Saturday, October 20, 2012

50 years since India declares War on China - Himalayan Adventure by Suniti Kumar Ghosh

Democracy and Class Struggle publishes this study by Suniti Kumar Ghosh on the 50th Anniversary of the 1962 Indo - China War , it resonates with many contemporary problems and shows the progressive character of Chinese Foreign Policy under Mao Zedong.
A college teacher for a number of years, Suniti Kumar Ghosh has been associated with the Communist movement since the Telengana days of 1946-47. He was expelled from East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) in 1949. He was a member of the All India Co-ordination Committee of Communist Revolutionaries (AICCCR), formed after the Naxalbari uprising in 1967, and was a founder-member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Lemnist).

‘India declares war on China’

While leaving for Sri Lanka on 12 October 1962, the prime minister of India declared that he had given orders to the army to throw the Chinese out from the India-China border area on the north-east. Next day the New York Herald Tribune carried an editorial entitled “India declares war on China”.[1]

This declaration of war against China was the culmination of a policy that Nehru and his associates had been pursuing since as early as April 1947 when India was still a British colony. On 25 April, the external affairs department of the government of India, of which Nehru was in charge as a member of the viceroy’s ‘interim government’, informed the British secretary of state for India that “Government of India now wish to be represented in Tibet ... and should be grateful to know whether His Majesty’s Government desire to retain separate Mission there in future. If they do not, it would seem feasible to arrange transition from ‘British Mission’ to ‘Indian Mission’ without publicity and without drawing too much attention to change, to avoid if possible any constitutional issue being raised by China.”[2] At the time a civil war was going on in China. Nehru and his associates sought to resort to surreptitious methods to fulfil their expansionist aims.

On 15 August 1947, the day Britain’s direct rule of India ended, the British mission in Lhasa (Tibet’s capital) formally became the Indian mission. The last British representative in Lhasa, H.E. Richardson, became the first Indian representative there. Richardson wrote: “The transition was almost imperceptible: the existing staff was retained in its entirety and the only obvious change was the change in the flag.”[3]

The Indian rulers’ expansionist policy

When World War II was drawing to an end, India’s ruling classes dreamed of becoming a zonal power in Asia — from the east coast of Africa to the Pacific — under the umbrella of the Anglo-American powers. The end of the war saw in Asia the defeat of Japan, the decline in the power and prestige of the old colonial powers like France and the Netherlands, and the prospect of a bitter civil war in China. This whetted the appetite of the Indian big bourgeoisie. To be brief, we would quote only from a few of Nehru’s speeches and statements. In January 1946, he declared that “India is likely to dominate politically and economically the Indian Ocean region.”[4] Addressing army officers in October 1946, he said:

“India is today [when India was still under British rule] among the four great powers of the world, other three being America, Russia and China. But in point of resources India has a greater potential than China.”[5]

In 1945 Nehru wrote:

“The Pacific is likely to take the place of the Atlantic in the future as a nerve centre of the world Though not directly a Pacific state, India will inevitably exercise an important influence there. India will also develop as the centre of economic and political activity in the Indian Ocean area, in south-east Asia and right up to the Middle East.... For the small national state is doomed. It may survive as a cultural, autonomous area but not as an independent political unit.”[6]

It became the theme of his many speeches and statements in 1945 and after that India was “bound to emerge as one of the greatest powers of the world.”[7]

After Britain’s direct rule of India ended, the Indian rulers directed their attention to India’s northern neighbours: the Himalayan kingdoms of Kashmir, Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim and Tibet. Even before the end of direct colonial rule the Nehrus wanted to annex Kashmir. Jammu and Kashmir (J and K) was then a native state under British paramountcy. (On the transfer of power in ‘British India’ J and K was free to accede to India or not.) On 14 June 1947, V.K. Krishna Menon, Nehru’s confidant,.made a fervent appeal to viceroy Mountbatten to ensure the state’s accession to India. On 17 June, on the eve of Mountbatten’s visit to J and K, Nehru himself wrote a long note to the viceroy pleading for Kashmir’s joining India.[8] When the maharaja of J and K acceded to India in October 1947, the instrument of accession had a proviso that the accession would be final only after law and order was restored and the people of J and K freely decided in favour of it.[9] On behalf of the Indian government Nehru gave repeated pledges to the people of J and K and to the United Nations Organization that this issue of accession would be decided finally “according to the universally accepted norm of plebiscite or referendum”.[10] But Nehru indulged in double-talk[11] of which he was a consummate master. The Indian ruling classes would not allow the people of J and K to decide their own fate through a fair plebiscite. Today their political managers are more brazen-faced than before and claim that J and K is an integral part of India. So J and K lies tom into two parts — about one third under the occupation of Pakistan and the rest under the virtual military occupation of India — and ravaged by hostile forces.

On 7 November 1950 Patel, India’s home minister, wrote to India’s prime minister, Nehru: “The undefined state of the frontier [in the north and northeast] and the existence on our side of a population with its affinities to Tibetans or Chinese have all the elements of potential trouble between China and ourselves. Our northern or north-eastern approaches consist of Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim, the Darjeeling and tribal areas in Assam.... The people inhabiting these portions have no established loyalty or devotion to India.” He suggested that “The political and administrative steps which we should take to strengthen our northern and north-eastern frontiers” were to “include the whole of the border, i.e., Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim, Darjeeling and the tribal territory in Assam.”[12]

We would quote here from Neville Maxwell’s India’s China War:

“In the case of Sikkim, India in 1949 seized the opportunity of a local uprising against the ruler to send in troops and bring the state into closer dependence as a protectorate than it had formally been under the British [and in 1974 Nehru’s worthy daughter and then India’s prime minister Indira Gandhi marched Indian troops into Sikkim and annexed it into India]; in the same year [1949] India signed a treaty with Bhutan, in which she took over Britain’s right to guide Bhutan in foreign affairs. New Delhi’s influence in Nepal continued to be paramount, and was increased in 1950 when the Indian Government helped the King of Nepal to break the century-old rule of the Rana clan. The new Government thus took over and consolidated the ‘chain of protectorates’, as Curzon had described the Himalayan states.”[13]

Nehru considered Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) to be “really part of India” and wanted her to be included within an Indian federation. Nepal, too, according to Nehru, was “certainly a part of India” and, as Chester Bowles, Nehru’s friend and US ambassador to India for two terms, said: “So India has done on a small scale in Nepal what we have done on a far broader scale on two continents.”[14]

India was also interested in Tibet, which was a part of China. A civil war was, however, raging in that vast country. When World War II had ended with the defeat of Japan, the US imperialists asked Japan not to surrender to the Chinese Communists in Manchuria, the north-east provinces of China; the US rulers had been supporting Chiang Kai-shek’s rotten regime. They transported 480,000 of Chiang’s troops from the south to Manchuria and north China. They trained and equipped 40 Kuomintang divisions, numbering more than 700,000 men — twice the number that they had equipped during the world war. “By 1947 the total value of war material and other aid given by the United States Government to the Kuomintang regime amounted to $4,000,000,000, a sum considerably in excess of American financial assistance to China throughout the period of war with Japan.[15] Actually the US aid to Chiang was much greater than estimated above. David Horowitz wrote: “with its billions in aid, with its armies actually on the mainland amounting to 100,000 men, its technical advisors and missionaries, the United States Government couldn’t ‘save’ China.”[16] The US imperialists’ abundant financial and military aid could not save their lackey, Chiang Kai-shek, who had to flee from the Chinese mainland in 1949.

The US imperialists were also engaged in intrigues in China’s far-flung provinces of Sinkiang and Tibet. From 1947, if not from earlier days, they were active in those provinces — not without the help of the Nehru government. US vice-consul in Sinkiang was engaged in espionage and sabotage and in directing attacks against the revolutionary movement in that province. When the Sinkiang troops rose against the Kuomintang he tried to escape to India through Tibet and was shot by Tibetan border guards. The US consul in Sinkiang fled with his men to India and was received in Sikkim by an official of the US embassy in New Delhi.[17] To quote Natarajan, “These reports indicate that the unusual American activities in Sinkiang could not have been possible without the acquiescence of the Indian Government.”[18]

Taking advantage of the bitter civil war, the Tibetan government of serf-owners established contacts with the US government as early as 1946.[19] An experienced US intelligence agent, Nicol Smith, explored Kashmir and western Tibet for military bases in 1947.[20] The pretension of the government of the Tibetan serf-owners to independence was encouraged by the US imperialists. An American, Lowell Thomas, visited Tibet in 1949 and delivered a letter from president Truman to the Dalai Lama. Returning from Tibet, Thomas declared in Calcutta on 10 October 1949 that “the Tibetan authorities wanted outside help to hold back the progress of Communism and that India would have a major role to play in lending such help. A week later, he suggested to the press in New York that the United States might find a way to supply modern arms to Tibet and to give advice on guerrilla warfare. He disclosed that he carried scrolls and oral messages from the Tibetan rulers to President Truman and Secretary of State Acheson.”[21]

On 25 October 1949 the New York Times reported that the US state department was considering recognition of Tibet as an independent country. It stated: “The question raises delicate points in diplomacy as the United States has long regarded the remote mountainous land as a part of China ... the Tibetan Government ... has made requests, so far unofficial, for military assistance in holding up Communist forces ... State Department officials, reluctant to discuss the subject in detail, conceded that Tibet was in a most strategic position.” The report also said that consideration was being given to the question of providing military help to Tibet (which could be sent only through India) in case the US government recognized Tibet as an independent state.[22]

Answering questions from a US news agency in November 1949, the regent in Tibet declared Tibet’s independence and appealed for help from all nations.[23]

As we have noted, the Nehrus also had a keen interest in Tibet. On 27 July 1949 Reuters reported that Pandit Nehru was planning a visit to Lhasa in the near future.[24] On 29 July the London Times reported from Delhi: “Neutral observers are cautiously disposed to interpret recent signs of closer liaison between the Government of India and the Dalai Lama’s Government in Tibet as a gratifying indication that an important new bulwark against spread of Communism westward is being created.”[25]

H.S. Dayal. India’s.political officer in Sikkim, left in August 1949 on a special mission to Lhasa.[26] An American news agency reported from London on 10 January 1950 that “accord has been reached between India, the United Kingdom and the United States on measures aimed at preserving Tibetan autonomy.” That such an accord had been reached was denied by a spokesman of the external affairs ministry in New Delhi days later but it was not denied that consultations were held.[27]

A few days later the Lhasa government sent a “goodwill mission” to visit India, the United States and other countries, but not the People’s Republic of China. To quote Natarajan, “The Lhasa aristocracy was actively canvassing for foreign help to fight China. The Anglo-American powers were anxious to keep Tibet separated from China, and Indian policy was aiding their effort.”[28]

The government of the People’s Republic of China sought a peaceful solution to the Tibetan problem and invited the Tibetan authorities on 21 January 1950 to send representatives to Peking to “negotiate a peaceful solution of the question”. While, on 30 January 1950, it demanded the withdrawal of the “goodwill mission” sent to foreign countries, it offered “appropriate regional autonomy.”[29]

The attitude of the Tibetan authorities representing serf-owners was expectedly hostile. The Dalai Lama was reported to have appealed to neighbouring countries for help in fighting “possible aggression”. But soon it dawned on them that discretion was the better part of valour. They agreed to send a negotiating team which was supposed to go to Peking via India and Hong Kong. It came to India but never went to Peking on one plea or another.[30] In the meantime, the Dalai Lama’s brother, Gyalo Thondup, came to Calcutta and went in May to Taipeh where he saw Chiang Kai-shek and then to Tokyo and other places.[31] On 20 August the New York Times reported: “The Tibetans have been making more than their normal purchases of arms from India.... India has definitely taken up the Dalai Lama’s battle on the diplomatic front.”[32] At a press conference on 24 August Pandit Nehru stated that the Indian ambassadors in Washington, London, Moscow and Peking frequently exchanged their views on Tibet.[33]

The Tibetan negotiating mission did not contact even Chinese envoys in India until 6 September. They were advised by the Chinese charge d’affaires in Calcutta and, later, by the Chinese ambassador to go to Peking without delay. But the advice was ignored.

When all efforts failed to arrive at a peaceful settlement, Peking announced that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army would move into Tibet. The announcement was greeted by the Nehru government with an angry protest against any military action against Tibet and a warning that this would damage the prospect of the People’s Republic of China’s acquisition of United Nations membership. When Peking again announced that the People’s Liberation Army had been ordered to move into Tibet. India sent an angrier protest note deploring Chinese ‘invasion’ and use of force against Tibet.[34] (The Nehru government forgot that the question of ‘invasion’ did not arise, for Tibet was recognized as a part of China; and that it itself had already used force to decide India’s relationship with Junagadh and Hyderabad — Junagadh which had acceded to Pakistan and Hyderabad which was then constitutionally outside India.)

The Chinese reply was sharply worded. It pointed out that Tibet was a part of China and that the People’s Liberation Army must enter Tibet to liberate the Tibetan people and defend China’s frontiers. While expressing the desire to continue peacefully to negotiate with the Tibetan government. it warned that no foreign interference would be tolerated. It added that those who would further obstruct China’s membership of the U.N.O. on the pretext of China’s exercise of her sovereign rights in Tibet would only demonstrate their hostility towards China and that the two problems were unrelated.[35]

Tibet asked India for help (its nature was not disclosed).[36] Any military intervention in Tibet was beyond India’s capacity, though, according to one writer, US president Truman had offered transport aircraft to help India to fight the People’s Liberation Army and open a second front against China when the war in Korea was going on.[37] When other appeals failed, the Tibetan authorities made a direct appeal to the United Nations on 7 November 1950. Though the appeal was sponsored there, it was dropped within a short time.[38] The Sino-Tibetan agreement guaranteeing the autonomy of Tibet within the Chinese People’s Republic was signed on 27 May 1951.[39]

Interestingly, in a letter of 7 November 1950 to Nehru, Sardar Patel lamented: “It is impossible to imagine any sensible person believing in the so-called threat to China from Anglo-American machinations in Tibet. Therefore, if the Chinese put faith in this, they must have distrusted us so completely as to have taken us as tools or stooges of Anglo-American diplomacy or strategy [indeed, the most unkindest cut of all].... Their last telegram to us is an act of gross discourtesy not only in the summary way it disposes of our protest against the entry of Chinese forces into Tibet but also in the wild insinuation that our attitude is determined by foreign influence.” It was in this letter that he proposed that “political and administrative steps” should be taken by India “to strengthen our northern and north-eastern frontiers” which “would include the whole of the border, i.e., Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim, Darjeeling and the tribal territory in Assam.”[40]

In his lengthy note on China and Tibet, dated 18 November 1950, Nehru wrote: “We cannot save Tibet, as we should have liked to do, and our very attempts to save it might well bring greater trouble to it.... It may be possible, however, that we might be able to help Tibet to retain a large measure of her autonomy. That would be good for Tibet and good for India. As far as I can see, this can only be done on the diplomatic level and by avoidance of making the present tension between India and China worse.”[41] (When the Indian constitution was framed in the late forties under the guidance of the Nehrus, the constituent states of what is called the Union of India were virtually denied any autonomy).[42] It will be seen that Nehru used not only diplomacy but also other ways to fulfil his aim — the aim of saving Tibet for India.

Cartographic aggression

The border between India and Tibet had remained undefined and undemarcated when the direct rule of India by the British ended in 1947. Vast areas in the north-east, mountainous and sparsely populated by tribes, and in the north-west, mountainous, icy and desolate, were never under the administration of India. Parts of the areas in the north-east were under the Tibetan administration and the people there had close affinities with the Tibetans. In April 1947, during the last days of the British raj, the external affairs department of the government of India under Jawaharlal Nehru expressed the resolve to “stand by the McMahon Line” in the north-east though a message from it acknowledged that the Simla Convention of 1914, when the line defining India’s north-eastern boundary with Tibet was drawn on a map by a high British official, McMahon, had been an “abortive one”.[43] After some time Nehru started claiming that the boundary between India and Tibet had been demarcated and fixed and was beyond dispute. Speaking in parliament on 20 November 1950, Nehru asserted:

“The frontier from Bhutan eastwards has been clearly defined by the McMahon line which was fixed by the Simla Convention of 1914.... Our maps show that the McMahon line is our boundary and that is our boundary — map or no map.”[44]

The Simla Convention, which had been admitted by them as “abortive” was no longer so to the Nehrus. They wanted to fix the boundary line unilaterally. In the eastern sector the McMahon line was never ratified by the parties concerned including the British Indian government, and the Chinese had objected to it from the very beginning. Even viceroy Lord Hardinge refused to accept it.[45] As Neville Maxwell points out, “The first edition of Jawarharlal Nehru’s Discovery of India, published in 1946, had a map showing the boundary thus,” that is, showing India’s north-eastern boundary at the foot of the hills, with NEFA (or present-day Arunachal Pradesh) as outside India.”[46] According to Kuldip Nayar, some Soviet maps showed the entire North-East Frontier Agency and Aksai Chin as part of China.[46a]

The study of the Survey of India maps, writes Karunakar Gupta,

“revealed to me that all political maps of India before 1954 showed the Northern Boundary extending from Kashmir to Nepal as ‘Undefined’, while the North-eastern frontier was shown as ‘Undemarcated’. Since 1954, the Survey of India maps were changed. The words ‘Boundary Undefined’ which had been inscribed along the Western and Middle sectors of the frontier at three places were erased. Similarly, the words ‘Boundary Undemarcated’ were deleted from over the North-east frontier. This alteration of maps was done surreptitiously without consultation or agreement with China.

“A study of the Survey of India maps in circulation in the thirties showed that in the Western sector, India’s Northern frontier was delineated approximately along the Karakoram range which forms the watershed in this region. But in 1945, on the initiative of Sir Olaf Caroe, the then Foreign Secretary, the Survey of India maps were unilaterally changed to register an equivocal claim to the effect that from the east of the Karakoram Pass this boundary extended in the Northeast up to the Kuenlan range. This was indicated by a colour-wash with words ‘Boundary Undefined’ inscribed on it.

