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Nehru Largely Responsible for Indo-China Border Dispute

Jawaharlal Nehru was a big failure in international relations as evident from his being the pioneer in spoiling India’s relations with China and creating the Kashmir issue with Pakistan

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Jawaharlal Nehru
Jawaharlal Nehru signing the Indian constitution. Wikimedia

– by Gaurav Tyagi

New Delhi, August 19, 2017: Indian and Chinese troops are locked in a confrontation, since mid-June on a piece of territory claimed by both China and Bhutan.

This dispute is a tripartite one, involving India, China and Bhutan. The aforesaid terrain is claimed by Bhutan, which has no diplomatic ties with Beijing.

India and Bhutan have a treaty of friendship dating back to 1949. This gives India complete influence over Thimphu’s defense and foreign policy.

The stand-off appears irresolvable with India refusing to withdraw its troops back to its side of the international border and China insisting that diplomacy would only be possible once, Indian troops move back.

India’s National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval had a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi on 27th July. It was the first high-level meeting between India and China since, the aforementioned military stand-off between these two nations, which started on 16th June.

Unfortunately, this meeting also failed to resolve the deadlock.

The Chinese accuse India of trespassing into the Chinese territory while the Indian side maintains that it just responded to Bhutan’s request for help.

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India suffered a defeat at the hands of China in the 1962 war between both these countries. This bitter memory still continues to haunt the Indian policy makers.
It’s therefore imperative to analyze the situation leading to the Indo-China battle during 1962 because one cannot face the future with confidence/clarity unless the ghosts of the past are buried.

Australian journalist, Neville Maxwell made portions of the Henderson Brooks report public by putting it on his blog in March 2014.

This report was an internal Indian army enquiry into its loss to China in the 1962 war. Maxwell was the New Delhi correspondent for ‘The Times’, London during that period.
The report was compiled by Lt. General Henderson Brooks and Brigadier P.S. Bhagat.
Successive Indian governments have refused to make the report public because it rightly proves that Nehru, the first Prime Minister of independent India instigated the 1962 war with China.

Indians grow up with the narrative that China attacked India in 1962. This was a trick used by Nehru to enrage public attitude in India against China.

The so called ‘McMahon line’ on the border between China and India is just an Indian claim from the legacy of British imperialism.

Britishers deceptively ensured that India, post-independence inherit a border dispute with China. They did it by moving into the Chinese territory in the Northeast during the 1940’s in spite of repeated complaints by the Chinese government in this regard.

The Chinese wanted to settle the matter of McMahon line. Zhou Enlai, the first Premier of the People’s Republic of China visited India in 1960 asking for an agreement on the McMahon line but due to Nehru’s rigid and illogical stand, no agreement on this issue could take place.

Nehru refused to negotiate with the Chinese. His adamant stand was; “We will decide where the boundary is. It’s not negotiable. Chinese have to accept”.
The Henderson Brooks report clearly mentions that the absurd ‘forward policy’ of Nehru, directing Indian troops to patrol; ‘show the Indian flag’ and establish posts as ‘far forward as possible’ from the existing positions resulted in the Indo-China war of 1962.

BJP also blamed Nehru for the 1962 fiasco. A prominent leader of BJP, Ravi Shankar Prasad in March 2014 asked for the Henderson Brooks report to be made public. BJP under the leadership of Modi won the 2014 parliamentary elections with overwhelming majority.

Modi government is not dependent on any other political party for its survival in the Indian Parliament. Modi must therefore, take decisions, which are in national interest rather than trying to preserve the falsely created lofty image of Nehru.

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Past Congress governments in India didn’t do anything in this regard since, Congress party comprises of only sycophants of Nehru clan. They do not have the guts to criticize Nehru and his failed policies.

Modi should make the Henderson Brooks report public and lift the ban imposed on Neville Maxwell’s book; ‘India’s China War’ imposed by the erstwhile Congress government to safeguard the reputation of Nehru in the eyes of the Indian public.

This would go a long way in initiating a meaningful dialogue between India and China resulting in the final resolution of the border dispute to the satisfaction of both nations.
National boundary negotiations are easy, if both sides meet with an open-minded ‘give and take’ attitude. It’s an historical opportunity for Modi to leave his mark on the ‘sands of time’ as the boldest Indian PM, who courageously corrected the blunder committed by Nehru.

– The author is a Master Degree holder in International Tourism & Leisure Studies from Netherlands and is based in China.

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2019 Was a Year of Climate Change Activism

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Hungary Climate Protest
Following the call of Fridays For Future Hungary and Extinction Rebellion Hungary young environmentalists demonstrate to demand measures against climate change in Budapest, Hungary. VOA

By Jamie Dettmer

2019 was the year of Greta Thunberg, Extinction Rebellion and an uptick in climate action pledges by governments across the globe.

From Britain to Germany, Europe’s mainstream party leaders scrambled to respond to a surge in electoral support for Green parties — and to growing public anxiety about the possible impact of climate change.

