Illustration by Soham Sen | ThePrint
Illustration by Soham Sen | ThePrint
Text Size:

Addressing the troops on his surprise Friday morning visit to Ladakh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took care not to take China’s name. But he left no guesswork as to where his message was directed when he said that the era of expansionism was over and that this was time for development.

This was directed at China. But it is one of those fine lines of pragmatic wisdom that could also be directed at Pakistan or even at ourselves. I know the risks in my going that far, but let’s expand on the thought.

China’s expansionism under Xi Jinping is a globally acknowledged issue. It is the new migraine for the big powers and is crushing toes of most of its neighbours, terrestrial or maritime, barring its clients/surrogate states.

The Chinese, like us Indians, are also a civilisational nation and carry the collective weight of nostalgia about a more glorious past. In our case, it could be the Akhand Bharat of the Mauryans or the Gupta golden period. Theirs is the hankering for a return to the expansive borders of the Qing Dynasty. Let’s describe this, for convenience and brevity, as their ‘Akhand China’ fantasy.

The difference is, in India, it is the ideology of the founders of just one — though now dominant — party in a democracy where power changes hands. In China, it is central to the only party that rules forever. How unrealistic and destabilising it is, particularly in the hands of the world’s first Deputy Super Power, run by a dictatorial establishment, we have seen.

Ladakh is a tiny salami-slice issue. The big one for them is Arunachal Pradesh, more than 83,000 sq km. Do they imagine they can grab any of this by force? In the 21st century, nursing those thoughts only means you need to get your heads examined. It isn’t going to happen.

We are deeply grateful to our readers & viewers for their time, trust and subscriptions.

Quality journalism is expensive and needs readers to pay for it. Your support will define our work and ThePrint’s future.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

But so irresistible is the force of nationalism, particularly when the fuel propelling it is what political scientists describe as irredentism, the belief that you should restore to your country what was its own at some point in history, that reason takes the backseat. This applies to dictatorships, democracies and systems which are a bit of this and a bit of that.


Also read: India must believe threat of war is real, even if Chinese build-up is coercive diplomacy


The Chinese bristled at the prime minister’s advice against expansionism, presuming that it was directed at them. But equally, this could be counsel for Pakistan. That nation has spent all seven decades of its existence believing it can take away from India all of Jammu and Kashmir. In that quest, it lost a larger part of its own original country. Did it dissuade the Pakistanis?

On the contrary, they became even more desperate to realise that dream. In the process, they drove out capital, financial and intellectual, as they became a military-ruled, single-agenda state, a chronic basket case with 13 IMF bailouts over 30 years and in crashing need for another one sooner than later.

My old friend and late Pakistani poet of dissent, Habib Jalib, had put it beautifully — and cruelly — in a special May Day composition in 1990 as Pakistan and India seemed poised for war yet again: Nasheeli aankhon, sunehri zulfon ke desh ko kho kar/main hairan hun woh ziqr waadi-e-Kashmir karte hain (after losing the land of enchanting eyes and golden tresses, Bangladesh, I am astounded they still dream of the Valley of Kashmir). Leftist poets, however, live in a world far too idealistic for ideological nation-states built on one impossible agenda.

The post-war world saw the rise of two ideological states at about the same time: Israel and Pakistan. One was the promised land for the Jews; the other the ‘natural home’ or the ‘fortress of Islam’ for the subcontinent’s Muslims. Israel is by no means perfect. But, compare it with Pakistan.

Both started out as democracies around the same time. Both became American allies and the West’s favourites very early on. Both were fighting adversaries whose support-base lay in the Soviet Bloc. See where each one has ended up, politically, economically and socially.

The only area where Israel has failed to achieve its objective is territorial — the West Bank. But it is different from Pakistan on Kashmir. The annexation of the West Bank is itself a polarising issue in Israeli democracy and not central to its nationalism. Pakistan is different.

It is today a Chinese protectorate for all practical purposes, and on its way to being colonised economically. It still uses terror as leverage against India. It has shrunk to less than its original size. And it has even less of Kashmir than it was left with in 1948.

From a per capita income about 18 per cent higher than an average Indian’s in 1985, today it is about 30 per cent lower, and the gap is rising. Bangladesh has beaten it on all social indicators and will soon do so on per capita income too. What made the difference? How did a lost-cause with starving millions make such a turnaround? That’s because when the East liberated itself from West Pakistan, it also declared freedom from its Kashmir madness.


Also read: Xi has thrown the gauntlet at Modi. He can pick it up like Nehru, or try something new


Which brings us to ourselves, India. We are philosophically, ideologically and constitutionally committed not just to defending the borders that exist in reality, but reclaiming the ones shown on our map.

In the 70 years since our independence, we haven’t been able to get a square inch more of that territory. This is despite four large wars and several smaller ones.

The slivers of territory captured by us in 1965 and 1971 had to be returned, as they might have to be in the future as well. Even the Chinese in 1962 withdrew from all the territory they captured in the east, and almost all, barring some tiny enclaves, in the west (Ladakh). India has two Parliament resolutions to win back every inch of its territory as shown on its map, which are in Chinese or Pakistani possession. We have prolific calls and assertions of that intent.

Among us three neighbours, each wants territory from another, believing it to be its own. Can China grab Arunachal Pradesh, or even “at least the district of Tawang” as it has sometimes said, militarily? Can Pakistan ever see its flag over the Raj Bhavan in Srinagar? And can India get back Aksai Chin, Muzaffarabad and Gilgit-Baltistan?

None of this is impossible. But, one of these large, powerful nations with nuclear weapons can lose territory on such a scale only if it is fully destroyed. Do we expect a large nuclear nation to be annihilated like that? And without the other being destroyed too?

That’s why what each country sees as a dream borders on the fantasy. I dare not say more on this. Especially when I can lean on the wisdom of a former Navy chief and decorated war hero, Admiral Arun Prakash (Vir Chakra, 1971). Writing in The Indian Express earlier this week, he cautioned that, “As a nation, we need to be pragmatic enough to realise that neither conquest nor re-conquest of territory is possible in the 21st century”. He writes that Parliament should, now, resolve to ask the government, “to establish with utmost urgency, stable, viable and peaceful national boundaries, all around, so that India can proceed, unhindered, with the vital tasks of nation-building and socio-economic development”.

Irredentism rose in late 19th century Italy. It entailed restoring to the country all Italian-speaking districts in the adjoining European nations. The history of the world since, especially all of the 20th century, tells us that the concept has done nothing but damage to those who embraced it. It is time all three Himalayan neighbours reflect and rethink too.


Also read: India’s options against China shrink to two — limited war or another Wuhan


 

Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

News media is in a crisis & only you can fix it

You are reading this because you value good, intelligent and objective journalism. We thank you for your time and your trust.

You also know that the news media is facing an unprecedented crisis. It is likely that you are also hearing of the brutal layoffs and pay-cuts hitting the industry. There are many reasons why the media’s economics is broken. But a big one is that good people are not yet paying enough for good journalism.

We have a newsroom filled with talented young reporters. We also have the country’s most robust editing and fact-checking team, finest news photographers and video professionals. We are building India’s most ambitious and energetic news platform. And we aren’t even three yet.

At ThePrint, we invest in quality journalists. We pay them fairly and on time even in this difficult period. As you may have noticed, we do not flinch from spending whatever it takes to make sure our reporters reach where the story is. Our stellar coronavirus coverage is a good example. You can check some of it here.

This comes with a sizable cost. For us to continue bringing quality journalism, we need readers like you to pay for it. Because the advertising market is broken too.

If you think we deserve your support, do join us in this endeavour to strengthen fair, free, courageous, and questioning journalism, please click on the link below. Your support will define our journalism, and ThePrint’s future. It will take just a few seconds of your time.

Support Our Journalism

146 Comments Share Your Views

146 COMMENTS

  1. As a Chinese, I want offer a perspective from the Chinese side.
    First of all, China has no intention of grabbing any inch of land currently under India’s actual control. That was why China retreated from virtually all Indian territories China recognized but seized after the 1962 war. For China, these border areas are desolate and barren lands inhabitable for human beings and with little economic value. Even to maintain a garrison on these alpine lands has proved very costly.
    But at the same time, China won’t allow any inch of land under its actual control to fall into India’s hands because it would be a political suicide for any of the Chinese leaders to do so. For China, losing any land to any foregin power today brings up the bitter memory of a backward and old China ceding lands to foreign powers at gun point from the Qing Dynasty to 1949, when the China was founded.. It will derail the foundation and legitmacy of the government to continue to run this country.
    All China wants is to maintain the status quo. But this has proved to be difficult.
    China and India both suffer from a trust deficit. The two sides are suspicious of each other’s intentions in the area. Any unilateral move by one side in the area is met with commensurate counter measures from the other side. India is fearful that China might come over and seize its land. China is also wary of India. Both sides are trying to preempt the other and end up building more infrastructures, which ultimately leads to a tit-for-tat arms race in the border area.
    Admiral Arun Prakash is making a very good point. Even demarcation of borderlines bewteen China and India is still elusive at this point, at least both sides shall agree with each other over where the actual line of control lies or set up a swath land that is off limit to both sides and barred from any build-up so that both sides can genuinely disengage. A war between China and India will be a costly mistake for both sides. .

