Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Was it Nehru?

Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of independent India was known for his public outburst of anger and taking seemingly impulsive decision, instances plenty, pepper Indian history. Of late, adding credence to the claim is the revelation from Australian journalist Neville Maxwell. according to him, ''it wasn't China, but Nehru who declared 1962 war'. It was known to all Indians that China attacked India in the boarder region of Ladakh in 1962 rousing their patriotic instincts and irrespective of caste and religious affiliation they thronged along the streets and public places in protest against China. The war put the Indian army to rout and many soldiers lost their lives. 

Maxwell's  revelation came recently, in his blog.  He wrote, Indian army conducted an internal 'inquiry into its rout int the war', which came out as Henderson Brooks' report . '(T)he report was written up by Lt Gen Henderson Brooks and Brig P S Bhagat' but did not see light for the past 51 years, since it was written, because the successive Indian governments refused to make it public. 

Maxwell now 88, at the time of the India-China war was the New Delhi correspondent for The Times, London. There were two copies of the report available to which Maxwell had got access  for his 1970 book, India's China War; he had 'quoted extensively' from the report in his book. But he got access to ''only Volume I of the report, minus 45 pages, and he never laid eyes on Volume II''.

But why he took so long to make it public? He had been trying to make the report public for years but nobody would publish it, so finally he published it on his blog (thanks to the social media).

For more on Maxwell's revelation and his interview with the Indian media go here 


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