1. THE RIGHT MEASURES
SINCE the 20th of October 1962 there has been an invasion of our country by China. However, the present drive of the Chinese is not unexpected, though our Government seems to have been taken by surprise. When China invaded and annexed Tibet, it was clear that they had no benevolent intentions towards us. Surrounded by Russia on the one side and the ocean on the other, the only direction, the only weak spot China could look to for expansion was Tibet. The British had maintained an independent status for Tibet so that it may serve as a buffer State between Bharat and China. In their zeal to undo what the Britishers had done, our present rulers accepted sovereignty of China over Tibet. And again, as our Government itself has confessed, the Chinese had pressed forward and illegally occupied 12,000 square miles of our territory. In the face of these facts we can hardly accuse China of treachery. Their attitude to our country has been openly hostile for years.Shri Guruji Golwalkar on China (Part III): Friends, Enemies and the Chinese Puzzle
Before we can think of devising effective measures to meet the present threat, we have to first disabuse our minds of preconceived notions and correctly analyse and access the true nature of the enemy and the magnitude of his preparations.
Firstly, we have to keep in mind that China has always been expansionist. It is in its blood. Over one hundred and fifty years ago Napoleon had forewarned not to rouse that yellow giant lest he should prove a grave peril to humanity. Seventy years ago Swami Vivekananda had specifically warned that China would invade Bharat soon after the Britishers quit.
For the past eight years we of the Sangh, too, had been unambiguously warning that China had aggressed into our territory at various strategic points. Then nobody was prepared to believe us. The editor of a leading English daily even said that we were talking like mad men. And now our leaders say that they were taken by surprise!
Now, added to the expansionist blood of China is the intoxicant of Communism, which is an intensely aggressive, expansionist and imperialistic ideology. Thus in Communist China we have the explosive combination of two aggressive impulses. It is a case of - Api Cha Kapi, Kapishayan Madmattah (Already a monkey, moreover drunk with wine.) We would therefore only be deluding ourselves and taking false steps in our preparation to face it if we attribute Communist China's aggressiveness only to its racial nature and not to its present Communism also.
Nature of Yellow Peril
Some say that this invasion is a 'godsend' and a 'blessing in disguise' because it has roused and unified our people into a single national entity. Of course, the people have responded magnificently to the call of the hour and have risen as one man with a firm determination to throw out the enemy. But they do not know how to express that determination and what they are required to do. They carried on processions, held demonstrations, burnt effigies and passed resolutions as they were accustomed to do in their struggle against the British. But we must realise that the enemy we are now facing is of a different kind altogether. The Englishmen were a civilized people who generally followed the rule of law. The Chinese are a different propostion. They do not possess even normal human qualities like kindness, pity or respect for human life. In fact, Mao Tsetung once openly expressed his desire to see a world war with all the modern nuclear weapons brought into full play. His logic is that majority of people will then be annihilated in America, Russia and all the other countries of Europe. In that holocaust even if, say, 40 crores of Chinese are wiped out still they will have 25 crores left to rule the whole world. To them, that is very simple logic. They do not worry about the loss of the human life. It is just like grass to be cut and replanted! That was the experience in Korea. When they invade they come in waves after waves. When one column is wiped out it is simply replaced by another.
Therefore the technique used against a civilized people like the British is of no use in dealing with the Chinese. Also, it is no use blaming them that they are deceits, wretches and so on. Such abuses only sound like the curses of a weakling who cannot give blow for a blow and therefore tries to satisfy himself by abusing his foe. We should not succumb to that low mentality.
Further, let us bear in mind that today the whole of China is an armed camp. Each adult is trained in arms. They even have an edge over us in superiority of arms. Their leaders too are born and bred over the past several decades in the climate of bloody warfare.
However, we can make up for these adverse factors provided we step up our efforts in grim earnest in the right direction.
