Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Mon Mar 16, 2020 6:45 am

Part 1 of 2

Across Tibet from India to China
by Lieutenant-Colonel Count Ilia [Ilya Andreyevich] Tolstoy

Tibetan Cavalry welcomed Count Tolstoy and Captain Dolan when they rode into Lhasa on their secret mission to "Shangri-La"

In the Spring of 1942, when the war looked grimmer day by day to the Allies, and the Burma Road was lost, I was given the assignment of crossing Tibet from India to China. The venture, which was primarily to discover ways and routes of transporting supplies to China, was under the auspices of the Office of Strategic Services.

Given the choice of going alone or taking along a unit of personally picked men, I selected as my companion Capt. Brooke Dolan, who was then anchored to an Army Air Forces desk in Washington and was casting an eager eye around for overseas duty. The mission, I felt, would have a better chance of success if shared by two men. If one was lost, the other might get through.

Colonel Count Ilia Tolstoy (left) and Captain Brooke Dolan (right) are greeted by a Tibetan official.

President Roosevelt Greets the Dalai Lama

Since Tibet proper is closed to all visitors, no permits to enter could be obtained in the United States. The best passport available for the trip was a letter from President Roosevelt to the Dalai Lama of Tibet. This we were to carry, together with the customary gifts to His Holiness and other officials in Lhasa.

On our departure from Washington by air in July, Col. (later Major General) "Wild Bill" Donovan, Director of OSS, bade us "Keep in touch if you can"— a hard task since radio equipment compact enough to carry on such a trip was not procurable at the time.

We carried 290 pounds of equipment, including vital instruments, cameras, film, etc., and 27 pounds each of personal belongings. In those days before the Air Transport Command was fully developed, bucket seats on planes were luxuries, and we slept on some of our cargo.

Arriving in Delhi, we reported to Lt. Gen. (now General) Joseph W. Stilwell, who was then China-Burma-India Theater commander. His rear echelon headquarters occupied only one wing of the Imperial Hotel in New Delhi, though it was the nucleus of the CBI forces.

In our negotiations with the Tibetans through the British Government offices in India, we were aided by Col. (later Brig. Gen.) Russell A. Osmun, USA; Capt. (later Lt. Col.) Charles Suydam Cutting, AUS, an ardent student of Tibet who had been to Lhasa twice in previous years; and George R. Merrill, Secretary of the U. S. Mission at New Delhi.

The success of the negotiations was due in part also to the warm support and assistance of O. K. Caroe, Secretary of External Affairs of the Government of India; Sir Basil John Gould, Political Officer for Sikkim and British Representative for Bhutan and Tibet; and Frank Ludlow, Additional British Political Officer for the same region, who at the time was already in Lhasa.

While arrangements with Lhasa were under way by British wireless, Brooke and I prepared for the trip.

India was in turmoil. There was rioting in the streets of Delhi, and the city was declared out of bounds. Finally, however, we were given a jeep with permission to go wherever we wished, and we darted around old and New Delhi, obtaining all needed supplies and equipment with the exception of a compact radio receiving set.

At the end of September, 1942, we were granted permission to proceed as far as Lhasa. Our prospects of going on from Lhasa to China looked exceedingly doubtful.

"Vinegar Joe" Stilwell's Best Wishes

Before our departure General Stilwell found time to call us in and bid us Godspeed in his perfect Chinese. Late at night we struggled into our compartment on a train swarming with Hindus and troops. Our quarters were so jammed with thirty-odd pieces of equipment, all packed in containers for pack animal transport, that we had to sit on some of the cases. Luckily our train got through safely to Calcutta; the one behind us was derailed by rebels.

An overnight train took us on to SiIiguri. There we were met by Sandup, a 29-year-old Tibetan who had studied in English schools in India and was one of the post managers of the Tibetan telephone and telegraph line between Lhasa and India. He was to be our Number 1 man and interpreter on the journey to Lhasa and during our stay there.

With our gear piled into some aging touring Fords, we started a 70-mile climb through the lush vegetation of the Himalayan foothills into the State of Sikkim. The road, though narrow, was fair, damage from washouts and slides being repaired constantly by gangs of Gurkha and Lepcha laborers, mostly women.

We wound precariously along steep hillsides where the slightest swerve would have dropped us hundreds of feet into canyon streams. Once we came to a bridge so tottering that Sandup suggested our walking across and letting the cars go over one at a time.

We were soon in the toylike city of Gangtok, capital of Sikkim, whose Maharaja is much interested in promoting the welfare of his people. Here we were guests in the charming English country house of Sir Basil John Gould. B. J., as we called him, had represented the British Government at the inauguration of the present Dalai Lama. Though now more than 60 years of age, he thinks nothing of making the 300-mile journey to Lhasa.

We found him deeply engaged in the preparation of a new type of English-Tibetan dictionary and working out new methods for learning the Tibetan language. He speaks Tibetan, Hindustani, and Lepcha dialects and can write in those languages. Brooke and I absorbed from this remarkable man all we could about the customs and people of the country into which we were going.

While we were staying with B. J., the Prime Minister of Bhutan, Rani Dorji, with his charming Tibetan wife, was also visiting him. Madam Dorji was translating some Tibetan poetry and old ballads into English.

While we were preparing for the trip to Lhasa, Rai Sahib Sonnam, British trade agent from Yatung, the first Tibetan town of any importance on our route, came to Gangtok and gave us valuable assistance. He helped us organize our outfit and advised us on customs, procedures, protocol, and the presentation of gifts to officials along the way and in Lhasa.

Ready for the Trip to Forbidden Lhasa

We were fortunate in finding a cook who later on became our Number 1 man, and an almost indispensable member of the party. Son of a Chinese father and Tibetan mother, he spoke enough English to act as our interpreter after Sandup left us. His name was Thami, which we changed immediately to Tommy. Our other newly engaged boy was Lakhpa, a quiet, hardworking Lepcha about 26 years old.

With our party thus augmented to five, plus whatever transport men were driving the animals, we struck out in clear October weather. The first pack train we hired from the Maharaja of Sikkim, and Rani Dorji lent us two of his fine riding mules as our mounts for the first part of the journey.

For three days, while we were winding up the side of a valley toward the top of a Himalayan pass, we could look back and see the little town of Gangtok with its palace on a knoll. Our overnight stops were at dak bungalows (Government rest-houses).

Tolstoy's caravan climbed dangerous Himalayan mountain paths such as this one on their way to the Forbidden City of Lhasa.

Usually a day apart, these stretched on for 13 stages up to the city of Gyangtse. There was a keeper at each place, and although modern conveniences did not exist, the quarters were adequate and comfortable.

Nearing the summits, the road sometimes was only a trail so narrow that it was difficult to pass oncoming caravans burdened with bulging loads. Here and there slides made the trail almost impassable.

At 14,000 feet we sometimes felt the effect of the altitude and thin air and would wake up in the night gasping for breath. We found that propping ourselves in a semi sitting position was best for sleeping. In the daytime it was difficult to walk any distance uphill without frequent stops and rests, and we soon got used to doing everything as if in slow motion.

The Natu La (13,500 feet), first pass over the Himalayas, was surprisingly easy and level, with a good wide stretch of road approaching it. It is rocky, bare of vegetation, and in October free of snow. There was a little snow on slopes near by.

First Glimpse of Mysterious Tibet

For a while we were in the clouds and could see neither behind nor ahead of us. Then the mists parted for a moment, allowing us to take our last look back at India and our first ahead into the thick, evergreen forests below us and the sea of ranges in the distance. We were looking down into mysterious Tibet.

A Tibetan outrider leads Tolstoy and his men into Tibet.

Leaving Natu La, we dismounted to spare our horses and walked down into Tibet over old washed-out trails. Our path in the valley of the Amo led often along dry freshet courses. On the way we paused to have a cup of buttered tea with the abbot of Kargyu Gompa (gompa, in Tibet, or gomba, in China, means "monastery"), the first small Tibetan monastery we encountered.

The headman of Yatung, on the Amo, met us with an escort about five miles from the city limits. Both our parties dismounted, and we performed the ceremony of exchanging scarfs, known as kattaks.

Rai Sahib Sonnam and several other acquaintances of the city greeted us just outside the town with military honors presented by a detachment of Indian Sepoy infantry in the employ of the Indian Army. We were then escorted to our quarters in a bungalow truly palatial for that territory.

Yatung is one of the larger Tibetan cities, though it numbers probably not more than 1,500 to 2,000 people. For livelihood the people depend upon agriculture and trade with passing caravans.

Tibetan Etiquette Complicated

As soon as we were settled, we were called upon by all the dignitaries of the city. They came with their servants, bringing gifts ranging from Tibetan carpets to yak butter and hen eggs. Our Number 1 man always knew when a caller was to arrive, and consequently we were prepared with the indispensable tea, and candies, cookies, and dried fruit.

The ceremonies of greeting varied with the importance of a caller. The more important he was, the farther away from the room we met him. We had to acquaint ourselves with the rules so as to know whether to greet a caller at the end of a room, at the door, in the yard, or at the front gate!

The day after our arrival in Yatung we had an early lunch with Rai Sahib Sonnam in his modern little home. Lunch was served in the Western style. We met here the first Tibetan of high social standing, Mary Taring, wife of a prominent young Tibetan official from Lhasa, and her two daughters. The younger girl was going to school in India, and the older was about to marry the son of Rani Dorji, Prime Minister of Bhutan. The Tarings later on became our great friends.

At that luncheon we also met Pangda Tsang, one of the two strong men in the Tibetan world of finance. He is a Yatung merchant, whose agency is scattered far and wide.

The next day we were invited to the first really Tibetan luncheon in the Tsangs' typical well-to-do Tibetan home. We rode out to the house with all our group, a thing that is always done, custom demanding that the host provide a good meal for the guest's retinue. Since we were considered high officials, we were expected to uphold the prestige of the United States.

Our three assistants and few pack animals made a show so unimpressive that we had to resort to the excuse that in wartime everything must be done simply and economically.

A Tibetan Luncheon Party

With a throng of Tibetan guests Pangda Tsang's luncheon party was a gay affair. The food, more than abundant, consisted of Tibetan and Chinese delicacies, some of which had come from the coast of China before the war. We ate our meal with chopsticks, washing it down with many cups of tea and also with chang, the Tibetan national drink, made of lightly fermented barley.

We had regular Chinese shark-fin soup, some small ocean shrimp originally dried, transparent noodles made from pea flour, pickled vegetables (cabbage, cucumber, and a sort of cross between a chutney and a pickle), boiled rice, several dishes of cold and hot meat prepared in different ways, and round balls of dough stuffed with meat, fruit, or brown sugar and then boiled or steamed. These last had been pinched all around before steaming and stained with a red dye. The final course was a succulent noodle dish.

The soup dish and dessert were eaten in the middle of the meal. Dessert, served hot, was a syruplike jelly containing raisins and apricots.

Pangda Tsang asked us when the United States would again buy Tibetan wool. Before the war the bulk of Tibetan wool had been sold to the United States for manufacture of auto rugs, but the war had cut off the export and the Tibetans were temporarily without this important source of revenue. I referred the inquiry to Washington.

We soon realized that Tibetans who knew of the United States were interested in the outcome of the war and had a sympathetic feeling toward us. They had, however, great doubt as to our ability to defeat Japan, since at the time Japan was almost at their border.

A Letter from the Dalai Lama's Court

In taking our leave from the party, we left, through our Number 1 man, the customary adequate tip for our host's chief servant. Several of Pangda Tsang's riders escorted us to our home. This was good etiquette on such occasions, for the more gaily a guest departs, the better proof to all the neighborhood that the entertainment was lavish.

While we were at Yatung, we received from Lhasa the Red Arrow Letter, a courtesy gesture from the Dalai Lama's court for traveling through the country.

This letter was a piece of red cotton cloth, about 16 inches wide and 2 feet long, to be carried in the bosom or on a staff by an outrider who would precede the party by one or two days. It stated that two American officers were en route to visit the Dalai Lama and requested the headmen of all the villages to supply them with accommodations and transport at a certain rate.

Given a military send-off with honors when we left Yatung, we proceeded up the valley toward the next town of Phari Dzong, several days' journey away.

We passed some scattered villages, their houses built of stone with shingled roofs, and went through little meadows of Li Ma Tang, the only flat grassland we had seen on the bottom of the valley. It was haying time. The villagers had their tents pitched in the meadows and were cutting the grass with scythes, then raking it to dry.

The trail was crowded with little donkeys and mules almost completely hidden under their loads of hay. Even old men and women were carrying enormous backloads.

The Loftiest Post Office in the World

Our first panoramic view of the typical Tibetan town of Phari Dzong and the country around it was truly magnificent. Here we were greeted by the distinguished old administrator, who is also the abbot of the local monastery of 400 monks. We stayed in the compound of a Tibetan house that also served as the post office for the Tibetans, supposedly the highest-situated post office in the world.

Some crops are grown in the country around Phari Dzong, and barley can be planted above a 15,000-foot altitude. In the plains and foothills we saw some of the first black tents of the nomads and herders, with their winter corrals and homes made out of yak dung and sod.

The weather was freezing, high winds sweeping across the plain with great velocity. Because the Himalayas catch almost all the precipitation from the south, this territory is virtually arid.

Our road climbed so high that the passes were hardly noticeable. They were nothing but rolling, saddlelike open stretches, adorned with the customary sacred mani stone piles and prayer flags and stone pillars.

On October 22 we crossed a pass of this type called Tang La, 15,200 feet, which is part of the great Himalayas, and entered into the approaches of the vast Tuna plain.

Along the road we kept meeting caravans, mostly mules, donkeys, and bullocks, loaded down with wool, marmot hides, and grain. Occasionally we ran into a party of armed merchants from some of the outlying districts of Tibet, all well clothed and mounted, some of them wearing gaily painted masks and goggles as a protection from dry wind, sand, and sun.

At a little place called Dochen we came upon one of the most beautiful panoramas we saw in Tibet, where the deep-blue waters of Ram Tso reflect for miles the Himalayan range beyond, with the vast mountain Chomo Lhari towering over it. There was a little ice along the shores of the mirror-calm lake. Thousands of bar-headed geese lined the shore, and flocks of ruddy sheldrakes, or Brahmany ducks, were filling the air with a moaning cry.

In that region the natives had few horses, and our transport consisted entirely of bullocks, often tended by women or young boys.

A Sportsman's Paradise, but Closed

Where the salty Kala Tso without outlet is slowly receding, there is considerable crop raising, and we watched the native farmers at work in their fields. Taking Sandup and a native with me, I climbed a 2,000-foot promontory in search of Tibetan bighorns (Ovis ammon hodgsoni). Five rams, one with a magnificent head, paused less than 100 yards from our place of vantage!

Unfortunately for my huntsman's desires, it is against the Tibetan religion and the wish of the Dalai Lama to kill wild game. I had to be satisfied with a rather long-view photograph of the animals.

The next day we crossed the Kala plain, its little tufts of grass reminiscent of some parts of our West. Brooke and I were tempted again when we began running into kiang, the wild ass of Asia, and gazelles.

In the little village of Samada great fall activities were in progress. Manure was carried to the fields in baskets on pack animals, neatly deposited on the soil, and covered up with dirt to prevent it from being blown away.

Knee-deep in barley and peas, domestic animals were being driven round and round threshing floors. Here and there the grain was being hand-winnowed, and along a stream women and children were washing peas in brass cauldrons and woven baskets.

In the afternoon we visited the village of the Porus people, nearest caste counterpart in Tibet to the Untouchables of India, though without doubt much happier than the lowest-caste Hindus. Several families of them lived in semi-cave houses on a hillside a mile or so from the main village. These people, though

they till the soil, gain their primary livelihood by disposing of the dead and butchering cattle for the other villagers.

In Tibet people are not usually buried. The Porus carry bodies to a hilltop where, with the skill of a surgeon, they cut them into portions small enough to be devoured by vultures. The Porus are paid for this task and also inherit certain silver decorations from the dead. Those we saw were well bedecked in silver.

Some cattle herders or nomads came down into the village to trade. Magnificent specimens of manhood, they were clothed only in sheepskin chupas (capelike coats) and trousers. They wore no hats, but had long braids wound about their heads. Apparently the weather in the 12,000-foot valley was too hot for them! They wore their chupas with one arm slipped out, exposing half their bodies above the waist.

A Telephone in the Cloudlands

We stopped overnight at the Kangmar dak bungalow where there is a telephone station. Occasionally one can communicate with either Gangtok or Gyangtse from there, and rarely with Lhasa. This telephone operates spasmodically. Sometimes it is silent for two or three weeks at a stretch when some brigand gets away with a span or two of the wire. If an offender is caught, the punishment is severe, usually the chopping off of one hand.

Our Number 1 man, Sandup, had his home station here, and we met his young wife and two-year-old baby daughter. In the yard of the bungalow a few potted plants added a touch of charm.

That night while we were finishing supper, Sandup approached us with troubled countenance. He was anxious to take his wife and baby along with us to Lhasa. As a rule, women of Asia are good travelers, and nomad women follow their men, doing work under all conditions. We did not hesitate to grant the requested permission. Sandup's wife was a great help to us all on the trip to Lhasa, and the baby girl became our mascot.

A few miles farther on, an ancient monastery perches above the 16,000-foot elevation. I gave our pack animals a day of rest and, taking Sandup with me as interpreter, went on ponyback to the place. The abbot, a stalwart man under middle age, told me I was the first white man to visit the monastery.

Captain Dolan Falls Ill

At Gyangtse, an important town and the last British trade and mail post, we were met by Maj. R. Gloyne, acting British trade agent, Lt. C. Finch, and Dr. G. H. F. Humphries, with a colorful honor guard. The guardsmen were of a Sepoy infantry detachment mounted on fine matched white Mongolian ponies. They carried British colors. With the British officials were Rai Sahib Wangdi, a Tibetan kingpin in the trade agency, and many other Tibetan city officials.

Very unfortunately, on the second day in Gyangtse, Captain Dolan was stricken with pneumonia. We gave him sulfa treatment, which arrested the progress of the illness immediately, but because of the high altitude and extremely cold weather his recovery was not so rapid as we hoped. For that reason, we were glad that Dr. Humphries was allowed to travel with us to Lhasa.

We stayed in Gyangtse for a month. Two or three times we were fortunate enough to make telephone connections with Mr. Ludlow in Lhasa and discuss with him certain phases of the journey from Gyangtse and the arrival in the Sacred City.

Some of our mail caught up with us there, and the radio of the Agency gave us daily the rather grim news of the outside world.

The British, with their love of sports, had carried that phase of their life into this part of Tibet. The Agency's Tibetan employees had a good soccer team, playing against the men of the Sepoy detachment and the British commanding personnel.

Played at an altitude of 13,000 feet, the games were amazingly fast. Almost without exception they were won by the Tibetans, who not only were fine physical specimens but were accustomed from childhood to rarefied air. Major Gloyne and I made an attempt to play, but soon found that the only positions we could handle were those of goalkeepers.

I undertook the job of giving cavalry drills and training to the newly arrived Sepoys. Every morning we went through a couple of hours in the saddle, sometimes even knocking a polo ball around. To my long experience as a horseman and my skill in caring for saddle animals I attribute the ease with which I made friends with the horse-loving Tibetans.

In the heart of the city is located one of the large and important monasteries of Tibet, Nenning Gompa, in front of which is a gigantic chorten, or shrine, of unique design and beauty, famous all over Tibet. Inside, it contains 80 chambers filled with Buddhist idols and paintings of many types and sizes. It is adorned with gilded religious figures and ornaments.

Gyangtse is situated in a fertile valley criss-crossed with irrigation ditches which our Mongolian ponies took in their stride during our cross-country rides. It is one of the key cities of Tibet, and through it passes all the trade from the east to India and northwest Tibet.

The Agency compound had electric power, generated by a windmill. A few electric-light bulbs made it quite modern, enticing us to later evenings and long conversations with our Tibetan and British friends.

On the Last Lap to Lhasa

The month passed quickly, and on December 4, after a military review of the detachment and numerous calls from high Tibetan officials, we rode out with Major Gloyne and his honor guard toward Lhasa. They escorted us a short distance before turning back; but Dr. Humphries stayed with us. Due for return to India after long service in Gyangtse, he readily obtained permission to visit the Forbidden City. The Anglo-Indian doctor amused us and all the Tibetans by riding, instead of a horse, the smallest mule he could find.

The court of the Dalai Lama had sent two soldiers, a sergeant and a private, to escort us to Lhasa. With pronged rifle across his back and a large silver prayer box slung from one shoulder, the sergeant rode ahead, usually on the best pony he could requisition from the village. His mount was bedecked with ornaments and bells. Had there been any bandits, they would certainly have heard our approach well ahead of time.

When Caravans Meet

By always preceding us, the sergeant added a great air of dignity to our procession, sometimes roughly making approaching caravans get off the road to allow us more room to pass.

Tibetan custom rules that if a traveler sees what might be a more important caravan approaching, he stops within a few hundred yards, gets off the road, dismounts, takes off his hat, and stands while the party passes by. The party, in turn, must greet the dismounted travelers most politely.

Somehow, after leaving Gyangtse, we had the feeling of getting deeper into the real Tibet where the influence of the outside world is negligible. The trails had been worn through the centuries by caravans carrying merchandise from northeast China and India. Although we had to cross several more passes on our way, the terrain was not difficult.

We were meeting more caravans, now mostly of yaks, carrying barley, salt, and wool. It was easy to see that they had been on the trail for months. From this point on we stayed in Tibetan houses, which often were vacated by their occupants for our overnight use.

The headman and owner of the house usually would bustle about and try to make us comfortable, constantly bowing, bringing up the thumbs, sticking out the tongue and hissing—Tibetan ways of showing respect.

The higher the station of the person addressed, and the lower the station of the one who addresses, the lower the latter must bow, the more he is to stick out his tongue, and the more constant must become the hissing, done with quick little intakes of breath. After a while we got used to this and almost did it ourselves. Although we resorted to saluting as an official or any other form of greeting, we often found ourselves bowing while saluting.

In the little village of Ralung at the base of the Ningohi Kangshar mountain, we stayed in the large house of a Tibetan nobleman.

Curtain-like pieces of cloth with little cutouts to admit light were the typical Tibetan substitutes for window glass. The only heat came from charcoal burners, which used yak chips for fuel instead of charcoal. These burners were lighted outside and brought in glowing hot. We got the sensation of heat by sitting almost on top of the burner.

By keeping all our clothes on indoors, we managed to make the entries in our log; then, undressing as quickly as possible, we got into our sleeping bags for the night. The yak chips used in the poorer houses are burned right in the room, which consequently is filled with an almost suffocating smoke.

From Ralung we toiled up to Karo La, altitude 16,000 feet, one of the most dangerous passes because of frequent snowfalls.

The animals were tired from the long, tedious climb, and we paused overnight beyond the pass in a Tibetan mail stage shack. It was a windy and bitterly cold night. All of us huddled into a tiny windowless room, filled with the smoke of burning yak chips, while the animals were huddled together outside in a small yard.

Sandup's wife and baby daughter amazed me by their indifference to the discomfort of the trail. I never heard the baby cry, and she was sick only once—then, I think, from some of our candies. She would ride usually either in the arms of her mother or in the saddle in front of another rider.

From Karo La we descended to Yamdrok Tso, near which is situated the small but important town of Nagartse Dzong, with its striking hillside fort guarding the narrows of the valley.

The "Diamond Sow," a 5-year-old Abbess

We remained in Nagartse Dzong an extra day to visit the famous Samden Gompa, which is headed by an abbess known as the "Diamond Sow." She is abbess over male monks.

The first Diamond Sow abbess dates from 1717, when the monastery was besieged by a band of Mongols. It was a nunnery then. After a long siege the abbess is said to have opened the gates at the monastery yard, turning all her nuns into sows at the same time. The Mongols were so impressed with the miracle that they laid down their arms and retreated. The museum room of the monastery contains large quantities of those weapons.

The abbess at the time of our visit was five years old. She received us sitting cross-legged on her throne with her lay female attendant and her ecclesiastical court monks. Her well-proportioned and chiseled face was stern with a grown-up expression. At no time could I notice any mannerisms of a child.

We presented scarfs directly to her, and the gifts and money donations for the monastery were brought in as usual. We in turn were presented with two fragments of a sacred kattak and some magic seeds wrapped up in Tibetan paper with prayers.

A good Tibetan places these objects in his prayer box, which at home is kept in the religious corner found in every Tibetan house, no matter how poor, and on a journey is carried slung across the shoulder. The Tibetans believe that some strong medicine contained in these prayer boxes will divert a bullet.

Brooke impressed even the monks with his knowledge of the images, which he recognized at a glance. I explained that he was a student of the Buddhist religion. Thereafter, this fact became known wherever he went and gained for our party a scholastic and religious respect.

Well-to-do Tibetans Wear Fine Raiment

At Japsan Ferry, by which we crossed the Brahmaputra, we met the first well-to-do Tibetan family on the march. They were mounted on fine mules bedecked with rug blankets and ornamented tack, with large red woolen tassels hanging from their breastplates. A child was held in the saddle by an arrangement of high wooden crosstrees on pommel and cantle.

Loading the Riding Horses and Pack Mules on the river barge.

The family was dressed in fine silk robes adorned with furs, and wore fur hats in a cutoff conical shape embroidered with gold thread. All the servants wore the same type of colored robes and were well armed with rifles and Mauser pistols.

I was often asked if we were traveling in uniform. Most of our clothing which we wore every day was of the combat type, but we carried with us blouses, riding breeches, and boots, which we made a point to wear for official calls and for certain arrivals and departures at the more important points. Several times we had to fight high winds behind some hill a few miles outside a village while we changed into our best.

At a small village called Chushul Dzong the headman informed us that the famous Tsarong Shape, a Cabinet Minister, had offered us the use of his small overnight cottage. It was a gracious Tibetan building, with several modern conveniences.

In the big reception room we were astonished to find the walls covered with National Geographic Society maps of the world. Later we learned that Tsarong Shape, whose full name is Namgang Dasan Damdu, is the only Tibetan member of The Society. We saw much of him in Lhasa.

Dalai Lama's Escort Meets the Party

Twenty-five miles out of Lhasa we were met by an escort sent out from the court of the Dalai Lama to greet us. It was headed by a powerfully built, fine-looking young monk, Kusho Yonton Singhi, who was to become our guide and inseparable adviser during our stay in the city of mystery.

Tibetan officials such as these negotiated the possibility of allowing Roosevelt and Churchill to create a road from India to China via their mountainous kingdom.

He presented us with a warm letter of welcome and greetings from the joint Foreign Ministers of Tibet, and with the usual scarfs. Knowing our animals were tired, the Ministers had sent two fresh ponies for Brooke and me. It was a pleasure to ride the excellent Mongolian pacer, the kind that in Tibet only wealthy men can afford.

By Tibetan custom horsemen walk down steep hills, but from the moment Kusho joined us, we were not obliged to dismount. One of Kusho's outriders would halt at the top of each steep place, give his horse into charge of someone else, and lead our mounts carefully down the trail. We began to feel as if we were precious china dolls.

At noon we rode up to several gaily decorated Tibetan tents, where we had tea with our guide. The next day we woke up early and rode off briskly with an unmistakable feeling of excitement. Our first goal was near.

Entering the valley of Lhasa, we rode along the Kyi, which flows through the city. We crossed its tributary on Tibet's only modern steel bridge. On a concrete foundation, the bridge was built several years ago by Tsarong without the help of foreign engineers. The feat was remarkable in that all the pieces of steel had to be brought from India over the Himalayas by coolies, as the girders were too heavy for pack animals to carry.

Somewhere within the last four miles of Lhasa we knew a delegation waited to receive us, and one of our men rode ahead to herald our approach. The greeters, thus notified, rode out to meet us a couple of hundred yards from the place where they had been stationed. When about 100 feet apart, our parties dismounted and greeted each other.

The welcoming delegation was composed of the city magistrate of Lhasa, representing the city; Frank Ludlow, Additional British Political Officer for Sikkim, Bhutan, and Tibet, with H. Fox, Esquire, his assistant and wireless operator; the British Mission doctor, Rai Sahib Bo, who was a Bhutanese by birth; chief British Mission clerk, Minghyu; Dr. Kung Ching-tsung, chief of the Chinese Mission, with several members of his staff; the Bhutanese representatives; the Nepalese representatives, whose honor guard of soldiers was lined up a few miles away; and the Ladakhi representatives.
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Mon Mar 16, 2020 6:45 am

Part 2 of 2

The Higher the Seat, the Greater the Man

Greetings were in strict Western fashion. After the introductions our entire cavalcade rode on to a small roadside park where several decorated Tibetan tents had been set up for the occasion. We were welcomed at the gate by the officers representing the court of the Dalai Lama. Most important among them were George Tsarong (Tsarong Se Dabul Namgyal), son of the Tsarong Shape, Dege Se, a royal prince before the Chinese took over his domain and now representative of the Foreign Office.

Escorted into the central tent, we were given the seats of honor behind a little table laden with the usual dried fruits, candies, etc. Our hosts, in order of rank and position, sat down to our right and left, on hassocks of diminishing heights. The farther away from us the lower the seats became, until, as the line passed out the entrance of the tent, overflow guests were sitting on the open ground on flat cushions. There were tables only a few inches high in front of all guests.

Buttered tea was poured from large, silver-ornamented copper teapots, and the ceremonial rice was served. In front of each person was placed a Chinese rice bowl with the rice patted in a high mound. We took a few grains of this rice with our fingers, threw some of it over our shoulders for the appeasement of spirits, and swallowed the few remaining grains. The rice bowls were then taken away, and the representatives of the court gave us letters of welcome and scarfs on behalf of every branch of the court.

This part of the ceremony over, we rode through the little wooded parks that surround Lhasa. To our right a large part of Lhasa's population was congregated on small grass mounds. On the left was lined up a detachment of the honor guard of the famous Tibetan Trapchi regiment, which serves as the bodyguard to the Dalai Lama.

We were surprised and our horses startled by a sudden outburst of stirring military music from a brass band, the only band of occidental instruments in Tibet. Presumably the instruments had been taken from a Chinese army in 1911.

Under the Windows of the Dalai Lama

The magnificent flag of Tibet stood out in its brilliant colors, showing the sun and two Lions of Tibet facing each other, holding the Wheel of Life under the Precious Gems.

Dismounting, we reviewed the detachment of soldiers, smart-looking in their practical native uniforms, and shook hands with their commanding officer. We then proceeded to the attractive Tibetan house of our host, Mr. Ludlow, just outside the West Gate of Lhasa, from where we could see the walls of the Potala topped by the Dalai Lama's personal quarters.

Several members of the welcoming party joined us for tea at Mr. Ludlow's residence. After tea we settled down in cozy Tibetan rooms, specially decorated for us by the court of the Dalai Lama, the floors solidly covered with Tibetan rugs and comfortable Tibetan couches. Mr. Fox proudly showed us his model Diesel plant which supplied the house with electricity and enabled him to make radio contact as far as Indiana, U.S.A.

From that day we lived for weeks by a schedule. There was a definite procedure for whom to see, when, and in what order. During our first few days in Lhasa we received official calls from Dr. Kung, Chinese representative, who had been in the Chinese diplomatic service in Europe and could speak French and some English; and from the joint Foreign Ministers. These last were Surkhang Dsasa, a genial Tibetan nobleman who in younger days had traveled into India and China, and a gracious elderly monk, the Ta Lama, named Yongon Dsasa.

From our first meeting Brooke and I liked the Foreign Ministers and soon became fast friends with them. We had to deal through them with His Holiness's court; thus we were with them often throughout our stay.

Among our other callers were representatives of Nepal, Bhutan, and Ladakh. A Major Bista of Nepal was a highly educated man and had a remarkable library in his home. These visitors were followed by Tibetan lay and ecclesiastical officials and lay dignitaries, some coming in official and some in private capacity.

Each person brought, or sent by servants, customary arrival gifts such as wheat, barley, flour, rice, meat, live sheep, butter, and eggs. As official guests we were also furnished firewood, feed for the ponies, and some provisions for all our group for a month's time.

The Dalai Lama Grants Audience

In accordance with Tibetan custom, we were not to call upon any officials until after His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, had granted us an audience. A few days after our arrival we were informed by the Tibetan Foreign Office that the audience would be at 9:20 on the morning of December 20. That date was selected as the most auspicious for the Dalai Lama, a highly important factor in all of his undertakings.

Early that day we rode out toward the Potala in a sizable cavalcade with all our men, the monk guide and his assistants dressed up in their finery.

The Potala is situated on a hill, and the Dalai Lama's throne room is on the very top. Usually visitors must make a long and tedious climb up the broad steps of the palace. We, however, were extended a great courtesy, being allowed to ride along a narrow path up the mountain to the back of the palace, where we left our horses. Then we were escorted through the courtyards and long labyrinths of the Potala building to a small, unpretentious waiting room.

Here we were joined by the representatives of the Foreign Office, a few other dignitaries, and a charming young Tibetan official named Changnopa, whom everybody called Ringang. Ringang had studied at Rugby and spoke beautiful English. After tea had been served, we rehearsed the procedure for greeting the Dalai Lama, the Tibetans explaining to us some of the fine points of etiquette. A monk entered soon and announced that we were to proceed to the throne room.

Escorted by a stately procession of monks, we ascended to the roof of the Potala, above which rose the single room used for receptions. On both sides in front of the entrance were seated rows of high monk dignitaries, and in the background were crowds of lesser monks and some laymen and pilgrims who were to be given a blessing by the Dalai Lama after our reception.

We stood in line for a few moments until the heavy curtain was drawn from the entrance, then walked into the richly decorated throne room. Rows of monks and lay officials were standing along the walls, but the central portion of the room remained open. Directly in front of us stood the Dalai Lama's throne, a square, flat-topped seat about four feet high and four feet wide, with a straight back.

The ten-year-old Dalai Lama who greeted Long Riders Tolstoy and Dolan in 1942.

His Holiness was seated cross-legged, a high-peaked yellow hat on his head. We were immediately impressed by his young but stern face and not at all frail constitution. His cheeks were healthily pink.

A few feet away to his right, on a similar but lower throne, sat the dignified Regent of Tibet. Until the Dalai Lama becomes of age at eighteen, the Regent assumes his duties and is the highest authority in Tibet, ecclesiastical or civil.

Still farther away to the Regent's right was seated the Dalai Lama's father, a layman, dressed in rich robes and hat. Ruddy and youthful in appearance, and wearing a neat little down-turned mustache, he presented a contrast to the ecclesiastical dignitaries.

Delivery of the Historic Letter

As we stepped inside the threshold of the throne room, we saluted. Our hats were kept on throughout the entire ceremony. We then walked up to the throne of the Dalai Lama and, standing before him, saluted again. A monk came up and laid a presentation scarf across my outstretched hands, then placed a bread-and-butter offering upon the scarf. Bowing, I presented the offering to the Dalai Lama, who took it into his hands and passed it over to a monk on his right.

This procedure was repeated as a monk placed in turn upon the scarf I held an image of Buddha, a religious book, and a chorten.

These objects I passed on to the Dalai Lama.

Meanwhile, Captain Dolan, standing to my right, had been holding the casket containing President Roosevelt's letter to the Dalai Lama. He now passed it to me, placing it on the scarf. In the same manner I presented the casket to the Dalai Lama. So far as we could learn, this was the first time in history that direct communication had been made by a President of the United States with the Dalai Lama of Tibet.

I then laid the scarf across the throne in front of His Holiness, saluted, and proceeded to the throne of the Regent at my left.

Captain Dolan stepped up to the throne of the Dalai Lama, a scarf over his hands, and presented to His Holiness a photograph of President Roosevelt. He then saluted and joined me in front of the Regent's throne.

At this point our servants presented the gift of President Roosevelt, a gold chronographic watch, to the major-domo standing away from the throne. This functionary accepted it in behalf of the Dalai Lama, together with the personal gift Captain Dolan and I had brought, a silver ship.

Saluting the Regent, I bestowed upon him gifts similar to those presented to the Dalai Lama: an image of Buddha, a religious book; a chorten, and objects of silver. After placing the presentation scarf across the Regent's hands, I passed on to the throne of the Dalai Lama's father.

The Exchange of Scarfs

Brooke also saluted the Regent, presented him with a scarf, and joined me at the left. The father of the Dalai Lama was saluted in turn and honored with scarfs by us both. No gifts were presented to the father on this occasion, but were given at a later date.

The presentation of gifts and scarfs accomplished, we returned to the right-hand side of the room, where we sat on a long, low cushion placed near the center. A low table was set in front of us. From the far corner of the room came a monk bearing a pot of tea. He stopped before the Dalai Lama, joining another monk kneeling in front of the throne, who reached into his robe and pulled out a silver cup into which a little tea was poured. This monk then tasted the tea to insure its being satisfactory.

We were then served tea and rice. Although we were offered three cups of tea, we drank only two, leaving the third untasted as custom dictates. We ate a bit of the rice and threw a few grains over our shoulders.

While we were thus occupied, our retinue of servants proceeded to the Dalai Lama's throne and presented scarfs which a monk, standing by the side of His Holiness, accepted on his lord's behalf. The Dalai Lama then blessed them by touching their heads with a holy wand. They paid the same respects to the Regent and the Dalai Lama's father.

The servants were followed by a chain of monks and other people specially admitted to the throne room. These also presented scarfs and bowed before the throne to receive the blessing of His Holiness.

When the procession to the throne had ceased, the Dalai Lama addressed us through an interpreter, inquiring about the health of the President of the United States. I stood up to answer his query, then again sat down.

After a time a staid monk stood beside the throne and announced in a deep voice, "The reception is over." We left the throne chamber, followed by our servants and the rest of the spectators.

