People’s Liberation Army. Indeed we know very well that even innocuous statements issued for public consumption or just for the crowd back home, are read, scrutinized and cleared by the Intelligence people and accorded political approval before being used.
In the present case, the Chinese leaders wished to assess the reaction of an average citizen in the cosmopolitan cities before proceeding further. Now they know that India of today is different and must not be put to test by firing paraflares. Our compatriots must rest assured that there is no imminent danger of a shooting war and normal life should go on.
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