Steel People's Will
The first requisite is to steel our will for a nation-wide, determined and organised effort. The struggle is likely to be long and bitter. All of us will be called upon to undergo suffering and sacrifices. Let all of us face these difficulties steadfastly and with good cheer. There is no doubt that the adoration for our motherland which had been lying dormant in our hearts so long will now bring forth and dispel all dark shadows of selfishness and mutual jealousies. It is indeed encouraging to see so many people coming forward to contribute to the National Defence Fund. I hope more and more of them will give still more. Let all persons physically fit be ready for military service. And let their mothers bless and send forth their sons at this hour of trial. When the five Pandavas went to seek the blessings of their mother Kunti before the commencement of the Mahabharata war, she blessed them saying, "Go ye all to the battle. This is the occasion for which Kshatriya women give birth to sons. Go and give your best in this dharmayuddha." Let every mother speak in the same heroic strain to her sons even now.
Modern wars, be it remembered, are total wars. They are not merely pitched battles between armies. Every one, right from the scientist and industrialist to the labourer and farmer, will have to work harder and longer in a spirit of national dedications, shelving aside all other considerations of personal and group interests, disputes and claims for the time being.
Leadership on Trial
The second requisite is a leadership with an adamantine will, which will not be unnerved by the present crisis and climb down to talks of peace. But some of our top leaders are so much infatuated with notions of peace that they are already swept off their feet by the present Chinese declaration of cease-fire. They feel that peace should be purchased at all costs. It was in this process of 'purchasing peace at all costs' that our motherland was vivisected fifteen years ago. It was again in the same process that we lost one third of Kashmir. Now Berubari is on the way. Let the lesson of these past tragedies serve as an eye-opener to us at least in the present crisis.
Therefore it is our duty to rouse the collective will of the people by educating and mobilising public opinion so that our leaders will be deterred from arriving at any dishonourable agreement with the aggressors. Acceptance of cease-fire on our part before driving the enemy out of Tibet would be a grave strategic blunder. Our experience of cease-fire in Kashmir should be a warning to us. Premature cease-fire would only demoralise our army and our people. That would virtually turn their tremendous sacrifice into a sheer waste. If our present leaders cannot continue the national struggle at the necessary high pitch, let them make way for men of stronger mettle. Intelligence and calibre are not the monopoly of a few individuals, however powerful and popular they may be for the present. Bharat, the mother of an immortal race of heroes, has never suffered form any dearth of heroic and competent leaders.
We can tolerate no retreat, no slackening of efforts on our part. If we allow the Chinese to continue to sit tight over our territory we would be allowing them breathing time and offering them a springboard for further expansion. That would jeopardise our national security for all time to come. It is the duty of all of us, therefore, to give caution and courage to our leaders so that they do not slip at this crucial hour, but act as heroic men in keeping with the honour and sovereignty of our country.
Beware Enemy's Strategy
This caution has become all the more necessary in view of the demoralising effects the Chinese declaration of cease-fire has had upon our people. That is the strategy of the enemy to lull us into a false sense of security, to dampen our enthusiasm and see that our war efforts are slackened; then taking us unawares, to strike again with greater force and capture the whole country.
There is a second factor, which is adversely telling upon the people's morale. So far, all that we have been doing for defence efforts is to collect money. In the beginning, people gave money spontaneously out of their own free will. That was good as it helped to awaken and symbolise the patriotic will of the people. But later on the Government itself has taken up the task of collecting money. The first flush to popular enthusiasm is also waning. Definite and authentic information has come form all over the country that Government machinery is applying various types of pressure to get money form the people. That would be nothing less than extortion. When Government resorts to such pressure tactics then the people will tend to think, "Well, if we are to be threatened thus, what is the difference between our own rule and a foreigner's rule?" This will totally destroy the spontaneity of the people and demoralise them.
Watch word - Economise!