During European Parliament elections in June, 48 percent of voters identified climate change as their top worry. Opinion polls in Germany for some weeks of 2019 put the Greens ahead of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s storied Christian Democratic Party, which, along with its junior partner in the country’s governing coalition, has been racing to sharpen climate policies.

Greta Thunberg climate
15-year-old Swedish girl Greta Thunberg holds a placard reading “School strike for the climate” during a manifestation against climate change outside the Swedish parliament in Stockholm, Sweden. VOA

British move

In Britain, the ruling Conservatives announced a hugely ambitious carbon reduction plan, enshrining into law a pledge to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, making Britain the first major economy to do so. Some smaller countries, including Finland and Norway, are earmarking dates earlier than 2050 to become net-zero greenhouse gas producers, but so far have not made their goals legally binding.

In America, an alliance of 24 states and Puerto Rico promised to uphold the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate action, despite the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the international pact.

Shouldn’t all these plans and pledges be music to ears of climate action activists and scientists?

Apparently not. On the eve of Christmas, Thunberg tweeted: “I hear many say 2019 was the year when the public woke up to the climate crisis. This is a misconception. A small but rapidly growing number of people have started to wake up to the climate crisis. This has only just begun. We’re still only scratching the surface.”

For Thunberg, her guardians and loyalists, change can’t come fast enough, however wrenching and dislocating it might be. Governments aren’t doing enough and are failing to count their emissions accurately, they complain, and corporations are dragging their feet.

For activists, December’s Madrid climate change conference epitomized the foot-dragging and a failure to be truly aspirational in cutting emissions. For Greenpeace and Extinction Rebellion activists in Britain and Australia, the key task for the Madrid gathering was to unveil ambitious new goals — and fossil-fuel-dependent countries, notably Brazil and Australia, flunked it, they say.

The-COP-25-conference-center-in-Madrid
The COP 25 conference center is seen in Madrid. VOA

Rich vs. poor

The rift between wealthy, developed nations and poorer, developing nations over who is going to pay for reducing greenhouse gas emissions also remained as wide as ever. And governments in Madrid stalled on agreeing on new regulations for carbon markets and the trading of carbon permits between countries for the offsetting of emissions, one of the most critical and contentious issues at the climate change conference.

“In Madrid, the key polluting countries responsible for 80 percent of the world’s climate-wrecking emissions stood mute, while smaller countries announced they’ll work to drive down harmful emissions in the coming year,” said Jake Schmidt of the Natural Resources Defense Council, a U.S.-based climate action advocacy group. “World leaders dithered instead of taking stronger, critical action soon to reduce the global climate threat. They ignored dire scientific reports, worsening evidence of climate destruction and demands from millions of young people to protect their future.”

For others, though, the Madrid conference symbolized how politically complicated it will be to deliver climate action — a complexity activists ignore and glide over, some analysts warn. The venue for the conference itself spoke to that. The meeting was scheduled to be held in Chile, but it had to be switched to Spain because of riots in the Latin American country over a “Green” hike in transit fares.

And it wasn’t only in Chile that protesters were taking to the streets to complain about expensive Green policies that could make living standards plunge. In France, the Yellow Vests, drawn mainly from small towns, persisted with their demonstrations against the government of French President Emmanuel Macron, an agitation triggered initially by the imposition of higher eco-taxes on fuel.

The year 2019 also saw strong resistance in Germany from motorists, as a well as automakers, to planned higher fuel prices and an abrupt shift to electric cars — yet another front in a political backlash to climate action.

Climate Europe Coal
Smoke rises from chimneys of the Turow power plant located by the Turow lignite coal mine near the town of Bogatynia, Poland. VOA

Tricky politics

For governments, even environmentally friendly ones, climate change poses a massive political dilemma, and 2019 brought that home. Impose the tax hikes and costly regulations scientists say are needed to lower emissions and move economies away from dependency on fossil fuels, and governments risk prompting a backlash, largely from lower-income workers and pensioners, who can ill afford to bear the expense.

The alternative is to move slowly and risk blowback from climate action activists and their supporters among largely middle class and higher-income groups able to adapt with less hardship. Squaring the circle between those who demand fast-track climate-friendly measures and those who want to slow down and mitigate the impact of moving toward a low-carbon future isn’t going to be easy, say analysts.

In Europe, Central European governments sense the acute political danger to them and have been resisting a European Union plan to join Britain in earmarking 2050 as the year the bloc has to be “net zero.”

Poland has been especially vociferous in opposition. The country is heavily dependent on coal for its energy needs and more than a quarter-million Polish jobs are tied to the fossil fuel industry. Without coal, many towns in Poland will have no economic raison d’être. “You can’t expect Poland to leap to zero carbon in 30 years,” according to Marchin Nowak, a coal industry executive.

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While smaller developing countries fret that they will bear too much of the burden of climate action compared with richer nations, so, too, do those who already feel left behind in developed countries, fearing the costs and benefits of climate action will be unfairly placed on their shoulders. 2019 saw the opening salvos in this new political war over environmentalism. (VOA)