Upon the close of the official reception in the throne room, we returned to the waiting room of the Potala, presently to be ushered into the private chamber of the Dalai Lama. He was sitting on a small, low couch, with a table before him holding religious objects. Beside His Holiness sat the Regent on a similar couch. We were seated on chairs directly in front of them.

Ringang accompanied us. He acted as interpreter in the ensuing conversation, which continued in an informal vein for about a half hour. The private audience was then ended, and we left the Potala.

A Round of Courtesy Calls

The next few weeks we devoted to making calls upon all the ecclesiastical and lay officials in the order of their rank and position, and presenting them with gifts. We also called on the Dalai Lama's family. There followed a round of dinners, luncheons, and teas exchanged in both official and unofficial capacity.

We visited the Oracle, a rather remarkable middle-aged man, who has his own small monastery a few miles outside Lhasa. A short journey took us to the two largest monasteries in the world, Drepung and Sera, both near the city.

All the foreign representatives entertained us hospitably, and Dr. Kung had the pupils of his Chinese school turned out to greet us. These little children are of mixed Chinese and Tibetan parentage, and the school is provided by the Chinese Government.

The only other lay school in Tibet is conducted by a monk who is a radio operator. His pupils are children of nobility and lay officials in Lhasa.

Deke Lingka, headquarters of the British Mission, in which we lived, was next to the famous Holy Walk which stretches for seven miles around the Potala grounds.

Along that walk we could see pilgrims from all Tibet circumambulating the Potala, some by prostrating themselves along the walk, getting up and stepping the length of their bodies, then prostrating themselves again. Thus they measured their way around the Potala like inchworms.

Tibetan New Year Begins in February

As the New Year holidays approached, the stream of pilgrims increased daily.

The first month of the Tibetan year begins in early February. It is celebrated by a series of religious and historical ceremonies, all of which we attended upon the invitation of the Kashag, or Grand Council, which furnished us with special seats and gave a luncheon and entertainment for us at each function.

At the time of the New Year the city and its administration were taken over by monks from the near-by monasteries. All day throngs of them kept pouring into Lhasa. Caravans with goods from India and northern Tibet arrived daily, and tents were pitched in the parks and fields around the city.

Traveling sorcerers and bands of dancers roamed the city, entertaining on the streets and in the homes of the wealthy. Women wore magnificent dresses and the Lhasa style of three-pronged headdresses covered with seed pearls and semiprecious stones. Had they appeared on the streets not dressed in holiday costume, the monks most likely would have sent them home.

There were pageants by soldiers in 15th-century armor who went through sham battles and dances depicting battles of days gone by. Magnificent religious dances performed in the courtyard of the Potala by monks in grotesque masks portrayed the lamas of the church ridding the people of evil spirits.

Most of the festivities began early in the morning and lasted throughout the day. Wielding large willow sticks, the provost monks had difficulty maintaining order and keeping the public from blocking the way of the processions in the narrow streets.

At the end of the month, when the New Year's ceremonies were almost over, permission was granted us by the Tibetan Government to proceed to China.

Since further communication with the outside world would be impossible until we reached China, and since we faced dangerous unknown terrain, peril of bandits, and hazards of passes likely to be snow-blocked, we took great care in outfitting ourselves for the journey. Two of our men, who were returning to India, had to be replaced.

Mr. Fox, the British radio operator, had just received some small American commercial radio receiving sets which he had ordered from the United States over a year before. He was kind enough to let us have one, and we carried it with us all the way to China. This little radio kept us informed of the events of the world and astonished many nomads along the way.

We usually could get London once a day and at times Chungking and India. Occasionally we got San Francisco. Tokyo we could get at any time—a fact which sometimes embarrassed us when Tibetans wanted to hear the United States.

After awaiting an auspicious date to depart, we started out from Lhasa about the middle of March, our caravans leading the way. Near the northern outskirts of the city we were given a military send-off by an honor guard and were served ceremonial tea and rice in specially erected tents. From there a large group of our friends and officials rode with us to the estate of a nobleman, where we were given a luncheon.

Scarfs Serve as Leis Do in Hawaii

After the luncheon, according to Tibetan custom, we were accompanied to the gate. There our friends placed scarfs over our heads. This was done by everyone, including even our servants, just as leis are placed around the necks of travelers leaving Hawaii. By the time the last person had bidden us farewell, our necks were bundled in more than 200 of those scarfs.

Following the custom further, we got on our horses, still wearing the kattaks, and rode the rest of the day with them on. For the remainder of the trip each of us carried at least one scarf around his neck.

Both Brooke and I felt a moment of sadness at leaving our friends behind, and we could see sincere emotion on their faces.

Concerned about our safety in bandit territory, the Tibetan Government detailed a sergeant and five soldiers to accompany us as far as we wished to take them. We took them as escort only through Tibet proper. The Chinese representative informed us that we would be met at the border by a detachment of Chinese soldiers. They never showed up.

Sandup Bids the Party Good-bye

Our boy Sandup and his wife had to return to India. Since he had been our interpreter, we felt that losing him weakened our outfit in that respect. We had only our cook, Tommy, to replace him.

Tommy became our Number 1 man and Lakhpa was promoted a step. We found a young Tibetan named Punzo to act as camp boy and a young monk to look after the ponies. This monk was going in our direction also and was delighted to work his way through. He changed his monk's robes to a simple Tibetan civilian garb.

All the servants had to be given proper clothes and bedding for the trip, and their family affairs had to be carefully worked out before departure.

After the first few days we approached the wide, valley-like stretches of the Tibetan northern steppes, or plateaus. On the way up to and down the passes the streams were frozen, often with thick ice bridges over dried stream beds.

We carried peas and considerable grain, especially barley, and as much as we could of barley straw, for it was necessary to maintain our fine animals in good condition through the bitter stretch of northern uplands where neither straw nor grain was grown or available. Since it was March, the last year's grass was either grazed down or worthless after the winter snows.

On March 23 we crossed the upper Kyi near Phongdo. The men crossed on a crude suspension chain bridge lined with yak hides, and the animals forded the stream, which was low at that time of year.

We left our trail for half a day's ride to Reting Gompa, the seat of the ex-Regent of Tibet, a very high religious personage. Before leaving Lhasa, we had exchanged greetings and gifts with the ex-Regent by means of messengers, and he had invited us to stop with him on the way north.

Our poor Lakhpa fell ill here, and after we got him well we had to leave· him behind to return to Gyangtse. In his place we found a simple Tibetan boy.

The ex-Regent was a great lover of horses and without a doubt had the best stable of imported Mongolian pacers in Tibet. Some of his ponies came from as far away as Urga (Ulan Bator), Outer Mongolia.

He had one remarkable animal, a cross between a Mongolian pony and a wild ass, or kiang. This type of mule has almost as great endurance and ability to live off the country as the wild ass. It is much larger and stronger than the ordinary mule and has the advantage of hoofs shaped like those of a horse.

On April 3 we crossed the divide of Langlu La. It is 15,000 feet high and separates the waters of the Brahmaputra and the upper Salween. Within another two days we reached Nagchu Dzong, administrative capital of northern Tibet. Here we were met by the commissioner, Tsarong's son-in-law, a few other city officials, and an honor guard detachment.

We picked up at Nagchu Dzong some additional supplies we had sent ahead. After a three-day rest we set off again.

Hit by the First Snowstorm

Two days out of Nagchu Dzong we hit our first snowstorm. The going became difficult, since the snow had covered some of the dangerous spots. It was remarkable how our animals sensed and avoided the hazards.

For the first time we encountered a caravan carrying tea from China. It had left Jyekundo (Yushu) four months previously with 1,000 yaks and 25 ponies. Only 700 yaks and 15 ponies survived, for the winter was extremely severe. The drivers were brewing tea in the lee of the stacked-up loads of tea, while the yaks were grazing in the hills.

About April 13 we came to Kema, where a nomad chieftain had been notified of our arrival. He received us with great honor by setting up guest tents, at the end of which had been erected two pillars of loosely piled stones. On the top of them burning yak chips and brush threw off heavy columns of smoke.

From these pillars stones were laid out in a line as if marking the approach to the camp. This is a customary gesture toward ranking visitors, and it certainly added a little air of importance to our modest outfit.

When the Dalai Lama travels across Tibet, the natives lay similar stones along both sides of the road for many miles at a stretch and individually bring along small containers in which they burn brush and incense while he passes by.

That justice is rigorously upheld in that part of the country was attested by an occasional gallows fashioned of a flimsy pole, from which was suspended the head of a horse thief or bandit. Rumors of banditry were becoming more prevalent, and by now our outfit was well whipped up for defense in any emergency.

The road became quite difficult and the terrain cut up with steep banks of mud and snow. Some of the streams were only partly frozen, and the animals kept breaking through the ice. Snow fell intermittently. Whenever the sun was in, we could feel the bitter cold and wind through our Tibetan fur robes.

A Precarious Suspension Bridge

A few miles beyond Sok Gomba we crossed the first suspension bridge over the Sok River. This bridge was nothing but two chains over which was drawn a matting of saplings, with no railing or support along its sides. As the animals passed over it, the bridge swerved and shook like a ribbon in midair, 250 feet above the gorge.

One man led each animal by the head and another held the tail. The yaks and the more stubborn of the other animals had to ford the cold water a couple of miles downstream. Even some of our native men crossed that bridge on all fours.

We saw the first spring plowing being done in the Sok Valley. In this region yaks were used for that purpose.

On April 19 we reached Pachen, where we remained for a few days. Some miles beyond was the Tsangne La, which leads into Tsinghai Province. The Chinese representative in Lhasa had told us we would be met at the pass by a detachment of Chinese soldiers, but runners we sent ahead returned to say that no Chinese were anywhere in sight and that none of the nomads had seen any Chinese in that region for a couple of years.

At this point we sent our Tibetan escort back to Lhasa and proceeded with our small group from one nomad camp to the other, trusting in Tibetan gods and keeping alert.

The administrative jurisdiction of the Dalai Lama ends at this point, and beyond, for over 200 miles to Jyekundo, bandits and feuding nomad clans prey on the transports.

With the help of a nomad chief on the Tibetan side we finally were able to gather drivers and animals to take us across. However, they refused to proceed until we had hired at least 25 more men with rifles.

On April 23 we parted with the accommodating baron of the Pachen nomads, who had assisted us in procuring the transport, and began climbing the border range of Tsangne La, more than 16,000 feet high. The higher we went, the deeper the snow became. This pass is seldom open in January, February, and March.

At that high altitude, carrying full loads, the yaks had a system for getting through heavy snow. The leading animal would lunge through the drifts until it was winded. Then it would lie down while the next yak in line came up to make a few more lunges. When the second, too, became exhausted, the third yak passed the first two. This process continued until the animals eventually reached solid ground.

After a blizzard had subsided, we could see from the top of the pass the vast, forbidding-looking wastes of the northern uplands, with a few snow-capped ranges in the distance. The temperature was below freezing, and the ceaseless winds were the strongest yet encountered.

Birthplace of Great Rivers of Asia

We dropped into this vast area and next day were riding along the mountains which served as a divide for the headwaters of the Salween, Yangtze, and Mekong.

We were now traveling over the territory from which many of the great rivers of Asia start. On April 30 we again began to encounter ranges of cut-up terrain. Two days later we reached the encampment of a nomad chieftain who furnished us with transport for the next six days, together with some men, most of whom were armed only with slings. Those boys were extremely accurate with these weapons, even up to 60 yards, and could kill a dog or a man with them easily.

Our only interpreter now was Tommy, and he with his limited Chinese and English had a hard time understanding the natives, who spoke a different Tibetan dialect.

One day we were surrounded by men on horseback, who rode around us at a great distance out of range. We let out a few machine-gun bursts in the direction we were heading, and the riders disappeared from our path. One night our mastiff caught a bandit spy near the camp. We turned the fellow over to the chieftain the next day.

Often one chieftain would tell us that another one was a bandit. In a few cases we had to resort to keeping a close watch on a chieftain and his men while they were traveling with us.

Fording the Mekong River

On May 6 we forded the Mekong River, which, though rather wide, was shallow. We camped at an attractive little monastery called Zuru Gomba. Unmolested by the monks, large flocks of blue sheep, or bharals, ranged the hills. Here we watched a remarkable feat by a Tibetan hound. The dog actually ran down and hamstrung a full-grown gazelle.

At all times we tried to send ahead an outrider to notify the next chieftain of our coming and need of transport. In one instance we had a Tibetan monk write out an important-looking document ordering a chieftain to provide us with transport.

On May 10 we passed the beautiful valley and plain of Nima Rungsha where hundreds of wild asses and gazelles were grazing. The mountain slopes were thickly forested, and we saw musk deer jumping high through the underbrush. Riding along a stream, we jumped a small flock of Lhasa stag, also known as Prejevalsky's deer.

An Outpost of Chinese Mohammedan Soldiers

In this territory travelers often lost their horses and mules. The animals ran away to join wild ass herds. For that reason we kept bells on all our stock while they were resting or running loose. The noise of the bells frightened away the wild asses.

On May 12 we came upon the first outpost of Chinese Mohammedan soldiers, who were grazing their transport animals in the fertile valley. Maj. Ma Ying-hsiang, their leader, told us that his commanding general in Jyekundo had been notified by Gen. Ma Pu-fang, Governor of Tsinghai Province, that Chungking expected our arrival there and that he had been on the lookout for us, searching for some time along the different passes. He was relieved that we finally had arrived safely.

After 56 days on the road from Lhasa, we halted for two days to clean up and rest before appearing in Jyekundo. We understood that Gen. Ma Pu-Iang was to give us an elaborate reception.

On May 15 we rode into the outskirts of Jyekundo. The commanding general, his staff, and the town's officials greeted us. A detachment of cavalry was lined up along the side of the road, and farther on monks of the local monastery were out with their band.

A holiday was proclaimed in the city, flags and banners were displayed, and all the people turned out to greet us. Whenever we approached a native sitting in the street, he would rise in welcome.

We were escorted into a comfortable Tibetan house by our host, the General. Here we were really settled in style, with big Chinese beds made up with brand-new silk quilts, servants and a cook to attend us, and two armed guards to watch the gate. In all this customary Chinese hospitality we relaxed and forgot the worries of the trail.

There was a wireless from Jyekundo to Sining, and we asked the General to send a message to Chungking via Sining to notify General Stilwell's headquarters of our safe arrival.

The General told us he had instructions to facilitate the procurement of our transport and escort to Sining. In a few days our four faithful Tibetans were ready to start back to Lhasa and the Indian border, this time via the southern route through Chamdo.

The Pack Animals Swim the Yangtze

When we left Jyekundo, we were escorted for several miles by the General, his staff, and an honor guard. It was only a short journey from Jyekundo to the Yangtze River, which was a hundred yards or more wide at that point and rather swift. We swam the animals across and ferried the equipment on rafts floated on blown-up skin bags.

On June 1 we camped near Shewu Gomba, which perches on the side of a mountain. The country became more and more swampy in the lower parts of the valleys and plains and our animals bogged down frequently.

On June 3 a heavy snowstorm caught us and made traveling difficult for several days. The climate of this section of the country is severe, snow sometimes falling even in midsummer. The ranges are farther apart, and the valleylike plains bear better grass than elsewhere. Because the numerous rivers are broad, many of them were difficult for the animals to swim. We had to stop sometimes and kill sheep to make blown-up skins for our rafts.

Though we were now traversing country where the wild yak once was numerous, we saw none of these animals. The introduction of automatic rifles by Chinese Mohammedan troops had exterminated the herds. Day after day we passed horned skulls.

The Stars and Stripes reach China.

On June 7 we neared the Tra La between the Yangtze and Yellow (Hwang) River headwaters. We came across as many as nine bears in one day. This bear appeared very close to our grizzly in size and coloring. Captain Dolan shot one, and we preserved its skull and hide.

There were signs of the great Asiatic bighorn sheep, and on a few occasions we got away for short hunts off the trail. A group of nine rams was the largest I spied. Crossing the Yehmatan plains with their almost impenetrable swamps, we camped for three nights virtually in water. Even at night without their loads, the animals bogged down.

Reaching Gamoh Nor, a large freshwater lake situated near the Chinese military outpost of Hwanghoyen, we crossed the Yellow River not many miles from its source.

This country was familiar to Captain Dolan, for in 1935 he had taken an expedition there to collect mammals for the, Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia.

Floods Make River Crossing Difficult

Beyond Changshitou our helpers and escort were Ngoloks. These people, taller and more rugged than central Tibetans, are known as the fiercest tribe in this area.

On June 17 we came to the Ta River, on the far side of which was the old Chinese fort of Tahopa. A downpour in the morning had swelled the river to about 300 feet in width, and it was exceptionally swift. It took a day and a half to cross our animals and supplies on rafts.

The Tahopa fort was known to have telegraph and telephone communication, but we found both out of commission. In the summer-time several trucks manage to get up to the fort over the hard turf. At the time of our visit, however, motor traffic was out of the question.

On June 21 we approached the west end of Koko Nor (Tsing Hai), where we were met by the Chinese Mohammedan garrison commander of Cheche. Here and there were signs of fields that had been under cultivation in previous years. Our yak transport gave way to bullocks of yellow Mongolian cattle.

The night of June 25 we rested in another Chinese fort, Chapucha, where we met a large detachment of Mohammedan cavalry on their way to Jyekundo. They were wearing white felt robes made for warmth as well as for shedding the frequent rains of that region.

Skirting a considerable stretch of desert not unlike the arid sands found in Arizona, we passed over several dunes which the winds keep moving from place to place.

For some time now we had felt the approach of spring, and every day we saw more and more wild flowers. We soon rode through solid expanses of wild iris.

We arrived in the Chinese city of Hwang-yuan on the 89th day of travel and, proceeding along the cultivated valleys and through small Chinese villages, soon were within a day's march of Sining. The last ten miles we rode in a car sent out for us by the Governor of Tsinghai.

First Place of Call a Turkish Bath

The most memorable occurrence in Sining, outside of a visit with the Governor, was our visit to the Turkish bath, which we made our very first place of call in the city.

From Sining we hired a truck and drove on to Lanchow over a fairly good road. There, awaiting us, was our mail, which had been sent up by plane from Chungking to the compound of American missionaries. We reported our safe arrival to General Stilwell by telegram, and a few days later received his telegram of congratulations and orders to report to Chungking.

After their return to the United States, Dolan was sent back to China. Sadly, the young naturalist, turned army officer, was killed soon after combat had been officially concluded with Japan. So it was left to Tolstoy to record the tale of this remarkable equestrian journey.
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:31 am

Ilya Andreyevich Tolstoy
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/16/20


Ilya Andreyevich Tolstoy (3 February 1903 – 28 October 1970), count, U.S. Army Colonel. President F. D. Roosevelt's envoy in Tibet. He was one of the founders of Marineland of Florida, of the Bahamas National Trust, and he served on the Caribbean Conservation Commission. He was a grandson of count Lev Tolstoy.


Count Ilya Tolstoy was born in 1903 at Toptivovo, Tula, Russia. His father was Count Andrey Lvovich Tolstoy, son of writer Lev Tolstoy, and his mother was Olga Diterichs, daughter of General of the Infantry Konstantin Diterichs (and sister of General Mikhail Diterikhs). Tolstoy attended the Moscow School of Agriculture, before joining the Imperial Cavalry and serving in Tashkent. In 1917 – 1918 he worked for the Russian Department of Agriculture in Turkestan.

Tolstoy emigrated to the United States in 1924. He studied at the William Penn College and Iowa State University, Ames.

In 1927, Tolstoy became associated with the explorer and naturalist, William Douglas Burden, an associate and trustee of the American Museum of Natural History. He was inducted into the Explorers Club in New York in 1931. [1] Tolstoy was one of the pioneers of underwater photography and one of the founders and owners of the world's first oceanarium, Marineland of Florida with William Douglas Burden, Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney and Sherman Pratt.


In World War II Tolstoy was an officer in the Office of Strategic Services. He went to Tibet as an envoy of the US President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1942 and met the Dalai Lama, then barely seven years old.[2] In 1945 he headed a top-secret mission into the interior of China of search of uranium.

His first marriage in 1920 was to Zoya Dmitrievna Platonova (born on 18 December, 1891, died on 27 September, 1978). His son Count Alexander Tolstoy was born in 1921. His second marriage was to Vera Ilinichna Sidorkova (born on 28 September, 1894, died on 10 August, 1974), by whom he had a daughter, Sofija, born in 1922. The marriage ended in divorce.

Tolstoy died on 28 October, 1970 in New York and was buried in the cemetery of the Novo-Diveevo Cemetery, Nanuet, New York, USA.


1. “When the Caribou Failed”: Ilia Tolstoy in the Barren Lands, 1928–1929, Graham A. MacDonald, Manitoba History, Number 45, Spring/Summer 2003
2. Tolstoy Foundation's award for Dalai Lama
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Part 1 of 4

The Sino-Indian Border Dispute
Section 2:1959-61
DD/I Staff Study
Reference Title: Polo XVI
by Central Intelligence Agency
August 19, 1963

This document contains classified information affecting the national security of the United States within the meaning of the espionage laws, US Code Title 18, Sections 793, 794 and 795. The law prohibits its transmission or the revelation of its contents in any manner to an unauthorized person, as well as its use in any manner prejudicial to the safety or interest of the United States or for the benefit of any foreign government to the detriment of the United States.

It is to be seen only by US personnel especially indoctrinated and authorized to receive [DELETE] information; its security must be maintained in accordance with [DELETE] REGULATIONS.

No action is to be taken on any [DELETE] which may be contained herein, regardless of the advantages to be gained, unless such action is first approved by the Director of Central Intelligence.

Off. Ser. No. 2


SECTION I I. (1959-1961)

This is the second in a series of three working papers on the Sino-Indian border dispute. This Section II deals with the period from late 1959 to early 1961. Section III will cover the remainder of 1961 and most of 1962, through the Chinese attack of 20 October.

Useful comments by P. D. Davis and H. G. Hagerty of OCI have been incorporated. The DDI/RS would welcome comment, addressed either to the Chief or to the writer, Arthur Cohen, [DELETE]

SECTION II. (1959-1961)


By fall 1959 the Chinese leaders were convinced of the need for negotiations with Nehru, in order to prevent their international prestige -- including. their position in the world Communist movement -- from deteriorating. Shortly after the August 1959 clashes they also recognized, or were made aware by Indian party boss Ghosh, that Nehru's advisers might use these skirmishes to push him and the entire government further to the "right"-- i.e. towards a militant anti-China policy and a willingness to accept some degree of American support in this policy. The practical strategic danger such a development posed was that the arc of U.S. bases "encircling" China would be extended through India. They continued to see Nehru as still having a "good side" (anti-Western) as well ad a "bad side" (anti-Chinese) and therefore as possibly still amenable to persuasion through personal diplomacy on the matter of a border settlement. This meshed well with their new-found concern with preventing the establishment of a military government in New Delhi.

As they moved toward negotiations, however, they took an irrational action which temporarily clouded the atmosphere for talks in New Delhi. The Chinese physically and mentally coerced the leader of a small Indian police party they had captured during a clash in October 1959, in order to secure a "confession" that the Indians had sparked the incident. When it became public knowledge that the Indian prisoner had been manipulated by Maoist methods used in forced confession, popular and official Indian resentment caused a reaction which hurt Peiping more than the charge that Chinese troops had fired first. Having learned the lesson, the Chinese have since made a special point of their "brotherly" concern for Indian prisoners.

By late fall, Chou began to press Nehru hard to begin talks with him. During an exchange of ministerial letters, Nehru raised certain pre-conditions for talks, stipulating on 16 November the requirement that the Chinese withdraw from Longju and that both sides withdraw from the disputed area in Ladakh. In the latter area, Indian troops would withdraw south and west to the line which Peiping claimed on its 1936 maps, and Chinese troops would withdraw north and east of the line claimed by India on its maps. In effect, Nehru's stipulation would be tantamount to a Chinese withdrawal from the Aksai Plain and the Sinkiang-Tibet road, and the Chinese said as much. Chou En-lai's reply of 17 December went right to the point of realpolitik, arguing from actual Chinese possession, complaining that Nehru's concession would be only "theoretical" as India had no personnel there to withdraw, and insisting on the area's importance for "it has been a traffic artery linking up the vast regions of Sinkiang and Tibet." The Indian leaders indicated some sensitivity on Chou's additional point that New Delhi was "utterly unaware" of Chinese roadbuilding in the area until September 1958 -- "proving" continuous Chinese jurisdiction -- and informed their embassies to take the line that intrusions cannot give a neighboring country any legal right to an area "merely because such intrusions were not resisted by us or had not come to our notice earlier." Turning a conciliatory side, Chou in this 17 December letter stated that following the 21 October 1959 clash Peiping had stopped sending out patrols, and he requested a personal meeting with Nehru to establish "principles" for negotiating the dispute. Chou then hinted that Peiping would be willing to exchange its claim to the area south of the McMahon line for New Delhi's claim to the Aksai Plain. Nehru was reluctant to meet personally with Chou, and persisted in this attitude until January 1960, when, on the advice of his ambassadors and certain cabinet members, he agreed to drop his pre-conditions.

In this period, Khrushchev made several public statements in which he deplored the border dispute, clearly implying that Chinese military actions were jeopardizing Moscow's relations with New Delhi. In November, he described the dispute as a "sad and stupid story" -- a remark which angered the Chinese leaders -- and hinted that he favored a compromise. Soviet officials tried to create the impression among Indian diplomats that Khrushchev had intervened directly with Peiping on New Delhi's behalf, but, when pressed for explicit proof, scaled down their remarks to suggest that the Russians had merely urged talks on Peiping as soon as possible. The Russians, in fact, had no influence with the Chinese leaders. Foreign Secretary Dutt later told an American official that Khrushchev had been no help with the Chinese "at all," remaining just as neutral in private as in public and hoping that these two "friends" of the Soviet Union would settle their dispute. Although the Chinese leaders clearly viewed Khrushchev's .public remarks as hostile to them, and Peiping subsequently claimed that Sino-Soviet polemics logically followed the September 1959 TASS statement of neutrality between China and India, the Soviet position on the Sino-Indian dispute in fact remained a peripheral issue in the Sino-Soviet dispute.

In January 1960, the Chinese moved quickly to bring the Burmese to Peiping for a Sino-Burmese border agreement, in order to provide an "example" of how a friendly country should settle its border problems with China. Prior to that time, the Chinese for several years had been parrying Burmese requests for a settlement, but, once the decision to bring Nehru to negotiations had been made (October-November 1959), the Chinese leaders apparently calculated that a speedy border agreement with Prime Minister Ne Win would make it more difficult for Nehru to reject similar talks. The Chinese also used the Sino-Burmese agreement against their critics in the Soviet bloc, and Ne Win speculated on 30 January that the Chinese leaders had been "quite anxious" to settle the border dispute with Burma prior to Khrushchev's stopover in New Delhi, trying thus to undercut Nehru's argument to the Soviet leader on the intransigence of the Chinese on the border issue.

Constantly under pressure from Parliament and the press not to take a soft line with Peiping, Nehru was compelled to make even an agreement "to meet" with Chou appear as part of a hard, anti-China policy. Nehru's 5 February 1960 letter to Chou agreed to a meeting but not to substantive negotiations, as the Chinese claim that the entire border had never been delimited was "incorrect...and on that basis there can be no negotiations.'' Nevertheless, he invited Chou to meet with him in New Delhi to explore every avenue for a settlement, and he defended this formal invitation in Parliament by calmly insisting that no policy change was involved: he had always said he was prepared "to meet" anybody, anywhere. It was Nehru's intention merely to determine what Chou "really wants" -- as Foreign Secretary Dutt put it -- and to probe Peiping's long-term intentions on the border. The firmness of Nehru's letter of invitation was intended partly to scotch rumors that he and his advisers were willing to exchange the Aksai Plain for formal Chinese recognition of the McMahon line -- rumors fed by Krishna Menon's slip in a speech to the effect that India would not yield "...any part of our administered territory along the border," i .e. would remain silent on areas occupied by the Chinese. In February and early March, there were other indications that Nehru was looking for some way to accept Chinese use of the Sinkiang-Tibet road while retaining nominal Indian sovereignty over the Aksai Plain.

The Chinese leaders apparently read these early signs as tantamount to an invitation to further probe the apparent soft spot -- relating to the Aksai Plain -- in the Indian position, and prepared for substantive negotiations rather than meaningless "exploratory" talks. They attempted to make credible their expressed willingness to negotiate a settlement, not only by agreeing to send Chou to India in the face of two Nehru refusals to go to China but also by acting quickly to sign a border agreement with Nepal in March, just two months after Chou's success with the Burmese. But when Chou indicated to Nehru his intention to spend six days in New Delhi (despite Nehru's busy schedule) and to come at the head of a high-level delegation, Nehru and his advisers were taken aback. Nehru's advisers noted that whereas New Delhi was approaching the Chou-Nehru meeting merely in terms of improving relations, Chinese notes and Chou's acceptance letter had looked toward a concrete border "settlement." When asked what Chou would be doing In New Delhi for six days, Nehru replied that Chou was quite capable of talking steadily for three or four hours at a stretch. When Nehru in April contemplated and discussed the line to take during the anticipated bargaining Chou would conduct, the advice he received from all sides was to be adamant. Thus Chou, who on late April came with a business- like delegation and a real hope of gaining agreement in principle that the border was not delimited and was therefore subject to negotiation, was confronted by an Indian prime minister who had already rejected bargaining.

In probing the presumed soft spot in the Indian position, Chou departed from diplomatic precedent, working over Nehru and his top advisers, including Krishna Menon, in separate, private, man-to-man sessions. In each session, Chou ran into a stone all of opposition -- even with his "old friend,'' Menon -- and after three days of almost uninterrupted discussions, he had made no dent in the Indian position on Ladakh; in turn, he rejected Nehru's suggestion that Chinese troops be withdrawn from "occupied" areas. The most Chou was able to salvage from his near- total failure was to be able to give an impression that the talks would be continued. The Chinese clearly underestimated Nehru's adamancy in April 1960. They may have read the signs of compromise in New Delhi correctly in February and March, but they carried that estimate into late April, well after Nehru's back had been stiffened decisively by his advisers.

The April 1960 Chou-Nehru talks seem in retrospect to have been Peiping's last chance for a negotiated settlement with Nehru. Nehru rejected Chou's proposal that they meet again, and refused to agree formally either to a ''line" of actual control or to stop sending out Indian patrols. Nehru agreed merely to a temporary, informal "understanding" to halt patrolling and to turn the issue over to subordinate officials, who were to meet to examine the historical and legal evidence of each side and draft a joint report, but who were not empowered to recommend a solution.

The border experts talks in middle and late 1960 served as an instrument of the Chinese effort to perpetuate an impression of continuing negotiations, but they eventually proved detrimental to Peiping's historical and legal case. By the end of the third and final session in December 1960, the Indian experts were convinced that the vaunted Chinese case had proved to be in fact a weak one. The Indian case, owing much to the excellent and extensive administrative records the British had maintained in the India Office Library in London, and published in a detailed Report available to the general public, was impressive. It was argued adroitly on many points of fact (i.e. documentary evidence), logic, and international law, demonstrating that New Delhi could produce a respectable legal case when British-educated, first-class legal experts and historians were called on. However, New Delhi's ability to drive home effectively to laymen specially selected points was inferior to Peiping's, and Indian officials later commented that India's position in the dispute had not been understood in Southeast Asia, partly because "All-India Radio is no match for Peiping Radio." That the Chinese themselves were troubled and recognized that the Indian case was at least as strong as their own is suggested by their failing to publish the experts reports, and by their limiting knowledge of the reports' contents to certain CCP members and deputies of the National People's Congress rather than distributing it to the general public and foreigners. (As of mid-1963, Peiping has not made generally available the texts of the separate Indian and Chinese experts reports.)

Following the Chou-Nehru talks, the Chinese leaders apparently followed a two-fold policy of ceasing regular patrol activity along the border while on occasion sending out reconnaissance parties in the immediate vicinity of their border posts. The primary goal was to reduce further the possibility of armed clashes, clashes which had hurt them politically and had spoiled any chance they may have had of negotiating a settlement. The rationale of a policy of only limited reconnaissance was set forth in a captured Tibetan document of November 1960, which warned PLA personnel to remain cool, not to replace political policy with emotions, otherwise

We would not look to the larger situation and would not ask for orders or wait for directions from above before opening fire and striking back. In that case, we might gain a greater military victory, but politically we would fall into the trap of the other side and would cause only great injury to the party and state -- the biggest mistake.

The document also suggested a Chinese estimate as of November 1960 that New Delhi did not intend to re-take large areas of Chinese-held border territory because the Indians did not have the military capability to do so. However, the cessation of regular forward patrolling did not mean an end to the cautious and surreptitious construction of certain new posts at specially selected points, particularly in the more inaccessible valleys in Ladakh. In addition to this stealthy forward movement of individual posts, the Chinese border experts gave the Indian experts in 1960 a new map of the Chinese-claimed "line" -- a "line" which in 1960 was at points well to the west of the map-alignment of the same area which Chou had shown Nehru in 1956.

Regarding Indian protests in 1960 that Chinese planes were violating Indian airspace, Chou told Nehru in April that India need only shoot one of the planes down to see that these were not Chinese Communist aircraft. However, the Indian leaders continued to protest, reluctant to believe Peiping's claim that the planes belonged to the U.S., or reluctant to state publicly that they believed the claim.

As of January 1961, the Chinese strategy remained: to work for a rapprochement with New Delhi, to treat India as still nonaligned, and to avoid personal attacks on Nehru. The prospect of a major Sino-Indian war apparently was considered only as an unlikely eventuality, which, if it were to occur, would completely change the nature of the border struggle, then regarded as political. According to a Chinese Communist Foreign Ministry report of January 1961, it was Mao himself who provided the general principle of diplomatic forbearance for the period: "In 1960, Chairman Mao again instructed us repeatedly that in our struggle, some leeway must be provided to the opponent." This was conceived as the key part of Mao's dual policy of "unity and struggle" toward India, at times taking a hard line with New Delhi and at other times taking a soft line. The Chinese may have seen this dual policy as flexible, but to New Delhi China was becoming India's most important enemy and the policy of ''unity and struggle" toward India meant nothing but "struggle." It may be, therefore, that the Chinese leaders, including Mao, by early 1981 believed that they had some room for future diplomatic maneuvering with New Delhi, when in fact such room no longer existed.


SECTION 11. (1959-1961)

Prelude to Negotiations: Fall 1959 - January 1960

The Chinese leaders recognized, or were made aware, [1] shortly after the August 1959 clashes, that Nehru's advisers might use these skirmishes to push him and the entire government further to the "right" -- i.e. towards a militant anti-China policy and a willingness to accept some degree of American support in this policy. The practical strategic danger such a development posed was that the arc of U.S. bases "encircling" China would be extended through India. Both Mao Tse-tung and Liu Shao-chi reportedly alluded to the danger in their talks with Indian party boss Ajoy Ghosh in Peiping in early October 1959. At the 8 October meeting with Ghosh, Liu reportedly stated:

We have taken very seriously the establishment of military rule in Pakistan. There is an entire game being planned by the U.S. imperialists to capture major Asian nations, especially the countries which are neighbors of China and the Soviet Union. Burma, Japan, Pakistan, Nepal, Ceylon, India and other countries like Indonesia are the major Asian countries by which the two great socialist countries, the Soviet Union and China, are being surrounded. In this way, by capturing the Asian countries, the U.S. imperialists want to encircle the socialist camp militarily.

In Pakistan and Burma, they have already succeeded, and they are still trying to repeat the same episode in Indonesia. After the successful coup in Pakistan, the Americans are now trying to make the same thing happen in India.

This persistent concern with "encirclement" by military regimes combined with General Thimayya's attempt to force Krishna Menon's removal as defense minister apparently raised real fears among the Chinese leaders (as it had among the Indian Communists) that India was on the brink and must be snatched away from going into the U.S. imperialist camp" (Liu to Ghosh, 8 October meeting).

Regarding their appraisal of Nehru's political attitude, Mao is reported to have told Ghosh on 5 October that the Chinese recognize -- as Ghosh did -- a difference between Nehru and certain of his advisers. The latter, particularly those in the Ministry of External Affairs and including General Thimayya, were "rightists" who wanted to exploit the border dispute to help the U.S. "isolate China." According to Liu Shao-chi's remarks to Ghost on 8 October, Nehru might decide in favor of these "rightists," but for the present all efforts should be directed toward preventing him from doing so. Regarding their appraisal of Nehru's "class background," Liu stated that the Chinese leaders see the Indian prime minister as "a reactionary and basically anti-Communist; he is not even like Sukarno, who has appreciated the Indonesian Communist Party." Despite this doctrinal characterization, they seem to have acted on the basis of political expediency, centering their attention on Nehru's political attitude within the Indian leadership -- that is, on their view of him as still different from the Indian military figures such as Thimayya, who were unalterably "hard" on the matter of policy toward Peiping.

The Chinese prescription for preventing the establishment of a military dominated government in India, avoiding thereby a repetition of developments in Pakistan and Burma, was two-fold and seemed to exclude military pressure. According to Mao and Liu, there must be

(1) CPI efforts to develop more support for Nehru against military "rightists"
; and

(2) settlement of the entire border dispute through Sino-Indian negotiations -- a course which would require first a "proper atmosphere" and then the "pressure of the masses" on Nehru to negotiate.

