Everyone knows about the heroic counterattack by 16 BIHAR regiment with Ghataks. Many are debating upon how much area China must have occupied after the Pangang-tso and Galwan face off. Critics naysayers and pessimists are also haranguing about usefulness of banning some Chinese apps and deciding to end some contracts.
Amidst the crisis and critics narrative, two most important changes in our policy has changed the outlook for every and this is encouraging.
1. All these years there was a policy of “seek permission from Delhi” before opening fire at the LAC, LOC or IB as Delhi feared of escalation beyond control. This has gone as this government has given free hand. Which was seen during the counter attack. No sooner the CO of the battalion was taken in surprise by the Chinese when they crossed the ethical line, they were counter attacked. Imagine what would have happened if the battalion rear waited for orders to come from rear, far rear from Delhi. This new avtar or our forces have sent shivers down the adversary’s spine, which is first major change in the policy. In the past even if the local forces took decisions Delhi never held their hand and distanced itself in a self-belief of being politically correct thinking that India’s image may take a hit with other nations. Not this time though. After the incident Delhi has held the hand of the forces. This was established by PM visit to the area and patting the back of the forces. This has bolstered the forces and gave a message to the world about the shift in policy.
2. All these years our foreign policy revolved around the policy of delinking border issues and trade. Assuming that trade can be used as a CBM. This has not yielded any tangible result on ground near LAC. All that Aksai Chin which was gobbled during 1962 remained there as disputed and nothing changed. With the ban of these apps and cancellation of many Chinese tenders in different sectors, India has effected second major policy shift that it cannot have enemy at the border and the same country as a friend in trade. Slowly the mindset is changing. The mindset of our citizens would also need to be changed. Today many selfish Indian businessmen under the garb of being practical talk about trade with China and how we cannot do away with it. We can do away.
Tail Piece - What is required now is, there needs one Government push and we can do away with Chinese imports paving way for mass employment. One way is to build government owned huge business parks with all amenities such as worker hostels and canteens. The park to be ready with plug and play infrastructure provided by government in terms of transportation, electricity, water, hostels, sheds and security. Attract private business in this plug and play and create competition. This will ensure good quality low price items. Start with low tech consumables and extend it to higher value goods in a phased manner. Do it when the iron is hot.