A study of the Survey of India maps published in the early thirties further revealed that in the eastern sector, the boundary ran along the foot-hills of the Himalayas and this more or less coincided with the boundary shown in Chinese official maps. Since 1938, however, the Survey of India maps were surreptitiously altered, showing the McMahon Line, with the word ‘Undemarcated’ imprinted on it.”[47]

“The great cartographic forgery,” as Sourin Roy, a former deputy director, National Archives of India, pointed out, was initiated by Olaf Caroe and was completed under Nehru in 1954.[48]

In his two-volume work The McMahon Line (published in 1966), Alastair Lamb commented:

“Why Mr Nehru, while declaring himself committed to a policy of friendship, of peaceful co-existence, with Communist China, should have adhered with such tenacity to those symbols, at least in Chinese eyes, of British Imperialism, the Simla Convention and the McMahon Line notes, is one of the mysteries of the twentieth century.”[49]

Arnold Toynbee also observed:

“It is queer that lines drawn by British officials should have been consecrated as precious national assets of the British Indian Empire’s non-British successor states.... The present consecration of these British-made lines as heirlooms in the successor states’ national heritages is an unexpected and unfortunate turn of History’s wheel.”[50]

‘The forward policy’

India under the Nehrus was following a ‘forward policy’ from 1947. In his book The Guilty Men of 1962 D.R.Mankekar has cited a memorandum issued by Nehru to the external affairs ministry, the defence ministry and the home ministry in July 1954, only a few weeks after Chinese premier Chou En-lai’s visit to India in June 1954 and the signing of a joint declaration upholding the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence as a sequel to the Sino-Indian Agreement on Tibetan Trade and Pilgrimage on 29 April 1954. In the above memorandum, to quote Mankekar, “Nehru described the Agreement as a new starting-point of our relations with China and Tibet, and affirmed that both as flowing from our policy and as a consequence of our Agreement with China, the northern frontier [surreptitiously and unilaterally defined by the Nehrus in that very year] should be considered a firm and definite one, which was not open to discussion with anybody. A system of checkpoints should be spread along the entire frontier. More especially, we should have checkpoints in such places as might be considered disputed areas.”[51]

T.N. Kaul, a former foreign secretary of India, who also served as ambassador to the U.S.A., U.S.S.R., etc, wrote:

“In fact, on a note submitted by me to him immediately after signing of the Panchasheel Treaty [in 1954], Nehru had ordered that we should extend our administration and defence and checkposts right upto our claim line.... In NEFA [now Arunachal Pradesh], which was then under the administrative control of the ministry of external affairs, we did extend our administration almost to the McMahon Line... [52]

Two things may be noted. First, Nehru spoke of “our claim line” — not a demarcated and fixed border. Second, the administration of what they called NEFA (North-East Frontier Agency) was placed under the ministry of external affairs, which was unusual if it was a part of India.

Pursuing a ‘forward policy’, the Nehru government went on setting up posts — both in the north-east and in the north-west — “in such places”, to quote Nehru, “as might be considered disputed areas” against the advice of Indian army commanders and despite repeated warnings from China.[53]

V.K. Krishna Menon, Nehru’s close friend and India’s Defence Minister, who was forced to resign after the Himalayan debacle, told Kuldip Nayar that “nobody in India appreciated the fact that ‘I encroached upon 4000 sqare miles of territory belonging to China’.”[53a]

What Frank Moraes, who was sent by the Nehru government as a member of the first cultural delegation (of which Nehru’s sister Mrs Pandit was the leader) to post-liberation China in 1952, wrote, is significant. While briefing the members of the delegation, Nehru said:

Never forget that the basic challenge in South-East Asia is between India and China. That challenge runs along the spine of Asia.”

Moraes commented: “In the light of Nehru’s public attitude of exuberant friendliness for Communist China at that time, the private caveat he uttered for our benefit is revealing.”[54]

Collusion between India, the USA, etc. to intervene in Tibet

It is still more revealing that in the heyday of non-alignment and panchsheel (the five principles of peaceful co-existence), the Nehrus were engaged in a dirty intrigue to stir up revolt of the serf-owners in Tibet in collusion with foreign powers, especially the USA and its CIA (Central Intelligence Agency). George Patterson, who, disguised as a correspondent of London’s Daily Telegraph, was engaged in anti-China espionage from his base in Kalimpong in the district of Darjeeling, wrote:

“In the autumn of 1954 I was asked by an Indian Government official to advise on what might be done to redeem India’s prestige in some way. The matter would have to be carefully handled, for with the international acclaim following the signing of the Sino-Indian Trade Pact and the subsequent success of the ‘Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence’ at Bandung, India must not be caught out in any subversive action concerning the affairs of Tibet.... The only possibility of doing anything lay with Rapga Pangdatsang [a Khamba chief, then in Kham in Eastern Tibet; he was earlier expelled from India]. If the Indians would rescind their expulsion order, I said, I was certain that Rapga would leave Kham, come to India and work for Tibetan independence from China, bringing in Topgyay, his brother, and other leaders in Amdo, with their followers.

After consultation with New Delhi my plan was adopted. I sent a note to Rapga, in a bottle of medicine which I knew he would open and use, in-forming him that if he wanted to come to India now the way was open. In March 1955, Rapga arrived in India, his appearance in Kalimpong renewed speculation there, as no one knew that I sent for him....

“When word of the new situation in Tibet reached the U.S. authorities they were immediately interested. After preliminary discussions with officials in India an official from Washington, in the guise of a tourist, was flown to India for secret personal talk with Rapga. I acted as interpreter and we met on several occasions for discussions over a period of four days.”

The US authorities undertook to provide training to the Khambas and they were trained for the task ahead.[55]

Dilip Hiro writes:

“The formal signing of the agreement [with China on Tibet], in 1954, did not lead Nehru to discontinue the policy of keeping ‘in touch’ with, and helping in every possible way, Gyalo Thendup, the anti-communist brother of the Dalai Lama, [as noted before, he had gone via Calcutta to Taipeh and seen Chiang Kai-shek] . . . and other Tibetan refugees, then living in and around Kalimpong on the Indo-Sikkimese border, that his Central Intelligence Bureau had initiated in 1953. ‘Regarding the spirit of resistance in Tibet, the Prime Minister was of the view (after the 1954 agreement with China) that even if these refugees helped their brethren inside Tibet, the government of India would not take any notice and, unless they compromised themselves too openly, no Chinese protest would be entertained,’ wrote B.N. Malik, then director of the Central Intelligence Bureau in his memoirs.

By 1956, knowingly or unknowingly secret agents of America and Taiwan, operating mainly from Kalimpong, were engaged in the same activity as their counterparts from India and Russia — recruiting and arming Tibetan emigrés to organize a separatist rebellion in Tibet against the Peking administration, with the Khamba tribes in eastern Tibet providing the initial thrust. They succeeded in this. The rebellion which began modestly in the east in 1956-57, spread to the west; in the fighting that broke out in Lhasa, the capital in early 1959, the Dalai Lama sided with the rebels.”[56]

Hiro says that India’s Central Intelligence Bureau,which had earlier been involved in fomenting rebellion in Tibet,” was responsible in 1959 “for both border security and foreign intelligence”, and Neville Maxwell wrote in the London Times of 24 August 1972 that B.N.Malik was a “frequent visitor” to the United States, and “the obvious contact point for the CIA influence”.[57]

Neville Maxwell stated:

“Peking had for years been complaining that Kalimpong (the terminus of the trade route to India through the Chumbi Valley) was being used as a base to instigate resistance in Tibet — and with good reason. As early as 1953 Nehru had admitted that Kalimpong was ‘a nest of spies’: there were spies of every country there, he said, ‘and sometimes I begin to doubt if the greater part of the population of Kalimpong does not consist of foreign spies’. Chou En-lai brought up this complaint in his talks with Nehru in 1956, saying that Kalimpong was being used by American and other agents to undermine Chinese influence in Tibet. At the beginning of 1958 Peking complained again, Chou bringing up the subject in a discussion with the Indian Ambassador, and the Chinese Government following up in a diplomatic note with a detailed and circumstantial description of the ‘stepped-up’ activities of emigrés and American and Kuomintang agents in Kalimpong. At the beginning of August, however, ‘every Tibetan official of note in India, including the Dalai Lama’s brother and: their cabinet ministers, together with guerrilla leaders as delegates from the fighting rebels, met in Kalimpong to draw up a final appeal to India and the United Nations.’[58] Peking complained again. In March 1959 the Chinese declared that the rebellion which had just broken out in Lhasa had been engineered from the ‘commanding centre’ in Kalimpong.

“It is evident that support and direction for the Tibetan rebels came through Kalimpong, and that the Govenment of India connived at this. There is some evidence that the Indian role was more active.”[59]

The Dalai Lama and his government, who sided with the rebels, had to flee Lhasa. Indian troops crossed over into Tibet to escort the Dalai Lama and other serf-owners into India across the McMahon line. They came with their men and mules heavily laden with gold.

While granting ‘political asylum’ to the Dalai Lama, the Indian government assured Peking that he would not be allowed to carry on political activities from the soil of India. As usual, this assurance proved to be a false one.[60] As Maxwell writes, “From immediately his arrival in India, however, the Dalai Lama began to make statements giving his side of events in Tibet, and attacking China; these statements were initially released through the publicity media of the Indian government, and later distributed by Indian missions abroad.” Naturally, the Chinese did not regard it as a very friendly act.[61] According to Maxwell , the Chinese suspicion that the Dalai Lama’s first statement issued from India was drawn up by Indian officials was quite justified.[62]

Recently, The Chicago Tribune carried a front-page report which said that the CIA collaborated with India and Nepal in training Tibetan exiles to fight Chinese troops. It stated that between the late 1950’s and mid-1960’s the US government flew hundreds of Tibetan exiles to far-flung bases in Okinawa, Guam and Colorado. There they were trained as guerrillas to wage war against the Chinese. The Tibetans, many of whom were recruited from the Khamba tribe, were parachuted back into Tibet at night with sub-machine guns. According to the report, Darjeeling was chosen as the headquarters of the rebels. Nawang Gayltsen, who was among the first Tibetans trained by the CIA, disclosed that he had helped monitor struggling guerrilla cells in Tibet from a joint CIA-Indian command centre in New Delhi.[63]

A report in the Economic Times states that India has one other special forces unit, the Special Frontier Force (SFF), which is under the control of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), though it is manned and officered by the army. This force is the successor of the ‘Establishment 22’ or 22 Force set up by the CIA in the 1950s comprising Khamba Tibetans for sabotage operations in Tibet. After 1962, the force was disbanded and then reconstituted as the SFF.[63a]

Confident in the belief that the Chinese would not react, the India government continued to pursue the ‘forward policy’ both in the eastern and in the western sector. To quote Maxwell, “that the Chinese would not interfere with Indian posts once they were established had been the rock of faith upon which the forward policy was built...” China’s diplomatic notes warning that she “would react and most forcefully” were ignored by Nehru and his colleagues.[64] “The forward policy”, as Maxwell said, “did not appear to them — as it did to the soldiers — as a military challenge to a far stronger power, but as the necessary physical extension of a subtle diplomatic game. By peaceful, even non-violent methods, seeding the disputed territory with Indian flag posts and criss-crossing it with patrols, Aksai Chin was to be won back for India, probably without firing a shot except in random skirmishes.”[65] Indian military posts were established even behind Chinese posts. In the east the Indian troops set up their posts not only upto the McMahon line but even beyond it. The first clash with the Chinese border guards occurred on 25 August 1959 when Indian soldiers crossed the McMahon line and set up a military post at Longju, which was on the other side, and was acknowledged to be so even by Nehru, however reluctantly.[66] Soon after, there was another clash when a patrol of the Indian para-military force went up to the Kongka Pass in the western sector, where the Chinese had already set up a post.[67] Chauvinist hysteria was roused to a feverish pitch in India. Even most Indian communist leaders, who were really ‘Nehruite communists’, swam with the tide.

Some years ago B.N.Malik, the then director of the Central Bureau of Intelligence, disclosed in his memoirs (published from New Delhi) that the Kongka Pass action of 21 October 1959 (in which nine Indians were killed and which triggered off a chain reaction, with the Soviet Union, through Tass, its news agency, intervening in the Sino-Indian dispute, disregarding the Chinese request) was initiated by Indians.”[68]

In a letter of 7 November 1959 to Nehru Chou En-lai proposed that the two prime ministers should meet and try to settle the boundary problem in the interest of friendship between the two countries. Chou En-lai also proposed that the armed forces of the two countries should withdraw 20 kilometres at once from the McMahon line in the east and from the line upto which each side exercised actual control in the west.

‘Talks’ but no ‘negotiations’

Earlier appeals from China for negotiations for a peaceful settlement found no echo in the hearts of the Nehrus. But in 1960 Nehru agreed to Chou En-lai’s proposal to meet. The Chinese prime minister, accompanied by Chen Yi, China’s foreign minister, came to India in April 1960 to negotiate a peaceful settlement. But the hosts were not quite friendly; Nehru had assured the Indian hawks that there would be ‘talks’ but not ‘negotiations’[69] Chou En-lal agreed to concede India’s claim in the eastern sector, which meant a large chunk of territory which was inhabited by tribes and parts of which like the Towang tract, were under Tibetan administration. He wanted India to recognize China’s claim to the Aksai Chin area in the western sector, a ‘desert of white stones’, “17,000 ft. above sea level, where nothing grows and no one lives, lying between the towering ranges of Karakoram and the Kuen Lun”. Across it ran an ancient trade route between Sinkiang and Tibet, which was used by the People’s Republic of China in the 1950s.[70] A road connecting the two regions across Aksai Chin was built by China; and when, on the completion of this major engineering feat, China announced it in 1957, India became aware of it.[71] Aksai Chin, uninhabited and desolate and so far away from the nearest area administered by India, was useless to her while it was of great importance to China. Nehru rejected the Chinese premier’s proposal and claimed Aksai Chin as India’s inalienable part. The Chinese proposal of ‘reciprocal acceptance of present actualities in both sectors and constitution of a boundary commission’ was summarily rejected. Nehru also refused to agree to Chou’s proposal that both sides should refrain from patrolling along all sectors of the boundary in order to avert clashes and “ensure tranquillity on the borders so as to facilitate the discussions.”[72] The summit meeting failed to solve the problem.

Later, in his convocation address to the Indian School of International Studies at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, in December 1969, K.P.S. Menon, who had been India’s first foreign secretary, said:

“when Chou En-lai came to India in 1960 ... we missed an opportunity to improve relations. Then there was a faint hope that a settlement could be reached, under which the Chinese Government would recognize the McMahon Line, which no previous Chinese Government had recognized, in return for some recognition on our part of Chinese claims in the ‘disputed’Aksai Chin. I deliberately say ‘disputed’, because the maps, treaties, agreements and other documents on which both sides rely cannot be said to place the boundary, as conceived by the other party, beyond the region of doubt or the need for negotiations. The watershed principle on which we have heavily relied on other sectors of the frontiers, is, in the Aksai Chin area, not in our favour. Moreover, it cannot be forgotten that Aksai Chin is of no importance to India, whereas, to China, it is of utmost importance, because it is the link between two historically troublesome regions, Tibet and Sinkiang.”[73]

India continued to pursue her forward policy. As Major K.C.Praval of the Indian army wrote, “As part of the forward policy, an Assam Rifles post was set up in June 1962 at an isolated place called Che Dong [wrongly called Dhola], which happened to be a few kilometres north of the map marked McMahon line but was claimed by India as her territory.”[74] Kunhi Krishnan quotes Brigadier Dalvi, who wrote that “from the Corps Commander down to myself as the Brigade Commander, we had grave reservations about the wisdom of the policy”.[75]

The Chinese advanced to a position dominating the Indian post. Against the advice of responsible military commanders the Indian government decided to move forward and confront the Chinese militarily. As the Times of India wrote on 23 September 1962, “The Government of India took the political decision ten days ago to use force, if necessary, to throw the Chinese intruders out.”[76] Then, on 12 October, before leaving for Sri Lanka, Nehru announced that the armed forces had been given orders to evict the Chinese from “our territory”. In its issue of 14 October, the Chinese People’s Daily advised Nehru: “Pull back from the brink of the precipice and don’t use the lives of Indian troops as stakes in your gamble.”[77] The advice was ignored.

Referring to this Himalayan adventure, S. Radhakrishnan, then India’s Rashtrapati, is reported to have said:

“We had no business to have sent the Army on this mission. We seemed to have gone mad about Thag La [a ridge in the eastern sector north of the McMahon line, to occupy which the fighting started]. At best Thag La is disputed territory. What does Nehru mean by saying ‘I have ordered the Army to throw the Chinese out’? Is this the language to be used in international affairs? Is this the manner in which grave national issues are handled?”[78]

The Himalayan debacle

No doubt, the decision of the Indian ruling classes to go to war with China was, as the Times of India noted, a political decision — a decision which was in conflict with military advice. And this political decision invited a rebuff from China under which the Indian army, the Indian government and Nehru reeled. Between 20 and 24 October, the Chinese forces overran Indian positions, penetrated into the NEFA territory, occupied Towang (not far south of the McMahon line), halted and again began diplomatic exchanges. But Nehru was his old self — self-righteous, apt to turn truth on its head and determined not to enter into negotiations for a peaceful settlement of the boundary problem.

In the meantime China had concluded boundary agreements with Burma, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal and Mongolia — all neighbouring countries, except India and the U.S.S.R.(which too preferred to determine its borders with China unilaterally).