The first part of the prescription continued to impose on the Indian party, which was already split into a pro-Soviet and a pro-Chinese faction, the dilemma of trying to support Nehru's policy while avoiding anti-Chinese statements. The neutral stand taken by the Indian party on the border issue provided it only a temporary refuge, and on 14 November 1959, under the pressure of public opinion, the Communists finally came out in support of India's claim on the McMahon line. However, in its important resolution, the Indian party refrained from condemning Chinese military action on the border, equivocated on the matter of Ladakh, and insisted on "no pre-conditions" for talks.

The second part of the prescription required a major Chinese Communist diplomatic effort. However, Mao and Liu had told Ghosh of their desire not to appear ''weak" in calling for negotiations. They were aware that some Indian troops had been moved up to border posts on the Indian side, and they apparently intended in October 1959 to have the PLA increase its own presence on the Chinese side. Chinese troops in October were directed to warn Indian border-post personnel to retire from the border area. Under these circumstances, an appeal from Peiping for immediate talks -- along the lines requested by the CPI with Soviet encouragement -- would, in the Chinese view, embolden rather than discourage the Indian leaders in their effort to firm up their border posts. The Chinese leaders insisted to Ghosh that negotiations must await a "proper atmosphere" in India and that when circumstances were ripe for talks there must be no Indian "prior conditions." [2] They wanted to approach negotiations in a series of steps, in the course of which Sino-Indian tensions were expected to ease. When Chou finally wrote to Nehru on 19 October suggesting that Vice President Radhakrishnan visit Peiping, he indicated that such a visit "might serve as a starting point for negotiations." When the letter was delivered by the Chinese ambassador on 24 October, Nehru and the vice president were in an angry mood and Nehru turned the proposal down because Chinese troops had shot up a patrol of Indian border police on 21 October. This incident made it necessary for the Chinese to reconsider the step by step approach to talks.

In his 7 November letter to Nehru, Chou indicated that talks were now an urgent matter and requested that the Indian prime minister meet with him "in the immediate future" to discuss a border settlement. Chou also indicated his concern about the possibility of future clashes. He stated that the "most important duty" was for both sides to work for the complete elimination of the possibility "of any border clash in the future," and suggested that in order to create "a favorable atmosphere" for settlement of the border issue, both Indian and Chinese troops should withdraw 12-1/2 miles from the McMahon line in the east and the line of actual control in the west. This suggestion, he asserted, was merely an extension to the entire border of an earlier Indian proposal (note of 10 September 1959) that neither side send its troops into Longju. Actually, Chou's suggestion that troops withdraw, leaving a demilitarized zone under "civil administrative personnel and unarmed police," was a refinement of his own 8 September proposal for a return to the "long-existing status quo" under which the Chinese accepted the McMahon line de facto while retaining unchallenged possession of northeastern Ladakh. Chou's view of military disengagement along the border included no real Chinese concessions. His letter indicated that a mutual, rather than a unilateral, withdrawal was necessary; Chou in this way tried to break the impasse created by Nehru's stipulation that Chinese troops must be pulled back from certain outposts in Ladakh before negotiations.

Chou's letter left Nehru with the choice of accepting the mutual withdrawal proposal or appearing the intransigent party. However, it was not an attempt to stall any further on the matter of beginning ministerial talks.

Nehru's first response indicated that the atmosphere in India was still not ripe for bargaining, nor were his advisers disposed to do so. Cabinet members at the 9 November Congress Working Committee meeting recorded their opinion that adequate steps should indeed be taken to prevent further clashes, but these steps should not affect India's security or involve any acceptance of "Chinese aggression." That is, Nehru's stipulation of 26 September, regarding Chinese withdrawals prior to negotiations, still held. However, the Indian leaders did not slam the door: they informed the press that Nehru on 9 November had stated that "the spirit of the Chinese letter is not bad."

At this time, when the Chinese leaders were moving toward negotiations, they indulged in a bit of irrational Maoist gaucherie which clouded rather than cleared the atmosphere. Through a Foreign Ministry note, the Chinese had informed the Indian ambassador on 12 November that Chinese "frontier guards" were prepared to turn over the 10 Indian "soldiers" (New Delhi insisted they were border police) captured by them and the bodies of the nine who had been killed. The Indians were handed over on 14 November near the Kongka Pass together with their arms and ammunition, 20 days after they had been captured. New Delhi's suspicion that the Chinese had been handling the captured police in a typical Maoist manner, attempting to coerce them into seeing things Peiping's way, was confirmed. At the prisoner-return ceremony, Karam Singh, the leader of the captured Indian group, waved goodby to his Chinese "brothers," according to an NCNA dispatch, and according to the leftist president of the India-USSR Society for Cultural Relations, Baliga, who had had two long interviews with Chou En-lai in Peiping in early November, Chou claimed that Karam Singh had "confessed" that the Chinese troops had not used mortars on the 21 October clash as India had alleged. Baliga told American officials in Hong Kong on 11 November that he was convinced the release of the Indian prisoners had been delayed until the Chinese were certain their brainwashing had been completed. When it became publicly known [3] that they had been "interrogated" in a special Maoist way and that Karam Singh had been forced to "confess," [4] a wave of anger swept Parliament and the Indian press, nullifying any propaganda gains the Chinese may have made or thought they had made by the "fraternal" release of the prisoners with their weapons.

The Indian leaders did not accept Chou's proposals for ministerial-level talks and a mutual troop pullback, and they countered by stipulating a new set of pre-conditions for negotiations. Nehru's answer to Chou's 7 November letter was drafted primarily by Home Minister Pant and reviewed by the Prime Minister before it was dispatched on 16 November. As preliminary stipulations for negotiations, it advanced the following proposals and for the following reasons:

(1) Chinese withdrawal from Longju, with India ensuring that it will not be re-occupied by Indian forces. (This was stipulated because it was in "our possession" and "our personnel were forcibly ousted by the Chinese therefore they should withdraw, " [DELETE])

(2) Mutual Indian and Chinese withdrawal from the entire disputed area in Ladakh. Indian troops would withdraw south and west to the line which China claimed on its 1956 maps and Chinese troops would withdraw north and east to the line claimed by India on its maps. (This required the Chinese to withdraw from Aksai Plain, the area traversed by the Sinkiang-Tibet road, imposing a very small burden on the Indians, as they had not yet moved any regular army or additional police-administrative personnel into the area.) [5]

(3) Personal talks with Chou En-lai are acceptable, but "preliminary steps" should first be taken to reach an "interim understanding" to ease tensions quickly. (This was intended to sidestep a Chinese effort to rush Nehru into "summit" talks with Chou and to premit special representatives with detailed information to argue with the Chinese over specific claims.)

(4) A mutual 12-1/2-mile withdrawal all along the border is unnecessary, as no clashes would occur if both sides refrained from sending out patrols. India has already halted patrolling. (This was intended to retain [DELETE]alll posts on the McMahon line, which are favorably situated on "high hill- tops" and are supplied by air, to prevent the 12-1/2-mile proposed fallback from leaving new posts 5-days march from the NEFA border, and to retain a "large majority" of the passes which open from Tibet into India. If no settlement were reached, "it would be impossible for us to establish the status quo in all these places and easy for the Chinese to come down and occupy them.")

Foreign Secretary Dutt reportedly anticipated that the Chinese would attempt to compromise on these proposals by accepting the Longju stipulation, but insisting that New Delhi in turn accept the status quo in Ladakh. The counterproposals provided Nehru with a policy which rejected any military action against the Chinese and established the border dispute as a long-term matter requiring cautious and adroit political maneuvering. He had moved effectively to disarm his critics among the press and in Parliament by not agreeing to withdrawals from Indian territory; on the contrary, he called for Chinese withdrawals from Longju and the Aksai Plain, indicating thereby that he was taking a firm line with Peiping. At the same time, he suggested to the Chinese that he was willing to consider the merits of their claim to the Aksai Plain despite the fact that they would be required to withdraw as a price for such consideration. On this point, he expected the stalemate to continue, which was an implicit assurance to Peiping that India would not attempt to retake the area by military action. If the final outcome of the exchange of letters in November were only an agreement to begin talks on a lower level, neither he nor Chou would be conceding anything important to the other and neither would lose face.

During the three-day debate in Parliament in late November, Nehru demonstrated a remarkable ability for maintaining an even keel. He spoke of the need to maintain India's nonalignment policy but conceded that it must necessarily become nonalignment "with a difference," the difference presumably being a new policy toward Peiping. [6] In reply to the Opposition's call for "action" to make the Chinese vacate Indian territory, Nehru said the border issue was simply part of a greater problem — i.e. the overall Chinese political and economic as well as a military challenge, which is a long-term matter — that the issue was not just one of war and peace between two countries, but one concerning the whole world, and there is no nation more anxious for peace than the Soviet Union and none which cares less for peace than Communist China. Following a concerted Opposition attack on Defense Minister Krishna Menon, Nehru intervened to stress the entire Cabinet's responsibility for India's defense policy. In his speech of 27 November, he vouched for Menon's patriotism and hoped the dispute sparked by Thimayya's threatened resignation would die down: we are working together satisfactorily and to continue the dispute "especially in present circumstances" would be "harmful." When the Opposition commented favorably on the possibility of a common defense arrangement with Pakistan, Nehru pointed to a recent statement by President Ayub, refusing to accept any Indian proposals affecting Ladakh's status, as an example of the difficulties involved in suggestions for common defense. As a result, by 28 November most of the press and Parliament appeared to be temporarily satisfied that Nehru's attitude toward Peiping had hardened and that his line would be firm and unyielding. [7]

A sign of Nehru's changed attitude toward the Chinese was his new view on the need to obtain better intelligence on the border areas. On 19 November he told Parliament that he could not confirm a report that the Chinese had built an airstrip in the Aksai Plain, but that he could not deny it either. He pointed out that inasmuch as the Chinese held the area it was difficult for Indian intelligence to obtain definite information, the only possible way being for Indian aircraft to conduct photo missions, which was a matter for the Indian military to consider. His attitude in November thus differed from his view prior to the October clash. When the question of aerial reconnaissance arose in connection with the existence of Chinese roads, Nehru had told Parliament on 12 September that India believed that photographing the areas was not feasible and he pointed to the danger to the aircraft from mountainous terrain and from being shot down.

Chou En-lai, replying on 17 December to Nehru's counterproposals of 16 November, reiterated Peiping's claim to the Aksai Plain more strongly than before. Chou went right to the point of realpolitik, arguing from actual possession. He first noted that the Indian press itself had viewed Nehru's 16 November proposal for a mutual withdrawal in Ladakh as only a "theoretical" concession because India had no personnel there to withdraw while China would have to withdraw from a territory of about 33,000 square-kilometers, "which has belonged to it, its military personnel guarding its frontier" as were its civil personnel. Chou then insisted that the area is of "great importance" to China and claimed that since the Ching Dynasty, "this area has been the traffic artery linking up the vast regions of Sinkiang and Tibet." After thus indicating the strategic importance of the Aksai Plain road to China, Chou described PLA use of the area to make "regular" supply runs into Tibet from Sinkiang since 1950 and the roadbuilding activity since March 1956. That New Delhi was "utterly unaware" of this activity until September 1958 was, Chou said, "eloquent proof that this area has indeed always been under Chinese jurisdiction and not under Indian jurisdiction." [8]

Chou made two proposals which the Indians apparently had not anticipated. (1) He agreed to the evacuation of Longju (occupied in August 1959) in the east, but only on condition that the Indians withdraw also from 10 other disputed outposts, most of which are in the west (occupied since 1964-55). (2) He made his proposal for a meeting with Nehru appear more urgent than before by naming a specific time — 26 December — and place — either in China or in Rangoon — insisting that unless "some agreements on principles" were reached by the premiers, lower level talks on detailed border matters "may bog down in endless and fruitless debates." The Indians probably were prepared, however, for his statement that the Chinese had stopped sending out patrols from their posts. Chou added that this step had been taken immediately following the late October 1959 clash, pointing up the Chinese leaders' desire to try to prepare an atmosphere for negotiations.

Regarding the apparent Chinese willingness to exchange their claim to the NEFA for ownership of the Aksai Plain, Chou rejected as "unfair" Nehru's proposal for a mutual withdrawal in Ladakh. He pointed out that the Chinese had made no corresponding demand on New Delhi to withdraw its forces from the Chinese-claimed area south of the McMahon line. Chou hinted more strongly than before that Peiping was willing to waive its claim to this area if New Delhi would do the same regarding the Aksai Plain. Thus regarding the McMahon line, Chou stated:

Your Excellency is aware that the so-called McMahon line... has never been recognized by past Chinese governments nor by the government of the People's Republic of China [PRC], yet the government of the PRC has strictly abided by its statement of absolutely not allowing its armed personnel to cross this line in waiting for a friendly settlement of the boundary question. [emphasis supplied]

In sum, the Chinese were anxious to begin negotiations on the ministerial level and to move step by step toward an overall settlement, but remained adamant on retaining the Aksai Plain. This left the dispute deadlocked.

The deadlock was affirmed by Nehru in his flat rejection on 21 December of Chou's claim to the Aksai Plain and of Chou's two proposals regarding Indian withdrawals from 10 outposts and a ministerial meeting on 26 December. Nehru advanced no new proposals, noting that Chou had found his "practical" suggestions unacceptable and had merely reiterated Peiping' s claims, which were based on "recent [post-1956] intrusions by Chinese personnel." He said he was willing to meet with Chou anywhere and anytime, [9] but saw no point in engaging in such high-level discussions of principles when the two sides had not yet agreed on the facts. Presumably, low-level talks, too, could not begin until the Chinese showed a willingness at least to withdraw from Longju.

Nehru's uncompromising official position had been reached in large part as a result of cabinet, Opposition, and public pressure, and it apparently was difficult for him to abandon this stand and simultaneously satisfy public opinion. He nevertheless ruled out military action and left the door open for future negotiations. When chided by an opponent in Parliament on 21 December regarding the desirability of any negotiations with the Chinese, Nehru angrily replied that there were only two choices, "war or negotiation." "I will always negotiate, negotiate, negotiate, right to the bitter end." On 22 December, he expressed surprise in Parliament at the idea of "police action," which, he insisted, is possible only against a very weak adversary. "Little wars," Nehru continued, do not take place between two great countries and any kind of warlike development would mean "indefinite" war because neither India nor China would ever give in and neither could conquer the other.

During the deadlock, the Chinese continually tried to draw Nehru into a meeting with Chou. They seemed to believe that if such a meeting could be arranged without delay and Nehru were to agree (1) to the "principle" that the border was not delimited and (2) afterward, to subcommittee meetings of experts, the hard details of contradictory border claims could be argued over in the privacy of the conference room. In his letter of 17 December, Chou had left unanswered questions on details of border claims which the Indians had raised in Nehru's 26 September letter and New Delhi's 4 November note. The Indians persisted, asking for a Chinese answer on the matter of substantive claims. It was in response to these repeated requests that the Chinese Foreign Ministry sent its note of 26 December, declaring the Peiping "feels sorry" that it must go into detail, but it appears that "some arguing cannot be helped." The 26 December note referred to "the forthcoming meeting" between Chou and Nehru almost as though the Indians had already agreed to it. It suggested that the Chinese concern with first of all having the prime ministers meet reflected their aim of first obtaining the "necessary" acknowledgment in principle that the border had not been delimited, and that it is therefore "yet to be settled through negotiations."

In tone, the Chinese note was moderate. A special effort was made to allay the fears of all neighbor countries about alleged Chinese expansionism. It is "impossible, improper, and unnecessary" for China to aggress against countries on its borders. The note pointed to Chinese domestic problems and to Peiping's need for peace to obtain goals, of "peaceful construction." It then pointed to Peiping's record of trying to avoid provocation and border incidents with India, placing the blame for the August and October 1959 clashes entirely on New Delhi. Finally, it linked Indian territorial claims to the British policy of "aggression and expansion," making the Indian argument seem in effect a continuation of British imperialism in Tibet.

The note then touched on Bhutan and Sikkim. Regarding Bhutan, it made the first formal Chinese statement regarding this sector of the border, claiming that there is "a certain discrepancy between the delineations on the maps of the two sides in the sector south of the so-called McMahon line," but the China-Bhutan border "has always been tranquil." Regarding Sikkim, the boundary "has long been formally delimited and there is neither any discrepancy between the maps nor any disputes in practice." Allegations, therefore, that China wants to "encroach on" Bhutan and Sikkim are "sheer nonsense." In this way, the Chinese sought to contradict persistent reports about Chinese subversive aims in these border states.

The Chinese note was hard on matters of substance. It gave a detailed legal and historical justification for Peiping's border claims, creating a massive case on the matters of (1) whether the border had ever been formally delimited and (2) where the "traditional customary" boundary line actually is. Regarding the Aksai Plain, it is the "only traffic artery linking Sinkiang and western Tibet." As for the McMahon line, Chinese Communist military and civil personnel were under orders "not to cross it," but Chou's references to it in his talks with Nehru in late 1956 "can by no means be interpreted as recognition of this line" by Peiping. The note then emphasized that the prerequisites for an overall settlement were recognition of the undelimited status of the border and a mutual withdrawal of 12-1/2 miles or any distance jointly agreed on.

In sum, the note's early portions contained a clever refutation of Indian claims and its final portions sounded almost aggrieved that Nehru had so misjudged Chinese intentions. The massive case it presented on the matter of border delimitation and on the "traditional customary" boundary line constituted a direct contradiction of Nehru's official position that adjustments on small sectors along the border were negotiable but on the entire border line were not. [10]

Peiping's 26 December note thus confronted Nehru with several immediate courses of action: to begin substantive negotiations on the basis that the entire border remained to be delimited, to take no action allowing the Chinese to consolidate their holdings, or, as the note put it, to continue "arguing like this without end." Still under Opposition and public pressure, Nehru decided on the last alternative — i.e. to keep the Sino-Indian argument going on paper.

Nehru was aware [DELETE] that the long-range Chinese goal was to accept the McMahon line in return for Indian acceptance of Peiping's claims in Ladakh. At the Cabinet's Foreign Affairs subcommittee meeting in the first week of January 1960, Nehru indicated that he nevertheless wanted explicit Chinese acceptance of the McMahon line — subject only to minor demarcation adjustments — as the price for starting negotiations "at any level." The Chinese note of 26 December had rejected his earlier contention that Chou's 1956 statements constituted recognition of the line. Nehru centered his attention on this rejection, virtually ignoring the hint — by then standard with Peiping — that Chinese troops were under orders not to cross the McMahon line. At the early January meeting, Nehru indicated that the only possible Indian concession was a "pre-negotiation" agreement on continued "non-military" Chinese occupation of part of Ladakh, including the Aksai Plain road, but only if the McMahon line were first explicitly accepted as the eastern border.

Nehru's first public response to the Chinese note was made at a press conference on 8 January. He reaffirmed his willingness to meet and negotiate, but stated that the time of the meeting depended on "conditions" being such that good results would be produced. That he did not see conditions as favorable was implied in his remark that there was "a very big gap" between the Indian and Chinese positions and "there does not appear to be any meeting ground." Nehru characterized the Chinese note as "argumentative" and stated that a reply would be sent in due time. Nehru and his advisers apparently needed time to draft India's formal reply. The Indian ambassadors to Peiping and Moscow were summoned to New Delhi for consultations and Ministry of External Affairs officials were reported on 12 January to be marshalling evidence to refute the massive Chinese case.
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Part 2 of 4

Nehru Advised to Meet with Chou: January 1960

In their [DELETE] briefings of Nehru, the two ambassadors are reliably reported to have advised the Prime Minister to moderate his position and work toward a settlement as quickly as possible. Each ambassador stated different grounds for such a course.

The ambassador to Peiping, Parthasarathy, gave Nehru his view of the Chinese threat to India as a long-term "non-military expansionist policy in Asia." He stated that it would be unwise for India to make too much of an essentially tactical issue which would divert its attention from the major "strategic" competition ahead. He then recommended that New Delhi not make things worse on the border issue by shouting about this long-range Sino-Indian competition and urged Nehru to begin talks with the Chinese as soon as possible. He told Nehru that in a mid-November talk with Chou, the Chinese premier had been "very earnest" about a personal meeting. Parthasarathy was reported to be a protege of Krishna Menon, with whom he had had several talks since his return from Peiping. Both were [DELETE] expressing a view — directly opposed to the official Nehru-Ministry of External Affairs line — that the border incidents of August and October 1959 were probably accidental, and that the Chinese had had no intention of killing any Indians.

The ambassador to Moscow, K.P.S. Menon, advised Nehru that the Russians could not do much more than they already had done. The best that New Delhi could hope for was that the "advice" Khrushchev had given the Chinese leaders would have an effect on their policy. Menon went on to transmit the gist of Khrushchev's final remarks to him in Moscow in mid-January: we have exercised "what influence we could"; the Chinese are far too sensitive to world opinion to indicate immediately that they have "submitted" to our advice; and India should not make it too hard for the Chinese to come to an agreement. Menon then urged that everything be done to bring the border conflict to an end as soon as possible. It was apparent from this briefing that Khrushchev was well aware of his inability to change Peiping's position, but was trying to create the impression that he had sought to make the Chinese leaders more conciliatory. At the same time, he was seeking Indian cooperation.

In this period, Khrushchev had been attempting by public and private means to prevent the dispute from jeopardizing the Soviet Union's relations with India. Khrushchev made several public statements on the border conflict in October and November 1959. Speaking to the Supreme Soviet on 31 October, he had stated that the Soviet Union was "especially grieved by the fact that as a result of the recent incidents, casualties occurred on both sides... we would be glad if the incidents were not repeated and if the existing unsettled frontier questions could be solved by means of friendly negotiations." [11] He was less cautious at a Kremlin reception on 7 November, and after reiterating the remarks he had made to the Supreme Soviet, he made the following amplifications, according to a correspondent's account (published in New Age, 15 November 1959):

After a pause, he added that it was a sad and stupid story. Nobody knew where the border was, he declared, and agreed with my remark that practically no one lived in that area. Continuing, Khrushchev recalled that the Soviet Union had amicably settled differences over the border with Iran. "We gave up more than we gained," he said and added, "What were a few kilometers for a country like the Soviet Union?" [emphasis supplied] [12]

These remarks suggested that Khrushchev in November 1959 favored a Chinese concession, presumably in the form of a partial withdrawal from the Aksai Plain, and that he wanted New Delhi to be informed of his view. His agreement with the observation that the border area was sparsely populated (and, by implication, not worth a quarrel) [13] has been criticized by the Chinese on several occasions, the latest being in the Peiping People's Daily editorial of 5 March 1963. According to one version of Teng Hsiao-ping's closed-door speech in Moscow on 14 November I960, Teng charged that Khrushchev's remarks to the newsman made Nehru "more adamant", preventing Chou from reaching a compromise with Nehru. The charge is a distortion of Khrushchev's preference for a compromise. As will be shown, Nehru's own advisers were largely responsible for his adamant stand'. Soviet diplomats in [DELETE] talks with Indian officials tried to indicate Soviet intercession to bring the Chinese to a "reasonable" position. In mid-November, Soviet cultural counselor Efimov had told Indian officials that Chou En-lai's 7 November letter offering to negotiate the dispute was sent on Soviet advice. When pressed, however, on how his government had exerted itself, Efimov stated, "I would not say we have directly intervened, but we have made them more aware of real Indian feelings." The Russians had worked hard even in Peiping. The new Soviet ambassador, Chervonenko, who arrived in Peiping in early November, had impressed Indian Ambassador Parthasarathy as "friendly, warm-hearted, and helpful." Chervonenko told Parthasarathy that the Chinese did not appreciate the full implications of peaceful coexistence and characterized Chinese border claims as "tendentious history." On 22 November, Khrushchev transmitted an oral message to Nehru through the Indian ambassador in Moscow stating that the USSR had given "friendly advice" to Peiping to work out a negotiated settlement of the border dispute with India. Khrushchev stated that he would like to see negotiations begin "as soon as possible."

Partly as a result of these ambassadorial briefings, Nehru changed his early January position of no ministerial-level talks without Chinese withdrawal from Ladakh and explicit acceptance of the McMahon line. He was [DELETE] reported to have relaxed these preconditions and to have decided to meet with Chou En-lai. Foreign Secretary Dutt indicated on 23 January that Nehru was considering such a meeting for April, with Nehru inviting Chou to New Delhi. Dutt also indicated that the Indian government would merely acknowledge Peiping's 26 December note rather than reply in detail in order to avoid a "hardening of positions" on both sides. [/b][/size]

Actually, Indian officials were hard put to come up on short notice with a detailed diplomatic reply systematically refuting the Chinese case on the legalities of ownership and the precise border alignment. A team of Indian historians, led by Dr. S. Gopal, who later in 1960 participated in the border experts' talks, had been sent to London to try to strengthen the documentation of India's claims. [DELETE]

The Indians concentrated on drawing up a documented reply. Shortly after Khrushchev had indicated to Nehru his desire to stop over in New Delhi enroute to Djakarta, Nehru on 22 January reversed the initial Ministry of External Affairs decision not to provide a detailed reply to Peiping's 26 December note; he reversed this in order to have India's full legal position on the record before Khrushchev's arrival. As a first step in preparing public opinion for his shift of position on the matter of talks with Chou En-lai, the Ministry of External Affairs apparently leaked the information to the Times of India, which carried a feature article on 26 January on "An Early Nehru-Chou Meeting." The final draft of the Indian reply to Peiping's note was approved and the decision for a Nehru-Chou meeting was made at a Foreign Affairs subcommittee meeting on 2 February. When Nehru announced that he had decided to meet with Chou without prior Chinese acceptance of New Delhi's preconditions, Home Minister Pant alone objected. [DELETE] Nehru replied along two lines: (1) there was no alternative. "If we do not meet, we will have another long letter from Peiping, and this will go on endlessly. Let us continue to maintain our case, but not avoid a meeting." (2) Nehru insisted that there was great pressure on India, which would appear to be the recalcitrant party if it were to reject a meeting. Nehru cited the Sino-Burmese border agreement and Burmese press opinion that India should negotiate. Actually, Nehru had decided on a meeting with Chou at least five days prior to the announcement of the 28 January Sino-Burmese border agreement.  

The Sino-Burmese Border Agreement of 28 January 1960

The Sino-Burmese border agreement provided the Chinese leaders with their first "example" among accords with border countries to be used to pressure New Delhi into beginning negotiations. Prior to fall 1959, however, they had been moving very slowly and with reluctance toward the agreement. At an early date they had explored the advantages and disadvantages of giving the Burmese such an accord and apparently decided to hold the matter indefinitely in abeyance. So long as the Burmese prime minister was not stimulated to demand a settlement, the Chinese were anxious to avoid committing themselves to one. Chou En-lai declared in a joint communique with Prime Minister U Nu on 12 December 1954 that the undefined portions of the border should be settled "at an appropriate time through normal diplomatic channels." In November 1955, an armed clash occurred between Chinese and Burmese outpost units, and it was only on Burmese initiative that preliminary talks began in 1956, surfacing the fact of a Sino-Burmese border dispute three years before the one between China and India.

Prior to October 1959, the Burmese side was the active side in pressing for a border settlement. In February 1956, the Burmese leaders began to press Chou En-lai vigorously for the establishment of a joint commission to define disputed sectors of Burma's 1,000-mile frontier with China. Chou took a stiff stand on all the substantive points at issue and indicated reluctance to negotiate for any overall settlement, leaving some Burmese to conclude that they could not hope for a favorable agreement in the near future.

The new prime minister, General Ba Swe, however, was unwilling to be put off. In summer 1956, a Burmese press campaign (attacking Chinese border "incursions"), which had been stimulated by the government, combined with Ba Swe's warnings of possible Burmese enmity, compelled the Chinese leaders to reconsider and agree to early border talks. Ba Swe sent a note on 22 August to Chou En-lai through his new ambassador to Peiping, Hla Maung, strongly urging the Chinese to accept the "1941 line" in the Wa States area and to withdraw their troops which were west of that line. "To do otherwise," Ba Swe warned, "would. . .open up the possibility of lasting enmity. . .between the two countries." Ba Swe also warned that he would be compelled to report officially on the presence of Chinese Communist troops on Burmese soil [14] when Parliament convened on 30 August and urged Chou to withdraw the troops before that date or, if this were physically impossible, give assurances by 30 August that they would go as soon as possible. Ba Swe rejected Chou's characterization of this portion of the border as "the southern undetermined section," insisting that the boundary demarcated in 1941 by Nationalist China and Britain should be accepted and requested that a joint commission be established to set up boundary markers along this section. This blunt language was unusual for a Burmese prime minister to use in communicating with Chou and apparently was taken by the Chinese as evidence that Ba Swe would persist in his demands for a Chinese troop withdrawal and acceptance of Rangoon's border claims.

General Ba Swe also moved to lay the groundwork for the intercession of other neutralist powers on Rangoon's behalf were his own efforts to fail in obtaining satisfaction from Chou. General Ne Win briefed Tito on 25 August on Chinese Communist border "incursions" and Ba Swe cabled Indonesian Prime Minister Ali and Nehru to withhold "temporarily" any action on Rangoon's behalf until the results of the new "intensive" phase of Sino-Burmese diplomatic exchanges were appraised. In late August, the Burmese ambassador in Peiping urged Rangoon to seek intervention by the Colombo powers only as a last resort. Chou had indicated considerable sensitivity to Ambassador Hla Manng's suggestions that Burma might appeal to the Colombo powers and was anxious that India and Indonesia be kept out of the dispute. (Nehru did, in fact, write to Chou in mid-September, suggesting that he agree to negotiate a settlement with the Burmese.) Hla Maung also requested that Rangoon moderate the anti-Chinese press campaign. He reported that Chou had been annoyed and angered by the press attacks — and the bad publicity for Peiping from them — and that the Chinese premier assumed that the Burmese government had inspired these attacks.

The vigorous effort of Premier Ba Swe to assert Burma's border claims was a clear-cut departure from the cautious policy of U Nu which had been motivated by a pervasive fear of antagonizing Peiping. U Nu was reliably reported to have tried in August and September 1956, without success, to restrain Ba Swe from challenging Chinese Communist claims and from warning Chinese leaders too openly and too forcibly.

Partly because of Ba Swe's adamancy and refusal to subside and partly because the Chinese were anxious that Nehru not be stimulated to question Peiping's intentions regarding the Sino-Indian border, Chou agreed to withdraw Chinese troops from the disputed Wa States area. In a message of 14 September to Peiping, Premier Ba Swe welcomed Chou's promise to withdraw the troops and agreed to keep Burmese troops out of the area. However, he insisted on the validity of the Wa States boundary as demarcated by Nationalist China and Britain in 1941 and on the validity of the Kachin State border farther north as a de facto line, and complained that Chinese troops had also crossed the border at the northern tip of the state and should be withdrawn. He then stated that Burma would accept the establishment of a joint boundary commission — actually an earlier Burmese proposal — which would examine the Kachin frontier and make "recommendations to the respective governments." On the suggestion of Hla Maung in Peiping, Chou En-lai — who was anxious to undercut Burmese press attacks — in early September invited U Nu to lead a delegation to China to discuss the dispute. The Burmese stressed, however, that U Nu would go only in an "unofficial" capacity and would not represent the government in discussions with Chou — i.e. his statements would not prejudice Ba Swe's firm position.

The Burmese hoped for informal proposals leading to an acceptable settlement and Chou fostered the impression that China was prepared to make them. During talks with the U Nu delegation in November 1956, Chou made a "proposal about principles" relating to three sections of the border still in dispute. (1) Regarding the "1941 line" in the Wa States area, Chou indicated readiness to withdraw Chinese troops and asked that "pending a final agreement on the line and the setting up of boundary markers," Burmese troops not enter the evacuated area. Chou and Ba Swe had in fact agreed privately on this matter in September. (2) Regarding the Namwan leased tract, Chou was prepared to negotiate so as to decide on concrete steps to abrogate the "perpetual lease." (3) Regarding the northern border, the section from the Izurazi Pass northward to the Diphu Pass was to be demarcated along the "traditional boundary line" and from the Izurazi Pass to the High Conical Peak was to be determined along the watershed. The Hpimaw tract of three villages — Hpimaw, Kangfang, and Gawlun — was to be "returned" to China, and Burmese troops in the area were to withdraw at the same time that Chinese troops were retiring from the "1941 line" farther south. In sum, Chou indicated that Peiping was prepared to withdraw in the Wa States and yield long-standing Chinese claims to parts of northern Burma — on the face of it, a reasonable position containing no loopholes. However, with regard to the seemingly small matter of the extent of China's claim to about 500 square miles around the three villages in the Hpimaw tract, Chou remained adamant.

Chou' s discussions with U Nu in November 1956 fell short of producing an overall settlement and appear to have been intended as a holding operation. The withdrawal of Chinese troops from positions west of the "1941 line" in December effectively negated Rangoon's lively propaganda campaign about Chinese Communist border "incursions." At the same time, the Chinese began to act on their apparent decision to coast along on the momentum of their concession (troop withdrawals), which mollified the Burmese in December.

Throughout 1957, the Chinese continued to avoid a final overall settlement, their task having been made easier by the election of U Nu to the premiership in February. Prime Minister U Nu spent 11 days in China in March 1957, talking with Chou at Kunming without moving him toward a final agreement. U Nu stated on 9 April that his talks with the Chinese premier still left "two or three details which need to be ironed out" and that the border issue was "a big problem not amenable to easy solution." In late April, the Chinese used a second-rank official (the acting governor of Yunnan Province) to make a new demand for Burmese territory near the Namwan leased tract. The permanent secretary of the Burmese Foreign Office told the British ambassador in early May that in addition to the Namwan area, the Chinese had "recently" asked for a "readjustment" in their favor at the northern end of the "1941 line." The area claimed was small, and the claim was made ambiguously, further indicating that the Chinese had desired merely to keep the entire question of a border settlement open indefinitely. Chou's implicit refusal to go ahead with a settlement was a sharp disappointment to U Nu, who had desired an agreement to provide an auspicious beginning for his new term as premier. Prior to his Kunming visit, U Nu was reported to have stated privately that he considered Peiping "morally obligated" to live up to the tentative agreement he and Chou had reached in November 1956.

Chou En-lai sought to blur the strong impression in Burma and elsewhere that Peiping was stalling. He told the National People's Congress (NPC) on 9 July 1957 that "a good start" had been made with U Nu for settlement of the dispute and that a "general agreement of views" had been reached. He added significantly, however, that a "comprehensive, fair, and reasonable settlement" would be reached when the views of both countries were brought into accord "through continued negotiations" on concrete "problems." Chou's statements were resented in Rangoon, as U Nu had told the press earlier that Chou was expected to submit the general agreement to the NPC for final approval prior to intergovernmental accords. On 22 July, the usually optimistic Ambassador Hla Maung in Peiping [DELETE] had become convinced that the Chinese "are now going back on all of their words" in connection with the tentative border agreement reached between Chou and U Nu in November 1956. Hla Maung cited Chou's apparent questioning of the Burmese version of the northern sector of the boundary as the latest of a number of incidents which had led him to this conclusion. He commented sarcastically that on this portion of the border the Chinese had now challenged Burmese claims to land in the north and the east and that he "would not be surprised if they also mentioned the west, were there any land to the west."

U Nu received Chou En-lai's long-awaited letter containing Peiping's formal border proposals in late July and, according to the American embassy in Rangoon, they included a new demand for the cession of some 70 square miles of territory in the Lufang area of the Wa States. Taken together with a demand for more territory in the Hpimaw area, the new Chinese position on Lufang indicated to the American embassy a Chinese effort to create maximum problems for the Burmese government with various border peoples while still maintaining a pose of friendship and desire to reach a settlement. Thus while avoiding a settlement, Chou made it difficult for the Burmese leaders to accuse Peiping publicly of outright intransigence. After they dispatched Chief Justice U Myint Thein to China in the hope of ending Chinese stalling, Chou told Myint Thein on 28 September that he would have to take time to study the new Burmese proposals and that although the "1941 line" was "unjust," Peiping would accept it "out of feelings of friendship." Nevertheless, the Burmese considered Myint Thein's mission a failure and in late October, when Foreign Minister Sao Hkun Hkio spoke to the Australian ambassador, he stated that "negotiations might well take five or ten years."

The Chinese leaders continued to parry Burmese requests for a settlement in 1958. They began to invoke "Tibetan interests" in the border area as a device to prolong the deadlock. The Burmese ambassador in Peiping told Foreign Minister Chen Yi on 1 April that China's new argument was "difficult" for Rangoon to accept and stated that there are Tibetans living on the Burmese side who have been paying taxes to Burma "for generations." In reference to Peiping's claims regarding Tibetans living far to the south of the border, he protested that "a big portion" of northern Burma would have to be ceded to China.

The Chinese at this time apparently were trying out on the Burmese a claim they hoped later to use with the Indians, viz. that borderland peoples, and the territory in which they resided, traditionally had been Chinese. Since early 1950, the Chinese policy toward Himalayan border tribal peoples had centered on exploiting their ethnic and historical ties with Tibet. Chinese propaganda, disseminated through agents by word of mouth and published materials and through broadcasts by Lhasa Radio, had stressed the theme of "democratic reform and progress" in Tibet with the goal of directing the loyalties of these people more and more toward their ethnic homeland and away from Indian and Burmese influence. [15]

The Chinese indicated no desire to resume border talks until July, when the Burmese press began another major propaganda campaign, charging that Peiping was clearly stalling and guilty of bad faith. Again, as in summer 1956, the press campaign compelled the Chinese leaders to resume top-level talks. Chen Yi told the Burmese ambassador at a banquet on 31 July that a letter soon to be sent from Chou En-lai to Premier U Nu would "eliminate" the argument of the Burmese press that the Chinese are unwilling to negotiate. Chen declared: "If we go on discussing, nobody will be able to make up stories" — an undiplomatic bit of outspokenness which led Hla Haung to report that Chen, who had revealed that the primary aim of the Chinese in resuming border talks was to keep Burmese newspapers "muzzled up," was "not so sharp" as Chou. At the same banquet, Chou took the line that the prevailing no-settlement situation favored Rangoon. Chou told Hla Haung that the present indefinite border arrangement was to Burma's advantage because Rangoon continued to administer small areas claimed by Peiping in the Kachin and Shan states. When Hla Maung countered by saying a definitive agreement would silence those who seek to drive a wedge between the two countries, Chou temperately advised that he not listen to "third parties" and reassured the envoy that Peiping would negotiate the border question within the framework of the five principles. The general implication of Chou 'a remarks was that Burma should rest content with the status quo.

