Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan: India’s Defence Vision

Posted in British Raj, China, India, Indo Pak Relations, Pax Americana, politics by Anuraag Sanghi on October 30, 2012

With Agni, Brahmos missiles, Arjun MBT, Tejas LCA and the induction of a stealth fighter in ten years, Indian defence posture will have a profile that will intimidate any aggressor – adequately.

A Puff Of Dust

India’s collective memory plays strange tricks.

British Raj no longer evokes outrage or indignation in India, within a few decades after the end of colonial rule. The same British Raj, who were overseers of India’s rapid decline from the richest economy to the poorest in a short span of 100 years. Britain’s rapid decline after the loss of India rarely registers on Indian minds.

Inspite of a nuclear neighbourhood, defence issues are not electoral hot-buttons in India’s mind-scape. China and Pakistan apart, the three other nuclear powers, (USA, Britain, France) also have military presence in India’s immediate vicinity. In India’s collective memory, its remarkable rise from the Great Bengal Famine of 1941 to overflowing food godowns in 2011 is lost in the media din and NGO activism.

But then, this par for the course, for a society that keeps re-indexing even heroes like Raghu Ramachandra and Yadu Krishna.

Walk The Talk …

65 years later, after the end of colonial rule, the Indian State, is trying to be all things to all people – with giant-schemes like MNREGA and AADHAR. LB Shastri’s policy of Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan committed the Indian State to two objectives – India will not go hungry and India will not back down, militarily. To an India recovering from colonial loot of the British Raj, these were the two non-negotiables.

Ten years after Shastri’s Jai Jawan Jai Kisan policy, by 1975, India had achieved food security at a national level. Defence parity with immediate and emerging threats was another matter – and will probably take till 2025.

Today these may seem within reach – but back then in 1965, it the dark night seemed stretch endlessly ahead.

Kargil Infographic - Source & courtesy - globalsecurity.org

Kargil Infographic – Source & courtesy – globalsecurity.org

Trouble In The Barrio

India shares borders with two nuclear neighbors – unlike any other country in the world. India has also fought four wars with Pakistan, one with China and managed another war-scenario with Portugal.

Pakistan had to eat crow on all four occasions. Indian acceptance of Chinese ceasefire, made the Chinese campaign look better than the probable outcome had the war continued. India’s Goa campaign, does not even find a mention in Indian military history – even though India stared down a Western-colonial power.

Parity & Proportion

Fifty years after LB Shastri’s death, by 2016, India will probably start seeing military parity in the modern era. Behind this parity, are two developments in India’s defence posture.

One is the Indo-Russian development of the Brahmos missile. The world’s only supersonic missile, at many times the speed of sound, the Brahmos completes its attack in 5-10 minutes of its launch. There is currently no system whatsoever that can stop a Brahmos. Based on ramjet engines, Brahmos has no global rival.

Flying just 15 metres above water level, Brahmos is virtually invisible to radar, when launched from a warship. Fully mobile, it can stop an invading land-unit. The air-version, to be deployed soon, will probably shoot down an enemy aircraft even before it enters Indian airspace.

You Talkin’ To Me

The Americans, without a similar missile, have been talking-up an electromagnetic railgun – which can only be launched from nuclear warships, due to enormous electrical requirements. These railguns under development for more than 60 years now, cannot knock out a Brahmos. Being very compact, Brahmos can be launched from multiple platforms.

Further, Indo-Russian teams of defence scientists are developing Brahmos from supersonic to hypersonic missile. The Brahmos uses a ramjet engine technology that even the US or the EU don’t have. Brahmos effectively creates a 200 km barrier in Indian airspace, at borders and on the coastline – at a very low-cost. Guided by the Russian Glonass system, Brahmos is not dependent on the American GPS system.

By 2025, India would have deployed enough numbers of Brahmos missiles, to deter any invader.

The Big Whale

Two – The other major development is the T-50 Fifth-Generation Fighter-Aircraft (FGFA). Currently, the only FGFA actually deployed is the the US F-22 Raptor. Grounded due to faulty oxygen-supply system, the F-22 may never be able to match the T-50 FGFA, based on current evaluations – and comes at more than three times the expected price of the Indo-Russian T-50 FGFA.

Interestingly, India’s choice of Rafale, in the MMRCA tender, could be a crucial technology bridge that will enhance the Russian FGFA into a super-FGFA Indian version – like how the SU-27 became the SU-30MKI. For long, the SU-30 was a export product – and recently, the Russian airforce has ordered a domestic version, which is based on the Indian design.

The choice of Rafale is closely tied to transfer of AESA-radar technology – which currently, apart from US and Russia, no other country has. The Eurofighter Typhoon is expecting to get that technology a few years down the road. France is forming a JV-company between Thales and BEL to produce the AESA radar in India.

F-22 Raptor – Running or Hiding?

Curiously, the US has decided to stop the manufacture of F-22 Raptor aircraft. The F-22 Raptor aircraft was also not used in recent Libya operations or sold to any foreign US ally. But, while the US was ‘unwilling’ to sell the F-22 Raptor, the US has pressured eight of its allies to join the newer F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) project. So, while the US was reluctant to sell the older F-22 Raptor, it is very eager to sell the F-35 to it allies and client-States.

Was the US hiding ‘secret’ technology – or hiding technology defects?

The FGFA for USA + 8 Allies - The F-35 (JSF) Variants

The FGFA for USA + 8 Allies – The F-35 (JSF) Variants

The next FGFA from the US, the F-35 is nearly US$250 billion in development, technically unstable, facing critical problems – and not yet in production. In contrast, the Indo-Russian T-50 FGFA is currently budgeted at less than US$40 billion.

Delays and cost overruns have plagued the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter – which at $238bn is the Pentagon’s biggest weapons procurement programme – and one variant of the plane suffered cracks in the bulkhead after it had flown just 1,500 hours out of a planned 16,000.The US Air Force has also had to ground dozens of F-22 fighter jets for the second time this year, after a pilot had experienced oxygen deficiency in the cockpit, officers reported in early October. The announcement follows the air force’s highly unusual step of grounding the entire Raptor fleet between May and mid-September, to allow engineers to investigate possible problems with the plane’s oxygen supply

Elaborate tests and safety measures have nevertheless failed to locate the precise source of the fault. The latest case follows around a dozen previous incidents affecting F-22 pilots over a three-year period, the circumstances of which the US Air Force is reluctant to discuss in detail.

At a cost of nearly $150 million a plane, the F-22 Raptor is designed mainly for dogfights against rival fighter jets, and the radar-evading aircraft were not deployed in the Nato-led campaign over Libya.

via Top attack aircraft – T-50 to J20 – Airforce Technology.

Enormously complex, the F-35 project aims to deliver three versions of the aircraft.

Cost apart, there is also the matter of design-logic. While the F-35 seeks to attack deep in enemy territory, relying on radar evasion through stealth technology, the T-50 FGFA is designed to ensure that air dominance is not lost. While the F-35 relies on stealth technology, the T-50 depends to extreme maneuverability to win an aerial dog fight. The idea of deep-penetration-and-strike mission by a stealth aircraft was thoroughly discredited after the Serbs shot down America’s stealth aircraft, F-117 Nighthawk with a vintage Soviet-era S-125Neva anti-aircraft system in 1999.

The attack role of the F-35 will increasingly be the domain of cheaper missiles and drones – not expensive stealth aircraft.

The Russians are not looking to make the aerodynamic tradeoffs to stealth that the US has made, for a variety of reasons including the effectiveness and costs of such stealth. Given that stealth in the real world would be far less effective than the advertised “metal marble” because the enemy may not always come exactly head on, nor use the radar’s that the F-22s were tested with. Nor would any future competent enemy only have one radar on (but rather a plethora of ground and airborne radars at various frequencies). Further, wear and tear in a real world operational scenario are likely to reduce stealth.

via Grande Strategy.

On the other hand, T-50 will do a better job on denial of air-superiority, even against stealth aircraft. Since stealth aircraft have a small and low radar profile, a missile attack on a stealth-fighter will probably be unsuccessful – and a T-50 type of fighter plane may be a better aircraft for an aerial dog-fight with a stealth fighter.