On 17 November the Chinese began a second campaign and their troops reached the borders of Assam, occupied the entire disputed territory of the NEFA and again halted. The Indian government was seized with panic, almost wrote off Assam as lost and did not know where the Chinese would halt next time.[79]

Chinese troops launched a simultaneous attack in the western sector and wiped out the Indian posts which had been set up in the Aksai Chin area. As Neville Maxwell wrote, “the forward policy, like Operation Leghorn [code name for India’s military operation to throw the Chinese out from the area around the Thag La ridge], had met with the fate which from the beginning the real soldiers had foreseen.”[80]

In the meantime the Indian army chief, General Thapar, resigned; the defence minister, Krishna Menon (Nehru’s intimate friend), was forced to resign; and Nehru was told that it might be his turn next time.[81]

Immediately after the Chinese had started their operation in October, utter panic gripped New Delhi. When asked by journalists where he thought the advancing Chinese could be stopped, Krishna Menon, still the defence minister, said: “The way they are going, there is not any limit to where they will go.[82] Entries in the US ambassador J.K.Galbraith’s journal during these days are rather illuminating. On 25 October he noted that Chester Ronning, the then Canadian high commissioner in India, had seen Krishna Menon earlier, who “talked about a ten-year war and implied that the Chinese might head for Madras”.[83] (By then the Chinese had seized only a small slice of the NEFA.)

On 28 October (one may mark the date), Galbraith noted: “Nehru was frail, brittle, and seemed small and old... .Our military relations, with the Indians, always rather distant, have become extremely intimate these last days. Orders of battle and other military information are being provided.... And I have just brought up from Wellington, for such advice as he can give, an American specialist in guerrilla operations...”[84]

On 29 October Galbraith recorded in his journal: “The Prime Minister said they did indeed have to have aid and it would have to come from the United States.”[85] On 13 November the US ambassador informed president Kennedy: “Much so-called non-alignment [has already gone] out the window.”[86]

On 16 November the Indian finance minister T.T. Krishnamachari saw Galbraith, who found him “worried about the danger of Calcutta being bombed”. Krishnamachari asked [him] “for interceptor aircraft” and for one-half billion dollars.[87] On 17 November, when the Chinese troops resumed their march, the US ambassador noted: “... now tonight it is clear there has been a major defeat....The Indians want us to supply them with transport aircraft. In further modification of the non-alignment policy, the Indians also wish pilots and crews to fly the aircraft.”[88] On 19 November Gaibraith wrote in his diary: “The Chinese have taken over most of NEFA and with incredible speed. Not one but two pleas for help are coming to us, the second one of them still highly confidential.” In a footnote he added: “These requests which sought full defensive intervention by our Air Force, were transmitted through the Indian Embassy in Washington.... The Indians are pleading for military association....”[89]

It was Nehru who “made a desperate appeal” to Kennedy “for air protection”[90] On 21 November Galbraith noted: “...the Indians yearn for the sight of American uniforms and about tomorrow I will allow our officers to wear them.”[91]

There was complete bewilderment in Delhi. As Kunhi Krishnan wrote, “There was panic in Delhi. The air was thick with rumours that the Chinese were about to take Tezpur and that a detachment of 500 paratroopers was about to drop on Delhi.”[92]

On 20 November Chavan, Bombay’s chief minister, became India’s new defence minister. The same night Biju Patnaik, chief minister of Orissa, saw him. Biju said to him: “But why have you come all the way to Delhi? The Chinese are moving with great speed and possibly Bombay would soon be the war front.”[93] This might have been said jokingly but it also reflected the bewilderment and alarm of the Indian rulers.

Fortunately for them, instead of overrunning Assam and proceeding to Madras or Bombay, or dropping bombs on Calcutta or paratroopers on Delhi, the Chinese announced on 20 November a unilateral cease-fire and their decision to vacate the NEFA and withdraw north of the McMahon line in nine days. After withdrawing twelve miles north of the disputed border, they again showed their readiness to negotiate. Bertrand Russell, a professed anti-communist, commented:

“The difficult fighting in passes was finished, and no powerful military obstacle existed to prevent a Chinese occupation of the Indian plains. I cannot think of any other instance in which a victorious army has been halted in this way by its own Government. Because it had seemed to me, from Chou En-lai’s letter and from my talk with the Chinese Charge d’Affaires, that the Chinese were, in the matter of the border dispute, reasonable and temperate, I had thought it worth while to write to Chou En-lai as I had done, appealing for such magnanimous action on the part of the Chinese Government, but I was taken by surprise, as was the rest of the world, that they believed sufficiently clearly and strongly that war must be avoided to take such extreme measures, to make such a sacrifice of their gains.”[94]

In a footnote Galbraith noted on 29 November: “They [the Chinese] retired when they had shown beyond any doubt that they could defend their claim to the areas they held or sought to hold in Ladakh.”[95]

On 1 December, to quote the US ambassador, “M.J. Desai [then India’s foreign secretary] raised with me the question of a tacit air defence pact.” Galbraith asked Nehru on 27 December “if we could count on India to help contain the Chinese should they break out somewhere else in Asia. He told me that this could be a matter of great concern to them and they would help”. On 5 January 1963 Galbraith recorded in his journal: “M.J. Desai told me about Indian thinking on containment of the Chinese. They are willing to work with the United States both politically and militarily in the rest of Asia... Nehru a week ago hinted that their thoughts were moving in this direction.”[96]

What emboldened the Nehrus to throw caution to the four winds and pursue the forward policy in both the eastern and western sectors in spite of repeated warnings from China, and against the advice of their military commanders, and to undertake the Himalayan adventure, which soon ended in a Himalayan catastrophe? One reason perhaps was that the leaders of the erstwhile Soviet Union had assured the Indian leaders that China would never launch a counter-offensive for fear of black-mail. Durga Das, a prominent journalist of the time, wrote that M.J. Desai had told him that he had received an assurance from Russia in 1959 that China would never resort to force to settle the border dispute.”[97] Durga Das added that Nehru “openly ticked off General Thimayya, Chief of Army Staff at a Governors’ Conference months earlier for even suggesting the possibility of an attack by China.”[98]

Chou En-lai blamed the Soviet rulers for ‘India’s China War’. According to him, they had told the Indians in 1962 that there would be no resistance on the part of the Chinese.[99]

Another reason must have been the encouragement and support of both the super-powers — the USA and the erstwhile Soviet Union — that the Indian ruling classes received. About three months before Nehru’s death in May 1964, Mao Tsetung remarked: “Nehru is in bad shape, imperialism and revisionism have robbed him blind.”[100] China’s many appeals to the Indian rulers for negotiations and peaceful settlement of the border dispute were perhaps misconstrued by the Indian leaders as China’s weakness.

The Chinese withdrew twelve miles north of the McMahon line and returned captured Indian soldiers (whom they had treated well) and arms. They again offered to negotiate a settlement of the border problem. But the Nehrus would not negotiate. The border dispute became a semi-dispute. To keep it like this is of political advantage to the Indian ruling classes. Whenever necessary, they can revive it and rouse chauvinism among at least a section of the people.

Though there was no mutual agreement, China presented the NEFA region (now Arunachal Pradesh) to India and retained what was of vital importance to her in the western sector. The border has remained where China proposed in 1960.

When India’s ‘phony war’ (to use Maxwell’s expression) ended with China’s declaration of unilateral cease-fire, the Nehru government issued orders for the arrest of the communists who did not support unequivocally their claims. But due to confusion, so characteristic of the Indian government, the large number of arrested communists included some who were ‘Nehruite communists’. But that helped the government for, after their release, they could pose as revolutionary ‘Marxists’ and deceive the people.

Convergence of interests of the ruling classes
of India, the USA and the USSR

Nehru went to war with China more for ideological and political reasons than for territory — the desolate, icy wastes of Aksai Chin. Speaking at a meeting of the Congress parliamentary party in New Delhi on 17 February 1963, Nehru stated: “These [matters connected with the fight with China] are long-range affairs and there are deep-seated issues behind them.” There is more to it than merely dispute over territory, he added.[101]

While on a visit to the USA in the second half of the sixties, Nehru’s worthy daughter, Indira Gandhi, repeated that the dispute was not territorial but ideological and political.

What were the “long-range affairs” and “deep-seated issues” that lay behind the conflict between India and China? How did China present a “challenge” to India as Nehru, while briefing the Indian cultural delegation to China in 1952, said?

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) had emerged in 1949 after bitter struggles of decades against both native ruling classes and against imperialist powers, especially Japanese and US imperialism. She quickly settled her borders with all her many neighbours except India and the USSR: she did not appear to covet anybody’s territory. Rather, she was engaged immediately in rebuilding her devastated economy.

Moreover, Mao Tsetung had charted an ambitious course for the country which he said would bring her step by step to communism — the end of exploitation and oppression of man by man. As the first step China overturned the existing oppressive socioeconomic structure. She confiscated imperialist capital and what she defined as ‘comprador-bureaucrat capital’: the two together amounted to 90 per cent of China’s capital. Later, the industry of the national bourgeoisie, too, was gradually made the property of the people.

Under the leadership of China’s poor and landless peasants, all farm land was distributed among the actual tillers of the soil, in the course of which 300 million peasants received about 45 per cent of the arable land. The rate of net investment to national income soared from 1-2 per cent in 1949 to around 20 per cent in l953.[102] Within a few years, China passed through early and later stages of cooperativization of land, abolished private property in land, and established communes, in which were combined both agriculture and industry — industry suitable for local conditions.

The communes made most of their own economic decisions. Wilfred Burchett and Rewi Alley wrote that they “represent almost the ultimate in decentralization of state power — short of actual ‘withering away of the state’...”[103] China did not claim, unlike the US, that there was ‘democracy for all’; what she claimed was that while the small minority of elements which aspired to restore the earlier iniquitous social order were repressed, the overwhelming majority tasted genuine democracy. Burchett and Alley remarked that “One thing that strikes even a casual visitor [to the communes}.is the absence of the normal attributes of state power. Although there is a People’s Militia, there is no army, no police and no courts or gaols.”[104]

Mao argued that the key to developing China was to release the immense, dormant creative enthusiasm of the people. Sweeping mass campaigns were waged, and the country achieved remarkable feats of construction. Gurley estimated at the end of the sixties that China’s real GNP growth since 1949 outpaced England’s, France’s and Japan’s industrial revolutions, and virtually all underdeveloped economies during the postwar period.[105] By 1972 the Joint Economic Committee of the US Congress would say: “The People’s Republic of China has become an economically strong, unified nation. Its capability simultaneously to meet requirements of feeding its population, modernizing its military forces and expanding its civilian economic base must now be assumed from its record to date.... Thus China in the next decade or two join the United States, the Soviet Union, Japan and the Western European community in a pentagon of world powers.”[106] The country once referred to as the ‘sick man of the East’ had stood up.

George Kennan, who became director of the policy planning staff of US state department in 1946, said that the Chinese problem was “not purely, or even primarily a military problem.”[107] The People’s Republic did not even seek to impose her ideology on Tibet, which was a part of China. She did not destroy the regime of the Dalai Lama, the regime of the serf-owners, which she could have done had she wanted to. Instead, she gave that regime a substantial measure of autonomy (which Nehru and company did not allow the constituent states of the Indian Union) and left it to the vast majority of the oppressed Tibetans themselves to resolve their contradictions with their rulers. What kind of problem was China then to the imperialists, especially the US imperialists and the regimes they nurtured in various other countries?

China was a threat by example. Her remarkable success in ensuring both rapid growth and betterment of conditions of life for her people stood as an example of what could be achieved by her model of development, in striking contrast to the rest of the third world. Gurley wrote:

“The basic, overriding economic fact about China is that for twenty years it has fed, clothed, and housed everyone, has kept them healthy, and has educated most. Millions have not starved; sidewalks and streets have not been covered with multitudes of sleeping, begging, hungry, and illiterate human beings; millions are not disease-ridden. To find such deplorable conditions, one does not look to China these days but, rather, to India, Pakistan, and almost anywhere else in the underdeveloped world.”[108]

In countries like India where such deplorable conditions prevailed, China’s very existence constituted an internal danger to the existing order. Her example suggested to the peoples of those countries that they needed to overthrow the existing power structure in order to change the conditions of their life; and that such change was possible. Thus if countries plagued with poverty and disease were not to fall like dominoes and dropout of the capitalist-imperialist system, it was necessary to destroy the positive example being set by China. That was the “long-range affair”, the “deep-seated issue” that Nehru had referred to. For the USSR the additional threat posed by China was that China’s genuine socialism contrasted starkly with what went under the name of socialism in the USSR, undermining the latter’s prestige and hold. Thus the USA and the USSR came to have a common aim — to ‘contain’ the People’s Republic of China, to form a ring around her and to work for her ultimate liquidation. As we shall see, their collusion for accomplishing this task was primary; whatever contradictions were there between themselves were secondary. They all realized that China was their main enemy and joined hands to destroy her.

US strategy of keeping China under constant threat

On 26 January 1954, a member of the US house of representatives, Coudert, asked if it was “the heart of the present [US] policy towards China and Formosa [Taiwan]... that there is to be kept alive a constant threat of military action vis-a-vis Red China in the hope that at some point there will be an internal breakdown”. Robertson, the US assistant secretary of state for eastern affairs, replied: “Yes, sir. That is my conception.” Coudert again asked if that meant “a cold war waged under the leadership of the United States, with constant threat of attack against Red China, led by Formosa and other Far Eastern Groups, and militarily backed by the United States”. Coudert also asked if that meant fundamentally “that the United States is undertaking to maintain for an indefinite period of years American dominance in the Far East”. The assistant secretary of state answered: “Yes. Exactly.”[109]

In other words, the strategy of the US imperialists was to keep Socialist China under a constant threat of attack (after she had emerged from a very protracted civil war and a war of resistance against the most powerful imperialist powers — victorious but with a devastated economy), to rally behind themselves client states like Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, the Philippines, India, etc., and to try either to defeat China militarily, if possible, or to derevolutionize her with the help of the enemy within. In implementing this strategy the USA, as we shall see, found a very valuable ally in the other superpower — the Soviet Union. The help was extremely valuable: first, the Soviet Union could close the ring from the north, north-east and north-west and threaten China with nuclear bombs as she actually did towards the end of the sixties; second, she could try more effectively to derevolutionize the centre of anti-imperialism with the help of Chinese revisionists and traitors. The Soviet strategy, which was complementary to US strategy, was to combine threat of attacks, including large-scale nuclear offensive, from the outside, and subversion from within.

We have seen that the USA gave enormous support to the corrupt and tyrannical regime of Chiang Kai-shek. It has been correctly said that the Chinese “civil war was made in America”.[110] When asked by Anna Louise Strong in August 1946 if there was hope “for a political, a peaceful settlement of China’s problems in the near future,” Mao Tsetung replied: “That depends on the attitude of the U.S. government.”[111] When Chiang fled to Taiwan, “Washington”, to quote David Horowitz, “began its campaign by imposing the Seventh Fleet between the mainland and the defeated dictator Chiang, thereby violating its pledge not to interfere in China’s civil war. Following this, the US refused recognition to the new Chinese Government, characterizing it as ‘illegal’ (on what grounds was Chiang’s dictatorship ‘legal’?), barred China from international trade and from international institutions like the UN, branded her a ‘willful aggressor’ in Korea — after first provoking her entry into the war — refurbished Chiang’s defeated and discredited army, lent support to his bid to regain power, thereby encouraging internal opponents of the new Chinese regime to look for such a development, and guided the Kuomintang (through the CIA) in conducting espionage overflights of China with U-2s and making sabotage raids on the mainland. In addition, the United States occupied the strategic Pacific bases of China’s historic enemy Japan, having displaced Japan as a power in the area. From these bases nuclear bombers of the Strategic Air Command were targeted on mainland objectives long before China herself became a nuclear power. A Polaris submarine fleet was built up in the China Sea and US secretary of defence McNamara announced on several occasions prior to the Chinese nuclear test that in the event of nuclear war with the Soviet Union, the US had the nuclear capacity to destroy both Russia and China as national societies.#&8221;[112]

It may be noted that China has been under frequent threat of nuclear attack by the USA (and towards the end of the sixties by the erstwhile USSR). Here we may point out one instance. In 1954 when the French forces in Vietnam were besieged in Dienbienphu, US secretary of state Dulles went to Paris and offered the French “one or more bombs to be dropped on Communist Chinese territory near the Indochina border....[113]

It is significant that, as Selig Harrison wrote, “Indian and American interests are complementary” and that “India has begun to give tacit recognition to the legitimacy of a U.S. nuclear presence in the Indian Ocean....”[114]

As early as April 1947, a former vice-president of the USA, Henry A. Wallace, warned that the ‘Truman Doctrine’, which US president Truman announced on 12 March 1947. was actually a commitment “to rush to aid every dictator who hoists the anti-Communist Skull and Bones”, and that the USA was being directed along a course of “ruthless imperialism” reaching “from China to the Mediterranean and from pole to pole.”[115] To quote David Horowitz, “Defending foreign aid in a speech on 8 November 1963, [president Kennedy] said it was a way of maintaining 3.5 million Allied troops in foreign countries. (In addition there were in 1963, one million American soldiers deployed overseas on more than 200 major US bases and over a thousand additional ‘installations’ in foreign countries).”[116] By 1970 the number of overseas US bases increased to 3,401 — 429 major and 2,972 minor military bases.[117]

In order to fulfil their ‘manifest destiny’ and dominate the world, the US ruling classes — the Morgans, Rockefellers, Fords and their kin — assumed from the forties of the last century the role of “the leader of a world-wide anti-revolutionary movement in defence of vested interests” (to quote the words of the British historian Arnold Toynbee).[118]

Nehru’s role in US strategy

Referring to senator (soon to be secretary of state) John Foster Dulles’ speech in New York, the New York Times reported on 21 October 1949:

“Lest efforts of the United States against Communism in China be misunderstood as imperialism... [Dulles] recommended that leadership in the battle to check Communist expansion in the Far East be furnished by those in the region who have a stake in the struggle. Mr Dulles suggested Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s Prime Minister now visiting in New York, as one who could fill the role of leadership.”[119]

Later, in September 1964, US vice-president Hubert Humphrey also declared:

“Although remaining in South Vietnam, the United States must realize that in the long run there is no real defence against Communism in South-East Asia without an Asian coalition of powers with India as its main force.”

