Gogra exit
   Date :08-Aug-2021

Gogra exit_1  H
THE disengagement of Indian and Chinese troops at Gogra in eastern Ladakh should be treated as a watershed moment from multiple angles. Though partial disengagement of troops had already been underway for quite some time, the withdrawal at Gogra adds a special value to the success of India’s handling of one of the toughest military, diplomatic and geopolitical challenges in recent years. Even the hard-headed diplomats from the international community also realised the strength of character in India’s firmness of approach. The importance of this moment, thus, needs to be adjudged from this point of view. Recalling a few points of tension in the eastern Ladakh stand-off is necessary at this point. The preparedness with which China sent its troops into the region was unprecedented, to say the least. And the overall profile of those troops was aggressive, as if they had been ordered to go any distance to fulfill their objective. Equally daunting was the range of their geographical coverage.
That was, of course every inch an aggressor army! All that posturing was done with an intention of intimidating India. And that was where China made one of its rare mistakes. It had misjudged India far beyond its wildest imagination. Instead of coming face to face with an Indian troops in defensive positions, the Chinese found India in an adamant stance all willing to full distance in case a war had to be accepted as inevitable: Men for men, weapon for weapon, eye-ball for eye-ball, diplomacy for diplomacy et al. The Chinese had least expected such an Indian stance, no matter their earlier experience at the Doka La tri-junction of India-Bhutan-China borders.
They had felt that the Doka La experience was a one-off event and India may slither back to its diffident manner of the past. That was the misjudgement -- which China realised only after it had committed itself deeply into the eastern Ladakh region. Rest is history. India did not fall short in anything -- resources plus resolve. India stood as one man -- against the villain in the neighbourhood. The Gogra disengagement is a point of fruition of that Indian resoluteness that stunned the world. Of course, this became possible because of the stretched out negotiations in which India did not falter at one single step. True, it was all a trial-and-error game, and both sides tried various tricks of the diplomatic and military trades to cower the other one into submission. But what was more remarkable was the Indian firmness -- which China and the world least expected. India did everything to prove that assumption totally wrong.
During those long weeks of negotiation rounds, political Opposition in India went berserk, making all kinds of thoughtless accusations against the Government. Unmindful of all that, Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi led the Indian contingent of military and diplomatic advisors with aplomb and mastered the ground with an emperor-like authority. In the process, not only did he silence the domestic opponents, but also pushed the Chinese back into a tight corner. Gogra is one of the symbols of all that assertion by India. There is no doubt that India realises that Beijing is a tough customer to handle. But New Delhi is no less -- when things comes to such a head. In straight and simple words, India was not afraid of going to war if that eventuality were to be thrust upon it. However, this realism dawned upon China quite late into the game -- much to its own discomfort. The eastern Ladakh issue may drag on for a long while. It may extend into other areas as well, such as Arunachal Pradesh, for example. But India has made its position clear -- that there would be no compromise with the country’s honour, sovereignty and territorial integrity, no matter who is on the other side. This is Gogra metaphor.