Main performance characteristics of Sukhoi T-50 fighter jet and similar foreign aircraft  |  Source & credit embedded in image.

Main performance characteristics of Sukhoi T-50 fighter jet and similar foreign aircraft | Source & credit embedded in image.

Models From Russia

With three prototypes and nearly 150 flights to its credit, the T-50 FGFA will start rolling off Russian assembly lines in four years.

Twenty-one months after first flight at Komsomolsk-on-Amur in Siberia, the Sukhoi T-50 PAK-FA fleet recorded its 100th flight on 3 November.

For perspective, the Lockheed Martin F-35 programme needed 31 months from the first take-off by the AA-1 test aircraft to pass the 100th flight mark.

via Sukhoi T-50 PAK-FA passes 100th flight milestone – The DEW Line.

Europeans would still be tinkering with their 4G++ Euro-fighter Typhoon – even as India will be a FGFA manufacturer.

One notable feature that India wants is a 360° active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar rather than the more conventional AESA found on the original Russian aircraft. A 360° AESA would be a first for any fighter on the planet, and it will undoubtedly be expensive.

via Indian PAK-FA variant delayed by two years – The DEW Line.

AESA, Waisa, Kaisa

The 360° active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar is already in use on the sub-sonic Indian indigenous Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AEW&C), mounted on a Brazilian Embraer aircraft using about 60 antennae and sensors.

Work on the crucial transceiver unit is happening in parallel. Meanwhile the Russians are developing an AESA system using X-band radar antenna containing over 1,000 solid transmit/receive modules. India’s own development direction seems to be different from others. Russia’s offer to fully transfer AESA radar technology of Zhuk-ME system, from Phazotron-NIIR Corporation did not get much traction in India.

The Chinese J-20 FGFA, by most expert opinion, is dead in water – without an engine, AESA radar, technologies that the Chinese lack.

The Chinese J-20 (Mighty Dragon) fifth-generation fighter jet program is advancing in truly huge strides. The jet has already made over 60 test flights, performing elements of aerial acrobatics.

In 2009, General He Weirong, Deputy Commander of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force estimated that the J-20 would be operational no earlier than in 2017-2019. Now it appears Chinese engineers have done a great job and the jet is much closer to being ready than expected.

Created by Chengdu Aircraft Corporation, this heavy fighter jet is the first military plane China has constructed on its own, without visible attempts at copying foreign technology. It resembles neither the American Raptor F-22, nor the Russian T-50 PAK-FA.

Though peculiar forms of the jet and technical decisions allegedly realized in the vehicle might be questionable, one thing about this plane is an established fact.

As of now, the J-20 flies with two Russian AL-31F jet engines it borrowed from the Russian Su-27 fighter jet that entered Chinese service in the mid-1980s.

China also tried to put engines of their own on a second test J-20 vehicle, but the copycat of the Soviet engine AL-31F made by China is not in the same league as the Russian analogue for reliability and durability.

The real problem is both AL-31F and Chinese version are engines of the previous generation.

No question the Chinese jet is a prototype model and technology demonstration vehicle called to test new equipment and technology. Defined as a technology showroom, it may fly whatever engines its creator considers possible. But China has no working engine for a 5G jet.

via Chinese ‘Mighty Dragon’ doomed to breathe Russian fire — RT.

By 2025

With the Brahmos and T-50 FGFA, Indian defence will be able to hold on against any force in the world. By 2025, India’s Arjun MBT platform will be stable. The LCA will be in a position to bulk up the IAF. Indian shipyards will start delivering aircraft carriers. Agni missile family will make for a formidable missile array that can attack targets 5000 miles away.

Most importantly, this military parity will be achieved at a cost that India can sustain – and only India can manage.

Following India, Russia has taken some baby-steps in initiating defence ties with Israel and France. Based on an expanding defence trade with India, by 2025 France and Israel may join the Indo-Russian defence alliance.

This will further deepen the technology base – and drive down costs, to levels that Indians apart, no one even imagines.

What about China

If China has been given less importance in this post, it is for a reason.

Between 1990-2000, as the Soviet economy went into a tailspin, Russian defence producers had no customers and no money. Cut-off from Russian State funding, defence production and research suffered.

A year after the collapse of the Soviet Union, a cash-strapped Kremlin began selling China a chunk of its vast military arsenal, including the pride of the Russian air force, the Sukhoi-27 fighter jet.

For the next 15 years, Russia was China’s biggest arms supplier, providing $20 billion to $30 billion of fighters, destroyers, submarines, tanks and missiles. It even sold Beijing a license to make the Su-27 fighter jet—with imported Russian parts.

Today, Russia’s military bonanza is over, and China’s is just beginning.

After decades of importing and reverse-engineering Russian arms, China has reached a tipping point: It now can produce many of its own advanced weapons—including high-tech fighter jets like the Su-27—and is on the verge of building an aircraft carrier.

Not only have Chinese engineers cloned the prized Su-27’s avionics and radar but they are fitting it with the last piece in the technological puzzle, a Chinese jet engine.

In the past (few) years, Beijing hasn’t placed a major order from Moscow.

Now, China is starting to export much of this weaponry, undercutting Russia in the developing world, and potentially altering the military balance in several of the world’s flash points.

Russia’s predicament mirrors that of many foreign companies as China starts to compete in global markets with advanced trains, power-generating equipment and other civilian products based on technology obtained from the West.

In this case, there is an additional security dimension, however: China is developing weapons systems, including aircraft carriers and carrier-based fighters, that could threaten Taiwan and test U.S. control of the Western Pacific.

Chinese exports of fighters and other advanced weapons also threaten to alter the military balance in South Asia, Sudan and Iran.

But no other Asian country has sought to project military power—and had the indigenous capability to do so—since Japan’s defeat in 1945.

China’s rapid mastery of Russian technology raises questions about U.S. cooperation with the civilian faces of Chinese arms makers.

While Russia worries about intellectual property, other countries are concerned about security. The arms programs China initiated two or three decades ago are starting to bear fruit, with serious implications for the regional—and global—military balance.

The J-11B is expected to be used by the Chinese navy as its frontline fighter, capable of sustained combat over the entire East China Sea and South China Sea.

Aircraft carriers and J-15 fighters would further enhance its ability to stop the U.S. intervening in a conflict over Taiwan, and test its control of the Western Pacific.

China’s arms exports could have repercussions on regions in conflict around the world. Pakistan inducted its first squadron of Chinese-made fighter jets in February, potentially altering the military balance with India.

Other potential buyers of China’s JF-17 fighter jet include Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Venezuela, Nigeria, Morocco and Turkey. In the past, China has also sold fighters to Sudan.

The potential customer of greatest concern to the U.S. is Iran, which purchased about $260 million of weapons from China between 2002-2009, according to Russia’s Centre for Analysis of the Global Arms Trade.

via China Clones, Sells Russian Fighter Jets – WSJ.com.

Su-30MKI Fighter that has become the mainstay of IAF. Image source & credits embedded.

Su-30MKI Fighter that has become the mainstay of IAF. Image source & credits embedded.

Indian and Chinese defence contracts played a huge role in saving Russian defence industry. During this same period, to overcome supply disruptions, the Chinese decided to expropriate Russian defence products without licence or consent.

It said that while more than 90% of China’s major conventional weapons imports came from Russia between 1991 and 2010, the volume of imports had declined dramatically in the last five years.

Russia’s diversified customer base, which allowed it to take a tougher negotiating stance with China, particularly given anxiety about how China would use its purchases.

“Russia is unwilling to provide China with advanced weapons and technology, primarily because it is concerned that China will copy Russian technology and compete with Russia on the international arms market,” said Holtom.

“The nature of the arms transfer relationship will increasingly be characterised by competition rather than co-operation.”

via Russia arrests Chinese ‘spy’ in row over defence weapons | World news | The Guardian.

Russians cite many cases where China has ‘copied’ Russian defence items.

It is an open secret that China has copied quite a number of Russian weapons. The list begins with Soviet I-15 and I-16 fighter jets, not to mention the legendary Kalashnikov rifle.