As we shall see, Nehru was not unwilling to play the role for which US imperialism, the most predatory imperialism the world has ever seen, cast him. The conflict between the Nehrus and the China of Mao Tsetung’s time was ideological and political. Nehru’s ideology, shorn of rhetoric, was the ideology of the comprador par excellence, who had firm links with feudal elements. Of that later.

When the transfer of power in India from British hands to ‘friendly and reliable’ Indian hands on the basis of partition of India and dominion status was agreed to by the three parties — the British imperialists, the Congress and the Muslim League — on 3 June 1947, the “ American reaction has been especially enthusiastic” (just as there was “profound gratification among all Parties” of Britain — “Sense of unity and recognition of tremendous issues and possibilities involved... comparable only with most historic moments during war”).[120]

An important mouthpiece of the US ruling classes, the New York Times, hailed Nehru’s decision in 1949 to remain a member of the Commonwealth of Nations (of which the British monarch is the head) as “a historic step, not only in the progress of the Commonwealth, but in setting a limit to Communist conquest and opening the prospect of a wider defence system than the Atlantic Pact“.[121]

When, before 1949, US imperialism and the Chiang regime in China were meeting with reverses, India became perhaps the chief target of its neo-colonial policy in Asia. On 7 December 1947 US ambassador to India, Henry F. Grady, declared: “It is tremendously important to keep India on our side in the world struggle.”[122]

In October1949, when the founding of the People’s Republic of China was proclaimed, the New York Times wrote:

“For months, as Communist armies have swept across China. Washington’s hopes for a democratic[sic] rallying point in Asia have been pinned on India, the second biggest Asiatic nation, and on the man who determines India’s policy — Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.”[123]

Another organ of the US imperialists, the New York Post, wrote in a leading article in the same month that India was “America’s hope in Asia”.[124]

The New York Times wrote again in August 1950:

“He [Nehru] is in a sense the counter-weight on the democratic side [sic] to Mao Tsetung. To have Pandit Nehru as ally in the struggle for Asiatic support is worth many divisions.”[125]

US imperialism wanted the Indian ruling classes to serve them in two ways: first, to help in stemming the flood-tide of national liberation struggles and advance of Socialism; and second, to help in making India a part of the informal US empire. On 4 March 1947 the New York Daily News wrote in an editorial: “If we are to pick up the pieces of the British Empire, would it not be well to pick up the central pieces, as well as the various others? If we are to be the Empire’s receiver in bankruptcy, should we not insist on having the full receivership power and authority?”[126]

Winston Churchill insinuated then that the USA was “making sheep’s eyes not only at vital British oil reserves in the Middle East, but also India, “the jewel in the crown of the British Empire”.

Truly, as Selig Harrison wrote: “Indian and American interests [the interests of their ruling classes] are complementary” and there are “overlapping objectives”[127]

Nehru was not averse to performing as he was expected to do. Earlier, in 1942, echoing US imperialists, Nehru wrote:

“The next hundred years, it has been said, are going to be the century of Arnerica. America is undoubtedly going to play a very important role in the years and generations to come.”[128]

He was sure that “countless eyes from all over the world look up to it [the USA] for leadership in the paths of peace and freedom”, that on America “rests a vast burden of responsibility, and towards whom so many millions look for right leadership in this crisis in world history”.[129]

On 6 April 1942 Nehru told Col. Louis Johnson, then US president Roosevelt’s personal representative in India and afterwards US defence secretary, that “India wanted to hitch her wagon to America’s star... ”[130]

As we have noted, even before the transfer of power in 1947, Nehru and his associates aspired to become a great power, a power that would dominate the Indian Ocean region. How could the Nehrus’ India, economically impoverished and underdeveloped and militarily weak, fulfil this dream? The Nehrus expected that the USA and UK would equip them industrially and arm them militarily in order that they would be able as a zonal power to fight the Anglo-American powers’ war against national liberation struggles and Socialism.”[131]

Nehru and the ‘Commies’

It was Nehru’s mission in life to try to suppress national liberation struggles and fight the ‘commies’. In the early fifties he told Chester Bowles, then US ambassador to India, that “history had selected India as one of democracy’s [sic] chief testing grounds. This was a contest [with Communism] which he and [his] India welcomed, a challenge which must be met head-on.” The American ambassador added: “For nearly two hours we talked about the exciting possibilities.”[132]

Nehru never hesitated to adopt any ruthless measures to suppress Communists in India. In 1948, soon after the transfer of power, several provincial governments and then the central government enacted preventive detention acts, banned the Communist Party of India, put tens of thousands of Communists, peasant and labour leaders behind bars without trial and shot dead several thousands of them. On 27 April 1948 the Free Press Journal of Bombay reported: “An American news agency message has recently suggested that it was on the basis of information supplied by the US State Department that the Governments of India, Pakistan, Burma and other countries took action against Communist Parties.”[133]

Chester Bowles wrote in the early fifties: “These 500,000 villages [of India] are still the centres of caste, of feudalism and ofpoverty.”[134] He said:

“When the Communist rebellion broke out in Hyderabad in 1948 and 1949, Nehru did not hesitate a moment in sending the Indian army to the scene with instructions to stamp out the uprising and to arrest the Communist leaders. In the fighting that followed, hundreds were killed and thousands were imprisoned. His government then put through a Detention Act which permits it to imprison anyone charged with subversion for six months without trial.... Even though the Communist tactics had changed for the moment [by October 1951] to ‘peaceful co-operation’, Nehru insisted that this act [the P.D. Act] be renewed in 1952 for use in future emergencies.”[135]

After observing that “one of the most important weaknesses in the Nehru government is the inadequacy in land reform”, the US ambassador wrote:

“In over a thousand [according to many, three thousand] villages of the Telengana district [an area comprising several districts] among a million people [estimated by many as three million], this [the seizure of the land of the landlords] happened... At this point the Indian army crossed the border, the Nizam agreed that the state of Hyderabad would become part of the Indian Union, and the Indian army moved against the Communists in Telengana. Despite firm Indian army occupation, newly built roads which for the first time permitted rapid patrolling by armoured cars, concentration camps filled with captured Communists, police outposts every few miles and in some places very ruthless suppression, guerrilla fighting continued spasmodically until the Communists themselves changed their program of violence two years later.... And for those who think that ruthless force alone will do the trick, Telengana of Hyderabad, the scene of the biggest Communist rebellion, testifies that all the troops and tanks of the Indian army could not wipe out the popular support of Communists who for the first time distributed land among those who had none.”[136]

On international issues Nehru was serving US imperialist interests faithfully. We shall cite only one instance here among many. The Korean war started in 1945, not in 1950, as is generally supposed. Korea had a long history of resistance against the Japanese. (It may be noted that the Korean communists were represented at the first congress of the Communist International held in 1919; and the theses on the Eastern Question, adopted by the fourth congress of the Communist International in 1922 noted that there was a “tempestuous growth of the national revolutionary movement” in Korea, among several other countries.[137]) “A nationwide resistance movement... had organized revolutionary committees throughout Korea upon Japan’s surrender” in mid-August 1945. These revolutionary committees represented all groups — Communists and others — who took part in the resistance. On 6 September the People’s Republic of Korea was formed and a national government was set up representing a large majority of the people. Two days later US troops landed in South Korea in the name of receiving the surrender of the Japanese forces. The US military government in Korea placed in key posts former Korean Quislings who had served the Japanese, and waged a brutal war against the national government and against the people in South Korea. They wanted to perpetuate the division of Korea into north and south and to use South Korea as a permanent military base against China, the Soviet Union and the Korean people (that base still remains). They perpetrated many horrors on the South Korean people. With the help of the UNO, which served as their tool, the US imperialists staged a fake separate election in South Korea, which was opposed by the overwhelming majority of the southerners. The UNO appointed a temporary commission to oversee the elections. At first the commission, of which K.P.S. Menon (the chief delegate from India) was the head, had its doubts about proceeding with the election in the south where fascist terror reigned. But Menon changed his mind and agreed to support the election. In the meantime Nehru had intervened under threat from the USA and “cabled orders to India’s commission delegation to refrain from criticizing American policies in South Korea and to vote with the US”. Though the commission had no access to many parts of South Korea, it certified that the results “were a valid expression of the will of the electorate in those parts of Korea which were accessible to the Commission”. Thus Nehru helped in perpetuating the division of Korea, as the US imperialists wanted. As a consequence, South Korea lay tortured under the administration of the US puppet Syngman Rhee. In 1950 the Korean war was extended into which the US warmongers provoked China to enter. Nehru lent his support to the US aggression against North Korea, which was sanctioned by the UNO, a US tool. US general MacArthur even wanted to invade China, and the US general O’Donnell, head of the US Bomber Command in the Far East, wanted to drop the atom bomb on the Chinese. Though the US warmongers were forced by circumstances to curb some of their criminal designs, they dropped napalm (jellied gasoline), one of the vilest weapons, on both the civilians and the military personnel who resisted. The US-led war ended by causing about 4,000,000 (forty lakh) casualties. And, to quote David Horowitz, “Korea itself lay in ruins from end to end, its fields awaste, its industrial centres smashed by American bombs, its villages burned, its people deeply scarred and [South Korea) once again left under the heel of military occupation and dictatorship, the nation more hopelessly divided than before.”[138]

Though Nehru was keen to serve and did serve US imperialist interests as their objectives were ‘overlapping’, there were minor disagreements on a few issues like recognition of the People’s Republic of China and a negotiated end to the Korean war (which all Arab and Asian countries wanted). But such differences roused the anger of the USA. His perceptions about how to fight Communism outside India’s borders somewhat differed from theirs. On 6 November 1951 he confided to Chester Bowles that he felt “disturbed over disagreements and irritation of [the] past two years” and “emphasized his total opposition to the commie idea which he said was diametrically opposed to his own philosophic beliefs...”[139]

Paul Hoffman, the first president (then called director) of the Ford Foundation, who was formerly administrator of the Marshall Plan in Europe visited India in August 1951 as a member of a small Ford Foundation team. During the visit he met Nehru, among others. He was convinced “that [Nehru] is anti-communist as you and I.... [However, he] does not believe, as I do, that Mao Tsetung is manipulated by Moscow.”[140]

Hoffman said that only “internationally immature” Americans “would like to make Indian school children salute the U.S.flag each day as the price of wheat to India.”[141]

To remove the “irritation”, Vijayalakshmi Pandit (Nehru’s sister, who was then ambassador to the USA) categorically declared in a statement in New York on 19 September 1951 that Indian foreign policy was “pro-U.N., pro-free nations” — ‘free nations’ the outstanding leader of which was the USA. She pleaded with the American imperialists: “In the recent sessions of the General Assembly [of the UNO], we voted as you did 38 times out of 51, abstaining 11 times and differing from you only twice.” She added: “Our experience over the years has naturally increased our antagonism to Communist aggression.”[142] (Words have different meanings for different classes. The ruling classes of imperialist countries and their client states claim that they alone are free, whether they have a democratic facade or are under corrupt dictatorships; and to them, the aggressor is the aggressed and the aggressed is the aggressor).

India’s economic and foreign policies

Speaking before the Constituent Assembly on 4 December 1947, Nehru said: “Ultimately the foreign policy is the outcome of economic policy, and until India has properly evolved her economic policy, her foreign policy will be rather vague, rather inchoate, and will be groping.”[143] It is true that the foreign policy of a country is the outcome of its economic policy. But it is not true that the fundamental principles of India’s economic policy had not been determined when Nehru said the above. One of the fundamental principles was whether Indian economy would remain, as during Britain’s direct rule, an appendage of the economy of imperialist countries. It had then no independent character of its own and was tied to the economy of the metropolitan country. With the transfer of power, this complementarity was not shattered. The only change that took place was that the Indian economy was tied not only to that of Britain but to that of the USA, too. On 7 July 1950 Nehru himself admitted that “our economy is obviously tied to England and other allied powers”,[144] chiefly the USA. This had been foreshadowed before the transfer of power. Even before 1947, Indian big capital was seeking and entering into collaboration agreements with British and US transnationals. The Indian big capitalists’ hunger for foreign capital and technology was very keen.[145] The dominance of imperialist capital on Indian economy remained. That is why the transfer of power was so smooth so far as Britain was concerned.

Since 1947 the Indian ruling classes have been soliciting imperialist capital, which was supposed to play a catalytic role in India’s industrialization. Abject dependence on loans and ‘aid’ (which too is mostly a euphemism for loan), which is a kind of bondage to imperialism, on capital goods and technology on terms which strengthen the chains of slavery, and even on US food was the main ingredient of India’s economic policy.[146] Even in preparing economic plans, India depended on foreign economists, especially American ones.[147]

US president Truman’s Point Four programme of 1949 was hailed by Nehru and signed in December 1950. Mrs Pandit, the Indian ambassador to the USA, held that it would be an effective weapon for fighting communism.[148] Among its features were: it was a political programme, which, as Truman said, was a measure to halt the spread of ‘false doctrines’ (like communism). It was also intended to increase production of strategic raw materials needed by the USA and help in the export of American capital abroad.[149]

Early in November 1951 G.D. Birla proposed the formation of an IndoAmerican Development Corporation consisting of business magnates and officials of both the countries — a kind of “super-trust directing the future of Indian economy”. In January 1952 B.R. Sen, Indian ambassador to the USA, made a similar proposal, with US capital predominating.[150] Early in 1952 India also entered into the Indo-US Technical Co-operation Agreement, which was called a ‘slavery bond’ by a prominent Gandhian.[151]

“By 1953”, writes Michael Kidron, “it was generally recognized that the terms on which capital can be invested in India now match almost exactly the conditions laid down in the ‘Code’ published by the International Chamber of Commerce in the United States.”[152]

Militarily also, India was tied to the Anglo-American powers. Close military bonds between India and Britain continued to exist even after the transfer of power. Ties with the USA were also being forged. In March 1951 India entered into its first military agreement with the USA under the Mutual Defence Assistance Programme. They had another agreement under the US Mutual Security Act in January 1952.[153] To quote Natarajan, “The training of Indian officers in the United States and the dependence of India on American [military] equipment means that India cannot follow a fully independent policy on major issues.[154] On 19 January 1952 Chester Bowles declared that India was “definitely aligned on the side of the free [sic] nations”.[155]

Instead of dilating further on the nature of economic and political relations that developed between the Indian ruling classes and US imperialism, we would refer to some illuminating facts disclosed by Daniel Patrick Moynihan, US ambassador to India in the early seventies. “In the face of a prospective Communist victory in a state election, once in Kerala and once in West Bengal” the Congress, the ruling party at the Centre, according to Moynihan, sought financial contribution from the US government through its embassy in New Delhi. The US ambassador added: “Once it [the money asked for by the Congress party] was given to Mrs Gandhi herself, who was then a party official”[156] — afterwards prime minister of India. The Kerala election to which Moynihan referred took place in the late fifties — in the hey-day of ‘non-alignment’.

Moynihan disclosed another illuminating fact. To quote him, “we [the USA and India] continued, jointly, to spy on the Chinese from the tops of the Himalayas. These were routine exercises.... In 1965 we had sent a climbing expedition to the top of Nanda Devi, a mountain of 26,645 ft. in the northeast, near the border with China, to put in place nuclear-powered instruments which would record Chinese rocket telemetry and atomic tests. A storm came, the instruments, including the power pack, were cached, and the party returned to base. The climbers returned in the spring to find that an avalanche had swept everything away, and the plutonium was lost in the snow pack at the headwaters of the holy Ganges. Our then-Ambassador Chester Bowles went back to Mrs Gandhi [then India’s prime minister], and the next year a second Indo-American expedition successfully put instruments in place atop Nanda Kot, the 22,400-foot mountain adjacent to Nandi Devi.... But in 1974 Mrs Gandhi was still making speeches about the ever present danger of subversion by the CIA, whilst I was meeting with the relevant officials about our common interest in China.”[157]

In 1978, after the American press had reported the “initial mishap, or disaster”, Morarji Desai, then India’s prime minister, made a statement in the Lok Sabha. It emerged from his statement that this kind of operation “was carried out with the knowledge, consent and co-operation of the Indian government at the ‘highest political level’ represented at different times by all the three former Prime Ministers”[158] — Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri and Indira Gandhi.

The two main ingredients of the foreign policy of the new Indian state were anti-communism and subservience to the imperialist powers, especially to the USA. As we shall see, from the mid-fifties when it became evident to the Indian rulers that the erstwhile USSR regarded Socialist China as its main enemy, the policy of the Nehrus (which Nehru’s double-speak tried to cover up) was one of alignment with both the superpowers. And from the birth of New China in 1949, India’s foreign policy was one of overt friendliness for China and covert hostility towards her. One may remember the words of Frank Moraes, which we quoted before.

“Two poles in Asia”

As Chester Bowles said, “Secretary of State Dulles is certainly accurate when he reports that there are two poles in Asia. After his trip to Asia in the spring of 1953 he said of India and China, ‘There is occurring between these two countries a competition as to whether ways of freedom or police state methods can achieve better social progress. This competition affects directly 800 million people in these two countries. In the long rim, the outcome will affect all of humanity, including ourselves.“[159] (It may be superfluous to add that to people like Dulles and Bowles freedom meant the freedom of a tiny minority of oppressors and exploiters to deprive the rest of the people of their freedom; and that by ‘police state methods’ they meant the methods of a state which ensured genuine freedom to the vast majority of the people and denied it to the tiny minority of oppressors and exploiters who longed to get back their lost possessions, privileges and power.)

