On Friday, in his programme ‘Neta Nagri’, journalist Rajdeep Sardesai was made to acknowledge the failure of the erstwhile Congress government led by PM Jawaharlal Nehru in safeguarding India’s border with China. Speaking on the current situation in Ladakh over the faceoff with China, Sardesai claimed that the ghost of Nehru still haunts the BJP.
As seen in below clip, Sardesai claims that BJP has ‘built a narrative’ that ‘Nehruji‘ had completely failed against China during the 1962 war and that he was a weak leader.
Rajdeep Sardesai’s Epic fail at defending Nehru, his partner himself exposed him 😂✌️ pic.twitter.com/4kd1Tt4Nzo— Political Kida (@PoliticalKida) July 5, 2020
Speaking on the current government, he said that PM Modi wants to show that we are not like Nehru. “We are that kind of government that can look at China in the eye. Rajdeep suggested a sinister perception game of the BJP. He was then interrupted by his colleague Saurabh Dwivedi who asked Sardesai to elaborate on his usage of the term ‘narrative’. “What do you mean ‘built a narrative’? It is truth, right? What is ‘narrative in this?” he questioned.
At this point, Sardesai is at a loss of words and shifts goalpost to the NDA government banning the Chinese apps over privacy and security reasons. Dwivedi again interrupted him and said how he is not talking about the optics of the current union government but the ‘narrative’ bit Sardesai is talking about. “In 1962 from the point of view of military we were completely unprepared. With regards to Nehru’s decisiveness, and how without any experience the soldiers were sent on the field… Nehru had many achievements but 1962 war has been a failure,” Dwivedi said.
Taking aback by the rebuttal, Rajdeep Sardesai conceded, “I am just highlighting the ‘narrative’ part of the story. This is, however, the truth. It was his (weakness). It was a Himalayan blunder.”
Nehru’s Himalayan Blunder
In the 1962 India-China war, India faced a rather humiliating defeat. After the Indian independence in 1947, Britain left India to settle boundary disputes with Pakistan, Nepal and China on its own. China was not prepared to let Nehru get away with his “forward policy” of aggression. On its Western (Ladakh) border, Nehru’s “forward policy” in September 1962 tried to force the Chinese out of territory it claimed as its own. Nehru announced on October 11 that the army had been ordered to “free our territory.” That’s how the war began with China reacting to the situation.
Nehru at that time was away from India. The Chinese attacked simultaneously on the Ladakh area and NEFA, India bordering China on the Tibetan side. The Chinese managed to capture 11,000 km² of area in Aksai Chin and substantial area in NEFA. The Indian army was not prepared to go to war and did not even have basic essentials like warm clothing and boots and other protective gear needed to fight in such cold conditions. In his book Himalayan Blunder, a war memoir, Brigadier John Dalvi writes how China had planned the attack while maintaining a different position on war officially. You could read in detail about the same here.