The list continues with D-30 howitzer, BMP-1 armored vehicle, BMP-3, Malyutka anti-tank complex, An-12 military cargo plane, Strela-2 shoulder-fired missile complex, S-300 missile system, Msta-S howitzer, Smerch volley-fire system and other weaponry. The last rip-off report was referred to Su-33 deck-based fighter jet.

China previously had the licensed production of Soviet Romeo submarines, which were dubbed in China as “Type 39.” Chinese engineers acknowledged that their developments were based on Russian state-of-the-art defense technologies. However, they vehemently denied the fact of blunt copying claiming that that they had considerably improved them.

It may seem strange that Russia has not set forth any claims to China yet. However, China is Russia’s long-time partner in the field of arms trade and Russia is not willing to ruin relations with China. Does Russia overestimate the importance of defense cooperation with the Asian giant? China usually makes small one-time purchases that do not bring much profit to Russia. Moreover, the purchases are made to simply copy the original. For example, the Chinese bought one or two radars for fighter jets from Russia only to launch their serial production several years later.

via China to conquer world arms market with poor quality rip-offs – English pravda.ru.

For close to fifteen years, China alongwith India were major buyers of Russian defence products.

For almost two decades, it was close to the perfect match of buyer and seller.

Denied weapons and defense technology from the West, China was almost totally reliant on Russia for the hardware it needed to jump-start an ambitious military buildup. And while the Russian economy teetered in the aftermath of the Soviet Union’s collapse, huge orders from China helped keep a once-mighty defense industry afloat.

After orders peaked at more than $2 billion a year early in this decade, Chinese arms deals with Russia shrank to almost nothing in 2006, and no major new contracts are in the pipeline, according to Russian, Chinese and U.S. defense experts.

In the meantime, Russia – which, with its economy booming, is no longer dependent on arms sales to China.

Some Chinese analysts suggest that Russia, the world’s second-ranked arms supplier behind the United States, is also concerned about the threat of competition from the Chinese defense industry.

Russian analysts estimate that arms deliveries to China from 1992 to 2006 were valued at $26 billion.

Total Russian arms exports over that period were estimated at more than $58 billion.

With a Western embargo on arms sales to China having been in place since the Tiananmen (1989), it was these weapons from Russia that allowed the People’s Liberation Army to reduce a yawning gap in technology and firepower.

Chinese experts say the army wants access to the most advanced Russian weaponry, including strategic bombers, tanks, attack helicopters and manufacturing technology for high-performance aircraft engines.

A decade ago, as military spending shriveled, a slump in orders from China would have been disastrous for Russian arms makers. That is no longer the case, with the Russian economy growing at 8.1 per cent on the back of rising energy and commodity exports, according to official economic statistics.

With Moscow running a budget surplus, there are orders in the pipeline to supply the Russian military with hardware that until recently could only be sold abroad. And overall arms exports remain buoyant, particularly to India, a long-term client that Moscow views with far less suspicion than China.

Russia has also signed lucrative arms deals with new customers including Algeria and Venezuela in recent years.

To add to Beijing’s frustration, some of the Russian transfers to India include weapons and technology that Moscow refuses to supply to China. Moscow and New Delhi agreed to begin the joint development of a new, so-called fifth-generation fighter, the Russian government announced in October.

This aircraft would be a potential rival in performance to the U.S. F-22 Raptor, defense analysts say.

India also agreed last year to buy another 40 Su-30MKI fighters from Russia for $1.5 billion in addition to an earlier order for 140 of these aircraft. Some military experts say this versatile, twin-engined jet is probably the best fighter and strike aircraft in the world. But Russia has not offered it to China. And Moscow is offering to sell India its latest fighter, the MiG-35.

In nuclear submarine technology, Russia has also been more generous with India than with China, naval experts say.

Still, with the Western arms embargo on China still in place, most analysts expect that Moscow and Beijing will eventually negotiate compromises.

via Russia and China rethink arms deals – The New York Times.

Probably the biggest break-point was when China offered a SU-27 aircraft in the international market.

Last year, Russian aircraft sales internationally topped $3 billion – second only to the US. But others too want a slice of the aviation pie.

Fake Su-27s are widely offered in the world arms market. “Sooner or later, Russian arms traders will face competition from the Chinese colleagues,” he told RT.

China was given the design plans for the Russian fighter jet in 1995, when it promised to buy 200 kits and assemble them domestically. After building 100 planes, the Chinese said the Russian plane did not meet specifications, only for a copycat version soon to appear – “Made in China” – without copyright.

The threat from China is real, and it will be difficult for the Russian aviation industry to maintain its lofty position, and soar further unless it manages to better protect its intellectual rights and also find new ways of co-operating with its eastern neighbor.

Although it made its maiden flight over 30 years ago, the Su-27 remains the bedrock of the Russian air force, and is highly popular abroad.

Some are calling for calm over the controversy. While the similarities between the two planes are clear, experts say the Chinese J11B does not have the latest Russian high-tech features and will be no match for it on the international market.

Chinese version of Russian jet endangers bilateral relations — RT.

Russia went to the extent of arresting a Chinese national in Russia on charges of industrial espionage – a rare event in Russia.

Russia‘s security service has revealed that it arrested a suspected Chinese spy who posed as a translator while seeking sensitive information on an anti-aircraft system.

The man, identified as Tun Sheniyun, was arrested on 28 October last year, the federal security service (FSB) said in a statement cited by RIA-Novosti news agency.

It was unclear why the FSB disclosed the arrest on Wednesday, less than one week before the prime minister, Vladimir Putin, travels to China on an official visit.

The alleged spy was acting “under the guise of a translator of official delegations”, the statement said.

He had “attempted to obtain technological and maintenance documents on the S-300 anti-aircraft missile system from Russian citizens for money”, it added.

Last year, Russia delivered 15 S-300 systems to China, a popular Soviet-era arms export, as part of a deal signed several years earlier.

Ruslan Pukhov, director of the centre for analysis of strategies and technologies, a defence thinktank in Moscow, said: “They [the Chinese] are trying to copy this system illegally. They’ve already copied a whole series of our weapons.

“They’re trying to clone the S-300, to serve their interests and also to export. As I understand it, it’s not all working out. They probably wanted extra documentation to better deal with this task of reverse engineering.”

Earlier this year, Ukrainian authorities jailed a Russian man for six years, claiming he was stealing military secrets to further China’s aircraft carrier programme.

In the past two years, Russian customs officials have also accused two Chinese citizens of attempting to smuggle spare parts for Russian fighter jets across the border.

Russia arrests Chinese ‘spy’ in row over defence weapons | World news | The Guardian.

Hat Tip

While China and Pakistan are pariahs in the international arms bazaar, India is a preferred customer. To India’s policy makers and handlers must go the credit for positioning India as a lead partner in the global arms bazaar.

Traditionally Russia has been a stable and safe partner for India. The US has usually avoided arms sales to India – fearing leakage of technology to Russia. However, for its latest F-35 stealth fighter, the US has decided to waive all its habitual hesitation. France, Italy, Israel, Sweden, Britain are all willing to sell any technology, product, service or components that India needs.

China is richer and Pakistan, more mercenary and desperate – yet …

Short, Little Man With A Big Dream

It has taken seventy years, and LB Shastri’s slogan of Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan is on the verge of coming true. For most of the last fifty years, India has been criticized for its slow decision-making, its exhaustive processes, its complex negotiations.

When Pakistan joined CENTO and US armed Pakistan. When Nixon met Mao. When Israel defeated the Arab alliance in the 1973 war. When Reagan ‘partnered’ with Pakistan to defeat the Soviets in Afghanistan. After each of these events, commentators lamented about India’s ‘missed’ chances and predicted disaster for the last fifty years. Yet after each decade, India has emerged a step ahead.

Who would have thought, seventy years ago …

India’s Future: Not leaders! Not Institutions! Then How Will India’s Future Emerge?

Posted in British Raj, History, India, Indo Pak Relations, Islamic Demonization, Pax Americana by Anuraag Sanghi on September 11, 2012

In a short thirty years, the greatest empire in world history had been humbled. In less than 70 years, they are back.

The boycott of Simon Commission by Indian negotiators sounded the death knell of the British Raj in India. (Cartoonist - David Low (1891-1963) Published - Evening Standard, 11 Feb 1928). Click for larger image.