Nehru shared Dulles’ view that a competition was going on between India and China. In a letter to chief ministers, dated 15 November 1954, Nehru wrote that “the most exciting countries for me today [are] India and China. We differ, of course, in our political and economic structures, yet the problems we face are essentially the same. The future will show which country and which structure of Government yields greater results in every way.”[160] The results no doubt were quite evident then and afterwards. Here we would like to quote D.D. Kosambi, who visited China after only a few brief years of her emergence and wrote from his personal experience. In this article “On the Revolution in China”, which appeared in Monthly Review (New York) in 1957, he stated:

“The material advances shown by the new system since so recent a year as 1952 leap to the eye. New factories, mines, oil fields, steel works, dams, co-operatives, roads, buses, hospitals, schools, cultural palaces, theatres have sprouted virtually overnight. Literacy is almost universal and the language is being reformed. The rise in the general standard of living is equally remarkable. The normal noonday meal even of the unskilled labourer now compares with his rare holiday feast in the old days. Conditions of work have improved out of all recognition. Coal mines in whose untimbered pits eight or ten famished peasant labourers dropped dead, or were killed by accident every day, have now death rates among the lowest in the world... The former, incredible stench and filth have disappeared from the workers’ slums, once the most dreadful in the whole world... But far more remarkable than all these are the changes among the people themselves. The current Chinese standard of honesty would have been astoundingly high in any country, even in pre-war Sweden.... After just two years of better living conditions, the children in the new workers’ tenements show what socialism can mean; they are healthier, more cheerful, and rush spontaneously to welcome the stranger without the least trace of shyness or rudeness. The unshakable calm, inner courtesy, love of culture, and fundamental good nature in all strata of Chinese society cannot be written off as ‘national character’ which has nothing to do with the revolution. The relaxed, well-adjusted Chinese of the People’s Republic are not to be found in Hong Kong or Formosa.... Under these circumstances [when arise serious new problems], why are the police so much less in evidence in new China than in most other countries, including the USA and the USSR? Why is there no witch-hunting in any form? ... People are now genuinely free to express any political opinion they like, including the belief that capitalism is superior to socialism.... The arts of genuine persuasion were mastered by the technique developed in the Yenan days, when not more than a third of the local councils and committees were allowed to consist of communist party members.”

Before he concluded, Kosambi said:

“The Indian state has absolute power and uses it to settle questions like the linguistic division of Bombay state by tear gas and bullets instead of the logical, democratic plebiscite and ballot. It is openly admitted that this all-powerful state is powerless to collect evaded taxes, to curb inflation, to control food prices, or to raise money by expropriation of the primitive accumulation of money-lender, landlord and profiteer, in place of sales and consumer taxes.... ”[161]

The question is: which country followed the “ways of freedom” and which country (or countries) practised “police state methods” and in whose interests?

It was India’s “political and economic structures” that perpetuated her abject political and economic dependence on imperialist countries, her state of underdevelopment and condemned her to be one of the world’s poorest countries inhabited by hungry, illiterate and ill-clad millions. And it was China’s “political and economic structures” which transformed her within a brief period from a backward country ravaged by war and hyperinflation into a strong, self-reliant, sovereign and advanced country, engaged in building a new life for all her toiling people.

Interestingly, Winston Churchill, the arch-Tory, hailed Nehru as “the Light of Asia” more than once.[162] M.O. Mathai, who was head of Nehru’s personal secretariat until 1958, wrote: “The day before our leaving London after the conclusion of the [Commonwealth prime ministers’] conference [in June 1953], Churchill sent a brief handwritten letter to Nehru saying, ‘Remember what I told you — you are the Light of Asia’.... On 3 February 1955 Lord Moran asked Churchill about Nehru. Churchill said, ‘I get on well with him. I tell him be has a great role to play as leader of free [sic] Asia against communism.’ Asked how Nehru took it, Churchill replied, ‘Oh, he wants to do it, and I want him to do it’...”[163]

The Soviet Union, India and the USA

The Soviet policy towards Nehru’s India in the late forties and early fifties was somewhat ambivalent. In their assessment of Nehru’s politics, the Soviet authorities were bitterly critical. Yet during this period they made some friendly approach to India. S. Gopal writes: “There was a suggestion of a change of approach by the Soviet Union in September 1948 when its Ambassador informed a member of Nehru’s Cabinet that his Government would be willing to help, particularly as regards Hyderabad and Kashmir, but India had not sought such help.”[164]

S. Gopal adds: “The Soviet Government were not totally wrong in distrusting India; for it was clear that at this time Indian neutrality would be benevolent towards the Western Powers. Nehru himself recognized this and directed that Britain and the United States be informed that, in the world as it was, there was not the least chance of India lining up with the Soviet Union in war or peace.... Non-alignment was, therefore, very much a hypothetical concept. Nehru was, thanks to some extent to the Soviet attitude, leaning heavily towards the Western Powers.”[165]

The Soviet Union made another friendly gesture, when, in 1951, during India’s extreme food shortage, it made an offer of wheat in exchange for raw jute and cotton.[166]

Nehru’s note on China and Tibet, dated 18 November 1950, is also significant. Nehru wrote:

“It is interesting to note that both the UK and the USA appear to be anxious to add to the unfriendliness of India and China towards each other It is also interesting to find that the USSR does not view with favour any friendly relations between India and China.”[167]

By 1955 the ambivalence in the Soviet policy was gone. To quote S Gopal,

“While in Moscow [in June 1955], Nehru received an invitation from Eden to visit London on his way home, and the Soviet leaders approved of his acceptance. ‘It would be’, said Bulganin, ‘a good thing for the world if the West would understand you as much as we did.’ Nehru now, on leaving the Soviet Union, saw his task as being that of conveying to the Western Powers his understanding that there had been a real change in Moscow.”[168]

In a letter dated 27 June 1955 Nehru wrote to US president Eisenhower:

“My general impression was that a marked change had come over Soviet policy and that this was not a mere temporary phase. This gave me hope for the future and indicated that more than at any time in the past, there was substantial reason for hoping for peaceful approaches and settlements.”[169]

During his visit to India in December 1955, Khrushchev, general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party, told Nehru:

“We want to be friendly with you but not to separate you from your other friends. We want to be friendly with your friends.”[170]

T.N. Kaul, I.C.S., who served as India’s foreign secretary and as ambassador to Washington, Moscow, etc., at different times, wrote: “In one of his personal letters to me in December 1962 [Kaul was then ambassador to the Soviet Union], Nehru wrote of Khrushchev’s meeting with Vice-President Radhakrishnan in Delhi. In the course of the talk Khrushchev said much against the USA but he ended up by saying that in 10 years time the chief enemy would be China. This was said in 1956....”[171]

Chester Bowles wrote that “the possibility of a split [with China] must have been apparent to the Soviet leaders by the mid-1950s”. He also said:

“In February 1957, shortly before the Soviet-Chinese break became evident, I had a lengthy discussion with Nikita Khrushchev in Moscow, most of which centred on India and China. When I remarked that both the Soviet Union and US. might ultimately face a common problem in regard to China, he did not disagree.”

Bowles commented: “The motivation of the USSR in assisting India has since the mid-1950s been primarily based on the Soviet estimation of India’s geopolitical importance as a partial balance to the political influence and potential might of China.”[172]

Elsewhere, this shrewd representative of the US ruling class wrote:

In regard to the Indian subcontinent, certain fundamental interests of the US and USSR appear to coincide.”[173]

Addressing the editor, Radio Peace and Progress, Moscow, in mid-December 1967, Bowles wrote:

In regard to India, however, there is every reason why our legitimate national interests should closely coincide....”[174]

W.W. Rostow (who “worked regularly with John Kennedy from early 1958” and was chairman of the policy planning council at the US state department from December 1961 to 1 April 1966) was in Moscow attending a Pugwash meeting on arms control from 27 November to 7 December 1960. He wrote: “Russians talked in private with Americans with evident candor of their anxieties about the Chinese.”[175]

In order to have some idea of the US-Soviet relations vis-a-vis China and the world’s people, we shall briefly refer to some happenings of later years.

In 1968 Eugene Rostow, then US under-secretary of state, said:

“We and the Soviets are pursuing parallel courses, both helping India and Pakistan, and both advising the settlement of conflicts between them. We are both trying to build a stability to restrain Chinese ambitions. It is another case of tacit agreement. It has been said and I agree that the best agreements we have with the Soviets are tacit ones.”176[176]

After a long talk with Kosygin, chairman of the council of ministers of the USSR, US vice-president Hubert Humphrey said in a television interview that the talk was “frank and candid”. He stated that “ the Soviet Union is attempting to build a containment wall, so to speak, around communist China” and that “the government of the Soviet Union is much more concerned today about its relationships throughout the entire world vis-a-vis communist China than it is over anything that the United States may be doing in any part of the world.”[177] On 13 January 1966 the American paper, Christian Science Monitor, wrote: “Evidence is piling up that the Soviet Union and the United States are, in fact, moving in parallel tracks toward certain objectives they hold in common.”178[178] The New York Times stated on 17 January 1966 : “the fundament of present Soviet-American relations in this complex situation is that they must be tacit.... the conflict between the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R. must remain explicit, agreement must remain implicit.” They “are simultaneously thus both explicit enemies and implicit allies.”[179]

In his address to the United Nations on 12 June 1968, US president Johnson referred to an agreement with the Soviet Union concluded four years before and expressed the hope that “future generations will mark 1964 as the year the world turned for all time away from the horrors of war and constructed new bulwarks for peace.”[180] (No doubt, the world remembers 1964 as the year when the US imperialists invented the Tonkin Gulf incident,[181] started bombing north Vietnam more savagely than before, escalated the war in south Vietnam, ultimately to kill 2,500,000 men, women and children and burn the whole land with napalm and other bombs).

In his address at Glassboro State College, New Jersey, on 4 June 1968, Lyndon Johnson recalled Soviet premier Kosygin’s visit in the previous year and said that

“Hope and achievement are certainly there to see. And our relations with the Soviet Union offer an example.... what period in history has been more productive in promoting cooperation between our two countries?.... The road there [to peace] is far less rocky when the world’s two greatest powers — the United States and the Soviet Union — are willing to travel part way together.... But during the past year, the work of peace has been going on in many ways that do not make headlines.... I believe that the two great powers who met here last year have begun, however haltingly, to bridge the gulf that has separated them for a quarter of a century.”[182]

Indeed, no “period in history has been more productive in promoting cooperation between our two countries” (as Johnson said) than the sixties and the early seventies of the last century. The Soviet rulers were giving their direct or indirect support to the US-backed counter-revolutionary forces in Asia, Africa and Latin America and helping the USA to suppress the national liberation struggles. We would cite here one instance. In early October 1965 the Central Intelligence Agency of the USA and the US and British embassies in Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital, helped from behind a reactionary clique of Indonesian generals led by Suharto and Nasution to stage a coup and overthrew the established government which had some communists as ministers. In the six months following the coup, as Frederic F. Clairmont wrote, “around half a million communists and their sympathizers were butchered and another one million disappeared”.[183] This was called by the New York Times “one of the most savage mass slayings of modern political history”. (And the plunder of rich Indonesia by US multinational corporations started. To this was added the pillage by the Suharto clique. Recently, the dictator’s regime toppled down and he was thrown into jail and charged that he, his children and grandchildren had defrauded the Indonesian people of a mere $25 billion.) What was the role of the Soviet rulers in the Indonesian tragedy? They immediately recognized the Suharto fascist regime and rushed to help it economically as well as with arms and ammunition to massacre communists and other progressive Indonesians. They expelled from the Soviet Union the Indonesian communists who had been staying there.

In 1965 a book entitled The Motive Forces of U.S. Foreign Policy was published by the Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Soviet Academy of Sciences. It proclaimed that “Soviet-American relations, the relations between the two greatest powers in the world, constitute the axis of world politics, the main foundation of international peace”. It emphasized that an “extremely important feature in Soviet-American relations” was the “ community of national interests of the two countries.”[184] Addressing the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on 13 December 1962, A.A Gromyko, a leading member of the Soviet Government, said:

“....if there is agreement between N.S. Khrushchev, the head of the Soviet Government, and John Kennedy, the President of the United States, there will be a solution of international problems on which mankind’s destinies depend.”[185]

The question is, what “community of national interests” of the US imperialists and the Soviet rulers could exist? How could “agreement” between them provide “a solution of the international problems on which mankind’s destinies” depended? One may note that by making such a claim the Soviet rulers were negating openly the role of the different peoples of the world in shaping their own destinies.

Since the days (6 and 9 August 1945) when the US imperialists dropped atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killed more than 1,50,000 men, women and children, maimed still more people and caused immense devastation (though they knew that Japan was about to surrender), they have been raining death and destruction on various countries to fulfil their dream of world domination. We have already referred to the horrors they perpetuated in Korea where the war alone sent to death 4,000,000 people, and one does not know how many were murdered as a result of starvation and disease which followed in the wake of the war. When Gromyko was delivering his address the US imperialists were involved in the criminal war against Vietnam.

It may appear strange that the Soviet rulers were eager to join hands with the most predatory state in history and developed a ‘community” of interests with them. The worst tyrants and mass murderers in history pale into insignificance beside the US ruling classes who brought death and destruction to the lives of the tens of millions of people for the sake of the profits of their giant multinational corporations.

The fact is, there had been a retrogression, a reversal in the Soviet Union. During the Great Debate between the Soviet party and the Communist Party of China on ideological-political issues in the first half of the 1960s, the CPC stated that a bureaucratic bourgeois class had in the meantime seized the leadership of the Soviet Communist Party and state and restored capitalism. Neither internal reactionary forces nor the interventions of all the big imperialist states of the world, including the USA, could defeat the socialist state established by the working people and soldiers of Russia in November 1917. But gradually, peacefully, there occurred a reversal. A bureaucracy grew up and in course of time consolidated its powers and privileges. This new bourgeoisie, the bureaucratic bourgeoisie, infiltrated into the Communist Party and took over state power. Though the facade of socialist ownership of the means of production was preserved for some decades, this new bourgeoisie, a self-perpetuating class, became the collective owner of them, not in law but in actual practice.

China referred to this class as the ‘new tsars’. According to the Chinese, the new ruling class of the Soviet Union, though feigning to be enemies the US rulers, were actually anxious to collaborate with the US imperialists for joint world domination. The new Soviet rulers argued that the invention of nuclear weapons had created a new situation and might wipe out all mankind; hence they tried to restrain or prevent revolutionary struggles and national liberation struggles with dire warnings that “a single spark might start a world conflagration” — that a struggle for national liberation might provoke the US imperialists into hurling atomic weapons and endangering the life of all mankind. Instead, oppressed nations should wait till the ‘Socialist camp’ had proved its superiority to the capitalist world in a ‘peaceful competition’ and brought about ‘peaceful transition’ to socialism. The Chinese in response pointed out that, by whipping up panic over the threat nuclear war, the Soviet rulers were actually trying to scare oppressed nations into submitting to imperialism. They charged that, together with the US imperialists, the Soviet rulers wanted to be the arbiters of the destinies of all peoples of the world. In order to be able to do so, they needed to collude against truly socialist China.

The forces ranged against China were massive indeed. In 1965 the USA had some 200 military bases “armed with nuclear weapons, missiles and the ever-increasing range of new armaments” on the Japanese islands alone.[186] At the instance of the US imperialists Japanese militarism was revived (which violated the post-war constitution of Japan) and a treaty between Japan and South Korea was concluded.

Sharp conflict between China and the Soviet Union

A sharp conflict between China and the Soviet Union started in 1956. It centred around ideological-political formulations made by the Soviet leadership in their report to the 20th congress of the Soviet Communist Party, held in 1956. The Chinese Communist Party sharply differed from the new theses — “peaceful co-existence, peaceful competition and peaceful transition” — presented by the Soviet leadership in order to derail the international communist movement.

In the second half of 1958 the Soviet leadership proposed to China a joint defence system which was “designed to bring China under Soviet military control”. A Chinese military delegation headed by Peng Teh-huai, then China’s defence minister, went on a protracted visit to the Soviet Union. The Chinese leadership was divided on the question. While Mao Tsetung and his followers were firmly opposed to the policy of giving up military independence, Peng Teh-huai, who had close links with Liu Shao-chi and his associates, supported the Soviet move. In June 1959 Peng Teh-huai was dismissed from office. On firm rejection of the Soviet demand, the Soviet leadership unilaterally cancelled “the agreement on new technology for national defence concluded between China and the Soviet Union in October 1957” and repudiated its commitment “to provide China with a sample of an atomic bomb and technical data concerning its manufacture”. In 1959 the Soviet government, ignoring Chinese requests, came out in open support of the Nehru government after there had been an incident on the Sino-Indian border. In 1960 the Soviet government violated the Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship, Alliance and Mutual Assistance concluded in 1950, tore up all contracts and withdrew all Soviet experts, took away all technical designs and data, leaving many projects half-finished or unfinished. It is worth noting that China was at this time hit by natural disasters; the blow was well-timed. Besides, the Soviet Union demanded from China at the same time repayment for equipment and other supplies sent during the Korean war.

In April and May 1962 the Soviet leaders tried to stir up trouble on China’s western border. They used their organs and personnel in Sinkiang to carry out large-scale subversive activities in the Ili region. All this they undertook to do when China was threatened on several sides by the US imperialists.

In August 1962 the Soviet government informed China that it would enter into an agreement with the USA on the prevention of nuclear proliferation. It was a bid to establish joint U.S-Soviet monopoly of nuclear weapons and to prevent China from acquiring them, though China was under the threat of nuclear attacks.