    • Are you saying China has right to build infra till border but india can’t do viceversa? When India builds infra (roads etc..) till border whats china’s problem? I dont think india will invade and occupy aksai chin..thats not a possibility. India is building roads in border areas which fall under their sovereignty

      • As far as Aksai Chin is concerned, the recent moves by Mr. Modi’s government seem to indicate quite different from what you believed:
        1: India’s home minister and Mr. Modi’s confidante, Amit Shah, insisted in the Indian Parliament that both Pakistani-controlled Kashmir and Chinese-controlled Aksai Chin belonged to India.
        2: In November, 2019, Survey of India, the cartography department of the Indian government, published new maps of Ladakh and Jammu, and Kashmir. The new official map continued the tradition of the Indian claim on Aksai Chin by placing it within the boundary of Ladakh.
        The above-said are two direct quotes from an articel from the New York Times by Mr. Ajai Shukla, an Indian strategic affairs analyst and former Indian Army officer.
        Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/19/opinion/China-India-conflict.html

        Again, all what I was saying is:
        1: Contrary to what many Indians think, China has no intention of grabbing any land currently under India’s control from India. All China wants is to maintain the status quo in place ever since the end of the 1962 war.
        2: When demarcation of borderlines between China and India is till up in the air and a trust deficit which shows no signs of abating , any unilateral move by one party in the area will be deemed by the opposing party as a threat to upend the status quo and will be met with commensurate counter measures from the other side. This is true for both China and India.

    • Richard: What you say is completely false and a deluded view from a Chinese!! If China & it’s corrupt CCP Mafia govt. was sincere, it would not be occupying Aksai China which is India territory!! It would have also resolved the border issue so that peace prevails!! It will also not finance Islamic terrorists & Jihadis in Pakistan!! China is playing games to usurp Indian territory & dominate Asia!! These games are gonna cost the Chinese an arm, a leg & more!!

  2. A shamelessly written article…written on behalf of china and pakistan, enemies of the country.. This author is well known to be anti India just because he can’t bear Modi being the PM of this country… This author is a very well known apologist for the virus republic of china and it’s vassal state of pakistan

    • Exactly we are not following expansionism… we are claiming what is rightfully and legally ours…these ‘print’ articles are always like congress mouthpiece and nothing else

    • @Abhis: This author/article & The Print displays the typical sold out communist China/west financed leftist lies & propaganda machinery in India to serve India’s enemies!!

      To remain credible if this media has to criticize India’s enemies, they will unnecessarily drag India into it! They do the same when Islam & Muslims do terrorism as usual, they will unnecessarily drag Hindus & try to stick false claims of terror on them!!

      These Media Jihadis should be in jail because they serve enemies of the nation & the majority!!

  3. It would be interesting to see the reactions of opposition parties in India, if the central government endorses the author’s view/idea/plan!!!

  4. Shekhar guptas style of media propagation is absolute intellectual beauty. But only to the untrained eyes. He propagates a pro India narrative in his popular YouTube videos that reach the immediate public and in writings changes the narrative in a very subtle manner anti-india unnecessarily. Maybe to get invited from the high club parties of the left-liberals or to test waters so that he can shape his narrative that way in the future. In this article there was no need to question India as an expansionist regime, but SG wants some of his friends to look like visionaries when they called the BJP as fascists but they lacked the factual evidence of BJP ever having an Akhand Bharat agenda. Even hardcore BJP members see the reality of Akhand Bharat as a tea time joke and only see it symbolically. As SG himself says in the article India has only lost territory since her independence, how does that in anyway look like expansionism and all wars that were fought were only to fend off incursions and none to change status quo. Shekhar Gupta lacks the guts to standby his nation when it’s on the right side of history only because he is scared that he will be mocked by his leftist friends who have always lacked the confidence to do so because the left projects it’s true motives onto others, in this case expansionism.

    • Mr Vishnu: You assume:

      “.. Even hardcore BJP members see the reality of Akhand Bharat as a tea time joke and only see it symbolically ..”

      Alas Mr Vishnu, hardcore BJP members and their apologists such as yourself are the only people in the world who regard that as funny.

      Clearly the Chinese and the Pakistanis did not see the humour in Amit Shah’s bellicose speech in Parliament on 5th Aug 2019 wherein he repealed Art. 370 and banged the war drums. In that speech which must have warmed the hearts of Hindutvaists and shakha intellectuals such as yourself, Shah warned the Chinese and the Pakistanis that India was going to recapture Aksai Chin and the whole of PoK. Perhaps that was intended for the domestic cow-belt crowd; maybe it was to done to get people to forget the gross economic mismanagement at the hands of the Godhra man; maybe it was done to the Balakot fiasco that the dhokla demagogues got India into. But in any case, the results have been disastrous to say the least – Indian lives lost and Indian territory gobbled up by the Chinese.

      I am sure the Pakistanis are watching with great glee that their nemesis India is getting a hiding from the Chinese and that the 56 inch chested dhokla man is all bark and no bite when the chips are down. And no, I do not say that with any particular joy but rue the fact that much of this was actually self-inflicted harm. Like demonetisation and Balakot.

      About time the dhokla demagogues and their Hindutva ilk realised the statements made in the country are listened to carefully by external actors and taken seriously. That perpetual premature ejaculator-cum-tweeter Tejaswi Surya, another BJP intellectual with a bizarre obsession for the orgasms of Arab women got the country into trouble by tweeting Islamophobic messages. Foreign Minister Jaishankar did travel to Beijing and connected with his counterparts in the UAE to smoothen ruffled feathers. But then, every country knows that in India’s autocratic setup, power rests solely in the hands of the dhokla men and that Jaishankar, like Sushma Swaraj before him, can only issue visas.

      Of course, the Hindutvaists in power can count on the support of people like you Mr Vishnu who cannot bear to read the writing on the wall that Shekar Gupta asks you to read. For, in your bigoted worldview, as long as the 56 inch chested Gujarati is in power, nothing can go wrong in India.

      Pathetic Mr Vishnu.

        • I don’t see any counter-arguments RKA. Just labels. HArd to argue isn’t it? Hard to beat facts right?

          • Ha!! Ha!! Facts??!! Facts have proof, NOT ideological rants of Jihadi’s, rice bag converts or communists!!

      • LIAR!! India’s autocratic setup?? Surely Pakistani Islamic great democracy with Chinese communist mighty democracy??!!

        Lolz!! People like you are beyond one calls A.holes!!!

  5. Per my observation. Most of the responses has denounced the irresponsible views of Shekhar. But there are few from a specific community loves this article. Definitely, they are anti indians and love everything against the interest of India. Now question to Sekhar is without being too much intellectually correct kind of BS, how you feel about the portion of kashmir, arunachal, even to the extent of the region of Tibet and the whole Pakistan be belonged to? Don’t all these be part of Akhand Bharat. The way cultuarally they are similar, geographically they have much similarities. How do you assume the east china that being divided by the Hans and Non-Hans be ruling the tibet and ugher and so also inner mongolia. The only interest the chinese have is the richness of mines in Arunachal Pradesh and the water supply of tibet. Otherwise the OBOR or CPEC is eye wash as the old silk route still can proceeds from Xinjiang/Ugher area for the trading.

    The standoff is a clear case of expansionism and specifically, while the world is struggling against the chinese virus, going against each and every neighbors like of Taiwan, Vietnam, Philippines, Russia, Australia, Japan, USA and India show the arrogance of chinese ruling body, for that world as a community should punish China.

    And the time is ripe for india to attack not defend to fetch its lost glory of 1962 and free Tibet from china, that will bring the aggressive mindset of a war-wanting, human-lives-ignoring state to its knee. China’s self-centric, non-human government should not get a chance to lead the world for any reason. They are growing a serious vangeance strategy to punish the world for the period they were tortured during earlier centuries. And that mindset can bring a fall of the earth from its orbit because of the combined nuclear explosion that can happen by several anti-china states.

  6. The article is written for Pakistan and China. The author try to match Mani Shankar Aiyer , Rama chandra Guha and swathi of NDTV paid Authors. Unfortunately, Shekhar ji, also Joined the leftist group. Feeling sad for his mean thought of Pakistan capturing Srinagar, which will not happen in his dream too.

  7. What about Crimea, You mentioned this in a Cut The Clutter a couple of days ago, the episode on Putin and Russia. I would love to hear your views on the conditions under which a country can usurp territory.

  8. very sensible article.The time for expansionism is gone.you are respected for your country economical gain.people respect singapore for their gains.Malaysia and korea have done well.we meaning both indian and pakistani are being look down as we are not developed.we should concentrate here.

  9. Twisted beyond reason.

    Successive Indian PMs from the 90s have offered to convert LOC and LAC to firm borders with Pakistan and China.

