New Delhi, June 24 : In a significant statement, BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav reiterated India’s claim to Aksai Chin as its own, amid rising India-China tensions. He said on Wednesday that India must show the same assertiveness on the Line of Actual Control with China as it has shown on the Line of Control with Pakistan, simply to protect its “self respect” and defend its land “till the last inch”.
Madhav said the solution to the present standoff is actively engaging with China both diplomatically and militarily. The BJP leader was speaking at an event on the India-China border issue organised by RSS mouthpiece ”Organiser”.
“Our claim is not just the LAC. Our claim goes beyond that. When it comes to J&K, it includes PoK (Pakistan-occupied Kashmir) and when it comes to the UT of Ladakh, it includes Gilgit-Baltistan and Aksai Chin,” asserted Ram Madhav, who is often seen as the BJP”s face when it comes to foreign relations.
However, Madhav stressed India does not want to wage a war with China. But India”s assertiveness on its side of the LAC is required to “protect its self respect”. Madhav added that India will have to defend its land till the last inch.
He also accepted that China as we see today is more aggressive. But he claimed that an aggressive China today is the result of an “assertive India”.
The BJP General Secretary claimed that China by nature never wanted to settle a border dispute. That was the reason it refused to insert the word “existing” in a mutual agreement when P.V. Narasimha Rao was Prime Minister.
Madhav also blamed the rising Chinese aggression on past political responses. “We wanted peace every time,” said the BJP leader. He listed that be it Rajiv Gandhi in 1988, Narasimha Rao in 1993 or Deve Gowda or UPA government, “all tried to make peace with China only to be betrayed by the dragon.”
The senior BJP leader said the solution is to engage with China diplomatically while being militarily assertive to defend India”s land. “India will take a firm position on ground. We will fight for our self respect,” he remarked. Madhav also took potshots at the Congress party to suggest it has been undoing efforts by Prime Minister Narendra Modi vis-a-vis China.
RSS”s Ram Lal, who made an introductory speech, made an even more serious political charge. “There are elements in this country who seem to be playing into the hands of China. They are destroying the morale of our forces,” he alleged, without naming the Congress.
This strong assertion comes in the wake of 20 Indian Army men, including an officer, being killed on Monday night during a violent face-off with Chinese People”s Liberation Army troops at Galwan valley in eastern Ladakh region. These are the first casualties faced by the Indian Army in a clash with the Chinese PLA since 1975 when an Indian patrol was ambushed by Chinese troops in Arunachal Pradesh.
Following this, Prime Minister Modi sent out a clear signal to China, saying that India won”t tolerate misadventures when it comes to defending its sovereignty and territorial integrity. Articulating India”s clear stand, the Prime Minister, in virtual presence of a host of chief ministers, said: “I would like to assure the nation that the sacrifice of our jawans will not be in vain. For us, the unity and sovereignty of the country are important. India wants peace but when instigated, India is capable of giving a befitting reply.”