Governance Now Visionary Talks Series

Sino-Indian stand-off: An opportunity in reimaging India

We must beat Chinese designs by demonstrating vision of a better world order with respect for freedom and liberty

Hari Hara Mishra | June 26, 2020


#China   #Line of Actual Control   #army   #diplomacy Galwan Valley   #Defence  
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh at Victory Park that commemorates the victory of Soviet people in the great Patriotic War of 1941-45, in Moscow on June 24.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh at Victory Park that commemorates the victory of Soviet people in the great Patriotic War of 1941-45, in Moscow on June 24.

After the Galwan Valley incident of June 15, in which our brave army fought valiantly and thwarted Chinese incursion, recent reports as appearing in various publications suggest Chinese troops have come back in larger numbers to the area near the Line of Actual Control (LAC). In other words, de-escalation efforts are getting negated, and we have to prepare for the worst, while hoping for the best.

First and foremost, in military terms, our army is one of the best and combat ready. Rightfully, the government has given them a free hand to deal with the situation. Let us be clear, the professional and brave army knows the situation and strategy to handle the situation much better. Giving them functional autonomy and meeting their needs best, is what we the civilians can do. We repose trust and confidence that our armed forces will leave no stone unturned to secure our motherland. Supplemented that by a diplomacy where we must communicate clearly that while we do not fear to negotiate, we do not negotiate out of fear.

Second, as a nation we must stand united. Let there be more regular and periodic engagement of the ruling party and the opposition. Communication in time of crisis plays an important role.  While contours of communication will keep on changing in view of changing situation dynamics, it must have clarity, credibility and transparency. This is the need of hour.

Third, jingoism is no substitute for national interest. For growth, we need peace and stability. While strengthening our defence preparedness and building up supporting infrastructures, we must discourage war mongering.  A war cry only benefits arms lobby who have vested interests to whip up military hysteria.

Fourth, the recent initiatives of boycotting China and Chinese goods have an instant appeal. However, let us look dispassionately. A protectionist India will be a throwback to the pre-1991 era, and we may return to what used to be dubbed as the Hindu rate of Growth. We must make our goods competitive to beat them in pricing, quality and customer friendliness. It was long time back that power used to flow from the barrel of gun. Now it is the growth and development and economic muscle that count much. We have the best demographic dividend. We as a nation are young and talented. We must innovate and adopt technology to produce the cost-efficient best in areas of manufacturing and services 

Fifth, we are at a turning point in global history. The bipolar world consisting of capitalism and communism is history now. For last few decades, the US has been the dominant global power. China has been rising as a challenger. However, they are now shunned globally, as originator of coronavirus that has brought the single most disruption of the century across the globe. India as the largest democracy has much more acceptability now to play an important role in balance of power.

We must beat Chinese designs by demonstrating vision of a better world order with respect for freedom and liberty.

It is time for all of us to take a solemn pledge that the sacrifice of those martyrs who laid their will not go in vain. And we as a nation will emerge stronger.

Mishra is a policy analyst and columnist.

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