Friday, August 17, 2018

Tibet is a way for China to wipe its tears: Vajpayee

India has lost one of her greatest political leader, Atal Vihari Vajpayee.
I am posting is an article written for Swadesh, a Hindi journal published in Lucknow.
On October 26, 1950, just two weeks after the Chinese troops entered Eastern Tibet, Vajpayee wrote these words.
He was one of the very few Indian journalists who condemned the Chinese action; he was then responsible for several publications linked with the RSS.
I am also posting Vajpayee's intervention during is a debate in the Lok Sabha after the first Chinese attacks on the Indian border in 1959.

[Translated from Hindi]
The 'Shanti Path’ [the Path of Peace] of the 6th anniversary of the UN was not even finished when we heard of a new invasion.
The armies of Communist China were ordered to invade Tibet.
Although behind the iron curtain they [China] try to hide all news, the news of the invasion, even before being received officially from Peking, was sent by China News Agency [The Xinhua communiqué was dispatched through Hong Kong, not directly from Beijing] and it is why the world received the first news of the invasion of Tibet, not from Peking, but from London.
Some people did not believe in these news, though a few times in the past there had been rumours of invasion of this kind [in August 1950].
 So much so that the Tibetan representatives [Tsepon Shakabpa] who had arrived in India also said that they did not believe in the truth of these news.
One reason for this disbelief was that the [forthcoming] negotiations between China and Tibet.
The Indian government had arranged for the talks through the Ambassador to India of Communist China. But he declared that not Delhi but Beijing was the proper place for the talks.
The delegation of Tibetan representatives was today leaving to Peking via Calcutta.
On one side, peace talks, on the other side invasion, naturally nobody could believe it, but after the Peking government officially announced the invasion, all doubts were removed.
With the announcement of the invasion the communist government has thrown some light on its causes and its aims. Yet the causes and the language are the same as those of all invaders, that is to say, the aggressor is never attacking for egoist purposes, he attacks to liberate the people of the attacked region.
And they had to take this step to save the people from the evil conspiracy of imperialist forces.
The communist China invades also for this same reason -- to save the people of Tibet from the grip of imperialist forces, the communist armies marched in Tibet.
But the efforts it made till today for getting the membership of UN surely put on them some moral responsibility to respect the principles of UN.
China can reject it saying that it is an internal matter, but Tibet is a free country, even if at the time of imperialist China there were sovereignty in name of China over it.
Communist China which is so opposed to imperialism surely is not bound by this tradition, nor can it be a ground for declaring legal this invasion of the independent state of Tibet.
More than Tibet, Formosa is a part of China, but nobody included America would accept its invasion. If an invasion of Formosa is considered as contrary to the ideals of the UN, then how much more for Tibet?
Will the UN pay attention and help Tibet?
It is possible that the powers, trapped each one in its own interest, will not pay attention to Tibet.
The reason for the invasion of Tibet is not the discovery of uranium or the greed of the imperialist powers for it; it is an attempt to strengthen the moral of the Communist block.
The invasion of South Korea by North Korea and the initial victory over the army of UN had given a boost to the communists of all countries.
But the victory of UN has put cold water on their enthusiasm. The influence of Russia has diminished somewhat. When the question came on the UN armies crossing the 38° latitude, then China warned that if it happens then she will attack the UN armies.
But the UN did not worry and ordered its armies to get full victory.
Russia felt that with the cold war becoming hot they had to suffer defeat.  Seeing the state of North Korea, China did not have the courage to up its army against UN army. In consequence it was not possible for the Chinese armies to advance towards Formosa and Korea…
Invading Tibet is a way for China to wipe its tears.