The new prime minister Ne Win, began to press the Chinese more vigorously than his predecessor, U Nu. Ne Win is [DELETE] reported to have told Burmese officials in January 1959 that the new ambassador to China would make a fresh approach to Peiping regarding the unresolved border dispute. The new prime minister may have been encouraged to order a new attempt to ascertain the Chinese leaders' position on a settlement because the Chinese were making aerial surveys of certain portions of the border. Ne Win indicated to the Chinese that he was prepared to confirm the concessions, made by U Nu informally to Chou En-lai in November 1956, of the three border villages in the Hpimaw area and the Namwan leased tract, but was unwilling to surrender any territory where the boundary had been formally established in the past. If the Chinese were to remain adamant on concluding an agreement, Ne Win stated in early May to Burmese officials, he would consider cancelling Chinese civil aviation rights in Burma. Ne Win subsequently proposed that Peiping accept a group of proposals as a package, but in June 1959, Chen Yi riposted by telling the new Burmese ambassador that the "package deal" had to be "studied" and hinted there might be no solution for some time, as }interested" racial minorities — primarily Tibetans — had to be "consulted" regarding any border settlement. Chen repeatedly stressed the need for cordial relations and stated that whether the question of "conceding a little portion here or there" is agreed upon or not, "it is the friendship that really counts." Ne Win apparently had anticipated further Chinese stalling and had informed the American ambassador in mid-May that his "package deal" would be withdrawn in December and that he would then proceed with a harder line in dealing with the Chinese.

The August and October 1959 clashes between Chinese and Indian forces apparently led the Chinese leaders to review the advantages and disadvantages of granting the Burmese a border settlement. They apparently calculated that an agreement with Rangoon would make it more difficult for New Delhi to reject negotiations on the Sino-Indian border dispute. In October 1959, the Chinese ambassador in Rangoon characterized Ne Win's package proposal as being "very near the mark." Rangoon informed Peiping on 4 November that if the Chinese were indeed prepared to accept the package — containing the maximum concessions Burma was willing to make — Ne Win would personally come to China to formalize "an agreement in principle" on the border issue. The Burmese also indicated willingness to accept the Chinese suggestion that a treaty of friendship and nonaggression accompany the border accord. [DELETE] Chou invited New Win to Peiping to hold talks on "matters of principle on how to settle" the dispute. Chou promised that these talks would "promote concrete discussions and settlement" of the border issue. Chou's stress on reaching an agreement on principles first of all was similar to the line he was taking with Nehru — i.e. his letter of 17 December— that lower level talks would bog down unless "some agreements on principles" were reached by the premiers. Thus by December 1959, the Chinese seemed to be pressing the Burmese to begin serious talks for a final settlement. Diplomats from almost every East European mission in Peiping had approached the Burmese first secretary in December and suggested that the time was "opportune" for the Chinese to agree to a settlement, suggesting a new, concerted effort to arrange a quick agreement with Rangoon.

In January 1960, Chou moved adroitly to bring Prime Minister Ne Win quickly to Peiping. Ne Win had rejected Chou's invitation on 3 January, requesting that Peiping accept in advance Burma's June 1959 package proposals as the condition for coming to China and initialing a border agreement. In a letter of 12 January, Chou repeated his 22 December invitation and carefully avoided mentioning Ne Win's condition. Chou said he felt it would be "very useful" toward promoting a settlement if Ne Win were to give him the chance to explain the Chinese government's position and to discuss "matters of principle" for eliminating the remaining differences. Chou was also careful to minimize the points of disagreement between the two sides as "relatively small." Ne Win responded by dropping his condition of prior Chinese acceptance of the "package deal" and informed Chou that he could arrive on 23 January for three days — sufficient time, he hoped, "to eliminate the relatively small difference" between the positions. He arrived on 24 January [DELETE]. The Burmese felt that the Chinese had made concessions and that the remaining differences could be referred to a "joint commission." On 28 January, four days after Ne Win arrived in Peiping, NCNA announced the signing of a border agreement and a treaty of friendship and mutual non aggression.

Thus, in striking contrast with his footdragging since early 1956, Chou had moved with considerable speed in order to conclude an "agreement on principles." He apparently calculated that it would be seen by neutrals and New Delhi as analogous to the "agreement on principles" he was trying to obtain from Nehru and would help to promote similar negotiations with New Delhi. Chou seemed to believe that Nehru would find it difficult to maintain that talks on "principles" with the Chinese would serve no useful purpose before the "facts" were agreed on. That this is what Chou was driving at is indicated by the following sentence in the 29 January Peiping People's Daily editorial on the accord:

This agreement proves that on such a complicated question as the boundary issue, it is a practical and feasible means conducive to a speedy solution of the question for the premiers of two nations to reach, first of all, an agreement in principle and then to leave to the representatives of both parties to work out a concrete settlement.

This statement directly contradicted, and was intended to refute, Nehru's 21 December reply to Chou in which the Indian Prime Minister had maintained that such high-level discussions of principles were pointless when both sides had not yet agreed on the facts.

Following his return to Rangoon, Ne Win on 30 January told Burmese officials that the Rangoon-claimed "1941 line" in the Wa State area would not change except for an area of about five miles, that the Chinese also accepted Burma's position on the watershed boundary for the Kachin State — which would be formally determined by a joint border commission — and that the Chinese had backed off from their original demand of about 500 square miles regarding the Hpimaw area, asking instead for an area of between 50 and 100 square miles. In sum, Ne Win stated (with slight exaggeration) that the Chinese had been so eager to obtain a settlement that Burma could have received "anything" it demanded, and the Burmese Military Training Director concluded that Burma had done "quite well" with the Chinese. [16]

As for the Chinese, they were not only better armed to press New Delhi for ministerial talks (on the Chou-Ne Win pattern), but also were in a tactically better position than they had been to undercut Nehru's likely line of argument with Khrushchev regarding Chinese intransigence. Ne Win speculated on 30 January that the Chinese had been "quite anxious" to settle the Sino-Burma border dispute prior to Khrushchev's stopover in New Delhi en route to Djakarta. [17]

The Chou-Nehru Talks; 19-25 April 1960

The Chinese extensively exploited the Sino-Burmese agreement to disarm the arguments of neutral critics and critics in the Soviet bloc that Peiping was unwilling to settle its border disputes amicably. They hoped it would provide them with an important propaganda instrument for promoting discussions with New Delhi. [18] Chinese anxiety in early 1960 to arrange a Chou-Nehru meeting and Nehru's tactical decision of late January not to appear intransigent prepared the way for ministerial-level talks. Ambassador Parthasarathy left for Peiping on 9 February, carrying a carefully drafted Indian note replying to the Chinese note of 26 December as well as Nehru's letter to Chou. [DELETE] the Indian note was drafted in such a way as to indicate that New Delhi was not opposed to a Chou-Nehru meeting. The note did not mention the earlier pre-conditions of Chinese withdrawal from Ladakh and explicit acceptance of the McMahon line. Nehru's 5 February letter to Chou also significantly omitted these stipulations.

Constantly under pressure from Parliament and the press not to take a soft line with Peiping, Nehru was compelled to make even an agreement "to meet" with Chou appear as part of a hard, anti-China policy. Prior to surfacing his invitation to Chou, Nehru on 12 February responded to opponents in Parliament in such a way as to create the impression that he was against even meeting with Chou. Actually, he had been careful to reject only "negotiations" but not a face-to-face meeting:

I see no ground whatever at present, no bridge between the Chinese position and ours....There is nothing to negotiate at present. Whether that will arise later I cannot say.

These remarks, carrying a hard tone and indicating a firm line of no negotiations, brought cheers from Parliament. However, parliamentary and press tempers were rekindled on 15 February, when the government released the texts of (1) Nehru's 5 February letter to Chou inviting him to a meeting in India and (2) the Indian 12 February reply to Peiping's 26 December note. The finesse of Ministry of External Affairs officials in handling the press by briefings had minimized adverse public reaction but did not stifle all criticism. On 16 February, the Times characterized Nehru's alleged reversal as "astonishing. . . nourishing dangerous illusions" and the Hindustan Standard referred to the whole matter as "insulting" to Parliament and the country. Nehru is reliably reported to have been disturbed by even this limited reaction and to have laid on a further "off-the-record" Ministry of External Affairs press briefing.

Nehru's 5 February letter to Chou agreed to a meeting but not to negotiations. Nehru restated his position (16 November 1959 letter to Chou) that the Chinese and Indian positions were so wide apart that there was little ground left for useful talks and that "certain preliminary steps" — the meeting of experts, to discuss historical data and alignment — would have facilitated discussions. Nehru then flatly asserted that the Chinese claim that the entire border had never been delimited was "incorrect...; on that basis there can be no negotiations." Nevertheless, in the interest of exploring every avenue for a settlement, Nehru finally agreed that "it might be helpful for us to meet," and thereupon issued his invitation for Chou to come to India some time after mid-March. Nehru defended this formal invitation in Parliament on 16 February, calmly insisting that no policy change was involved: he had always said he was prepared "to meet" anybody, anywhere, as this was ingrained from 40 years of training.

Nehru therefore apparently viewed a meeting as a tactic to appear amenable to a peaceful settlement and to probe Chinese long-term intentions, but he did not intend to make the concessions the Chinese considered necessary for a settlement of the border dispute. [19]

The Indian note of 12 February covered in greater detail the basic premise of Nehru's letter to Chou. It reiterated that New Delhi was prepared to discuss only specific disputes regarding the location of places on the border and to make minor border rectifications where agreed necessary. As for determining the entire border on a new basis, "such a basis for negotiations would ignore past history, custom, tradition, and international agreements, and is, therefore, entirely unacceptable to the Government of India." The note then argued in support of India's case for the watershed principle, complaining that Peiping "seems unaware that "traditional boundaries in mountainous areas tend to follow the main watershed rather than any other natural feature....That the alignment of the northern boundary of India throughout follows the major watershed supports the fact that this became the boundary through custom and tradition." After applying the watershed principle to Ladakh, the note stated that the line along this western sector of the border had been fixed and "well recognized" from the 17th century onward and that the Chinese complaint that this sector was not delimited was in fact supported by evidence which shows only that the boundary "was not demarcated on the ground."

The note's point-by- point rebuttal of the Chinese position as set forth on 26 December 1959 was accompanied by remarks designed to repair the damage done to the Sino-Indian relationship. It stressed the urgent need for an interim understanding to avoid a further worsening of the situation — i.e more border clashes — and the need to do everything possible to remove misunderstanding and restore traditional friendship. This appeal for a more normal relationship was intended to provide a tone conducive to a Chou-Nehru meeting, after the attempt, in 14 pages, to destroy the Chinese case for defining the border anew.

The firmness of Nehru's letter and the Indian note on the unbridgeable gap between the Chinese and Indian positions was intended partly to scotch rumors that Nehru, Ministry of External Affairs officials, and the Indian military chiefs were willing to exchange the Aksai Plain for formal Chinese recognition of the McMahon line. Such rumors had been fed by Krishna Menon's slip in a speech which was brought to light by the Hindustan Times editor on 1 February. Menon apparently stated that India would not yield... any part of our administered territory along the border." There were other indications that the rumors had some basis in fact. [DELETE] Ministry of External Affairs officials had been considering in February a possible formula for Ladakh entailing some form of international status for the road traversing the Aksai Plain. Moreover, after receiving Chou's reply, Nehru reportedly told President Prasad on 29 February that in talking with Chou, he would adhere to the public policy set forth in New Delhi's notes, but would try to avoid appearing intransigent. If Chou remained adamant on Ladakh, he might agree to neutralizing the area occupied by the Chinese if an adequately supervised agreement could be reached whereby the road linking Sinkiang with Tibet could be used by both countries. From questions directed to him on 1 March by a Ministry of External Affairs official, regarding cases in international law where one country [China] had access through a second country [India] to a portion of its own territory which was cut off from the motherland by natural barriers, an American embassy officer gained the definite Impression that the Indian leaders were searching for some sanction in international practice which would permit Nehru to propose Chinese use of the road while retaining nominal Indian sovereignty over the Aksai Plain. [20]

Chou's reply to Nehru's invitation was devoid of rancor and again indicated Peiping's desire for an early meeting. In contrast to his letters to Nehru since January 1959, Chou's 26 February 1960 letter accepting Nehru's invitation and setting April as the time avoided any discussion of substance on the border dispute — particularly the claim that the entire border was undelimited— and thus appeared accommodating to Nehru's refusal to negotiate on this basis. Chou described Sino-Indian differences as "temporary," implying a willingness to compromise, and characterized the border clashes of fall 1959 as "Unfortunate and unexpected," implying Peiping had not planned them and even regretted them. Chou was also prepared to relinquish some "face" by coming to New Delhi, reversing the implication of his 17 December 1959 letter that India was not a suitable site for talks because of "activities hostile to Sino-Indian friendship." Nehru had twice refused Chou's invitation, and Chou's acceptance despite this record was another small concession of "face," evidencing Peiping's urgent desire to mollify the Indians [21] and work toward an overall border settlement.

The Chinese acted to create an impression of confidence that the meeting would bring satisfactory results. Ambassador Parthasarathy reported his impression from Peiping on 7 March that the Chinese were prepared to compromise. At the same time, Deputy Foreign Secretary Mehta had noted that whereas New Delhi was approaching the meeting in terms of improving relations, Chinese notes and Chou's latest letter had stressed a border "settlement." [DELETE]

The Chinese tried to make the impression of their willingness to negotiate a settlement even more credible by acting quickly to sign a border agreement with Nepal. Nepalese Prime Minister Koirala arrived in China on 11 March at Chou En-lai's invitation, apprehensive that the Chinese intended to take a hard line with him. However, his discussions with Chou apparently went along without a major hitch — although the Chinese tabled a claim to Mt. Everest — and on 29 March Koirala signed with Chou a Sino-Nepalese border agreement calling for the entire boundary to be delineated and demarcated "on the basis of the traditional customary line." As with the Sino-Burmese border agreement of 28 January, the Sino-Nepalese accord established a joint commission to discuss and solve various questions of detail, conduct border surveys, erect boundary markers, and draft a border "treaty." Thus the Nepalese were used in roughly the same manner as the Burmese; that is, they were persuaded to settle their border differences with China in a two-step process, first agreeing to principles and the establishment of a joint commission and then working out a final treaty. The 21 March agreement provided for the mutual cessation of armed patrolling within a 12-1/2 mile zone from the border — a proposal for a quasi-demilitarized zone similar to one made by Chou earlier and rejected by Nehru for the Sino-Indian border. It also called for determining the border line in accordance with terrain features and the "actual jurisdiction" by each side, and, where actual jurisdiction was disputed, teams dispatched by the joint commission were to ascertain actual control "on the spot." The Peiping People's Daily stressed on 25 March that all border disputes between China and its neighbors could be solved by taking into account the historical background and the "present actual conditions" and by maintaining the status quo, citing the agreement with Burma as well as Nepal. Shortly after Koirala arrived in Peiping, the chief editor of a Hong Kong Communist newspaper told his staff that Peiping hoped the cordiality of the talks between the Nepalese and Chinese prime ministers would be noted by India, [22] and later at an "exclusive interview with NCNA" in Hong Kong on 25 March, Koirala was quoted as follows:

I think the present unhappy condition between China and India should be ended and I hope the coming talks between Premier Chou and Premier Nehru will be successful.

Chinese maneuvering prior to the Chou-Nehru meeting was incessant. For example, Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials informed the Burmese ambassador in late March that Chou planned a stopover in Rangoon from 16 to 18 April with "nothing particular in mind" except that he hoped the instruments of ratification of the Sino-Burma border agreement could be exchanged during his stay. On 7 April, the Burmese were [DELETE] reported rushing preparations to ratify the border agreement and friendship treaty. Rangoon's Director of Military Training, Maung Maung, [DELETE] conceded that these two accords were being used as propaganda weapons by Peiping, but Burma "had to look out for itself."

The Chinese indicated that they were coming to engage in more than a mere exchange of generalities and historical arguments and that they expected positive concrete results. When, in late March, Chou (through the Indian ambassador) indicated to Nehru his intention to spend six days in New Delhi — despite Nehru's busy schedule — and that he would come at the head of a high-level delegation to arrive 30-strong in three aircraft, Nehru and his Ministry of External Affairs advisers were somewhat taken aback. They had seen nothing in the substance of Peiping 's notes that would necessitate a business-like delegation and a long visit. When asked at an off-the-record news conference on 5 April what Chou would be doing for six days in New Delhi, Nehru replied that Chou was quite capable of talking steadily for three or four hours at a stretch, but did not further elaborate. On the same day, Nehru informed the cabinet Foreign Affairs Subcommittee that Peiping's 3 April note merely reiterated earlier Chinese positions — including a denial that the entire boundary follows the Indian-cited watershed — and Nehru expressed total pessimism on the possible outcome of his meeting with Chou: "I may have to break off the talks in two days." [23]

As Nehru contemplated and discussed the line to take with Chou, the advice he received from various quarters was to be adamant. During discussions in New Delhi in early April, Nasir urged him to resist Chinese territorial demands, and Sukarno warned that "Any weakening on your part will have a strongly adverse effect on Asian resistance to Communism." President Prasad repeatedly counselled Nehru not to make any concessions to Chou, and on 13 April wrote to the Prime Minister in order to ensure that future generations would have no cause to blame those who took part in the freedom struggle for any "capitulation" now. Ambassador Parthasarathy implied to American officials in Hong Kong on 12 April that he was concerned that Nehru might be taken in by Chou and, on arriving in New Delhi, he suggested to Nehru that Indian's policy can only be to reject firmly all Chinese territorial claims. In addition, the press and Opposition leaders — the latter in a 4 April letter — admonished Nehru not to concede any Indian territory.

Thus Chou, who came with a real hope [24] of gaining agreement in principle that the border was not delimited and therefore subject to negotiation, was confronted by an Indian prime minister who was more adamant than anticipated. Nehru's plan was to reject substantive negotiations pending Chinese withdrawal from the Askai Plain. His tactic was to exclude advisers from the talks as long as possible in order "to have it out personally" with Chou for two or three days.

From the very start of Chou's visit, Nehru used unusually direct language. At the airport on 19 April, Nehru stated that since Chou's last visit in 1956 events had placed a great strain on Sino-Indian friendship and had shocked India, imperiling the relationship at present and in the future. On 20 April, Nehru spent most of his first two-hour talks with Chou lecturing the latter on "ancient history" of the border. After Chou responded by maintaining that the Aksai Plain belonged to China and that Chinese engineers, having found no administration in the area, simply had gone ahead with building the road, Nehru decided to give Chou more "lectures." Chou ran into a stone wall even with his old friend, Defense Minister Krishna Menon, whom Nehru conspicuously had excluded, for domestic political reasons, from his advisory entourage but whom Chou requested [25] to see "to thank him for support in the UN." Menon reportedly told Chou on 20 April that no part of Indian territory would be yielded and that the Chinese should take advantage of the fact that Nehru's government was more friendly to China than any subsequent Indian government could be, implying that Chou should make some concession.

On 21 April, Chou continued to depart from diplomatic precedent by resuming his effort to influence Indian leaders in separate, private talks — a tactic Nehru had not anticipated but did not try to block. Chou's separate talk with Home minister Pant on 21 April was essentially another lecture, as Pant spoke bluntly and with some heat on the theme of "We feel betrayed." Finance Minister Desai did not mince words when he took his turn with Chou on 22 April. When Chou was stimulated to criticizing New Delhi for granting asylum to the Dalai Lama, Desai was [DELETE] reported to have replied: "You should be the last person to object to political asylum. Where would you be today if political asylum had not been given to Lenin?" On the same day, when Chou told Vice President Radhakrishnan — also at a separate talk — that he could not convince "the Chinese people" that Ladakh and the Aksai Plain in particular did not belong to them because of the legends going back to the 12th century which supported Chinese claims, the vice president reportedly replied that on such a basis India could claim Kandahar, Kabul, and many other areas including parts of China. Radhakrishnan went on to nettle Chou with the comment that "You have hurt us deeply, and it is surprising you don't know it!" Thus at the end of three days of almost uninterrupted discussions with Nehru and top officials, Chou had not made a dent in the Indian position on Ladakh and had shown no willingness to agree to Nehru's suggestion that Chinese troops be withdrawn from "occupied" areas.

Chou's public and private remarks made it clear that the Chinese had tried to gain from Indian officials an exchange of the NEfA for Chinese-occupied Ladakh. The 27 April circular message to Indian embassies stated that the Chinese "throughout the discussions had invariably linked Ladakh with the NEFA and stressed that the same principles of settling the boundary must govern both areas. It was also obvious that if we accepted the line claimed by China in Ladakh, they would accept the McMahon line." At one point in their long conversations, Chou reportedly had offered to withdraw Chinese troops from Longju as a friendly gesture, and Nehru had responded by offering a withdrawal of some Indian forces at one point in Ladakh, but during the final drafting of the communique, Chou was again adamant and dropped his original offer. Regarding a future meeting, Chou proposed that a statement to that effect be included in the communique as well as the phrase, "and we hope this border dispute will be solved forever;" Nehru rejected both proposals and agreed only orally to meet with Chou on condition that the talks to be held by subordinate officials produced concrete progress. [26] At his 25 April press conference — reportedly held despite official Indian disapproval — Chou professed willingness to come again to New Delhi if necessary for Sino-Indian amity. Thus the most Chou was able to salvage from the total deadlock was some leeway to give an impression of partial success and the impression also that the talks would be continued.

The failure of Chou's probe for a soft spot in the position of Nehru and his advisers [27] was clearly indicated in the 25 April communique he issued with Nehru. The talks had led to a "better" understanding of opposing views but "did not resolve the differences that had arisen." Nehru rejected Chou's proposal to include in the communique that he would meet again with Chou. All that Nehru did agree to was to turn the issue over to subordinate officials of both countries, who were to meet from June to September to examine, check, and study the historical evidence of each side and draft a joint report on points of "agreement and disagreement" but they were not empowered to recommend a solution. Failure was also reflected in Chou's formal statement to a press conference in New Delhi on 25 April, when he conceded there were "still distances" between the two countries on six points "of proximity" including the matter of patrolling along the border. After reading this prepared statement, Chou answered questions and made a comment about the border, drawing distinctions between the three sectors. The differences (1) in the central sector were "small... and only on particular areas," (2) in the eastern sector were minor because the Chinese would not cross the so-called McMahon line and "we have not set forth any territorial claims," and (3) in the Western sector were "bigger" because the Chinese asked New Delhi to take a similar stand — i.e. in return for Chinese acceptance of the NEFA status quo, "India was asked not to cross the line which appears on Chinese maps" in Ladakh — but New Delhi "has not entirely agreed ." [28] Regarding Longju, Chou insisted to the Journalists that it was Chinese territory and north of the McMahon line. Trying to salvage a modicum of goodwill, Chou referred to his formal statement that the dispute is only "temporary" and invited Nehru to come to Peiping when convenient for further talks and "to promote friendly relations." An Indian circular message of 27 April summed up the results of Chou's visit in terse language — "The views of the two governments remain as far apart as before" — and directed Indian embassies to rebutt the final impression Chou sought to create at his surprise news conference (at which he issued what was, in effect, a unilateral communique) that each side now appreciated the other's point of view better or that there was a prospect for a "settlement."

When Chou and his delegation had left for Katmandu, Nehru apparently decided to insist publicly that the "wrong" must be undone — that is, that the Chinese vacate, their "aggression." During his talks with Chou, his attitude had been that the dispute could not be settled by bargaining or by an exchange but rather by Chinese withdrawals in Ladakh. Chou's position was that if they were to withdraw, nothing would be left to negotiate about. Nehru told Parliament on 26 April that India's entire argument was based on "Chinese forces having come into our territory." Returning from Nepal — where he had signed a Treaty of Peace and Friendship (not a non-aggression pact as Chou had proposed in March in Peiping) and had tried to sooth tempers aroused by Peiping' s claim to Mt. Everest during his March 1960 talks with Koirala — Chou on 29 April stated in Calcutta with faintly concealed pique that Nehru had never mentioned aggression during their New Delhi talks and that such an accusation after the Chinese departure was "unfriendly." The Chou-Nehru relationship had fallen to its lowest point ever.
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Tue Mar 17, 2020 5:36 am

Part 3 of 4

The Chou-Nehru "Understanding" on Border Patrolling

Chou did not gain from Nehru an explicit, formal agreement to stop sending out Indian patrols. He believed, nevertheless, that an informal mutual understanding had been reached to suspend forward patrolling. The Chinese premier had indicated in his 25 April formal statement in New Delhi that both sides had agreed that "all efforts" should be made to avoid clashes. However, this had not been written into the 25 April communique. Chou also stated at his press conference that there were "still distances" between the two sides on the matter of "refraining from patrolling all along the border." Nevertheless, that some form of a verbal mutual understanding had been reached was suggested by the fact that Nehru in Parliament on 29 April did not contradict an opponent who claimed that Nehru had agreed with Chou to stop sending out patrols. The Indian Director of Military Intelligence had told the American military attache on 26 April that Chinese forward patrolling had ceased and that the Indians would take no action which might provoke border incidents. [DELETE]

The apparent informal oral understanding temporarily to cease sending out forward patrols did not affect New Delhi's program of reinforcement in Ladakh. Nehru reportedly told President Prasad on 25 April that regardless of the outcome of his talks with Chou, police constabulary units would be replaced by regular army units and that the government would press forward with the development of the entire border area and with the construction of communication lines and new roads. At the opening of the National Defense College on 27 April, Nehru described the border situation as "an entirely new danger" which required an overall defense strategy based on "realistic and not idealistic grounds." However, regarding the important matter of acquiring military aid from the West, as suggested by some newspapers and members of Parliament, Nehru on 29 April vigorously reiterated his national go-it-alone policy of "non-alignment."

On 3 June, a Chinese patrol of about 25 men crossed into Indian-claimed territory in the Kameng Division of the NEFA and penetrated to Taksang Monastery about 4.5 miles south of the McMahon line. [DELETE] 'It was not until 29 July that New Delhi formally protested the Chinese incursion and not until 12 August that the matter was made public in Parliament. In reporting the incident, deputy minister of External Affairs Mrs. Lakshmi Menon stated that the Chinese patrol withdrew "when the attention of the local people was drawn to their presence." Nehru himself, attempting to counter questions from the Opposition, stressed that the Chinese had come and gone stealthily — "like thieves in the night avoiding places where they might be seen." Nehru in effect conceded that there had been a "provisional understanding" with Chou to cease forward patrolling, by stating that Peiping had committed "a breach of the understanding." [29]

Actually, the Chou-Nehru "understanding" had not resulted in a complete suspension of patrol activity but rather in certain restrictions on the scope of such activity. As explained to an American official on 19 August by a senior Ministry of External Affairs official, the understanding between the two prime ministers had been not to send out forward patrols beyond the point of "actual control." Patrols apparently continued to operate within the border area up to the line of actual control as interpreted by each side. The Indian official admitted that there were no boundary markings, making it easy for a patrol to cross the watershed without realizing it. [30] Nevertheless, he believed that the Chinese were engaged in probing actions to extend their area of control.

Chinese Patrolling Policy: 1960

Following the Chou-Nehru talks, the Chinese leaders in summer and fall 1960 apparently employed a two-fold policy of (1) ceasing regular patrol activity in their self-imposed demilitarized zones along the border, while (2) on occasion sending out reconnaissance parties in the immediate vicinity of their border posts. The primary goal was to reduce further the possibility of armed clashes, clashes which had hurt them politically.

The first part of the policy was directed toward this goal. According to a captured Chinese Communist document which had been issued by the Tibet Military Region Command Headquarters of the PLA on 14 November 1960, all border troops were to exercise extreme restraint. The document, which was used for troop indoctrination on border policy, quoted from the Border Defense Principles for the Southwest Regions — a high-level policy guide which had been ''approved by the party Central Committee and Chairman Mao" — on the need to maintain command discipline:  

...within a certain distance on our side of the border, patrols are not permitted. At the same time, when armed personnel from the neighboring country create provocations and begin to attack, they must be warned to halt their attack and to withdraw within their own boundary. Even though the warning proves ineffective, it is uniformly forbidden to counterattack before receiving orders from higher levels . . . [emphasis supplied]

This stipulation apparently had stirred some of the PLA rank and file to question its feasibility in tactical situations. The document charged that "some people" agree with the party's overall border policy, but find it very difficult to carry out. They complain, and, in fact, "do not have enough faith in the border struggle policy." One of the complaints cited was the following:

If the armed personnel of the neighboring country do not listen to our warnings and with great bombast and arrogance carry out aggression, what should we do? If they cannot be trusted and, on the contrary, surround us, blocking our way, what then?

The answer missed the mark, cautioning troops first not to "speculate" about what might occur, then rejecting as a probability large-scale attacks, and finally begging the question of what to do if confrontations did occur. It concluded merely by reiterating a blanket political directive to await orders from "higher levels," of which the highest turned out to be the party central committee. Presumably, military moves against the Indian border forces were to be taken on even the smallest scale only on direct order from the Tibet Region Command Headquarters, which may have acted only, even in tactical situations, on instructions from Peiping. Although the regional headquarters may have had some tactical command autonomy, the patrols seem to have had virtually none:

Matters concerning border defense, whether large or small, must be accurately reported to higher levels and instructions requested. We cannot be negligent or get big ideas. Even less can we handle things on our own.

As for military action against the Tibetan rebels, it was to take place well within Tibet's borders: "no combat near the borders ... these rebels would be lured into deep penetration" and then annihilated.

The second part of the policy called for maintaining accurate intelligence on Indian and Tibetan-rebel military moves through some reconnaissance activity. The captured document stated:

If we just sit at our posts and know nothing of conditions, we will be unable to prevent or expose the provocations and attacks of the reactionaries or to make preparations to meet an actual development. The regulation calling for cessation of patrols along the border does not mean that reconnaissance and the understanding of conditions are prohibited. The strengthening of vigilance and caution at the various posts and the use of reconnaissance to observe the local situation is still necessary.

Reconnaissance activity apparently was restricted to the area in the immediate locale of the border posts. There were, of course, other means of collecting military intelligence on Indian and Tibetan-rebel positions and movements.

These included the use of border tribal people, primarily Tibetans. In discussing reasons for maintaining the good will of border peoples, the documents made the following comment:

Strong points [or, camps] can be set up only on passes that overlook the routes and highways. It is impossible to establish defenses at points all along the border. Thus there will be a great expanse of empty ground, and, under these conditions, we have to depend on the broad masses of the people to plug these gaps and prevent penetration by the enemy and bad elements. If the enemy does penetrate, he can be detected readily and his progress made difficult. In order to prevent border penetrations by armed personnel of the neighboring state and to firmly, deliberately, and fiercely attack returning rebels, we must have timely collection of various kinds of intelligence and immediate knowledge of and reaction to the enemy's moves ...

Partly to meet this military-intelligence requirement, the "mass line" of the PLA in Tibet was to be implemented rigorously. However, it clashed directly with the policy of annihilating the Tibetan rebels, many of whose relatives and friends were the very same "masses" the Chinese were trying to use. The reference to great gaps in the defense line— which was not really a "line" but rather a series of widely separated posts — suggests that even if there had been an active and extensive patrol policy in fall 1960, the Chinese would have been unable to cover the entire border.

The imposition of more stringent limitations on patrolling despite Indian moves up to the border and Tibetan raids across it apparently led to grumbling among the PLA rank and file. The captured document tried to provide a rationale for defensiveness and caution. It insisted that the whole border struggle was primarily a political, foreign policy matter and only secondarily a military matter.

Repeatedly, it stressed that a restrained patrol policy was "absolutely not a show of weakness," but rather a display of "the scope of our political vision." It cuttingly attacked the "purely military" viewpoint of certain unnamed PLA personnel:

We absolutely cannot view the provocations and attacks of the neighboring country on our border merely from the pure military standpoint. We must not replace policies with emotions and erroneously regard the struggle strategy of avoiding armed clashes as an indication that we are weaker than the neighboring country, or that this strategy means that the military has abandoned its duty of protecting the fatherland. If we view things in this way, we will not be able to remain cool when we encounter the armed personnel of the neighboring country carrying out provocations and creating confusion. Our emotions would overwhelm us and we would be unable to refrain from striking out. We would not look to the larger situation and would not ask for orders or wait for directions from above before opening fire and striking back. In that case, we might gain a greater military victory, but politically we would fall into the trap of the other side and would cause only great injury to the party and state — the biggest mistake. [emphasis supplied]

The detrimental consequences of a "purely military" viewpoint were described for PLA border personnel by drawing on the foreign policy repercussions of the Sino-Nepalese clash of 28 June near Mustang. [32] The document referred to the 1960 incident as providing a "painful lesson," the results of which should be seen as harmful to China's foreign policy effort:

Imperialism and foreign reactionaries used this incident to slander us, create an atmosphere of crisis, and stir up trouble in our relations with Nepal, plotting to start another anti-Chinese movement to put us politically on the defensive. Our country not only paid an indemnity, but Premier Chou En-lai made a formal apology on behalf of our government to the government of Nepal.

We can see from this that the military can only serve the political struggle. If we ignore our political duties and simply fight for the sake of fighting, we not only miss the point about fighting, but also inevitably make mistakes and cause losses to the fatherland. We must, therefore, solemnly accept the painful lesson of the Keli Pass incident and take it as a warning. . .We must have strict discipline and resolutely and unswervingly implement the policies and regulations of the party.

On 29 June, one day after the incident, Katmandu had protested officially to Peiping, charging that the Chinese had killed a Nepalese checkpost officer and had arrested 15 Nepalese nationals. The Nepalese complained that the attack had been unprovoked and constituted a violation of the agreement reached in March 1960 demilitarizing the Sino-Nepalese border. Prime Minister Koirala continued to press Chou through letters for an explanation, and on 11 July sent a third letter to the Chinese premier, demanding that Chinese troops be pulled back 12-1/2 miles from the border as agreed on in March and threatening to delay the start of the Sino-Nepalese joint commission talks on border demarcation. Starting on 30 June, Chou reportedly sent a total of four letters in reply, trying to mollify the angered Nepalese. Chou admitted that the incident was the result of Chinese "carelessness," expressed regret, and accepted Nepalese demands for compensation— all this in an effort to prevent the Nepalese from extensively publicizing the Chinese military action and thereby providing New Delhi with an exploitable event. Chou reportedly offered "profuse apologies" for the action of Chinese troops in extracting "confessions" from the Nepalese villagers captured during the incident, and then stated that Chinese troops had been withdrawn from the Sino-Nepalese demilitarized zone. The only thing Chou failed to do in this almost abject apology was to admit that Chinese troops had entered Nepalese territory. To have done so would have been tantamount to admitting that China had committed aggression.

The captured document suggests that the Mustang incident damaged Peiping's "foreign policy struggle" sufficiently to have stimulated the Chinese leaders to order the Tibet Military Region command Headquarters to intensify troop indoctrination on the matter of avoiding border firefights. The primary purpose of the document seems, therefore; to have been to provide the basic rationale for a border policy of restraint. The document stated that the objective of indoctrination was to make PLA units "correctly understand the great significance of avoiding armed clashes and to make them understand that the regulations ... are not a show of weakness. . .or a compromise of principle, but rather a policy which is active and has initiative." The basic rationale was developed in steps. It was centered on the proposition that "defense along the Tibet border is, at present, primarily a political struggle and a struggle in foreign relations." The argument then proceeded to define New Delhi's foreign policy motives and its major goal:

The main objective of the reactionary and expansionist elements of the neighboring country in provoking and attacking us is not to occupy [more] big chunks of our land, or to provoke a large-scale war. Their objective is to attempt to use the border confusion to create a situation of crisis along the border, develop pretexts, write many articles, and thus whip up anti-Chinese and anti-Communist sentiment, attack the lofty prestige of our country, destroy the influence of socialism, force us to accept their unreasonable demands, and plot to remain in vast areas of our territory indefinitely. [emphasis supplied]

This part of the argument apparently contained the Chinese leaders' probable estimate, in fall 1960, of Indian tactics. From this discussion of motives, the rationale moved to its conclusion, i.e. the need "to expose" New Delhi's plots by exercising military restraint. This larger significance of restraint was presented as providing Peiping with a definite foreign policy advantage:

By doing our utmost to avoid armed clashes with them, we make their provocations and tricks politically unfeasible. . .Thus, in the political and foreign policy struggle, we will be in the position of initiative, reason, and advantage from beginning to end.