    That is, they offered to leave POK, GB & Aksai Chin out of the Indian political map if Pakistan and China gave up other territorial claims.

    Shekhar, don’t you know this for a fact?

    • This is not a fact, just a rumor. Manmohan and Musharraf came close to those sort of understanding which unraveled. India has belligerently asserted that whatever territory it says belongs to India, belongs to India. No dispute about it, no compromise. Its a stubborn stance which has not yielded any results for India. It has now alienated Nepal over a tiny sliver of land.

      Had India simply given Kashmir to Pakistan in 1947, the enmity between the 2 would have been immediately stopped, and the two would have possibly reunited by now – or at least come to a EU open-borders type situation, Had India just given Nepal the tiny and immaterial Kalapani, India would have bought an eternal ally in Nepal.

      But India is stubborn, and being stubborn rarely results in anything good.

      • @RK: Ha!! Ha!! You are peddling what Jihadi terrorists say!! Kashmir was Hindu land since eons & Pakistanis/Islamist’s are looters & invaders!! Period!!

  10. Author needs to read Chinese newspapers. They have clearly stated border issues with india are not the real issue. It’s the influence in south and southeast asia. Border issue is just a lever to call india to negotiating table whenever there are wider geopolitical conflicts. Even western newspapers have said so. Even in case of Pakistan, getting Kashmir will not resolve their antipathy to India and the issue of minorities in respective countries,history,architecture,sir creek,china will be found sufficient to keep ignited the real fire which is a civilizational war in minds of Pakistanis.As regards Indians,you got it wrong again. Indians will anyday accept status quo as permanent solution after an all party meet which is perceived as weakness by Chinese.

  11. As usual, Shekhar is clever by half. It is elementary that even if India renounces its claim on POK and Aksai Chin, neither Pak nor China are going to give up their claims on IOK and Arunachal. In fact, India will be perceived as weak and we will get into further trouble as these countries will get emboldened. While irrenditism is conceptually a failed idea, in our case, POK and Aksai Chin have been part of our country in 1947 and have been illegally occupied by Pak and China and hence, we need to get them back. However, if there is a grand bargain with China, then it is a different matter but such bargains do not happen when one party is seen as a weak. Further, while we may not wish to take physical control of POK, perhaps due to unwilling or hostile local population, we ought to keep pressure on Pakistan, until this artificial construct called Pakistan is eliminated and broken into 4 smaller countries.
    Of course, we should have a comparative map of our country showing original 1947 map and latest map showing areas in our actual control along with year wise details of how different areas have been lost over the years. This will bring clarity to the extant debate on how much area we lost to China in the recent incident of transgression.
    However, what Modi said applies perfectly to China and Pakistan and given the international support India today, China should take a serious note of what he said. India and its army is now ready.

    • On what basis was Kashmir incorporated into India without consulting the majority of people there ? India took advantage of a legal ruse (ruler abdicated to India). Hindu rulers like Patel agreed to partition, and the formula agreed was joined Muslim majority areas in NW and NE would go to Pak. India cheated, so there is conflict. The Paks may be see Hindus as wicked cheaters.

      • Dude; stop writing nonsense; in 1948, when Raja harisingh did not agree to mingle with India or pak, pakistan sent army to grab kashmir and Harisingh wanted Indian army help and agreed to unite Jall kashmir in to India with out any conditions; Indian army kicked off the pakistan terrorists; but, our incompetent Nehru did not allow our army to liberate POK from pak army clutches; hence, we lost POK. it belongs to us and will be taken away soon.

        • ‘we lost POK. it belongs to us and will be taken away soon.’

          Amit Shah said that. And look what happened – little bits of India are being nibbled away. And your Modi and Shah are keeping quiet ! Hindus like this disgrace India.

          • Rasgolla; Why the hell do you bring the religion of Modi and Shah into the discussion? Is that what they taught you in your madrasa ? To disrespect Hindus ?

            You are a bloody disgrace to Islam Rasgolla.

      • You can’t be Indian. If you are legally Indian, you are definitely a traitor who deserves the appropriate treatment.

        • True. Do you suppose he is the usual timid type from across the border, hiding behind sweet names?

          • Col. this is a site for civilians, not for retired army types to spout communalism. Your job is to be above it. Anyhow, what are you trying to say ? You are incoherent. How did you become a Colonel ?

        • What is the appropriate treatment ? Burning down my house. That stems from Hindu cowardice. Go to the LOC and LAC and prove yourself.

          • Where was communalism in any of comments. Your imagination, I suppose is very colorful. That means your here not to discuss topics but have an agenda beyond!

            Good luck

      • Mr Rasgolla: Again, your own jingoism, knee-jerk Hinduphobia and poorly disguised Indiaphobia get the better of your otherwise excellent abilities to debate. And in the process, you give short shrift to facts on the ground and let your prejudices dictate the discourse. Predictably, you come a cropper.

        Take for instance your claim:

        “.. Kashmir incorporated into India without consulting the majority of people there .. “

        Well Mr Rasgolla, the mechanisms of “consulting the majority of the people” of Kashmir is something that the UN Security Council Resolution 47 of 21st April 1948 (ref: bit.ly/3gCdRIF) specifies in great detail. In a specific sequence with Pakistan having to make the first move. Here are the highlights for you and your LeT buddies.

        1. The Govt. of Pakistan should ..
        (a) .. secure the withdrawal from the State of J&K of tribesmen and Pakistani nationals not normally resident therein who have entered the State for the purpose of fighting, and to prevent any intrusion into the State of such elements and any furnishing of material aid to those fighting in the State.

        2. The Govt. of India should:
        When it is established to the satisfaction .. that .. tribesmen are withdrawn and that arrangements for the cessation of fighting have become effective .. put into operation .. a plan for withdrawing their own forces from J & K ..

        Para 7:
        The Govt. of India should undertake that there will be established in J & K a Plebiscite Administration .. on the question of the accession of the State to India or Pakistan

        Now tell me Mr Rasgolla, will Pakistan ever be willing to take the first step i.e. the withdrawal of the tribesmen and other Punjabis who were moved into Kashmir and also desist from giving them “material aid” ? Methinks no.

        Additionally, vassal state Pakistan has ceded chunks of Kashmir to its master China compromising thereby the territorial integrity of the State. Worse still, Pakistan has ensured the ethnic cleansing of Hindu Pandits in Kashmir making a plebiscite meaningless.

        So Mr Rasgolla, get your facts right before braying in these columns.

      • Mr Rasgolla: Again, your own jingoism, knee-jerk Hinduphobia and poorly disguised Indiaphobia get the better of your otherwise excellent abilities to debate. And in the process, you give short shrift to facts on the ground and let your prejudices dictate the discourse. Predictably, you come a cropper.

        Take for instance your claim:

        “.. Kashmir incorporated into India without consulting the majority of people there .. “

        Well Mr Rasgolla, the mechanisms of “consulting the majority of the people” of Kashmir is something that the UN Security Council Resolution 47 of 21st April 1948 (ref: bit.ly/3gCdRIF) specifies in great detail. In a specific sequence with Pakistan having to make the first move. Here are the highlights for you and your LeT buddies.

        1. The Govt. of Pakistan should ..
        (a) .. secure the withdrawal from the State of J&K of tribesmen and Pakistani nationals not normally resident therein who have entered the State for the purpose of fighting, and to prevent any intrusion into the State of such elements and any furnishing of material aid to those fighting in the State.

        2. The Govt. of India should:
        When it is established to the satisfaction .. that .. tribesmen are withdrawn and that arrangements for the cessation of fighting have become effective .. put into operation .. a plan for withdrawing their own forces from J & K ..

        Para 7:
        The Govt. of India should undertake that there will be established in J & K a Plebiscite Administration .. on the question of the accession of the State to India or Pakistan

        Now tell me Mr Rasgolla, will Pakistan ever be willing to take the first step i.e. the withdrawalthe tribesmen and other Punjabis who were moved into Kashmir and also desist from giving them “material aid” ? Methinks no.

        Additionally, vassal state Pakistan has ceded chunks of Kashmir to its master China compromising thereby the territorial integrity of the State. Worse still, Pakistan has ensured the ethnic cleansing of Hindu Pandits in Kashmir making a plebiscite meaningless.

        So Mr Rasgolla, get your facts right before braying in these columns.

  12. An excellent piece. Even America has not won a single war against non nuclear states in recent decades, rather wasted trillions. I hope the leaders of the region take this message of SG seriously and employ scarce resources in providing healthcare and education provisions to millions!

  13. I am surprised by your hectoring.
    India has repeatedly worked with China to avoid any clash, so much so as to pay a bribe of 59 billion dollars a year, as a way of trade imbalance.
    keeping away from QUAD. Not blaming China directly for Pandemic. But it has no bearing on China’s behavior. Its side kick, Pakistan, making incessant efforts to grab Indian Kashmir.. Now tell me, when India has attacked either of them to grab land?? I believe, it is time to start land grabing exercise to keep us safe from their depredations.

