This is in response to your editorial “Beyond RTI”, Mint, 25 January. The right to information (RTI) is one of the most effective tools against corruption. But people have not seen the power of the RTI and that’s why they do not believe it will help them. There should be an RTI action committee in each state. This committee will be responsible for looking into corruption cases in depth, collecting evidence and proof against corrupt people exposed by the media and producing all documents in the special court to hear the RTI case. These RTI action committees will be under the state high courts. The media has to keep an eye on corruption cases as well.
Arvind Kala’s article “Fear not, China is a friend”, Mint, 24 January, shows a lack of understanding of the events of 1962.
Valiant Indian soldiers had marched in cotton uniforms with a handful of panjiri as hard rations and “on person” ammunition, more than 100km of trackless high mountains in freezing winters, to establish our rightful claim over India’s disputed borders. Despite their being vastly outnumbered, they fought gallantly. More than 1,500 laid down their lives. Those who got wounded and suffered high-altitude sickness, while withdrawing after firing their last round of ammunition and inflicting large casualties on the Chinese, got ambushed and were taken prisoners of war. Surely a grateful nation should salute them for their patriotism and gallantry.
Derogatory expressions such as the Chinese “bloodied India’s nose” and inflicted a “humiliating” defeat as Indian soldiers “surrendered” and took no prisoners, while the Chinese as “victor” showed “magnanimity” by withdrawing and returning the prisoners “unharmed”, are uncalled for. It has not been realized that the soldiers were in no position to stay put in the absence of logistical support. Ignorance of the circumstances obtaining and poor knowledge of the rules under the Geneva Convention is apparent in the article. The unpopulated border areas along the “sacred” borders have been referred to as “desolate and useless”. India is blamed for not demarcating the borders while no stone was left unturned in this regard, but the Chinese are stalling the issue. It is opined that China accepts the McMahon Line. Nothing can be farther from the truth as even the populated area of Walong is claimed by them in contravention of the understanding arrived at during 2005.
Surrender by a British division in the battle of Kut-al-Amara in World War I, withdrawal from Dunkirk in World War II and the Allied retreat to South China Sea in the Korean War were accepted as part of the game.
Military journalism is not a freelancer’s cup of tea.
—Brig K. Narendra Singh IA(Retd)
I am angered by Arvind Kala’s article. No Indian can write like this.
Does the author think that saying “only 1,383 Indian soldiers died in that war” means nothing?
Moreover, it was China that invaded, not India.
No nation can survive by donating its land as suggested by Kala.
Aksai Chin is ours even though it is barren. China, too, has the Gobi Desert, but will it give that to us? No, it won’t.
I have been to north-east India. China still gives sleepless nights to people there.
No one wants to be grabbed by China. And for good reasons. Chinese history is full of these kind of hyper ambitions and tricks.
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