The boycott of Simon Commission by Indian negotiators sounded the death knell of the British Raj in India. (Cartoonist – David Low (1891-1963) Published – Evening Standard, 11 Feb 1928). Click for larger image.

Rock & A Hard Place

Between 1916, when Lokmanya BG Tilak, declared ‘Swaraj is my birthright’ to Atlee’s announcement of British withdrawal, in February 1946, in a short thirty years, the greatest empire in world history had been humbled.

In less than 70 years, they are back.

While we discuss, argue, shout, scream, talk, negotiate

Anglo-American forces today control Af-Pak region. The Indian Government and the people of India see Pakistan, an Anglo-American agent, as its prime rival – instead of the Anglo-American patrons as the root cause.

In the last 20 years, India has lowered guard considerably – and unless, this direction is reversed swiftly, the Indian Nation maybe in peril.

In the last 12 years

It has become common in Indian media to promote colonial ‘contribution’ in the building of modern India.

With memory dim, for India’s Y2K generation, Indian poverty after colonialism, the food and clothing shortages are only stories. The context forgotten, India’s Y2K generation is being shoe-horned into blindness, by a shouting brigade.

Led by the ‘intellectuals’ like ‘Lord’ Meghnad Desai, Amartya Sen, or Indian origin journalists with global-Western media like Sadanand Dhume, or hoax journalism like Andy Mukherjee or lazy writers in the mould of Krittivas Mukherjee, aided by Indo-Western academics like Jagdish Bhagwati, Rafiq Zakaria, etc.

Within India itself, this shouting brigade has a large following, too many to name or count.

To illustrate this point,

The ritual murder of Pakistani polity by the Pakistani army (Democracy in Pakistan By Olle Johansson, Sweden; courtesy - blackcommentator.com.).

The ritual murder of Pakistani polity by the Pakistani army. (Democracy in Pakistan By Olle Johansson, Sweden; courtesy – blackcommentator.com.). Click for larger image.

India has a constitution; Pakistan has editions. These are the various Pakistani constitutions: 1935 (secular), 1956 (federal), 1962 (dictatorial), 1973 (parliamentary), 1979 (Islamic), 1999 (presidential), 2008 (parliamentary). Why do they keep changing and searching? Muslims keep trying to hammer in Islamic bits into a set of laws that is actually quite complete. This is the Government of India Act of 1935, gifted to us by the British. (via What ails Kashmir? The Sunni idea of ‘azadi’ – Columns – livemint.com).

Birth of a Nation

To this school of commentariat, Indian Constituent Assembly counts for nothing.

The Constituent Assembly, which included at least 50% of the Indian political leadership and their work over 25,000 man-hours, amount to nothing. Or the Indian contribution to the making of the Government of India Act of 1935, itself.

In a short period of less than 30 months, India wrote and implemented its constitution. It has been been a rather pliable constitution getting amended a number of times – and yet has been upheld and respected by all the extensions of the State. Britain enacted The Government of India Act, first in 1919 and then in 1935. Some Indians have claimed the Indian Constitution is nothing original – but based on The Government of India Act, 1935, by the British Raj.

The wonder is not any document. It is in making it work.

What matters to Indians are not declarations of belief – but hard, real actions. In the words of Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, ‘what counts is conduct, not belief’. American declaration of independence talked of ‘all men are created equal’ and promptly became the biggest importer of slaves in the history of the world.

For how long will our glitterati, chatterati, papparazzi, intelligentsia, cognoscenti, continue with this bilge.

Just the two of us!

At this stage it maybe worthwhile to revisit the record of Republican Democracy.

In the last 250 years,  just 6 countries succeeded with Republican democracy without a significant breakdown in the first 50 years. Of the six, Sri Lanka (pop. 200 lakhs) Switzerland (pop. 80 lakhs), Israel (pop. 75 lakhs) and Singapore (pop. 50 lakhs) are tiny countries to generate any valuable data, models, norms or precedents. In any other day, age and society, the republican-democracy model would have been laughed off – and not studied by millions.

America became one of the first successful republican democracies – from 1789, when George Washington became the first elected President of USA. 70 years later, the strains were showing – North versus South. America was on the verge of Civil War – the main cause of which was the desire of the Southern states to remain independent (due to tariff issues) or at best as a loose confederation – not a federal union (actually slavery was a side issue).

The reason why India’s Republican Democracy works is because Indian genius has made it work. It is the commitment to make the system work, which is why the system is working.

Though some may cavil about how well (?) it works!

Meeting of minds

In the period between 1916 to 1946, India developed a national consensus and agenda.

On many subjects there was no political or even popular leadership. For instance, in 1944, Indian businessmen, in the middle of WWII, met and started work on an industrial policy for independent India. Or the huge protests by the entire Indian nation against the Red Fort Trials of the INA.

Of greater significance was the meeting that Gandhiji called in November 1947. This meeting was to happen in February of 1948. On January 30th, 1948, Gandhiji was assassinated. But Gandhiji’s co-workers went ahead and organized the meeting at Sevagram, Wardha, between March 11-March 14 1948 (alternate date (PDF) is March 13-15, 1948).

Gandhi is Gone: Who Will Guide Us Now? edited by Gopalkrishna Gandhi. (is a) remarkable book (that) is a record of introspection amongst Jawaharlal Nehru, Dr Rajendra Prasad, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Vinoba Bhave, J B Kripalani, Jayaprakash Narayan and others, at Sevagram in March 1948.

They had been charged by the Mahatma to consider the type of institutions India would need for its development and what should be the role and structure of the Congress party. Nations are ill-served when their institutions fail to evolve to fit their needs. The questions the Mahatma had posed in 1948 have become burning issues again.

via Who will lead us now? Institutions waiting for leaders who will bring them back from the brink and win citizens’ trust – The Economic Times.

Much was discussed – and powerful figures like Vinoba Bhave and Jayaprakash Narayen decided to work from within and and outside the system. With no constitution, without a Parliament, without elections, India was being governed by a British administrator, at Indian request, to provide continuum, from the Raj to a sovereign India. From these discussions was born the Vinoba Bhave’s Bhoodan movement – and Jaya Prakash Narayen’s Sarvodaya movement.

Without the power of the State, these movements worked on the power of suasion – and were powerful movements till the Bombay High generation took over the country, in 1975.

Unlike Pakistan

This ‘gift of the British’ to us Indians is a public document.

If it’s value is so apparent, why have others not been able to take advantage of it. The same British, gave the same document to the Pakistan also. So, this claim that Indian Constitution, Indian democracy, even the British nation are a British ‘gift, is not only incorrect and illogical. Immaterial too!

This a claim not even worth examining, since this Government of India Act, 1935, has been in public domain for more than 75 years. Pakistan had all the rights to it. Apart from India – and to how many other colonies in the world, I have never counted..

Why could Pakistan do nothing with it.

In fact Pakistan’s Constituent Assembly dragged this Constitution-making exercise till October 1956.

Is Pakistan A Free State? Cartoon by Zahoor in Daily Times, Pakistan  |  Click for image.

Is Pakistan A Free State? Cartoon by Zahoor in Daily Times, Pakistan | Click for image.

Cut back to 1956 Pakistan

Remember that 1956 was the year of India’s 2nd general election.

Also the year when Pakistan became a republic – and the first constitution of Pakistan was adopted.

Governor General Sahibzada Sayyid Iskander Ali Mirza (a Shia Muslim from Bengal, direct descendant of Mir Jaffer) became the first President of the Pakistani Republic.

Two years later, in October 1958, President Iskander Mirza staged a coup d’état and dismissed the constitution. Shortly afterwards General Ayub Khan deposed Iskandar and declared himself president. These shenanigans started the tradition of Army rule in Pakistan.

To an emerging Pakistan, after a 9 year struggle to write a constitution, two years later, the Army declared that the Constitution was worthless piece of paper. Another Constitution was written in 1962, and then a third.

And a few more after that.

British Governance

For a realistic assessment of the British ‘capability’ to govern, let us look at British misrule in Britain itself.

