Thursday, September 24, 2020
Home Political History of India Did you know? 1962 Sino-India war could have been avoided had former PM Nehru...

Did you know? 1962 Sino-India war could have been avoided had former PM Nehru paid heed to professional military advice

Lt General SPP Thorat wrote an assessment after a year-long study of the Chinese build-up across the McMahon Line. In his report, Thorat had said that the Sino-Indian ties, that had remained friendly in the past, had undergone a considerable change.

Almost six decades ago, on October 20, 1962, China had attacked India. Provoked by a territorial dispute and tensions over Tibet, the war was short and India lost to China. India’s belief that it can never be attacked by China did not let the Indian army prepare, and the result was the standoff between 10,000-20,000 Indian troops and 80,000 Chinese troops. The 1962 Sino-India war continued for about a month and ended on November 21, 1962, and China emerging victorious.

This is a historical truth that the then Congress government led by former PM Jawaharlal Nehru and his defence minister VK Krishna Menon had fallen short of expectations in their dealings during the 1962 war with China, leading to the debacle. It is said that Army warned then Defence Minister Krishna Menon in 1961 about the need to prepare for a Chinese invasion. However, the warning fell into deaf ears and the follies made by the then Congress government left a deep-seated scar on the history of India, as explained in a 2012 article by India Today journalist Gaurav Sawant.

Jawaharlal Nehru warned of a possible attack by China, almost two and a half years before the 1962 Sino-India war

Shockingly, the then government, led by Jawaharlal Nehru, was warned of a possible attack by China, almost two and a half years before the first wave of Chinese troops overran the border in 1962, but Nehru and the then defence minister Krishna Menon, did not feel the need to take professional military advice, and the result was that India suffered its worst-ever defeat during the Indo-China conflict in 1962.

Author and journalist Gaurav C. Sawant in his report in Mail Today in 2012 wrote how, the Army commander had tried to warn of possible Chinese attacks in the coming years, which the then Congress government led by former PM Jawaharlal Nehru had ignored, costing India dearly.

SSP Thorat predicted China’s attack to which Nehru turned a deaf ear

- Advertisement -

As per the article by Gaurav Sawant, on March 17, 1960, Lt Gen SPP Thorat, commanding the Eastern Command, had conducted a military exercise that accurately predicted the timing and nature of a possible Chinese attack.  

The report had warned about possible Chinese attacks in the coming years, image via Daily Mail UK

SPP Thorat wrote an assessment after a year-long study of the Chinese build-up across the McMahon Line. In his report, Thorat had said that the Sino-Indian ties, that had remained friendly in the past, had undergone a considerable change.

“This is primarily due to the claim made by China upon large territories which are clearly ours. She (China) has also refused to recognise the McMahon Line as the international boundary and has made deliberate incursions into our territory in Ladakh, Uttar Pradesh and NEFA (NorthEast Frontier Agency, now Arunachal Pradesh)… We are required to resist to the full and evict any further incursions by China. This requires us to be fully prepared to undertake immediate military action…” his assessment said.

Gen Thorat’s ‘Exercise Lal Qila’, conducted in Lucknow on March 17, 1960, was perhaps the most detailed military drill carried out, writes Sawant. Thorat knew that the Chinese would attack. He made detailed studies of Intelligence Bureau (IB) reports, the terrain, the time taken by Chinese troops to cover distances and their preparations to accurately predict a Chinese attack.

The then Army commander Gen Thorat’s secret report a predicting Chinese attack, image via Dailymail UK

He wrote in his assessment report: “The task was to defend our territory and that of Sikkim against aggression from Pakistan and China and be prepared to give military assistance to Nepal and maintain law and order in the Naga Hills and Tuensang Agency (NHTA).”

The former director-general of infantry, then a young captain, Lt-Gen Guru Bakshi, said: “In 1959, we as young officers were addressed by Gen. Thimayya. The impression we got was that the government, especially then defence minister VK Krishna Menon, was not interested in professional military advice. Gen. Thimayya had red flagged the Chinese build-up. The civilian leadership was not listening.”

Lt-Gen Shantanu Chowdhary, the former vice-chief of army staff, said: “Sadly, there was a lack of coordination between the top military and political leadership. Had effective preparations been done, when Lt-Gen Thorat warned, the situation would have been very different.”

Reportedly, Gen Thorat had also batted for the utilisation of the air force in an offensive role during the 1962 Sino-India conflict, but the Nehru government had not paid heed to the suggestion.

Recently, Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne also said that had air power been used then, the results of the war would have been different.

Author and military historian Kunal Varma said: “Then defence minister was not convinced that China would attack India. (Then PM) Nehru went with his view and the rest is history. Had Lt-Gen Thorat’s report been taken in the right spirit, India would have been better prepared.”

Air Marshal Denzil Keelor’s video

In fact, in June this year, a video had resurfaced on the internet amidst the ongoing debate over the historical blunders committed by the Congress party, especially during the Nehruvian era, revealing how India under the leadership of the country’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru lost strategic areas due to the follies committed by him.

In the video, Air Marshal Denzil Keelor (Retd.) was heard speaking about the 1962 India-China war, stating that India lost the war to China because of Jawaharlal Nehru’s failure. He said that Nehru has then relied on diplomacy and ignored the armed forces, because of which India lost.

Had Jawaharlal Nehru paid attention to the detailed studies in 1960, India’s defeat at the hands of the Chinese could have been avoided. Keelor had stated that at the time of the war, Indian Army’s soldiers did not even have proper woollen clothing to face the weather and the difficult terrain of the Himalayas.