In sum, the document suggests that, by fall 1960, the Chinese leaders were trying to prevent further Indian and Soviet bloc criticism of their aggressiveness by reducing the number of regular border patrols and intensifying the indoctrination of PLA border forces on the matter of military caution. However, some reconnaissance was to continue in the immediate vicinity of Chinese border posts. They stressed to these forces the detrimental political effects of border skirmishes — even if "a great military victory" were attained — and probably estimated that New Delhi did not intend to re-take large areas of Chinese-held border territory because the Indians did not have the military capability to do so. Two Chinese "Lines" of Actual Control: 1956 and 1960

The cessation of regular forward patrolling not only did not mean the end of limited reconnaissance near existing Chinese posts, but also did not mean the end of surreptitious construction of new posts at specially selected points. Although new posts had been established earlier, it was primarily as a result of the Tibetan revolt of March 1959 that the Chinese moved stealthily to establish even more posts at scattered points in Ladakh, particularly in the more inaccessible valleys. The 21 October 1959 clash was a clear indication that the Chinese had moved forward on the western sector, as the clash occurred near Hot Spring, southwest of their previous Kongka Pass positions. These thinly scattered posts may have been set up even beyond the "line" of actual control claimed by Chou En-lai in 1956 and confirmed by him in November and December 1959.

The 1956 Chinese-claimed "line" had been confirmed by Chou in his letter to Nehru on 17 December 1959. Chou had stated that, "As a matter of fact, the Chinese map published in 1956, to which Your Excellency referred, correctly shows the traditional boundary between the two countries in this [western' sector." However, in late 1960, the Indian border experts noted that in their talks with the Chinese experts, Peiping was claiming a new "line." The Indian Report stated:

But the map given to the Indian side by the Chinese side under Item One differed considerably from the map of 1956 which Premier Chou En-lai had declared to be correct. For instance, the map given to the Indian side showed the alignment from the Karakorara Pass to the Chang Chenmo valley to the west of the alignment shown in the 1956 map; and it cut Pangong Lake to the west of where it was cut in the 1956 map. There was divergence, therefore, not merely among Chinese official maps but between the alignment confirmed by Premier Chou En-lai last year and that claimed by the Chinese side this year at these meetings, [emphasis supplied]

This charge was soon to prove embarrassing to Peiping, and the Indian citation of this cartographic legerdemain probably helped convince the Chinese leaders that it would be politically foolish to publish the border experts report.

Thus, despite Peiping's anxiety to avoid patrol clashes, the Chinese continued to inch forward in the western sector. They pushed their map claim westward, beyond their 1956 claims, taking in more Indian territory than ever before since 1949.

Chinese Deny Violating Indian Airspace: 1960

Despite the fact that aerial reconnaissance was infrequently used against India by PLA forces in Tibet and Sinkiang, New Delhi in late 1959 began to protest alleged Chinese Communist overflights of Indian territory. The Ministry of External Affairs first protested the "violation of Indian airspace" in a note of 5 December 1959, claiming that "violations" had occurred "in the last two months" along the entire border. The Ministry again sent a note of protest on 4 April 1960 concerning "violations" by Chinese planes "in the previous three months." The Chinese remained silent, avoiding any reply until Nehru took the matter up personally with Chou En-lai in their private talks on 25 April. Nehru later told Mayor Willy Brandt that in reply, Chou merely suggested that India shoot one of the planes down, and that Nehru would then see that these planes were not Chinese Communist. After such a shootdown, Chou concluded, Nehru would see that no Peiping- New Delhi incident would ensue.

The Indian leaders apparently did not accept Chou's denial that the planes were Peiping's, and on 22 August 1960, the Ministry of External Affairs sent another note, protesting 52 "violations" of Indian airspace since March 1960 by Chinese planes coming from Tibet. On 16 September, Peiping finally responded with a note rejecting New Delhi's protest on the grounds that after investigations it was found that "no entry of Chinese aircraft into Indian airspace had occurred at all." On the next day, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman was instructed to set forth the "real facts," which he did as follows:

In the early days of April 1960, the Indian government informed the Chinese government that aircraft had been discovered flying over the Sino-Indian border area. During his visit to India in April, Premier Chou En-lai told Prime Minister Nehru in their talks on April 25 that it had been found through investigations by the Chinese government that these were U.S. aircraft. They took off from Bangkok, passed over Burma and China, and crossed the Sino-Indian border to penetrate deep into China's interior to parachute Chinese secret agents, weapons, supplies, and wireless sets, and then flew back to Bangkok, again passing over the Sino-Indian border.

Premier Chou En-lai assured Prime Minister Nehru at the time that the Chinese government would never allow its aircraft to fly over the border, and said that the Chinese government had sent a note to the Burmese government stating that should Burma discover any unidentified aircraft in its airspace, it was fully entitled to take any countermeasure, either force them to land or shoot them down. China would do likewise should it discover such aircraft in its own airspace.

The note went on to describe continued Indian protests, in the face of Chou's earlier clarification, as "a very unfriendly act" toward Peiping. However, Peiping's contention that the aircraft involved were in fact U.S. planes was rejected by New Delhi in another note (26 October), which was followed by more protests on 13 February and 29 April 1961, and 10 March, 24 March, and 25 July 1962, the last violation allegedly occurring over Chushul. The Chinese practice generally has been not to reply to the allegations, apparently reluctant to continue to admit deep penetration of its airspace and satisfied that their 17 September 1960 statement was sufficiently clear to stand as a permanent position.

The Border Experts Talks: 15 June - 12 December 1960

It was Chou who had insisted — and Nehru who had reluctantly agreed— that political contact be continued by meetings of border experts rather than completely broken off. After his frustrating talks with Nehru and his top advisers, Chou had cleverly devised six points of "common ground" or "close proximity" which he presented in his formal statement of 25 April, trying to create the impression that there was sufficient accord (even after the dismal failure of the Chou-Nehru talks) for negotiation:

1. There exist disputes with regard to the boundary between the two sides.

2. There exists between the two countries a line of actual control up to which each side exercises administrative jurisdiction.

3. In determining the boundary between the two countries, certain geographical principles, such as watersheds, river valleys and mountain passes, should be equally applicable to all sectors of the boundary.

4. A settlement of the boundary question between the two countries should take into account the national feelings of the two peoples towards the Himalayas and the Karakoram Mountains.

5. Pending a settlement of the boundary question between the two countries through discussions, both sides should keep to the line of actual control and should not put forward territorial claims as pre-conditions, but individual adjustments may be made.

6. In order to ensure tranquility on the border so as to facilitate the discussion, both sides should continue to refrain from patrolling along all sectors of the boundary.

Nehru had refused to confirm any of these points, indicating New Delhi was unwilling formally to accept a "line" of actual control or even the fact that the boundary was a matter for discussion. The Indians calculated that to accept such a "line" would be in effect to accept the border status quo, freezing the Indian position in Ladakh and acquiescing in Chinese occupation.

The Indians recognized that the Chinese saw their big push for substantive negotiations as having failed and that Chou was merely trying to demonstrate some progress and a continuing process of discussion. But Nehru acquiesced apparently to avoid the appearance of unreasonable intransigence and because at the time the military alternative was unacceptable for India. From the start, therefore, the talks served as a political buffer for both sides and as an instrument of the Chinese policy to perpetuate the impression of continuing negotiations. Both sides also recognized their political importance, the stakes being a propaganda advantage for the side with the better historical and legal case. At the end of the first session, [33] officials of the Indian team told American officials in Hong Kong on 1 August that no progress toward a settlement had been made, none had been expected, and none had been desired. New Delhi's position was described by them as being that the border was already defined, while Peiping hoped to portray it as still under negotiation.

Negotiation, in the Chinese view, actually meant a simple procedure whereby Nehru would agree to accept Chou's formula of an Aksai Plain-for-NEFA exchange. The Indian officials reported to New Delhi that at their parting reception given in late July by Foreign Minister Chen Yi, Chen explicitly stated that the Chinese were ready "to negotiate" on the basis of Chou's formula, and added that Chou would be willing to visit India again to sign an agreement to such a formula "if Nehru had no time" to come to Peiping. A similar message was later conveyed by Burmese Prime Minister U Nu in talks with President Prasad in New Delhi on 14 November. U Nu is [DELETE] reported to have been told by Chou En-lai that he was prepared to give up China's claim to the NEFA in return for India's acceptance of the status quo in Ladakh, even though this would mean giving up "vast territories that historically belonged to Tibet." When Prasad discussed U Nu's statement with Nehru, the latter — according to Prasad — commented:

Chou's suggestion for solving the dispute has some merit, for if they [i.e. the Chinese] can prove that historically Ladakh belongs to them, what is the reason for us to keep it?

Angered, Prasad reportedly told Nehru that it was his duty to keep India's borders intact, to which Nehru replied, in a tone of reassurance, that for the time being there were many practical difficulties in the way of any settlement. This [DELETE] reported exchange points up the apparent inconsistency in Nehru's "hard line" thinking on Peiping and his personal inclination to vacillate, keeping alive the hope of a way out through compromise. It also underscores the influence of his associates in sustaining at crucial times an adamant official attitude.

By 5 October, the date on which the second series of experts talks ended in New Delhi, Indian officials believed that their case was proving to be stronger than Peiping's. Members of the Indian team were reported jubilant in early October, attributing the strength of their case to the excellent administrative records that the British had maintained on the border areas. On the crucial issue of Ladakh, when the Chinese presented old documents, the Indians tabled more and older manuscripts, some of which went back six or seven centuries, to show that Ladakh had been a separate entity from Tibet.
[DELETE] Moreover, according to team chief, J.S. Mehta, the Chinese case "objectively speaking" was riddled with "theoretical and factual contradictions," not really as strong as it had appeared before the experts talks began.

The Indian case, published in a detailed report (February 1961) of the border experts' talks following the last— the Rangoon — session (December 1960), was impressive. It was argued adroitly on many points of fact (i.e. historical documentary evidence), logic, and international law. The final report was highly professional and precise where precision was crucial, avoiding irrelevancies for the most part and meeting many Chinese arguments head-on. It demonstrated that New Delhi could produce a respectable legal case when British-educated, first-class legal experts and historians were called on. However, New Delhi's ability to drive home effectively to laymen specially selected points seems to be inferior to Peiping's. [34] The Chinese use their professional propaganda machine to good advantage, having learned well the receptivity of various international audiences — particularly in south and southeast Asia — to certain types of argument and having always available the ad hominem charge of "British imperialism" to pillory the common historical culprit.

In collecting materials for their case, the Indian historians had the assistance of British officials in the Commonwealth Relations Office and the use of the extensive Indian Off ice library in London. [35] British assistance apparently was centered on strengthening New Delhi's documentation, but may have included an exchange of views on validity and relevance of certain lines of argumentation. Officials in the British Foreign Office's Far Eastern Department, discussing the Indian case on 25 January with an American embassy officer, regarded the relative strength of the Indian and Chinese historical claims to much of the area along the McMahon line as "probably a standoff." The conflicting claims in Ladakh were viewed as even more difficult to sort out legally. However, the head of the Foreign Relations Department of the Commonwealth Relations Office differed with the Foreign Office appraisal of India's claim to the McMahon line, viewing it as a fairly strong case. Dr. Gopal and the other Indian historians had expressed considerable satisfaction with the mass of documents they had found in the India Office library. Later, in their February 1961 report on the border experts talks, the Indians repeatedly stressed not only the quality (authenticity, relevance, and precision) of these historical documents but also the quantity, which exceeded by far what the Chinese were able to present. [36]

L.C. Green, lecturer in International Law at University College, London, has written a brief account of the respective cases which mainly favors India's. [37]

Regarding Ladakh, Green maintained that the watershed or "height of land," principle as the basis for a boundary claim favors the Indian case, as the principle is firmly established in international law. He viewed the Indian case on this point as further strengthened by the fact that the Chinese accept the watershed principle for the middle sector. The Chinese, however, complained at the talks that the Indian alignment in Ladakh is inconsistent, as it "jumps from the Karakoram Mountains [i.e., the Chinese-claimed line] to the Kun Lun Mountains," rather than following the higher Karakoram crests southeastward from the Karakoram Pass. The Chinese also argued that if the line is to run along the higher Himalayas in the east — i.e., roughly along the McMahon line, as India claims — "then why should the western sector of this boundary not also run along the crest of the Himalayas [the Karakorams], rather than along the . . .Kun Luns [the lower range] as contended by the Indian side.,.." [38] While oversimplified, the Chinese logic here seems valid, and points up the relatively stronger Indian case in the eastern sector in contrast to the western sector. The historical documentation tabled by the Indian team for traditional ownership of Ladakh, however, was not decisively countered by the Chinese team. Actually, the Chinese case on Ladakh derives its force from the matter of actual control.

Regarding the McMahon line, Green maintained that the line may have been the written confirmation of what was already accepted as the frontier de facto and that almost half a century has elapsed since the Simla Conference of 1914, "during which Chinese practice [of keeping north of the line] may have created an effective estoppel to Chinese denial of the validity of the line." The Chinese, in a counter to this argument, merely pointed to their claim that prior to 1949, China and Britain had many "exchanges" on the question of the boundary, and that after 1949, China had stated that the boundary had not been "delimited." [39] However, the Chinese did not argue the point with the same vigor as they argued their case on the western sector, and they hinted again in October 1960, when the Sino-Burma border treaty was formally signed, that they would accept the watershed as the traditional boundary as they had with the Burmese. [40]

The position of the teams remained diametrically opposed on 12 December at the final session in Rangoon, and the writing (on Chinese demand) of separate reports, rather than a joint one, as envisaged in the Chou-Nehru April 1960 communique, formalized the disparity. [DELETE] the Indian leaders in January 1961 were doubtful about the political wisdom of publishing the reports. Their doubts did not stem from any view that New Delhi's case had been weak. They felt compelled to satisfy public opinion and members of Parliament by publication, but were concerned that the reports would disclose further instances of Chinese deception and new Chinese claims, there by further inflaming Indian feeling against Peiping and resulting in more parliamentary and public pressure on the government for forceful "action." Following Indian publication of the respective team reports, the Chinese team's pointed insistence that the Bhutan and Sikkim border matter was beyond the scope of the talks bolstered the widespread impression in India that Peiping viewed these areas as not within India's responsibility. [41] The Chinese position on Kashmir during the talks was also intended to create difficulties for Nehru, in India as well as in Pakistan. According to the Indian report, the Chinese team refused to discuss the Ladakh issue except on the basis that Kashmir does not belong to India — that is, on the basis that Kashmir is disputed territory between Pakistan and India. [42]

As the border experts talks wore on, the Chinese leaders apparently had to recognize the fact that the Indian case had proven to be strong — stronger than anticipated, and at least as good as Peiping's. They were, therefore, careful not to publish the texts of the border experts reports, as New Delhi had done. Despite badgering from the Indians, for a long time thereafter — 16 months — they avoided even acknowledging the existence of the reports. When they finally did "publish" the December 1960 reports on 13 April 1962, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement indicated specifically that they had been distributed to deputies of the National People's Congress but did not indicate whether they had been made available outside this puppet group to the general public and to foreigners. Moreover, the Chinese leaders deliberately restricted public knowledge of the content of the reports to a cryptic and highly propagandists version of the Chinese case. The full texts were never published; in their place, the Peiping People's Daily carried only a garbled and truncated "brief account" of the Chinese position. Thus the Chinese leaders were compelled to conceal the real Indian case and the weak points of their own, relying on their effective propaganda machine to provide the smokescreen for this defeat.

When Nehru defended his border policy at the Governors' Conference held on 8 and 9 November, he insisted that the Indian team had proven the better, submitting data which the Chinese found they were unable effectively to counter. This was the private, and soon became the public, position of New Delhi on the border experts talks. Nehru went on to tell the governors that Peiping, rather than New Delhi, had been set back by the border dispute. He pointed to Khrushchev's criticism of the Chinese at Bucharest in June 1960, [43] and stated that the Chinese had protested the sale of Soviet helicopters to India as a violation of the principle of "proletarian internationalism,"[44] The Chinese were also said to have asked for a joint commission to demarcate the boundaries of Sinkiang and Mongolia, the areas the Chinese claimed on their maps being somewhat greater than they actually controlled. [45] The contents of Nehru's remarks reportedly were passed to Chinese embassy personnel in New Delhi on 11 November by an Indian Communist. The Chinese, as a result, were probably further impelled to attack Khrushchev for defending a non-Communist country in a dispute with a Communist one. Peiping's Estimate of Indian Intentions and Capabilities: Late 1960 - Early 1961

At the end of 1960, the Chinese leaders continued to view a hostile India as a prospect to be avoided. They recognized that border clashes had made this prospect a real one, requiring therefore an avoidance of such clashes and a major effort "to recover" some of the Indian good will that had marked the brighter days of the early Chou-Nehru relationship. They apparently viewed India as a military power they could handle, but were concerned lest Nehru, a man of international prestige, continue to undercut Peiping's international image with complaints of Chinese "aggression." They were careful to sustain the public position that India was still on balance a neutral state, squaring this line with the doctrinal analysis of Nehru as a "bourgeois" leader by maintaining that many "bourgeois nationalist" leaders in near-by countries have a dual nature, of which one side is indeed friendly to China. Furthermore, India was still held to be a state in the "peace zone" between the two major camps and an object of the East-West struggle. The captured Tibetan troop indoctrination document on border policy of mid-November 1960 presented Mao's opportunistic doctrinal formulation on the dual nature of bourgeois-led near-by states as follows:

Because they are two-faced and ruled by the bourgeoisie, they are the in-between powers — between the socialist camp and the imperialist camps....They are the objects of struggle between us and the imperialists. The aim of the imperialists is to pull them into the military aggressive bloc. Our aim is to win them over as allies of socialism against imperialism. Therefore, toward these countries, we have adopted a two-sided revolutionary policy of unity as well as struggle...

We should remember that the ruling clique of the neighboring country has a side that is unfriendly to us, but they also advocate peace and neutrality and desire our friendship. [emphasis supplied]

It went on to state the case for avoiding border skirmishes by using a simple formula that "to make a friend is to lose an enemy." There is little doubt that the Chinese leaders by the end of 1960 were under no illusions about New Delhi's desire for Chinese "friendship." Yet it was politically necessary to maintain publicly — and for PLA troops — the position that a calm frontier together with negotiations would eventually point the way back to a Sino-Indian rapprochement. This was in fact not a Indian desire but a Chinese one.

The Chinese desire for some form of rapprochement, or at least to find some way to neutralize New Delhi's antipathy, apparently did not result from a fear of India's military capability. The Tibetan troop-indoctrination document stated flatly that the Indians "do not have the strength openly to declare war on us and attack us militarily on a large scale." As for New Delhi's intentions, the document stated that the real, primary aim was to reduce China's "lofty prestige" and "force unreasonable demands on us" by creating minor skirmishes. The prospect of a major Sino-Indian war was discussed only as an unlikely eventuality, which, if it were to take place, would crucially change Peiping's border policy of restraint:

Of course, there is the possibility that the reactionaries of the neighboring country, in connection with the scheming and planning of the imperialists, might carry out large-scale violations of our territory. However, if this were to occur, the nature of the border struggle would change completely, and it would no longer remain within the sphere of the present policy.

The document was elliptical on this point, failing to state precisely what was meant by the phrase "large-scale violations of our territory." It was, however, sufficiently broad to cover the possibility of a series of Indian crossings of the "line" of actual control and establishment of posts on the Chinese-claimed side. [46] That the Chinese might unilaterally move forward the entire "line" themselves by establishing new posts, was not even hinted, of course.

As of January 1961, the Chinese strategy remained: to work for a rapprochement with New Delhi, to consider India as still nonaligned, and to avoid personal attacks on Nehru. To this end, the border was to remain calm and Chinese initiatives were to be diplomatic, directed toward discouraging the Indians from moving across the Chinese-defined "line" of actual control. Following a review of 1960, a Chinese Foreign Ministry report, issued in January 1961, outlined Peiping's prospective policy toward India, centering on the need to mollify New Delhi:

We will strive to have better relations with India and influence India into assuming a passive position on the border problem. This is important.

The Ministry report went on to envisage an invitation to Nehru to visit China "at an opportune moment" and a call for another conference of border experts. However, it warned diplomatic personnel to be prepared for another anti-China wave which might be started in India and placed that country in a category different from Burma, Nepal, Afghanistan, and Cambodia, with whom China has "friendly" relations.

The Chinese leaders in January 1961 would have their diplomatic officials view Peiping's 1960 policies as reflecting considerable "tactical flexibility." With the exception of a possible mid-June clash, there were no Sino-Indian border skirmishes, Indian propaganda was countered in 1960 but New Delhi was still considered to be nonaligned, and Nehru was not singled out for vituperative criticism. This was said to be part of Mao's policy of "unity as well as struggle with India and other national states." According to the January 1961 foreign ministry report, "the struggle against India shows how we... used the tactic of flexibility:"

India started an anti-China movement, and this we opposed with determination. Then, after opposing it, the Premier went to New Delhi to negotiate with Nehru. The two chiefs of state met. At the border, clashes were avoided. Thus the relations between the two countries again calmed down temporarily.

It was in this context (and in connection with a discussion of tactics toward newly independent African countries still having diplomatic relations with Taipei) that Mao was cited as providing the general principle of diplomatic forbearance: "In 1960, Chairman Mao again instructed us repeatedly that in our struggles, some leeway must be provided." The practical conclusion which flowed from this principle and the view of the U.S. as the main enemy was that

. . .our struggle against India should be subordinated to the struggle against [U.S.] imperialism. Our struggle against India should not go beyond this limit.

The order of priorities which the document outlined for Chinese diplomatic officials indicates that restraint toward India was to be a relative matter, a matter of degree. While the U.S. was Peiping's major world enemy, India was second on the list, i.e. the "main target in Southeast Asia," as the document put it. In turn, the Chinese campaign against India could (and did) exceed in scope and intensity the campaign against Indonesia. Given this order of intensity, the Chinese leaders may have missed the point that, although they were "harder" on the U.S. and "softer" on Indonesia relative to India, [the Indian leaders saw no such scale of intensity and were provoked by even the smallest degree of Chinese animosity. To New Delhi, China was becoming India's most important enemy and the Maoist policy of "unity and struggle" toward India meant nothing but "struggle." [47] The possibility exists, therefore, that the Chinese leaders, including Mao himself, by early 1961 believed they had sufficient room for future diplomatic maneuvering with New Delhi when in fact such room no longer existed.

SINO-INDIAN BORDER Chinese Claim ' Lines' of 1956 and 1960 in the Western Sector

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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Tue Mar 17, 2020 5:43 am

Part 4 of 4



1. The Indian Communist Party (CPI) Chairman, S.A. Dange, later stated that the Indian party had warned the CCP, in letters of 20 August and 13 September 1959, that border developments were providing the "right wing" with the opportunity "to pull India towards the Anglo-American camp," and that the 13 September letter had urged the Chinese to begin negotiations. (Dange: "Neither Revisionism Nor Dogmatiam Is Our Guide, New Age, supplement, 21 April 1963. For an account of Soviet influence on Ghosh in connection with the content of these letters, see ESAU XVI-62: The Indian Communist Party and the Sino-Soviet Dispute.)

2. They thus rejected Nehru's stipulation of 26 September that, before talks could begin, the Chinese must withdraw their troops "from a number of posts which you have opened in recent months at Spanggur, Mandal, and one or two other places in eastern Ladakh." Mao and Liu told Ghosh, however, that they were willing to exchange ownership of NEFA for part of Ladakh, accepting the de facto McMahon line with certain minor adjustments.

3. There was little public awareness of the matter in early November, but in mid-December, the full account of the Maoist treatment of the prisoners, when placed before Parliament, caused a sharp public reaction against Peiping.

4. In view of their desire to create a "proper atmosphere" in India as a prelude to negotiations, the physical and mental coercion of the policeman, Karam Singh, was not completely rational. By this treatment they were seeking to dispel the widespread assumption of a localized, Chinese- initiated border skirmish, but by the "confession" of an obviously manipulated prisoner. Popular and official Indian resentment against this blatant manipulation became more important than the issue of which side had sparked the patrol clash.


New Delhi's note of 4 November had provided the Chinese "interrogators" with a target. The note had stated that "The suggestion that the Indian police party, armed only with rifles, would attack a heavily armed Chinese force strongly entrenched on a hill-top above them, and equipped with mortars and grenades, cannot be accepted by any reasonable person." It was to this specific charge of heavy weapons that the Chinese had directed their forced- confession activity with the Indian prisoners. Both sides had been acting to support their version of the 21 October clash. When New Delhi announced on 1 November that the Indian Army would take over control of border posts in Ladakh, it stressed that hitherto these posts had been manned by police detachments armed only with rifles. For its part, Peiping (note of 26 December 1959) tried to counter the Indian assertion that the Chinese were stronger in number and arms by claiming that the "Chinese patrol numbered 14 only and carried light arms alone" while the Indians "carried light and heavy machine guns and other weapons." Regarding the troublesome fact that the Indians lost more men in the clash than the Chinese, Peiping had already "explained" (statement of 26 October) that just as in the August 1959 clash, the lighter losses of the Chinese "proves that on both occasions, the Chinese side was on the defensive." The chop-logic conclusion was that "Anybody with a little knowledge of military affairs knows that generally speaking the offensive side always suffers more casualties than the defensive side."!

After the release of the prisoners, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs issued a statement (17 November) complaining that preliminary reports from the prisoners, including Karam Singh, indicated that while in Chinese custody they were "kept under severe living conditions" and subjected to constant interrogation, pressure, and threats in an attempt to force them "to make statements desired by their captors." Karam Singh's personal account of how the Chinese compelled him to "confess" is contained in New Delhi's White Paper No. III on the border dispute, pages 10-22.

5. By 11 November, Ministry of External Affairs officials had drafted the reply to Chou's 7 November letter, but it was subject to Nehru's approval upon his return to New Delhi after a 5-day trip. [DELETE] the Indian officials Had indicated in the draft that they were prepared to concede Chinese occupation of the Aksai Plain but by civil personnel only and on condition that New Delhi's version of a mutual withdrawal in Ladakh were accepted. In the letter as finally approved by Nehru and sent to Chou on 16 November, however, no reference was made to the idea of conceding any Chinese occupation of the Aksai Plain. It is possible that Nehru himself may have vetoed the suggestion or decided to hold it in reserve.

6. This "difference," however, excluded any desire to accept aid from the West to meet Indian military requirements.

7. Nehru's defense of his past actions in Parliament on 8 and 9 December was rather weak. He insisted that all along New Delhi had foreseen trouble with the Chinese but needed to play for time. Former Indian Ambassador to Peiping K. M. Panikkar, who also claimed New Delhi was aware of the real Chinese attitude since 1950, stated that India had been making defensive preparations since that date. However, the evidence Panikkar cited, such as the treaties with Nepal and Buhtan, were signed nine years prior to Chinese military action inside Tibet and along the border.

8. The Indian leaders' reaction to this argument from actual control was to deny that Indian ignorance of Chinese "intrusions" justified Chou's claim of ownership. In a circular message of 21 December, they informed their embassies of Chou's letter and stated that:

While the Aksai Plain was occupied by the Chinese in 1956, they have built a network of roads farther west in Ladakh during the last 12 months. Reconnaissance parties which were sent out last year and the year before had not seen these roads. As we have stated before, in this desolate wasteland we do not think it necessary to post administrative personnel. Intrusions by a neighbor country cannot give any right to that country merely because such intrusions were not resisted by us or had not come to our notice earlier.

This statement is further evidence of the poor state of Indian intelligence an the western sector prior to September 1958. It also suggests Indian apprehensions that Chou had scored effectively on this point.

9. The Indian leaders apparently interpreted Chou's display of anxiety to reach agreements on principles immediately as entirely a propaganda effort directed toward other countries. In its 21 December circular message, New Delhi informed its embassies that Chou "must have known that the Prime Minister could not proceed to Rangoon on a week's notice."

Chou was indeed trying to convince neutrals of Peiping's sincerity in seeking immediate talks (he was also trying to counter Soviet arguments), but he clearly desired those talks, and apparently hoped Nehru would consent without too much delay. Prime Minister Ne Win told the American ambassador on 21 December that the Chinese had asked him whether he would agree to have the Sino-Indian talks take place in Rangoon, and, in his 17 December letter to Nehru, Chou had indicated he would consider "any other date" Nehru might suggest. The Indian ambassador to Peiping later reported that Chou beyond doubt was anxious to get talks started quickly.

10. This position was again set forth in the Ministry of External Affairs brochure of 12 January 1960, which, however, had been prepared long before receipt of Peiping's 26 December note. The main conclusions of the brochure were: (1) India's frontier is well known, being based on treaty agreements and custom, and no Chinese government has ever challenged it, (2) the present dispute arose because in Chou's 8 September 1959 letter Peiping for the first time laid claim to extensive areas of Indian territory, (3) border tension stems from Chinese action to assert their claims, and (4) negotiations on the basis that the entire border is not delimited are unacceptable to India, which is prepared to discuss only minor rectifications of the frontier.

11. Chinese communist publications did not carry these remarks, merely reporting on 31 October that "Khrushchev" had discussed "the current international situation and the foreign policy of the Soviet Union."

12. The Chinese explicitly charged Khrushchev with having made these remarks after Mao personally had explained the Chinese position to him in October 1959. According to the CCP letter of 10 September 1960, the September 1959 TASS statement was

...a clear condemnation of the CCP. Mao Tse-tung explained this to Khrushchev, but on 7 November 1959, in an interview given to an Indian Communist newspaper, Khrushchev said that the incident was "deplorable and stupid."

13. Khrushchev may have been hinting to New Delhi, as well as Peiping, that a few kilometers of barren land were hardly worth a major dispute.

14. In his report to the National People's Congress (NPC) on 9 July 1957, Chou stated that Chinese Communist troops moved into the Wa States area west of the "1941 line... in 1952 when chasing after remnant Kuomintang troops."

15. The Tibetan revolt of March 1959, however, resulted in a major setback for this heretofore relatively successful Chinese policy, as the borderland peoples watched the spectacle of their ethnic brothers being butchered by PLA forces. The Chinese subsequently worked hard to recoup, attempting to differentiate most Tibetan and other border peoples from the "tiny group of rebels'' in order to salvage some goodwill and work toward rebuilding a degree of voluntary responsiveness to PLA border personnel and CCP cadres. New Delhi's effort to capitalize on the revolt and turn the loyalties of these peoples toward India became a source of considerable concern, as many in Tibetan areas near the border who continued to cross over to the Indian side, bringing firsthand accounts of PLA suppression, provided Indian news media with effective anti-Chinese material. In order to stem the flow and to regain some degree of influence, the Chinese leaders apparently directed the CCP-PLA authorities in Lhasa to draw up a policy guideline for all cadres. The policy, appearing in one part of a larger document on troop indoctrination issued in November 1960 for border forces, concentrated on displays of moderation: (1) permitting borderland peoples to continue seasonal moves across the border, (2) handling disputes with tribal peoples by local proxy, and (3) indoctrinating these peoples in CCP nationalities policy, while stressing to cadres the need for using "patience to dissuade" them from fleeing. However, because the Tibetan rebels remained active inside and outside Tibet, Chinese policy in Tibet and along the border was hampered by the continued Tibet-Han (Chinese) dichotomy in the clashes.

16. In the 28 January accord, the Chinese had accepted, with two small exceptions, the traditional boundary, following the watershed in the north and the "1941 line" in the south — that is, the substance of Burma's position. The remaining but narrowed differences concerned the extent of village tracts in the Kachin and Wa states ceded to China and of the Namwan tract ceded to Burma.

The agreement set a precedent for defining the eastern end of the border between the NEFA and Tibet, with minor adjustments, on the basis of the McMahon line. The Indian ambassador in Rangoon told the American ambassador there on 27 January that he assumed Peiping would have to accept the "Indian portion" of the McMahon line if the Burmese portion were accepted. Ambassador Mehrotra then stated that the Chinese were really more Interested in Ladakh: "if they could get even part of what they want there, they might not press the NEFA claim."

17. The Chinese also seemed apprehensive that the Indonesians would provide Khrushchev with considerable concrete evidence of Chinese "nationalism" and pugnacity in relations with a neutral in the "peace zone," particularly regarding their crude handling of foreign Minister Subandrio during his trip to China.

During his stopover in New Delhi on 11 February, Khrushchev spoke privately with Nehru for three hours but,u apart from Nehru's brief remarks to Parliament, the details of the discussion have not been reported. The only apparent connection between Nehru's 5 February letter to Chou and Khrushchev's stopover was that the visit speeded up the Indian action to place their position on the record before the Soviet leader arrived, thus showing the independence of Nehru's initiative. In Parliament on 22 February, Nehru sought to underscore his own initiative, stating that his invitation to Chou had no relation to Khrushchev's visit. He said that he had briefly told Khrushchev of India's case in the context of a world survey. "I did not ask him to bring pressure to bear on China. It was for them to consider what they had to say or what they were going to do."

18. Thus the People's Dally on 1 February stated that: "Surely what has happened between China and Burma can take place between China and other countries."

19. Foreign Secretary Dutt stated [DELETE] on 16 February that Nehru did not expect anything tangible to come out of a meeting with Chou, but hoped to determine (1) why the Chinese had behaved in such a hostile way and (2) what Chou "really wants." Dutt concluded that "at best" the meeting might provide a basis for further talks.

20. However, according to Ministry of External Affairs deputy secretary Mehta's remarks to an American official on 9 March, the acid test for a real compromise solution was not Chinese willingness to accept the McMahon line — as they had already accepted the line "in fact" — but willingness to withdraw from the Aksai Plain. That is, Chinese acceptance of the Aksai Plain as Indian territory and retraction of their demand that this part of Ladakh be considered at least disputed land. Peiping indicated, through a discussion by its military attache in East Germany with a Western journalist on 2 March, that China might agree to a demilitarized zone in "certain portions" of Ladakh. However, such agreement was conditional on Indian acceptance of the principle that Ladakh was disputed territory. The attache then made it clear that "under no circumstances" would the Chinese withdraw from the road.

21. Chou's letter had a marked salutary effect on some Indian' opinion. It was described by New Delhi's English- language press as "cordial and conciliatory," "couched in friendly terms," and "very friendly language." When Nehru indicated to Parliament on 29 February that April was satisfactory to him and expressed the hope in Parliament that India would receive her guest with courtesy and hospitality, Congress Party and Communist ranks both burst into applause.

22. Actually, the Indian and Nepalese border issues were not comparable. The Chinese had occupied a large area of Indian-claimed territory but had not done so with Nepalese territory. Nevertheless, Indian leaders, were disturbed by the propaganda implications of Chou's use of Koirala to sign an agreement which seemed to be a relevant precedent for the Sino-Indian border dispute. Moreover, they feared a Chinese effort to detach Nepal from its military arrangement with India, and New Delhi on 1 April directed its ambassador in Katmandu to warn the Nepalese that Chou's proposal for a non-aggression treaty would affect the present India-Nepal "defense understanding."

23. Nehru is [DELETE] reported to have made the following comment to Kingsley Martin in early April: "In certain circumstances I would not have minded giving away a little bit of Ladakh [presumably the Aksai Plain], but I do not want the Chinese to take me for a sucker. Chou En-lai has lied to me so often that I do not feel like trusting him any more."

24. The business-like Chinese delegation indicated that the Chinese premier had come— as he said on arrival on 19 April — "this time... with the sincere desire to settle questions." Chou apparently believed that Nehru's statements in fall 1959 regarding the "unimportance" of the Aksai Plain and India's record of having had no administration in that "barren, uninhabited place" indicated Nehru's real position — viz. willingness to accept Chinese presence in the Plain, virtually writing it off. He was aware — and, in trying to prove Peiping's case on jurisdiction, Chinese border experts later pointed out — that Nehru had told Parliament on 10 September 1959 that the Aksai Plain "has not been under any kind of administration" and on 23 November that under British rule, as far as I know, this area was neither inhabited by any people, nor were there any outposts." In fact, however, Nehru's wavering between ultimate cession of the Plain and demands for a Chinese withdrawal had come to an end during the April consultations with his advisers.

25. [DELETE]| Menon stimulated the interview by asking Ambassador Partnasarathy to ask Chou to request of Nehru that Menon be permitted to visit with him. Nehru later defended Menon's meeting with Chou before the Chinese premier met with the officially designated cabinet ministers by stating that he had authorized the meeting.

26. In advancing this condition, Nehru was aware that the lower level talks would come to nothing, and several cabinet ministers stated just that. In addition to remarks on the matter made by Finance Minister Desai on 26 April, Foreign Secretary Dutt told the American charge on 28 April that the officials would "certainly not" come to any agreement, as each would merely state his country's claims and report back to the cabinet. Dutt added that he personally would not want to be one of them.

27. Chou even arranged a separate meeting with former ambassador to Peiping, R. K. Nehru, on 22 April, who later stated that the Indian position was too rigid and that some accommodation should be made to Chinese claims to the Aksai Plain — the only break in an otherwise solid Indian diplomatic front. The only difference reported in the Chinese delegation was that Chou was less gruff than Chen Yi in maintaining the same Chinese position with monotonous regularity.

28. Foreign Secretary Dutt told the American charge on 28 April that Indian officials did not agree with Chou not to press claims to territory north and east of the Karakorams, though in effect their agreement to avoid incidents would keep them from doing so.

29. When Menon asked Nehru in early June to adopt a more aggressive policy of forward patrolling, Nehru reportedly told the defense minister that he did not want such action "for the time being" and would await developments before making a positive decision. Indian patrolling may have been increased following the 3 June incident.

By April 1960, when the Sino-Soviet dispute erupted into a bitter polemic, Krishna Menon's attitude toward Peiping had hardened decisively. One month earlier, Menon apparently had been willing to hint publicly about Indian acceptance of Chinese control of the Aksai Plain, but in late April — following Peiping' s publication of its Long Live Leninism diatribe against Khrushchev's policies — he took a no-compromise line with Chou En-lai, and by June, Menon was more anti-Chinese than he ever had been.

Menon, who has often appeared to be a willing Soviet supporter, is the dominant influence in the paper, Link. Link is supported by Soviet funds and, in turn, supports Soviet policies, taking a clear pro-Moscow line in the continuing Moscow-Peiping dispute.

