History is most unforgiving. As historical mistakes cannot be undone, they have complex cascading effect on a nation’s future. Here is a saga of seven historical blunders that have changed the course of independent India’s history and cast a dark shadow over its future. These costly mistakes will continue to haunt India for generations. They have been recounted here in a chronological order with a view to highlight inadequacies of India’s decision making apparatus and leadership’s incompetence to act with vision.
1. The Kashmir Mess
There can be no better example of shooting in one’s own foot than India’s clumsy handling of the Kashmir issue. It is a saga of naivety, blinkered vision and inept leadership. Hari Singh was the reigning monarch of the state of Jammu and Kashmir in 1947. He was vacillating when tribal marauders invaded Kashmir in October 1947, duly backed by the Pakistan army. Unable to counter them, Hari Singh appealed to India for assistance and agreed to accede to India. Indian forces blunted the invasion and re-conquered vast areas.
First, India erred by not insisting on unequivocal accession of the state to the Dominion of India and granted special status to it through Article 370 of the Constitution. Secondly, when on the verge of evicting all invaders and recapturing the complete state, India halted operations on 1 January 1949 and appealed to the Security Council. It is the only case in known history wherein a country, when on the threshold of complete victory, has voluntarily forsaken it in the misplaced hope of winning admiration of the world community. Thirdly and most shockingly, the Indian leadership made a highly unconstitutional offer of plebiscite in the UN.
Forty percent area of the state continues to be under Pakistan’s control, providing it a strategic land route to China through the Karakoram ranges. As a fall out of the unresolved dispute, India and Pakistan have fought numerous wars and skirmishes with no solution in sight. Worse, the local politicians are holding India to ransom by playing the Pak card. Kashmir issue is a self created cancerous furuncle that defies all medications and continues to bleed the country.
2. Ignoring Chinese Threats and Neglect of the Military
Memories of the year 1962 will always trouble the Indian psyche. A nation of India’s size had lulled itself into believing that its protestations and platitudes of peaceful co-existence would be reciprocated by the world. It was often stated that a peace loving nation like India did not need military at all. The armed forces were neglected. Political leadership took pride in denigrating the military leadership and meddled in internal affairs of the services to promote sycophancy. Foreign policy was in shambles. Intelligence apparatus was rusted.
…China’s aggressive intentions were clearly discernible for years in advance, Indian leadership decided to keep its eyes shut in the fond hope that the problem would resolve itself.
Even though signs of China’s aggressive intentions were clearly discernible for years in advance, Indian leadership decided to keep its eyes shut in the fond hope that the problem would resolve itself. When China struck, the country was caught totally unprepared. Troops were rushed to snowbound areas with summer clothing and outdated rifles. Despite numerous sagas of gallantry, the country suffered terrible embarrassment. India was on its knees. With national morale and pride in tatters, India was forced to appeal to all nations for military aid. Inept and incompetent leadership had forced a proud nation to find solace in Lata Mangeshkar’s ‘Ae Mere Watan Ke Logo’.
3. The Tashkent Agreement and Return of Haji Pir Pass
Following the cease-fire after the Indo-Pak War of 1965, a Russian sponsored agreement was signed between India and Pakistan in Tashkent on 10 January 1966. Under the agreement, India agreed to return the strategic Haji Pir pass to Pakistan which it had captured in August 1965 against heavy odds and at a huge human cost. The pass connects Poonch and Uri sectors in Jammu and Kashmir and reduces the distance between the two sectors to 15 km whereas the alternate route entails a travel of over 200 km. India got nothing in return except an undertaking by Pakistan to abjure war, an undertaking which meant little as Pakistan never had any intention of honouring it.
Return of the vital Haji Pir pass was a mistake of monumental proportions for which India is suffering to date. In addition to denying a direct link between Poonch and Uri sectors, the pass is being effectively used by Pakistan to sponsor infiltration of terrorists into India. Inability to resist Russian pressure was a manifestation of the boneless Indian foreign policy and shortsighted leadership.
4. The Simla Agreement
With the fall of Dhaka on 16 December 1971, India had scored a decisive victory over Pakistan. Over 96,000 Pak soldiers were taken Prisoners of War (PoWs). Later, an agreement was signed between the two countries on 2 July 1972 at Shimla. Both countries agreed to exchange all PoWs, respect the line of control (LOC) in Jammu and Kashmir and refrain from the use of threat or force. Additionally, Bhutto gave a solemn verbal undertaking to accept LOC as the de facto border.
India released all Pak PoWs in good faith. Pakistan, on the other hand, released only 617 Indian PoWs while holding back 54 PoWs who are still languishing in Pakistani jails. The Indian Government has admitted this fact a number of times but has failed to secure their release. India failed to use the leverage of 96,000 Pak PoWs to discipline Pakistan. A rare opportunity was thus wasted. What to talk of establishing permanent peace in the sub-continent, India failed to ensure release of all Indian PoWs – a criminal omission by all accounts.
The Apex Court was of the view that the influx of Bangladeshi nationals into Assam posed a threat to the integrity and security of northeastern region.