  14. The author is living in old glorious times. China would not take Arunachal Pradesh in one go. It will in slowly inch by inch. Even if we have peaceful intentions we need to make the noice first. It’s like fender bender on a busy street, jump out of the car accusing the other guy. Shekar Gupta should quietly retire from writing, probably go and experience life in China and Pakistan as a reporter. One he will diaper without trace and another will disappear followed by countless hours of TV debates that will amount to nothing. We need to vary of dictators, that to one that has institutionalized it.

  15. According to the rules of partition agreed by the Hindu leaders of Congress, all Muslim majority areas of NW and NE would go to Pakistan. Therefore Kashmir should have gone to Pak. and that is the source of the dispute. Patel was ready to give it, but Nehru wanted to keep it as he was Kashmiri.

    • Mr Rasgolla: Now that is your own take on history isn’t it Sir ? Fabricated in the Pakistani equivalents of the shakas of the RSS ? Facts and the timelines involved don’t support your version of events Sir.

      Worse still, your narrative omits the fact that significant chunks of Pakistan’s frontier provinces did not – I re-iterate did not- want to be included in Jinnah’s paradise for Muslims. Indeed, they wanted to remain in India. The movements led by Khan Abdul Ghafoor Khaan consolidated many tribes who very presciently realised that the Pakistan mirage would be a failed project and wanted no truck with it.

      The notion that religion can unite diverse groups of people separated by language, caste, culture, skin colour, class, ethnicity has been debunked thoroughly by the sordid tale of Pakistan. Indeed, in less than 3 decades, Jinnah’s vision imploded and Bengali speaking East Pakistan fought to free itself from the clutches of the Punjabi and Urdu speaking rulers of Pakistan. And in any case, Punjabis, Sindhis and other fair-skinned communities in Pakistan regarded dark-skinned Bengalis as “Hindus” – apparently a derogatory term in that Muslim paradise called Pakistan. General Niazi, the man who oversaw the genocide in E.Pakistan even called E. Pakistan as “a low-lying land of low, lying people”. And he was referring to the Bengali Muslims who eschewed Urdu in favour of Bengali written in the modified Devanagari script. Frankly, Muslim upon Muslim violence is far more bloody in Pakistan than any other sort of violence that one has witnessed in the recent past. It even eclipses the Hindu upon Muslim violence one sees in Modi’s Lynchistan but I do not mention taht as a justification.

      As many of my posts here would have amply proved to you – I am a Hindu but no fan of Hindutva, the weaponisation of Hinduism and its harnessing for political gains by a coterie of Hindus. Just as Islamism weaponised Islam and tarnished the reputation of that religion – perhaps even beyond repair. The BJP is taking India along the same path that Pakistan’s leaders took its peoples and I vehemently criticise that. India must not become a Hindu Pakistan simply because religion is a very weak glue in nation building. Caste, colour, ethnicity, race etc. are far stronger forces that unite/divide than religion. Even in Israel, Judaism has been unable to unite the many strands and races of Jewish people. Black Jews from Ethiopia face the very same racism that blacks face in the US or Bengalis faced in Islamic Pakistan.

      And even today, the rotting rump that remains of Jinnah’s vision of Pakistan is beset by ethnic struggles – the Baloch, Mohajjirs, Punjabis, Pashtuns and Sindhis don’t exactly see eye-to-eye do they Mr Rasgolla? Not very different from India you may retort and rightly so. But the notion of India, and the nation building that sustained that notion by the initial founding fathers, largely from the Congress somehow seems to have survived. And despite its many faults, authoritarian leaders like Ms Indira Gandhi, rampant corruption, nepotism, dilution of federalism and so forth, somehow, the Congress ensured the nation-building project uniting the country was not neglected. I don’t know whether that was by accident or by design but India seems to have emerged more intact as a nation than any of its neighbours. My beef – pun intended – with the BJP and its Gujarati Messiah lies in the fact they do not recognise that the fragile unity of this large country must not be taken for granted. And that nation-building is a never-ending ongoing activity in India. And playing Hindutva politics to win elections and killing and lynching innocent Muslims weakens and polarises the country. And is morally repugnant.

      For the record: I do not support any political party in India and regard all of them as equally corrupt, power-hungry, nepotistic and undemocratic. But some get their economics and nation-building better than the others.

      • I shall agree with most of what you have written. I never said that Pakistan is a success and religion alone is a uniting factor (Maulana Azad had warned that).

        I did not advocate India should be partitioned, I said the RSS and Hindu Mahasabha threatened Muslims in the 1930s with the Hitler model (like they do now in front of our eyes), and hence partition became inevitable.

        Further, after Hindu leaders agreed that partition was the best (and Patel was foremost in this), the rule decided was the Muslim majority areas of NW and NE would go to Pakistan. According to the logic of the rule, India should have abided, and we would not have this insoluble problem now. In this regard, Patel was unsentimental and was willing to let Kashmir go. He saw it will become an insoluble problem. I would say Nehru’s greatest mistake was to keep Kashmir.

        In Kashmir, Nehru and India said the choice of whether to join India was left solely to the ruler and not the subjects. The Hindu Maharajah of Kashmir opted for India, but the majority was Muslim and ir was not given a choice. When the Nizam of Hyderabad opted for independence, Patel sent troops and Nehru justified it saying the the ruler’s decision cannot be paramount, the majority were Hindu and wanted to be with India. Thus, Nehru and India have a history of twisting agreed rules according to what suits them . In Hyderabad, you say the will of the majority must be considered; in Kashmir, you say the will of the majority does not count, only the ruler’s decision counts, That is why there is enmity that Pak feels to India; distrust of Hindus is embedded.

        The decisions taken by princely states was not based on what subjects wanted. In Kerala, the Maharajah of Travancore Sri Chitra Tirunal was advised by his Tamil Brahmin Diwan to join Pakistan, not India ! He contemplated that, but India threatened him.

        The RSS was a destructive force then – and now. But Hindus will rally behind them even when they get India partitioned and lose land to China also. This is the inexplicable Hindu mentality.

        • Why pak does not want whole of india. The name india is more pakistani – sindhustan->hindustan->india.

          And surprisingly name pakistan is more sanskrit pakwa – ripe or pure, stan – place

          If india offers to give kashmir to pak but rest of india also will go along as free offer, pak will have only objection about the “free offer”!!!
          It cannot get weirder

        • Well, mr rasogulla Try to understand that the UN resolution you guys keep pointing out has some pre-conditions. Muslim majority Pakistan logic failed miserably in 1971 and it lost more than half of its land, if you admit. Then by that basis your whole argument of Muslim majority states belonging to Pakistan stands on a three legged chair. Again, India has 18 chore Muslims with 2 Muslim presidents and many other Muslims at highly respected positions. So, this Hindu Muslim thing is restricted to politics and some one or two incidents only, not at the grassroots level. We have a multicultural society of sikhs, Parsi, Muslims, Hindus and Christians and so on. Also, Please have a look at your economic conditions , if you can’t manage your existing population, how will you handle additional immigrants. Agree, India also has issues but it is much more developed than Pak. If you are using Hitler to compare with RSS then my friend you don’t understand the gravity of things what Hitler did. If RSS was a destructive force then in 1930,s why are there no mention of things what Hitler did attributed to RSS. India’s Muslims population share ya increased since independence, inspite of your so called RSS issues. What can you say about your minorities.

          • What you write is irrelevant. I said India’s very Hindu leaders agreed to partition and even thought that was the only way forward – Patel and Nehru. Why did they agree to it ?

            Once Hindu leaders have agreed to partition, then you abide by the rules : only the connected Muslim majority areas in NW and NE could go to Pakistan. Hyderabad was land locked, and it was correct to integrate that into India, especially since the majority were Hindu. Likewise, it was logical for Kashmir to be part of Pakistan. It was folly to take Kashmir – it cannot be integrated, they will fight a guerrilla war and there is no way India can beat that. No country had won against a guerrilla war.

            ‘ why are there no mention of things what Hitler did attributed to RSS.’ Golwalkar wrote effusive praise for Hitler’s Jewish policy and wished for the same in India. Just search, you will find it. The RSS assasinated Gandhi. They had to be banned. They need to be banned before they break up the India that remains.

        • rasgolla stop lies and dont exaggerate and say RSS is like Nazi.. you can disagree with RSS but they are not like what you wrote

          • Read the RSS’s own writings. Golwalkar wrote praise of Hitler and his Jewish policy, and wished for the same in India. The CAA-NRC is just that. You cannot fool the world. The time is coming when RSS and Hindus will be profiled. I believe the tweets of BJP Hindus have triggered off profiling in UAE and Gulf, and it is a matter of time, before it gets to the west.