30. Following the Chinese reply to India's protest of the 3 June intrusion, New Delhi on 24 October sent a note to Peiping rejecting the Chinese version as fatuous. The note stated that the Indian government doubted that the incident was a "mistake" made by nine Chinese "local working personnel" who had lost their way while "felling bamboo" — because the number observed was 25, they carried arms slung from the shoulder, and there is no bamboo in the Himalayas or elsewhere at elevations of 12,000 to 15,000 feet above sea level. Nevertheless, the Chinese reply had been very close to a formal apology.

31. The document provides considerable evidence that many PLA cadres disliked their assignment to Tibet and were simply waiting to complete their stint and return to areas of more favorable living conditions.

32. The Sino-Indian clashes of August and October 1959, however, were not cited as PLA mistakes but rather as Indian "attacks." This position complied with the document's line that Nepal and Burma were friendly neighbors and that they should therefore be seen as "different from" India.

33. There were three sessions held over a six-month period, the first in Peiping from 15 June to 25 July, the second in New Delhi from 19 August to 5 October, and; the third in Rangoon from 7 November to 12 December. The Chinese reverted to the basic issue of delimitation, insisting that it was not merely relevant but crucial to the entire border dispute, instead of adhering to the Chou-Nehru agreement that they merely examine, check, and study the historical evidence submitted by each side. Thus in the border experts' talks, as in the Chou-Nehru discussions, the Chinese attempted (unsuccessfully) to budge the Indians from their position that the border for many years has been delimited and that this had in fact been accepted by Peiping.

34. This contrast in Chinese and Indian propaganda capability was striking in 1960 and 1961, and it still is today. Indian diplomatic officials themselves have commented on the matter. During the late May 1963 conference of heads of mission in southeast Asia, the mission heads agreed that India's position in the Sino-Indian dispute had not been understood in southeast Asia. They attributed this fact partly to the ineffective Indian propaganda services, claiming that "All-India Radio is no match for Peiping Radio."

35. In addition to documents available in Peiping, the Chinese apparently recovered some Tibetan materials relevant to their claims in Lhasa. They also tried to acquire documents from local Tibetans, as is indicated by a Tibet PLA troop indoctrination brochure of November 1960: "If mass work is effective, the people will trust us and bring out all kinds of historical proof to show that Tibet is under China's sovereignty."

36. The Indian team caught the Chinese in several apparent falsifications of the content of Chinese-tabled documents. For example, according to the Indian final report, "There were other cases where the translation and examination of the photostats supplied by the Chinese side showed that the passages cited... and said to be taken from specified documents actually were not to be found in the full texts contained in the photostats." ( Report of the Officials of the Governments of India and the People's Republic of China on the Boundary question, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, New Delhi , February 1961, p. 260.) The Indians also exposed the sophistry of the Chinese claim that Sino-Indian correspondence in 1950 indicated Peiping accepted only the Indian "border" rather than the "boundary. (Ibid., p. 275.)

37. "Legal Aspects of the Sino-Indian Border Dispute," The China Quarterly, July-September 1960, pp. 42-58.

38. Report...., op. cit., CR-4 & 5.

39. Ibid., CR-29.

40. However, not every section of the mutually accepted Sino Burmese line followed the traditional alignment of the McMahon line. Attempting to maintain a consistent position on the traditional alignment, the Indians on 20 December protested to Peiping over a Sino-Burmese map showing the western terminus of the Burma-China border as five miles below the tripartite junction which India claims is the traditional China-Burma-Indian meeting point.

41. In mid-1961, according to the Bhutanese Maharaja's political agent in India Jigme Dorji, the Chinese approached the Bhutanese with an offer to negotiate a border agreement; also, to recognize Bhutan's sovereignty, to extend diplomatic recognition, and to provide technical aid. In roughly the same period, the Chinese reportedly advanced a proposal for a Confederation of Himalayan States to some Sikkimese political figures.

42. The report states that: "The Chinese refusal to discuss the segment of the boundary west of the Karakoram Pass was tantamount to questioning the legality of the accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to India..." ( Ibid. , p. 269) . The Indians privately interpreted the Chinese position to mean that India was an illegal occupation power in the area west of the Pass. (For the Chinese refusal to discuss the area, see ibid., CR-156.)

The Chinese later used the Pakistanis to demonstrate that although India could not negotiate a border agreement with any of its neighbors, China could, even with a government aligned with the West. When, on 10 May 1962, New Delhi protested Sino-Pakistani border negotiations, Peiping replied on 31 May that China has a right to negotiate with Pakistan on boundary matters because (1) Peiping never accepted Indian sovereignty over Kashmir, (2) the negotiations with Pakistan do not involve the question of ownership of Kashmir, and (3) after the India-Pakistan dispute is settled, both governments will reopen negotiations with China on the question of the Kashmir boundary.

43. For an account of Khrushchev's criticism, see ESAU XVI- 62: The Indian Communist Party and the Sino-Soviet Dispute.

However, New Delhi was unable to exploit Sino-Soviet differences during the border experts talks. That is, the Russians refused to intercede directly on India's behalf, maintaining the position established in September 1959. Shortly after the Chou-Nehru discussions, Foreign Secretary Dutt told the American charge on 28 April that Khrushchev had been "no help at all," remaining just as neutral in private as in public and hoping that both these "friends" of the Soviet Union would settle their dispute.

44. The Soviets apparently first offered helicopters to the Indians in June 1960. In July the Indians tested one MI-4 copter, in August they decided to buy several of these, and by fall they had discussed the purchase of other transport aircraft. A Soviet-Indian agreement for the sale of military transport aircraft to India was signed in March 1961.

Whether Chinese criticism of Khrushchev's policies or Khrushchev's desire to maintain Indian goodwill was the primary factor in the Soviet decision to provide these aircraft is conjectural. In any case, Sino-Soviet polemics were particularly bitter in April and May 1960, and Khrushchev probably was furious with Chinese opposition. Ambassador Parthasarathy reported that Soviet Ambassador Chervonenko went to the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs to protest Mao's 14 May statement, just before the Paris "summit" meeting, that "some people had described Eisenhower as a man who loved peace very much." Parthasarathy reported that the Russians had taken this remark as a personal rebuke to Khrushchev.

45. By spring 1962, Sino-Mongolian differences regarding the boundary apparently had intensified, owing to an incident in which Chinese personnel shifted some markers and the Mongolians moved them back, bringing up a detachment of Mongolian troops to end the shifting back and forth. The Mongolian ambassador in Peiping reportedly stated that in August 1962, negotiations to define the border were under way. No public mention was made of these talks until 23 December 1962, when the Chinese announced that Premier Tsendenbal was coming to Peiping to sign a Sino-Mongolian border treaty. When, on 26 December, the treaty was signed, the Chinese stressed that discussions had gone smoothly and agreement was reached "quickly," implying a contrast with the protracted and fruitless Sino-Indian discussions. The Chinese seem to have made the greater part of the concessions where their claims differed from those of Ulan Bator.

46. The Chinese drew the "line" so that several posts, on the location of which both sides had constantly disagreed, were north of it. Longju was an important case in point. When, in December 1960, Indian aircraft confirmed that the Chinese had withdrawn from Longju— leaving over 100 dead bodies in the area as a result of an epidemic — Nehru was [DELETE] reported as favoring Indian reoccupation of the post. The Army, however, reportedly dissuaded him, on the grounds that logistic support facilities were inadequate to sustain Indian occupation of Longju.

Nehru's willingness to send Indian troops into Longju points up a significant change in his attitude, inasmuch as New Delhi's notes of 10 September and 16 November 1959 — more than a year earlier — had proposed that neither side send its troops into the outpost.

47. This Maoist policy had been commented on by Teng Hsiao-ping in his speech in Moscow on 14 November 1960 at the meeting of world Communist parties. Teng reportedly stated that a dual policy was required to handle Nehru: "We must follow a prudent policy of both struggle and friendship." "If one were to adapt oneself solely to the progressive aspect of Nehru's policy and evade the necessary struggle against him, this would only inflate his reactionary arrogance." What Teng failed to say was that the "necessary struggle" against Nehru would counter only his military "arrogance" while it would almost inevitably increase his political "arrogance."

Teng's effort was primarily a defensive maneuver against Khrushchev's charge at Bucharest on 26 June 1960 that the Chinese way of handling the dispute was a "tactical error" and a clear sign of "Chinese nationalism." Khrushchev had gone on to say that if the USSR used Chinese logic, "war would have been declared on Iran on more than one occasion, since some soldiers had been killed and others might also be killed."

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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Wed Mar 18, 2020 2:32 am

Part 1 of __

The Indian Communist Party and the Sino-Soviet Dispute
(Reference Title: ESAU XVI-62)
by Office of Current Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency
February 7, 1962


This is a working paper, the second in a series of ESAU studies assessing the effects of the Sino-Soviet dispute on certain key Communist parties. The paper tries to show how the development of a broad Sino-Soviet conflict in recent years has fostered pro-Soviet and pro-Chinese factionalism which now threatens to split the Indian party.

The preparation of this paper has been greatly aided by the cooperation and assistance of several other analysts, especially [DELETE] of the Asian-African Division of the Free World Area of OCI, Allen Whiting of the Special Studies Group of the Department of State, and the analysts of the Radio Propaganda Branch of FBIS. The first two chapters of the paper also reflect a debt to the work of Kautsky (Moscow and the Communist Party of India, New York,1956). Overstreet and Windmiiler (Communism in India, Berkeley, 1959), and Masani (The Communist Party of India, New York, 1954). We alone, however, bear responsibility for the conclusions reached in this paper.

The Sino-Soviet Studies Group would welcome comment on this paper, addressed to Harry Gelman, who wrote the paper, [DELETE]



o A. Soviet Shift to Militant Line (1947)
o B. Ranadive Rise to Power in CPI
o C. CPSU Shift Toward Broad Alliances, Away From Armed Struggle
o A. Evolution of Soviet Line Before Stalin's Death
o B. Death of Stalin and Third (Madurai) CPI Congress
o C. The CPI and the Development of the Bandung Line
o A. The Effects of DeStalinization
o B. The Effects of the Line on Peaceful Transition to Socialism
o C. Formation of the Kerala Government and Its Aftermath
o A. The 21st CPSU Congress
o B. The Fall of the Kerala Government (January-July 1959)
o C. The Tibetan Revolt
o D. The Border Dispute
o E. The October Anniversary Talks
o F. Increasing Leftist Ties with Peiping
o A. Soviet Moves in Early 1960
o B. Peiping's Lenin Anniversary Articles
o C. The WFTU Clash in Peiping
o D. The Bucharest Conference and Its Aftermath
o E. The CPSU's August Letter and Its Consequences
o F. The Hanoi Confrontation and the CCP's September Letter
o G. The Moscow Conference (November)
• A. Left-Faction Resurgence Before the April Congress
• B. Soviet and Chinese Policy Toward India Before the Congress
• C. The Indian Party Congress, April
• D. The CPI Between Its Congress and the 22nd CPSU Congress
• E. The 22nd CPSU Congress and Its Aftermath
• F. Prospects for the Indian Communist Party



By January 1962 the Communist Party of India (CPI) had reached a point at which an open schism in the party in the coming year had become a serious possibility. The renewal of the Sino-Soviet conflict at the 22nd CPSU [Communist Party Soviet Union] Congress had greatly worsened an already tense situation within the Indian party, and strengthened forces which for many years had been working toward a split in the CPI: the growth of unprecedented factionalism and indiscipline, the weakening of the authority of the party center at the hands of defiant provincial party committees, the slow decline in the authority of the CPSU for many reasons and the growth of Chinese party prestige in the eyes of many CPI members, and the steady polarization of leftist and rightist Indian party factions along pro-Chinese and pro-Soviet lines.

This process had received its initial impetus during the internal CPI battle between 1947 and 1951 over the methods of struggle the party should follow, the immediate goal it should pursue, and the classes it should admit into its alliance. At that time the left-faction leader Ranadive took control of the CPI as general secretary, and in conformity with what he thought was CPSU policy he led the Indian party in the application of violent insurrectionary tactics against the Nehru government. Modeling his efforts on the Russian revolution, Ranadive gave primary emphasis to the struggle in the cities rather than in the countryside; and he called for a one-stage revolution to overthrow both the imperialist enemy and the Indian bourgeoisie simultaneously and bring about immediate Communist party rule in India. Ranadive's tactics failed dismally, and were disastrous for the party. Opposition to Ranadive rose throughout the CPI, and he attempted to suppress it ruthlessly, increasing the chaos within the party.

The leaders of the Andhra provincial party committee then came forward and attacked Ranadive's line; citing a relatively successful peasant revolt which had been going on for some time in the Telengana district of south India, they called for the party to abandon insurrection in the cities and to rely instead upon armed struggle in the countryside. They also demanded that the CPI ally itself for this purpose with anti-feudal sections of the well-to-do peasantry, as well as with anti-imperialist sections of the urban bourgeoisie (the "national bourgeoisie"). Therefore they wished the party to aim at a two-stage revolution in which efforts would be directed first at ousting from power the agents of imperialism and feudalism, and only later at securing firm Communist control of the Indian government. The Andhra leaders explicitly stated that the Chinese revolution rather than the Russian revolution was their model, and they fervently hailed Mao Tse-tung as their inspiration and guide.

Ranadive responded with public attacks not only upon the Andhra leadership but also upon Mao; Ranadive attempted to portray Mao's advocacy of alliance with the national bourgeoisie as an anti-Marxist betrayal of the revolution and an attempt to restore capitalism. There is evidence, suggesting that Ranadive was encouraged to do this by signs of serious strain between Mao and Stalin at the time the CCP was coming to power in 1948 and 1949. Eventually, however, the CPSU accepted the desirability of the alliance with the national bourgeoisie and the two-stage revolution, and Ranadive fell from power in the CPI, to be replaced by the Andhra leadership. The Andhra leaders publicly apologized to Mao for Ranadive's attacks, and attempted to apply the line they had advocated. Peasant revolt, however, proved no more successful than urban insurrection, and armed struggle was finally abandoned altogether, with the Andhra group in turn replaced by a new leadership headed by Ajoy Ghosh as general secretary.

Two lasting results flowed from these events. First, although the "Chinese path" had not proven entirely applicable to India, a degree of Chinese influence was implanted and permanently legitimized within the CPI as a source of inspiration and guidance second only to the CPSU. Secondly, the factionalism, blatant indiscipline, and regional disregard for central authority which had grown during the struggle against Ranadive became permanent features of CPI life, to a degree seen in hardly any other Communist party. The authority of the central CPI machinery was henceforth so weakened in relation to the provincial party organizations that never again did the central party leadership make a serious attempt to enforce a uniform, rigid line upon the often defiant provinces.

The most important feature of the next few years (1951-55) for the CPI was the gradually softening Soviet attitude toward Nehru. By slow degrees the Indian party was forced to follow the evolution of Soviet policy in agreeing first that there were some positive aspects to Nehru's generally black foreign policy, then that Nehru's foreign policy was generally good but that his domestic policy was bad, and finally that there were favorable features of his domestic policy as well. The CPI had to be bludgeoned by Moscow and its agents in the central CPI leadership into taking each painful step along this path, usually with a considerable time lag behind the development of Soviet policy; each such gradual modification of line toward Nehru was accomplished only over the strenuous objections of a large section of the Indian party which did not wish what it regarded as opportunities — to advance the cause of Communism in India by opposing Nehru — to be sacrificed for the sake of Soviet foreign policy interests.
Such CPI recalcitrance was reflected in the party program adopted in 1951, and then was strongly manifested at the Third CPI Congress at Madurai in December 1953. However, the Soviet movement away from hostility to Nehru, begun cautiously three years before Stalin's death, accelerated greatly thereafter in the Bandung period of 1954 and 1955, when Nehru exchanged visits with the Soviet and Chinese leaders and the USSR began a program of economic assistance to India. Under the impact of these events, the CPI became increasingly bound to a moderate policy involving reliance upon parliamentary elections. This trend was to receive its greatest development after the 20th CPSU Congress in 1956.

By the time of Stalin's death, any serious divergence between Chinese and Soviet policy toward the "national liberation movement" would seem to have disappeared, and Moscow and Peiping appear to have acted in close coordination in fostering warmer relations with Nehru in 1954 and 1955. However, the relative importance of the Chinese party and the Chinese revolution as a guide to Asia — which the CCP had stubbornly upheld during Stalin's lifetime — was inevitably increased as a result of his death, a fact reflected during this period in statements by both Soviet and Chinese leaders.

The 20th Congress of the CPSU in February 1956 and the events which flowed from it administered a series of fundamental shocks to the CPI with results which were to affect greatly the relationship of the Indian party to Moscow and to Peiping down to the present day. The first and most important of these shocks was that of deStalinization, which on the one hand greatly intensified the spirit of cynicism, the internal disorganization, and the personal indiscipline already widespread because of the party's previous history, and on the other hand greatly accelerated the long-term decline in the authority and prestige of the CPSU which had begun with the death of Stalin, while simultaneously enhancing the appeal of the CCP to those sections of the Indian party sympathetic to Peiping's viewpoint. This development was followed by the Soviet suppression of the Hungarian Revolution and the subsequent execution of Nagy, which weakened the CPSU's position among rightist sections of the party. A third difficulty was meanwhile occasioned by the 20th Congress line on peaceful transition to socialism, and particularly by the extreme interpretation of that line as applied to India provided by an authoritative Soviet article in the summer of 1956 which implied that Nehru, and not the CPI, would lead India into the socialist system. This viewpoint was directly challenged in public by general secretary Ghosh, and the CPSU soon retreated to a more orthodox position — which, however, still enjoined CPI support for Nehru and CPI reliance primarily upon parliamentary tactics. Forces in the Indian party favoring the parliamentary path were strengthened by the party's accession to power through elections in the state of Kerala in April 1957; and the CPI moved from the April 1956 line of the Palghat party congress (where the party cautiously acknowledged the possibility of peaceful transition to socialism through parliamentary means backed by mass movements, and announced its intention to explore this possibility by conducting itself as a parliamentary opposition) to the April 1958 line of the Amritsar Congress (which exuded confidence that the parliamentary takeover in Kerala could be repeated in other Indian states and eventually even in the center).

Meanwhile, by the fall of 1956 the first indications began to appear of growing divergence between the Chinese and Soviet parties over how far the soft line toward the national bourgeoisie of Asian countries should be pursued. Chinese objections on this score, originally suggested at the time of the Eighth CCP Congress in September 1956, were reinforced as the Indian Communist party became increasingly committed to the parliamentary line in the wake of the Kerala election. Chinese comments began to be heard in 1958 concerning the pernicious effect the Kerala Ministry was having on the militancy and Marxist orthodoxy of the CPI. At the same time the left wing of the Indian party led by the Andhra, West Bengal, and Punjab organizations, infuriated at the restrictions and inhibitions which were imposed upon the party as a whole by the need to preserve the Kerala government in power, became more and more inclined to regard the long-respected Chinese party as a source of inspiration more congenial to its interests than Moscow.

At the end of 1958 there was a momentary hardening of the Soviet line toward Nehru, occasioned primarily by the campaign being conducted by the Congress Party and other forces in Kerala to oust the Communist government.
This firmer Soviet attitude was exemplified by an article by Yudin in Problems of Peace and Socialism rebutting Nehru's attack on Communists as addicted to violence; Yudin's article placed the onus for any possible violence on bourgeois resistance to a peaceful transfer of power to the Communist party.

This Soviet shift in emphasis proved to be temporary, however, and in 1959 the polarization of the CPI between a moderate pro-Soviet wing and a militant pro-Chinese wing was to increase greatly. In 1959 the CPI for the first time became gravely affected by the growing differences between the Soviet and Chinese postures toward the "imperialist" world', their attitudes toward the ruling national bourgeoisie of underdeveloped countries, and their views on the most appropriate means of Communist assumption of power. The gap between the CPSU and the CCP on each of these issues, which had been alternately expanding and contracting in previous years, suddenly widened greatly. This was partly the result of events over which neither party had control: the Tibetan revolt, Nehru's decision to oust the Communist government in Kerala, Washington's decision to invite Khrushchev to the United States. It was also, however, the result of a conscious turning to the right by the CPSU and to the left by the CCP. On Moscow's side, there was an apparent decision taken in January 1959 to abandon the stronger tone used toward Nehru in the fall of 1958 and to bear with this bourgeois nationalist leader for a considerable distance. This resulted first in peremptory CPSU restraint of the CPI upon the occasion of Nehru's ouster of the Kerala government, and later in the Soviet adoption of a publicly neutral posture toward the Sino-Indian border dispute (a posture bitterly resented by the CCP), as well as in vigorous Soviet efforts to convince Nehru of Soviet friendship as the border dispute developed. On the Chinese side, there was instead a hardening of attitude toward Nehru at the very beginning of the year, which helped to determine Peiping's later response to events in Kerala and to the border dispute. At the same time, Khrushchev in the fall of 1959 adopted the softest line toward the West generally he had ever publicly voiced in the aftermath of his visit to the United States, while Peiping grew increasingly shrill in its warnings against Western treachery and in contradiction of the Soviet line.

Against this background of increasingly divergent policies, the CCP in 1959 for the first time began to make aggressive efforts to promote its viewpoint among sympathetic sections of the CPI, particularly within the militant West Bengal provincial party organization.
At the same time Ranadive and the other leftists in the party apparatus were drawn increasingly into an identification with and defense of Peiping's position in the border dispute, while right-faction leaders throughout the party became increasingly inclined to conciliate Indian nationalist opinion by supporting the Nehru government's stand and condemning Peiping.

In 1960 the Soviet and Chinese parties came into open and repeated conflict, and this conflict was transformed into an organizational struggle within the world Communist movement in which both sides eventually found themselves appealing to the loyalties of the key leaders of each of the principal Communist parties of the world. Although the CPSU, because of its fears of precipitating a formal schism in the Indian party, for a long time left the CPI out of its efforts to mobilize foreign Communist support against Peiping — and even attempted to continue to deny to the CPI the reality of the Sino-Soviet dispute — the Indian party eventually had to be drawn into that dispute if only because bloc policy toward India was one of the key matters at issue between Moscow and Peiping. CPI representatives took part in the Sino-Soviet confrontations which took place in Peiping and Bucharest in June, in Hanoi in September, and in Moscow in October and November. The Indian party was formally apprised of the Soviet position in a CPSU letter to the party center in August, and was given a Chinese reply more indirectly through West Bengal channels the next month. Under the impact of these events, the rightist CPI leaders pressed an offensive against leftist-faction positions, which they were anxious to identify clearly with CCP resistance to CPSU authority; the leftists in the central party machinery, for their part, were anxious to deny their own estrangement from the CPSU by denying as long as they could the reality of Sino-Soviet differences. When a clearcut choice was finally posed in September, vacillating and opportunistic CPI leaders (the majority) swung to the rightist side identified with the CPSU, and the CPI passed a secret resolution attacking Peiping and supporting Moscow. Passage of this resolution was resisted by the leftist CPI national leaders, however, and was bitterly denounced by left-faction representatives in the provinces throughout India. One important provincial party organization, in West Bengal, went so far as to pass a counter-resolution directly attacking the conduct of the CPSU and Khrushchev by name and supporting Peiping — the only such resolution definitely known to have been passed in any Communist party in the world. While the delegation led by Ghosh to Moscow supported Khrushchev on most issues during the November conference of Communist parties, it did not support his demand for a condemnation of factionalism within the Communist movement (implicitly, Chinese factionalism) because of the grave danger that such action would split the CPI. Khrushchev's eventual retreat at that conference on this crucial issue of discipline within the international movement — together with the inclusion of many Chinese positions in the ambiguous document produced by the conference — served to encourage the CPI leftists generally and to leave those of them who had openly defied the CPSU unrebuked and more firmly entrenched than before.

The year 1960 ended with the left faction of the CPI continuing to report to the Chinese party and to receive guidance from it, while gathering strength throughout India for an assault on the central party machinery in 1961. There was a gradual increase in leftist strength and assertiveness throughout the Indian party before the party congress met in April 1961, and Suslov, the CPSU delegate to that congress, was obliged to counsel Ghosh to make substantial concessions to the leftists on the wording of the party's political resolution — in order to preserve Ghosh in office as general secretary and to prevent a threatened open split in the party (which nevertheless came very near to materializing). There is good evidence, however, that the CPSU and Ghosh themselves favored a balanced line including both support and criticism of aspects of Nehru's foreign and domestic policies, and a long-term strategy of building a national democratic front through cooperation with "progressive" Congress Party leaders to achieve limited nonsocialist reforms as a prelude to the gradual Communist assumption of power. Suslov did not have to contend with direct Chinese competition at the CPI Congress, the prospective CCP representatives having been ordered to leave India beforehand by the New Delhi government.

While the new National Council elected by the Congress had a reduced rightist majority — because of the leftists' threat to break up the party unless their wishes were acceded to— the rightists subsequently used this National Council majority to reverse leftist control of the Central Executive Committee and the Central Secretariat, the two top party organs charged with running the party. When Ghosh led a balanced CPI delegation to the 22nd CPSU Congress in October, however, even moderates who were normally staunch CPSU supporters were shaken by the open attacks there on the Albanian leaders and the renewed assault on Stalin. Ghosh indicated his reservations about Khrushchev's course of action by declining to attack Albania in his speech to the CPSU Congress — like a number of other normally pro-CPSU foreign delegates — although two months later, again like the leaders of some other parties, he belatedly added mild public disapproval of the Albanians. Greater turmoil resulted within the CPI as a consequence of this CPSU Congress than had ever existed before, both because of the new CPSU offensive against Albania and the CCP and because of the attacks on Stalin and the displacement of Stalin's body. There were widespread attacks on Moscow and Khrushchev over these actions within all factions of the CPI, and one provincial party organization — that of Andhra Pradesh — passed a resolution condemning the CPSU, the second such resolution to be passed within the CPI in little more than a year. Ghosh eventually published an article publicly regretting the manner in which Moscow had again embarked on deStalinization, and declaring that the CPSU had forfeited its claim to infallibility.

These internal difficulties of the CPI were greatly augmented by the simultaneous rekindling of the Sino-Indian border dispute, a statement by Ghosh strongly attacking the CPR, and a subsequent People's Daily editorial condemning both Nehru and Ghosh. At the close of 1961, both leftist and rightist CPI leaders were warning of the likelihood of an open split in the Indian party after the elections of February 1962.
While it seemed likely that the CPSU would make every effort again to prevent such a split, Moscow's long-term chances of success in this effort were dependent on such factors as the future course of Sino-Soviet relations, the fortunes of the "peaceful coexistence" line, and the number of concessions Moscow was willing to make again to the CPI leftists. The Soviet problem was further complicated by the death of Ghosh in January 1962, and the lack of a suitable successor combining loyalty to the CPSU with acceptability to both wings of the Indian party.


The gradual growth of Peiping's influence and prestige within large sections of the Indian Communist party as a guide secondary to the CPSU has apparently been known and tolerated by the Soviet party for the better part of the last decade. It was this long-term Chinese "presence" in the CPI which in 1959 and 1960 — when Peiping began openly to challenge Soviet authority within the Communist movement on a world-wide scale — was to combine with the factionalism and astonishing indiscipline of the Indian party to produce a threat to CPSU primacy which endures to this day.  

Both factors — the legitimization of a degree of permanent Chinese influence, and the growth of factionalism and regional disregard for central authority to a point seen in hardly any other Communist party — had their origin [1] in the internal party struggle between 1947 and 1951 over the methods of struggle the party should follow, the immediate goal it should pursue, and the classes it should admit into its alliance. Many of the positions espoused at that time by individual CPI leaders — not to mention the CPSU and the CCP — have since been altered or even reversed. But there have been lasting effects from certain developments of that time: that the central CPI authority attempted to apply a certain line, in conformity with what it thought was CPSU policy; that this line proved disastrous for the Indian party; that other leaders openly proposed another line, which they specifically acknowledged to have been derived from Chinese teachings rather than from Moscow; that the central leadership reacted with violent denunciations of heresy, with suppression, expulsions, and similar methods to enforce its line on the party; that the central leadership also published a direct attack on the Chinese party as the source of this Indian heresy; that rebel CPI leaders in the center and in one important provincial organization nevertheless continued to defy the leadership; that Moscow eventually accepted certain elements of the Peiping line and forced them upon the Indian party; and that the old CPI leadership was removed and temporarily disgraced. While this was not the entire story (Moscow first and the CPI later concluded that the "Chinese path" was not entirely applicable to India, and the discredited CPI leaders were eventually readmitted to a central leadership coalition of all factions), nevertheless two effects have persevered: on the one hand, considerable respect for the wisdom and authority of the Chinese party were implanted permanently within the CPI; and on the other hand, the authority of the central CPI machinery was so weakened in relation to the provincial party organizations that never again has the central party leadership made a serious attempt to enforce a uniform, rigid line upon the often defiant provinces.

A. Soviet Shift to Militant Line (1947)

These events were set in motion for the CPI by the Soviet decision in 1947 to discard the rightist, united front-from-above line enjoining support for bourgeois governments which the CPSU had required of the world Communist movement after the USSR's entry into World War II. The CPSU now ordered a general shift to a militant strategy of violent opposition to bourgeois governments, general strikes, demonstrations, armed resistance, and, in colonial areas, "wars of liberation." The first authoritative signal for this shift was given in Zhdanov's report to the founding meeting of the Cominform in September 1947; but because Zhdanov dealt explicitly only with Europe, nowhere in this report did he indicate clearly whether or not the alliance which was to carry out the armed struggle in colonial countries against imperialist rulers could include sections of the native bourgeoisie which might be anti-imperialist (the "national bourgeoisie") or sections of the native peasantry which were not impoverished but which might be anti-feudal (the "middle" and "rich" peasantry). That Stalin in 1947 had not made up his mind on this question was indicated by the conflicting interpretations provided by authoritative Soviet speakers at the proceedings of a meeting of the Soviet Academy of Sciences on India in June 1947 which anticipated the Soviet switch to the militant line, and in articles by the same experts in December amplifying Zhdanov's thesis. [2]

The Chinese Communist Party, on the other hand, adopted a clear position on these ambiguous Soviet statements. On 25 December 1947 Mao Tse-tung delivered a report to the CCP central committee setting forth a line which was principally intended for the contemporary Chinese scene but which was also implied to be valid for other Asian parties. Mao condemned "ultra-left" policies toward the petty and "middle" bourgeoisie, explicitly set forth the immediate aims of his "New Democratic" revolution as the elimination of feudalism and monopoly capitalism rather than capitalism in general, and then added a call for "all anti-imperialist forces" of the various Eastern countries to unite to oppose imperialism and the reactionaries as he had defined them — by implication, therefore, to aim at a two-stage revolution (first anti-imperialist and democratic, and only later socialist), and to use a four-class alliance (proletariat, peasantry, petty bourgeoisie, and national bourgeoisie) against imperialism and the pro-imperialist sections of the bourgeoisie.

Although the Cominform organ For A Lasting Peace, For A People's Democracy published a summary of this Mao report, it omitted all mention of Mao's demand for the initial retention of capitalism and the alliance with the middle bourgeoisie, thus effectively obscuring Mao's central point. The CCP line on this issue was restated more forcefully and explicitly, however, the following year, in a passage in Liu Shao-chi's article "Nationalism and Internationalism," written in connection with the bloc break with Yugoslavia. While warning the Communists of colonial and semi-colonial countries — including India — to beware of "national betrayal by the reactionary section of the bourgeoisie" which had already surrendered to imperialism, Liu insisted that the Communists "should enter into an anti-imperialist alliance with that section of the national bourgeoisie which is still opposing imperialism." He added that "should the Communists fail to do so in earnest, should they on the contrary oppose or reject such an alliance", this would be a "serious mistake." Although this article was written in November 1948, it was not published in Soviet media until the following June, when the CPSU showed many signs of having finally accepted the line of an alliance with the national bourgeoisie. In the meantime, throughout 1948 authoritative Soviet writers had continued to take ambivalent or contradictory positions on this issue, and it seems likely that this CPSU indecision was one of the reasons for Moscow's long delay in publishing Liu's article. [3]

B. Ranadive Rise to Power in CPI

Meanwhile, even as Mao spoke in December 1947 a shift was occurring within the Indian Communist party which was bringing into control a faction which interpreted Zhdanov's September directive simplistically, not only assuming it to be a call for armed struggle against the Nehru government but also seeing it as a demand for a limited worker-peasant alliance against all sections of the Indian bourgeoisie to bring about a one-stage revolution overthrowing capitalism and ushering in socialism. This shift took place at a December 1947 CPI central committee meeting in which the balance of power within the party swung away from P. C. Joshi — the old CPI general secretary who had led the party since the middle thirties, and who had advocated support for the new Nehru government — toward B.T. Ranadive, who has since to this day remained at least the titular leader of the CPI leftist faction. The central committee adopted a resolution making no distinction between sections of the Indian bourgeoisie, and lumping all of the bourgeoisie with imperialism and feudalism as the enemy to be fought now.

This line was confirmed and developed three months later at the Second Congress of the CPI in February 1948, when Ranadive formally replaced Joshi as general secretary. The Political Thesis adopted by this congress identified the entire world bourgeoisie with the imperialist camp as the common enemy in every country; explicitly rejected the notion of significant differences among the bourgeoisie; called for a united front from below (to entice away the proletarian following of the Congress party) rather than a united front from above (which would have meant the Joshi line of alliances with and support for Congress party leaders); held that "a revolutionary situation now existed in India, and called for a violent effort to bring about a one-stage revolution. This party congress was held in Calcutta immediately upon the conclusion of an international youth congress there sponsored jointly by the World Federation of Democratic Youth and the International Union of Students which is believed to have given the signal for the armed Communist uprisings which soon afterward began in a number of other Asian countries.

Following the Second Congress, Ranadive proceeded to apply insurrectionary tactics against the Nehru government; in so doing he sought to adhere to the model of the Russian revolution and to rely primarily upon struggle in the cities rather than in the countryside. There were attempts at massive paralyzing strikes, violent demonstrations, acid-throwings, and so on, and many party leaders went underground. The Nehru government responded with a vigorous crackdown against the party which effectively anticipated and countered these measures and placed much of the party's top leadership in prison. Meanwhile, the CPI's violent tactics steadily reduced the number of effective party members, decimated the fronts, and rapidly eliminated the party's influence over the masses; calls for strikes were heeded less and less, and eventually, as Ranadive's opponents later charged, the party was reduced to sponsoring acts of "individual terrorism" by tiny groups of die-hard militants.

Andhra Citation of Mao as Guide

While this was going on, Communist leaders in the Telegnana district of the southern Indian princely state of Hyderabad (which had not yet been incorporated into India) had for three years been leading a relatively successful revolt among the local peasantry by relying upon a radical program of land reform. The contrast between the success of this effort and the failure of Ranadive's tactics encouraged the Andhra provincial committee — to which the Telengana party leaders were subordinated — to circulate within the party in June 1948 a document challenging Ranadive's line and calling for a line combining agrarian revolt with Communist alliance with the national bourgeoisie and all strata of the peasantry. The Andhra leaders explicitly acknowledged that they were inspired to adopt this line by the experience of the Chinese revolution, and not by what they termed "classical Russian revolution." They declared that "Mao, the leader of the historic Chinese liberation struggle, from his unique and rich experience and study, has formulated a theory of new democracy" which was a "new form of revolutionary struggle to advance toward socialism in colonies and semi-colonies" and which was something "distinct from the dictatorship of the proletariat." An essential aspect of this Maoist line which the Indian party should copy, they felt, was the limitation of the struggle in the present stage to one against imperialism and feudalism, and the consequent formation of a broad alliance with the anti-imperialist "middle bourgeoisie" of the cities, as well as the "middle peasantry" and (if possible) even the "rich peasantry" of the countryside. The Andhra party committee cited as the justification for this line a statement by Mao on 24 April 1945 to the 7th CCP Congress, in which Mao complained that "some people cannot understand why the Communist Party of China, far from being unsympathetic to capitalism, actually promotes its development," and explained that "what China does not want is foreign imperialism and native feudalism and not native capitalism which is too weak."

Ranadive Attack on Mao

While neither Mao nor the Andhra Communists had in mind either the indefinite retention of capitalism or the abdication of Communist leadership, and while there is no good evidence that the Andhra party in hailing Mao as a model consciously intended to reject CPSU authority, Ranadive for polemical purposes chose to profess these conclusions in the counteroffensive he made to the Andhra document. In his first response, in the CPI journal Communist of January 1949, Ranadive contented himself with defending his line of a single revolution leading directly to socialism, led by the proletariat in firm alliance only with the poor peasantry and the rural proletariat, and with suggesting that the battle against the Indian bourgeoisie was even more important than the struggle against foreign imperialism. In July 1949, however, he wrote an article in the same journal which directly assailed not only the Andhra document but its ideological inspiration, Mao Tse-tung. In this article Ranadive emphasized that the CPI accepted only Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Stalin as authoritative sources of Marxism, and not Mao, whom he implicitly compared with Tito and Browder. He declared that "some of Mao's formulations are such that no Communist party can accept them; they are in contradiction to the world understanding of the Communist parties." Citing the 1945 Mao quotation from the Andhra document, he termed the formulation about the CCP promoting the development of capitalism "horrifying," "reactionary," and "counterrevolutionary," and in hypocritical fashion interpreted Mao literally, asking: "Are we to understand that while Communists in Europe, the USSR, and India fight world capitalism, the CCP proposes to rebuild it in China?"