Naivety of the Indian delegation can be seen from the fact that it allowed Pakistan to bluff its way through at Shimla. The Indian leadership was fooled into believing Pakistan’s sincerity. Unquestionably, Pakistan never intended to abide by its promises, both written and verbal. Fruits of a hard fought victory in the battlefield were frittered away on a negotiating table by bungling leadership.
5. The Nuclear Muddle
Subsequent to the Chinese Nuclear Test at Lop Nor in 1964, India showed rare courage in carrying out its first nuclear test on 18 May 1974 at Pokharan. Outside the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, India was the only nation to prove its nuclear capability. The whole country was ecstatic and every Indian felt proud of its scientific prowess. But Indians had not contended with their Government’s penchant for converting opportunity into adversity and squandering hard earned gains.
Instead of asserting India’s newly acquired status of a nuclear power and demanding recognition, India turned apologetic and tried to convince the world that it had no nuclear ambitions. Strangely, it termed the Pokharan test as a ‘peaceful nuclear explosion’ – a term unheard of till then. The Defence Minister went to the extent of claiming that the Indian nuclear experiment was “only for mining, oil and gas prospecting, for finding underground sources of water, for diverting rivers, for scientific and technological knowledge.” It was a self-deprecating stance. Displaying acute inferiority complex, India did not want to be counted as a member of the exclusive nuclear club.
Criticism and sanctions were expected and must have been factored in before opting for the nuclear test. Whereas a few more assertive follow-on tests would have forced the world to accept India as a member of the nuclear club, India went into an overdrive to placate the world through a self imposed moratorium on further testing. It lost out on all the advantages provided to it by its scientists. It suffered sanctions and yet failed to gain recognition as a nuclear power. The country missed golden opportunities due to the timidity and spinelessness of its leaders.
6. Kandahar Hijack
Hijacking of an Indian Airlines aircraft to Kandahar by Pakistani terrorists in December 1999 will continue to rile India’s self-respect for long. According to the Hindustan Times, India lost face and got reduced to begging for co-operation from the very regimes that were actively undermining its internal security. The hijacking revealed how ill-prepared India was to face up to the challenges of international terrorism.
The eight day long ordeal was over when India’s National Security Adviser brazenly announced that an agreement had been reached for the release of all the hostages in exchange for three Kashmiri militants including Maulana Masood Azhar. Sadly, the Prime Minister claimed credit for forcing the hijackers to climb down on their demands. The worst was yet to follow. India’s Foreign Minister decided to accompany the released militants to Kandahar, as if seeing off honoured guests.
Government’s poor crisis-management skills and extreme complacency in security matters allowed the hijackers to take off from Amritsar airport after 39 minutes halt for refueling, thereby letting the problem get out of control. India’s much vaunted decision making apparatus collapsed and was completely paralysed by the audacity of a bunch of motivated fanatics. It was a comprehensive failure of monumental proportions. India’s slack and amateurish functioning made the country earn the tag of a soft nation which it will find very difficult to shed.
7. Illegal Immigration and Passage of IMDT Act
It is a standard practice all over the world that the burden of proving one’s status as a bonafide citizen of a country falls on the accused. It is so for India as well under Foreigners Act, 1946. Political expediency forced the Government to make an exception for Assam. In one of the most short-sighted and anti-national moves, India passed Illegal Migrants – Determination by Tribunals (IMDT) Act of 1984 for Assam. It shifted the onus of proving illegal status of a suspected immigrant to the accuser, which was a tall and virtually impossible order. Detection and deportation of illegal immigrants became impossible.
Whenever demands were raised for repealing the Act, Congress, Left Front and United Minorities Front resisted strongly. Illegal immigrants had become the most loyal vote bank of the Congress. Worse, every protest against the Act was dubbed as ‘anti-minority’, thereby imparting communal colour to an issue of national security. Government’s ‘pardon’ of all Bangladeshis who had come in before 1985 was another unconstitutional act that aggravated the problem.
The Act was struck down as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court on July 13, 2005, more than 20 years after its enactment. The Apex Court was of the view that the influx of Bangladeshi nationals into Assam posed a threat to the integrity and security of northeastern region. Unfortunately immense damage had already been done to the demography of Assam and the local people of Assam had been reduced to minority status in certain districts. Illegal immigrants have come to have a stranglehold over electioneering to the extent that no party can hope to come to power without their support. Nearly 30 Islamic groups are thriving in the area to further their Islamist and Pan Bangla Desh agenda. It is incomprehensible that a nation’s leadership can stoop so low and endanger even national security for garnering votes.
Finally, is India Wiser Today?
Two features are common to all the above mentioned blunders. First, all decisions were taken by the political leadership and the bureaucracy. The military leadership was neither taken into confidence nor consulted. As a matter of fact it was deliberately kept out of the decision making loop. Although military is the primary stake holder in India’s nuclear prowess, it was not considered necessary to take it in confidence while taking decisions of strategic proportions.
Future generations will rue the fact that the Indian leadership failed the nation at critical junctures due to incompetence, ineptitude and selfish interests.