        • n Kerala, the Maharajah of Travancore Sri Chitra Tirunal was advised by his Tamil Brahmin Diwan to join Pakistan, not India !
          Its wrong statement.. Yes he initially didn’t agree to join but later agreed but he was not for joining PAk. Why will he which has not geographic continuity and diff religion and language

          • I did not say he wanted to join Pak. The Brahmin dewan advised him to be independent and seek Jinnah’s help. I agree it was futile thinking. However, in Kashmir, it is part of the baggage of partition and is unresolved business.

        • Mr Rasgolla: The Maharani of Travancore who headed a state that had more Hindus and Christians than Muslims never ever contemplated joining Pakistan. Additionally, the Moplah Rebellions of 1921 were fresh in mind during the 1940s and the question of joining a Muslim majority state was politically a non-option.

          When the British left India, they never suggested to the roughly 600 or so princely states that they join India or Pakistan. Travancore initially chose to remain an independent country although this stance was changed later.

          Conspicuous in your comment is the fact that the province of Balochistan (Kalat) , a Muslim majority area never wanted to join Pakistan but was forced to do so. Likewise, many areas of of the Northwest did not wish to become part of Jinnah’s paradise for Muslims.

          Suggest you read the history of your own country before dabbling in the history of other parts of the world. Your vacuous comments remind me of the maxim:

          “If you think by the inch and talk by the yard, you will get kicked by the foot”

    • Kashmir is not 1 homogeneous entity.. it has jammu, ladakh, kashmir valley, gligit balistan etc.. its not a full muslim majorty state if a we consider each region. Any ways some part of alrady with Pak and china.. Also pak, Bangladesh had more than 20% non-muslim in 1947.. Stop lies
      You disagree with RSS but RSS is not destructive, stop the bogey, its a propoganda by left

    • Since you love Muslims so much, please let us known when is Pakistan taking back all Indian Muslims it left tainting Islamic Umma & all Islamic/Muslim pride??!!

  16. Such a dishonest article. Shekhar creates a straw man to somehow equate India with other two rogue nations. That is only based on his figment of imagination. See the article, where you can not even say what drives India’s quest for expansion. All he could muster that it ‘could be’ this or ‘could be’ that.

  17. Some strange kind of monkey balancing from an otherwise sharp Mr Gupta. I mean, by what means can the Indian state be called expansionist? Do you mean to say that India should give up its existing claims- and you are naive enough to think that would bring you peace?? No sir, I do not think you are that naive and thus, I do not think you really meant what you have written here!
    Pakistan wants at the very least the Kashmir valley, in addition to retaining PoK and G-B. China wants not just Aksai Chin but also Ladakh, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan and Arunachal (refer to Five Fingers to Tibet by Mao- 2 of these places are sovereign countries). It also deliberately wants to keep India off balance by not settling its boundaries. If India were to give up all its claim, what would it negotiate with? Furthermore, Indians are also as emotional about ‘land’ as anyone else is. So there we are.

  18. All this is very good and sensible – but we can add that it will be in india’s interest to let china save face – and not seem to have been hurt- they have lost 20 soldiers in the recent war- almost equal to india- but they cannot admit such big losses- —but india can reduce its trade surplus with china and hong kong – from 70 billion dollars to 35 billion dollars in one year- that will give china a big enough kick on their teeth- they will lose many jobs and factory closures- let us hurt them in this manner without firing a bullet- yes china can take arunachal pradesh- we might fight hard – but we will lose – the only thing we can do is to make china lose its trade surplus – that is a big loss to a country that is going down-hill anyway-

    • You are a typical gobar filled Hindu. India’s economy has gone into the doldrum since demonetisation. China did not do anything dumb. They launched the yuan backed with gold, so oil can be traded in it.

  19. Shekhar Gupta, in an uncanny way, raises issues of expansionism reminiscent of eighteenth century and earlier. In many ways his (un)guarded insinuation is not misplaced. But there are differences. He has explained the major one – the “Akhand” aspect. While in the case of China it is a state policy, it is more an “idea” with India and only “Kashmir” as a sentimental issue with Pakistan. All other developments in this regard are fallout.
    In the case of Kashmir, I will say that it is important for India for its defence more than the sentiment. The strategic importance of Kashmir for defence of Indian mainland though not discussed(need not be too) in public, is a major factor in the scheme of defending our Northern borders. Letting JK go any which way is strategically detrimental to India’s Defence. With Pakistan, it is more of a matter of sentiment than history or geography. Sans ego and sentiments very easily resolvable.
    China, as evidenced by ts actions worldwide, is truly in the mould of real geographic expansionism.
    Between India and China it is the traditional border dispute – the only land border dispute in the World today. The border was never ever defined anytime in history. As mature Nations the dispute should and could have settled matters in the past decades. For many varied reasons it was not to be.
    Rest assured, as is normal with negotiations, in any settlement with China, with or without war, notwithstanding the “winner”, a lot of give and take will happen in case of a border settlement.
    What do they say in business? Any crisis can be converted to an opportunity? SWOT analysis they call it – right?

    • Give and take should happen in negotiations , but India has not made any claims to negotiate with except maybe Aksai Chin . So, where will the “take” come from ?

      • There are many areas…does the media or the general public or the various “experts” know in detail the 3500 kms of the LAC? Most of the comments and commentaries we read are more of “what I know” rather than an objective assessment. Most write to be in the news and those already in the news for TRP.
        What we see is not what it is….when we are critical it is essential that we have the whole picture and we know the patets to use. There is no use firing in th
        e dark.

    • Two parts to indians fixation to JK.
      Many indians map JK as the head of bharat mata. If JK is given away, india map looks very bad.
      Muslims of india are fixated to pakistan. Though not traitors, they are indifferent to indian nationalism. Their silent admiration for pakis, infuriates hindus. It is a very strange thing which no one has tried to explain or explore. Indian muslim may love to be associating with a paki. But they may not have any such preference to bangladeshi or even muslim from a far off state within india. This fraternity feeling with enemy country make hindus keep the fight for JK strong. Also hindus suspect, if given a choice, JK may vote for pak than india due to this feeling for fraternity amongst them.

      As per 2 nation theory, JK would have gone to pak but for some brilliant move by nehru. he wooed the populist leader abdullah to side with india.

      Pak’s fixation to kashmir has ruined them. But for india, so much resources have been spent to keep it in india.

      • You need to overcome your prejudices and be objective. Hindus have a fixation with Pakistan. Modi, Shah etc. cite Pak in every election campaign. Hindus have an inferiority complex. No Indian Muslim mentions Pakistan.

        • No Indian Muslim mentions Pakistan – This is bit of dishonesty. Muslims may not be traitorous. Most muslims of my generation have enjoyed watching ramayan, mahabharat on dd. At the same time they enjoyed 1992 world cup victory of pak.

          Since pak is enemy country, this sort of liking for pak doesn’t go well with hindus.

          Election campaign barring 2019, pak was never a factor in india elections. rss for generations have been pushing this cause without success. ask advani.

          • “Muslims may not be traitorous”?? Who voted for Pakistan?? Weren’t they all present day Indian Muslims??!! Who supports Islamic terrorism & radicalization till date??

        • Ha!! Ha!! Almost all Muslims voted for Pakistan but kicked Islam to stay in India!! WHY?? Now it’s immaterial if Indian Muslims talk of Pakistan or not; they created it already !!

          But where is Umma & where is Allah for these Muslms eating on Hindu bread like dogs??!!

  20. The root problem is Partition. Had there been no partition, there wouldn’t have been this strangulation of China and Pakistan. For eg. look at China. It claims territory under the nostalgic view of sovereignty held under the Qing empire and has occupied territories like Outer Mongolia and Xinjiang; claiming Kublai Khan and his mongoloid lineage as part of Manchuria, and Xinjiang was inherited because the communists were able to drive out the socialist Kuomintang to the island of Taiwan. India made the biggest blunder of secession. And the reason for it was equally lethal i.e. Religion. Look at China and Russia. Even the mere thought of secession would bring the mighty power of the state, to swing into action, and suppress such activities. Countries become super powers by winning against the ‘Silent Wars’ inside the country — as Kautliya noted. So, I have no doubts, the problem India is facing is because our leaders who vouched for independence, lost the final war of unification.
    And on the same note, Pakistan and China are the epitome of Asian hypocrisy. Firstly, China is no friend to Pakistan. Pakistan just uses China as a stick to keep India restrained. What are their similarities? Culturally and linguistically nothing. In fact, communism is banned in Pakistan and China being an atheist nation systematically bulldozes mosques and now it is no secret that Uighur muslims are being sterilized and kept in Re-education camps in Urumqi. When asked by reporters, they clearly shrug it off saying they have no idea. If this is not hypocrisy, then what is? Pakistan went from being a emerging economy in the sixties to now a basket case for China to lay it’s BRI projects exploiting the poverty and lack of energy. India knows that China derives it’s strength because such a rift exists in South Asia, and truth be told it would be foolish for an opponent not to use any excuse to keep the countries entangled in it’s historical mess.
    A

    • All correct what you have written. But I would add that the RSS and Hindu Mahasabha played a major role in partition by threatening Muslims saying they should be treated in the same way as Hitler devised for Jews. The Hindu Mahasabha is not a power now, but the RSS has grown and is the govt.. With CAA-NRC, they are playing for the Nazi model they advocated in the 1930s. Hence, they will be engaged in civil strife in India, and Pak and China will naturally take advantage. Hindus seems to have a disintegrative streak. Why are Hindus like this ?