22 December 1959
Debate in the Lok Sabha
(Intervention of Atal Bihari Vajpayee translated from Hindi)

Mr Speaker, a new situation has arisen with the letter received from the Prime Minister of China.
Our Prime Minister in his letter of November 16 had placed some alternative proposals before China. According to these proposals, China had to vacate the Indian land in Ladakh [Aksai Chin] and at the same time, it was suggested that India would not send her men to that area.
Our Prime Minister had been criticised in this House for this proposal.
We had found it objectionable; we had said that it will encourage the Chinese aggression and it will give her the opportunity of strengthening her old claims and present new claims. The answer from the Prime Minister of China only confirms this.
Our Prime Minister had suggested that China abandons the Indian land, but they answered : why should this proposal apply only to the border of Ladakh, if we go out of the land defined by the maps of India, then the Indians should go out of the land defined by our maps, they should go out of NEFA.
Mr Speaker, we tried to respect China and as a result we are  being insulted.
Instead of understanding the Prime Minister's good will, China has increased her claims, China puts claims on Uttar Pradesh, on Punjab, on Himachal Pradesh, on places which are ours by geography, by history, by tradition, by treaty. She demands a price for withdrawing from Ladakh.
We should abandon our rights to other regions.
If this is the attitude of China, then what is the basis for the hope of making an agreement with China? There should be an agreement, nobody in the country wants a war, but if we trade with China sacrificing the interests of India, if we cannot defend the honour of India, this peace will not be worth getting, it will not be a stable peace.
The Prime Minister of China answered after one month.
I think that they want to prolong this correspondence, so that they can make roads and construct airports on the land they have taken, so that they can strengthen their attack.
Shri Karam Singh [who had been taken prisoner by China in Ladakh] said in his statement that at the place where he was arrested, motorable roads are being made. War preparations are being made on the soil of India. China needs time for that. It is why this long exchange of letters.
They took one month for replying and our Prime Minister hopes that on receiving his letter they will pack up and go to Rangoon. ... I am happy that our Prime Minister refused the suggestion to go to Rangoon.
It was not a proposal to go to Rangoon, it was an invitation for Munich, they want to re-enact Munich. I am happy that our Prime Minister has refused this proposal.
But he said this afternoon in the Rajya Sabha that in the letter of the Prime Minister of China, an eagerness to meet him was expressed and he welcomed it. Is really the Prime Minister of China wanting an agreement or is the desire to meet our Prime Minister propaganda?
He wants to show the world that China wants peace, while China invades India, and India does not want peace because we are not ready to meet him.
There is a great similitude between the proposal by China and the line adopted by the Communist Party of India. In Calcutta they have repeated that the two Prime Ministers should meet and the Prime Minister of China is also saying that we should meet.
Meet for what?
After all, what is the meeting ground between our two countries? what is the basis for talks? And if the two prime ministers meet, why meet in Rangoon? If they meet, why not in Delhi?
I object to this accusation by the Prime Minister of China that in India an atmosphere is being created against the Chinese friendship.
M Speaker, there is no atmosphere against the friendship, there is an atmosphere against invasion.
As long as this attack will last, this atmosphere will persist.
We are a living people, we have self-respect and if there is trespassing on our land our reaction is necessary, nobody can stop this.
But their Prime Minister wants to make propaganda, he wants to be the divine messenger of peace, he wants to place our Prime Minister in a false position.
Now the Communists will start saying that Mr Zhou Enlai wants a meeting, but Panditji [Nehru] does not want it. If Panditji does not want a meeting, he rightly does so.
After all, what is the basis for a meeting? When there is no agreement on the facts, when there is no agreement on the principles, what is the use of meeting?
And suppose  there is a meeting and it is a failure, the result will be even more frightening. It is why the point of view of the Government is correct. Before the two prime ministers can meet, the preliminary things should be decided, we should decide what will be the basis for agreement. But as far as the preliminary  things are concerned, there is no sign in the letter of China that they want an agreement, except that they have evoked Panchsheel, they have sung the refrain of peace.

Shri Jadhav:  And they are ready  to stab us.

Shri Vajpayee: They say that we are a backward country, that we have to develop economically, but they are not ready to leave the land of India they have grabbed. Our Prime Minster has already said that the northern border of India is fixed. It has not been drawn on the map and we can discus about some details, but the entire border cannot be made a subject of discussion. But  the Chinese Prime Minister is trying to make the entire border a subject of discussion. He wants to dictate his terms as maker of our border. It is clear that the Indian government and the people of India cannot accept this situation.
But today it is said: what can we do? the Prime Minister in the Rajya Sabha said: "what can we do? Should we make war?“
Nobody wants you to make war, but I want to know : if tomorrow China advances in Longju [in NEFA], or Ladakh, or further, what will you do?

An Hon'ble Member: Negotiations.

Shri Vajpayee: No compromise can be made with an invasion, and it is why we should prepare for war. We may not start the war from our side, but if the other side is intent on war, it cannot be  avoided. But there are other ways than war.  The trade what we had with Tibet is stopped. China put restrictions on Indian trade with Tibet. Yet we did not put restrictions. We have only deployed a guard  before the Chinese Trade Agency of Kalipong. There are other Chinese trade agencies in India whose activities can be stopped. The restrictions that have been put on the Indian embassy in Peking can be put on the Chinese embassy in New Delhi. The time has come to take this step.

An Hon'ble Member: There is democracy in India.

Shri Vajpayee: Because of the Chinese attack, today we face a danger and the friends of China by repeating this slogan ”There is democracy in India“ try to make us blind to this danger.
If we want, we can also break our diplomatic relations with China; there are other means we can adopt other than waging war, and where there is a will, there is a way.
I believe that, except the [Indian] Communist Party, all the country agrees that the Chinese challenge should be dealt with firmly. It is clear that war will have to be fought, but as long as we don't take steps on time, we cannot prepare an atmosphere to face this challenge.
I have to say something else, and it is that our Foreign Affairs Ministry does not work well.
In the Rajya Sabha our Prime Minister spoke of a place named Samado. It has been printed by mistake. This was part of China but we have put claims on it.
He apologised. This type of mistake should not happen. I feel that the Foreign Ministry should be careful. China takes hold of small things like this and tries to weaken our case. In this hour of danger, the Foreign Ministry should rise to the occasion, it has not done it so far. This is necessary. Thank you.

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