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Friday, Oct 22, 2021
Outlook.com

Frontiers Of The Imagination

The story of the war lies buried with its dead, the debate lives on

Frontiers Of The Imagination
AP
Frontiers Of The Imagination
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

A few years ago I was lucky enough to visit a remote border outpost in Arunachal Pradesh where a sentry sat in the thick morning mist, pierced only by the gentle flares of flowering rhododendron bushes. His binoculars were trained on a Chinese outpost perhaps a hundred yards away. This place had been a minor flashpoint in the 1980s when the Chinese established their camp and started building a helipad. The Indian army set up its own posts on higher ground. Things calmed down, so I was told, when the People’s Liberation Army clarified that the helipad was really a basketball court. The jawan’s job was to watch basketball and he took it very seriously.

Fifty years ago this month, a very different mortal game was played out on those very hills and across the 3,500 km long frontier of the world’s two most populous republics. It ended in a rout, as you know. The bigger guys—or at least the larger team—won. And then left the field, for their dugouts.

The war itself has been well remembered and quietly forgotten in India. A short...

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