      • Who is the “dreamer of pakistan” – not rss or hindu mahasabha. Allama iqbal who wrote Sare jahan se achcha hindustan hamara …
        His dream is nothing to do with what rss or hindu mahasabha were saying. BTW INC and Gandhi was everything that mattered in india. They stood rock solid on the secular question.
        Children of Iqbal may not be able to sing that famous song anymore.

        Indian muslims can still sing it. And expectation itself is that they sing it proudly.

      • Ha!! Ha!! Muslims & Islam are always finding excuses to hate non Muslims be it the Hindus, Christians or Jews!! This is despite the evidence of FACTS of terrorism & intolerance towards others in their evil ideology!!

  21. Nice and true argument that any country can not take any territory of another as it stands today. Very persuasive argument for Pakistanis as well if anyone who matters there is willing to listen and reflect. However considering all three countries on same plain is bit idealogical left. It does not matter so much what authorities/parliament in these countries say compared to what they do. Do we really think India has taken any concrete military steps all these years to re-take any territory from any one of them? Everything we have done is defensive in nature. On the other hand, it is a believable worldwide consensus that China and Pakistan, authoritarian/dictatorial regimes, are trying to gain tactical advantage by poking India on two borders and keeping it busy and distracted. Hence at least Mr Gupta should not make same error of looking inwards and finding a fault with ourselves. India has no choice left but to react both these countries and believe that any amount of negotiation is not going to solve the problem unless it is from position of strength. We have to strengthen ourselves militarily in short term and economically over medium term while forming new and/or firming up the existing alliances. Our consumer market, last material economic frontier, should be used as bet in forming those alliances bit more boldly. While Pakistanis are emotional and irrational ( like us sometimes), Chinese are exact opposite. Over centuries they are not known for fighting with weapons (20 vs 40 deaths is one such indicator) but through tough negotiations. That is their culture and we should use that as helpful guide for dealing with these problems. However that can happen from position of strength. In the mean time, they as self proclaimed super power contender , have more to lose than India. They are being unusually irrational as of now and India seems to be making most of it.

  22. Expansionist thought is very much applicable even to India under the present Modi-Shah regime, which has brought the dreamy akhand-bharat nonsense within the realm of state pursuit, or at least under the possibility of state pursuit. It is impossible to achieve, that is one thing, but the world has definitely heard many irresponsible BJP leaders bragging about it every now and then. The 370 action last year and subsequent talk by Amit Shah about POK and Aksai Chin, even if legitimate by Hari Singh documents, were seen by many as extensions of akhand bharat brag. The present crisis is partly due to such talks.

  23. Shekhar Gupta like leftists can’t digest the fact Modi has made India stronger. India can now face the combined challenge of China and it’s dog Pakistan. Had it been Rahul Gandhi as India’s PM, China would have got Arunalchal Pradesh as gift from Congress and got a billion $ as donation in Rajiv Gandhi foundation. Pakistan had already gifted to China the Indian territory that Pakistan had occupied by force. Only a leftist mind would equate India with China on expansionism. India didn’t occupy Bangladesh even after defeating Pakistan. Had it been China defeating Pakistan, China would have grabbed Bangladesh.

      • What is Islam & Pakistan filled with if not gobar??!! Pakistan is selling Islam to China for Rs.1!! Good job!! Do it more & tell the Chinese to teach India/Hindus on how to handle the Pakistanis & other Islamic pests!!

    • About bangladesh, it is bit strange. In fact many strange things. Like, india didn’t grab it when it had it. More than that, nobody missed it then and no one misses it now. And even strange, pakistanis also dont miss it.

      Kashmir is a different situation altogether. India, pak and china all have a bit of it, but all want to claim all of it.

      This contrast between kashmir and bangladesh is mind boggling.

      • Mr PR: The notion of capturing land or other countries is an outdated 19th century idea.

        These days, you do not need to plant your flag on another country, you merely create a vassal state, often called a client state. Thus, through mechanisms such as debt diplomacy, military aid, and old fashioned sabre-rattling, China has succeeded in making Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and a host of other countries into client states. With varying degrees of dependency and country specific puppet to puppet master relationships, China has created a web of such client states. It simply has the wherewithal to do that – financial as well as military.

        Had India grabbed Bangladesh, well, it would have replaced or at least have been perceived as having replaced Punjabi Muslim dominated Pakistan by Hindu India. And besides, back then, E.Pakistan was an exploited, impoverished part of Pakistan. And Pakistan was a Jinnah created paradise for Muslims where light-skinned Punjabi Muslims never treated their dark-skinned Bengali brethren as equals, never mind what the Holy Qur’an prescribed. Hence, the Bangladesh of 1971 was a devastated, demoralised nation recovering after a massive cyclone that killed thousands and a genocidal war. Not exactly a coveted prize.

        India achieved its strategic aims by truncating Pakistan and reducing the threat from the eastern flank i.e. erstwhile E.Pakistan to near zero. And wisely, Ms Gandhi did not indulge in any overreach with regard to Bangladesh and was content in having a more amicable neighbour.

        The case of Kashmir though is different and cannot be compared with Bangladesh.

  24. What about Russia? Did it not take Crimea? They simply walked in, which shows that under the right circumstances one can usurp territory. The question then is, At what cost? This you have, rightly, pointed out, in the case of India, China & Pakistan will mean mutual destruction.
    You mentioned Crimea in your Cut the Clutter a couple of days ago, on Russia and Putin. I would like to hear your point of view on the conditions under which one can usurp territory.

  25. For the first time, I see a clear minded article from SG. Normally, his articles are fuzzy, and appear to be a cloak for Hindutva.

    Here the message is clear : irredentist politics is of the past and cannot be applied by 3 nuclear powers. Nazi Germany was the worst case of irredentist ideology.

    Glad that SG says it will not work for Pak or China – or India.

    The only thing is the title was not apt : ‘It’s time for China, Pakistan, even India to rethink the fantasy Modi called expansionism’.

    Modi called it expanisonism, but the RSS which Modi supports wallows in an irredentist ideology of Akhand Bharat. They have pumped up the Hindus about it. All it has done is create the conditions for break up of India; what happened to Pak can happen to India. Its Amit Shah’s irredentist statement that India will recapture Aksai Chin and PoK that led to China deciding to beat India. The BJP-RSS’s ideology is undermining the concept of Indian and replacing it with Hindu and Muslim.

    Still I commend SG.

  26. False Equivalence once again by the left-liberals.

    While China and Pakistan WANT territory and are engaged in ACTION for that purpose, India doesn’t want territory and has NOT ENGAGED IN ACTION for that purpose. The Parliament resolution is just a formality, no MP or Indian is foolish enough to believe it or act on it.

    India just doesn’t want to lose anymore territory. That’s all.

    • may be true enough. But Parliament should also act responsibly. No use passing a resolution and then saying sorry we didn’t really mean it. Every neighbor will take such things seriously and so our Union Ministers and MPs have to be careful.

      • An outstanding comment Mr Sudarshan Nityananda !

        Fact is, the BJP needs to whip up the forces of Hindutva for many domestic reasons. The BJP needs to win state elections, perpetrate the myth of the all-knowing, infallible, 56 inch chested Gujarati Messiah who ostensibly makes the world stand up and take notice when India is mentioned, and make Pakistan and China tremble.

        Hwwever, CM Modi seems to have forgotten his own justification of the Godhra pogroms of 2002: “Every action has a reaction”. Amit Shah’s utterly ir-responsible speech in Parliament on 5th Aug 2019 about recapture of PoK and Aksai Chin has rankled these countries and they have decided to test whether India’s threats were credible. And as the tragic loss of lives and territory have shown, threats delivered in the Parliament by the dhokla boys cannot me matched by deeds.

        When the PM, Amit Shah and assorted shakha-educated BJP MPs whip up Hindutva inspired jingoism and Islamophobia in India, there is a dear price to pay abroad. But alas, they cannot stop Hindutva anymore; Hindutva will only snowball out of control. And the dhokla boys will realise the message in the proverb:

        “He who rides a tiger is afraid to dismount”

        • Where are Hindus in Pislamic Pakistan/Bangadesh!! Tens of millions of Hindus have been killed there!! What price did they pay for these crimes??!! NOTHING!! Anti Hindu mentality is the result of geopolitics & & The EVIL of Islam as usual!! So keep your Hindutva lies to yourself unless indeed Hindus kill Muslims as Muslims do to Hindus & other non Muslims!!

    • Mr Bipin Das: Again, shakha “education” and Whatsapp “wisdom” leads you to believe that a country needs to capture territory to gain influence and display its strength. That is a naïve 19th century worldview to regard the way states behave in the international arena today.
      Fact is, you need not capture territory to exert influence, there are far more smarter and effective ways to do it. A country need not plant its flag on another country and incur all the costs and backlash – political and economic – that such a move entails.