Jawaharlal Nehru viewed the army with suspicion. He did not, ever, pay attention to his army’s submissions and did little to strengthen or bolster the army. There have also been reports that Nehru and his defence minister VK Krishna Menon had then insidiously conspired to discredit General Thimayya (Chief of Army Staff from 1957 to 1961, who ahead of the 1962 Indo-China War), setting in motion a chain of events that contributed to India’s defeat in the Himalayas.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

Related Articles

Trending now

ABP journalist manhandles and slaps psephologist Pradeep Bhandari

Pradeep Bhandari was in Mumbai near the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) covering the bollywood drug abuse scandal.

Triple talaq to child marriage: All the crimes against ‘Bilkis’ that Indian liberals would have supported

‘Bilkis’ could be any face in the crowd. In India, ‘Bilkis’ could come in many forms. But Indian liberals love just one of them.

What they did on 5th August, was the last nail on the ‘coffin of India’: Farooq Abdullah says Kashmiris would prefer to be ruled...

Abdullah stated, "once the restrictions are lifted, lakhs of Kashmiris will hit the streets protesting against the Modi government".

Monsoon session of Lok Sabha concludes, becomes the most productive session in the history with productivity rate of 167%

September 20 was the most productive day of the current session 17th Lok Sabha with 234 per cent of productivity.

Rana Ayyub lies again, this time while writing an ode to the old lady protestor at Shaheen Bagh for Time’s 100 most influential people...

Rana has written that Shaheen Bagh protestor 'Bilkis' was sitting to protest against the CAA that could "block Muslims from citizenship".

Deepika Padukone, Sara Ali Khan, three others summoned by NCB in Bollywood drug probe

Deepika’s name had emerged in the drug abuse probe earlier this week after her WhatsApp conversations went viral.

Recently Popular

KWAN representative told me that I need to attend Karan Johar Parties to make a comeback to movies: Suchitra Krishnamoorthi

One of the main things is that you need to be seen at Karan Johar's parties, KWAN representative had told Suchitra Krishnamoorthi

‘Are your breasts real? Can I touch?’ Actress Sherlyn Chopra accuses KWAN talent agency co-founder of sexual misconduct

Bollywood actress Sherlyn Chopra on Tuesday took to Twitter to call out sexual misconduct of KWAN talent agency co-founder Anirban Blah.

Nikhil Dwivedi, filmmaker and director of talent agency owned by Salman Khan, claims latter did not buy stakes in KWAN. Read details

Uniworld Big Talent (UBT) owned by Salman Khan, holds major stakes in Big Bang Media Venture, the holding company which owns KWAN.

Casting director of Rhea Chakraborty’s debut film ‘Jalebi’ among 10 Bollywood personalities to have died in the past few months. Read the details here

A post containing the list of recent deaths of Bollywood celebs and the alleged reasons behind their deaths is being widely shared.

Goa Police arrests actress Poonam Pandey’s husband Sam Ahmed Bombay for assaulting and molesting her

Born and brought up in United Arab Emirates, Sam is an ad-filmmaker and a producer. He had done projects with celebrities like Akshay Kumar, Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone amongst others.

Complaint filed against William Dalrymple for flouting visa norms, trying to interfere in India’s internal affairs

Supreme Court advocate and author Monika Arora has stated that William Dalrymple has violated visa norms by trying to interfere in India's democratic process and trample on her freedom of expression.

ABP journalist manhandles and slaps psephologist Pradeep Bhandari

Pradeep Bhandari was in Mumbai near the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) covering the bollywood drug abuse scandal.

Akshardham Temple attack: 18 years ago, on this day, two terrorists laid siege on our faith

On September 24, 2002, the Akshardham Temple in Gandhinagar, Gujarat was attacked by LeT terrorists.

Triple talaq to child marriage: All the crimes against ‘Bilkis’ that Indian liberals would have supported

‘Bilkis’ could be any face in the crowd. In India, ‘Bilkis’ could come in many forms. But Indian liberals love just one of them.

What they did on 5th August, was the last nail on the ‘coffin of India’: Farooq Abdullah says Kashmiris would prefer to be ruled...

Abdullah stated, "once the restrictions are lifted, lakhs of Kashmiris will hit the streets protesting against the Modi government".

Monsoon session of Lok Sabha concludes, becomes the most productive session in the history with productivity rate of 167%

September 20 was the most productive day of the current session 17th Lok Sabha with 234 per cent of productivity.

Former Amnesty India head Aakar Patel arrested for tweets on PM Narendra Modi, BJP-RSS and Ghanchi caste; released on bail

Aakar Patel was arrested by Surat Police on a complaint filed by BJP MLA from Surat West constituency Purnesh Modi

Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi succumbs to Coronavirus

Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi passed away at the AIIMS in New Delhi, he had tested positive for Coronavirys on 11 Septemter

Properties made available for sale or rent only to Muslims appear on several real estate portals

Even in a cosmopolitan city such as Mumbai, bigoted homeowners actively discriminate between tenants.

KWAN representative told me that I need to attend Karan Johar Parties to make a comeback to movies: Suchitra Krishnamoorthi

One of the main things is that you need to be seen at Karan Johar's parties, KWAN representative had told Suchitra Krishnamoorthi

CBI carries out multiple raids along India-Bangladesh border; BSF officer and 3 others booked in illegal cattle trade case

A BSF officer along with 3 others booked by the CBI in connection with the illegal cattle trade along India-Bangladesh border

Connect with us

244,181FansLike
454,842FollowersFollow
16,700SubscribersSubscribe