By Ranbir Singh Jakher
New Delhi, Sep 14 (IANS) By taking control of the Black Top, Helmet and Reqin La heights, besides the finger four, the Indian Army has strengthened its position around the Pangong Tso lake area in eastern Ladakh. The Indian soldiers occupying strategic heights gives them a distinct advantage over their opponents. The Chinese will now find themselves struggling to observe the Chushul-Demchok road. Indians are also far better trained than the Chinese when it comes to mountain warfare.
The Indian soldiers have turned the tables and shown to the Xi Jinping government that it is man behind the machine that matters, not vice versa. Indian soldiers are filled with patriotism and fight with robust courage unlike the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers who are conscripts. Conscripts are the ones who are enlisted compulsorily whereas Indian soldiers enlist themselves voluntarily. Sources say that a senior Chinese officer refused to counter-attack and regain heights captured by the Indian Army in southern and northern bank of Pangong lake on August 30. The fear of facing Indian soldiers is giving sleepless nights to the Chinese army.
George Bernard Shaw wrote in his play the ‘Arms and the Man’ about soldiers who enlist in the army for pay and perks and are afraid to face the bullets. He called them ‘chocolate soldiers’. The Chinese soldiers aren’t any different. They will surely melt in the heat of a battle. PLA generals too know the reality. China fooled India, rather breached faith, by signing 1993 and 1996 agreement of no use of weapons.
The Indian soldiers are born tough. They generally come from rural backgrounds and are then trained hard after joining the defence forces. They are trained hard and always follow the dictum: “The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war…” They master the art of mountain, desert, jungle and guerrilla warfare. They go through the fire and are ready to face the enemy in any theatre of war. On the contrary, the Chinese soldiers come from comparatively financially affluent and urban families who have led a comfortable and luxurious life before being asked to enrol in PLA. Such men are not fit for fighting a war.
Also, the present generation of youth enrolling in PLA comes from the era of a one child norm. The single child is normally a pampered one too. However, they have no option but to join the PLA under duress. They are unwilling soldiers who are marking their time and waiting for the day when they will be permitted to leave the armed forces of China and go home after completing their tenure of four to five years. The mere thought of dieing in a remote place, far away from their family, sends chills down their spines. How can they even match the Indian soldiers in whose veins flows the patriotic blood and who are always ready to sacrifice their life for the country and their regiment/battalion. Their salutation is ‘Jai Hind’ which means victory to India.
Legendary Israeli military leader General Moshe Dayan, Commander of Jerusalem front in the 1948 Arab-Israel war and also the defence minister of Israel during the six-day Arab-Israel war of 1967 wherein Israel stunned the world by defeating the Arab countries comprising of Jordan, Egypt and Syria, had predicted US defeat in Vietnam in 1967. He said that American soldiers move in vehicles, live in luxury whereas the Vietnami guerrillas are war machines who live in jungles and move on foot. Similarly, the Indian soldiers are also like a well-oiled machine and can take on the ‘chocolate’ Chinese soldiers anytime, anywhere.
The Indian soldiers have fought the icy winds of Siachen and have repulsed many attacks from Pakistan. They are trained to fight in temperatures ranging from -50 degrees centigrade in snow-capped mountains to the scorching temperatures in the deserts. Not very surprisingly, the Chinese newspaper Global Times is publishing reports about the Chinese being better trained in comparison to the Indians. This is just resorting to misplaced psychological warfare. We know too well that barking dogs seldom bite. China will do well to realize that it is not India of 1962. The Indian soldiers cannot be cowed down by the Chinese soldiers who are no better than street bullies.
Not just in Ladakh but India has enhanced its strategic reach in the Indian Ocean as well. China’s dream of dominating the Indian Ocean Region will never materialize. India has a defence pact with the US, France, Australia, South Korea, Singapore and also Japan. Similar pacts will soon be signed with UK and Russia also. These defence pacts with friendly countries will deny China access in Indo-Pacific Region. The Chinese should not forget that even Japan had almost run over them during the Second World War because the Chinese soldiers lacked a will to fight.
The Indian soldier stands tall and is ready to give more than a befitting reply to PLA’s conscripted, ‘chocolate’ soldiers if they try to move into the Indian territory.
(Ranbir Singh Jakher is a retired Colonel. The views expressed are personal. This content is being carried under an arrangement with indianarrative.com)