      Indeed, the smartest way to exert influence outside your borders is through the creation of mechanisms such as “client states”. And on that count, India and China are not very different from each other. Pakistan is a client state of China; Bhutan a client state of India. And smart Nepal tries to play India against China to extract concessions. Sri Lanka does the same and makes India and China vie for its attention. In both places, Chinese influence is on the ascendant and India’s is on the wane – the 56 inch chested Gujarati’s Vishwa Guru and Akhand Bharath notwithstanding. The Maldives was once a de facto client state of India but there too, China has exerted itself subtly. Hindutva and jingoism create costs for India.

      You go on to state that Amit Shah’s proclamation in Parliament on Aug 5, 2019 about recovering territory lost to China and Pakistan was a “formality”. Well, turns out that this irresponsible statement made for the benefit of your jingoistic, lathi wielding brethren was not regarded as a “formality” by the Chinese. Foreign Minister Jaishankar had to travel to Beijing in an effort to smoothen ruffled feathers. As he had to do when Islamophobic statements by BJP ministers led to countries in the Middle East taking umbrage at the state sponsored hatred towards India’s Muslim population.

      Muscular Hindutva and the jingoism and Islamophobia that are encouraged, cultivated and indeed happen to be a cornerstone of BJP & RSS ideologies may well be popular with the Hindu middle-classes. But they carry enormous costs. Today, the balance sheet after that fascist, discriminatory ideology was deployed in 2014 shows that the country is in the red. India has lost territory, lives and influence in the neighbourhood.

    • ‘The Parliament resolution is just a formality, no MP or Indian is foolish enough to believe it or act on it.’

      Amit Shah said he is going to recapture Aksai Chin and PoK. He could have kept quiet. But a group of irresponsible Hindus are ruling who think like they can beat up minorities in India, that same way will work with China and Pak.. This is what made China deliver a beating. So if the BJP continues, India will lose more land.

    • Mr. Shekhar gupta has no conscience, cannot understand how persons like him making a living. utilising countries resources making negative propaganda against the same country they live in the name of press freedom and democracy . Intelligence without moral values can earn them living but not self respect which now few press and media never cares and they will ask what do you mean by human values?

  27. Boss you are truly even handed to call out India’s expansionism. Would loveto see you give some examples too.
    Or are you just trying to be even handed? Your effort to condemn India in the same breathe as Pakistan’s occupation of Kashmir and China’s occupation of Aksai Chin is truly admirable.

  28. Pakistan almost captured Kargil without annihilation.

    China captured Indiana territories since 2008 without annihilation.

    So what you are saying is applicable in case of India not other countries.

    Only India can lose Territory in 21st century without annihilation.

    • Russia, Pakistan and China are dictatorships answerable not even to its own citizens where you better be ready to die if the powers that be decides its time to make you put your life on the line. Keep in mind that these leaders themselves will never put their life in the line but are happy to let you do it. Modi is slowly trying to get us there but the question you need to ask yourselves is are you willing to sacrifice your life so that some grandstanding larger than life leader can stick to his throne a little longer.

  29. Coming from house of Shekhar Gupta , a very mundane article. It seems that a schedule had to be met. He is also not ready to name ” The difference is, in India, it is the ideology of the founders of just one — though now dominant — party “.

    I have been eagerly following Print for last two weeks wrt article on release of a Police DGP , accussed in Pulwama Attack. But none to be seen.

    Mr Ninan has attempted to explain why India cannot give a higher stimulus for Covid19. Everybody knows : 7 quarters of GDP slow down preceding Covid19. There is no new theory and no new suggestions in the article.

  30. As usual Shekhar Gupthas confused article, he is still not decided weather to support nation or still unable come out of Gandhi family spoilage , Chemcha

  31. Beautifully put, after all the talk of ambitions on the part of China and utopian dream of Pakistan to secure Kashmir. Good sense and peaceful boundaries need to prevail in order for the nation to rise above. in today’s age. Even that too seems a mirage as the same idea does not apply to the CCP and military controlled pak. I wonder but become disappointed at best of the future outcome of all.

  32. A bold article. At times I feel that this generation should let it go and leave it to next generation to solve with open mind. India is paying for its lethargy, internal political fights. We need to fix ourselves first. A good question about current LAC would be, what our forces were doing when PLA was building bunkers and slowly advancing? A number of cartosats and yet government was caught off guard. Why shouldn’t we believe that it was all intentional and informed decision to remain quiet. Just like Kargil and 26/11. It serves political purpose and naive China just did not realize that how they are giving opportunity to Modi to play-out his political agenda at domestic front.

  33. BS biased article. Trashing Pakistan seems to be the favourite pastime of Indians. Not surprised. Trying writing something objective and getting it published. Wanker.

      • Says the nationalistic Indian man who uses a Chinese smartphone and receives about 55 billion USD in remittances from the Muslim Middle-East ! Don’t see the hypocrisy Mr Gopal ?

  34. An empire thinks in terms of territories but territories are inhabited by people and if you neglect the people then the world has seen so many empires come and go. The people have survived. Even the people of Harappa have survived though the ages even though the Harappan civilization is no more. Rajnath Singh with the pride of an imperial ruler proudly announced before the abrogation of Article 370 that India had decided to solve the Kashmir problem permanently with or without the participation of the people of the State. We now see that abrogation of Article 370 has created more problems than it has solved precisely because it was abrogated with or without the participation of the people of the State. Indeed Modi’s erstwhile secretary was asked to act as a proxy for the people as lieutenant Governor. A man from Gujrat was treated as a substitute for the people of Jammu and Kashmir ! Is it any surprise that China has stepped in to demand its share of the territory.Pakistan lost Bengal because Tikka Khan too wanted a permanent solution with or without the participation of the people of Bengal.
    As far as territories are concerned especially territories of a recently fragmented Ottoman or British Empire there is a lot of churn and will continue till equilibrium is attained. The political map of the subcontinent has changed repeatedly since 1947 itself when the boundaries of the Princely State of Jammu and Kashmir were redefined. Subsequently the map of Goa was redrawn . Then changes occurred in the border with China in 1962 and then again with Pakistan handing some territory to China.The map of Sikkim was redrawn as was the map of Pakistan with the emergence of Bangladesh in 1971. Even now satellite images show something changing in Ladakh , Doklam, Tawang and Arunachal borders. Those who think that nuclear weapons can bring stability with or without the participation of the people need only look at changes in the map of erstwhile USSR to change their opinion. Finally we need to remember that 2070 is only fifty years away when science predicts massive changes in the demography of the subcontinent 4000 years after the end of the Harappans. With such massive demographic changes political boundaries are bound to change.

  35. Coming from the House of Shekhar Gupta , a very mundane article. It looks like an article had to be published. He is also refusing to name the Indian Political Party. ” The difference is, in India, it is the ideology of the founders of just one — though now dominant — party “. I have been following Print for last two weeks closely to get an article on a Police Personnel – i vl also not mention name – who was accused for Pulwama AttacK but let off. Nothing of that sort.

    Mr Ninan has also come up with a theory on why India cannot give a bigger fiscal to COVID19. Who does NOT know why ? After 7 quarters of lowering GDP , obviously India’s resources are stretched. What is new in the article ?

  36. Modi at Ladakh border: Era of Expansionism is over.
    Shah in Parliament: We will get back Aksai Chin.
    Can you make sense of these 2 jokers.
    It was Shah’s bluff which was called out by China. Instead of getting Aksai Chin, we have lost land in Ladakh and lives of 20 soldiers.

    • Shah – We will get back aksai chin even if we have to lose our lives.
      We thought he meant his life when he said “our lives”. He is safely leading efforts to rid delhi of covid when our army are counting their dead.

      56 inch diplomacy has been cut to size. Chinese are trying to extract guarantees on aksai chin. modi looking for face saver. he cannot say the bluster in the parliament was for domestic consumption. he is riding the tiger that he created.

      Calling MMS weak is easy, but if you have to go through such ordeals, you realize, it requires lot more bravery and shrewdness to achieve diplomatic victory. What is the point in losing people for mountains and deserts.

    • Yet another moron trying to sell his false propaganda. Aksai Chin was the part of the state of Jammu Kashmir and Shah’s comments in parliament was to counter your godfathers pappu and his chamchas who were constantly provoking him to claim his stance on Aksai Chin and POK. Y’all say Modi and Shah are not fit for governance, so who is? Raul Vnci? Hah. And moreover China’s actions are to secure it’s way for CPEC, not as a reply for a statement made by Indian Minister in the Indian parliament 1 year back, the world doesn’t run like that. The more you talk nonsensically the more you lose to your agenda.

  37. This article could have made sense if published centuries ago. This doesn’t make sense to include India in the current situation. Author could have applied his thoughts by using their brain before publishing the article. This clearly shows incapability of author.