The ‘deepening schism between Moscow and Peking’ and the growing ‘reconciliation’ between Moscow and Washington helped “to strengthen United States imperialism vis-a-vis both Vietnam and China — and, indeed, one of the initial benefits for the United States was to make possible the transfer of trained troops from Europe to South-east Asia”.[187] There were reports of ‘mounting tensions’ along the Sino-Soviet border. An Associated Press report of 10 December 1966 “quoted Chen Yi, Vice Premier and Foreign Minister of China, as saying, ‘The Soviet has 13 divisions on the Chinese border, moved there from Eastern Europe’. In addition to charging Soviet leaders with trying ‘to sell peace negotiations’ to the Vietnamese, Chen Yi reportedly said: ‘It is impossible to deny the abundant evidence which proves the anti-Chinese union between the United States and the USSR’.”[188]

Still later, according to an AFP report, Robert Haldeman, former US president Richard Nixon’s chief of staff, wrote in his book that the Soviet Union suggested to the USA in 1969 to join in a preventive nuclear attack on China. According to Haldeman, the Nixon administration, instead, of going along with the Soviets, got word to the Chinese that the US opposed the Russian attack plan. In his book the former top White House aide said that US intelligence had photographs showing 1,800 Soviet nuclear missiles set up along the Ussuri river only three kilometres from the Chinese border.[189] Though, according to the above report, Henry Kissinger, a former US secretary of state, denied Haldeman’s account of the episode there seems to be truth in it. Joseph Alsop, who was a prominent American journalist, corroborated Haldeman’s account. He wrote that the building of “Peking’s awesome underground city” was started in 1969 when the Russians came so close to launching a preventive nuclear attack on China.” He stated: “Nowadays, in fact, there were two complete cities of Peking, one above ground and another underground.... All this is pretty awesome and every other major city in China today, and almost all the smaller ones, too, have close to identical shelter systems.... No government in its senses could have ordered such enormous sacrifices and burdensome investments without a grimly serious, grimly urgent motive. There is no doubt at all about the motive, either. It was the fear of Soviet surprise attack which became acute when the Soviet government vainly asked for US. support for such an attack in 1969.[190]

China’s slogans on the occasion of the anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1969 included four which urged the people to remain prepared against war. One of them said: “People of all countries, unite and oppose any war of aggression launched by imperialism or social-imperialism [meaning the Soviet leadership], especially one in which atom bombs are used as weapons!...” It was the possibility of nuclear attack that forced the Chinese government to spend its scarce resources on ‘digging tunnels deep’, building networks of underground roads and shelters and making such defensive preparations against nuclear attack. Second, the information passed on by the USA to Peking might have helped in the Chinese leaders agreeing to the visit, first of Kissinger and then of Nixon, to the Chinese capital and to having talks with them.

The editorial departments of the Chinese journals, Renmin Ribao, Hongqi and Jiefangjun Bao stated in an important article in early 1970:

“The Soviet revisionist renegade clique has occupied Czechoslovakia by surprise attacks, encroached upon Chinese territories such as Chenpao Island and the Tiehliekti area and made nuclear threats against our country.”[191]

Writing in the London Times, Neville Maxwell observed: “They [the Soviet rulers] know that China is growing stronger, and can foresee the point, not remote, when China’s military power will equal, then exceed their own.... It is the reality of the slowly shifting power balance between the U.S.S.R. and China which must add great force to arguments of the Kremlin’s hawks for a pre-emptive blow and which makes 1970 such a dangerous year for the world as well as for China.” “Some Kremlinologists (notably Mr Victor Zorza)”, Maxwell added, “are convinced the U.S.S.R. has already taken the decision to attack China and is methodically preparing for war on both the military and political planes.” Victor Zorza himself observed: “Within a generation or so, a technologically mature China could dwarf the Soviet Union.... They [the Soviet rulers] will want to act before it is too late.”[192]

Writing in the Red Army’ journal Krasnaya Zvezda, Marshal Krylov, Soviet deputy defence minister and commander-in-chief of the Soviet missile forces, said that preparedness for strategic missile corps was readiness to strike a ‘retaliatory blow’ with its entire might to attain resolute aims in armed struggle. “Such retaliatory blow may exert decisive influence on the entire progress of war.” He added: “Only a few seconds are necessary for an order from the supreme command to be brought to the knowledge of literally every missile crew of the missile weapon system and they will all immediately fulfil it.”[193]

The following report by Harrison Salisbury appeared in the London Times of 25 May 1969:

“Heavy troop movements, have reinforced all elements of the Soviet Far Eastern Command. Between 100,000 and 200,000 Soviet, soldiers, including elements equipped with rockets, have been introduced into Mongolia.... Estimates of the size of the Soviet forces range as high as 1,500,000 men, from Irkutsk eastward.”[194]

As part of their preparations for launching a nuclear war against China, the Soviet rulers were negotiating a bilateral non-aggression treaty with the West German ruling classes and concluded economic agreements with West German monopolists and the Japanese.

Speaking at the tenth plenum of the eighth central committee of the Chinese Communist Party in September 1962, Mao Tsetung said:

“From the second half of 1958 he [Khrushchev] wanted to blockade the Chinese coastline. He wanted to set up a joint fleet so as to have control over our coastline and blockade us. It was because of this question that Khrushchev came to our country. After this, in September 1959 during the Sino-Indian border dispute, Khrushchev supported Nehru in attacking us and Tass issued a communique. Then Khrushchev came to China and at our Tenth Anniversary Celebration banquet in October he attacked us on our own rostrum. At the Bucharest Conference in 1960 they tried to encircle and annihilate us.”[195]

Collusion overshadows contention

“Almost from its inception”, Maxwell wrote, “the Sino-Indian boundary dispute became enmeshed with the great falling out of China and Russia, and the two quarrels interacted and exacerbated each other. As the Chinese were to say later, ‘one of the important differences of principle between the Soviet leaders and ourselves turns on Sino-Indian boundary question’, and they traced the development of Russian policy from ‘feigning neutrality while actually favouring India’ to openly supporting her in alignment with the United States.”[196]

India, the second most populous country in the world neighbouring China, had an Important role to play in the US-Soviet strategy of ‘containment’ and ultimate destruction or derevolutionization of China. That was the strategy which also received warm support of the British imperialists. The British prime minister Harold Wilson in his London Guildhall speech in November 1965 described “the struggle for the soul of Asia” as “a struggle for economic success between democratic methods [i.e. capitalist methods, Ed. Broadsheet] of which India, with her 400 million, is an outstanding example, and the Communist way represented by China and those whom she seeks to subvert [by force of the very example she set — S.K.G]. And in this war there can be no neutrals. Or if there could, Britain cannot be amongst them.... Britain’s frontier is on the Himalayas.”[197]

All the imperialists and reactionaries were keenly interested in the struggle between India and China “for economic success”, “for the soul of Asia”. The US imperialists and the Soviet rulers, in particular, and the World Bank and the IMF (tools of US imperialism) tried to prop up the Indian ruling classes with financial and military ‘aid’ and, in the course of doing so, to fleece the Indian people and impoverish them still more. While China, surrounded by hostile powers, raced ahead, India lagged further and further behind as her chronic economic crisis became more and more intensified with the passing of days.

As noted before, the People’s Republic of China had removed the mountains — the domination of imperialists, compradors and feudals — that stood on the path of her growth. Though starting in 1949 from an economic base more backward than India’s in 1947 and with a devastated economy, her liberated men and women took giant leaps forward and, placing the interests of society before the interests of self, they were building step by step a Socialist society, the dream of ages.

The Nehrus, on the other hand, preserved all the legacies of colonial rule. The socio-economic structure that was continually breeding underdevelopment and impoverishing the people remained with very few changes. The imperialist capital that dominated Indian economy and drained away its wealth was not confiscated; rather, the Indian ruling classes had (and have) an insatiable hunger for more imperialist capital — direct investment and loan capital. To quote Nehru again, “our economy is obviously tied to England and other allied powers.” Feudalism was not abolished: there were only some cosmetic changes. To quote Nehru’s friend, Chester Bowles, again: “these 500,000 villages [of India] are still the centres of caste, of feudalism and of poverty” (our emphasis). True to their character, the ruling classes of India and their front men have been guided by the ‘development’ theory which serves their interests as well as those of imperialist capital — the theory that sustained inflows of foreign capital are a necessary condition for raising poor, underdeveloped countries from the state of ‘stagnant backwardness’. Their ‘development’ theory and practice swelled the profits of imperialist capital and of its Indian underlings and condemned the people to destitution and misery.

So the US and other imperialists were both happy and worried. Since the transfer of power the US imperialists were providing India with some of its surplus food at exorbitant prices to help her to cope with extreme food shortage. They were exporting capital, too, — investment and loan capital — to India to enable the Nehru regime to maintain itself.

From about the mid-fifties the Soviet rulers also became eager to collaborate with the US imperialists in nurturing the Nehru regime as a counterweight to the China of Mao’s days as well as in exploiting the Indian people and bind her with economic and military chains. In February 1955 the Soviet Union signed an agreement with India to set up the Bhilai steel plant. During the visit of Bulganin and Khruschev in November-December 1955, Khrushchev announced the Soviet Union’s full support to India’s stand on Kashmir. In the wake of that visit followed several ‘aid ’ and trade agreements between the two countries. Khrushchev was frank enough to admit that Soviet ‘aid’ was intended to supplement US ‘aid’ to India. He told India’s finance minister Morarji Desai in June 1960: “We help you in order that the Americans might give you more aid. They will give you more aid as soon as we give you aid.”[198]

Speaking in the United States in September 1959, Khrushchev said:

“Your and our economic successes will be hailed by the whole world, which expects our two Great Powers to help the peoples who are centuries behind in their economic development to get on their feet more quickly.”[199]

What is this ‘help’ or ‘aid’ of which Khrushchev so eloquently spoke? An imperialist country provides ‘aid’ to have a stranglehold — economic, political and military — on a debtor country. Economically, it not only squeezes out of the indebted country several times more than what it gives but also distorts her development. Politically and militarily, it is a neo-colonialist fetter. Like their US counterparts, the Soviet rulers sought by means of ‘aid’ to penetrate our country economically, politically and militarily, to make our economy into an appendage of their economy, to control and manipulate the ruling clique and plunder and enslave the people. Instead of dilating on the virtues of ‘aid’, I would quote Andre Gunder Frank. Speaking of Latin America, he wrote:

“As Foreign Minister Valdes [of Chile] told President Nixon, and as the U.S. Department of Commerce and E.C.L.A [Economic Commission for Latin America] have documented extensively, it is precisely the foreign investment and aid or external assistance which has generated not only Latin America‘s contemporary colonial structure, commercial and balance of payments crises, but also the underdevelopment-generating domestic economic and class structural aberrations.... The more ‘external assistance’from the imperialist metropolis, the more underdevelopment for Latin America.”[200]

What is true of Latin America is also true of other ‘aid’-recipient countries like India.

Khrushchev came to India in February 1960. A few months earlier, ignoring Chinese requests, the Soviet government had issued a statement which feigned neutrality but expressed tacit support for India on the Longju incident. At the Bucharest conference of the representatives of some Communist and Workers’ parties,-held in June 1960, when the Sino-Soviet rift became open, Khrushchev’s criticism of China on the boundary question was quite shrill. While Soviet economic ‘aid’ to India was considerably enhanced, Soviet military ‘aid’ started pouring in from the autumn of 1960. Besides equipment for building roads in the mountainous regions, the Soviet rulers provided India with heavy transport planes and helicopters suitable for operation at the altitudes of 16-17,000 feet. These were just the things that the Nehru regime needed for implementing its forward policy and for preparing to confront China. And, as Maxwell writes, “At first Russian airmen flew both the transports and the helicopters in Ladakh training Indian co-pilots...”[201] In 1960 India was also negotiating with the Soviet Union for the purchase of MIG jet fighters. The deal was finalized in the summer of 1962. It was also agreed that the Soviet Union would set up a plant in India for the manufacture of MIG-21.[202]

After the Indian rulers had ordered the army to attack China, the Soviet Union stepped up their economic and military ‘aid’ to India. A Reuters report, dated 4 December 1962, from Washington stated: “The [US] State Department spokesman was asked at his press conference whether the expected delivery of Soviet MIG fighters to India would have any effect on U.S. military aid to India. He replied: ‘No, our talks with the Indians on their needs are continuing’.”[203] So, too, did Averell Harriman, then US president’s roving ambassador, say “No, none at all”, when asked if the United States had any objection to India’s receiving military ‘aid’ from the Soviet Union. Referring to the split between the Soviet Union and Socialist China, Harriman said that “We ought to be careful not to do things which would tend to force them together. It is very much to our interests as well as India’s interests for them [the Indians] to maintain as friendly relations as they can with Moscow.”[204] The Soviet rulers’ plan to use India as a base for aggression against China was complementary to the US imperialists’ plan: on this issue collusion overshadowed contention.

In early May 1959 was held in Washington an important conference which “brought together for the first time eighty-eight of the two countries’ [the USA and India’s] most distinguished authorities on internal Indian affairs and on the major issues of Indo-United States relations”. It was sponsored and co-sponsored by several big American institutions, and some big US multinationals were its ‘contributing sponsors’. The immediate object of the conference was to help the Indian government to overcome the crisis that had gripped her economy.

Addressing the conference US vice-president Nixon said : “To take one example, I would not underestimate the importance of the Berlin crisis; but I will say that in my own mind what happens to India, insofar as its ‘economic progress is concerned in the next few years, could be as important, or could be even more important in the long run, than what happens in the negotiations with regard to Berlin.” He stressed how India’s economic future deeply affected US interests.[205]

Senator John F. Kennedy (who soon became US president) said:

“No struggle in the world today deserves more of our thought and attention than the struggle between India and China for leadership of the East, for the respect of all Asia, for the opportunity to demonstrate whose way of life is the better.... It should be obvious that the outcome of this competition will vitally affect the security and standing of this nation.... Unless India is able to demonstrate an ability at least equal to that of China to make the transition from economic stagnation to growth, so that it can get ahead of its exploding population, the entire Free [sic] World will suffer a serious reverse. India herself will be gripped by frustration and political instability — its role as a counter to the Red Chinese will be lost — and communism will have won its greatest bloodless victory. So let there be no mistake about the nature of the crisis — both the danger and the opportunity. And let there be no mistake about the urgency of our participation in this struggle.”[206]

Many other American policy-makers spoke in the same vein and stressed the necessity of helping the Indian rulers with billions of dollars (which, according to some, would pave the way for private US investment). As the Indian problem appeared to them to be a stupendous one, they felt the necessity of mobilizing European powers and Japan, even the Soviet Union, to provide ‘aid’ to the Indian rulers. Eugene Stanley, the Stanford Research Institute’s senior economist, said: “why should not the United States take the initiative on this matter and why should not the President of the United States send a letter to Mr Khrushchev — this time we should initiate the correspondence.”[207] The US policy-makers were keen to form a united front to enable India to win in the ‘contest’ with Socialist China “ for economic success”. Selig Harrison, who edited the book, wrote in his introduction that the Soviet Union would be “ an actual if unacknowledged ally”. The importance of joint US-USSR efforts was stressed by other members of the US elite (as Charles de Gaulle of France did, according to Harrison).[208]

The purpose of the missionaries of ‘aid’ was to sabotage the liberation struggles of the underdeveloped countries, strengthen their neo-colonialist fetters and mobilize them in the holy war against Socialist China. The meaning of such ‘aid’ has been frankly stated by imperialist spokesmen like Max Millikan (a former deputy director of the US Central Intelligence Agency) and W.W.Rostow.[209] After US president Eisenhower’s visit to India in December 1959. “More material expression of America’s backing was given in a sudden multiplication of economic aid.”[210]

We have noted before that on 29 October 1962, the Nehru government appealed to the USA for military help and handed to the Americans a long list of its military needs. And the flow of US military assistance started soon after.[211] On 20 November Nehru “made an urgent, open appeal for the intervention of the United States with bomber and fighter squadrons to go into action against the Chinese.... The appeal was detailed, even specifying the number of squadrons required — fifteen”.[212] Immediately. Kennedy sent Averell Harriman “with a team of high-level State Department and Pentagon advisers and General Paul Adams, commander of the mobile strike force” to India. They were joined by a mission from Britain led by Duncan Sandys. They together “laid the groundwork for substantial military assistance for India over the next three years”.[213]

While making hectic appeals to the USA and Britain for military help, Nehru took care to inform the Soviet authorities in advance.[214] Later, Nehru said to Averell Harriman: “The Soviets had replied that they understood both the request [to the West for military help] and the need for it.”[215]

Sudhir Ghosh, who had been ‘Gandhi’s emissary’ and enjoyed Nehru’s trust, paid visits to Moscow and Washington in 1963-4. He had discussions with Kennedy, his secretary of state Rusk, secretary for defence McNamara and leading members of the US Congress. At Moscow he saw Soviet deputy foreign minister Firyubin. Ghosh wrote:

“There is growing realization on the part of the Soviet Union, the United States as well as India that the crux of the whole situation is the power of Communist China and how to contain it.”[216]

It may be noted that, unlike the USA, China had no military base in any foreign country nor did she conduct military aggression or intervention in the affairs of any country. ‘Containing China’ was a euphemism for encircling China from all sides and liquidating her.

When Ghosh saw Kennedy in March 1963, Ghosh told him that he “was impressed to see the extraordinary identity of interest between the Russians and the Americans in the India-China situation.“[217]

The reversal in China

The two superpowers and their client states encircled the People’s Republic of China on all sides. Discretion is said to the better part of valour: they chose not to invade China, which, relying on the masses, had defeated imperialist powers with only ‘millet and rifles’. When the external enemies menaced China from all sides and from sea, air and land, the internal enemies — the ‘capitalist-roaders’, a powerful section within the Chinese Communist Party, who had been active for a long time — succeeded in derevolutionizing China, in extinguishing the hope of mankind that was Socialist China. The internal factor, no doubt, played the decisive role; but it could play this role only under the circumstances created by the external factor. (We propose to elaborate this elsewhere.) The forces of change and revolution in the world had a tragic setback for the time being, about the middle of the seventies: it was this great reversal, more than the collapse of the Soviet Union, that has made US imperialism more arrogant, more aggressive and more brazen-faced than before.

Mao Tsetung had warned people of such reversal times without number. Speaking at the tenth plenum of the eighth central committee of the Chinese Communist Party in September 1962, he said:

“The bourgeois revolutions in Europe in such countries as England and France had many ups and downs. After the overthrow of feudalism, there were several restorations and reversals of fortune. This kind of reversal is also possible in socialist countries.”[218]

In May 1963 Mao said:

“In social struggle, the forces representing the advanced class sometimes suffer defeat not because their ideas are incorrect but because, in the balance of forces engaged in struggle, they are not as powerful for the time being as the forces of reaction; they are therefore temporarily defeated, but they are bound to triumph sooner or later.”[219]

The aftermath of the war

In the aftermath of the Himalayan adventure there occurred significant changes in different spheres of Indian life — political, economic, military, etc. Here we shall only touch on them briefly.

