I had posted an article on Tibet in October. I now refer to Brigadier J.P. Dalvi, "Himalayan Blunder: The Angry Truth About India's Most Crushing Military Disaster". Orient Paperbacks: New Delhi. I refer to his paragraphs on Tibet and Krishna Menon.
In 1904, British India under Lord Curzon organized a military expedition to Tibet. The largely Indian troops under Colonel Younghusband entered Lhasa and forced Tibet to accede to the Anglo-Tibetan Treaty. Britain thereafter controlled Tibetan foreign policy. The Anglo-Chinese Treaty of 1906 confirmed the 1904 Treaty. Lord Curzon urged that London provide de-jure international recognition to Tibet as an independent state. The Home Government remained non-committal.
In 1910, Qing dynasty China invaded Tibet and forced the Dalai Lama to flee to India. The Dalai Lama returned to Lhasa in 1912 and drove out the Chinese garrisons. Tibet proclaimed its independence in 1913. In 1914, Britain entered into an understanding with China to divide Tibet into two regions i.e. Outer Tibet and Inner Tibet. Outer Tibet had an area of 471,700 square miles. China agreed not to send troops into Outer Tibet. Inner Tibet meanwhile was incorporated into neighboring Chinese provinces. In 1914, Britain entered into an agreement with Tibet not to recognize Chinese suzerainty over Tibet. In 1921, New Delhi informed China that it intended to deal directly with Tibet bypassing China.
During World War 2, Tibet opened its own Foreign Affairs Bureau. It declared its neutrality when Japan invaded China. In 1947, a Tibetan trade delegation traveled overseas on Tibetan passports. Brigadier Dalvi quoted Jayaprakash Narayanan to mention "China has not exercised suzerainty, sovereignty or any other form of control over Tibet at any time from 1912 to 1950 when Chinese Communist Forces invaded the country." Jayaprakash Narayanan had attacked Nehru "The worldly-wise, who by their lack of courage and faith, block the progress of the human race not towards the moon but towards humanity itself. These persons have a myopic view and forget that nothing stands or can stand still in history - not even the Chinese Empire".
On October 7, 1950, the Red Army entered Tibet. K.M. Panikkar, the Indian ambassador to China and a left-wing ideologue, advised Nehru not to oppose the annexation of Tibet. Sardar Vallabhai Patel opposed this recommendation sending a letter to Nehru on November 7, 1950 urging that Nehru not recognize Chinese sovereignty over Tibet. Brigadier Dalvi reproduces the letter which makes for painful reading giving the remarkable percipience of Patel. I quote Patel "Chinese irredentism and Communist imperialism are different from the expansionism or imperialism of the Western powers. The former has a cloak of ideology which makes it ten times more dangerous. In the guise of ideological expansion lie concealed racial, national and historical claims".
Tibet appealed to the United Nations on November 23, 1950 for international assistance to oppose Chinese annexation. The Indian delegate to the United Nations opposed the inclusion of the question on the agenda. The issue was dropped on India's insistence. Sardar Vallabhai Patel died in December, 1950. The Red Army entered Lhasa only on September 9, 1951. The Tibetans revolted in 1959. The Chinese crushed the revolt and the Dalai Lama fled to India.
This assumed strategic significance. Tibet had exercised ecclesiastical authority over the North East Frontier Agency, Bhutan, Sikkim, parts of Nepal, Inner Mongolia and Outer Mongolia. China used this to lay claims to large tracts of land on India's northern frontiers and Mongolia's southern borders.
Brigadier Dalvi quoted Commandant General W.D.A Lentaigne, a distinguished British General with an impressive war record, that India could have forestalled the Chinese sequenced annexation of Tibet in 1950 and 1950. The General had predicted that China's next step would be to annex large tracks of land in Ladakh and the North East Frontier Agency. History proved him correct!
Brigadier Dalvi then describes Krishna Menon. Menon had studied at the London School of Economics. He obtained his Ph.D. in Glasgow. He was linked to influential British socialists such as Harold Laski and Bertrand Russell. Menon was closely associated with the far left of the Labor Party. In 1938 he toured Spain, then in the throes of civil war between the leftist Republicans and rightist Nationalists, arguing the case for the left.
Brigadier Dalvi mentions sources that described Menon as a Fabian Socialist or outright Communist. Menon had repeatedly advocated the case for the People's Republic of China at the United Nations in the late 1950s in the face of strenuous opposition from the Eisenhower administration. Indo-American relations plummeted to a new low.
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