How could super-power Britain spiral down to bankruptcy, in less than 70 years, after WWII. If their ideas of governance and administration were so good, why could they not save themselves from this slide in fortunes? British ‘capabilities’ in areas of technology, industrial management, academia stands naked and exposed.

It is the British mindset itself that may need examination to understand this decline!

British Loss of Power

1916 – April 16. BG Tilak declares Swaraj is my birthright; forms Home Rule League at the Bombay Provincial Conference held at Belgaum.

1927 – Indian polity refuses to negotiate with Simon Commission.

1930 – Bhagat Singh displays disinterest in the legal outcome of his trial.

1944 – India’s leading industrialists come together (Bombay Club) and make an economic-plan document for an India which was yet to be born; for a government that was yet to be formed.

1946 – Naval Ratings raise the Indian Flag of independence.

1947 – Britain out of India

Managing the Indian State

The Indian State today, like its Desert Bloc’s cousins, is getting entangled in my marriage, in my sex life, in my monetary affairs, in my disputes with my neighbors, in my housing layout, in my sewage, in my garbage.

Why? Get out of my life.

Instead, we the people must set a clear agenda for the government. And the Top-3 items on  are

  1. defence
  2. Defence

Why Do We Love Our Invaders So Much?

Posted in British Raj, Desert Bloc, History, India, Indo Pak Relations, Propaganda by Anuraag Sanghi on August 7, 2012


Colonial history produces in the minds of many English-speaking Indians, the belief that India has been a rather frequent military loser – even though facts are otherwise.

Colonial history, left largely untouched after Indian Independence, produces it own kinds of stunted minds. A 2ndlook reader responded with a revealing comment.

being a Hindu from east India (Bengal – Assam), believe me I would Any Day prefer the british or east India company, rather than live under nawab’s, muslim league, tikka khans (u know who was tikka khan, maybe you don’t know about the pakistan genocide of east bengali hindus in 70-71).

Ever head of the begali hindu renassiance in the 18-19 centuries (or for that matter the general Hindu reniasance all over india). I am sure u’ll be upset / angry / bitter to learn that it started once the british has booted out the nawbs / mughals

Koenraad Elst, recently wrote a blog-post calling Hindus cowards, questioning if they are all right in all the departments. All this because Hindus were not hounding out Muslims from India – or at least making them second-class citizens, if not putting them in concentration camps.

To make this point, Elst picked up on India’s partition (1947) into India and Pakistan (to later subdivide into Pakistan and Bangla Desh.).

Anglophiles apart, it is an accepted reading of events for the 1940-1947 period when the Partition was formalized, that the British did encourage Jinnah to make strident, aggressive claims for disproportionate authority and veto powers in the soon-to-be independent India – failing which, India must be partitioned.

Some 2ndlookers felt that Elst’s absolution given to the British, for the Partition of India was a trial balloon by vested interests. A logical doubt, as Koenraad Elst’s writing has been suspect – and his ‘scholarship’ distasteful.

It is Elst’s proposition in his post (linked above) – unsupported by any facts, links, citations, references that the British wanted a united India – but it was Muslims led by Jinnah who wanted otherwise.

Curiously, the most significant support for Elst came from some Indians. Some interesting ramifications and reactions to this debate.

How Jinnah was made Important; became Somebody & got Pakistan

Posted in British Raj, History, India, Indo Pak Relations, politics by Anuraag Sanghi on August 2, 2012

To mount a credible challenge to Hitler in WWII, British desperately needed Indian soldiers. Congress could have denied them this luxury.

1935 Nazi Party Rally at Nurnberg displayed the new half-track artillery-carriers.  |  Image source and courtesy - Hitler's Army- The Men, Machines, and Organization- 1939-1945 - David Stone - Google Books 2012-08-02 17-43-23  |  Click for image.

1935 Nazi Party Rally at Nurnberg displayed the new half-track artillery-carriers. | Image source and courtesy – Hitler’s Army- The Men, Machines, and Organization- 1939-1945 – David Stone – Google Books 2012-08-02 17-43-23 | Click for image.

Jinnah turns

In 1940, Jinnah, who for most part of his career was anti-colonial, suddenly changed.

The man who defended Bal Gangadhar Tilak wanted a Pakistan.

To many this has seemed like a puzzle.

Transfer Of Power In India - V.P. Menon - Google Books accessed on 2012-07-31 at 01-20-35  |  Click to go to books.google.co.in

From MA Jinnah’s speech at the Lahore Session in March 1940 of the The All-India Muslim League. | Image Extract from Transfer Of Power In India – V.P. Menon – Google Books accessed on 2012-07-31 at 01-20-35 | Click to go to books.google.co.in

Why or what changed Jinnah?

The simple answer is the British.

The British needed a counter to the Congress – which could have disrupted the British recruitment of Indian soldiers. Congress decided to oppose British recruitment of Indian soldiers. Jinnah agreed to support British recruitment of Indian soldiers to fight a British war in far-off lands.

Indians soldiers who were essential to the British victory in WWII.

Keys to British power

Just as Indian gunpowder powered the British rise to world power, the other leg was the Indian Army. Drawing upon India’s vast military market, tens of thousands of soldiers could be raised in a short time – at a very reasonable cost.

To impose British writ on the world.

When the British needed to teach a lesson to Emperor Tewodros II of Ethiopia (then Abyssinia; also “Theodore”), it was the Indian sepoy who was sent. After the British disaster in Burma, it was decided to use the Bengali sepoys in Burma – which resulted in the Barrackpore Mutiny of 1824. After a lull, British power was imposed on Burma, in degrees, between 1856 to 1896,  by Indian soldiers. As the Chinese started steaming, and the Boxer Wars started, it was the Indian Sepoy who landed in China.

On August 4, 1900, a relief force of more than 3000 soldiers from Sikh and Punjabi regiments left Tianjin, part of the larger eight-nation alliance that was dispatched to aid the besieged quarter, where 11 countries had set up legations. Indian troops were also dispatched to guard churches and Christian missionaries, the targets of the Boxer uprisings.

Among the Indians, there was sympathy for the Boxers, Colonel Jaishankar said. Gaddhar Singh, a Rajput who was in Beijing in 1900-01, empathised with Chinese grievances in his accounts, arguing it was an entirely justified peasant rebellion.

The British also dispatched Indian regiments to China leading up towards the Opium War, which ended with the Treaty of Nanking in 1842 and the opening up of Chinese ports to the British.

The British deployed Sikh soldiers as law enforcement officers in ports like Shanghai, where their trading companies had set up a large presence by the early twentieth century. The Sikh soldiers were feared by the Chinese with their imposing figures, so much so that the British deemed that they did not even need guns when on duty, Colonel Jaishankar said, citing records from the time.

The history of Indian troops in China is one that is ignored in Chinese accounts, and is likely a sensitive legacy considering they were often deployed against the Chinese.

via The Hindu : Arts / History & Culture : The forgotten history of Indian troops in China.

During WWI, more than ten lakh Indian soldiers fought all over the world to save the British Empire from being overrun by the German-Ottoman alliance.

After WWI, with many idle Indian soldiers and no war, the British Raj decided on another adventure against Amir Amanullah Khan of Afghanistan in 1919. A small contingent of Indian soldiers under Wilfrid (also Wilfred) Malleson landed in Russian Central Asia to hold crucial railway lines and oil fields from falling in Bolshevik hands. Both campaigns failed.

Modern Western narrative is reluctant to admit the role played by the British Indian Army in the power and conquest of the Raj.

Inadequate Cover

The role of the Indian soldier was most crucial in the British victory in WWII.

A White Paper introduced in the British Parliament on March 1, 1935 discussed Germany’s secret re-armament – and proposed British increase in defense production.

Germany responded with an announcement of Luftwaffe, and universal military conscription on March 16, 1935 in the Wehrmacht. Nearly four years after the white paper, Britain introduced conscription to increase the size of its army, after the passage of the Military Training Act (April 27, 1939).

The small size of the British military against the might of Hitler’s Blitzkrieg, forced Britain into conscription at the beginning of WWII.

During the early years of the war, the army suffered defeat in almost every theatre in which it was deployed. With mass conscription, the expansion of the army was reflected in the formation of larger armies and army groups. From 1943, the larger and better equipped British Army hardly suffered a strategic defeat.

