During the recent conflict between India and China in Ladakh, a certain ‘defence expert’ made the headlines for his apocalyptic declarations on social media. Ajai Shukla, known to be a Congress sympathiser, spread quite a panic among India citizens with his sermons that gave people the impression that it was only moments before China marched firmly into Indian territory and claim the entirety of Ladakh for itself.
Ajai Shukla also worked hard to maintain the pretence that only Indians had suffered casualties and only Indians were captured even though it was definitely not the case. The statement made by the Army itself had stated that there had been casualties on the Chinese side as well but that was summarily ignored by Ajai Shukla.
Moreover, Ajai Shukla emphasised that certain Indian troops had been ‘captured’ by the Chinese. But since then, it has become evident that the Indian Army had taken some PLA men as well. It has been confirmed by the Indian media as well as Union Minister General V.K. Singh. The retired General also said that Indian troops had managed to eliminate more than double the number of martyrs on the Indian side. However, on the social media feed of Ajai Shukla, it was all doom and gloom and the sentiment of imminent dawn of the apocalypse.
As it turns out, Ajai Shukla was not always so apocalyptic about the prospect of confrontation with the Chinese. A short clip of his views on Chinese incursions during the UPA regime has now gone viral on social media. In the video clip, he can be heard saying during the UPA era that the border between India and China had not yet been actually decided and it is something that has been under negotiations since the 1962 War.
“The Border has not yet been decided yet. This border is being decided for the past 50-60 years and it will be settled at some point in the future. But right now, it cannot be said.. Only an Indian can say that China has transgressed into our territory but from the perspective of China, they had not entered our territory,” Ajai Shukla said. These words were presumably from the time when China intruded into India territory in 2013.
The second part of the viral video shows what Ajai Shukla said about the current conflict. He says that Chinese troops have entered Indian territory, erected posts and have settled there. Thus, comparing his stance from the UPA era with current times, it appears that with the election of Narendra Modi as Prime Minister, the border between India and China magically air dropped itself into his brain.
But it is more likely that he was going out of his way to defend the UPA Government and is now going out of his way to attack the Modi government so that the Congress party could benefit from it. And it turns out a lot has changed about his views with regards to China since the days of the UPA regime.
Another significant change is that in 2013, in a column for the Business Standard, Ajai Shukla had freely admitted that “Since the 1962 war, China has extended its control over the entire Galwan River and Chip Chap River valleys in Ladakh.” However, in 2020, China’s presence in Galwan Valley became an incursion into ‘new areas’.
Ajai Shukla in his 2013 article said- “China has extended its control over Entire Galwan River since 1962”— Ankur Singh (@iAnkurSingh) June 20, 2020
Ajai Shukla in 2020 is saying China has entered India and claimed the Entire Galwan River in May 2020.
Which one is True? pic.twitter.com/8NCVRfv5AV
Along expected lines, people on social media were outraged by his conduct, convinced that he is a ‘Congress stooge’. During the outrage, it was also revealed that Ajai Shukla can be quite abusive, crossing all limits of decency. A screenshot of a tweet that has gone viral shows the individual using extremely vile language for the women of the family it was addressed to.
Considering the drastic change in the views of Ajai Shukla, it appears more than likely that his panic stricken assessment of the situation at Ladakh is driven by his politically partisan worldview. But as people have discovered to their great dismay of late, the internet never forgets. And before long, his partisan reporting on the whole matter has been revealed to the public at large.
It is important to note that independent media reports have confirmed multiple Chinese casualties during the recent clash. It was also confirmed that the Chinese post that was constructed on the Indian side of the LAC was demolished by the Indian troops during the said clash.