Both Tashkant and Shimla Agreements were preceded by bitterly fought wars. They entailed negotiating the extent, scope and modalities of withdrawal from occupied areas. Even then, no need was felt to seek military’s advice and no service officer was included in the Indian delegations. Political leaders and the bureaucracy abrogated the right to negotiate military matters, in the egoistic belief that they were more qualified for the task. The results were disastrous, as mentioned above.
The second common feature is that no political leader or bureaucrat was ever held accountable for monumental blunders made by them. On the contrary, every single bureaucrat made it to the higher grades and was even given lucrative post-retirement appointments. It is an obnoxious sight to see the guilty men of the above blunders masquerading as foreign policy experts on TV shows and unabashedly offering their pearls of wisdom.
The above mentioned seven indefensible blunders have had enormous impact on the security, standing and history of India. Future generations will rue the fact that the Indian leadership failed the nation at critical junctures due to incompetence, ineptitude and selfish interests. Proclivity for perpetuating personal power made the leadership shortsighted and egocentric. But for the historical blunders, the current Indian geo-political scenario would have been totally different.
Has India learnt any lesson? Unfortunately, none whatsoever. Even now, military leadership is consciously and willfully kept out of all decision making apparatus. Even issues that affect security of the nation are decided by the bureaucrats who do not possess even elementary knowledge of military matters. It is only in India that well connected retired bureaucrats are offered membership of the National Security Council (NSC) as a rehabilitation measure. Merit and expertise are of little consequence. Further, India is perhaps the only country in the world wherein NSC does not have a single military member. Bureaucrats and ex-police officers have made NSC their exclusive domain, thereby depriving the nation of expert military advice. Resultantly, recurring blunders will continue to cost the country dear.
First Published in January 2010
I am completely in agreement Sir. In hindsight, one can be wiser.
Hajipir was bartered for lost territories in Chamb jaurian , is a well known fact.
Shimla Accord, maybe International pressure and assurance s may played their part for Mrs IG nit to solve Kashmir issue.
Illegal immigration is an administrative failure. But a fast developing nation needs manpower. impoverished neighbourhood will be attracted , specially in borders are porous . Could we have afforded to guard it strongly to prevent immigration. Even today we are failing.
Nuc muddle is a misunderstood concept. Why are we Nuclear, who gains? Who is the Target? Not neighbors with whom we have to live till time stops on this earth.
Kashmir- a creation of British, stoked by America as 1965 and 71 amply proved. Pakistan was a mere pawn , albeit a foolish one as it is today too.
At Kandahar, what options did we have ? None .
Coordinations between Armed Forces and all organs of State is the need of the hour. Soon all bureaucrats and then all politicians will understand this need.
As you say Sir, let’s grow stronger and right the wrongs with resolve leadership and not the one dependent on media to spread non existent claims.
Sir, I have been wondering for sometime now on why did India not expand the Siliguri corridor when they took East Pakistan, it would have been the best time to have expanded the chicken neck area that has been giving us pain for so long. Incorporating Sikkim was a good strategic move. Overall the Indian leadership has never been strategic in its thought, I think it comes from our DNA of non violence. Just see how strategic the chinese leadership has been in 1945 itself they were able to see that Tibet had to be taken as it was the holder of all the water that flowed through China. They also took the ladakh area which helped them to get easier access to the Sinkiang province.
I’m appalled & saddened to learn about India’s leadership failures at everystep of the way. But the strange fact is military didn’t even complain about it. The political system in our country is rotten by power hungry politicians.
Atleast now, I hope NSC has reputed militarty members. God save India
The above facts brought out by the author are very true and praiseworthy.
It seems that our country is cursed by by some unknown devil to be ruled by either aggressor or some unqualified local idiots who do not want to understand modern day geopolitical situations. These so called politicians are all out to sell the country.
We must learn from history that no country can be respected until unless it has strong military and economy.
Need of the hour that military expert to be included in NSA and other decision making
If possible can you provide me with an appointment whenever you want. I am no Genius but just an Ordinary Indian.
Obviously I agree with you that Military has been never active in the decision making. But Please consider that even Military has itself been tainted by corrupt officials. This is the reason it never protested any decision of the Government. Even today till Modi government our brave forces were forced to behave like cowards but you have to agree that Military itself does not want to take decision instead the higher rank officiers worry about their personall growth and interest.
Please do take it as offended but it is also a fact. Our jawans shed their blood so that the higher rank officiers could take the credit.
Most informative compilation from the Army Officer
Nicely put across . This must find space in news papers.
Armed forces should be a part of NSC or any decision making process of National security ..
A very well written, comprehensive & deeply conceived article which reflects the vivid thinking of the Author. A must read for all political, bureaucratic & mil leaders. They can take a leaf out of these episodes to avoid such decisions in future; in case some Patriotic feeling is still left!!! God bless!!