In September 1939, the army had a total of 892,697 officers and men in both the full-time regular army and part-time Territorial Army. The regular army could muster 224,000 men, who were supported by a reserve of 173,700 men. Of the regular army reservists, only 3,700 men were fully trained and the remainder had been in civilian life for up to 13 years.The Territorial Army numbered 438,100, with a reserve of around 20,750 men.

By the end of 1939, the Army’s strength had risen to 1.1 million men, by June 1940 it stood at 1.65 million men, and had further increased to 2.2 million men by the following June. The size of the Army peaked in June 1945, at 2.9 million men.

By 1944, the United Kingdom faced severe manpower shortages. By May 1944, it was estimated that the Army’s strength in December 1944 would be 100,000 less than at the end of 1943. Although casualties were actually lower than anticipated, losses from all causes were still higher than could be replaced. 35,000 men from the Royal Air Force and Royal Artillery were retrained as infantry.

via British Army during the Second World War – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Although 35 lakh British soldiers enlisted during WWII, the peak numbers of soldiers fighting was never more than twenty-nine lakhs – including reserves, under-training, injured and non-combatants, which was about half the number. In contrast twenty-five lakh Indian soldiers fought to save the British Empire. Compare this with the thirty lakh soldiers that Germany committed for Operation Barbarossa (June 22, 1941) against Soviet Union.

At the beginning of the WWII, the British attitude, in part was ‘Me? Worry!’ ‘Indeed the advice coming from London was that it was unlikely that Indian troops would be required at all.’

The tune soon changed.

There were over two and a half million Indian citizens in uniform during the war. The Fifth Indian Division, for example, fought in the Sudan against the Italians, and then in Libya against the Germans. From North Africa the Division was moved to Iraq to protect the oilfields.

After this relatively easy posting, the Division was moved to the Burma front, together with eight other Indian Divisions, and then occupied Malaya. It was then moved to Java to disarm the Japanese garrison there.

The Fourth Indian Division also fought in North Africa, Syria, Palestine, Cyprus and then in Italy. Together with the 8th and 10th Division it participated in the taking of Monte Cassino, after which it was moved to Greece.

India also served as an assault and training base, and provided vast quantities of foods and other materials to British and Commonwealth forces, and to the British at home. This necessitated the involvement of more millions of men and women in war work and war production.

via BBC – History – World Wars: Colonies, Colonials and World War Two.

For this privilege of saving the British skins

India also had to pay for its two and a half million citizens in uniform, as well as for the highly paid white British officers.

via BBC – History – World Wars: Colonies, Colonials and World War Two.

Later in this post we will use gold prices indices to demonstrate the high salaries paid to Indian and British soldiers by the British Raj. From the taxes levied on the Indian peasant.

Western historians make much of the fact that the British-Indian Army was a voluntary Army and not a conscript army.

They conveniently overlook the fact that what went towards paying for the British Indian Army were extortionate taxes that the Indian peasant paid. Neither voluntarily nor willingly.

Taxes that were not even fair.

Wages of sin?

The question about British-Indian Army on most people’s minds was

What motivated men to fight in a war thousands of miles from home, in a cause that did not seem to be their own? The Indian Army has often been described as a mercenary force, and money may have been one motive for enlistment. The pay for an Indian infantryman was a modest 11 rupees a month, but the additional income would have been useful to a hard-pressed peasant family. Promotion could bring more substantial income, particularly to men who had served for many years.

via BBC – History – World Wars: India and the Western Front.

In an India wracked by famines in the British Raj, in an agricultural economy subjected to crippling taxes, British-Indian Army with it high pay, timely salaries, pension benefits was attractive to rural families with any surplus children, that could not be used on the farm.

The other aspect is that as the Squeeze-India Campaign initiated by Churchill-Montagu Norman progressed, indebtedness of the Indian population also grew. The Central Banking Enquiry Committee estimated the total rural debt in 1929 at Rs.900 crores. Some 4.5 crore families owed equal to today’s Rs.200,000 in debt – calculation based on Rs.200 debt per family debt with gold at Rs.30 per tola.

By 1937, this doubled to today’s Rs.400,000 for every rural family – indexed to current gold prices.

To get a handle on this

Let us compare this to modern India’s labour market.

Look at the software industry. Employing about 28 lakh people (Nasscom; 2012), the average entry level pay for a basic software professional (HTML; Java) is about Rs.1.00-1.20 lakhs per annum. SAP-trained entry level employees cost between Rs.2.0-3.0 lakhs.

At entry-level, software employees get just about double of what farm labour gets in India. A typical farm labourer makes about Rs.50,000-Rs.100,000 per annum.

Similar to India modern software industry, the British Indian army at the end of WWII had recruited about 25 lakh soldiers. Unlike software employees, the recruits in the British Army had close to zero skills and negligible education. Mostly from rural areas, a career in the British Indian Army was rewarding. For most of the British Raj period, rural wages in India were about 10%-20% of a sepoy’s salary.

To better understand the value of this salary, we will need to understand the value of the Indian currency vis-a-vis the British pound and the price of gold in India – during this period.

In 1927, the peg was once more reduced, this time to 18 pence (13⅓ rupees = 1 pound). This peg was maintained until 1966, when the rupee was devalued and pegged to the U.S. dollar at a rate of 7.5 rupees = 1 dollar (at the time, the rupee became equal to 11.4 British pence). This peg lasted until the U.S. dollar devalued in 1971.

via Indian rupee – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Gold in India, before WWII was at Rs.30 per tola. A salary of Rs.60 indexed to today’s gold price would mean Rs.60,000 – excluding food, lodging, uniform, and other allowances.

So, what were actual pay scales like?

Paying for loyalty

We will take a broad sample of reports for that period. A luminary from the British Indian Army was

Gurbaksh Singh Dhillon (March 18, 1914 – February 6, 2006) an officer in the Indian National Army charged with “waging war against His Majesty the King Emperor”. Along with Shah Nawaz Khan and Prem Kumar Sahgal, he was tried by the British at the end of World War II in the INA trials that began on November 5, 1945 at Red Fort. Dhillon also played an important role in the Indian independence negotiations.joined the Training Battalion of the 10/14th Punjab Regiment on May 29, 1933, receiving pay of fifteen rupees per month. He completed his training in the first week of March 1934.

via Gurbaksh Singh Dhillon – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Another INA leader who joined in the officer grade had a much higher salary.

Habib ur Rahman Khan (1913–1978) was an Indian freedom fighter during British colonial rule of India, Rahman was an officer in the Indian National Army who was charged with “waging war against His Majesty the King Emperor”. Along with Gen. Shah Nawaz Khan, Col. Prem Kumar Sahgal & Col. Gurbaksh Singh Dhillon, he was tried by the British at the end of World War II in the famous INA trials that began on November 5, 1945 at Red Fort.

Khan got enrolled himself at the Prince of Wales Royal Indian Military College, Dehradun and was commissioned as an officer in the British Indian Army. In 1933 after training from Dehradun joined 5th Battalion, formed by redesignation of 40th Pathans, the 5/14th Punjab Regiment on May 29, 1933. As a officer his pay was hundred rupees per month. He was posted to 1st Battalion of the 14th Punjab Regiment.

After Independence Quaid-i-Azam was delighted with that Khan joining the government service and advised him in writing to visit and report about the current situation of the state of Jammu and Kashmir in Srinagar. Following the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947, Khan chose to settle in Pakistan

via Raja Habib ur Rahman Khan – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Comparing pay scales in navy yields similar numbers.

In 1914, Indian deckhands earned between 16 and 22 rupees (£1.00-£1.50) a month and firemen (who worked with the engines) 20 rupees (less than £1.50) compared to wages of £5.10 per month for their British co-workers. By 1919, their wages had stayed the same, while the British seamen’s wages had nearly tripled to £14.00 a month.

When World War II began, there were still big differences in pay, with White seamen earning on average seven times as much as lascars. This caused widespread unhappiness amongst the lascars, and led to strikes, running away and the setting up of seamen’s unions. By the end of the war, lascar wages had increased by 500% to over £9.00 a month, but still stood at less than half the wages paid to White seamen (£20.00-£24.00 a month).

via Bangla Stories – Two World Wars.

