Those fearing that Rahul Gandhi might be destroying the Congress his ancestors ‘built’, need not worry. Keeping Nehru’s legacy alive Congress has officially ‘given away’ part of Union Territory of Ladakh to Pakistan and China. On Tuesday, while attacking PM Modi regarding the new farm laws, Assam Congress’ official handle tweeted a distorted map of India.
In a tweet, Assam Congress shared a map of India which was distorted such that part of Ladakh territory was missing. Thankfully, Assam Congress ‘gave away’ Ladakh only on paper unlike Nehru who let the Chinese take over Indian territory in Ladakh during the 1962 India-China war.
Assam Congress has now deleted this tweet.
Nehru’s Himalayan Blunder
Jawaharlal Nehru, while addressing the Parliament on 28 August 1959, had apprised everyone about the nefarious attempts of China on Indian soil. Informing the members on what China had been up to Nehru said, “There is a large area in eastern and north-eastern Ladakh which is practically uninhabited. It is mountainous, and even the valleys are at an altitude generally exceeding 13,000 feet. To some extent, shepherds use it during the summer months for grazing… The Government of India have some police check-posts in this area but, because of the difficulties of terrain, most of these posts are at some distance from the International Border.”
Speaking on the Chinese aggression, Nehru had said, “Some reports reached us between October 1957 and February 1958 that a Chinese detachment had crossed the international frontier and visited Khurnak Fort, which is within Indian territory. The attention of the Chinese Government was drawn to this, and they were asked to desist from entering our territory… there is no physical demarcation of the frontier in these mountainous passes, although our maps are quite clear on the subject. Thereafter, at the end of July 1959… a small Indian reconnaissance police party was sent to this area. When this party… was proceeding towards Khurnak Fort, it was apprehended, some miles from the border inside our territory, by a stronger Chinese detachment. This happened on July 28.”
“…the Chinese claimed that that part of the territory was theirs, but added that they would release the persons who had been apprehended. We sent a further Note to them expressing surprise at this claim and giving them the exact delineation of the traditional international frontier in this sector… No reply has yet been received to this Note. Our party was released on August 18.”
Three days later, Nehru informed that the Chinese had built a road through Aksai Chin. “According to an announcement made in China, the Yehcheng-Gartok Road, which is also called the Sinkiang-Tibet Highway, was completed in September 1957… Two reconnaissance parties were accordingly sent last year. One of these parties was taken into custody by a superior Chinese detachment. The other returned and gave us some rough indication of this newly constructed road in the Aksai Chin area,” he told the Rajya Sabha.
In the 1962 India-China war, India faced a rather humiliating defeat. After India’s independence from the British, 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 Indian 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.
Without basic protective gear to fight in the extreme weather conditions, the Indian Army was not prepared to go to war with China. Despite economic hardships, China quickly managed to overpower our troops. 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.
Congress and map distortion
This is not the first time official Congress leaders and party accounts have shared distorted image of Indian map. Congress leader Shashi Tharoor has regularly indulged in sharing wrong maps of India. In December last year, while protesting against the new citizenship law which fast-tracked Indian citizenship for persecuted religious minorities in three neighbouring Islamic countries, Tharoor had shared a map where part of Ladakh was missing.
Just two months prior, he had shared another map of India which categorically excluded part of Ladakh, given away to Pakistan and China.
Congress leaders have also been found parroting Pakistan’s line while questioning territorial integrity of India.