Modi Traded Territory for Image at Ladakh

Understanding Modi

PM Modi would jump to proclaim as his personal achievement, anything that is positive, the basis may vary from truth to half-truth to practically nothing. In case of anything negative, he follows the policy of creating confusion through misuse of various agencies or not talking about it at all and if cornered, lies his way out. He is so scared of facing the negative truths of his career that he holds the unique distinction of being the head of a democratically elected government for almost 9 years without having held a single press conference.

Since my writings are subject to rigorous scrutiny by Modi-bhakts (which is very good) it is appropriate to quote examples to support my line of thinking:

  • Modi’s degree issue has so much confusion that several research papers can be written on the subject itself.
  • Modi ran away from an interview by Karan Thapar about his role in the Gujarat killings in 2002.
  • Demonetization was first proclaimed as a big success against black money. As the truth slowly dawned on the masses, including Modi-bhakts, the issue is avoided by Modi and his government today. The Supreme Court became complicit in the cover-up.
  • Modi does not talk anymore about ‘Make in India’, ‘2 crore jobs per year’, ‘bringing back black money’, ‘100 smart cities’, ‘doubling of farmers’ incomes and the numerous other false promises made by him.

I consider it important to narrate Modi’s boldest lie (in my opinion) till date is about NRC. On 20 Nov 2019, in a reply to a question by Rajya Sabha MP Swapan Dasgupta, Home Minister Amit Shah said that the NRC exercise would be carried out across India. Addressing a rally at Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan on 22 Dec 2019, Modi said that there have been no discussions on an all-India National Register of Citizens (NRC) since the BJP-led government assumed power in 2014. Wow!

Modi was desperate to somehow disrupt the “Bharat Jodo Yatra” towards its later stages. He used his low-level cunning to create the false threat of Covid and himself even wore a mask to the Parliament on 22 Dec 2022, while on the same evening at a wedding ceremony he wore no mask. Hypocrisy literally has no limits for our beloved PM.

I considered this introduction as important because the main topic of the analysis in this blog relies on some basic essentials of Modi’s traits, which are enumerated below:

  • Proclaim anything positive as his achievement.
  • Avoid talking about negative issues and suppress negative information.
  • In case cornered on a negative issue then openly lie.

Ladakh Issue with China: Story of how Modi Sacrificed Territory to Save his False Image

Information in Indian Public Domain

What the majority Indians accept as true in connection with the Ladakh issue:

  • In the clash in Galwan on —- India lost 20 soldiers, including a Col on the night of 15 Jun 2020.
  • How many Chinese soldiers died in this clash is something we do not know for sure. Though we have government officials claiming with confidence a much higher number of Chinese killed in the clash (to cater for the ‘feel good’ factor). China has accepted only 4 killed.
  • Ten Indian soldiers were returned by China after 3 days, on 18 Jun 2020. There was no open-source news about their apprehension. Till date we do not know the particulars of these soldiers.
  • Through a long series of talks India and China troops have disengaged.

Ambiguous Issues

  • Modi’s words in the Parliament on the subject, “No one entered Indian territory nor were Indian posts taken.”
  • If Modi’s words were true then the following questions come to mind:

o   What were the long series of talks about?

o   If indeed there has been no “transgression” then what is the meaning of insisting on a return to the pre-Galwan status quo?

o   Was the report of the Hindu, statements by Gen Panag, Gen S Dua, Col Ajai Shukla, Gen Mehta, Rahul Gandhi and other media reports contradicting Modi’s claims, all false? If they are false, then why action has not been taken against them for lowering the image of India? Please read these extracts (all the references are quoted at the end of the blog):