‘India’s China war’ tightened more firmly than before the noose of US imperialism and Soviet rulers round the neck of the Indian people. In the wake of the war there was greater political and economic dependence on them. Spurious non-alignment yielded to open bi-aligmnent, which amounted to greater subservience to them. As Selig Harrison wrote, “Instead of striking an elusive, equidistant pose midway between the extremes of commitment, the object now [after the adventure] is to remain as near as possible to both of her patrons while displeasing neither.”[220] All the old euphoria vanished. The Indian state of our ruling classes appeared in all its nakedness — a client state “in its dealings with the superpowers”.

When people starved, military expenditure went on multiplying. While India’s military expenditure amounted to Rs 2,809 million in 1960-1, it rose to Rs 8,161 million in 1963-4.[221] Much of it went to purchase military hardware, the market for which was not internal but external — the erstwhile Soviet Union and the USA. This added substantially to the drain of wealth from an already impoverished India.

While the “process of internal political deterioration” continued, the chronic economic crisis of this semi-colonial country was accentuated under the impact of the Himalayan adventure. Dependence on the USA and the USSR for economic ‘aid’(including food) and direct capital investment increased steeply. The balance of payments deficit rose; inflation spiralled higher and higher; the value of the rupee deteriorated; imports cost more while exports became much cheaper; long-neglected agriculture faced a crisis; the market for industrial goods shrank; internal investment declined; the burden on the people became heavier and heavier. Nehru’s strategy of building socialism peacefully, without tears, without demolishing the semi-feudal structure of society, without even confiscating imperialist capital — instead, strengthening its hold on Indian economy — was exposed as bankrupt. ‘The socialist pattern of society’ was in tatters. In 1963, according to rough estimates of the Indian planning commission, two-thirds of the population earned an average of 7.5 annas (about 47 paise) a day,[222] which could not assure them even one full meal a day, what to speak of other necessities of life. All these contributed to the maturing of a sharp political and economic crisis.

The Himalayan debacle cut Nehru down to size. The inflated self-image of India and of her self-righteous prime minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru — ‘an intrepid fighter for the establishment of peace and justice on earth’, ‘the architect of non-alignment’, a “peace-maker and go-between in the company of the superpowers”[223] — was shattered. It was the imperialist powers as well as the Soviet Union that had helped and encouraged Nehru to project and nurture carefully this image in view of India’s huge population (millions of whom could be used as cannon-fodder in their wars, as they had been used in the past by the British imperialists), her large market and the role of the Indian ruling classes in the wars against Socialism and national liberation struggles in Asia. India’s political elite, so self-confident and so full of self-esteem before, became after the painful experience utterly confused, bewildered and dejected. To quote Harrison again, “Nehru had little leadership to give in his period of decline, for he was the most demoralized of all by the Himalayan debacle....”[224] Even before the adventure was over, even when the Chinese had reached only Towang and halted, Nehru appeared to the US ambassador as “frail, brittle....small and old”.[225] Nehru’s leadership in formulating both internal and external policies was challenged even from within the Congress party. Though he tried to assert his supremacy, he was not his old self again. He did not survive long the shock. He had a heart-attack in January 1964 and passed away in May.

The long-simmering discontent among the people broke out into spontaneous revolts of the workers, peasants and other oppressed sections of the people in different places. The Himalayan debacle also led to revolt within the Communist Party of India, the leadership of which was enamoured of Nehru’s foreign policy and of his ‘socialist pattern of society’ and had been trailng behind the Indian ruling classes.

The Himalayan adventure and Indian communists

In a long article “India-China Relations” in New Age (then the monthly organ of the CPI) of December 1959 (that is, after the Longju and Kongka Pass incidents), B.T. Ranadive, its editor and a long-time top leader of the CPI and, later, of the CPI(Marxist), wrote that the CPI “had consistently supported the basic principles of our foreign policy — in fact more consistently than the Congress followers themselves”. Yet, it was “most shocking” to Ranadive and the CPI that the Congress president and general secretary demanded a ban on the party, that the home minister threatened it with legal action and “Nehru himself” spoke of the possibility of a ban or curbs on it. The article clarified that in a resolution the National Council of the CPI had held “that whatever the origin of the McMahon line may be, the fact cannot be ignored that for several years this has been the frontier of India and the area south of this line has been under Indian administration. It, therefore, held that the area south of the McMahon line was a part of India and should remain in India.” The article stated: “As regards the Western border, the National Council held that the government [of India] was correct in basing itself on the traditional border.” The CPI upheld the demand of the Nehru government that China “should withdraw their personnel 20 kilometres to the east of the international boundary which has been described by the Government of India in their earlier notes”....[226]

As we have seen, the “international boundary” described by the Nehru government (and upheld by the Ranadives) to serve its expansionist aims, to embarrass socialist China and to serve the interests of U.S.-Soviet rulers was a wholly fictitious one. The concrete import of Nehru’s counter-proposals (to China’s proposals for maintenance of the status quo pending settlement and withdrawal of the military personnel 20 kilometres to avoid clashes) as explained by B.G. Verghese in The Times of India of 25 November 1959, was that virtually “India has only to withdraw on the map but does not physically withdraw anywhere on the ground. The Chinese, however, will have to vacate an area of upto 6,000 square miles” including the road that linked Sinkiang with Tibet in the Aksai Chin area. In his article Ranadive lauded Nehru’s counter-proposals “as another step in the direction of negotiations, peaceful settlement”. And S.A. Dange, chairman of the party, extended support to them in the Lok Sabha.

Ranadive’s article makes it explicit that the CPI leadership was quite conscious that “ the issue is not just differences over the border but something basic”.[227] The Ranadives knew that the conflict was not actually over some desolate wastes but something “basic”. The article quotes from some of Nehru’s speeches which breathed fear of and hostility towards resurgent, socialist China and talked of the possibility of war against her.[228] And Ranadive and his comrades shared some “basic” affinity with the Nehrus.

In November 1959, another top leader of the CPI and, later, of the CPI(M), Namboodiripad, declared: “ In case of aggression we are one with the government. It is for the government of the day to decide whether aggression has been committed or not.” The CPI delegation to the conference of the 81 Communist and Workers’ Parties, held in Moscow in November-December 1960, stated in its report to the conference that the delegation unanimously supported the Soviet position on the China-India border dispute and opposed the Chinese stand on it. The delegation included Namboodiripad and Ramamurti, who too became afterwards a top leader of the CPI(M).

After China’s unilateral ceasefire and withdrawal, there was an uproar in India condemning China, in which all parties — right, centre and ‘left’ — joined. The CPI leadership too did not lag behind.[229] As chairman of the CPI, Dange wrote to Nehru:

“In the post-independence period you have laid the policies of planned development, democracy, socialism, peace, non-alignment and anti-colonialism.

“Today, in this hour of grave crisis created by the Chinese aggression the nation has mustered around you as a man to safeguard its honour, integrity and sovereignty.

The Communist Party of India pledges its unqualified support to your policies of national defence and national unity” (Emphasis added).

Jyoti Basu, who also became a top leader of the CPI(M), declared: “the Chinese should withdraw to the point where the [Indian] Union Government wants them to.” In reply to a question of a journalist, he said: “Our stand is clear. I think India’s border defences should be strengthened and my party will not hesitate to put in all its efforts for the defence of India’s freedom, irrespective of the political character of the attacking country.”[230]

Evidently, what the CPI leadership practised in the name of communism was actually national chauvinism of the worst sort and unashamed class collaboration. It joined the camp of the Indian ruling classes, the US imperialists and the Soviet rulers — the Soviet rulers who were travelling along the capitalist-imperialist road.

Neville Maxwell observed: “The [Communist] party leadership’s action in condemning China for the border fighting and pledging the party’s unqualified support to Nehru can be seen in retrospect as making the final, open split into two parties unavoidable.”[231] This view is shared by many, but it is not wholly correct. Among those who engineered the split and became members of the highest body — the political bureau — of the new party, the CPI (Marxist), were Ranadive, Namboodiripad, Jyoti Basu, Ramamurti and their ilk, who had pledged unqualified support to the Indian government as the other section of the CPI leadership had done. At one phase some of them called for talks and negotiations instead of preaching a belligerent policy which Dange and his associates did throughout. The real issue on which the Ranadives broke away from the parent organization was not ideological or political. The split was brought about not on the basis of ideology but through the instrumentality of Dange letters. These letters, written by S.A.Dange in 1924 after his conviction in the Kanpur Conspiracy case, were found in the National Archives of India, New Delhi, in 1964, when Dange was chairman of the CPI. There were, among them, two letters addressed to the governor-general in council, in which Dange, while praying for his release, expressed his willingness to serve as a police-agent.[232]

Maxwell was partially correct. A large number of communists, who were thoroughly disillusioned about the leadership, were full of deep resentment and hated its policy of betrayal of Socialism and the peoples of the world, including the Indian people, rallied — some of them very reluctantly — within the CPI(M); many of them were deluded into believing that the new party would emerge as a centre of revolutionaries. They were deceived by the cleverly-crafted revolutionary verbiage of many of the leaders who initiated the split for their factional interests. The fault was not in their stars but in themselves. They were deceived mainly because of their theoretical weakness — an old, chronic disease yet to be cured.

To add a few words about myself: I had left the CPI after the 20th Congress of the Soviet Communist Party in 1956. But the Himalayan war made me feel that I should take active part in politics again and I told my wife that the future would be uncertain. After some initial refusals, I was persuaded to join the CPI(M) when its leadership decided to bring out its central organ People’s Democracy from Calcutta. By the middle of 1966, I thought that ‘enough was enough’ and left the ‘Marxists’. When the peasant uprising in Naxalbari in 1967 was led by some communists of the Siliguri area after their release from prison, many communists all over India including myself hailed it. The Himalayan adventure of the Nehrus marked a watershed in my life as in the lives of many other Indian communists.

References and Notes

[1.] Cited in T.V. Kunhi Krishnan, Chavan and the Troubled Decade, Bombay, 1971, p. 71.

[2.] N. Mansergh (editor-in-chief), Constitutional Relations between Britain and India: The Transfer of Power 1942-7 (Documents released by the British Government), Vols. I-XII, London, 1971-1983 (hereinafter cited as TOP); Vol X, p. 430.

[3.] See Neville Maxwell, India’s China War, Bombay, 1971, p. 68.

[4.] S. Gopal (chief editor), Selected Works of Jawaharlal Nehru, 1st Series (Vols. I-XV), 2nd Series (Vols. I-III), New Delhi, 1972-1985 (hereafter cited as SWJN);Vol. XIV p. 325.

[5.] Ibid. 2nd Series, Vol. I, p-311.

[6.] Jawaharlal Nehru, The Discovery of India, London, 1956 edn., p. 550.

[7.] SWJN, 2nd Series, Vol. I, p. 19; see also Nehru, The Discovery of India, pp. 545, 549; SWJN, Vol. XII, pp. 134, 174; Vol. XIV, p. 160, 187, 440, 441; Vol. XV, p. 123, 566; Ibid, 2nd Series, Vol. I, p. 439; Vol. II, pp. 89, 181 – passim.

[8.] TOP, XI, pp. 446-8.

[9.] Nehru, Independence and After, Delhi, 1949, p. 57; see also p. 59.

[10.] Ibid, pp. 65, 89; Jawaharlal Nehru’s Speeches 1949-53, Delhi, 1957, pp. 152, 341-2, 345, 352 – passim.

[11.] See Ibid, p. 361 and S. Gopal, Jawaharlal Nehru, Vol. II, Delhi, 1979, p. 122.

[12.] Durga Das (ed), Sardar Patel’s Correspondence 1945-1950, (Vols. I-X, Ahmedabad, 1971-4); Vol. X, pp. 336-40.

[13.] Maxwell, op cit, pp. 67-8.

[14.] SWJN, Vol. XV, p. 458; Ibid, 2nd Series, Vol. II, p. 470; Nehru to Macmanage, 1 Nov. 1945, Jawaharlal Nehru Papers, cited in B.N. Pandey, Nehru, London, 1977, pp-25O; Bowles, Ambassador’s Report, London, 1954, p. 280.

[15.] Michael Sayers and Albert E. Kahn, The Great Conspiracy (previously named The Great Conspiracy Against Russia), London, 1975 reprint, pp. 429-30.

[16.] David Horowitz, From Yalta to Vietnam, Penguin, 1971 reprint, p.108; see also Selected Works of Mao Tsetung, Vol. IV, Peking, 1969, p. 101, note 1.

[17.] See L. Natarajan, American Shadow Over India, Bombay, 1952, pp. 179-81.

[18.] Ibid, p.181.

[19.] Ibid, p.186.

[20.] Ibid, p.168.

[21.] Ibid, pp.186-7. Natarajan refers to a report in the New York Herald Tribune, 17 Oct. 1949.

[22.] Natarajan, op cit, p. 187.

[23.] Ibid, p.187. Natarajan refers to Manchester Guardian, 23 Nov. 1949.

[24.] New York Times, 28 July 1949, cited in Natarajan, op cit. P 189.

[25.] Quoted in Ibid, pp. 187-8 – emphasis added.

[26.] Ibid, p.188.

[27.] Ibid.

[28.] Ibid.

[29.] Ibid. P. 189.

[30.] Ibid. pp. 189-90.

[31.] Ibid. p. 189 and note 36, p. 284.

[32.] Quoted in Ibid, p. 190 – emphasis added.

[33.] Ibid.

[34.] Maxwell, op cit, p. 70.

[35.] Ibid.

[36.] Natarajan, op cit. p. 191.

[37.] Maxwell, op cit, pp. 71 and 72, fn.

[38.] Natarajan, op cit, p. 191 and note 40, p. 284.

[39.] Ibid. p 193.

[40.] Durga Das (ed.), SardarPatel’s Correspondence 1945-5O, Vol. X, pp. 336-40 – emphasis added.

[41.] Ibid, p.346.

[42.] See Suniti Kumar Ghosh, The Indian Constitution and Its Review, Bombay, 2001.

[43.] TOP, Vol. X, p. 157 – emphasis added; see also p.430.

[44.] Quoted in S. Gopal, Jawaharlal Nehru, Vol. II, Delhi, 1979, p. 176 – emphasis added.

[45.] Karunakar Gupta, “The McMahon Line, 1914-45: The British Legacy”, China Quarterly (London), July-Sep. 1971.

[46.] Maxwell, op cit, p. 56.

[46a.] Kuldip Nayar, India: The Critical Years, Revised and Enlarged Edition, Delhi, 1971, p 160.
[47.] Karunakar Gupta, Spotlight on Sino-Indian Frontiers, Calcutta, 1982, p. 18; see also p. 26; also Neville Maxwell, op cit, pp. 19-64 – emphasis added.

[48.] Sourin Roy, “Sino-Indian Frontiers”, Frontier (a Calcutta weekly), 7 February 1981.

[49.] Quoted in Gupta, Spotlight on Sino-Indian Frontiers, p. 27.

[50.] Arnold Toynbee, Between Oxus and Jumna, London, 1961, p. 190; quoted in Maxwell, op cit, p.65.

[51.] D.R. Mankekar, Guilty Men of 1962, Bombay, 1968, p.138 quoted in Gupta, Spotlight on Sino-Indian Frontiers, p.28; Maxwell, op cit, pp. 79, 80 – emphasis added.

[52.] T.N. Kaul’s letter in the Illustrated Weekly of India, 15 June 1986; quoted in Dwijendra Nandi, Sino-Indian Border Dispute, Uttarpara, Hooghly, 1988, p.28 – emphasis added.

[53.] See T. V. Kunhi Krishnan, op cit. pp. 63, 64, 67, 68-9; Maxwell, op cit, p. 311.

[53a.] Kuldip Nayar, op cit, p. 161.
[54.] Frank Moraes, Witness to an Era, London, 1973, pp. 220-1 – emphasis added.

[55.] George Patterson, Tibet in Revolt, London, 1961, pp. 152 ff. – emphasis added.

[56.] Dilip Hiro, Inside India Today, London and Henley, pp.248-9 – emphasis added. Hiro has quoted from B.N.Malik, The Betrayal, Bombay, 1971, p.183.

[57.] See Hiro, op cit, 249, 309 emphasis added.

[58.] This quote by Maxwell is from George Patterson, Tibet in Revolt, pp. 152-3.

[59.] Maxwell, op cit, p. 104.

[60.] See Ibid, p. 105 and footnotes.

[61.] Ibid. pp. 105-6 and 106 fn. – emphasis added.

[62.] Ibid. p. 106.

[63.] “CIA helped Tibetan exiles: report”, Statesman, 7 Feb. 1997. See also Wilfred Burchett and Rewi Alley, China: The Quality of Life, Middlesex, 1976, pp. 271-2.

[63a.] “Para-Commando Battalions in process of being revamped”, Economic Times, 15.8.1994.

[64.] Maxwell, op cit, pp. 310-1; see also pp. 221, 391.

[65.] Ibid, p. 202.

[66.] Ibid, pp. 107-10.

[67.] Ibid,p. 110.

[68.] “India in the Sino-Soviet Dispute”, Frontier, 17.11.1973.

[69.] Maxwell, op cit, p.150; see also pp.151-69.

[70.] Ibid, pp. 26-7, 87.

[71.] Ibid, pp. 88-9.

[72.] Ibid, pp. 158-69.

[73.] Quoted in Dwijendra Nandi, op cit. pp. 19-20.

[74.] K.C. Praval, Indian Army after Independence, New Delhi; quoted in Dwijendra Nandi, op cit, p. 63.

[75.] Krishnan, op cit, p. 69, fn. He quotes from Dalvi, Himalayan Blunder, p. 72.

[76.] See Krishnan, op cit, p. 70 – emphasis added.

[77.] See Maxwell, op cit. pp. 344-5.

