Sino-Sonia synergy, a threat to India’s security
MOU, a symbol of Sino-Sonia synergy, being signed on August 07, 2008
In the previous article “Why did Gandhi family and Chinese Communists sign an MOU?” (https://www.devendranarain.com/why-did-gandhi-f…ists-sign-an-mou/ ), I analysed the reasons what made the Gandhi family and Chinese Communists sign an MOU. Though the details of the MOU are not in the the public domain, the sequence of events shows that for the Gandhi-Vadra family headed by Sonia Gandhi nee Sonia Maino, their personal interest is above the interest of Indians.
In fact, a careful look at the developments during and after the UPA rule should not leave anyone in doubt that their friendship ( “Sino-Sonia synergy”), symbolised by the MOU, is a serious threat to India’s security. During the ten years of the UPA rule, India’s ‘de facto Prime Minister’, Sonia Maino, acted like China’s good friend, keeping India’s interest subordinate to China’s interest. During the current tension between India and China at the Line of Actual Control (LAC), she and her children are repeatedly giving the message that ‘enemy’s enemy is friend’. Whether in or out of power, she has missed no opportunity to prove that ‘a friend in need is a friend indeed.’
Proofs of threat to India’s security by the Sino-Sonia synergy during the UPA rule
There are several examples of how the de facto Prime Minister helped China during 10 years of her rule, albeit through her puppet Prime Minister
(1) Refusal to give permission to activate strategic airstrip in Ladakh
Recently, retired air marshal Pranab Kumar Barbora, the Commander-In-Chief of the Western Air Command in 2008, has made a shocking, revelation about the apathy, rather firm opposition, of the UPA government to strengthen India’s defence despite the constant threat of Chine incursions.
During the Chinese aggression in 1962, an airstrip, known as Ladakh’s Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO), was built at an altitude of nearly 17,000 feet, one of the world’s highest advanced airstrips, in Ladakh. It was not used after 1965. It had suffered some damage in an earthquake in 1966.
Just 9 km northwest of the Aksai Chin LAC, this airstrip is strategically very important. During the UPA rule, several times the Airforce requested the government for permission to reactivate it to provide logistical support for troops stationed in the difficult terrain and to stonewall Chinese incursion. Every time the reply was a firm “NO” though no reason was given.
Air Marshal Barbora decided to act without government permission. In a closely guarded secret operation, in May 2008, he himself flew an an-32 aircraft to this strategic airstrip. Even Defence Minister A. K. Antony was not taken into confidence, He was informed only after law Air Marshal had done what he wanted to do.
Air Marshal Barbora told a news agency that when the government asked him ‘why did you do it? We said it is the Air Force’s responsibility to maintain troops’ logistics support and it falls within our jurisdiction, within Indian territory.’
Five years later, in August 2013, a Super Hercules transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force was flown to the airstrip to prove its usefulness. It is now playing a critical role in the face-off with China. The Indian Army maintains helipads and a gravel airstrip and Air Force also carries routine sorties to provide relief and supplies to the troops stationed nearby. (Sources: OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com and WION New Delhi Jun 09, 2020)
(2) Delay in the construction of border roads
One of the reasons for the poor show by the Indian Army in Ladakh in 1962 was that there was no motorable road. The ill-equipped soldiers had to walk for a week to reach the border.
Way back, in 1999 when Atal Behari Vajpayee was Prime Minister, the government decided to construct 73 “strategic roads” ( 3,812 km in length) by 2012. The UPA government delayed the construction of roads along the entire border and the LAC. By March 2016, only 22 roads were completed. The common excuse given for the delay was ‘delay in getting environmental clearances. Note that for almost half of the period UPA, I and II, ruled, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was in charge of the Environment Ministry. The independent ministers in charge of the Environment Ministry were also known for delays in giving clearances. Delay in land acquisitions, difficulties in availability of construction material, shortage of manpower, and damage due to natural disasters such as flash flood were other regions cited.
The main reason was the Chinese objection to the construction of border roads. The Chinese did not want development of infrastructure that would facilitate fast movement of armed forces and supplies to the border areas. This was confirmed recently when the Chinese objected to the construction of roads and bridges leading to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) on the Indian side. The Modi government completely ignored Chinese objections. But the Sonia government did not want to displease the Chinese. During last few months, the Border Roads Organisation of India has constructed roads and bridges with load-bearing capacity of 70 tons.
