The false propaganda on Nehru handing over Kailash-Mansarovar to China
It was amusing to watch a YouTube video in which someone identifying as Harishchandra Burnwal can be heard alleging that Nehru’s misplaced policies led him to hand over Kailash Mansarovar to China
It was amusing to watch a YouTube video in which someone identifying himself as Harishchandra Burnwal can be heard alleging that Jawaharlal Nehru’s misplaced policies led him to hand over Kailash Mansarovar to China. The gentleman was selectively quoting from a speech delivered by Nehru in Parliament on August 14, 1962.
It is worth keeping in mind that the Kailash-Mansarovar, the mountain and the lake, was all along located in Tibet, which was an independent country, like Nepal and Bhutan, in 1947 when India became independent. Sikkim too was an independent kingdom at the time. Tibet had worked as a buffer between British India and China. While China deemed Tibet to be part of its territory, British India recognised Tibet as independent.
Pandit Nehru established diplomatic relations with Tibet. When the Korean war broke out between China and Korea, Pandit Nehru, despite the presence of the two super powers like the US and the then USSR, presented India as a mediator and successfully brought about a peaceful resolution to the conflict. It was the triumph of diplomacy.
In 1950 China attacked Tibet and occupied Lhasa. Nehru’s India strongly condemned Chinese action, refused to recognise the Chinese claim over Tibet. In fact pandit Nehru was instrumental in granting asylum to the Dalai Lama and helped establish the Tibetan Government in exile at Dharamshala.
This was akin to challenging China’s sovereignty over Tibet. Once China occupied Tibet, Kailash Mansarovar became a part of China, having been a part of Tibet. Where is then the question of India or Nehru handing over Kailash Mansarovar to China? While Burnwal is citing Nehru’s speech of 1962 to claim that India handed over Kailash-Mansarovar to China, they were already a part of China since 1950.
RSS supporters and Modi Bhakts also ask why Nehru did not wage a war against China. The simple answer is that had Nehru accepted Chinese occupation of Tibet and China’s demands on Indian territory, there would have been no war with China in 1962.
Before 1962 Pandit Ji would repeatedly quote Mao-Ze-Dong saying that he would not mind sacrificing 10 million Chinese in war. Pandit Nehru would say that for him life of every Indian is sacred. How does one fight an enemy which does not mind losing a million of its citizens in war?
But when China attacked India, Pandit nehru’s instruction was to fight. Unlike the present government, he did not ask the media to hide the news of Chinese occupation of Indian territory. Readers would be aware of media reports that China has been building bridges and settlements on Indian territory. Sattelite pictures are in the public domain to prove this. But this government is in denial and refuses to acknowledge the bare facts or initiate steps to drive China out of Indian territory.
In sharp contrast, Pandit Nehru got a resolution passed in Parliament that India would take back Indian territory from China. And indeed India did take back territory from China in 1967, when Indira Gandhi was the Prime Minister, after pushing back Chinese troops from Nathu La. As many as 88 Indian soldiers laid down their lives but not before killing more than 350 Chinese soldiers.
It is also worth noting that Indira Gandhi ensured the merger of Sikkim with India in 1975 to ensure a buffer to the Chinese presence in Tibet.
People like Burnwal, who feel that that Nehru made a mistake by not annexing Tibet, should appeal to Narendra Modi to declare war on China and make Kailash-Mansarovar a part of India. They could also request the present PM to at least free those areas occupied by China in 2020 and avenge the deaths of the 20 Indian soldiers who were killed in Galwan Valley.
(The writer is author of the book “ Nehru: Mithak Aur Satya” in Hindi)