आज़ाद भारत मे हमने भरत सिंह, चंद्र शेखर आज़ाद , सुभाष चंद्र बोस, सरदार पटेल को भुला के बहूत बड़ी ग़लती कर दी. गाँधी जी सम्मानीय है और रहेगे. पर उनकी कुछ ग़लतिया आज ६८ साल से और अभी भी भारत के उपर एक भद्दा बदनुमा दाग है.
और किसी भी राजनैतिक पार्टी के पास इतना दम नही है की इसको धो सके , और ६८ सालो की ग़लतियो को सुधार सके. कुछ आए , जैसे केजरीवाल,हार्दिक पटेल पर केवल और केवल अपने फ़ायदे के लिये. ना जाने ये पावर पाने की लालसा कब ख़तम होगी.
क्या आज़ाद भारत मे कोई आर्य नही बचा है , सब के सब नपुंसक हो गये है?
नही , सब का पता नही पर मैं अब चुप नही रहूँगा , देश को बदलना , और फिर से इसको सोने की चिड़िया बनाना अब यही मेरा सनातन धर्म है. कोई मेरे साथ आए या ना आए, भले ही मुझे कही मार के फेक दिया जाए पर अंतिम सास तक लडुगा
आज सबसे पहले मैं आप से परिचय करवााओ गा जो मेरी सीमित बुद्धि के अनुसार ग़लती है.
१-सुभाष चंद्र बोस को समर्थन ना देना
२-भगत सिंह,आज़ाद को उचित सम्मान ना देना
३-सरदार पटेल के जगह नेहरू को प्रधानमंत्री बनाना
४-आज़ाद भारत मे भारत के सदियो पुराने क़ानून की जगह अंग्रेज़ो के क़ानून को भारत का संबिधान बनाना
५-१९५३ मे युनाइटेड नेशन द्वारा अनुग्रहित सेक्यूरिटी कौंसिल मे स्थायी सदस्यता को मना कर चीन को दे देना, और १९५४ मे चीन के साथ पंचशील समझोता करना बिना तिब्बत से बात किए.
६-पाकिस्तान , बलूचिस्तान को पैदा होने देना , नेहरू , गाँधी,जिन्ना कौन होते थे ज़मीन के टुकड़े बाटने वाले .आप आज़ादी की लड़ाई लड़ रहे थे आज़ाद होने के लिए या प्रधान मंत्री बनने के लिए?
७-हिन्दी चीनी भाई भाई का ड्रामा करके एक बार फिर भारत को टुकड़ों मे बाँट देना
८-भाषा के आधार पे राज्यो को बाँट देना
९-कुछ राज्यो को विशेष स्तर देना
१०-हाजी पीर पास देना
११- शिमला समझोते के तहत लाइन ऑफ कंट्रोल का मानना और सभी युद्ध बंदियो को छोड़ देना
१२- प्रथम परमाणु परीक्षण के बाद दुनिया से माफी माँगते हुए , इसे शांति पूर्ण कार्यो मे इस्तामाल करने का विश्वास दिलाना
१३-कंधार विमान कांड मे आतंकवादियो को छोड़ देना, क्या विमान मे सवार लोग अगर शाहिद हो जाते तो उनके परिवारो को कोई अफ़सोस होता, आज उन ३०० की जगह ३०००० लोग मारे जा चुके है, धिक्कार हैं उन ३०० लोगो पे.
१४- सिक्ख धर्म हिंदुत्व की रक्षा के लिए बना है, ये भूल के उनक
A very honest and fair critical appreciation of the unpardonable monumental errors that have been repeatedly committed by the so-called ‘high priests’ of India’s Governance and formulators of Foreign Policy/Relations reinforcing the age-old dictum ‘those who fail to learn lessons from history are destined to see history repeating itself’. Abject incapability and repeated pedestrian actions at the hands of the politico-bureaucratic combine has brought our great Nation to a dismal state where it stands today.
I would request Gen Suman, to re-caption this insightful piece as “The Seven Blunders of Independant India”
Excellent, great observations,100% agree with you.
Your analysis is excellent but why you feel what caused political leadership to make such blunders???. Second thing how you see Pakistan future when there is risk on its survival becoz of pakgrown terrorism. Do you think in near future what will happen to Pakistan ????
May be the Indian brass would like to learn from the western neighbours and take over the govt and sort out the blundering bureaucracy and spineless political leadership?
How come PK saw this in 2010 itself ?!?
* Seven blunders that will always haunt India – Aug 3, 2010
Dear Prof. the article was first published in January 2010 on http://www.indiandefencereview.com
7 blunders is an eye opener for all the countrymen… It exposes the Politicians & bureaucrats in their functioning in a self centered manner for their personal gains, ego & one up man ship over the three wings of the Armed Forces. Politicians & bureaucratic nexus acted not only to denigrate the three Services of the Armed Forces totally oblivious of the long term adverse impact on the Country’s future by demotivating & demoralising the Armed Forces.