As the German motorized division rolled across Europe brushing all opposition aside, the British also changed their Indian army recruitment. At the start of the war some British Indian Army divisions had entire regiments where no one knew how to drive an automobile.

The outbreak of World War Two forced the British to speed up mechanisation but initially mechanisation for Indians meant only trucks or armoured cars. There was one important measure which the British undertook and which most probably attracted the best available manpower to try to enrol in the Indian Armoured Corps. This was an almost doubling of the pay of the Armoured Corps soldiers from around 18 rupees to 33 rupees per month. This was done in October 1942, once General Martel who was visiting India in order to reorganise the Indian Armoured Corps was told that “India had a mercenary army” and that the best men in India would not join he (sic; read as the, and not he) Indian Armoured Corps if they were paid Rs 18 per month which was the average monthly pay of an Indian soldier.

via Pakistan Armoured Corps as a Case Study.

The above figures are broadly confirmed by the memoirs of a soldiers. This following memoir, with some contradictions and inconsistencies (not to mention spelling mistakes) still serves a useful purpose of confirming a soldiers salary.

Once the situation came under control, then I joined the Indian Army. This was in 19th Febuary 1948. At first I was an electrician/ motor vehicle engineer. After this I was made an Armamnet Artificial Vehicle Officer. At that time India was in the commonwealth. India brought independance in 1947. However, Lord Mountbatton was still the Governer General of India until 1952.

During the British period the uniforms were Khaki. Under Indian rule this changed to olive Green. Status was low. We used to receive the same wages though, 29 rupees monthly. Normally people were not very well educated at that time. When i joined the air force,

During the beginning, I was going to join in 1945, but the British recruitment was finished. That is why I had to join later. Living standards were very good for army people, and people used to give us more respect. British people really appreciated the Sikhs joining the British Army, and were very encouraging.

via BBC – WW2 People’s War – My Life as a Sikh Soldier In India.

Money alone is not enough

By the time of the Burma offensive (Nov.1944-August 1945), Field Marshal Claude Auchinleck had to increase pay to retain Indian soldiers. When the time came, even this increased pay was not enough.

In January 1943, the Japanese invited Bose to lead the Indian nationalist movement in East Asia[12]. He accepted and left Germany on 8 February. After a three-month journey by submarine, and a short stop in Singapore, he reached Tokyo on 11 May 1943, where he made a number of radio broadcasts to the Indian communities, exhorting them to join in the fight for India’s Independence.

On 15 February 1943, the Army itself was put under the command of Lt. Col. M.Z. Kiani. A policy forming body was formed with the Director of the Military Bureau, Lt. Col Bhonsle, in charge and clearly placed under the authority of the IIL. Under Bhonsle served Lt. Col. Shah Nawaz Khan as Chief of General Staff, Major P.K. Sahgal as Military Secretary, Major Habib ur Rahman as commandant of the Officers’ Training School and Lt. Col. A.C. Chatterji (later Major A.D. Jahangir) as head of enlightenment and culture.

On 4 July 1943, two days after reaching Singapore, Subhash Chandra Bose assumed the leadership of the IIL and the INA.

via Indian National Army – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

An estimated 40,000 joined the INA, though the Japanese agreed to kit and fit only some 16,000 soldiers.

After winning WWII, the British attempted to punish the Indian Army deserters, rebels who had joined SC Bose’s INA, and fought against the armies of the Raj. Against much objections and opposition, the trials and court martial proceedings were initiated against Habib-ur-Rahman and

Colonel Prem Sahgal, Colonel Gurubaksh Singh Dhillon and Major General Shah Nawaz Khan. The three had been officers in the British Indian Army and taken PoW in Malaya or Singapore. They had, like a large number of other troops and officers of the British Indian Army, joined the Indian National Army and later fought in Imphal and Burma alongside the Japanese forces in allegiance to Azad Hind.

via INA trials – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

The whole nation rose in revolt. A common rhyme during the period was

Lal Qile se aaee awaz,
Sahgal Dhillon Habib Shah Nawaz,
Charoon ki ho umar daraz

Translation – Comes a voice from the Red Fort, Sahgal, Dhillon, Habib, Shah Nawaz, May the Four live long

End game

Nehru informed the Congress and Mountbatten reported to London, that India was like like a volcano, which could erupt any time. Penderel Moon, a much quoted British Civil servant, felt that the Raj was on “the edge of a volcano.” As did Nehru and Pethick Lawrence. The INA trials had created serious ruptures in British control over India.

This movement marked the last major campaign in which the forces of the Congress and the Muslim League aligned together; the Congress tricolor and the green flag of the League were flown together at protests.

During the trial, mutiny broke out in the Royal Indian Navy, incorporating ships and shore establishments of the RIN throughout India, from Karachi to Bombay and from Vizag to Calcutta. The most significant, if disconcerting factor for the Raj, was the significant militant public support that it received. At some places, NCOs in the British Indian Army started ignoring orders from British superiors. In Madras and Pune, the British garrisons had to face revolts within the ranks of the British Indian Army.

Another Army mutiny took place at Jabalpur during the last week of February 1946, soon after the Navy mutiny at Bombay.

via INA trials – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

British officers deemed that this court-martial was minimum necessary to maintain military disciple. Later retreating, Claude Auchinleck wrote to his British officers, explaining why the sentence could not be carried out.

practically all are sure that any attempt to enforce the sentence would have led to chaos in the country at large, and probably to mutiny and dissension in the Army, culminating in its dissolution.

Unsure of Japanese and German ability to fully arm and support the INA, the thinking was that an armed confrontation by an Indian Army against the British, with foreign aid and support would establish diplomatic and military credentials of the Indian leadership.

Prem Kumar Sahgal, an officer of the INA once Military secretary to Subhas Bose and later tried in the first Red Fort trials, explained that although the war itself hung in balance and nobody was sure if the Japanese would win, initiating a popular revolution with grass-root support within India would ensure that even if Japan lost the war ultimately, Britain would not be in a position to re-assert its colonial authority, which was ultimately the aim of the INA and Azad Hind.

via Indian National Army – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Even as India draws direction from the above elements, in Pakistan, it can be quite different. One study derives the Pakistani-military tendency to British recruitment patterns.

Explains a Muslim historian

The most drastic effect of the 1857 Uprising was the regional recruitment shift in the British military from Bengal to the Punjab and North West Frontier Province NWFP of the subcontinent. This shift resulted in the de-Bengalisation and the Punjabisation of the Indian army – a punishment for the Bengal region that rebelled and a reward to the Punjab that suppressed the Uprising. the assertive role played by the Pakistan Army during the 1950s and 60s can be traced to the evolution of the colonial Indian army.

Railways were not available for all locations. Regiments had to simply march . Image of 5/13th Frontier Force Rifles, preceded by their band, marching from Kohat to Banu in December 1930 |  Source - Liddle Collection; courtesy - The Indian Army 1914-1947 - Ian Sumner - Google Books |  on 2012-07-31 at 20-33-25  |  Page 20

Railways were not available for all locations. Regiments had to simply march . Image of 5/13th Frontier Force Rifles, preceded by their band, marching from Kohat to Banu in December 1930 | Source – Liddle Collection; courtesy – The Indian Army 1914-1947 – Ian Sumner – Google Books | on 2012-07-31 at 20-33-25 | Page 20


US & China: How Will They Engage In The Next 25 Years

Posted in China, Current Affairs, India, Indo Pak Relations, Pax Americana, politics by Anuraag Sanghi on July 10, 2012

For any one to believe that countries do and governments do anything for reasons other than self-interest is delusional. But coming from a Chinese analyst …

A young Dalai Lama, and Indira Gandhi, during a visit to Nehru in New Delhi, on Sept. 4, 1959. It was the Dalai Lama's first visit to New Delhi since fleeing Tibet in March. - living in exile at Birla House in Mussoorie, India.

A young Dalai Lama, and Indira Gandhi, during a visit to Nehru in New Delhi, on Sept. 4, 1959. It was the Dalai Lama’s first visit to New Delhi since fleeing Tibet in March. – living in exile at Birla House in Mussoorie, India.

