India’s victory in the 1967 war brought changes in entire Asian region: Probal Dasgupta
Chandigarh, December 19: The trend of writing books on Indian military history started after India’s independence, which was highly commendable.
The details of the 1962 war were described prominently in the media coverage of the tensions between India and China in Doklam, while the 1967 war between India and China in Nathula and Cho La, in which India was unprecedented. The victory was recorded, nowhere was it mentioned. Most surprising was the fact that historians and political scientists were also ignorant of the 1967 war. However, this war brought many important changes in the Asian region.
With these opening words, the second day of Military Literature Festival 2020 kicks off with a discussion on the book ‘Watershed 1967: India’s Forgotten Victory Over China’ by Probal Dasgupta.
Lieutenant General (Retd.) N. S Brar initiated the discussion.
Participating in the discussion,author of ‘Watershed 1967: India’s Forgotten Victory over China’, Probal Dasgupta, said that after General Sagat Singh took command of the East Zone in 1965, he identified all Indian Territory bordering China and started patrolling. It ensured that in times of crisis, it would be easier to identify the territory of India so that China could not assert its sovereignty over it.
Referring to the background of the 1967 war, Dasgupta said that the Chinese government wanted to use Pakistan as a front to occupy Sikkim. So China persuaded Pakistan to build roads in occupied Kashmir, which was objected to by India. China had offered to help Pakistan in the talks and offered to give Sikkim to India if India ceded Kashmir to Pakistan. The offer was turned down by India. After which China made several moves to test India’s strength so that India could increase its military presence on all its borders and raise the issue at the international level and force India to negotiate.
But when all its moves failed, it launched a military offensive which was met with a resounding response from the Indian Army and victory over China. He said that this victory filled the Indian Army with an enthusiasm that China has not yet been able to cope with and is proof of that we find it in the Galvan Valley where our brave soldiers once again dusted off the Chinese soldiers.
Participating in the debate, Lt. Gen. (Retd) KJ Singh “ When I got the opportunity to work in the East Command in 1978, I was saddened to learn that people knew very little about this important war of 1967,” Singh said. He said that General Sagat Singh had retaliated without any delay after the Chinese attack.
He said that at present India should strengthen its position in the region bordering China. Because India is at par with China in every field, be it in terms of strength or technology.
Participating in the discussion, Lieutenant General (Retd) JS Cheema said that India’s victory not only gave impetus to the Indian Army but also forced China to enter into an agreement with India and it considered Sikkim an integral part of India.
He said that this victory had brought a great change in the region of Asia under which Bangladesh came into existence in 1971 and China did not support Pakistan in this war.