The India-China conflict in Ladakh has shown no signs of a resolution yet. After the clash between soldiers from the two camps at Galwan Valley, it appears that the world is realising that the current skirmish at the Line of Actual Control is far more serious than what was previously assumed. Under such circumstances, the government has regularly been issuing statements assuring citizens that Indian territorial sovereignty will not be compromised.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his monthly address – Mann Ki Baat – again paid tributes to the fallen warriors of Galwan Valley. He said that their valour will always be remembered. “Families who lost their sons, still want to send their other children to defence forces… their spirit and sacrifice is venerable,” he added.
Prim Minister Modi also took veiled potshots at China over its conduct at the LAC. He said that “a befitting reply has been given to those coveting our territories”. He also said that the world has taken note of India’s commitment towards protecting its borders and sovereignty.
The world has seen India’s commitment to protecting its borders & sovereignty. In Ladakh, a befitting reply has been given to those coveting our territories: PM Narendra Modi during #MannKiBaat (file photo) pic.twitter.com/bCf0oCgqoa— ANI (@ANI) June 28, 2020
The same day, Home Minister Amit Shah also took a jibe at China at the expense of the Congress party and Rahul Gandhi. During an interview with news agency ANI, he said, “We are fully capable of handling anti-India propaganda but it does pain when a former president of such a big political party does ochhi rajiniti (shallow politics)’ at a time of problems.”
“It is a matter of self-introspection for him and Congress that his hashtag is being taken forward by Pakistan and China. It is not for me. It is a matter of concern for Congress that hashtag of their leader is being encouraged by Pakistan and China. You say what China and Pakistan like. And at this time of crisis,” he added.
The Home Minister stated further, “There will be Parliament (session). If you want to discuss, we will. Let everything be discussed from 1962 to today. No one is afraid of discussion. But when the soldiers of the country are making efforts, the government is taking solid steps after taking a stand, at that time, making statements that please Pakistan and China should not be done.”
During the same interview, when journalist Smita Prakash suggested that India was fighting two wars currently, one at the LAC and the other against the Wuhan Coronavirus, Amit Shah assured that India under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi will win both these wars.
Statements by the Prime Minister and Home Minister of the country on the same day against China and its sympathisers in India come at a time when the ruling dispensation appears to have made up its mind that time has come for India to address the ‘panda’ in the room. Numerous moves are also being made on the economic front as China seeks to establish itself as essentially an economic hegemony.
Apart from voluntary efforts by private entities to boycott China, the government is also reportedly drawing a list of countries to replace China in supplying critical components. Simultaneously, India is also looking to ramp up its manufacturing base to cut its dependence on China for products. Consistent with this, the government has also made it mandatory for sellers on e-markets to mention the ‘country of origin’ of products.
Thus, the government appears to have decided that the conflict with China will not be resolved in a day or weeks or even months. A well calibrated approach appears to have been formulated to counter China effectively. Thus, the regular statements by the Prime Minister and Home Minister and other functionaries within the government appear to be a conscious effort to instil consciousness about the Chinese threat among the larger populace.