  • Gen Panag: “The area from Finger 8 to Finger 4 is about 8 km. The Chinese troops have occupied the heights overlooking our ITBP post between Finger 4 and Finger 3, and other peaks 4-5 km to the north of the lake. This means the total area occupied by the Chinese is 35-40 square km.”
  • Gen S Dua: “My take on this matter is that retired officers like us don’t have access to the specifics. The specifics can only be given by the government or the army. Sadly, then haven’t. They should have given specifics, whatever it may be. Absence of this information leads to speculations that are inconclusive and misleading.”
  • Gen VP Malik: “Yes, Chinese troops have come into the area between finger 4 and finger 8 in Pangong. It is a matter of concern.”
  • The Hindu: “About 1,000 square kilometres of area in Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) is now under Chinese control, intelligence inputs provided to the Centre suggest.”
  • Col Ajai Shukla:
  • “All four disengagements since April 2020 – Galwan, Pangong Lake, Gogra and Hot Springs – have been disadvantageous to India. The buffer zones that have come into existence are entirely on territory both claimed and previously patrolled by India but now, as a result, India is denied the right to patrol up to where it previously could.”
  •  “In China’s case the buffer zones are not on territory claimed and previously patrolled by China and, therefore, China can continue to patrol up to the point where it previously did.”
  • Speaking specifically about the buffer zone created at Hot Springs, he said: “They are all on Indian territory. Chinese soldiers can come in to a greater extent than before. With Indian soldiers it’s the other way round. Areas that were accessible before are no longer accessible.”
  • Shukla also spoke at length about the earlier disengagements at Galwan, Pangong Lake and Gogra. He said, “The same story is true of these three disengagements. Buffer zones have come up in such a way that India can no longer patrol on territory that it believes is Indian and where previously it could patrol.”
  • “In Galwan, its between 1 and 1.5 km, in Gogra, where the Chinese ingressed, 4 km into Indian territory they have gone back 2 km and the other 2 km have become a buffer zone. This buffer zone, he added, is therefore, entirely on Indian claimed territory. At Pangong Lake he said India could previously patrol between Fingers 3 and 8 but can no longer do so.”
  •  “At Depsang India had lost the right to patrol in approximately 15 km of its claimed territory. At Demchok he said it was around 5 km.”
  • Shukla also discusses the “extremely damaging” implications of the Prime Minister’s statement of June 2020 when Modi said, as reported by PTI, that there are no Chinese on Indian territory and never have been. Shukla says this is precisely what the Chinese claim and the Prime Minister’s statement endorses their position. In other words, he says, the Chinese must be extremely pleased because the Prime Minister has seemingly let them off the hook.
  • “China considers Demchok and Depsang legacy issues that predate the 2020 standoff. As regards the status quo of April 2020 it has said this “was created by India’s illegal crossing of the LAC.”
  • The Guardian:
  •  “The Indian government is lying that there is no land capture by China,” said Durbuk, a former councillor. “Our vast green pastures, where local herders used take their cattle, have been taken over. A number of locals have been forced by this situation to sell their cattle and move towards urban settlements for their livelihood.”
  • To those living along the poorly demarcated Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, a statement by Modi in the aftermath of the attack, that “China did not enter our territory” rang false. They allege Chinese incursions into Galwan and other disputed areas, such Pangong Tso, are just a continuation of the norm.
  • Taking out a notebook, Durbuk drew a map to demonstrate the Indian territory lost in Galwan. He pointed out a water handpump installed in 2010 by local authorities for herders, who used to bring their cattle and flocks of Cashmere wool-producing Changra goats to graze on high-altitude pastures near the border.
  • But these herders have been driven away and their water pump is now accompanied by Chinese military infrastructure. “The area is under Chinese army control and they have constructed roads and built structures there,” said Durbuk.
  • Sonam Wangchuk, a celebrated Ladakh-based engineer leading a boycott against China, made a similar observation. “As residents we have seen over years how China have been pushing the line, metre by metre. It’s been the cause of huge economic losses. Thousands of local goat herders have lost their pastures, and therefore their income because of it, and have been forced to become menial labourers in the city.”
  • In February, a group of local councillors gave a written memorandum to Modi, warning him about the capture of vast pasture lands by China.
  • “We have been raising the issue of Chinese advancement with the government and army for years. The Chinese have been taking over huge patches of land every year,” said Tashi Namgyal, 30, a councillor for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) representing Shyok area, the closest habitation to Galwan valley.
  • Another BJP councillor, Urgain Chodon, 30, whose village Koyal is situated along the LAC, alleged China has not only been annexing Indian territory but actively building infrastructure. “The Chinese come with their machinery – dumpers, earth movers – and construct roads and then claim later that it is their territory. When the herders would go to the places, they were visiting every year, they would find Chinese occupying these areas,” she said.
  • Tashi Chhepal, 60, a retired Indian Army Captain, affirmed that when he was a young officer, Galwan Valley was considered Indian territory and there were no Chinese posts even close to it.
  • “There were no roads at that time and we would trek for three weeks on horses from Pratappur Nubra north-east to Chumgtas. On the way, we would rest in the Galwan Valley,” said Chhepal. But with Chinese troops at patrolling point 14 in Galwan Valley, he said such a journey would be unthinkable now.
  • BBC
  • “Modi’s comments were at odds with remarks from his foreign minister who had earlier accused China of seeking “to erect a structure in Galwan Valley on our side of the LAC”.
  • At least 76 Indian soldiers were reportedly injured in addition to the 20 dead. China has not released any information about Chinese casualties.
  • Rahul Gandhi:
  • Rahul said if the Prime Minister says no Indian territory has been occupied by China , while satellite images show otherwise, then China stands to benefit from his statement.

