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A Disastrous Policy Of Direct Approach

Fresh insights into the Sino-Indian war in Bertil Lintner’s new book are but diversions. All he does is stick close to the Indian version—a monstrous historical falsehood.

A Disastrous Policy Of Direct Approach
Oh Captain! | Photograph by Getty Images
A Disastrous Policy Of Direct Approach
outlookindia.com
2017-12-09T11:17:59+05:30

A new champion has entered the lists in one of the major interpre­tative arguments of the mid-20th century, the placing of blame for the brief, savage 1962 Sino-Indian border war. India, its army quickly crushed by a wholly unexpected (if long threatened) offensive of the People’s Liberation Army, its reputation as a great non-aligned paci­fic international influence effaced by Nehru’s frantic pleas for a American military alliance, raised the self-exculpatory plea that it had been the victim of an “unprovoked aggression”. The int­ernational community gladly swall­owed that as a placebo: the PRC being then outlawed from the UN by American veto. Beijing’s explanation, that it had struck back only as a last resort, and preemptively, against a protracted Indian campaign of petty territorial seizures, culminating in an effective declaration of war, held no water.

For years, that “aggressor” charge hung around Beijing’s neck, but publication of a book, India’s China War, in 1970 occasioned an...

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