If we are really serious about mobilising our financial resources there are other and healthy ways open to us. The first thing is, now that Emergency is declared, dissolve the State Assemblies for the time being. That would save crores of rupees every year. One single elected Parliament at the Centre can very well satisfy the demands of democracy.
Secondly, scrap Prohibition. This does not mean minimising the evil of liquor. Far from it. The demon of wine must be buried deep. There can be no two opinions about it. But the present policy of Prohibition has given rise to many other dangerous social evils, which were not found so for in our country. Persons addicted to liquor are getting it all right but in illicit ways. Then there are persons who carry on this illicit business and a whole host of corrupt officials who profit by the continuation of Prohibition. It is, in fact, these vested interests which desire the continuation of Prohibition. This is corroding the people's morals. It is this moral aspect that makes us say, "Scrap Prohibition." The evil of drink can be gradually eliminated by proper education and cultivation of healthy habits of recreation and not by legislation. This step will also bring a handsome revenue to the Government.
Further, the immense resources that are required to meet this emergency can he mobilised only by economising on every front to the maximum possible extent. But unfortunately, economy seems to be the last quality of the responsible persons of our country today. Of course, they advise people in general to economise. But form the extravagance they themselves are indulging in, one would feel that they do not really realise that there is any serious threat to our country at all. They are far too busy in consolidating themselves in their present seats of power, in internal rivalries, weeding out their unwanted colleagues, and such other trifles, which leaves them little time to concentrate on things of vital importance for a formidable build-up of defence.
When we speak out all these things our great leaders warn us to desist from criticising them at this hour of crisis. We fail to understand why they should fight shy of honest patriotic criticism. Do they expect us merely to approve all that they are doing as being cent per cent right? Will such flattery serve the interests of the country? If they are really in the right in all their policies and doings then there will be no occasion for others to criticise. And if, on the other hand, they are in the wrong, we are duty-bound to criticise and correct them. They too should listen to and respect the voice of the people in all humility. The very fact that our leaders have become so touchy about criticism indicates that there must be ample scope for criticism!
Suppression of honest will be nothing less than gagging the people's voice reminiscent of the tyrannical rule of a Hitler or a Stalin. But be it remembered that such despotic rule was short-lived and immediately after their exit history has not spared them and world opinion has totally denounced them. There is one more thing. As persons rise in positions of power, they become all the more exposed to people's gaze and even their slightest failings and lapses are bound to attract people's criticism. Let our leaders take a lesson from England, which passed through the fire of two wars without taking recourse to a single measure to gag the people's voice and kept its civil liberties intact all through
Recently* our worthy Home Minister said many things against political parties in the Rajya Sabha and subsequently a 'secret' circular was circulated by the Congress that all those who criticise the Government and Pandit Nehru should be treated as traitors. Pandit Nehru has, no doubt, in his reply to Acharya Ranga's letter of objection, said that the expression was improper. But mark, he has only said 'improper' and not 'untrue'! Is this the way of building up a consolidated people's will in the country? Will it not effect a cleavage among the people - Congress on the one side and all the rest on the other?
And still it is they who say that others should not criticise but should work for unity! A prominent Congress leader recently said that all other political parties should be put under strict control as otherwise they might gain popularity and make it difficult for the Congress to win the next elections! At this, local Congressman who could not tolerate this view, retorted openly, "If the Chinese come where is the possibility of having next elections at all?"
Let the persons at the helm of affairs cry a halt to all such undemocratic talk. Such talk would be unworthy of a leadership engaged in war. Let them consider themselves as national leaders and not as mere party leaders. Let us all remind ourselves that the only enemy of all of us is China and it ill benefits us to stoop to mutual hostility, suspicion and rivalry. Let us hope that our leaders will rise to the occasion in setting an example in all such matters that go to build up people's morale. (To be continued...)
(The Bunch of Thoughts- Part Three - The Path To Glory: XXIV. Fight to Win*)
*In the wake of Chinese invasion in October 1962