As an American whose late uncle, a World War II airman, still lies unburied at his documented crash site in Arunachal Pradesh, I would add still another Indian Government blunder that will poison its relationship with the United States for years to come: its cruel decision not to honor its pledges to permit operations to recover the remains of 84 US World War II airmen from their 15 documented crash sites in Arunachal Pradesh. None of the multitude of flimsy excuses the Indian Government has given us for dishonoring those pledges outweighs the damage caused to that relationship by this antihumanitarian policy, first started by the Manmohan Singh Government in late 2009 and continued to this day under the Modi Government. Gary Zaetz, Founder and Chairman, Families and Supporters of America’s Arunachal Missing in Action http://www.telegraphindia.com/1150413/jsp/northeast/story_14267.jsp#.VVAubvlVhHw
Very well written and pu across.
The present leadership of our country surely must take lessons from this.
Hope some good sense will prevail on bureaucracy and politicians.
Of late there is an increasing evidence of denigrating Nehru’s role in Indian Independence, specially in regard to his role in Kashmir. People try to judge events of the past under current circumstances.
The criticism mainly revolves around 3 factors ,viz (a) Nehru should not have gone to the United Nations (b) We should not have accepted the UN Resolution and continued to fight , till entire J& K was relieved of Pakistani forces, and (c) We should not have had anything to do with Shiek Abdullah, who being a muslim would be against the interests of the Hindus and the Country.
Unfortunately most of us read only tabloids, and form opinions. This is because we do not have the time or inclination to read.
I have collated a few facts from various books, ( a list of which are appended below ), plus some articles, which will substantiate the action taken by Nehru.
. The Jagir of Poonch was a semi-autonomous part of J&K till World War II. Subsequently, the Maharaja took direct control and imposed high taxes, with special levies on Muslims. This sparked an anti-tax protest in early 1947, which the maharaja put down with armed force. Poonch had 60,000 ex-soldiers of the British Indian Army, many of whom still had guns. The maharaja felt threatened by this, and in July ordered all holders of arms to deposit these in police stations. But many arms deposited by Muslim ex-soldiers were then handed out by the maharaja’s police to Hindu and Sikh families, raising communal fears. Muslims responded by purchasing fresh weapons from arms bazaars in neighbouring NWFP province. Sardar Ibrahim Khan, a prominent Poonch politician, organized an armed Muslim force that soon staged a revolt .A large part of Western Jammu,was in the hands of Poonchi’s and Mirpuri’s, in August-September ’47. On 27th Sept’47 Nehru wrote to Patel about danger arising out of this, and to be prepared for it. Poonch, Mirpur, Muzaffarabad. Bhimbar surrendered on 3rd Nov, Bagh on 9th and Rajouri & Rawalkot on 12th
Well written article about strategic mistakes we have made. It takes courage, clarity of thought to do so. India, like some western countries, should come up with independent think-tanks related to defence, policy that could provide inputs for better strategic direction instead of just relying on individuals at helm.
I agree. But I would replace point 2 with a more important blunder. Several times before October 1962 and as recently as 1960, the Chinese offered a quid pro quo. They keep Aksai Chin and India keeps NEFA. It was giving the sleeves off your vest. Aksai Chin was never administered by India and was strategic to China as the road connecting Tibet and Xinjiang passed through it. It would have been simple for Nehru to agree to it. But he did not. The author of most of India’s blunders rejected it saying the people of India would never countenance such a trade off. Really? How many people in impoverished India at the time had even heard of Aksai Chin or could point it out on a map. This was the supreme blunder. China settled its border with Burma. It has a settled border with all of its neighbours. Except India. India and China would have had a settled and demarcated border, the 1962 debacle might not have happened. Years later, Nehru’s grandson, Rajiv, was made the same offer by Deng Xiao Ping. Rajiv was never decisive and even with the largest parliamentary majority in the history of independent India, he could do nothing. The problem continues to fester and China will make sure it continues to fester. It is amazing that in the 21st century, the two largest nations on earth do not have a settled border.
Sir, there is no point writing such nicely elaborated historical account of blunders committed by our political class as it would not pierce thru their deaf ears.It merits a good presentation in a friendly media environment so that our people revive their memory of the past , otherwise your good efforts would enter into dust bin.
Gen suman sir,well written.Thanks. but for me there was nothing new in the article likewise for most of the well read defence officers.What I would like you to do is to suggest ways and means to cure this malady where defense officers and specially senior officers were and becoming spineless every day.I will blame these people responsible for whatever happened because they never did and don’t exert themselves for petty gains.
I am one of this generation officers who every day rue these state of affairs what to talk of future generation. Young generation of officers are also feeling frustrated I have met good and capable YOs who are uneasy.but they are too young to resent openly.
I will suggest you to have this article published in english and Hindi dailies as an open letter to chief justice of India and army chief. Let everybody read it maybe conscience of some people awakens and things may change in due course of time for military of this country and every father would like to send his son to defense forces. Today every father sends his son to army as a last recourse
Let us change it. And change requires courage and sacrifice . There are no free lunches in life . Only writing in IDR will not suffice.
Show way to others after following the correct path.
A different perspective and not my point of view:
Looks like a propaganda piece for the armed forces written by an armed forces man. All problems are down to the politicians and the bureaucrats. Classic case of passing the buck.