Joshi subsequently claimed that eighteen months before Ranadive expressed these views publicly he had disseminated them in private oral discussions within the CPI on the eve of the February 1948 CPI Congress. Ranadive at that time had reportedly declared that Mao's "New Democracy" was reeking with reformism and that the Chinese revolution would not be consolidated and directed towards socialism until its leadership revised its views or was made to revise them. Ranadive was also said to have predicted that a "whole pack of reformists" who had got control of certain other Communist parties after the wartime dissolution of the Cominform would soon be ousted. In a February 1949 article in Communist, Ranadive indeed made public similar vague charges of revisionism against the leaderships of unspecified European Communist parties.

For Ranadive to pass from these private charges of vague public allusions to his direct public attack on Mao in July 1949, however, was a remarkable act, particularly in view of the fact that the CCP at that moment was in the process of consolidating its conquest of mainland China, while the CPI was a tiny and hopelessly defeated remnant of a party.
Despite Ranadive's undoubted personal fanaticism and irresponsibility, it seems likely that he must have had what he considered good evidence of strong friction between Stalin and the CCP to justify his action. [4]

There are two known items of evidence dating from late 1948 and early 1949 which do suggest that at the very time when the CCP was coming to power in China, Stalin was experiencing particular difficulty in adjusting himself to the heightened status of Mao and the Chinese party within the international movement which was the inevitable consequence of this event. First, the British Communist Palme Dutt, in a report to a Conference on the Crisis of British Imperialism on 2 October 1948, listed five new features of the post-World War II "national liberation movement". According to the version of Dutt's report published in Britain, the second of these points declared: "The advance of democratic China represents a powerful force in the world situation which exercises a profound influence on the development of the liberation struggle of the colonial peoples throughout Asia." The version published in the Cominform journal on 15 October, however, listed only four features; the point about China was omitted.

When next the temper of Kashmiri politics boiled over, it was Freda rather than B.P.L. who was on the spot and propelled to prominence. In the spring of 1946, Sheikh Abdullah launched the Quit Kashmir movement. While the Congress's earlier Quit India campaign was directed against the British, Sheikh Abdullah was seeking the eviction of Kashmir's royal family and the establishment of representative government. The maharaja responded with repression. Protests were violently dispersed. Sheikh Abdullah was arrested in May 1946; hundreds of his supporters were also detained. Several of his key colleagues managed to reach Lahore. Some leaders of the National Conference, notably G.M. Karra, operated underground. Bedi was in Lahore and too well-known to make the journey to Srinagar without attracting immediate arrest. Freda, by chance, was in Kashmir on a camping holiday with her new baby, Kabir, then just four months old and still being breastfed. On Kabir's nineteenth birthday, Freda wrote him a long and intensely personal letter in which she dwelt on the political drama in which he was caught up.

In summer, we went up to Kashmir as usual. Papa left me in Haji Brar, and went down to Lahore again, promising to return. Then the storm burst. Sheikh Abdullah started the 'Quit Kashmir' agitation. He was promptly jailed along with all his followers. I felt I must do something. What, I didn't know. Srinagar was a long way away and all the people I could discuss things with were behind bars. I came down to Srinagar. You were always with me like my skin, tucked up in your little Moses basket. I daren't leave you for a minute so wherever you + I had to go, we went together.

How can I put in words that painful summer? The police wanted me to leave Kashmir as they knew Papa and I were friends of the rebels. So they issued a notice to me to leave. I wrote on the back of the notice that I didn't accept it, as I didn't recognise the people who issued it. From then on they pursued me. C.I.D. watching, following. I was doing nothing, of course; just feeding you. Whoever I stayed with, the poor boatman, were called and harassed [sic] by the Police. It was so difficult: they wanted to protect me, but I was giving them trouble. Finally, to save the boat people, I took a room in a cheap Punjabi hotel in the city, with a Frontierman Manager, some Peshawari Hindu, I've forgotten his name, but he had a heart of gold. 'Just you sit here and feed that baby,' he said, 'and don't worry about anything.'

But the hotel food made me sick, + my milk began to suffer. It was then that that saintly old man, a Kashmiri Pandit, ... heard of my plight and sent me every morning and evening a tiffin box full of pure vegetarian food. That kept me going, and you too ....

Once, the 'underground' Kashmiri nationalists wanted to meet me, and I was given a 'burqua' (you were tucked away under it, close to my heart) and slipped out of a house I was visiting by the back door, + so reached a room in the centre of the old city.14

In this intimate letter written many years after the events described, Freda downplayed both the bravery and the political significance of her actions. The state authorities' issuing of an 'externment' or deportation order against Freda in June 1946 was widely reported -- so too was her refusal to comply. This was a political trial of will, and Freda could not be sure that if the maharaja's police moved in, she would be gently treated. The British communist Rajani Palme Dutt -- in Kashmir in late July as a public show of support for Sheikh Abdullah -- complained of the 'reign of terror' let loose by the maharaja and his police. He met Bedi in Lahore, noting that he was 'large' and 'robust'. Bedi, in turn, helped to organise meetings for Palme Dutt in Srinagar, including with Freda. 'I saw armed sentries posted on all the bridges and strategic points,' he wrote in Labour Monthly. 'An Indian journalist who accompanied me to Srinagar was subjected to a police raid at night by ten C.I.D. men, who made a complete search of his room, as well as of the room of Freda Bedi in the same hotel. The driver of the car which I had used in Srinagar was ... arrested and beaten up to extract from him information as to my movements.'

Freda's secret meeting was to pass on messages between the National Conference leaders -- presumably those in Lahore -- and those such as G.M. Karra who were operating undercover in Srinagar. In the absence of much of the male leadership of the National Conference, women activists stepped into the breach. At the behest of some of these women, Freda dressed up in clothes which would have disguised her European appearance but hardly made her inconspicuous. '"People wouldn't put me in an old muddy burka," said Freda. "They wanted to dress me in the best they had, and they would go to the bride's chest." In ballooning garments encrusted with embroidery, and with daintily crocheted inserts just big enough for her blue English eyes to peer through, Freda moved about, relaying directives ... Her temporary retreat into purdah had been an experience for her. "It's a strange sensation it gives you," she said. "You're behind a bridge. You have this queer knowledge that you can observe everybody and no one can see you. It's a peculiar mentality that must develop among Muslim women."' Sajida Zameer Ahmed recalls escorting Freda, disguised in a burqa, on a horse-drawn buggy around Srinagar to meet underground activists. She also took on another invaluable role for Freda -- babysitting Kabir so that his mother could devote herself more fully to the political role she had taken on.

-- The Lives of Freda: The Political, Spiritual and Personal Journeys of Freda Bedi, by Andrew Whitehead

Anna Louise Strong Book

A more dramatic piece of evidence — and a reason why the CPSU at this time may have been unwilling to publish the seemingly innocuous statement above, which in subsequent years has been repeated many times by Moscow — was provided by the case of Anna Louise Strong and her book, "Tomorrow's China." This book, based on a year's stay in China from July 1946 to July 1947 and on repeated conversations with the top CCP leaders, was published by the Communist press of many countries late in 1948 and early in 1949. In India, it was published by the CPI's People's Publishing House of Bombay in the fall of 1948 under the title "Dawn Out of China." In this work Miss Strong paid repeated tribute to the experience and authority of the Chinese Communist party and Mao and the particular and unique relevance of Mao's teachings to the revolutions of Asia. She even went so far as to state explicitly that "it is to Mao Tse-tung and to Communist China much more than to present-day Moscow that the nationalist revolutions of Indonesia, Indo-China, Burma, look for their latest, most practical ideas," and that Mao's strategy was made to fit such peoples because China's problems are similar to theirs. Mao's analysis of China's revolution, she said, "is studied eagerly in the colonial lands of Southeast Asia;" and she thought that "Marxists all over the world agree that in order to understand the modern problems of Asia, it is necessary to study Mao's thought," since Mao was the "first Marxist in Asia" to succeed in applying Marxist principles to new conditions and in giving those principles a new development.

One aspect of the Maoist teachings thus lauded by this book is the "New Democracy" line calling for an alliance with the middle bourgeoisie and preservation of some native capitalism for the sake of the common struggle against imperialism and its adherents. In a later private conversation, Anna Louise Strong stated that in her last interview with Mao in 1947, she declared her intention to bring this Maoist line for the anti-imperialist struggle to the attention of other Asian Communist parties; thereupon, according to her account, Mao interrupted her to urge that she bring it to the attention of the Russians as well. In fact, after her book had already been published by a number of Communist parties, she did visit the Soviet Union in an effort to get the work published there, and appears to have been naively surprised at the insistence of the Moscow publishing house that drastic changes be made in the text. Finally, she was arrested in Moscow in February in 1949, charged with espionage, and subsequently expelled from the country. Her old friend Borodin, who had attempted to help her in dealing with the Moscow publishers, was also arrested and later died in prison.

The fact of Anna Louise Strong's arrest by the Soviet authorities a few months after the appearance of her book hailing Mao was likely to have been seized on by Ranadive as evidence of Stalin's attitude toward both Mao's pretensions and Maoist policy. Thus encouraged, Ranadive and his lieutenants in the party center persisted in leading the party on in its violent course despite the disastrous effects this was having, and despite the growing opposition to the Ranadive line not only from the Andhra committee but also from the party trade union leaders led by S.A. Dange. Too deeply committed to his line to draw back, Ranadive attempted to apply Stalinist methods of suppression within the CPI, arbitrarily dissolving rebellious local party committees and expelling dissidents on a wide scale, and thereby compounding the chaos throughout the party.

C. CPSU Shift Toward Broad Alliances, Away from Armed Struggle

One of Ranadive's opponents who was first suspended from the party and then, in December 1949, expelled, was the former CPI general secretary P.C. [Purand Chand] Joshi. Joshi responded pugnaciously to his expulsion by launching a one-man campaign against Ranadive, sending a long letter to Stalin and to other foreign parties documenting Ranadive's departure from Soviet intentions, and publishing these and other documents in a journal founded specially for the purpose. Joshi was aided in this effort by the fact that CPSU policy doubts had apparently been resolved by mid-summer 1949 in favor of the line of the four-class alliance and the two-stage revolution. In early June Pravda finally published the text of Liu Shao-chi's "Internationalism and Nationalism"; this fact was cited by Joshi [5] as having been ignored by Ranadive when publishing his attack on Mao. Also in June 1949, reports delivered at an important meeting held by the USSR Academy of Sciences upheld both armed peasant struggles and the participation of the national bourgeoisie in the anti-imperialist alliance in colonial countries; and the same line was taken in a collection of papers published by the Soviet Pacific Institute later in 1949.

Soviet Subordination of Chinese Experience

In addition, one of the latter papers published by the Pacific Institute now described the Chinese revolution as having profited "from the tremendous experience of the CPSU", as having "creatively applied the teachings of Lenin and Stalin" under conditions of a semi-colonial country, and as constituting for this reason "a vast treasury of revolutionary experience itself" for colonial peoples of the East to draw upon. This attempt to subordinate the significance of Mao's thinking was reiterated in a Soviet message on the founding of the CPR published in Pravda on 6 October 1949, in which the CCP was depicted as having won its victory by "basing itself" on Stalin's "analysis of the. . .conditions for a victory of an anti- imperialist and anti- feudal revolution." It thus seems that the CPSU, finally convinced of the expediency of Mao's four-class strategy for the revolutions of Asian parties — and also confronted by Mao's victory with the necessity of defining the CCP's relation to those revolutions — attempted to resolve both problems by adopting this Maoist line and depicting it, and all Chinese experience, as derived from Stalinist teachings.

The CCP seems never to have accepted this distinctly subordinate niche for Mao, although Mao in March and July 1949 did perform the ritual of acknowledging Chinese successes to have been made possible by the Soviet victories in World War II. At the November 1949 WFTU Peiping Conference of Asian and Australasian Countries which formally ratified the Maoist strategy as suitable for the Asian parties, Liu Shao-chi declared, without any obeisance to Soviet experience or teachings, that "the path taken by the Chinese people... is the path that should be taken by the peoples of the various [NCNA English] colonial and semi-colonial countries in their fight for national independence and people's democracy." [6] (Emphasis supplied.)
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

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Part 2 of __

The Question of the Suitability of Armed Struggle

This "Chinese path" was defined by Liu as a broad united front, including the national bourgeoisie and the petty bourgeoisie but based on the worker-peasant alliance and resolutely dominated by the Communist party — plus a national army led by the party waging armed struggles from bases in the countryside while conducting only "legal and illegal mass struggles" in the cities. [7] (Emphasis supplied.) Although Liu did insert certain qualifications — declaring that this "way of Mao Tse-tung" should be followed in other countries "where similar conditions prevail," that an army should be set up "wherever and whenever possible," and that armed struggle is the main form of struggle of "many" colonies and semi-colonies — the main thrust of his argument was in the opposite direction, implying that the Chinese felt that armed struggle on their model was indeed well-nigh universally suitable in Asia.

The CPSU has since intimated that at the time it was not in complete agreement with the CCP on this point, implying that the Soviet party, while finally accepting Mao's doctrine of a four-class alliance in colonial countries, may also have been just beginning to consider abandoning armed struggles in certain countries where they had proven inexpedient, and that the CPSU may therefore have been reluctant to commit all the Asian WFTU organizations to a line suggesting that violent tactics were still generally suitable. While there is no conclusive evidence, certain of Liu's statements have a highly polemical flavor which lends some credence to this. He said that "if the people of the colonies and semi-colonies have no armed forces to defend themselves, they will lose everything," that the existence and development of the working class' organization and the united front depends on armed struggle, and that armed struggle is the "inevitable" course for colonial peoples. He emphasized that "the fighters of the national-liberation wars of Vietnam, Burma, Indonesia, Malaya, and the Philippines have acted entirely correctly"[8] — as if someone had questioned this. He declared that it is "impossible" to overthrow imperialism and establish a people's democracy "by taking any other easier way" than that of armed struggle, and warned that "if anybody attempts to do so, it would be a mistake. [9] Ultimately, however, the WFTU Conference — presumably in deference to Soviet views — in one of its resolutions urged the colonial and semi-colonial countries to take into account "local conditions and national characteristics" in choosing "the appropriate methods" to build a united front and defeat the imperialists, suggesting that armed struggle was now far from generally obligatory. All in all, the evidence suggests that while both Moscow and Peiping still endorsed armed struggle for many Asian countries, and both admitted the need for some present exceptions, the CPSU now saw the necessity for more exceptions from this policy than the CCP was yet willing to admit.

January Cominform Editorial and Fall of Ranadive

This interpretation is given some support by an editorial published in the Cominform journal on 27 January 1950 which reiterated Liu's main points but in such a fashion as to suggest more vigorously that there were some Asian countries where armed struggle could not now usefully be employed, and that India was one such country. This editorial also quoted Liu's statement that the Chinese path should be taken by the people of the various colonial countries, but changed NCNA's "The various" to "many," possibly meaning to indicate that the CPSU saw exceptions to the applicability of armed struggle and to limit the stature of the Chinese party and its experience. The same function was served by the editorial's specific injunction to the Indian Communist party to be guided by "the experience of the national-liberation movement in China and other countries. " (Emphasis added.) In addition, the editorial now instructed the CPI to unite with "all classes, parties, groups and organizations" willing to join it in a battle against imperialism, feudalism, and "the reactionary big bourgeoisie."

The initial reaction of the Indian party to this signal was to heed the second instruction — to reject Ranadive's narrow approach and form a four-class alliance — but to misinterpret the more indirect suggestion that armed struggle itself be ended. In May 1950, a central committee meeting ousted Ranadive as general secretary and installed in control the Andhra leaders, headed by Rajeswar Rao. The triumphant Andhra group proceeded publicly to withdraw and apologize for the Ranadive attacks on Mao Tse-tung, and then to attempt to put into effect the Chinese formula of armed struggle in the countryside combined with "legal tactics" in the cities. This, however, proved no more successful than the Ranadive line. The party's "liberation war" lost support among the Telengana peasantry after the Indian government occupied Hyderabad and applied strong military pressure on the revolt; and efforts to open agrarian rebellions in other areas were largely unavailing. At the same time, it proved impossible to obtain from the Nehru government the legal status in cities necessary to build a united front there so long as the party was using violence in the countryside. The process of disorganization within the party accelerated, [10] and a campaign of opposition to the line of the new leadership was resumed by Joshi and by the trade union leaders under Dange, who challenged Rajeswar Rao's contention that a revolutionary situation now existed in India. Another center of open opposition came into being when dissident party leaders working in the central apparatus banded together to form the so-called "Party Headquarters Unit;" these rebels even went so far as to found a journal for the publication of material opposing the line of the party leadership.

Toward the close of 1950, the CPI received a series of guidance materials from the British Communist party supporting the views of the party opposition, accusing the Rao leadership of having misunderstood the January 1950 Cominform journal editorial, denying that a revolutionary situation suitable for armed struggle now existed in India, and urging concentration on the building of a broad united front and the application of all legal tactics, including participation in elections. Early in 1951, similar instructions were reportedly given to the CPI directly by the CPSU when a delegation of CPI leaders of all factions is said to have visited Moscow. A document entitled the "Tactical Line" said to be based upon this Soviet guidance was circulated secretly within the party at this time, and subsequently published in slightly sanitized form as a party draft Policy Statement in May 1951. The "Tactical Line" stated, and the Policy Statement implied, that the final objective of the CPI was still an armed revolution to overthrow the Nehru government; but both documents denied that this was now feasible. These documents condemned both Ranadive's insistence on seeking revolution primarily through general strikes of industrial workers, on the Soviet pattern, and Rajeswar Rao's preoccupation with partisan warfare among the peasantry, on the Chinese pattern. It was pointed out that the latter policy had been unsuccessful partly because the Indian party, unlike the CCP, did not enjoy the advantage of a firm and contiguous base across the border — in the Chinese case, the Soviet Union. (This point became important eight years later, when the PLA appeared on the Indian-Tibetan border in force during the suppression of the Tibetan revolt, and CPI leftists then began to argue that the party now had its contiguous base and could revive insurrectionary tactics.) The "Tactical Line" called on the CPI to learn from both the CPSU and the CCP and to prepare for the time when both methods could be used in conjunction; in the meantime, the party was to content itself with building the "revolutionary unity" of "all discontented sections and classes".

In reality, the subsequent history of the Indian Communist party has been wholly occupied with the party's efforts to build this "revolutionary unity," and the revolution itself has become an increasingly remote (and more complex) goal as the policies of the CPI and the CPSU have evolved. As Ajoy Ghosh replaced Rajeswar Rao as the CPI leader to apply the new line in April 1951, the Indian party had come almost full circle since 1947; but the party had now changed considerably. While it was now accepted that the simple "Chinese path" was not immediately suitable to India, it was also driven home in the minds of all that the Chinese Communist party and Mao were mentors whose views should be respectfully studied after those of the CPSU. The rigid, arbitrary Bolshevik discipline which Ranadive had attempted to wield within the party was now gone forever; moreover, as the secret organizational report delivered to the Sixth CPI Congress in 1961 noted, elementary Communist discipline was itself permanently discredited by the misuse Ranadive had made of it, and the extraordinary public factional defiance of central authority which had originally been justified as the only means to dethrone first Ranadive and then Rao was from now on implanted as a regular feature of party life. The new CPI general secretary, Ajoy Ghosh, was caught up immediately in such contention of opposing factions, over the line the party should adopt toward the Nehru government.



1. This is not to say that factional strife and respect for  the Chinese party had not existed in the CPI before this period,  but only that an enormous qualitative change occurred on both  counts after this time, which Indian Communists have themselves  remarked on.

2. For the details of these articles, see the discussions, by Kautsky (Moscow and the Communist Party of India, New York,  1956) and Overstreet and Windmiller (Communism in India, Berkeley, 1959).
3. Another reason, presumably, was Liu's insufficiently harsh  attitude toward Tito.
4. Although it is barely possible that Ranadive was given  direct instructions by the CPSU to attack Mao, this seems unlikely, if only because — as will be seen — by the time Ranadive wrote in July 1949 the CPSU had already accepted the  particular Maoist doctrine which was the central object of  Ranadive's assault. It appears more likely that Ranadive  used earlier broad indications of Sino-Soviet difficulties  as justification for attack on the authority cited by his  internal party opponents.
5. Joshi's writings in this period were replete with polemical  defenses of the Chinese leaders against Ranadive's attacks; and Joshi in subsequent years became known as the CPI leader  most closely identified with Peiping. Joshi 's adherence to  the alliance with the Indian national bourgeoisie, however,  outlived the eventual passing of Peiping's fondness for this  line; and Joshi was finally forced, most reluctantly, to support the CPSU against the CCP when the Sino-Soviet conflict  surfaced in 1960.
6. NCNA English version of 23 November 1949. The Soviet Union was  mentioned only in passing in this speech; and Liu alluded to  the European satellites as "the new democracies."
7. Li Li-san, a former CCP leader who in 1930 had been instrumental in applying Stalin's disastrous advice to the Chinese party to concentrate on armed struggles in the cities  rather than in the countryside, was also brought out at this  WFTU meeting to testify to the "historical lesson" taught by  his mistake and to the proven correctness of Mao's line of  relying on armed struggle in the countryside white essentially  "lying low" in the cities. Li's statements were probably  directed in large part at Ranadive, who was now repeating  Li's old policy; they were probably also intended as a reminder to the Asian parties of the fallibility of CPSU advice.
8. Earlier, in his speech, he had also hailed India as one of the countries where armed struggles were taking place; the Manifesto issued by the Peiping WFTU Conference did not do so, suggesting--as does subsequent evidence — that the question of the suitability of India for armed struggle may have been one of the points at issue.  
9. Liu here added unusually vigorous and lengthy warnings about the untrustworthiness and vacillations even of those sections of the bourgeoisie which participated in the anti-imperialist alliance (the national bourgeoisie), and their incapacity to lead the national liberation movement or accomplish the democratic revolution. This danger of the Communists losing control of the alliance to the national bourgeoisie would naturally come to the fore with the abandonment of Communist-led armed struggle against a clearly-defined imperialist and reactionary enemy; in such cases, there would be an increased possibility that some Communists would classify native governments such as Nehru's as national bourgeois, and hence worthy of being supported against a common imperialist enemy rather than fought. Something like this, in fact, eventually happened in India in response to changes in Soviet policy which Peiping at first accepted but finally again came to denounce.
10. Afterwards the CPI Politburo testified that in the course  of this joint "inner-Party struggle" and battle against the  government the functioning of every party unit had received  "the rudest shock;'" that at the end of the struggle in 1951  there was "very little of Party organization;" that local,  district, and provincial committees had to be set up all over  again; and that the party's fronts had become "virtually  non-functioning."


The most important feature of the next few years for the CPI was the gradually softening Soviet attitude toward Nehru. By degrees the Indian party was forced to follow the evolution of Soviet policy in agreeing first that there were some positive aspects to Nehru's generally black foreign policy, then that Nehru's foreign policy was generally good but that his domestic policy was bad, and finally that there were favorable features of his domestic policy as well. The CPI had to be bludgeoned by Moscow and its agents in the central CPI leadership into taking each painful step along this path, usually with a considerable time lag behind the development of Soviet policy; each such gradual modification of line toward Nehru was accomplished only over the strenuous objections of a large section of the Indian party which did not wish what it regarded as opportunities — to advance the cause of Communism in India by opposing Nehru — to be sacrificed for the sake of Soviet foreign policy interests. Such CPI recalcitrance was reflected in the party program adopted in 1951, and then was strongly felt at the Third CPI Congress at Madurai in December 1953. However, the Soviet movement away from hostility to Nehru, begun cautiously three years before Stalin's death, accelerated greatly thereafter in the Bandung period of 1954 and 1955, when Nehru exchanged visits with the Soviet and Chinese leaders and the USSR began a program of economic assistance to India. Under the impact of these events, the CPI became increasingly bound to a moderate policy involving reliance upon parliamentary elections. This trend to receive its greatest development after the 20th CPSU Congress in 1956.

By the time of Stalin's death, any serious divergence between Chinese and Soviet policy toward the national liberation movement would seem to have disappeared, arid Moscow and Peiping appear to have acted in close coordination in fostering warmer relations with Nehru in 1954 and 1955. However, the relative importance of the Chinese party and the Chinese revolution as a guide to Asia — which the CCP had stubbornly upheld during Stalin's lifetime -- was inevitably increased as a result of his death, a fact reflected during this period in statements by both Soviet and Chinese leaders.

A. Evolution of Soviet Line Before Stalin's Death

Until July 1950, Soviet and Chinese propaganda had been hostile to the Nehru government since its inception. The New Delhi regime was described as a lackey of the British and American imperialists which aided them in turning India into an advance base from which to combat the national liberation movement of Asia. The government, the Congress party, and the Praja Socialist Party were alike labeled reactionary "flunkies" of the Anglo-American warmongers. Izvestiya in October 1949 called Nehru's neutrality hypocritical; a Chinese writer in April 1950 said that he was at the "beck and call of the imperialists;" and the Soviet New Times in June 1950 said that the ruling circles of India were standing aloof from political entanglements only because they were afraid of exposing themselves in the eyes of the masses.

Shortly after the opening of the Korean war, however, there came a change. On 1 July 1950 the Indian Ambassador to Peiping tentatively suggested to the CPR that a solution to the Korean problem could be reached by referring it to the UN Security Council, with the CPR being admitted to her "legitimate place" there and the Soviets consequently giving up the boycott of the Council they were then maintaining. When this suggestion received a favorable response from Peiping, Nehru on 13 July sent identical letters to Stalin and Acheson with a formal proposal along these lines, which was promptly accepted by the USSR and rejected by the United States. This event was warmly welcomed and publicized by Moscow and Peiping, with People's Daily hailing "the world-wide support for the peaceful proposals "of J. Nehru and the reply of J. V. Stalin." From this time on, both Communist states appear to have been motivated by a growing awareness of the uses to be made of Indian foreign policy. In the propaganda, statements by New Delhi unfavorable to the Communist position on Korea tended to be downplayed or ignored, while favorable statements or actions were emphasized and exaggerated. Although praise for Nehru personally continued to be almost wholly absent, the Indian government as such was often referred to in amicable terms. Mild criticism of the government, largely regarding domestic policy, reappeared in Soviet media about two months after the Nehru-Stalin exchange and persisted sporadically until Stalin's death.

In December 1950, R. Palme Dutt, a leading British Communist who had often in the past served as an agent for the transmission of CPSU policy changes to the CPI, attempted to persuade the Indian party to modify its line in response to this new element in the bloc attitude toward Nehru. In a pamphlet published by the CPI in Bombay in which Dutt purported to answer questions addressed to him by the CPI, he held that the signs of a change in Indian foreign policy exemplified by Nehru's stand on the issues of Korea and Peiping's admission to the UN amounted to "a very important development." Although this was only "a beginning" and although Nehru did not yet have "a consistent peace policy," yet he was showing at least "hesitant and limited" opposition to imperialism, which it was the duty of the CPI to encourage. It was also the duty of the CPI to bring maximum popular pressure upon the Indian government when it vacillated in order to defeat the designs of that wing of the Indian bourgeoisie which favored imperialism and to strengthen the hand of that bourgeois wing led by Nehru which diverged from imperialist aims.

The Indian party, however, was not yet ready to accept even this partial reappraisal of Nehru. The party Program and Statement of Policy drafted by the politburo and central committee in the spring of 1951 and formally approved by an All-Indian Party Conference the following October both took a negative view of Nehru's foreign policy. The Program declared that the government "essentially carries out the foreign policy of British imperialism" and insisted that Nehru's policy on the issue of peace was "spurious" and hypocritical. A decade later, Pravda was to print an article by CPI general secretary Ghosh which retroactively condemned these statements of the 1951 CPI program as erroneous.

As Soviet foreign policy continued to explore further the advantages to be gained from Indian "neutrality", it simultaneously continued to push forward the "peace" line exemplified by the Stockholm Peace Appeal of March 1950, which had as its central aim the mobilization of the broadest possible public opposition — on a non-class basis — to the foreign policies of the "imperialist" powers, particularly the United States. The CPI was placed under increasing pressure by Moscow to devote central attention to this "peace" campaign against America, and this in turn reinforced the pressure on the Indian party to modify its line toward Nehru, who was viewed by Moscow as facilitating this campaign in certain respects.

In this context, the issue of the line to be taken toward Nehru was fought out within the CPI for the next few years in terms of the question of whether British or American imperialism was the chief enemy facing the Indian people. Those CPI leaders who either out of obedience to Moscow or because of their own less militant inclinations wished to take a softer line toward Nehru held that the struggle against the main international enemy— the United States — was paramount in India as well, and that all other considerations ought to be subordinated to the cause of attracting the maximum possible Indian support, including Nehru if possible, to the peace campaign. An opposing CPI faction was led by the chieftains of the Andhra provincial party, Rajeswar Rao and Sundarayya, with increasingly significant support now also from West Bengal and the Punjab, which were traditionally centers of Indian terrorism. This faction tended to pay obeisance to the world fight against American imperialism and to the peace campaign, but to emphasize that the primary enemy of the Indian Communist. Party remained British imperialism, which still controlled India as a semi-colony through its economic investments and through its political instrument, the Nehru government. Implicit in this line was the demand to carry on mass struggles (if, for the time being, no longer violent uprisings) against the New Delhi regime, and not to compromise these struggles for the sake of the -broader interests of Soviet foreign policy.

B. Death of Stalin and Third (Madurai) CPI Congress

Throughout 1952 and 1953 the second, or militant faction remained the stronger of the two within the Indian party, with the central party leadership led by Ghosh striving to bridge the gap between the increasingly divergent views of Moscow and the Andhra militants. While an extended party plenum at the close of 1952 criticized the CPI's neglect of the peace movement and promised to make this the central task of the party, a central committee resolution the following March continued to identify Great Britain as the chief enemy and to describe the Nehru government as a collaborator with imperialism. Although Moscow is reported to have sent a directive to the CPI a few months later urging it to stop criticizing Nehru on this score in the interests of winning him over to the "peace camp," strong opposition to this line persisted within the party.

A major showdown on this issue took place at the Third CPI Congress, which was held in the south India city of Madurai from 27 December 1953 to 4 January 1954. The draft political resolution presented to this congress by the leadership of Ghosh and Dange on the whole took the position desired by Moscow, with some concessions to the party militants. The resolution devoted somewhat more attention to the needs of the struggle against American imperialism than to the fight against Britain, but attempted to finesse the question of which was more important by depicting the two as compatible, since "the question of defeating the war plans of American imperialists, the defense of India's freedom from the American threat" was "closely linked with the question of India's winning freedom, liquidating feudalism" and of accomplishing "a break with the British Empire" and the removal of the "British stranglehold on India's economy." A similar compromise stand was taken on Nehru. The resolution said that the Indian government's role on a number of international issues had been "appreciated by the peace-loving masses", and enumerated New Delhi's "denunciation of the atom bomb, its help in ending the hostilities in Korea, its condemnation of the tactics of Syngman Rhee," its opposition to U.S. military aid to Pakistan, and its conclusion of cultural and trade agreements with the USSR and China. The resolution warned, however, that this did not mean that "democratic forces should uncritically and unconditionally give general overall support to the government policies even in the international sphere," since those policies "do not follow consistently a policy of peace and democracy;" and the resolution went on to list actions by New Delhi which had helped imperialism. The conclusion reached was that "while supporting all the positive measures," the party should "intensify pressure on the Indian government in order to make it pursue a consistent policy of peace." (At the same time, the party was called on to build a broad united front in such a manner that Communist policies and freedom of action were not restricted in any way, while yet gathering support to replace the Congress Party government with a "government of democratic unity" of the CPI and its allies.)

All this was not satisfactory to the Andhra militants, who submitted a document to the party congress known as the "Andhra Thesis" which did not specifically argue the question of policy toward Nehru, but which deplored "general talk of fighting Anglo-American imperialism" and insisted that the long-term need to oppose America as the "international enemy" should not be allowed to obscure the immediate and primary "concrete task" of the CPI, which was to fight British imperialism and its agents in India. Despite the presence at the congress of Soviet embassy representatives, as well as British party general secretary Harry Poll it — who emphasized the anti-American line in his speeches — delegates from Andhra, Punjab, and West Bengal reportedly tried and failed to amend the political resolution in accordance with their views. When the resolution was finally passed, one leftist Andhra leader, Basavapunniah, is said to have formally announced the abstention of nearly one-third the delegates present. The leadership attempted to appease the militant opposition by granting them strong representation on the new central committee, which was balanced to include members of all factions.

Although the CPSU had had difficulties a number of times before in getting the CPI to amend its line in response to a shift in Soviet foreign policy, it is likely that the obstruction it encountered at this CPI Congress — and on several occasions again in the next few years — was due at least in part to the beginning of a gradual erosion of CPSU authority resulting from the death of Stalin. With the. demise of the Soviet vozhd in March 1953 the Soviet party lost an irreplacable asset in its dealings with foreign Communist parties, since the awe inspired by the man who had dominated the movement for three decades was found to be not transferrable. The difficulties this caused for the CPSU within the CPI were eventually to be greatly increased, first by the process of deStalinization and then by the gradual rise of Chinese opposition to Soviet policies.

C. The CPI and the Development of the Bandung Line

After the Madurai Congress, Indian- American relations declined for a variety of reasons in the spring of 1954, and the evolution of a Chinese and Soviet policy conciliatory to Nehru was accelerated. In June 1954, Chou En-lai visited New Delhi for talks with Nehru, following which a communique was issued enunciating the Five Principles (Panch Shila) of peaceful co-existence. A few days after Chou's arrival, CPI general secretary Ajoy Ghosh departed for an extended stay in Moscow, ostensibly for medical reasons but in fact primarily for lengthy conversations on the new course of CPI policy. The party was meanwhile plunged again into violent controversy shortly after Chou's departure from India. On 18 July, the editor of the party weekly New Age , the Politburo member P. Ramamurthi, wrote an article in which he declared! that the Nehru-Chou talks had wrought a "change in the relationship of forces in Asia;" welcomed "warmly and enthusastically" the development of "cooperation and friendship" between New Delhi and the bloc; and advanced the slogan of a "national platform for peace and freedom." This slogan was immediately attacked strongly by militants from all sections of the party as implying that the CPI should now conclude an alliance with Nehru and the Congress party organization, and in early September 1954 a coalition of leftists from various provinces actually succeeded in getting a central committee plenum to condemn the party Politburo for having committed a "reformist" mistake in authorizing the publication of Ramamurthi's article.

This action by the central committee was extremely revealing in its demonstration of the extent to which authority with in the party had been dispersed among the provinces since Rana dive's time. A later party document commented that after the central committee had registered its rebuke, "even this criticism ... was not considered enough by certain Provincial Committees who thought that the Politburo had not been dealt with adequately." This document analyzed the motivation of the central committee leftists as follows:

The central committee had to evolve a tactical line in a changing situation, and for that it had to try to understand the changes themselves. This was completely lacking. Fear gripped the committees — fear of committing reformist mistakes. Some comrades of the central committee even went so far as to ascribe the success of the congress in strengthening its position to reformist mistakes committed by the party.

The "reformist mistakes" which the leftists felt the leadership had committed may have included an instruction which (a British service reported) had been sent out by CPI headquarters to party workers in the spring of 1954, advising them to go slow in their agitation against the government in view of the "delicate nature of the international situation." In Parliament, during the spring and summer, CPI representatives had found themselves restricted by party policy to attacks upon the West and to criticism of the government's domestic financial and economic policies; because Nehru had seized the initiative in espousing an anti-Western position on a number of foreign policy issues — e.g., colonialism, Korea, Indochina, and U.S. military aid to Pakistan — Communist deputies were forced to trail behind him with praise on each such issue. Such "tail ism" with respect to the national bourgeoisie was most uncomfortable for the militant section of the Indian party.

Dutt Cominform Article

On 8 October 1954, however, the Cominform journal published an article by A. Palme Dutt in which this British Communist indirectly reaffirmed the Ramamurthi thesis, this time from an authoritative forum. This article is said by a subsequent party document to have thrown the politburo "into a state of panic." Already "divided and demoralized" by the central committee's accusation that it had backslid into reformism, and without general secretary Ghosh who was in Moscow, the Politburo on 3 November hastily summoned an emergency meeting of the central committee and there placed before it a resolution rejecting the line taken in Dutt's Cominform article. During five ensuing days of debate in the Central committee, something like an abortive revolt against CPSU authority appears to have taken place. The Andhra leaders are reported to have revived their old argument about the superiority of Chinese to Soviet experience as a model for CPI tactics,11 and other speakers are said to have declared that it was obvious that Moscow (and hence Dutt) could err; the recent Soviet reversal of line toward Tito was cited as proof of this. In the midst of the debate, however, a telegram is reported to have arrived from Ghosh in Moscow urging the party not to be hasty in rejecting Dutt's line; and finally the central committee did reject the politburo resolution and adopted instead a resolution taking a noncommital attitude toward Dutt, declaring that "more time and thought" were required to resolve the "important differences" within the central committee.

A few weeks later, Ghosh returned from Moscow and immediately began to write articles and public statements suggesting that he had shifted further to the right. His new line was summarized by a statement on 7 December that ''the internal policy of the Nehru Government does not suit the interests of the masses, while the foreign policy does." The task of imposing this line on the CPI was helped by the return visit which Nehru had recently paid to the CPR that fall, but was made more difficult by speeches which Nehru subsequently delivered in November praising the CPR but bitterly attacking the Indian Communist party. While Ghosh attempted to keep the CPI from responding with personal attacks on Nehru, the organ of the West Bengal party, Swadhinata, nevertheless did publish an editorial assailing the Prime Minister; this was the first known example of what was to prove a persistent policy of defiance of the party center by Swadhinata which continues to this day.