During the UPA rule, even border roads were not free of scams. The construction of 255 km long Darbuk-Shyok-Daulat Beg Oldie (DSDBO) road, connecting Leh to Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO), started in 2000 and was scheduled to be completed by 2012 at an estimated cost of ₹ 320 cr. “An inquiry conducted by the Chief Technical Examiner (CTE), on the instructions of the CVC, discovered in 2011 that the road had been laid on flat terrain and not on the mountains as per the approved plan, as reported in an Indian Express report. The construction of the road in such a manner meant that it got damaged every summer due to the flooding of the Shyok River caused by melting snow.” He alleged that about Rs. 120 cr. had been misappropriated from the project. Moreover, ‘much of the road would have to be realigned and reconstructed.’
(3) Keeping armed forces weak
Despite threats from China, the UPA government did not take any action to strengthen our Armed Forces. The government ignored the repeated requests of the Air Force to acquire new fighter planes. India had not acquired a new fighter plane for decades. The negotiation for the acquisition of Rafale fighters had become an endless.
After defeating Sonia Maino in 2014 Narendra Modi is acting fast to make India strong.
In May 2014, a politician (by virtue of marriage) for whom personal and family interest was above the national interest was replaced by a person without family and personal interest, whose only interest is to make India diplomatically, economically, and militarily strong. He acted fast.
Within less than two months of taking over in 2014, Prime Minister Modi took several measures to expedite the construction of border roads. The government to scrap the need for approval for every project and gave a “general approval” for building a road network of border roads including outposts, floodlights, and fencing, by the Border Roads Organisation. modern construction equipment, men and material – to expedite completion of DSBDO. The building of roads and other infrastructure facilities up to the LAC at a fast speed – at Galwan, India completed a road leading to an airfield in October despite Chinese objections – is believed to be the main reason for the current misadventure by the Chinese. 32 more border roads are also on the fast track. Modern construction equipment, men, and material are airlifted to expedite completion of border roads. (Source: OpIndia and https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/india-china-ladakh-face-off-result-of-infrastructure-building-not-weakness/ )
To make the speed of road construction faster, recently the Central government transferred the power of giving environmental clearances for the border roads to the defence Ministry.
During last few months, the Border Roads Organisation of India has constructed roads and bridges with load-bearing capacity of 70 tons. Heavy army and civilian vehicles as well as tanks can now move very fast to the LAC near Galwan Valley, the site of physical fight between the Chinese and Indian soldiers in mid June 2020.
Modi acted equally fast to strengthen the armed forces. The government renegotiated to get Rafale fighters at lesser cost and faster. To give a complete account of all the measures taken since 2014 to strengthen the armed forces will require a separate detailed article. Suffice it to say here that today our Armed Forces are well-equipped to meet any threat from China anywhere along 3400 km border. The Armed Forces have been given autonomy to buy arms and ammunition up to ₹ 500 cr. without seeking government approval. There have also been given full freedom to deal with the Chinese at the LAC. Our allies – USA, Russia, France and Israel – are extending all help to make India militarily strong. The first set of Rafale jets is expected by July end. USA and Russia have committed early delivery of arms and ammunition. Israel is supplying an in-service air defence system. India is going to acquire more fighter planes.
Gandhi-Vadra family continues to help the Chinese friends
The frustration of the Gandhi-Vadra family is quite natural. Sonia Gandhi’s plans to delay the construction of border roads and to keep India armed force weak. The family adopted new strategies to help the Chinese friends.
(1) Maintenance of the line of communication with the Chinese. Whenever occasion permitted, Rahul Gandhi met the Chinese leaders to reassure them of support.
- In 2017, during the military stand-off with China at Doklam, Rahul Gandhi was highly critical of the Modi government for not taking action against the Chinese. In the midst of that crisis, he called on the Chinese Ambassador. No one knows what they discussed. When the news leaked out, as expected, the Congress party described it as ‘fake’. The party had to eat humble pie when a post on the website of the Chinese embassy confirmed the news of the meeting. Later, the post was deleted.