Why India lost the war in 1962? Armed forces men will say due to ineptness and strategic blunders of the bureaucrats and the politicians.
If all losses are due to them surely all wins and gains are due to them too. Many in armed forces just want to appropriate all credit while absolving themselves of all responsibilities for all losses.
Seriously.. R u so narrow minded.. It’s not about loser having excuses.. It’s more about what could have been achieved by correct and audacious steps.. U can’t ask about iron from a goldsmith and vice versa.. NSC without a serving officer is like shaufers in Parliament.. Anyways.. Seems U r more concerned with finding faults thn amendments.. Try n visit a bunker once.. U wil understand.. What all one has to go through.. Just to reach the spot.. Forget about capturing it..
Thanks for highlighting these blunders and enlightening the rest of us. A courageous decision on your part !
Many more mistakes were committed by us. We should not have agreed to the partition. We should not recognized Tibbat as a part of China. We should not of interfered in East Pakistan. The separation only relieved and strengthened Pakistan and created more tension for us.
We should not have depended too much on Russian support and ideology. It alienated us from the West and pushed us far behind.
We should not muddled into Sri Lanka with IPKF. We should have never talked to Pakistan, if they first had a talk with the separatists…etc.
But why not our armed forces ever tried to exert pressure and influence in the larger interest of the country ? Why did it let the irreparable damage being done to the national security and integrity ?
The Worst is yet to come. Arunchal Pradesh and NE States, financial bleeding and burden of Kashmir Corruption and bribery and feeble and docile leaders and Chinese arming of Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Unfortunately for India and the military, things remain the same as they have been since independence. Ignorant politicians and indifferent beaurecrats continue to rule the roost and roughshod those who differ on matters of strategic interests
Do not be surprised that we were always ruled by foreigners in the past. The politicians will not allow us to learn from historical mistakes and correct them for they only want votes at any cost. The rate at which we are going our sovereignty will once again be in danger. To us a medicine of Ramdev is more important than the Kashmiri Pandit’s plight. I pity and also curse such selfish politicians.
Why do you have to bring in Ramdev here? Is Ramdev responsible for the bad decisions taken by all previous govts.? If you have to make your point, give your logic and don’t talk unnecessary negative things about others who are also doing good for the country in their own way just like Military is doing…
Petulance and some more petulance. The finest trait of Indian Character.
Great article . It is quite difficult for a civilian like me to imagine the anguish officers like you go through everytime you see the above mentioned characters carry out their charade of expertise. Even worse is visiting every airport ,half the institutions in the country named after the these people and their faithful dogs.
It would be very helpful if you mention the names of the respective ministers and bureaucrats , no need to accuse them , it will go a long way I helping people know who brought shame to India and who was instrumental in destroying it to a great extent. There are people out there who will read and make up their own minds and realize they were worshipping false Idols.
Compliments on a very well written article….crisp, straightforward n thought provoking…
Sir, Thanks for this valuable information. As a common public what information our parents told at that time in 70’s was an incomplete information. But with such details “Thanks” once again.
The article is well explained but in addition to this, the politicians, bureaucrats and their advisors should have been named along with their greed for power at any cost. In most of the above said, dynasty rulers are to be blamed as they want to lead the nation into even more dangerous consequences and we Indians are not bothered about such blunders.
1. Retaking entire POK would not have been a easy task. Nehru blundered in taking the matter to UN , suggesting a plebicite and according Special Status to J&K.
2. Nehru did not intervene in Chinese occupation of Tibet. USA would have jumped to our support then. This is also a major blunder.
We will continue to blunder so long we have this breed of political leaders for whom a local issue is most important and till bab(oon)s are part of decision making. India will loose in all good spheres
Very well analyzed and articulated Sir. There are numerous occasions when national security has been compromised for political gains. One glaring incident is of the release of militants for safe release of daughter of Mufti Mohd Sayeed. See her arrogance today. The Eastern States have almost merged with Bangladesh demographically. Who is accountable to whom?
You are absolutely correct. it is not political leadership that failed. it is Congress party failed the nation. Some more examples
1) Rajiv gandhi failure in Srilanka(ltte rebellion), Kashmir(rigging elections germinating insurgency which pakistan encashed), Punjab paciifcation
2) Under manmohan government we have most inept defense minister
who is more bothered about his image than the country’s interest
for much of the problems the armed forces senior leadership is to blame . for self glory pelf and grandeur the generals have behaved like stooges or remained aloof many clever ones connive and play second fiddle to babus for personnel gain . The interests of the services are sacrificed at the alter of all encompasing promotions . the pay commissions have reduced the jawan to jco , lt to ltgen to alevel of chowkidar where many old ones in distress are forced to write petetions in blood . The modern day brahmins banias, businessmen combine helped by the top leadership who by virtue of rank and post get OROP WHILST LTGEN EQUAVALENT AND BELOW ROT is the doing of a criminal rank system. The armed forces leadership of neighbouring countries was wise and looked after their solders and officers interests putting the politcans and babus in place and making them responsible whilst our generals and equavalents were happy and wise to look after themselves .
