It is better to remain silent and be thought of as a fool, rather than speak and remove all doubt. Rahul Gandhi recently proved the time-tested nature of this saying by acting like he knew a lot about national security. If one was to be honest (a quality alien to most in the Congress), one would notice that what Rahul Gandhi said was heavy on the headline-generating possibility of his words (pre-planned, if the panting coverage of the usual offenders is anything to judge by) and very light on knowledge.
If we subtract the rhetoric from Rahul Gandhi’s words, he made two major claims. One that Narendra Modi has not done enough to counter Chinese Aggression and two that he would have done a far better job in repulsing them.
As for the first claim, no Indian Territory has been occupied by the Chinese, the fingers that they have built their infrastructure on was an area of disengagement between the two forces, occupied by neither and patrolled by both. PM Modi did not back down in face of continued Chinese opposition to Indian Road building in the area. India has tripled its forces in the region, so much so that even Chinese security analysts are sounding the alarm (we mention this, as the Congress and it’s media allies trust Chinese Sources more than the Prime Minister or the Army). India refused to hold restricted talks with the Chinese, as the Chinese wanted India to de-escalate before they did. Why would Chinese Apps be banned, forcing howls of protest from the Chinese, if PM Modi wanted to appear conciliatory? Indian Army has also occupied two new heights in the same region that overlook the Chinese positions.
All this is in line with the Prime Minister’s image, but nothing will pass through the belief of Rahul Gandhi and his pets that PM Modi is an illegal occupier of a seat that by birth-right belongs to him so all this will be lost on them.
As for the second claim that Rahul Gandhi would have done much better, the evidence to decide that is thin. For one, Rahul Gandhi has not and will not in the future ever exercise the powers of a PM or Home Minister to decide our foreign policy. At best we can judge what he would do on the basis of what his illustrious family did, something which he never fails to remind us of. So what did Nawab Nehru do? He ignored signs of Chinese Aggression after himself acknowledging in a letter in 1949 that “Chinese communists are likely to invade Tibet”. Nehru then downplayed the signs of Chinese aggression by saying “our primary consideration is the maintenance of world peace… Recent developments in Korea have not strengthened China’s position, which will be further weakened by any aggressive action [by India] in Tibet”. National Security was sacrificed due to an egotistical pursuit of personal delusions. Sardar Patel warned Nehru: “Even though we regard ourselves as friends of China, the Chinese do not regard us as friends”. This letter was ignored as were further warnings. When General Thimayya brought evidence of Chinese build up to Nehru, his pet Krishna Menon accused General Thimayya of “lapping up CIA propaganda.”
Rahul Gandhi being historically illiterate would do well to read the book banned by his dynasty, ‘Himalayan Blunder’ about how clueless Congress and Nehru were about fighting a war. From bypassing the military leadership to bureaucrats more concerned about airlifting plants and Army being ordered to establish posts that it could not defend with equipment that it did not have, the blame for the devastating loss of 1962 lies squarely on Congress and Nawab Nehru’s shoulders. But before we even listen to Rahul Gandhi and his multi-institutional cabal, he should be asked to answer why the ‘Himalayan Blunder’ was banned in 1968 and why the Henderson-Brooks-Bhagat report kept secret by his dynasty?
Those covered in petrol should not play with matches. Rahul Gandhi would do well to heed this.