AS MILITARY, DIPLOMATIC LEVEL TALKS FAILED, POLITICAL LEADERSHIP SHOULD INTERVENE

02 July 2020

Compatriots, Friends and Comrades, our party, CPI (ML) Red Star from its proletarian internationalist positions, has repeatedly called for peaceful settlement of the border dispute between India and China and with other countries, which are leftovers from the colonial days through bi-lateral discussions with neighbourly spirit. But contrary to earlier reports, the border conflict has become more serious, with the air force of both sides also active in the region. Meanwhile there were reports that Indian Navy is asked to intervene if Chinese vessels are sighted in nearby seas. The Chinese spokespersons are repeatedly claiming that Galwan Valley belongs to them. India has repeatedly rejected it, and asks Chinese troops to withdraw from the disputed areas in the valley. The standoff started from the first week of May when Chinese troops were sighted there, according to Indian army. Then there were series of discussions up to corps commander level and it was told on 5th June that an agreement on de-escalation and disengagement is arrived at and it will be completed soon. On 12th June the Army chief said at Dehra Dun that disengagement is progressing well.

But on 16th June afternoon there were reports of death of two Indian jawans and an officer in the disputed area occupied by Chinese. By 9 pm the tally became one officer and 19 jawans, but all others of the battalion safe. Next day it was told 76 jawans were also injured, of them four seriously. Then we heard four officers and six jawans were handed over by the Chinese troops. There was absolutely no transparency even in such important questions. Meanwhile mud-slinging between BJP and Congress started on whether Indian area is under Chinese, and who surrendered to China more, which is still continuing in new forms. On 18th the external affairs minister of India told his Chinese counterpart that the Chinese troops had entered on the Indian side of Galwan Valley and tried to erect structures leading to the 15th clash.

But, in the 19th June all party meeting,  after reports of defense and foreign ministers and queries raised by Congress and other parties, without answering any of the queries, surprising everybody present, PM Modi categorically stated that “nobody entered our territory and captured any post!” It was his conscious move to confuse the discussion without giving out facts. The Chinese side quoted Modi to justify their claim to Galwan Valley. On 20th, Indian side came out with an explanatory note rejecting Chinese claim and defending Modi’s statement saying “it was on the situation after the clash”. LAC has become very tense, with fears of new flare ups. Reports of tension in other hot spots also started coming out. On 22nd before going to Moscow, the defense minister Rajnath Singh issued a hawkish statement, if China acts, give fitting reply. Though their counterparts from China also were at Moscow, neither he, nor the foreign minister who attended the tripartite meeting with Chinese and Russian foreign ministers tried to take up the border question at political level.

After 23rd meeting of corps commanders, again reports came that consensus on disengagement is arrived at, but no time frame. On 25th diplomatic level discussion took place in which both sides agreed to implement the de-escalation. But latest reports from both sides show that the situation is becoming worse. Meanwhile, Phulwama style statements are issued by Modi that the blood of Bihari jawans will not go in vain, trying to incite Bihari pride to help him win the coming assembly elections there. As the satellite pictures of Chinese still occupying the post where the clash coming out, Modi is on the defensive! BJP is trying to overcome it by strengthening its “China Boycott” campaign, and digging deep in to Congress history to attack it.

As BJP as well as Congress are reducing the debate on the border question to who surrendered more to Chinese and mobilization of forces on both side increasing, there is a real danger of a flare up, with the RSS parivar organizing Boycott China campaign and provoking war mongering and jingoism.

This apprehension is strengthened as Modi govt has down-sized diplomatic relations with Pakistan.  And Modi is not taking any steps to call for a foreign affairs’ minister level meeting, if necessary followed by a meeting between him and Chinese president Xi for a political solution to the Galwan issue. All the progressive forces should raise their voice, demanding a political solution through a Modi-Xi talk. The standoff should not be allowed to develop in to a border war, which will be against the people of India, as well of China who are suffering under the Covid19 crisis and economic recession. Mobilizing all progressive forces we should come out firmly against war mongering, which may lead to a border war

The Communist movement in India has a history of almost a century after the salvos of October Revolution in Russia brought Marxism-Leninism to the people of India who were engaged in the national liberation struggle against the British colonialists. It is a complex and chequered history.