- In September 2018, during Rahul Gandhi’s trip to Kailash Mansarovar, a couple of Chinese ministers had met him. Initially, the Congress kept it secret but later Rahul himself, albeit accidentally, revealed that he had met them. Why should Chinese ministers come all the way near Kailash Mansarovar unless some important notes were to be exchanged?
(2) Attempt to sabotage acquisition of Rafale aircrafts
They tried to do so by painting Narendra Modi as corrupt. As the negotiation progressed, Rahul Gandhi’s frustration became too obvious. During the election campaign in 2019, he became desperate. He coined the slogan “Chowkidar chor hai” (‘The guard is a thief’) and chanted it like a mantra every day several times. Reference was to his allegations of corruption in the Rafale deal. Fortunately, barring diehard Modi haters, no one believed him. Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, the BJP won more seats in 2019 than in 2014, winning 303 seats as against 282 in 2014. (https://www.devendranarain.com/on-rafale-deal-rahul-gandhi-played-a-dangerous-anti-national-game/)
(3) Insult to armed forces before the current crisis at the LAC.
Here are concrete examples before and after the current tension and the LAC’s
- The Congress refused to accept the claim of the Indian Air Force that on 29 September 2016, it conducted “surgical strikes” against militant launch pads across the Line of Control in Pakistani-administered Kashmir and demanded proof.
- When in the early hours of February 26, 2019, the Indian Air Force conducted Balakot airstrike and dropped bombs in the vicinity of the town of Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan to destroy terrorist camps, the Congress again asked for proof
- On December 30, 2009, Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit openly abused the then Army Chief General Bipin Rawat by calling him a ‘sadak ka gunda‘ (a road-side goon). Though he apologised after public outcry, the party did not take any action against him. I do not think the son of former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit who was very close to Sonia Gandhi would have used such an abusive language for the Army Chief unless he was sure of no action by the party.
(4) Insult to the Armed Forces during the current crisis.
While the Chinese army is creating problems at the LAC, the Sonia-Vadra family is extending support to the Chines by attacking the Modi government on a daily basis. While all other opposition parties, barring the communists, are pledging support to the government, the family is showing its loyalty to the family friend Xi Jinping. There are numerous examples of this.
- They do not want any Congressman to be critical of China. In May, the leader of Congress party in Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury had tweeted against China for aggression along the LAC, warned China while pressing the Indian forces. The show of anger was short- lived. Under pressure from above, Chowdhury deleted the tweet.
- As if to say ‘our apology for Chowdhury’s unfriendly act’, Congress leader Anand Sharma tweeted that “The views of Congress Lok Sabha leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury in China are his own and do not reflect the party position;” He further tweeted that “The Indian National Congress recognises and values the special strategic partnership between India and China. As two ancient civilisations and large economies of the world, both countries are destined to make a significant contribution in the 21st Century.” No other proof is needed to show where the loyalty of the Congress party controlled by Gandhi-Vadra family lies.
- On June 22, a week after physical clash between Indian and Chinese armies in which 20 Indian soldiers had become the martyrs and (according to the American sources) 43 Chinese soldiers were killed, Prime Minister Modi held a meeting 20 political parties. He apprised them of the seriousness of the problem, briefed them about the state of preparedness and status at the LAC. He told them that there was no intrusion on the Indian territory along the LAC and no post of Indian Army had been captured by the Chinese. All opposition parties, except Congress, maintained the tradition of solidly supporting the government’s diplomatic, strategic and military.
- Sonia Gandhi did not believe Prime Minister’s claim that there was ‘no Chinese intrusion into Indian soil’ and wanted to know the date on which the Chinese troops intruded into Indian territory, the date on which the intrusion was discovered, the sequence of events, whether the intelligence agencies had discovered unusual activities, whether there was a failure of the military intelligence and whether the government was regularly receiving satellite pictures of the area. One wonders, why Sonia Gandhi needs all these military details, especially about the role of the military intelligence. Does she want the information to be shared with the Chinese friends?
- Almost every day Rahul Gandhi is asking Prime Minister Modi to speak up and tell the truth to the country on whether China has occupied any Indian territory.
