India’s border dispute with China and the 1962 war

In this conversation with Dr Vijay Rana, historian AS Bhasin challenges the conventional narrative about the Sino-Indian border dispute and the India-China war of 1962.
He recasts the story of India’s troubled relationship in his book ‘Nehru Tibet and China’, published in June 2021. The book is based on new archival material and so far unseen Jawaharlal Nehru papers.
AS Bhasin tells us that in his keenness to befriend China’s communist rulers Prime Minister Nehru repeatedly ignored the Chinese threat, refused to settle the border dispute, and then embarked upon a forward policy with the help of an army that was totally unprepared for a conflict with China.
He believed that the Chinese would never invade India and kept on assuring the nation that the Indian army was fully prepared to repulse any Chinese attack. The result was a humiliating defeat in the 1962 war.
AS Bhasin argues that most people in India still do not understand the complexity of the dispute because what they have been told was far away from the truth. As things stand today, most of the India-China border still remains unmarked, and the dispute continues.

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