February 1955 Andhra Elections

The objections of the CPI leftists to the trend of Soviet foreign policy were augmented by certain Soviet statements made shortly before the holding of important elections in Andhra province in February 1955. An editorial in Pravda on 26 January 1955 — India's Republic Day — not only praised the foreign policy of "the outstanding statesman Jawaharlal Nehru" but went on to list and praise the domestic accomplishments of the Nehru government in the fields of agriculture, consumer goods' production, education and public health. Incidental praise for New Delhi's foreign policy was also contained in the 8 February 1955 speech delivered by Foreign Minister Molotov to the Supreme Soviet, as well as in another Pravda editorial of 21 February. Such statements — and especially the 26 January Pravda editorial — were skillfully used in Congress Party propaganda against the CPI in the Andhra election campaign; this had considerable effect, particularly in view of the fact that the Andhra party, as the moderates in the party center later emphasized, applied "sectarian tactics" during the campaign and "failed to recognize the progressive orientation in the Government's foreign policy." After the Andhra party had lost this election, some party leftists accused Ghosh of having been secretly pleased with this failure as constituting a blow to the conceit of the Andhra provincial committee and to its independence of the party center. Along with being indignant at Moscow for its unprincipled actions in making these statements, the leftists were angry at Ghosh and the party leadership for having failed either to print the January Pravda editorial and Molotov's statements in New Age or to have issued a secret circular about them, so that the Andhra leadership was not given guidance on the Soviet line and was caught publicly contradicting it.

Throughout 1955 the USSR and the CPR continued to develop the new policy toward Nehru. In April the Bandung conference of Asian and African, leaders was held, and Chou En-lai showed the Asian bourgeoisie a disarmingly moderate image of the CPR and Chinese Communism. At about the same time a tentative contract was sighed based on an earlier offer of Soviet aid on favorable terms in constructing a large steel mill in India. In May, an editorial in the CPSU journal Kommunist gave the first indication of a coming change in the previously hostile Soviet appraisal of Gandhi. In June, Nehru paid an extended visit to the Soviet Union.

While Nehru was touring the USSR* the CPI central committee held a month-long meeting heatedly debating these events; at the close of this session a new political resolution was adopted representing a compromise between the opposing factions, finally supporting Nehru's foreign policy while taking a confused and contradictory but largely hostile line toward his domestic policy. Instead of, uniting the party, this CPI compromise, like so many others before and since, only exacerbated the factional struggle. A later Politburo report declared that three "more or less well-defined groups within the: party -- the supporters of the resolution and its leftist and rightist critics — now began an "intense political struggle" which "became the main feature of inner-party life from top to bottom," so that "even the current activity of the party came to a standstill in most provinces." The rightists were at this stage once more led by P. C. Joshi, who had staged a gradual comeback within the party since 1951 and was now again writing for New Age. Joshi was strongly influenced not only by the new bloc line toward Nehru, but also by Nehru's avowals of "progressive" and "socialist" goals;12 in July 1955, in a private conversation with a follower, he expressed great admiration for what he termed Nehru's great contribution to Asian socialism, called the Prime Minister a great mass leader and genuine progressive, and said that it would be suicidal for the CPI to continue a policy of opposition to him. Joshi now wanted the party to support Nehru all along the line and work toward a coalition government with his wing of the Congress party. At the other extreme, the leftists of Andhra and the Punjab were angry even at those kind things which the party had said about Nehru's foreign policy, and blamed Ghosh for rendering tacit support to what they felt was Joshi's "appease Nehru" line.

These opposing views were disseminated by their respective Politburo champions within the provincial committees where each leader had his strength, and were even published in the internal central committee organ Forum. During this period the politburo itself, by its own subsequent testimony, had virtually ceased to meet. With the roots of their political and party strength in the provinces or in specialized fields of activity such as the trade unions, hardly any of the politburo members wished to or did devote attention to the weak patty center. This indifference — and its corollary, the continued failure of the provincial organizations to keep the center informed of what was going on throughout the party — had come to be a more or less permanent feature of CPI life, and was lamented by organizational reports delivered to central committee meetings and Party congresses in 1951, 1954, 1956, and again in 1961.

On 7 July 1955, soon after the conclusion of the central committee meeting, Ghosh suffered a recurrence of his annual illness and went to Moscow, where he remained until 6 September. [DELETE] he carried back with him a CPSU document intended for circulation to foreign Communist parties providing some advance information on the line on "peaceful transition to socialism" that was to be promulgated at the 20th CPSU Congress the next spring. It is not known whether this document was discussed at the central committee meeting held in September after Ghosh's return; this meeting was reported to have reached substantial agreement in support of Nehru's foreign policy "in the main," but to have displayed continued great differences' over the line toward his domestic role. A central committee resolution now reversed previous CPI opposition to the government's Second Five- Year Plan, and proclaimed a dual policy toward Nehru of supporting him where he was correct and opposing him where he was reactionary. Meanwhile, amendments to the party program were prepared for ratification by the next CPI Congress, watering, down the 1951 statements defining Nehru's government as an appendage of imperialism.

Khrushchev- Bulganin Visit

In mid-November 1955 the CPSU completed this phrase in the shift in policy toward Nehru when Khrushchev and Bulganin visited India, offered a long-term program of technical assistance to India's industrialization, and paid several tributes to Gandhi, to Nehru, and to Nehru's "progressive" statements favoring socialism. Aware of the divisive effect these statements and actions were bound to have on the already divided CPI, the Soviet party Reportedly attempted to offset this in advance with a letter sent to the CPI politburo in October. This letter is said to have declared ambiguously that the Indian party should not be discouraged by anything the Soviet government said in public but should carry on in good spirit, building up the party until such time when a more active line could be taken. Several weeks later, a member of the visiting Soviet delegation is said to have conveyed similar advice to the CPI leaders, urging the party not to become "panicky" because of the Bulganin-Khrushchev speeches of praise for Nehru, and declaring that Soviet long-term aims were the reduction of Indian dependence on and ties to the United States and Britain and the infiltration of the Indian economy through the supplying of basic industrial aid.

Rise in Chinese Stature

This period of 1954 and 1955, when the CPR was working in close harmony with the USSR in promoting the soft line toward the bourgeoisie of India and other Asian countries, was to prove the all-time high point both for Sino-Soviet cooperation generally and for the degree of recognition given by Moscow to the stature of the Chinese party. Even two years before Stalin's death, he had given some implicit recognition to Chinese claims by allowing to be printed in the Cominform journal an article by Lu Ting-i stating that Mao's theory of the Chinese revolution was a "new development of Marxism-Leninism in the revolution of the colonial and semi-colonial countries" and a "new contribution to the treasury of Marxism-Leninism." Lu went on to say that while the "classic type of revolution for the imperialist countries is the October Revolution," the classic type for the colonial and semi-colonial countries was the Chinese revolution. In March 1954, a year after Stalin's death, CCP politburo member Chen Yun publicly reiterated this claim, asserting that the Chinese revolution was "the major sector" of, and inspiration for the revolution in the East. For a variety of reasons, some possibly related to internal CPSU politics, the Soviet party not only made no effort after Stalin's death to counter these Chinese claims, but made gestures specially intended to placate Peiping. On 8 February 1955 Molotov publicly referred to the CPR as co-leader of the bloc with the Soviet Union; although Peiping never itself picked up this formula, it was reiterated for a time by Moscow and a number of foreign Communist parties, including the CPI. An equally striking gesture was Pravda's formal announcement, in a special communique on 3 March 1955, that the accusations of espionage and subversion brought against Anna Louise Strong at the time of her arrest and expulsion in February 1949 had been completely groundless; just as her treatment by Stalin had been meant as a reproof to Mao's pretensions, this statement by Stalin's heirs was very probably intended as an indirect apology to Mao.



11. There is no evidence that the CCP at this time encouraged any CPI leaders to take this line, and it appears unlikely that Peiping would have done so — both because of the relatively harmonious Sino-Soviet relations existing in this period and because Peiping 's current line toward Nehru was not in fact that of the CPI militants.

12. In December 1954 the Indian government had introduced a resolution into Parliament declaring the goal of government policy to be the creation of a socialist pattern of society.  
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The 20th Congress of the CPSU in February 1956 and the events which flowed from it administered a series of fundamental shocks to the CPI with results which were to effect greatly the relationship of the Indian party to Moscow and to Peiping down to the present day. The first and most important of these shocks was that of deStalinization, which on the one hand greatly intensified the spirit of cynicism, the internal disorganization, and the personal indiscipline already widespread because of the party's previous history, and on the other hand greatly accelerated the long-term decline in the authority and prestige of the CPSU which had begun with the death of Stalin, while simultaneously enhancing the appeal of the CCP to those sections of the Indian party sympathetic to Peiping's viewpoint. This development was followed by the Soviet suppression of the Hungarian revolution and the subsequent execution of Nagy, which weakened the CPSU's position among rightist sections of the party. A third difficulty was meanwhile occasioned by the 20th Congress line on peaceful transition to. socialism, and particularly by the extreme interpretation of that line in application to India provided by an authoritative Soviet article in the summer of 1956 which implied that Nehru, and not the CPI, would lead India into the socialism system. This viewpoint was directly challenged in public by Ghosh, and the CPSU soon retreated to a more orthodox position which still enjoined CPI support for Nehru and CPI reliance primarily upon parliamentary tactics.

Forces in the Indian party favoring the parliamentary path were strengthened by the party's accession to power through elections in the state of Kerala in April 1957; and the CPI moved from the April 1956 line of the Palghat party congress (where the party cautiously acknowledged the possibility of peaceful transition to socialism through parliamentary means backed by mass movements, and announced its intention to explore this possibility by conducting itself as a parliamentary opposition) to the April 1958 line of the Amritsar Congress (which exuded confidence that the parliamentary takeover in Kerala could be repeated in other Indian states and eventually even in the center).

Meanwhile, by the fall of 1956 the first indications began to appear of growing divergence between the Chinese and Soviet parties over how far the soft line toward the national bourgeoisie of Asian countries should be pursued. Chinese objections on this score, originally suggested at the time of the Eighth CCP Congress in September 1956, were reinforced as the Indian Communist party became increasingly committed to the parliamentary line in the wake of the Kerala election, and Chinese comments began to be heard in 1958 concerning the pernicious effect the Kerala Ministry was having on the militance and Marxist orthodoxy of the CPI. At the same time the left wing of the Indian party led by the Andhra, West Bengal, and Punjab organizations, infuriated at the restrictions and inhibitions which were imposed upon the party as a whole by the need to preserve the Kerala government in power, became more and more inclined to regard the long-respected Chinese party as a source of inspiration more congenial to its interests than Moscow.

At the end of 1958 there was a momentary hardening of the Soviet line toward Nehru, occasioned primarily by the campaign being conducted by the Congress Party and other-forces in Kerala to oust the Communist government. This firmer Soviet attitude was exemplified by an article by Yudin in Problems of Peace and Socialism rebutting Nehru's attack on Communists as addicted to violence, and placing the onus for any possible violence on bourgeois resistance to a peaceful transfer of power to the Communist party. The Soviet shift in emphasis proved to be temporary, however, and in 1959 the polarization of the CPI between a moderate pro-Soviet wing and a militant pro-Chinese wing was to increase greatly.

A. The Effects of DeStalinization

At the fourth CPI Congress, held in Palghat from 19 to 26 April 1956, the question of the attacks on Stalin made at the 20th CPSU Congress two months before was a central issue. Although there is no direct evidence, certain passages in the speech made by Ghosh to the Indian congress suggested that some of his audience might have been already aware not only of the public criticism of Stalin made at the 20th Congress, but also of at least the gist of Khrushchev's secret indictment of the former dictator.13 Ghosh in his speech alluded to the consternation spreading throughout the CPI, acknowledging that "some of our comrades say that the whole moral basis on which they stood is shaken and there is nothing on which to stand." He strove to counter this feeling by offering a mixed appraisal of Stalin as an outstanding leader who had made certain mistakes toward the end of his life, and by defending Stalin's past role as "the international leader of the Communist movement" and the CPSU's role as "the party which has acted as a model" for the movement. He indicated his own dismay at the way deStalinization was being handled by saying that "many of us may be critical of the way in which certain things were done,"14 but pleaded that the party not to give way to "cynicism" regarding the USSR and the CPSU, insisting that the Soviet party "remains the leading party" of the international Communist movement. But Ghosh cited questions he said were being asked within the CPI regarding what other Soviet leaders were doing during "all these days" of the cult of the personality, and what made it possible "for such things to continue for such a long time;" furthermore, Ghosh acknowledged that he had no satisfactory answers to give to these questions, and that "what replies have been given have not satisfied me." Similar dissatisfaction with Soviet actions and answers was to be expressed publicly by Ghosh in December 1961 in the wake of the public Soviet attacks on Stalin at the 22nd CPSU Congress.

Subsequent reports have suggested that the Soviet attacks on Stalin were particularly devastating for Indian Communists who were old-timers in the party, and who had become adept at rationalizing Stalin's shortcomings and the repeated Soviet betrayals of CPI interests for Soviet foreign policy interests. The elaborate rationalizations established through the decades of Stalin's tenure were now destroyed. The organizational report submitted to the Sixth CPI Congress in 1961 testified that the Soviet deStalinization campaign of 1956 created a "big shock" within the "entire party," and "undermined the faith of a large number of party members in the international Communist movement." As a result, "ideas of questioning" what had been accepted as "unquestionable truths became the order of the day;" these newly-questioned truths included "the need for the unity of the party, discipline, democratic centralism, and., the solidarity of the international movement." While this was a phenomenon which took place in many Communist parties in 1956, it was particularly marked in the CPI because of the party's previous history and because, as the 1961 organizational report noted, disregard for discipline had already become a widespread fact in the Indian party before 1956. Reports in the summer of 1956 now spoke of "anarchy in the party;" hardly anything was kept secret any more, and faction leaders in party headquarters disseminated a constant flow of rumors and propaganda among their followers to discredit the factional opposition or to inform their supporters of discussions at the top. This CPI internal propaganda war was to be of great importance during the Sino-Soviet polemic of 1960.

Simultaneously, the prestige of the Chinese party began to grow throughout the CPI as that of the CPSU fell. For a time, this was even the case with such a normally loyal Soviet adherent as Ghosh. In his speech to the Palghat Congress, Ghosh pointedly referred to Peiping's comment on deStalinization, the People's Daily article "On the Historical Experience of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat." (While rendering a generally favorable judgment on Stalin's virtues and shortcomings, this article explicitly referred to the errors in policy into which Stalin had led the CCP from 1927 to 1936.) Ghosh declared that this article dealt with the question "in a more satisfactory and a more elaborate way than I have seen so far anywhere," and recommended that all party members read the version of the article reprinted in New Age . A resolution of the Palghat Congress subsequently called on the Central Committee to make sure that all party organizations had this People's Daily article for guidance when discussing the 20th Congress.

Hungarian Revolution and Nagy Execution

Within the right wing of the Indian party, disenchantment with the CPSU was furthered by the Soviet suppression of the Hungarian Revolution in November 1956. In an open letter published in New Age on 18 November responding to a socialist challenge to the CPI on this issue, Ghosh defended the Soviet action apologetically but admitted that the party had been wrong in the past in "idealizing the USSR" and in not having paid more attention to other people's criticism of the Soviet Union, Prior to a December 1956 meeting of the central committee, one staff unit in CPI headquarters submitted a memorandum to the party condemning Soviet policy in Hungary, and a clash on the subject of Hungary reportedly occurred at the central committee meeting. The December 1956 issue of the CPI monthly journal contained an article strongly suggesting disallusionment with party methods and attitudes toward truth stemming from the Hungarian events, and the following August a "nihilist group" of second-level party leaders with a similar point of view was said to be preparing a rebellious report on the "implications of Hungary" for circulation within the party.

Following the execution of Imre Nagy in the summer of 1958 there was a similar stir of discontent, particularly within provincial party organizations which were peculiarly sensitive to Indian public opinion. In Bombay, where the CPI had an important alliance with non-Communist parties to protect, the trade union leader Dange made a public statement critical of the executions; and a similar statement was issued on 30 June by the Kerala party, which was by then seeking to preserve its rule in the province. In general, while CPI objections to the Hungarian and Nagy incidents tended to be concentrated among sections of the party which opposed the leftist point of view — and which therefore could not ultimately gravitate toward the CCP as Peiping became increasingly militant — these contributions to anti-Soviet feeling within the party nevertheless did add to the general erosion of CPSU prestige which began with Stalin's death and was hastened by the deStalinization campaign.

Besides the statements already cited, there is considerable evidence to document this overall decline of CPSU stature and the gradual compensatory rise in Chinese prestige during 1957 and 1958; until late in this period, the phenomenon was general through all factions of the party, and did not yet represent a polarization of purely leftist CPI opinion along anti-CPSU and pro-CCP lines. In April 1957 a meeting of the West Bengal provincial committee reportedly ignored a letter from a CPI politburo member stressing the leading role of the Soviet party, and resolved to "interpret and apply" Marxism-Leninism according to local conditions and to follow Soviet policies only as a general ideological beacon. In June 1958, a group of West Bengal CPI members submitted a letter to party headquarters bitterly complaining of CPI subservience to the CPSU as demonstrated both by the party's failure to condemn the Nagy execution and the CPI's abrupt withdrawal of friendly greetings to Yugoslavia after the second bloc break with that country. In July 1957, the politburo member Z. A. Ahmad declared to friends that "the USSR is no model now," and that the CPR was such a model, if not a completely satisfactory one. In August 1958, Mohit Sen, an important CPI central apparatus functionary close to Ghosh, declared that Khrushchev did not have a great personal grasp of the "iron laws of history," that Mao, on the other hand, did, and that this Maoist insight was partly responsible for the success of the Communist movement in China. In October 1957, a long series of speakers at a closed meeting of the Bombay city party committee, led by the Bombay party secretary, strongly attacked the USSR and the CPSU and the CPI's subservience to the CPSU. And in August 1958, a veteran member of the Maharashtra provincial committee claimed that many members of the CPI had become hostile to the CPSU since the 20th CPSU Congress, that these members no longer considered the CPSU the leader of the international movement, and that they felt Mao had been the real world leader since Stalin's death; this view was said to derive partly from the fact that the CCP, like the CPI, was Asian, and partly from the fact that the Chinese leaders had committed fewer blunders than those of the CPSU.

B. The Effects of the Line on Peaceful Transition to Socialism

The second major shock to the CPI flowing from the 20th CPSU Congress was the Soviet formal enunciation of dicta on the non-inevitability of war and the possibility of a peaceful transition to socialism, coupled with the intimation that since it was vital to bloc interests to maintain India as a member of the intermediate "peace zone" of neutral states, India was one of the countries in which it was most urgent for the Communist party not to assault the ruling national bourgeoisie directly, but rather to attempt to work for power peacefully, and primarily through parliamentary methods.

This Soviet line does not appear to have been fully anticipated by the CPI; in March, immediately after the CPSU congress, all copies of documents previously distributed within the party in preparation for the Indian congress were reportedly withdrawn from circulation, and the same month a battle over a new resolution incorporating the new line to be presented to the congress was fought at a central committee meeting between Ghosh and the leftist forces of Sundarayya15 and Ranadive. This battle was resumed at the April Pal ghat Congress itself, where Ghosh cautiously explained and defended the new Soviet thesis at some length. Eventually the moderates won, and the congress adopted a line calling for defense and support of all government actions both foreign and domestic which were deemed progressive, and criticism only of those particular actions deemed reactionary. The CPI proclaimed itself now a parliamentary "Party of Opposition in relation to the present Government" which had the duty of holding up to the people the prospect of an "alternative government." In short,, the Indian party formally set out to explore the possibilities of the parliamentary road to socialism, without committing itself explicitly to the view that this road would necessarily prove successful and that all other paths would be forsaken.

This much the CPSU was able to secure without an unusual degree of difficulty; but when in the summer of 1956 the Soviet party published a two-part article in a prominent propaganda outlet, the journal New Times , intimating that Nehru himself — given proper support by the CPI — would lead India to socialism, all but the extreme right wing of the CPI rebelled. The article, by Modeste Rubinstein, marked the greatest extent to which the soft line toward the Asian national bourgeoisie had ever been carried by the CPSU. Rubinstein cited without contradiction and praised the significance of the various endorsements of "socialism" for India by Nehru and the Congress party; he hailed the growth of state capitalism in the Indian economy as a "progressive" factor (unlike state capitalism in the imperialist West) , and added that the role of Indian state capitalism differed from the role of state capitalism in the CPR only in that it was being used "consistently" to build socialism by Peiping; he cited Lenin as saying that state capitalism is a step towards socialism, and suggested that other necessary steps would come with the growth of the state sector of the economy under Nehru's leadership; finally, he declared that "given close cooperation by all the progressive forces of the country, there is the possibility for India to develop along socialist lines," and that although India's "advance along the socialist path" would be slower than and would differ in many respects from that of "say, China," only dogmatists would object to these peculiarities, which represented one of the "multiplicity of forms of socialist development."

This essentially revisionist line was violently attacked by Ghosh in an article in the October 1956 issue of the monthly New Age, where Rubinstein's articles were also printed for comparison. Ghosh took umbrage at the Soviet writer's flat statement that the peaceful path to socialism "had been advocated for many years by Jawaharlal Nehru," at his whitewashing of all of the "reactionary" side of the Indian government's policies, and particularly at Rubinstein's omission of all indication that the proletariat and the Communist party must lead the way to socialism.

While the CPSU thereupon retreated somewhat, and never again espoused Rubinstein's rightist line quite so openly, it continued to enjoin CPI support for Nehru's "progressive" policies and CPI reliance primarily upon the peaceful and parliamentary path to power. Moreover, to the present day Soviet journals (unlike those of Peiping) have continued to insist upon the "progressive" role of state capitalism in underdeveloped countries such as India; and at least until the Sino-Soviet polemic of 1960 forced Moscow to harden its line somewhat to retain the support of the Communist movement, many Soviet statements continued to suggest ambiguously that the "socialist" inclinations of the national bourgeoisie of Asian countries — while certainly not Marxist — nevertheless should be relied upon somehow to facilitate the gradual slide of these countries into the bloc orbit.16

Growing Chinese Opposition

There is some evidence to indicate that as the Soviet view of the national bourgeoisie grew more sanguine in the months immediately following the 20th party congress, Peiping objected, and that it was at this point that Chinese and Soviet policy began to part company. [DELETE (7 lines)]  
That same month — on 17 September 1956 — Anastas Mikoyan addressed the Eighth Congress of the CCP in Peiping. In this speech Mikoyan paid warm tribute to the Chinese party and to "the distinguished Marxist-Leninist Mao Tse-tung" as having made a "major contribution to Marxist-Leninist theory; and he declared that the Chinese had found "their own distinctive new forms and methods of building socialism." The major Marxist contribution and the distinctive new form which Mikoyan actually cited, however, was the Chinese alliance with the national bourgeoisie and the Chinese effort to move toward socialism through state capitalism. Later in his speech, Mikoyan dealt at length with Communist policy toward the underdeveloped countries and their national bourgeois rulers; he quoted Lenin on the "new transitional forms and ways" these countries were seeking "to avoid the torments of capitalism," and he indicated in polemical language what those forms should be. Mikoyan declared that "we must not overlook the fact" that the capitalist world is not homogenous, and the underdeveloped countries differ greatly from the imperialist countries; and he insisted that "we must be able to see" the difference between state capitalism in India and state capitalism in the United States. He held that "Marxists Cannot but regard positively" the growth of state capitalism in the newly independent countries, he suggested that this was their "new transitional form" to avoid capitalism, and he argued that this was a factor promoting growing sympathy for "socialist ideas and slogans" in such countries.

In short, the evidence suggests that Mikoyan praised the Chinese use of state capitalism and an alliance with the national bourgeoisie for the building of socialism under Communist control in China as justification for a sanguine Soviet attitude toward the growth of state capitalism in underdeveloped Asian countries where the national bourgeoisie and not the Communist party was still in control. The evidence also suggests that the Chinese objected to this distortion of their doctrine and experience to bolster policies they could not endorse. This interpretation is supported [DELETE (6 words)] by the content of the Rubinstein article (which appeared a month before Mikoyan spoke) , and by Chinese articles much later which denounced people who thought that under the leadership of the bourgeoisie one could "march into the period of socialism by way of state capitalism." [DELETE (6 lines)]

The Indian party was represented at the September 1956 Chinese party congress by the rightist Joshi, the Andhra leftist Sundarayya, arid the Kerala moderate E.M.S. Namboodiripad. After attending ;:the congress they went to Moscow in early October, and late in the month returned to India to report to a politburo meeting on their travels. Information is generally lacking on what they were told regarding policy toward Nehru by the CCP and the CPSU, although one report does state that Chinese leaders at the party congress warned the Indian delegation that they must increase their efforts to organize the peasantry to avoid electoral losses, since Communist strength among urban groups was unreliable.

C. Formation of the Kerala Government and Its Aftermath The right-wing faction of the CPI favoring parliamentary tactics and a moderate approach to Nehru received a major windfall in April 1957 when the Communist party was victorious in the elections in Kerala and proceeded to form a government in that state — the first time in the history of the world Communist movement that a Communist party had achieved even this limited degree of power through a parliamentary election. This event swung the controlling weight of opinion, within the CPI toward the moderates and kept it there for the next three years. The Kerala election also caused a wide stir in the international Communist movement, and in July 1957 a reliable report stated that Namboodiripad, the new Communist chief minister in Kerala, had been asked by the CPSU to forward a full report to Moscow on the methods used to attain power under a bourgeois parliament.

While the following of the CPI left faction was for the time being reduced by the Communist advent to power in Kerala, the consequences of this event only further infuriated the die-hard party militants. Reports throughout 1957 told of the difficulties Namboodiripad was having in attempting to reconcile the demands of the party extremists with the need to keep up a "democratic" facade in Kerala; the militants wished him to put through radical party measures regardless of the consequences, whereas Namboodiripad was concerned with the need to convince Nehru in New Delhi that the Kerala regime would not overstep certain moderate limits and therefore should not be pushed out of office. (Thus in October 1957 the party leftists in control of the Kerala peasant federation rejected a series of measures on land reform approved by the Communist ministry, in each case demanding that more radical steps be taken.) Even outside Kerala, the CPI found itself under unaccustomed new restrictions, since it now could not agitate any issue which might undermine the Kerala government in its restrained course. The party could not, for example, demand nationalization of industries without compensation, expropriation of foreign assets, or other steps which the Kerala government itself was unwilling to take.17

November 1957 Moscow Meeting

The tensions created in the party by this situation were manifested at politburo and central committee meetings held 'in October in preparation for the international Communist gathering in Moscow the following month. The central committee considered a document presented by Namboodiripad which clearly reflected the rightist influences brought to bear on him by the responsibilities of office. He espoused a "democratic and socialist" path to socialism — a policy "national in character and socialist in content." He advocated mild criticism of the Nehru government combined with full Communist cooperation with the government's Five-Year Plan programs. He urged Communist trade unions to cooperate with employers to find ways of increasing factory productivity, and even suggested that workers' wages should be increased only to a limited extent "so as to keep the wage bill below total output so that the savings thus effected could be diverted to finance the Plan."18 The leftists, led by the West Bengali Bhupesh Gupta, of course objected to this strenuously; they attacked the concept of the "democratic path to socialism," and argued that the parliamentary road was essentially a non- Marxist one which could be followed only under extraordinarily favorable conditions. The central committee reached no decision, and a delegation representing all factions was chosen to go to the 40th anniversary celebrations in Moscow.

At the Moscow meeting, the CPSU reportedly advised the CPI and other parties that they were now in a position to win elections, and should promote the progress of socialism through parliamentary means. At the same time, the Soviet party is said to have urged that each party build up a strong underground apparatus capable of waging armed struggle should this ever become necessary. Ghosh and at least some other, members of his delegation are believed to have rejected this demand as unsuitable for the CPI, citing as reasons the failure of armed struggle in Telengana, the fact that the CPI had now committed itself to building a mass party, the difficulty of maintaining secrecy in such a party under Indian conditions, and the fact that party cadres were needed for parliamentary or mass work. The CPI delegation finally agreed to build direct contacts within the Indian army first, and then to consider the advisability of seeking a standby apparatus against the possibility of the need for armed struggle.

In February 1958, an official of the Soviet Embassy in New Delhi is reported to have contacted CPI leaders to renew the request that the Indian party consider establishing an underground organization. Ghosh reportedly again refused, but the leftist leaders Sundarayya and Basavapunniah of Andhra and Surjit of the Punjab privately decided that Ghosh was taking a complacent and reformist line, and resolved to try to contact the CPSU again out of party channels. Sundarayya went to Moscow for a month in April to try to promote the cause of the underground apparatus, but because of Ghosh's opposition, the leftist efforts were apparently blocked for some time. On the other hand, the CPI did apparently proceed to intensify the recruitment of a secret organization within the Indian armed forces.

The CPI Amritsar Congress

What had apparently happened was that the CPSU by dint of continuous pressure upon the CPI over a period of several years, had finally induced the Indian party to accomplish a ponderous turnover in its thinking — a shift from actual armed struggle against the Nehru government, first to an attitude of militant hostility preparing for an imminent resumption of armed uprising, then to grudging partial support of Nehru and cautious testing of parliamentary tactics, and then to support of Nehru on many issues and broad reliance on parliamentary elections. Having wrought this massive change, it was not so easy for Moscow to get the CPI soon to introduce into the new line an element firmly associated in the minds of the Indian leadership with their mistaken old line.

This was particularly true since Moscow was far from wishing the CPI to abandon parliamentary tactics or the moderate line toward Nehru generally. In late March 1958 Ilya Ehrenburg, in New Delhi for a World Peace Council meeting, was reported to have conveyed Soviet advice to the Indian party to continue to seek an alliance with and conciliation of the national bourgeoisie, and to refrain from posing excessive demands to them now which might tend to drive them into the Anglo-American camp. At the Fifth CPI Congress held at Amritsar a few weeks later, Ghosh took such a position, proposing that the CPI ally itself with democratic forces within the Congress party to isolate and force the ouster from positions of power of the reactionary elements in that party. Several reports indicate that Ghosh was opposed at the Amritsar Congress again by a coalition of leftist forces headed by the West Bengal and Punjab organizations, and led personally once more by Ranadive, who had been readmitted to the central committee in 1956. In his speech to the congress, Ranadive is said to have opposed Ghosh's line toward the national bourgeoisie and to have warned that "when the struggle enters the final stage the imperialists and the national bourgeoisie will unite to fight against our party." In the political resolution adopted by the congress,19 Ghosh's line of cooperation with progressive forces within the Congress party (meaning principally Nehru) was accepted; the CPI made it clear, meanwhile, that it would continue to fight the reactionary sections of the Congress party in their strongholds in the Indian provinces. The CPI also made its most optimistic forecast to date on the chances of its coming to power by peaceful means; although it still did not explicitly disavow violence, and termed the success of the parliamentary road only a "possibility," the tone of the political resolution strongly suggested that this was an excellent possibility. The influence of the Kerala success was strongly felt here: the resolution said that "the process begun in Kerala can be carried forward toward the establishment of alternative democratic governments in some other States," and that the Kerala victory had given the people "confidence" that the Congress party could eventually be defeated and replaced also in the center. This was the famous "Amritsar line," which was to be bitterly debated within the party in 1959 and 1960.

Leftist Opposition Begins Turn Toward CCP

Throughout the latter half of 1958 left-faction opposition to the Amritsar line continued to grow. In a speech before a meeting of the Maharashtra Provincial Council in October 1958, Ranadive criticized the Amritsar thesis as revisionist, referred to the possibility of world war, and visualized an "end to democracy" in India after Nehru's retirement or death, when the Indian Army, he thought, would take over the administration of the country. At about the same time, Indian journalists working for TASS in New Delhi reported that Chinese embassy officials there were most unhappy about the "basic leadership of the CPI and had grave doubts of the fidelity to Marxism of the Indian party; these Chinese officials were said to be particularly unhappy about the Kerala experiment and its influence on the CPI, and reportedly saw "no hope in the Nehru regime." These views were to be reiterated to CPI general secretary Ghosh by Mao and Chou personally during Ghosh's visit to Peiping four months later after the 21st CPSU Congress. In view of this trend of thought among the Chinese leadership, CPI leftists who had long since become disillusioned with the CPSU and who had long deeply respected the CCP now began to turn toward Peiping for support in opposing the Amritsar line. In mid-November 1958, the Andhra leftist Basavapunniah was said to have commented to a colleague that he was "fed up" with the Soviets, and that he believed, even more strongly than he had for some time, that the real source of inspiration for the CPI now was Communist China. Basavapunniah announced his intention to visit the CPR immediately after attending the 21st CPSU Congress in January, and he planned to talk to Chinese leaders "as a disciple talks to his teacher."20

Temporary Hardening of Soviet Line Toward Nehru

At about the same time, in the last quarter of 1958, there also occurred a temporary shift in emphasis in the Soviet line toward Nehru. This was apparently directly related to events in Kerala, where the Communist government had come into increasing difficulties, partly as the result of its own imprudent actions (such as the use of its police to fire on hostile demonstrators), and partly as the result of a continuing campaign which the Congress party and its Kerala allies were waging to unseat the Communists. In early October the CPI central executive committee and national council for ten days seriously debated whether the Kerala government should be ordered to resign in order to extricate the party as a whole from its dilemma. In the midst of these meetings, however, an obscure Moscow publication — the newspaper Vodnyy Transport (Water Transport) — broke the total Soviet press silence of Kerala to run an "Observer" editorial discussing the campaign of "provocations" against the Kerala regime. This editorial ended by declaring that "in spite of all the tricks and slander, reaction in Kerala has not succeeded in causing the Communists to give up the course of selfless service to the people which they have set for themselves; the struggle in Kerala has not yet ended." It is difficult to think of any reason for a newspaper of this type to be alone in publishing an editorial such as this except as a discreet signal to the Indian party not to resign in Kerala; and in fact the CPI national council so decided.

The difficulties of the Kerala government continued, however, and in raid-October; Soviet officials in New Delhi, who reportedly had been very happy when the Kerala regime was formed, were said to be becoming increasingly pessimistic on its prospects. At the end of October a junior-level Soviet embassy official was reported to be inquiring whether the Kerala government was becoming unpopular as a result of the police shootings there.

In mid-December, the speaker at a Moscow public lecture referred to a drift to the right and a loss of popular support by Nehru and the Congress party; he alluded to certain mistaken Indian votes at the UN and to certain Indian government "differences with the socialist countries," and he chastised the non-scientific notion of socialism Nehru had demonstrated in a recent article in the Indian Economic Review. The speaker spoke of the CPI as a "large, open Communist-party of growing strength," and stated that "in Kerala, where the Communists are in power, they are doing well."

That same month an article in the international Communist journal Problems of Peace and Socialism by Pavel Yudin, the Soviet ambassador to the CPR, took Nehru to task for the statements in his Economic Review article attacking the Communists as devotees of violence; Yudin made it clear that the Indian bourgeoisie would be responsible for any Communist resort to violence if it refused to allow power to pass peacefully into Communist hands. While this article may have been partly intended to put pressure on the Nehru government to prevent it from swinging more decisively toward the West, its primary design seems to have been to attempt to induce Nehru not to dismiss the Kerala Ministry, while informing the CPI that it was permitted to build up mass struggles against the Nehru government to bolster its bargaining position. At the same time, Yudin intimated that the CPI should support Nehru's "bourgeois state" against imperialism and feudalism, and thus indicated that no permanent change in line was intended.

Within the CPI, the Yudin article was circulated among party units as a basis for discussion. Ranadive and his followers immediately seized upon it triumphantly as justification for their position, while such moderates as Dange, Joshi, and Namboodiripad criticized it (Namboodiripad did so publicly). Unlike the CCP's hardening of line toward Nehru, however, this CPSU shift at the close of 1958 was to prove most transitory, and by early the next year Moscow and Peiping were again taking increasingly divergent lines toward Nehru, with serious consequences for the Indian party.



13. The text of the secret speech was not released by the U.S. State Department until 4 June. 14. A subsequent CPI Central Committee resolution in July 1956 warned that a wholly negative, "one-sided appraisal" of Stalin's role "causes bewilderment among the masses and can be utilized by enemies of Communism to confuse them."

15. Sundarayya was a CPI militant who had shared authority in the Andhra Provincial Committee with Rajeswar Rao during the Telengana days; by 1956, Rao had changed his views and shifted to the rightist faction in the party, so that henceforth he and Sundarayya led two groups contending for control in the Andhra organization.

16. For a detailed discussion of these Soviet statements, see pages 44-60 of the FBIS Radio Propaganda Report RS.47 of 28 April 1961, "Divergent Soviet and CPR Views on the 'National Liberation Movement.'"

17. The Communist regime in Kerala, in its anxiety to build up the state as an Indian showcase of Communist accomplishments, actually was offering substantial inducements to some of the largest and most conservative Indian industrialists to bring capital into the state.

18. A similar proposal was incorporated in the rightist draft political resolution submitted to the Sixth CPI Congress in April 1961, but was defeated by the leftist opposition at that congress.

19. Aside from the passing of this resolution, one other event of some significance occurred at the Amritsar congress: the party adopted a new constitution in which the old Bolshevik names for party organs were replaced by names somewhat more congenial to the Indian scene. Thus the politburo became the central secretariat, and the central committee became the central executive committee; in addition, a new large party organ — the national council — was established at a level between the central executive committee and the party congress. These and other changes formalized and further encouraged a decentralization of authority in the party which had long existed in practice because of the strength of the provincial committees and the weakness of the party center.

20. In fact, Basavapunniah was unable to attend the Soviet Congress as a CPI delegate, and is not believed to have visited China with Ghosh in February. This hardly affected his views, however.
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