Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Henderson Brooks Report again

Lt. Gen. Henderson-Brooks
The Indian Defence Review publishes an article entitled Why Henderson Brooks Report Cannot be De-classified written by Lt. Gen. Prakash Katoch. 
As it quotes me, I am posting it here.
It probably answers my article, 1962 War: Why keep Henderson Brooks report secret?
Unfortunately (or fortunately for me), I am not Assange or Snowden, though I only hope that one day, one Indian General will play the Assange role.
I always wondered why Neville Maxwell, if had a copy of the Report, had not 'declassified' it, posting him on the Net? 

Why Henderson Brooks Report Cannot be De-classified 
Lt. Gen. (Retd) Prakash Katoch

Claude Arpi’s demand to release the Henderson Brooks report is akin to Julian Assange and Edward Snowden seeking asylum in India. Understandably, Wikileaks disclosures of black money stashed abroad by Indians had sent many personalities scurrying for cover. There was flurry of movement to foreign lands, personal jets, and chartered planes, jets lent by birds of same flock, unexplained mysterious absences and what have you. Now that there is some measure of relief, Julian Assange wants asylum here. Where is the guarantee that he will not release another list disclosing how the black money has been siphoned out, to which new destinations, how much has been surreptitiously routed back to India, by whom, and into which developmental, private construction or other projects. Edward Snowden is even bigger threat. That he is already in league with Julian is an established fact, implying Julian can always leak information through Edward. But the bigger threat is what information Edward has swiped from the US NSA’s Prism. Although our Foreign Minister has certified “no data has been stolen” from the Indian Embassy in Washington DC, his own subordinates are not convinced of his credentials as cyber expert. So getting back to Edward Snowden, God knows what secrets this guy may leak out given that even Obama appears so shaken up.

Claude has quoted Neville Maxwell in questioning that even if Jawaharlal Nehru emerges in in bad light in the Henderson Brooks Report, why should it be kept in wraps in a modern democracy like India. He also writes that in 2008, Defense Minister, Mr AK Antony told the Indian Parliament that the Henderson Brooks could not be declassified. Mr Antony claimed that the report could not be made public because an internal study by the Indian Army had established that its contents “are not only extremely sensitive but are of current operational value.” When did the Government of India start seeking military advice on strategic security issues? As to Claude pointing out that the report only generally points out to lack of political direction, which report in India ever has indicted individuals in power?

Claude Arpi has quoted the Henderson Brooks Report in saying, “No major security threat other than from Pakistan was perceived. And the armed forces were regarded adequate to meet Pakistan’s threat. Hence very little effort and resources were put in for immediate strengthening of the security of the borders.” What stands obfuscated was this was ‘whose appreciation’; political appreciation, military appreciation, individual appreciation? Perhaps there could have been no one better to warn Nehru of China’s intentions and in no better form than Sardar Patel’s strategic advice through his letter dated 7th November 1950, excerpts of which are as follows:
“…We have to consider what new situation now faces us as a result of the disappearance of Tibet, as we knew it, and the expansion of China almost up to our gates. Throughout history we have seldom been worried about our north-east frontier. The Himalayas have been regarded as an impenetrable barrier against any threat from the north. We had a friendly Tibet which gave us no trouble. …..Chinese irredentism and communist imperialism are different from the expansionism or imperialism of the western powers. The former has a cloak of ideology which makes it ten times more dangerous. In the guise of ideological expansion lie concealed racial, national or historical claims. The danger from the north and north-east, therefore, becomes both communist and imperialist…….for the first time, after centuries, India’s defence has to concentrate itself on two fronts simultaneously….. we shall now have to reckon with communist China in the north and in the north-east, a communist China which has definite ambitions and aims and which does not, in any way, seem friendly disposed towards us…….”

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