FOR all its brazenness at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) as part of its dirty imperialist policies, China has got a befitting reply in its latest bluster in eastern Ladakh. The neighbour is struggling to come to terms with the unexpectedly high casualties it suffered in the violent clash with brave Indian troops in the Galwan Valley on June 15-16. While Intel has put the number of dead Chinese soldiers at 43, the Communist government is tight-lipped on the issue, inviting rare ire from the families of the soldiers killed. In sharp contrast, India has hailed her 20 heroes with a fitting tribute even as the nation shows firm resolve to avenge their supreme sacrifice through various channels. In this wake, Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi’s strong words during his monthly “Mann ki Baat” broadcast amid the ongoing stand-off between Chinese and Indian armies is a clear message of India’s preparedness for a full-scale conflict in case of further escalation in tensions.
The PM was pretty clear about India’s stance in the renewed situation where the Chinese belligerence is reaching an irritating zone. Despite the multiple rounds of diplomatic and military-level talks, China has been reluctant in de-escalation of troops from the contested regions in Galwan and Pangong Tso. Mr. Modi’s exhortation that India’s tradition of trust, friendship, and spirit of brotherhood should not be mistaken as its only stance to resolve conflicts as India is also capable of giving an appropriate response to any adversary is confidence of a New India. Mr. Modi’s strong and straight message should put things in right perspective for the Chinese leadership which has gone too far while carrying out the current misadventure in hitherto uncontested sectors along the border.
Whether this posturing is a bid to force India to the negotiations table to resolve the long-standing border dispute is still unclear but the Indian response of a strong military pushback in sensitive regions and now the stern warning by the Prime Minister have certainly upset the Chinese calculations. Beijing will definitely take note of the changed Indian stance and act accordingly -- either through talks or through further aggression. In either case, India has delivered the message loud and clear. Ironically, the only section that has failed to understand India’s solid stance against a vicious neighbour is the Congress party.
Its leaders, led by the incorrigible Mr. Rahul Gandhi, continues to put asinine questions to the Government when entire country has stood by the Prime Minister, the Government, and the Indian Armed Forces. Mr. Modi’s broadcast should drill in some sense in the Grand Old Party and its clueless leadership. Politics apart, India has shown commendable composure while looking in the eye of the Dragon. The Prime Minister used Indian philosophy and dependence on its old wisdom to drive home the point of unity against an adversary as mighty as China. Mr. Modi’s vigorous push for locally-made products as a means of serving the country is also part of the larger response to China.
Strategies to counter an enemy are not only limited to the battlefield but also to areas which can pinch the enemy’s strengths. The ‘vocal for local’ push by the Prime Minister will find a big echo across the society. Making India self-reliant will be a crafty riposte to the cheap Chinese products dumped in India’s markets via different routes. Agreed, it is a long-drawn exercise that needs innovative ideas from domestic industries for alternative products, yet, if the reliance on home-grown products takes roots then India can have another front to shoot at the Chinese -- without bullets! A raging resolve is growing among Indian masses to buy only local products. If every strata of the society converges at the point of national call, then it would be the strongest reply.