[78.] Quoted in D. Nandi, op cit, pp. 24, 63; the source is Major General Niranjan Prasad, The Fall of Towang, New Delhi, p. 163. Prasad was the commander of the 4 Division which was operating in the eastern sector.

[79.] Maxwell, op cit, pp. 412-3.

[80.] Ibid. p. 359.

[81.] Krishnan, op cit, 78.

[82.] The Times of India, 21.10.62 ; quoted in Maxwell, op cit, p. 361 – emphasis added.

[83.] J.K. Galbraith, Ambassador’s Journal, London, 1969, p. 435 – emphasis added.

[84.] Ibid, pp. 442, 443 – emphasis added.

[85.] Ibid. p. 445 – emphasis added.

[86.] Ibid. p. 475 – brackets in the original. Emphasis added.

[87.] Ibid. p. 479.

[88.] Ibid,p.481.

[89.] Ibid. p. 486 – emphasis added.

[90.] Sudhir Ghosh, Gandhi’s Emissary, London, 1967, pp. 312-3; Krishnan, op cit, 80-1.

[91.] Galbraith, op cit, p. 489 – emphasis added.

[92.] Kunhi Krishnan, op cit, p. 81 – emphasis added.

[93.] Ibid ,p. 83 – emphasis added.

[94.] Bertrand Russell, Unarmed Victory, Penguin, 1963, p. 84.

[95.] Gaibraith, op cit, p. 501.

[96.] Ibid. pp. 504, 523, 525-6 – emphasis added.

[97.] Durga Das, From Curzon to Nehru and After, London, 1969, p. 361. See also Kuldip Nayar, op cit, pp 163-4.

[98.] Durga Das, op cit, p. 361. Durga Das served as editor of the Associated Press of India — the forerunner of the Press Trust of India — in New Delhi and Simla and, later, as chief editor of the Hindustan Times. In his foreword to Durga Das’s book Zakir Hussain, then president of India, wrote: “Scarcely anything of political importance took place in Delhi or Simla, the twin seats of the British Raj, and later in Nehru’s Delhi without his being a close and discerning observer, reporter and interpreter of them.”

[99.] Neville Maxwell in The Sunday Times, London, 5 Dec. 1971, cited in S. Nihal Singh, The Yogi and the Bear, New Delhi, 1966, pp. 259-60; also Neville Maxwell in The Times, London, 24 Aug. 1972, cited in Hiro, op cit, pp. 249-50.

[100.] Mao Tsetung, “Remarks at the Spring Festival” (13 February 1964 ) in Stuart Schram (ed), Mao Tsetung Unrehearsed — Talks and Letters: 1956-71, Penguin, 1974, p. 198.

[101.] Statesman, 18.2.1963 – emphasis added.

[102.] John G. Gurley, China’s Economy and the Maoist Strategy, New York and London, 1976, pp. 238, 240.

[103.] Burchett and Alley, op cit, p. 33.

[104.] Ibid, p. 34.

[105.] Gurley, op cit, p. 15.

[106.] quoted in Gurley, op cit, p. 146.

[107.] Cited in Horowitz, op cit, p. 418.

[108.] Gurley, op cit, p. 13.

[109.] Cited in Horowitz, op cit, p. 413 – emphasis added.

[110.] Theodore H. White and Annalee Jacoby, Thunder out of China, 1946, pp. 318-9; cited in Horowitz, op cit, p. 414.

[111.] Selected Works of Mao Tsetung, Vol. IV, Peking, 1969, p. 97.

[112.] Horowitz, op cit, pp.414-5 – emphasis in the original.

[113.] Geoffrey Warner, “Escalation in Vietnam: The Precedents of 1954,” International Affairs (organ of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, London), April 1965, pp. 273-4.

[114.] Selig S. Harrison, “Troubled India and her Neighbours,” Foreign Affairs, January 1965, pp. 328-9.

[115.] Michael Sayers and Albert E. Kahn, op cit, p. 436.

[116.] Horowitz, op cit, p. 423.

[117.] Felix Greene, The Enemy, Indian edn., Calcutta, 1974, p. 199.

[118.] Horowitz, op cit, p. 425.

[119.] Quoted in Natarajan, op cit, p. 126.

[120.] Alan Campbell-Johnson, Mission with Mountbatten, London, 1951, pp. 110, 114.

[121.] New York Times, 28.4.1949; quoted in S. Gopal, op cit, Vol. II, p. 54 – emphasis added.

[122.] Quoted in Natarajan, op cit, p. 120.

[123.] Quoted in R.P. Dutt, India Today and Tomorrow, Delhi, 1955, p. 275 – emphasis added.

[124.] Jawarharlal Nehru, Inside America (A Voyage of Discovery), Delhi, n.d., p. 71.

[125.] Quoted in R.P. Dutt, op cit. p. 275 – emphasis added.

[126.] Reprinted in the Free Press Journal (Bombay); see Natarajan, op cit. p.255.

[127.] Selig S. Harrison, “Troubled India and her Neighbours”, op cit, p. 328.

[128.] SWJN, Vol. XII, p. 169.

[129.] Ibid. Vol. XI, pp. 24, 141-2; Vol. XII. pp. 131, 169, 176-7, passim.

[130.] Ibid. Vol. XII, pp. 194-5; TOP, Vol. 1, pp. 665-6.

[131.] See K.M. Panikkar, The Basis of an Indo-British Treaty, Delhi, 1946; Krishna Menon to Mountbatten, 13.3.1947, TOP, Vol. IX, p. 951; Nehru to Mountbatten, 24.3.1947, TOP~ Vol. X, p. 13; Nehru, Independence and After, Delhi, 1949, p. 275; G.D. Birla, In the Shadow of the Mahatma, Bombay, 1968, p. 298; K.M. Munshi, quoted in Modern Review (a monthly from Calcutta, now extinct), Feb. 1946, p. 144; Report of the Fiscal Commission 1949-50, Vol. III, Written Evidence, Delhi, 1950, p. 80; see also Suniti Kumar Ghosh, India’s Nationality Problem and Ruling Classes, Calcutta, 1996, pp. 36-7.

[132.] Chester Bowles, Ambassador’s Report, London, 1954, pp. 199-200 – emphasis added.

[133.] See Natarajan, op cit, p. 214.

[134.] Bowles, op cit, p. 94.

[135.] Ibid. p. 107.

[136.] Ibid. pp. 126-7, 155.

[137.] See Jane Degras, The Communist International: Documents, 1919-1943, Vol. I, London, 1956, pp. 286, 383.

[138.] See Horowitz, op cit, “Containment into Liberation: Korea”, chap. 8 (for the quote, see p. 126); Martin Hart-Landsberg, “Setting the Record Straight on the Korean War”, Monthly Review, Oct. 2000, pp.44-7.

[139.] A.G. Noorani, “A Diplomat’s Legacy.” Frontline, 25 March 1994, pp. 90-2 – emphasis added.

[140.] George Rosen, Western Economists and Eastern Societies, Delhi, 1985. p.12.

[141.] Amrita Bazar Patrika, 9.l.l9S2 quoted in Natarajan, op cit. p. 139.

[142.] Ibid. p. 160: see also R.P. Dutt. op cit. p. 290.

[143.] Nehru, Independence and After, Delhi. 1949, p. 201.

[144.] See Natarajan, op cit, p. 147.

[145.] See Ghosh, The Indian Big Bourgeoisie, 2nd edn., Calcutta, 2000, pp. 237-49.

[146.] See Ibid, pp. 260-70.

[147.] Suniti Kumar Ghosh, “Imperialist Agencies and India’s Plans”, Aspects of India’s Economy (Bombay), No. 18, pp. 12-33.

[148.] Natarajan, op cit, pp. 60, 98.

[149.] Ibid. pp.60-67.

[150.] Ibid. pp. 92-3.

[151.] For the text of the agreement, see Ibid. pp. 299-304, and for the critique, see Ibid, pp. 309-14.

[152.] Michael Kidron, Foreign Investments in India, London, 1965, pp. 100, 102.

[153.] Natarajan, op cit, pp. 103-11.

[154.] Ibid. p. 150; see also pp. 147-51.

[155.] Amrita Bazar Patrika, 20.1.1952; cited in Natarajan, op cit, p. 111.

[156.] Daniel Patrick Moynihan, A Dangerous Place, New Delhi, Second Indian reprint, 1979, p. 41.

[157.] Ibid. pp. 40-1.

[158.] Ibid, p.41 and Mohan Ram, “Indo-US Spying Venture: Unanswered Questions”, Economic and Political Weekly, 29 April 1978, p. 720.

[159.] Bowles, op cit, p. 229 – emphasis added.

[160.] Francine R. Frankel, India’s Political Economy 1947-1977, Delhi, 1984, p. 120.

[161.] D.D.Kosambi, Exasperating Essays, Pune, 1957., pp. 32, 33, 41, 42 – emphasis added.

[162.] S. Gopal, op cit, Vol. II, p. 236. Gopal refers to Churchill’s letters of 21.2.1955 and 30.6.1955.

[163.] M.O. Mathai, Reminiscences of the Nehru Age, New Delhi, 1978, p. 55. A few words about M.O. Mathai: A stenographer, he served the American Red Cross on the Assam-Burma border and left this job to work as special assistant to Nehru in early 1946. In August 1947 he became the head of Nehru’s personal secretariat. And, as he wrote, “no file or paper reached the Prime Minister except through me — and with rare exceptions, in which case they would come to me from him. Nothing went out except through me.” He was addressed by Vijayalakshmi Pandit as ‘Deputy Prime Minister’ and was “encouraged ... beyond normal limits” by Indira Gandhi. Even senior central ministers sought his favours and he decided which papers to send to Nehru and which papers he would dispose of himself. Communists brought charges of corruption and carrying on espionage for the USA against him in parliament. No police investigation or judicial inquiry or even a departmental inquiry was held. The cabinet secretary who was asked informally to ascertain the facts exonerated him publicly, “but Nehru was informed that Mathai could not account for his great wealth and without doubt had received money from the C.I.A. as well as from businessmen in India” (S.Gopal, op cit. Vol. III, p. 122. Gopal cites as his source “Record of later conversation of V. Sahay, Cabinet Secretary, with S. Radhakrishnan [President of India], 17 Feb. and 31 Oct. 1966, Radhakrishnan Papers. See also S. Gopal, op. cit, Vol. II, pp. 311-2; Mathai, op. cit, pp. 1-2,9, 16). To quote S. Gopal, “It can be safely assumed that, from 1946 to 1959 [when Mathai’s resignation was accepted], the CIA had access to every paper passing through Nehru’s secretariat” (S. Gopal, op. cit, Vol. III, p.122 – emphasis added).

[164.] S. Gopal, op cit, Vol. II, p.45 – emphasis added. The offer of help, particularly in respect of Hyderabad and Kashmir, is significant. In Telengana — several districts of the Hyderabad state — a heroic peasant uprising under Communist leadership had been going on; it had freed a wide area from the rule of the Nizam and landlords and distributed land among the tillers of the soil. (We have quoted before some lines from Chester Bowles on this struggle.) It was not merely to force the Nizam to accede to the Indian Union but, mainly to crush the peasant rebellion which threatened to engulf the whole of the Hyderabad state that Nehru’s army marched into the state in the same month of September 1948 and unleashed a reign of fascist terror. According to instructions, the army went on committing indiscriminate murder, pillage, rape, etc., etc. And Kashmir’s maharaja had acceded to India in October 1947 but the accession was provisional, temporary. Nehru and his government made many commitments to the Kashmir people as well as to the United Nations that the people of Kashmir would ultimately be the arbiters of their own destiny, that they would be free to decide through a fair plebiscite whether to accede to India or to Pakistan or to remain independent. But Nehru was actually seeking to annex Kashmir. By early 1948 the dispute over Kashmir was referred to the United Nations.

[165.] S. Gopal, op cit, Vol. II, p. 45.

[166.] Ibid, p. 156.

[167.] Durga Das (ed.), Sardar Patel’s Correspondence, Vol. X, pp. 342-7 – emphasis added.

[168.] S. Gopal, op cit, Vol. II, p. 249.

[169.] Quoted in Ibid – emphasis added.

[170.] Ibid, pp. 254-5 – emphasis added.

[171.] T. N. Kaul, Diplomacy in Peace and War, New Delhi, 1979, p. 132.

[172.] Chester Bowles, “America and Russia in India”, Foreign Affairs, July 1971, p. 649. Bowles was US ambassador to India in the early fifties and again in the sixties; besides, he held important positions in the US government at different times.

[173.] Bowles, A View from New Delhi, New Delhi, 1969, p. 196 – emphasis added.

[174.] Ibid, p. 199 – emphasis added.

[175.] W. W. Rostow, The Difusion of Power, New York, 1972, p.34.

[176.] Reproduced in Indian Express, 28 June 1968 from American Forces Management, June 1968 – emphasis added.

[177.] Hubert Humphrey, television interview with American correspondents, 16 January 1966; cited in Commentator of Hongqi (Red Flag), Confessions Concerning the Line of Soviet-U S. Collaboration pursued by the New Leaders of the CPSU, Peking, 1966, pp. 23-4.

[178.] Quoted in Ibid, p.26 – emphasis added.

[179.] Quoted in Ibid. p.26.

[180.] Lyndon Johnson, The United States and the Soviet Union (a USIS pamphlet), New Delhi, n.d., p. 15.

[181.] Howard Zinn, A People’s History of the United States, New York, 1990 edn., pp. 466-7; Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky, Manufacturing Consent, New York, 1988, pp. 182, 206-10.

[182.] Johnson, op cit, pp. 5-6, 9,11.

[183.] Frederic F. Clairmont, “The Market Gulag”, Monthly Review, June 1988, p. 55.

[184.] Commentator of Hongqi (Red Flag) , op. cit, p. 6.

[185.] See Central Committee, Communist Party of China, The Polemic on the General Line of the International Communist Movement, Peking, 1965, p. 296.

[186.] Broadsheet, organ of the China Policy Study Group (sponsored by Joseph Needham, Joan Robinson, George Thomson and others), July-August 1966, p. 5.

[187.] Charles J. Coe, “Victoty in Vietnam?”, Monthly Review, March 1967, pp. 44-5.

[188.] Ibid, p. 45.

[189.] Economic Times, 18.2.1978.

[190.] Alsop, “Peking’s Awesome Underground City”, San Francisco Chronicle, 1 Dec. 1972; reprinted in David Milton, Nancy Milton and Franz Schurmann (eds.), People’s China, Middlesex, 1977, 609-10; see also Alsop, “The Soviet Build-up on China’s Frontier”, Ibid, 608.

[191.] “Leninism or Social-Imperialism?”, translated version in Peking Review, no. 17, 1970 – emphasis added.

[192.] Statesman, 24 Jan. 1970.

[193.] Ibid, 5 Feb. 1970.

[194.] Quoted in Broadsheet, June 1969.

[195.] Stuart Schram (ed.), op cit, pp.190-1.

[196.] Maxwell, op cit, p. 275.

[197.] Quoted in “Holy War against China?”, Broadsheet, November 1966, p. 2 – emphasis added.

[198.] Morarji Desai, The Story of My Life, Vol. II, p. 156; cited in S. Nihal Singh, The Yogi and the Bear, New Delhi, 1986, p. 18.

[199.] Quoted in Central Committee, Communist Party of China, “Apologists of Neo-Colonialism”, The Polemic on the General Line of the International Communist Movement, p.195.

[200.] Andre Gunder Frank, Lumpenbourgeoisie: Lumpendevelopment, New York and London, 1974 edn., p. 130.

[201.] Maxwell, op cit, pp. 285-6.

[202.] Nihal Singh, op cit, pp. 29-30.

[203.] Statesman, 5.12.1962.

[204.] Ibid, 9.12.1962 – emphasis added.

[205.] Selig S. Harrison (ed.), India and the United States (record of the proceedings of the conference with an introduction by the editor), New York, 1961, pp. 144, 146.

[206.] Ibid, pp. 63, 64. See also W W Rostow, op cit, p. 106.

[207.] Ibid, p. 115.

[208.] Ibid, pp. 8-9.

[209.] See Max Millikan and W. W. Rostow A Proposal: Key to an Effective Foreign Policy, New York, 1957, pp. 2, 33, 142.

[210.] Maxwell, op cit, p. 146.

[211.] Ibid, p. 378.

[212.] Ibid, p. 410 and footnote.

[213.] Ibid, pp. 434-5.

[214.] S. Nihal Singh, op cit, p.30.

[215.] R. H. Donaldson, Soviet Policy toward India, Harvard, Cambridge, 1974, p. 163; cited in Nihal Singh, op cit, p. 258.

[216.] Sudhir Ghosh, Gandhi’s Emissaty, p. 323 – emphasis added.

[217.] Ibid, p. 312 – emphasis added.

[218.] Smart Schram (ed), Mao Tsetung Unrehearsed, p. 189.

[219.] Selected Readings from the Works of Mao Tsetung, Peking, 1971, p. 503.

[220.] Selig S. Harrison, “Troubled India and her Neighbours”, op cit, p. 326 – emphasis added

[221.] Maxwell, op cit, p.439, fn.

[222.] Francine Frankel, op cit, p. 223, fn. 45.

[223.] Harrison, “Troubled India and her Neighbours,” op cit. p. 312.

[224.] Ibid, p. 313.

[225.] John Gaibraith, op cit, p. 435.

[226.] B.T. Ranadive, “India-China Relations,” New Age (New Delhi), Dec. 1959, 45-64 – emphasis added.

[227.] Ibid, p.62.

[228.] Ibid pp.62-3.

[229.] Maxwell, op cit, 380.

[230.] Statesman, 31 Oct. 1962 – emphasis added.

[231.] Maxwell, op cit, p.380, fn.

[232.] See Dwijendra Nandi, Some Documents relating to Early Indian Communists and Controversies around Them, New Delhi, 1971, pp. 109-13; see also Ibid. pp. 37-8 and Muzaffar Ahmad, Myself and the Communist Party of India, 1920-1929, Calcutta, 1970, p. 344.

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