The Sino-Indian conflict of 1962 over the disputed boundary was a short war, lasting barely four weeks. Yet, its impact on Indian politics, particularly on the Indian Left, has been immense. The “China question” was not only instrumental in splitting the undivided Communist Party. In subsequent years China and its ideologues kept popping up at regular intervals, splitting the Left movement further and allowing wide-ranging groups, from Naxalites to the Northeast insurgents and the Maoists, to draw sustenance from them.
The furrows on veteran CPI leader A.B. Bardhan’s forehead deepen while discussing the “China question” that split the Communist Party of India in the aftermath of the war. The differences amongst leaders, brewing over the past years, came to a head after India’s humiliating defeat.