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Chinese whispers

All Indians must counter Neville Maxwell on ‘Night of November 19'.

Written by The Indian Express |
December 29, 2010 3:19:38 am

Chinese whispers

All Indians must counter Neville Maxwell on ‘Night of November 19’ (IE,December 27): a) Ambassador Galbraith misled South Block — deliberately for reasons best known to him — about Chinese air preparedness across the NEFA border; but for that misinformation,the IAF from Tezpur would have countered the Chinese ground troops. b) Before November 19,the IB had reported at a meeting of the Defence Committee of the Cabinet that our post was surrounded by the Chinese. The acting COAS (General Thapar was out of station) somewhat foolhardily told the RM,who was presiding that day in the absence of the PM,that the army “would have them thrown out.” That telling expression somehow got out of the Cabinet Committee Room. Nehru got to know of it just as he was flying to Colombo and remarked to the press that he “had ordered the army to throw the Chinese out.” Mao was told about it and went on to teach India a lesson! The rest is Maxwell’s story.

—Mukund B. Kunte

Former Head of the Military Wing & Additional Secretary,Cabinet Secretariat,New Delhi

By their own

This refers to the editorial ‘Duty-bound’ (IE,December 28). Only time will tell whether the PAC inquiry into the 2G spectrum scam,by its chairman and BJP leader M.M. Joshi,will end the deadlock and make all facts public. While taking potshots at Manmohan Singh for his refusal to accept a JPC probe and treating this face-off as a now-or-never to upstage the Congress,BJP leaders failed to take notice that one among them was trying to use his statutory position to show his own pre-eminence,if not disagreement with the leadership. Joshi,knowingly or unknowingly,has driven a coach (if not a rath) and horses through the party’s hopes of drawing maximum political mileage from the Congress’s manhandling of the issue. Now the BJP will be busier in papering over internal differences than in training its guns at the UPA.

— Tarsem Singh

New Delhi

Don’t overdo it

Advocates of civil liberties are shocked at activist Binayak Sen’s conviction under Sections 120 B (criminal conspiracy) and 124 (sedition) of the IPC (‘Error and trial’,IE,December 27). Events,right from his earlier arrest to his conviction by a Chhattisgarh sessions court,are shocking to say the least. Maybe Sen was sympathetic to Naxalites. But the doctor cannot be branded a Naxalite seeking to wage war against the state. Equating him with the brutal Naxalites is not truthful or fair. Many have already voiced concern for him. It’s no one’s case that he should not be punished under the law of the land if guilty. But the single reasonable demand is not to subject this humanitarian social worker to unintended legal brutality.

— Bichu Muttathara

Pune

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