- As part of their campaign, “Speak up for our jawans” campaign, as part of the campaign, on June 26 all the three top leaders of Congress i.e. three members of the family, Sonia, son Rahul, and daughter Priyanka, issued three separate statements to give the message that the Chinese troops have occupied Indian territory.
In a video message Sonia said, the prime minister claims that China did not infiltrate India’s land, but on the other hand, the Defence Ministry and the Ministry of External Affairs keep discussing it.
Rahul said, “A few days ago, the prime minister said – no one has taken even an inch of Indian land [and that] no one is inside Indian territory – but we are hearing, satellite photos have shown, people in Ladakh are saying and retired generals are saying that China has snatched our land. Not in one place but three.”
Not to be left behind, in her statement virtually mocked the PM. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra asked, “What happened during the discussions that PM Modi had held with the Chinese that they were so emboldened to take over our territories?”
- The allegation that the Chinese have occupied Indian territory is based on a misinterpretation of satellite imagery section of media (Indian as well as foreign) that the new Chinese structures have come up at the site of the violent clash in the Galwan Valley. However, an Indian news channel India TV has given the just opposite information based on the same satellite images. On June 25, India TV’s Rajat Sharma, while showing the images on the TV screen pointed out that a fake news was circulating in the media that the structures visible in satellite image were made by the Chines on the Indian side of the LAC, ‘whereas the truth is that those are Indian structures on the Indian side’.
- The family is not bothered either about the truth or about the implications of their statements and tweets. When Rahul Gandhi says that ‘Narendra Modi has surrendered to China’, he does not realise that he is saying that the Indian armed forces have surrendered to the Chinese armed forces. This is not only contrary to the truth but also an insult to the brave Indian soldiers.
In his 66th “Man Ki Baat” radio talk, Prime Minister gave a clear message to the Chinese Communists and their Indian friends. He said: “India knows how to maintain friendship but also look our enemy in the eye and retaliate if the need arises. Our brave soldiers have proved that they will not let any harm come on their motherland. The world has seen India’s commitment to protecting its borders & sovereignty. In Ladakh, a befitting reply has been given to those coveting our territories.”
- What Rahul Gandhi keeps on describing as the Indian territory that the Chinese had occupied is really the “No Man’s Land” which is patrolled by both sides. He knows the truth but believes in the Fascist Germany’s propaganda minister Goebbels’ theory that a lie repeated several times starts sounding like truth. What Rahul Gandhi does not want people to remember that during the last four years of the UPA rule, the Chinese army had entered Indian territory 1278 times: 228 times in 2010, 213 times in 2011, 426 times in 2012 and 411 times in 2013. Those inclusions did not disturb Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Manmohan Singh perhaps because the intruders were friends of Gandhi-Vadra family.
(5) Chinese donations to the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation (RGF)
The RGF headed by Sonia Gandhi is a private trust. Actually, it should be called a family trust established to collect money from all sources. As Finance Minister and then as Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh was very generous to the foundation. The Chinese also gave a few crores of rupees. They know that the foundation has no thoughts of money. The amount they gave is not much but gifts from time to time keep the friendship warm. If money has been given through any other channel, there is no information in the public domain.
The Gandhi-Vadra family must be feeling disturbed that India’s military capabilities and state of preparedness to thwart any Chinese intrusion anywhere along the 3,488 km Line of Actual Control (LAC) were never so high in the past. Army and air force are alert 24/7. Our specialised high-altitude warfare forces are far superior to their Chinese counterpart. Despite grave provocations, Chinese engineers constructed a 66-metre bridge over the River Galwan in freezing temperatures in less than 72 hours.
The propaganda the Global Times is doing for China from Beijing, the Gandhi-Vadra family is doing from Delhi. Both are claiming that the Chinese forces are in stronger position.
Members of Gandhi-Vadra family are letting out their frustration by chanting “Modi has surrendered to China”, reminiscent of their chanting “Chowkidar Chor hai’ during the 2019 election campaign. They failed in 2019. They will fail now and in the future.
The bottom line is that the Congress party that was once in the forefront of the freedom movement has declined so much under Sonia Gandhi that what is in the interest of the Congress (read, Gandhi-Vadra family) is not in the interest of the country and what is in the interest of the country is not in the interest of the Congress.
July 01, 2020