RRGwrites

On life…and learning

Intruding Dragon…Complacent Elephant!

with one comment

Like me, you must also have been following the sad state of affairs at the India-China border in Ladakh. And I am sure, you too would be equally appalled, if not disturbed by the series of events. And not only because of the brazen incursion of our borders by the Chinese armed forces, but also because of the rather indecorous attitude of the Indian government.

An avid reader of political history that I am, I recall a masterly account of mismanagement of the Indo-China relations by Indian governments, written by the veteran journalist-cum-politician Arun Shourie – ‘Are We Deceiving Ourselves  Again’ (Rupa, 2008). I read this book in 2008 and it opened my eyes. The book is a myth-breaking one, and shatters the popular belief that China deceived us in 1962 and thus, we were caught unprepared. Nothing is as false as this, so proves this book beyond any reasonable doubt whatsoever. Scanning official letters of the then Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru, Shourie writes a detailed account of un-statesman like behaviour of Nehru and brings out the truth that it is we ourselves who deceived ourselves into believing that the Chinese intentions (of those times) were honourable, that they were treating us as equals and would not do anything objectionable. And none other than our own Prime Minister Nehru rather eloquently accepted then, “Morally, I find it difficult to say that the Chinese government has deliberately deceived us at any stage. We may have deceived ourselves.”

Over five years ago, much before today’s grim situation came to light, Shourie penned this book and tore into the similarity of the lackadaisical attitude of Manmohan government, insofar negotiating the Dragon’s brazen attitude.

I don’t intend to write a book review here. Neither I intend to write an emotionally charged critique of how the present day complacent Indian Elephant is not able to restrain the overbearing Red Dragon of China. Much is already being written and said about this subject. I just wish to share with you the captivating, and thought-provoking, cover-page of Shourie’s book; I took this book out of my library today and clicked this image specially to share with you. This cover is depicts a series of 6 images from back to front; rather displays 6 frames of one photograph, where the Indian premier is walking towards his Chinese counterpart. To know how we are downgrading ourselves all over again, negating any possible learning from the inglorious debacle of 1962, you don’t have to read the entire book. The image in itself says it all.

Please observe the frames one-by-one, starting from the extreme left; you’d note the scary message it gives…

Are We Deceiving Ourselves Again - RRGwrites

Dear Indian Commoner, do you now see how we are deceiving ourselves yet again?

I leave you with what legendary top-cop KPS Gill said and Shourie quoted. It makes an alarming reading in today’s context…

“There is… one general principle that must guide our explorations, perspectives, plans and projections: the primary and most effective strategy to avoid war is to prepare for it.

It is one of the ironies of the human condition that if you love peace, you must be ready and willing to fight for it. The weak, the vulnerable, the unprepared and the irresolute will always tempt the world and call misfortune and ruin upon themselves. This is tragic, but it is the inexorable lesson of history.

It is strength that secures respect and dignity; conciliation, appeasement, and a desperation to avoid confrontation at all costs – these will only bring contempt and aggression in their dower.”

I am sure under the garb of his ‘dignified(?) silence’, our sealed-lipped Prime Minister has also shut his eyes and ears to this reality…

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One Response

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  1. A thought provoking write up indeed. But aren’t we as a society becoming a complacent elephant? This is what makes us so as a country too. Someone worked up about country or society not functioning well is immediately labelled as a ‘rebel without a cause’ or ‘angry young man’ or ‘jhansi ki rani’.. We put up with old dead traditions because change means disrespecting the elders who champion legacy. And select the same old corrupt people every single time – the elections will be a testimony to that. I am sorry for having to say this, but WE have build this destiny for ourselves. The complacent and corrupt government is our own doing and a result of our own inaction as a people.

    Neha

    May 6, 2013 at 12:02 PM


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