Was gifting of Kacchathevu Island to Sri Lank equally blundersome??
Even after these blunder mistakes, are there any lessons learned ?????
EIGHT HISTORICAL BLUNDERS :
DELAYING OROP WILL COST THIS NATION MORE THAN 1948 OR 1962 ! !
Despite these unforgiving blunders and many more, I am not sure if the government or the people have learned any lessons. Unfortunately we will have to keep paying for these very costly mistakes in more ways then one.
Well it augurs well if everybody takes interest in national security
I don’t think in today’s day and age one can pretend that everything is hunky dory. If the youth took more interest in national security, people would be held more accountable and the decision makers would think twice before taking decisions that will haunt us forever. Don’t you think Mao Jay
Who is Stopping us to attack our own POK?we showing entire J&K as our part then whose permission we need to attack? china, Russia, Usa,Israel,France are taking permission or asking us or taking advice? We have fools in our country.
We arrest terrorist and Vote Bank Starts, we spend crores on terrorist security and amenities.
We have fear of our own shadow.
China has put illegal claim on 22 Nations for some 25000 KM, from water to land. And their people too support Chinese govt.
Our previous govt was dull, now we have ambitious govt who might have muscular foreign policy.
If you analyse deeply, Nehru laid the foundation for all these blunders. He created a shackled economy, which was mistakenly laughed at as Hindu Rate of Growth, which actually was Nehru Socialist Rate of Growth. He championed secularism but in practice it was pseudo secularism. What we will experience in next five years would be the true secularism and real Hindu Rate of Growth.
The nation has to have advisors and officials who are professionals. India has babus, everywhere, because he is convenient to politicians, and for both these category people- NATION, what is that!!!!
Alas ! Poor Nehru’s dream of getting Nobel Peace prize remained a distant drum !
Hats off to Gen Suman for calling a spade a spade !!! Will this country ever learn from its mistakes??? Regrettably never … unless the guilty are brought to book …. who will??? The judiciary? The GoI?? Besides yelling on national media “The Nation wants to know” and holding candle light marches we have achieved very little … even the upheaval caused by Nirbhaya case is buried under the layers of bureaucratic and judicial ineptitude … Forget it …. Andheri Nagri will always have Choupat raj….!!!
Congress,to be more precise,Mr Nehru is responsible for these blunders with the excepyion of IC 814 hijack. We realeased Saeed who later spreading for more terror attacks on India. Even Chanakya has said ”The leaders should tread with care – for one slip can cause generations to pay for their mistakes..
Yes we did blunders
Intelligence apparatus was weak during 1962. It is said after cease-fire declared by China Bholanath Mullick was unaware of the fact; while reports congratulated Nehru, Mullick accepted his ignorance.
In 1962 Indo-Pak war besides Hajipir, we have to give Kanjarkot (then a part of Kutch-Gujarat) to Pakistan. Tashkent agreement also proved detrimental to the life of Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri. It is said it was tremendous pressure put on Shastri by Russians to concede to the agreement which he could not withstand.
Yes these were blunders. So far Indo-Pak of 1971 and capturing of 96 thousand Pak soldiers, we had captured strategically important parts of Sindh i.e. Mithi, Wingi and Wingoor in Tharparkar district of Pakistan. Even our intelligence agencies unfurled tricolor there, we returned back these parts to Pakistan.
With regard to Simla agreement, Genl. V.K. Singh’s book “Sam Bahadur”, indicates that General Manekshaw also felt that Indian Government was befooled by Bhutto.
Yes after Poakharn 1st ; we dilly-dallied to say firmly that it was our right to defend the country.
I think another one that can be added is: “India declining the offer to take up the Security Council seat, and instead offering it to China”. Sheer lunacy
8th : Attack on Indian Parliament biggest blot.
9th: Mumbai terror attacks.
one small correction — India invoked Article 370 to Jammu & Kashmir and not Article 380 as told in the article in the Second line of the 2nd Para in the Ist blunder titled Kashmir Mess… (Hope I am right)
absolutely thought provoking….
every Indian should learn this….
Will who will make our politician’s eye open or will India learn a prospectous lesson from this mistake.. I don’t think they will
Anyway thank U for the artcile
Sir why to blame politicians and bureaucrats. Your destiny is in your hands. Top military leadership is more to blame for these blunders.
A small chronicle of the ‘advise’ rendered to the politicians in the
recent past, the reverberations the country still feels :
Around 1975 : to arm the villages in The North East to
protect themselves against marauding insurgents – Naga, Mizo &
other hostiles. They were to be called ‘village volunteer force’
as it turned out, the hill people turned on the plains men.
Now they go by the name of ULFA, BODO etc
Around 1980s Indira Gandhi on bureaucratic advise; the one she
may have loved to hear, lionized Bhindranvale; later sent the Army
to flush him & his clan out of the Golden Temple.
Even the British never commited such sacrilege in ‘their Empire’
Result: the whole of ‘the North’ if not the country was on fire.
