one mountain and two tigers

….India China and the High Himalayas


Entrance to great wALL OF CHINA

I recently I came across a most informative compilation of 14 essays titled One Mountain Two Tigers put together by Shakti Sinha a bureaucrat turned political analyst cum author presently holding charge of Honorary Director  Atal Bihari Institute of  Policy Research and International Studies. Each essay penned by experts on Indo China Relations covering genesis of  Indo China conflict has come up as impromptu response to recent flare up on India China border.The individual essays are capsulation of information covering a very wide canvas on the subject .

The book recalls that while at one juncture the two asian lions appeared to have reconciled to shake hands and focus on peace and economic cooperation leaving the border issues for future generations, the recent border incidents have brought to the forefront the urgency of finding a lasting solutions for settling border issues. It is now an agreed fact that various lines drawn across maps which are relied for defining the border have various deficiencies depending on  constraints thrown by such socio economic inter dependance of the two economic giants and issue has been further complicated by the geographically treacherous terrain which constitutes the border..  

The region studded with rich cultural legacy and impressive record of human developments is however too large to remain in a state of rest or have everlasting peace. Political changes within China and rest of world including United States and periodic tremors arising out of smoking conflict zones such as Gilgit ,Tibet, Baltistan have by a chain of events kept the region in state of ferment and the dormant volcano starts emitting lava and smoke periodically.The book looks for background for such conflict and to some extent seeks answers to contain such developments within manageable limits.

The Essays in the Compilation recall how historical and religious characteristics  of the two civilisations have intertwined the fate of the two giants. The compilation has been prompted by recent disturbances on Indo China Border but an author has also recalled that India and China have remained peaceful neighbours for more than 5000 years. The countrIes have a common platform where they share literature and rituals, languages and scripts to so much extent that certain modern Chinese Scholars have at one stage in recent past even analysed “Indianisation” of China in their writings. Mount Kailash and Mansarovar lake located well inside Chinese territory continue to attract generations of Indians for pilgrimage purposes.

The compilation also vividly brings out the fact of inter dependence of Trade and Commerce related activities between the two countries as well as  kingdom of Kashmir.

The compilation covers everything which an ordinary person would like to know about Indo China conflicts.I felt happy that I had with my spouse already extensively toured China three years back, because the Hind Chini Bhai Bhai spirit may remain bottled up for sometime now.

The concluding essay titled “China :Anxiety and Aggression” by Shakti Sinha is itself a masterpiece.It recalls the amazing carelessness shown by China in facilitating spread of Corona Virus to various parts of the world followed up by flaring disputes with multiple countries on issues which had no immediate provocation.China has also initiated verbal disputes with several countries using unparliamentary words which had so far been used for a few  chosen enemies like Dalai Lama.The brazen contempt has been linked to meteoric rise of Chinese economy but present day realisation that the growth trajectory is unlikely to continue.On Social development front environmental issues and China’s one child policy have thrown up challenges. According to author the wide range of conflicts with multiplicity of countries makes Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and it’s General Secretary insecure and uncomfortable. Future holds the key to resurgence or decline of China as economic super powers.

The incidents which have occasionally propped up are in-fact not isolated occurrences. Developments on Indo China border including Socio political or Economic Developments and trade related movements are results of a sequence of events prompted by a critical balance of conflicting economic and political forces between asian nation and superpowers including United States of America and Soviet Union.The solutions may be decades away.

Memories of Arunachal Pradesh and Commemoration of War Heroes

After the recent skirmishes on China border I was compelled to search through my collection of Arunachal Pradesh photographs and located some iconic memories of the place for the places connected with Indo China War in 1962.

State of Arunachal Pradesh touches the International Border with China. During my posting at Arunachal Pradesh in (2010-12) I was looking after Social Welfare and Women & Child Development Departments,and for some time Public Works Departments .

At least two times in a month I would go out along with personal staff for trips stretching to all corners of the State .Each trip could be of 3-5 days duration.

Travelling to distant locations for inspections of Schools, Anganwadis, Dispensaries and construction of roads was a regular activity.

Travel by road is the most preferred mode of travel. It is so because the Chopper services were limited to select destinations.The Road journey itself was a bonus as it offered opportunities for collecting numerous pictures of the most beautiful mountains and serpentine flow of rivers. falling enroute.

There is a protocol for travelling by road. The District Magistrates of the District through which travel is to take place had to be informed in writing in advance. This is because of the fact that breakdown in the roads due to avalanche and falling of large stones is not infrequent. Persons caught on road during such natural calamities got trapped for hours and had to be evacuated with huge efforts.

One most endearing feature of the State is that the local people, the as well as the Govt. staff are very warm hearted and helpful as well as great hosts.

Subordinate staff posted in various districts has very large percentage of female employees who share the responsibilities along with their Male counterparts.They leave no stone unturned to assist the visiting officials.

Arunachal has a matriarchal society and females are very bold as well as hardworking.The are usually well dressed and smartly turned out.Being proud of their State and it’s traditions of valour they sometimes very sportingly insist for photographs.

One of the visits to Tawang was exclusively reserved for visiting the places connected with 1962 war.

The State has witnessed some important battles between Chinese Army and the Indian Army during the 62 WAr.The Army has commemorated the sacrifices of it’s bravehearts in style at War Memorial at Tawang.

Details of their courage displayed by Indian Army are showcased in great style and the stories are inscribed on Copper plates.

The Museum was opened in 1998-99.

It was late in evening and the sun was setting as the flag was unfurled. As a lone bugler sounded the last post everyone got emotional.

AS we started to turn around and leave the sky was covered in all hues of red as if reminding of the patriotic song.

जो शहीद हुए हैं उनकी जरा याद करो कुर्बानी