Peace and stability at last

To the Chinese people, after 50 years of dislocation and disaster, the communist victory brought promise of stability and direction.

Mao’s first decade (1949-1959) achieved three major things.

  1. China was cured of its opium addiction.
  2. China’s criminal gangs were busted.
  3. After many centuries Chinese peasants got land.

But these reforms were not likely to make China into a world power.

Baby steps to a world power

According to Mao, the path to China as a super-power was The Great Leap Forward.

Initiated in 1957-58, the Great Leap Forward saw famine and hunger across China. After the Communist takeover of China, land seized from land owners, was given to peasants in 1949. Ten years later, in 1959, the Chinese State took away the same land from the same peasant, during The Great Leap Forward. Food shortages, starvation followed. Western (questionable) estimates are that 30 million people died during this period.

Some speculate, the China’s war with India in 1962 diverted attention from two domestic catastrophes – after the disastrous Great Leap Forward and before the equally disastrous Cultural Revolution.

There could be another viable cause for the war.

Comfort of size

China had annexed Tibet in 1951, with the Dalai Lama being the nominal but ‘autonomous’ ruler. Seven years after annexation, in 1959, the Dalai Lama, fearing for his life, fled to India.

Three years after Dalai Lama’s defection to India, the 1962 war followed.

More probably, the 1962 War between India and China, also served to demonstrate Chinese determination to hold Tibet.

Alexei Kosygin (Soviet PM) & Lal Bahadur Shastri in Tashkent. Photo: RIA Novosti/AFP; courtesy - livemint.com

Alexei Kosygin (Soviet PM) & Lal Bahadur Shastri in Tashkent. Photo: RIA Novosti/AFP; courtesy – livemint.com

Middle Kingdom in a muddle

For China, 20th century began on an untoward note.

Failed Boxer War (1899-1900), followed by the fall of Qing dynasty (1912), Japanese occupation of Manchuria (1931 onwards), civil war (ended in 1949) – all this in a space of less than 50 years. To a China recovering from such difficult fifty years, size in itself was a comfort.

Sparsely populated, Tibet’s vast landmass gave bulk to the Chinese nation, making it the 4th largest in the world – nearly equal to USA (No.3) and Canada (No.2). Without Tibet, China would drop to 6th position – smaller than Brazil (No.5) and Australia (No.6). Remove Xinjiang, and another 16% of China gets reduced. Close to 45% of current China is Tibet and Xinjiang.

A larger population means a larger government – and a larger landmass means more raw-material sources, bigger markets. All in all, more economic heft.

On the negative side is of course, sluggish administration happens easily – and often.

Action shifts

In this quest for expanding Chinese frontiers, China took on the Soviet Russia – with unfavorable results.

April 1968, Prague, Czechoslovakia: A Russian soldier lights a cigarette as a Czech walks past a sign which equates U.S. policy in Vietnam with the Soviet (CCCP) occupation of Czechoslovakia (CSSR). A swastika painted inside a star (which is used as a symbol for both the Soviet and the American armies) completes the barb. Since Warsaw Pact forces invaded Czechoslovakia, signs like this were scrawled on walls, windows and even Russian tanks

April 1968, Prague, Czechoslovakia: A Russian soldier lights a cigarette as a Czech walks past a sign which equates U.S. policy in Vietnam with the Soviet (CCCP) occupation of Czechoslovakia (CSSR). A swastika painted inside a star (which is used as a symbol for both the Soviet and the American armies) completes the barb. Since Warsaw Pact forces invaded Czechoslovakia, signs like this were scrawled on walls, windows and even Russian tanks

While the Soviet Union with Khrushchev at its helm, was busy in Cuba (October 1962), expanding and deepening relations in Middle East, Vietnam, and in Russia’s own backyard in Eastern Europe, China started aggressive posturing against Soviet Russia on the border island of Zhenbao-Damanski.

Since this was an undeclared war from both sides, this aspect of international politics is rarely factored into most analysis.

Soviet Russia scaled down military operations against China after China was made to pay a price. The Russians even considered a nuclear attack on China. US support to China, against a nuclear attack stopped the Soviets from completely bull-dozing China.

This Chinese posturing alienated the Soviet Union.

June 7, 1969: Soviet Communist Party leader Leonid Brezhnev addresses the World Conference of Communist Parties in Moscow. In his speech, Brezhnev accused Red China of planning nuclear and conventional war against the Soviet Union. USSR Premier Alexei Kosygin, left, and President Nikolai Podgorny listen to his statement. | Photos: Bettmann/CORBIS; source: wired.com | Click for image.

June 7, 1969: Soviet Communist Party leader Leonid Brezhnev addresses the World Conference of Communist Parties in Moscow. In his speech, Brezhnev accused Red China of planning nuclear and conventional war against the Soviet Union. USSR Premier Alexei Kosygin, left, and President Nikolai Podgorny listen to his statement. | Photos: Bettmann/CORBIS; source: wired.com | Click for image.

When Russia thought of nuking China

Soviet Union launched a brutal response against China.

After a Russian diplomat in New Delhi probed for a probable American response to Russian nuclear attack on China, the dove-cote was aflutter. Chou En Lai, of China relayed Chinese concerns about Soviet intentions to Pakistan’s Air Marshall Nur Khan, who in turn briefed Henry Kissinger.

A few days earlier, another Russian diplomat in the U.S., with KGB connections, Boris Davydov had sought similar American reaction to a Soviet nuclear attack on China from William Stearman, of the US State Department. This Soviet approach was escalated to Henry Kissinger and President Nixon.

This was the opening that USA wanted.

Nixon visits China

Based on these developments, Nixon made an approach to the Chinese – and the Nixon-Mao meeting happened later (February 1972). China Daily, a publication that reflects the Chinese Government’s official stance, commissioned a special feature on the ‘40th anniversary of Nixon’s landmark visit to China’ – though diplomatic relations were finally restored only in 1979.

Nixon’s Asia and Pakistan policy was a significant departure in the mechanics. In 1965, before the India-Pakistan War, Johnson cancelled US trips by Pakistan’s General Ayub and India’s Prime Minister, LB Shastri.

Of course, for vastly differing reasons. US wanted to show displeasure to Ayub Khan for getting close to China. US did not want any criticism from Shastri on the Vietnam War.

China lets down all-weather friend Pakistan

Before the 1971 Bangladesh War, the punishment that the Chinese received in the Zhenbao-Damanski Island border (1969) conflict at the hands of the Soviets made the Chinese very careful. Aware of Soviet support to India, in the India-Bangladesh War – the Chinese adopted a complete hands-off attitude. The Chinese dreaded the Soviets.

But this does not explain 1965-Chinese neutral posturing in the India-Pakistan War. Was it fear that India could provoke the secession of Tibet – if China engaged itself with India in a military adventure?

If Tibet goes, would Xinjiang remain for long?

Chinese Talk and Walk

A hall-mark of the Communist Party foreign policy has been pragmatism. Deng reiterated Chinese thinking when he said, “Speak softly and carry a big stick,” echoing American President Teddy Roosevelt’s suggestion to an emerging USA.

How will China and US engage in the future?

Friends, Followers, Competitors, Collaborators, Rivals or Fr-enemies. Leader, follower. This following extract from a Chinese analyst is revealing.

China has undoubtedly benefited from the world system created and supported by the US. Richard Nixon’s journey to China in 1972 opened the door for China’s return to the international community.

Most of the next two decades were a honeymoon for Sino-US relations. On the economic front, the US not only granted China most-favoured-nation trade status, but also tolerated China’s mercantilist approach to international trade and finance, notably its dual-track exchange-rate regime. In the 1990s, bilateral economic ties continued to expand. US support for China’s integration into the world system culminated with the country’s accession to the World Trade Organization in 2001.

Of course, China’s inadequate intellectual property protection has damaged relations. And the role of China’s state-owned enterprises and official Chinese support for technological “national champions” have also hurt relations. (via Couples counselling for US and China – Views – livemint.com).

Were US actions based on benign benefit to the Chinese that will merit gratitude? Probably, he has never given the primer on modern foreign policy.

We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow” Lord Viscount Palmerston, 1848.

Does gratitude have a place in diplomacy?

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