India has learnt the hard way that there is much more to a war than a flare-up of hostilities and shootouts between two nations at the border. The face-off between India and China in Ladakh seemed to be only a diversionary tactic by the Chinese leadership to tighten its grip on the military-political structure of the state. However, from the developments that have recently unfolded, it is obvious that there has long been a deep-rooted evil design hatched to destabilise India, which was perceived as posing a serious challenge to China’s aspiration for regional superiority and global dominance.
Motivation – Trouble at Home
Despite the seemingly strong grip that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is having on the country, China is quite unstable. There is a growing sense of disaffection and disenchantment toward the establishment on the part of the civil society. The disastrous handling of the Covid-19 crisis by President Xi Jinping has weakened his position both among the people and the party. Voices of protest by doctors, scientists, scholars and students are increasingly heard.
Western intelligence and media reports point to CCP being faction-ridden. Jiang Zemin of the Shanghai faction and Hu Jintao of the Beijing faction are at the vanguard of the dissenting factions, waiting to upstage Xi Jinping. There is a likelihood of secession, that too by seven provinces of the country, wanting to establish themselves as independent nations. Although all these look a long shot at present, snowballing momentum of political developments point towards cracks in the establishment and a stark possibility of a breakdown of the Middle Kingdom in the near future.
Low Hanging Fruit Option
One of the few options available to President Xi Jinping for tightening his hold on the power structure is to score political points by launching a few successful military campaigns. Being in command of the world’s biggest standing army throws open the opportunity to wage a war at will on beleaguered neighbouring countries that are preoccupied with tackling the challenge of the Covid-19 pandemic on top of a slowing-down economy. Although China has kept theatres of war open on many fronts, what better place to start with than India, which has been found on several occasions in the past a lame-duck military target?
No More a Soft Target
India has, however, never been more prepared for a war than now. The Indian Army has never been more upbeat, what with the country having acquired in the recent past modern weaponry, equipment and the full backing and support of a stable and strong government. It has been long since the nation bade farewell to non-alignment and embarked on the path of pragmatism in pursuing reinvigorated foreign and defence policies not only in its self-interest but also in the interests of regional peace. The Narendra Modi-led NDA government has been vigorously pursuing the path of building up bridges of friendship with like-minded nations facing a common threat from China.
Resultantly, a closer understanding has been reached with countries like the US, Japan and Australia in giving shape to a Quadrilateral Defence Alliance for keeping an aggressive China at bay in the South China and East China Seas. Military pacts have been signed with Australia for the maintenance of peace in the Indo-Pacific Ocean region. India is no more a pushover that China was accustomed to bullying in the past. So, now China feels the need to subvert India’s stability by orchestrating a political upheaval.
Sinister Game Plan
Even as India-China face-off in Ladakh was staring our nation in the face, how the territorial integrity of India had been traded off in the past by some unscrupulous elements for pecuniary gains came to light. The Congress Party started criticizing the Modi government vehemently and accusing it of soft-pedalling the issue allegedly in connivance with the Chinese government to the detriment of our nation and its Army. Given the prompt action taken by the Union government in empowering and permitting the Army to thwart Chinese aggression effectively, the Congress Party’s flagrant and despicable anti-government stance was clearly incomprehensible.
Why such a vitriolic attack on the Central government when practically the whole nation was behind it? Why attribute motives and demoralise the Army? Was it merely a cheap political gimmick for the sake of opposing the ruling party? Or was it the tip of a more sinister gameplan to jeopardise India’s security and integrity? Fortunately, skeletons started tumbling fast out of the Congress closet. The nation woke up one fine morning to see the photograph of Rahul Gandhi signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Wang Jiarui, Minister of the International Department of Central Committee of the CCP in the presence of Sonia Gandhi and the then Vice President Xi Jinping in 2008.
Conspicuous by his absence at the signing ceremony that took place in the Great People’s Hall in Beijing was then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Till the photograph was leaked by the BJP to the mainstream media, our nation had no information about this development. Nor are the details of the MoU known even now. The MoU was allegedly about exchanging information and promoting exchanges at every level. What does it all boil down to? Were India’s secrets shared with China? What was the extent of the damage caused to our nation?
It would be pertinent to recall that during the rule of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), all important government documents found their way to Sonia Gandhi, who was the de facto Prime Minister. How come the UPA rule provided level playing field to extrajudicial authorities, namely Sonia and Rahul Gandhi? On several more occasions, Gandhi family members were seen enjoying the hospitality of CCP – like during the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and their secret meetings at the Chinese Embassy in 2017 during the Doklam crisis.
Furthermore, when Rahul Gandhi visited Kailash Mansarovar in 2018, the Chinese Ambassador was present when Rahul departed from Delhi. To make matters more confounded, the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, in which Sonia, Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi are members, received vast amounts of funds from the CCP through Chinese Embassy in Delhi as well as from Chinese companies in India. What were the services rendered? A probe by an inter-ministerial committee has been ordered by India government to investigate into the matter.
The Congress-CCP nexus and the proximity of the Congress first family to top Chinese leadership do not add up to any good for our country. Unfortunately for the CCP, the Congress Party is not in power currently. But the Congress Party is still striving to discredit Prime Minister Narendra Modi at any cost and sneak back, as power brokers, to the cosy comfort of CCP’s largesse. If the sacrifices by our soldiers and the territorial integrity of our nation were to be damned in the process, so be it. That seems to be the gameplan of the Congress Party. Meanwhile, the international community’s litany of charges against China now includes one more dark and grave exposé – infiltrating the government of a friendly country and plotting to subvert its stability by bribery and other unethical means.
Author- Dr Sunil Gupta
The author is a Chartered Accountant, author and blogger. He has served as an Independent Director on the Boards of India’s most influential public sector banks.