  38. Westerners draw lines across the regions in Asia . They supplied weapons to both sides. They played the same game in middle east. Iraq to kuwait division made oil blood to USA and Westerners. Asian countries not even used their existing lands effectively so why there is need of expansionism ? The conflict among Asian countries will help weapon selling countries like USA , Russia, …etc.

  39. Only way to prevent a Mad fellow from acting Mad, is to threaten him with double madness. So long as Pakistan demands Kashmir, India does not have any alternative but to demand POK back. Ever heard the saying ” office is the best form of defense “

  40. An excellent article. The fact is that we Indians are highly infatuated with history. This infatuation leads to irrational expansionist dreams – for example the dream of Akhand Bharat or dream of disintegration of Pakistan. The dream of India becoming Vishwa Guru is another example of nursing silly and highly impractical ambitions. We should focus on today’s realities instead of making boastful claims on Aksai Chin. Is it possible for us to wrest Aksai Chin from China or Azad Kashmir from Pakistan? Those who nurse such wild dreams should explain when and how it can be done without inviting nuclear holocaust? The better way is to protect and develop what we have.

    • That is what SG has written.

      Modi supporters think he got a majority, so it is his right to do whatever, and we have forfeited any right to question.

  41. I admire the thought process of Mr. Shekhar but there is a huge history of injustice done to India and until those things are rectified everything else is a fantasy.

      • Mr. Rasgolla, you have got me wrong. Akhand Bharat is wrong, because there is no point in including crores pf Pakistani people who consider India as their enemy. Hatred and separatism has laid the foundation of Pakistan and what was done in 1947 cannot now be undone. So far as Kashmir is concerned it is an integral part of India which not only validated by Indian constitution but also the constitution of Kashmir, as well as by the pact between Shaikh Abdulla and Indira Gandhi. Kashmir has been protected from external aggression by our brave soldiers and many generations of Indians have emotionally invested in Kashmir. So, I am against revisionism of any type. So far as Pakistan is concerned it has displayed suicidal tendencies on account of its irrational fascination of grabbing Kashmir from India. This is futile. To quote Ashley Tellis : “Pakistan has to recognize that it simply cannot match India through whatever stratagem it chooses- it is bound to fail. The sensible thing, then, is for Pakistan to reach the best possible accommodation with India now, while it still can, and shift gears towards a grand strategy centered on economic integration in South Asia- one that would help Pakistan climb out of its morass and allow the army to maintain some modicum of privileges, at least for a while. The alternative is to preside over an increasingly hollow state.” Sad to note that Pakistani rulers did not heed to the advice and have virtually sold the country to China in exchange of 50 Billion dollars. Pakistan is no longer an independent sovereign state, it is a subservient vassal of China. China has spoiled its relations with India for a few fingers of land. This is revisionism and expansionism of the worst kind. China is bound to repent its act.

  42. Nonsense author & the @theprint!! So who did India invade as Jihadi Pakistan & Communist China to take on land?? Was Akasai Chin or Pakistan occupied Kashmir not Indian??

    Besides above, the article ignores that geopolitics is a bigger game than this Nonsense author & the @theprint can imagine because brains are not freebies as communist/ultra leftist ideology of this author & @theprint!!

  43. The borders of these three nations are drawn by British, named by British in English. Western world doesn’t want a united Asia

      • It isn’t unite. It’s reunite. And the truth and love will ultimately prevail over the darkness of divisions and lies. India( Republic of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh) will be reunified.

  44. If India was as powerful as China, India definitely would’ve attacked China. Same goes with Pakistan attacking India. Nobody is saint.

    India and Pakistan have the land of Kashmir, which belongs to Kashmiri people. It’s clearly under occupation. Who cares?

    Easy to preach on ending expansionism. Whole world including me and the author of this article know that’s outright hypocrisy.

    But anyway, it’s politics. Carry on

    • Lol Jammu Kashmir is part of India, and the people are also part of it. Arabic followers are not Jammu Kashmir people….

    • Ha!! Ha!! Kashmir was always Hindu land!! The illicit children of Aurangzeb are looters & invaders almost everywhere on the globe including Kashmir!!

    • Ye!! Kashmir belongs to Kashmiri people and they aren’t Muslim but Hindus who suffered genocide at the hands of the death cult you follow!!

  45. Shekhar Gupta why don’t you stick to what your amazing young researchers hand you out for the cut the clutter. Those young boys and girls are far more sensible to serve under a boss like yours who has 3rd class friends like Rajdeep, who live in a world of cocktails, and dream of the world is one. For communists like you to belive that is also living in fools paradise.. You are free to express your opinion and you shall have that freedom… But I am also free to suggest that you and your opinions suck and stink of bias.. just to reiterate. India doesn’t have global ambitions.. so why confuse it with claim so in your 2 rupees opinion .. don’t try to be liberal because you are not

    • You are correct i don’t comprehend where and when India is expansionist. I think the author is trying to equate India with China. Sad.

      • The RSS Hindu Nazis have been loaudly declaring their intentions wanting to take Pak controlled Kashmir and China’s Aksai chin and the RSS Nazis controlled Indian parliament have passed resolutions yet India is not expansionist? China just cut India to size and put them in place to crush their dreams before it leads to bigger war. Well done China, your served the peace.

        • I tend to agree with you. The RSS Nazis are delusional . They think Hindus have become a world power because they are able to persecute minorities unfettered in India, with their mobs.

          They thought they could do that with neighbours also, so they started to threaten Pak., China, Nepal. Bhagwat said he could send his cadre in 3 days. After the Chinese beating and threat of more to come, the Hindu Nazis has gone quiet.

          • What is the percentage of minorities in pak !! yes. pak aren’t nazis !!
            ha ha. nazis would be green with envy

      • Yes he’s trying to defend China’s actions at the stake of his own country. His own brain must be condemning him.

          • rasgolla: What about Pakistan & their Islamic illusion which is wrong from top to bottom??!! How many minorities killed in India & how many in Pakistan/China?? You are comparing dogs & pigs; pigs are of course Pakistanis killing HINDU minorities!!

          • Rasgolla: I think you should start by criticsing the genocide perpetrated by Punjabi Muslims on Bengali Muslims in E.Pakistan.

            You should start by criticising the Hudood ordinances passed by your beloved eunuch Zia ul-Haq and the leap into the barbaric middle ages that they entailed in your pariah state called Pakistan.

            You should start by criticising the gradual eradication of the Hindu minorities in Pakistan.

            Meanwhile, your playboy President takes his begging bowl to his Saudi paymasters to shore up the economy of a doddering, faltering paradise for Muslims that your beloved Jinnah created for your pathetic ilk.

            GET LOST RASGOLLA.

    • A whole range of defeatist mind sets have been created by Congress and Leftists rule after 1947. Shekhar Gupta is one of those timid minds who loves to see India as a weak nation so that the leftist agenda of disintegrating India is achieved.

      • @ak.dev: Absolutely right!! Replace India with Hindu & you get a Hindu civilization-al genocide by these communists & Jihadis from the evil desert cults!!

  46. Wars are extension of politics. Or where diplomacy fails wars become inevitable. Wars have never left humanity. And 21st century is no exception. But yes, the new warfare may adapt to the new format like the kind we saw in ladakh last month where not a single bullet got fired and one proactive nuclear nation took an advantage over another nuclear armed nation. In today’s technology driven world, AI, and the web algorithms and cyberspace might decide the fate of the nations… we never know… reality is sometimes full of surprises, thrills and drama…and the drama and thrill button has already been pressed…..

  47. Conquest is quixotic, no doubt. Hopefully, reunification is not. The least we could do is band ourselves together(India, Pakistan, Bangladesh) like Europe for a start and proceed from there.
    It goes without saying that this reuniting has to be secular, based on trust and is almost as difficult as conquest. On the plus side, it’s a victory worth the effort.
    facebook.com/thegandhigroup

    • It is not. The reunification of India peacefully and under a government for all will happen. The divisions were made because of the divide and rule policies of the British and communal forces. Truth and unity shall triumph over lies and divisions.

    • Fully agreeing on this point of unification. India has to come forward, strengthen Saarc. India can easily win over Pak, bcz due to economic burden, Pakistan people are inclined to coordinate for progress. The more pressure , there will be more isolation of people. If India opts to normalize relations with Pakistan, Kashmir will be no dispute. There more tense relations are, the more abnormal Kashmir is. Simply reference is times, when relations were atleast normal situation in Kashmir was alone normal.

    • The hypothesis sounds pragmatic but Putin is the antitheses to your view with what kind of territory he annexed with Crimea.
      NUCLEAR DETERRENT ….. We have no first use policy and the question will then be asked is this worth it ?
      Complex and cannot be judged with such simplicity.

    • Ha!! Ha!! Islam killed almost all Hindu minorities in both Pakistan & Bangladesh!! Where was Gandhi??!! Hindus were killed in Pakistan/present day India/Bangladesh in 1947 too!! Where was Gandhi??!!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here