NAINITAL: As tensions on the Sino-India border escalate after 20
personnel including a Colonel, were killed in a violent face-off with Chinese troops in Ladakh, veterans who had participated in the 1962 India-China war, recalled the conflict with Chinese forces 58 years ago.
BD Jayal (retired), 84, a former Air Force pilot who was serving in the eastern sector when the ’62 war broke out, added that the present aggression by China is happening because “it sees itself as a regional
and potential global superpower and wants to keep India in check. China is facing flak from almost every major country and therefore it is acting in this manner. It is in its interest to keep the border issue alive so that it can continue its expansionist nature”.
Nayak Jagat Singh Dasila, 82, who lost several of his comrades in the war in the erstwhile North East Frontier Agency (NEFA), known as
today, told TOI that he could empathise with what the soldiers in Ladakh are feeling. “I lost many of my friends who fought with me during the 1962 war and therefore, I can relate to what the soldiers must be feeling today. It is imperative that the government understands the sentiments of soldiers and takes considered and decisive action so that we do not lose more men,” Dasila said.
, 82, another veteran of the 1962 war, said that “if that war almost 60 years ago had taught us anything, it was that the Chinese are never to be trusted.” “It has always been in the Chinese nature to act this way. They will extend the hand of friendship and offer talks and then backstab you.This was what had happened earlier as well. India should try to diffuse the tension with talks but if the situation does not change for the better, we should not flinch from taking strong action,” he said.
Echoing similar sentiments, Colonel Prem Andrews (retired), 75, who has researched extensively on the Battle of Walong — considered to be the only counter-attack India could manage in the 1962 war — said that India should take a bold stand and hold its ground. “China has been acting as a bully in the region.It is time that India takes a bold stand and hold its ground. They cannot browbeat us and we need to show them that,” Andrews said.