S Jaishankar’s Excavations to Rahul Gandhi on China Aggression
Foreign Minister S Jaishankar today claimed that land which opposition leaders say was occupied by China ‘was in fact occupied in 1962’, in reference to the war when Jawaharlal Nehru was Prime minister. He also criticized Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who recently spoke about an official report on the loss of territory in Ladakh.
“Sometimes they spread information that they know is wrong. They project as if it happened a while ago, when it actually happened in 1962… They won’t talk about it,” a- he said, referring, according to the ANI news agency, to the Chinese version of events. His “they” reference may also have been to recent remarks by opposition leaders.
Regarding the loss of territory, Rahul Gandhi was recently among those who cited a report by a senior Ladakh police officer that India lost access to 26 out of 65 patrol points in eastern Ladakh. The report was delivered at a conference of the country’s top police officers in Delhi, attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.
But Mr Jaishankar sought to counter it, speaking at Saturday’s event in Pune.
“Also, if I needed to know anything (about China), I wouldn’t go to the Chinese ambassador for information, but my military leaders,” he added, probing further. referring to Rahul Gandhi’s 2017 encounter with the envoy when the two countries were at an impasse.
Mr Gandhi said at the time: “It’s my job to be briefed on critical issues. I met the Chinese ambassador, the ex-NSA (national security adviser) (from the India), the leaders of the NE (North East) Congress and the Ambassador of Bhutan.
At the Pune event, the foreign minister also spoke about foreign media using adjectives such as “Hindu nationalist” for India’s BJP government. “In America or Europe, you won’t say Christian nationalist… those adjectives are reserved for us,” he said.
He added that he was proud of it. “If you look at the last nine years, there’s no doubt that the government and the politics of the day are more nationalistic…I don’t think there’s anything to apologize for about that,” said the minister, speaking in Hindi, on the release of ‘Bharat Marg’, the Marathi translation of his book ‘The India Way’
His comments to foreign media come when there is a row over a BBC documentary about the prime minister, ‘The Modi Question’, which discusses the 2002 Gujarat riots when he was chief minister and the supposedly communal politics of the BJP.
The central government denounced the two-part documentary series as a “propaganda piece” designed to promote a discredited narrative.
In his remarks in Pune, Mr Jaishankar did not speak specifically about this but said “everyone in the country is linked to Prime Minister Modi during India’s G20 Presidency”.
India led the international group for a year under a rotation system.