Post Ladakh, PLA no longer a bogey for Indian Army;Analysis

Post Ladakh, PLA no longer a bogey for Indian Army;Analysis

On the eve of the 2004 general elections, a meeting of China Study Group (CSG) was held to review the status of border roads along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with the then Vice Chief of Army Staff briefing the apex group on strategic roads. At this meeting the then Home Secretary asked the Army general why we were not building strategic north-to-south roads and questioned the delays in doing so.

The answer was that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) could use these roads to come into India. The Home Secretary shot back that at this rate India should also stop building roads in Delhi.

Sixteen years later, the Indian Army has finally shrugged off the bogey of the PLA and is staring down at the Chinese at Ladakh with the sole objective of restoring status quo ante at all friction points along the line of actual control. The change in the mindset of the Indian Army came after the June 15 Galwan flare-up where Col Santosh Babu and his men engaged in hand to hand combat with their adversaries, who are projected as Shaolin Temple warriors by the Chinese state media.

Serving Indian Army officers say that once the Prime Minister of India went to Ladakh to boost the morale and the Indian public gathered to honour the fallen — in contrast to the PLA’s hush-hush burial of its dead— the mood changed. Despite the raging pandemic that has origins in Wuhan, the honour bestowed on fallen Indian troops including a brave Junior Commissioned Officer of the elite special frontier force in August 29-30 operation on south Pangong Tso has boosted the morale of Indian forces.

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