The PM was shot, riots were engineered & how many families ruined.
But the bureaucrats, are retired; ensconced in 5 Star farm houses
Mid 1980s some “smart alack” advised the PM that Indian troops be
sent to Cylon-SriLanka. We lost more men killed & or maimed than in
1965 & 1971.
The PM paid with his life, but the bureaucrats; where are they?
enjoying a comfortable retired life, having sent their children &
Grand children abroad for studies & to settle down comfortably.
This goes on & on & on, – Kargil, IA 814 Hijack & God knows what
else is in store for this poor country, while the politicians & bureaucrats???
Lord it over in their air conditions bungalows, allotting Land, House
etc to themselves!
Their greatest achievement : Prove Winstan Churchill right,
: “MEN OF STRAW WILL PRESIDE OVER THE DESTINY OF A POOR STARVING NATION”
mine : POVERTY IS INFLICTED MY INDIAN RULERS : net-babus AS IT IS EASIER TO RULE OVER POOR & DEMORALIZED MASSES ! ! !
The most important blunder was partition of India. India is today facing nuclear & terror threat mainly due to partition and creation of Pakistan. The other blunders were – 2. Non unification of Nepal, Bhutan, Burma, Maldives and Sri Lanka into India. This would have really strengthen India, both economically, strategically and militarily. 3. Giving security council seat to China by Nehru. This has cost India dearly and transformed our MEA into firefighters, rather than policy enforcers and our diplomatic defenders abroad. Even with 1billion + population, nuclear weapons and a million+ army, we allow ourself to be treated as a banana republic 4. Non intervention during China’s annexation of Tibet. India should have challenged China and defended Tibet. India had the support of most of the countries at that time. Further it should have convinced Tibetans to join the India Union for long term peace and security. Six million Tibetans spread over 3 million sq kms cannot liberate their country even now. India has to intervene it Tibet is to be liberated from China. 5. Failure to annex East Bengal (now Bangladesh) into India. India had the golden opportunity to annex East Bengal in 1971, but failed to do so. This is now threatening entire North East of India due to continue immigration of Bangladeshis and China’s claim on Arunachal Pradesh. If China, occupies Siliguri corridor, entire NE will be lost. 6. Failure to stop China and Pakistan from going Nuclear. If India had used the IAF during the 1962 war, it would have severally crippled China. Then would could have stopped China from going nuclear. 1987, in the guise of “operation brasstracks”, late General Sunderji had planned to attack Pakistan nuclear facilities to stop its nuclear programme, after trying to trap Pakistan into attacking India, by deploying strike corps near the border. Unfortunately due to domestic political pressure, Army had to pull back, else Pakistan’s nuclear programme could have been stopped.
As long india is not under the control of hindus. It will be subjected to attacks
This write up reinforces the universal truth that “even a moment’s error will require centuries to correct.” Six decades of one party, one family, one ideology government has blinkered the mindset of Indians. Added to this garbage, is the crop of ideologues churned out for forty years from JNU, which is a breeding, training and nurturing ground for naxalites, Maoists, jihadis. Its alumni as well as teaching faculties are so carefully selected so as to perpetuate the ideology for generations to come. Its past student have networking capabilities to such an extet that they are permanent news readers, anchors, columnists and editors of all newspapers in all languages. They have taken recourse to condemn everything which has traditional roots as unscientific and un-rational. If any one who demand fitting reply to the nation’s enemies, such demand is condemned as chauvinistic, jingoistic and against pluralist ethos. Even 1998 nuclear tests were condemned. Arundhati Roy wrote in Frontline that she secedes from India. She praised the maoists for killing 62 constables, and wished for more. These persons got hired crowds who pretended to be relatives of hijack hostages and were made to wail, weep and cry to demand release terrorists saying that the lives of hostages are more precious than the insult of nation. It will be in the nation’s interest for posterity if the real identity of those hired crowds are exposed including who sponsored and funded them and to try them for treason. Remember how these leftists ideologues could build media pressure to get bail for convict for sedition undergoing life sentence. The Supreme Court does not grant bail to life convict unless half sentence is undergone. One of the brazenly leftist ideologue was also the member of UPSC to recruit civil servants. India needs its native version of McCarthyism to cleanse the nation by annihilation of fifth columnists and quislings.
Everything you have pointed out is true. but i cant understand why Indian Army scrambles every time in front of the politician. It could have taken stand for the release of Indian POW’s or any other matter what so ever. Don’t you think there is a mistake on the army side too. They should take a stand every time the politician takes decision which is against India or army or both in that matter.
Thanks for posting these articles. We Indians tend to forget history more quicker than others and thus keep paying prices.
don’t agree to the point that govt has neglected the military fully. But national security is so much more than military. But yes, military should have a say on security policy making which is right now monopolised by intelligence agencies.
I agree with every blunder you made, Major. I feel the issue of illegal immigration was all time low, showering Unconstitutional policies for regaining power!! What can future generations hope for??
Let us do what it takes to build the strong Nation… Jai Hind…