India must stand up to China, instead of relying on talks, says Swamy

By Our Correspondent
Subramanian Swamy

Amid border tensions, India on Monday sent out a strong message to China by dispatching top BJP leader Ram Madhav to the funeral of a member of Tibetan soldiers, which operates under the umbrella of Indian Army, in Leh.

Nyima Tenzin, a soldier of the once-secret Special Frontier Force (SFF) unit that also owes its allegiance to the Dalai Lama as well as India, was killed along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) last week after he had accidentally stepped on a vintage landmine in South Pangong, where the troops of both the countries were engaged in “provocative action” last week.

The BJP leader even uploaded pictures of the funeral in a tweet. Though the photos were later deleted, Madhav’s presence there is being seen by many strategic experts as an attempt by the BJP-led Indian government to show China that it’s getting closer to the Tibetans in exile.

This signal to China by the Indian government—at a time when both the countries have been holding talks through diplomatic and military channels—comes days after outspoken BJP leader Subramanian Swamy came down heavily on the Modi government for not standing up to Beijing for violating the mutually agreed LAC and instead relying on talks.

“What discussions you will have with the Chinese when they are sitting on your chest. The Chinese should be taught a lesson, they have broken a mutually agreed line. They are occupying 1,000 sq km along LAC, which is huge,” Swamy said in a recent podcast interview with NewsX.

According to the veteran BJP leader, China owes nothing to India or the Modi government.

“Modi met Chinese President Xi Jingping 18 times since coming to power some six years back. Former Indian PM Jawaharlal Nehru gave away everything to China, even our UN Security Council seat,” he pointed out.

Asked about the intentions of the Chinese, Swamy said, Beijing’s only target is “to insult and lower the status of India”. “This is to give a message to the neighbourhood that India can’t do a damn thing if we get tough,” he said.

In a veiled attack on Modi for its foreign policy mess-up, the BJP leader said that a number of India’s neighbours are drifting away. “Nepal, the Hindu kingdom, is gone to the Chinese. Bangladesh is not standing up, even Bhutan is having problems. Only (Sri Lankan PM) Rajapakse can stand up to China, (former Maldives President) Nasheed also did.”

He says that neither the US nor its enemy Iran is going to help India. “You stopped buying oil from Iran due to US sanctions, you are going slow on Chabahar port, and they are getting offers of interest-free loans from China. The US, on the other hand, says that the border issues should be resolved through mutual talks,” he said.

During the interview, Swamy also tried to downplay India’s actions against terror emanating from Pakistani soil. “Pakistan is actually having a gala time. How does it matter to them how many terrorists we kill. If we capture Lahore or free Balochistan, it will mean something to them,” he said.

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