Not Ready For War

Fifty years af­ter its only de­feat, the In­dian Army is still un­pre­pared for a bat­tle with its schem­ing ad­ver­sary, China.low on equip­ment and lack­ing in in­fra­struc­ture, the bloated war ma­chine is in ur­gent need of an over­haul.

India Today - - INSIDE - By Sandeep Un­nithan

Fifty years af­ter its first and only de­feat, the In­dian Army is still un­pre­pared for a bat­tle with its schem­ing ad­ver­sary, China.

The In­dian Army calls the black-topped road Char­lie 1. But af­ter a five-hour drive from Leh when it skirts the breath­tak­ingly beau­ti­ful 134 me­tre-long Pan­gong Tso lake, Char­lie 1 ceases to be a road. It twists and dis­solves into a dust trail as soon as it crosses the lake that is split down the cen­tre be­tween In­dia and China. The gravel track races eastwards for a back-break­ing 20 km un­til it meets the Line of Ac­tual Con­trol with China. Here, the dif­fer­ence across the bor­der is stark: con­crete all-weather roads which can be used to rush troops and equip­ment. The lack of in­fra­struc­ture is ev­i­dent in the mil­i­tary pos­ture on ei­ther side. While the In­dian Army ac­tively mans the bor­ders, the Chi­nese Army is de­ployed sev­eral kilo­me­tres away from it.

The two coun­tries have main­tained tran­quil bor­ders since 1993 as they dis­cuss the con­tentious 3,350-km bound­ary dis­pute. If the PLA were to mount a

Photo mon­tage by SAU­RABH Singh/www.in­di­a­to­day­im­ages.com

CHI­NESE SOLDIERS ATAN EX­ER­CISE Pho­tographs by AP and GETTY IM­AGES Photo mon­tage by SAU­RABH Singh/www.in­di­a­to­day­im­ages.com

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.