No one can deny that Foreign policy of Modi Government is its strong point. The focus has been change in ‘Chaal, Charitra, Chehra’.
Another interesting observation is that Congress led opposition, ably backed by Lutyen’s media is always trying to downplay, spin success as failure, ask for proof and try and prove all successes as disasters. This harms national interests and sadly Lutyens media headed by their prince Rahul Gandhi often resort to blatant lies and misinformation.
Doklam is a great success -with great implication in long term and short term.
History of Doklam and countering some Myths
Many Indians are unaware that China is not at India’s border and that Dokolam is not India’s Border but it is a tri junction of Bhutan, India and China. This is not an aggression against India.
On 8 Aug., 1949 a friendship treaty was signed between India and Bhutan under the stewardship of Nehru which mirrored the colonial arrangement whereby Bhutan would be ‘guided by the advice of the Government of India in regard to its external relations’ (Article 2). Moreover on August 28 Nehru made the following statement in Lok Sabha “India was responsible for the protection of the borders of Sikkim and Bhutan and any aggression against [them] would be considered aggression against India”.
Furthermore, India set up headquarters of IMTRAT – Indian Military Training Team at the strategic location in the Ha District of Bhutan, adjacent to the Chumbi valley of Tibet, at the tri junction of Bhutan, India and China.
The Doklam incident was a surprise to India, as the Chinese had been relatively calm in the eastern side of the border. In 2014 Chinese troops had crossed the border in the Chumar region. After Modi had some Hard Talks with Xi in Delhi in Sept 2014 ,Chinese troops pulled Back.
Again Dokolam is a victory of Indian Diplomacy. As is often said Foreign policy is a Weapon and Diplomacy the Tool to implement it. Indian Army, backed by its government, stared down China at Dokolam and forced the Chinese Army to Withdraw to its Area.
India is pursuing a Neighbourhood first policy. The sheer size of India makes its neighbours wary of an Indian Domination. The Dokolam incident has proven to its neighbours that India can stand up to Chinese aggression.
Foreign policy is based on reality. We cannot change reality but come up with means to counter it.
China is a superpower- 3.5 decades of Nehruvian policies, both economic and foreign, left India way behind. Today the economic power of China gives teeth to its foreign policy, especially in the neighborhood. The inward looking foreign policy, often shaped by domestic concerns and ‘Coalition Dharmas’ reduced India to being a non player in its own neighborhood with an emerging China filling the Vaccum. May be Rahul Gandhi should own up to Congress mistakes, as the present events are a result of the Past policies.
Some Hard Realities about China
Both China and India are Emerging Nation’s in the same neighbourhood, tensions are bound to be there, especially as China sees India as a competitor. China’s GDP is five times more than India.
Military power of China vs India
Ground troops China- 1.15 million, India -1.2 million. The slight edge of Indian Troops is offset by the critical terrain Advantages China enjoys on the Sino-Indo border.
Modern combat aircraft -China -653, India -349
Surface Combat vessels (ships) -China 79, India 28
So who is responsible for this disparity?
Rahul Gandhi’s Congress or Modi led Government which is trying to bridge the gaps? Instead of Mocking Rahul should introspect these failures of his Great Grandfather, Grandmother, Father and his remote controlled UPA decade. Reality is that China is an emerging superpower, it will flex its muscles in Its Neighbourhood. There is a ongoing border dispute in Arunachal Pradesh and the Bhutan tri-junction. Tibet is disputed too, as is the annexation of Xinxiang province. There will be pressure scenarios.
Modi Government is trying to offset OBOR by strengthing SAARC and other neighbourhood multilateral initiatives like BIMSTEC, and Multilateral global Initiatives like QUAD, Indo-Japan ties, outreach to ASEAN, Indo-Pacific ties, outreach to Central Asia and Africa and Look East policies.
Often, Media and Congress like to portray that Pakistan-China nexus is a recent phenomenon and attributable to Modi Government weak foreign policy. Nothing can be farthest from truth. China began supporting Pakistan after 1962. In 1963 Pakistan signed off Shaksgam Valley of POJK, situated in Gilgit Baltistan to China in a blatant move. Since then China has been actively helping Pakistan in its nuclear programme. CPEC started way back in UPA rule but the Media and Rahul Gandhi maintained a stoic Silence.
Modi has opened Chabhar Port in Iran as a route to Afghanistan, the MOU for Chabhar was signed way back in early 2000 But was in cold storage. So hopefully Rahul Gandhi, instead of mocking his own nation’s success at Doklam should instead read up about the massive failures of his government on foreign policy.
Picture Credit: YouTube