Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat said on Wednesday that the country needs to be prepared for a two-front war. He accused China of taking over India’s territory like “salami slicing” and warned that Pakistan “was likely to take advantage of the situation developing along the northern border.”
Rawat’s remarks came just a little over a week after China and India ended their border standoff in the Doklam area. The Chinese and Indian leaders just met during the BRICS Xiamen Summit and sent positive signals about bilateral ties. While many people believe it is time to leave the episode of the border standoff behind, Rawat has sent the completely opposite message.
In June when the standoff just started, Rawat claimed that the “Indian Army is fully ready for a two-and-a-half-front war,” referring to wars with China and Pakistan and a domestic anti-terror war.
Admittedly, Rawat has such a big mouth that he could ignite the hostile atmosphere between Beijing and New Delhi. He not only turns a blind eye to international rules, but also made us see the arrogance probably prevailing in the Indian Army. He advocated a two-front war in such a high-profile manner, but where does the Indian Army’s confidence come from?
Generals in India need to form some basic knowledge about the current situation. Can India bear the consequences when it has both China and Pakistan as its adversaries at the same time? Should the Indian Army simulate a military rivalry with its Chinese counterpart before letting Rawat speak?
The Chinese people have felt that the security situation of their country is becoming severe. But before the Doklam confrontation, few people would think of a Sino-Indian war. Although the two have border disputes, China’s military supporters rarely viewed India as a potential military rival of China.
Most Chinese people do not expect the border disputes between the two countries to be solved soon. Before a negotiation result comes out, they support maintaining the status quo. China does not make provocations first, and it does not allow India to.
The Indian opinion sphere has always agonized over the border issue. It seems that there are two Indias, one that is thriving and as one of the BRICS countries the same as China; and the other that keeps provoking and tangling with China. Should we embrace the first India or teach the second India a lesson?
Let the first India discipline the second one and the Indians with dignity should take care of the mouths of senior officials like Rawat. Their words and the arrogance they show will taint India’s image. If India is able to reflect upon itself, it should not let these people distort the public’s understanding of the world.
Originally Published in Global Times