o   Gen Ashok Mehta:

  • Centre for Policy Research’s Sushant Singh, in an essay, has mentioned that the Galwan clash took place at PP14 where Indian soldiers, who had gone to verify whether the Chinese had vacated the spot, walked into an ambush and lost 20 men while four PLA personnel died. In addition, 70 Indian soldiers were wounded and around 100 soldiers, including officers, captured by the PLA. There was no PLA soldier taken captive.
  • Another casualty from the new normal is PLA preventing Ladakhi herders from grazing animals on Indian land. The nambardar of Phobrang village, Konchok Stobgais, said they had lost access up to 40 km of the Kugrang valley. Similarly, Chushul councillor Konchok Stenzin is complaining about loss of traditional grazing ground. They are saying that the Indian leadership is being timid in getting these areas vacated. China, on the other hand, has used graziers escorted by the PLA in civilian clothes, leading to land grab in Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh.
  • For China, the standoff in east Ladakh is over; the border situation is ‘starting to normalise’ and the military strife resulting from the Galwan clash has ended. For India, ‘full normalcy had still not been restored’. That is the new normal which is unlikely to change for the foreseeable future. A DMZ has been created from Depsang to Pangong Tso and China will not discuss the two remaining friction points: Depsang and Demchok.
  • India has retreated to areas on its side of the LAC; the PLA has done the same, mostly on the Indian side of the LAC. The Chinese have applied the Dragon’s Rule: what is mine is mine. What’s yours is also mine.
  • India is playing with a weak hand. When asked last year at a press conference why Bangladesh had not voiced support for India in its standoff with China in Ladakh, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said: “it was not sought”, quickly adding “especially after PM Modi’s statement ‘not an inch of territory was lost’.” What Modi actually said was: “China has not intruded into our border, nor has any post been taken over by them”. This one statement with its clarification has caused irreparable harm to India’s repeated urging for the restoration of status quo ante of April 2020.

Changed Ethos of Defence Forces Post 2014

I was commissioned in the Army in 1982. Since then, our Defence Forces have been engaged in the 1984 Operation Blue Star in Amritsar, Operation Pawan in Sri Lanka, Kargil War and counter terrorist operations in Kashmir as well as the North East. Through easy informal communication we used to know well about the official version of operations as also the ‘actual version’. Today inside the Defence Forces serving/retired persons do not know the following:

  • What was the actual outcome of the Balakot airstrike? Some Ministers claimed large casualties. These are the type of sycophant Ministers who promoted the laughable false idea that Modi could get the Ukraine War halted to help Indian students come out of the war zone.
  • Excluding the affected persons or those very close to them from 16 BIHAR, 3 PUNJAB or the Artillery Regiment involved in the Galwan incident, no serving or retired persons know as to what transpired.
  • The same is the case as regards the recent clash with China at Yangtse on 09 Dec 2022.
  • Suppression of information, primarily because of Modi’s love to suppress anything negative, adversely affects the lessons the Defence persons learn from operations. The biggest task of all Defence personnel in the world is, ‘training for operations.’ Thanks to beloved Modi the training has been adversely affected.


  • As is customary for Modi, when confronting a difficult situation, he traded truth over his image and lied in the Parliament about no one having made any ingress into Indian territory.
  • India has lost territory to China in the Galwan incident which began on the night of 15 Jun 2020.
  • Indian troops cannot patrol up to the points that they used to prior to the Galwan incident today.
  • Modi’s lie has undermined India’s ability to bargain with China.
  • All Indians, very deservingly, have paid the price for electing a false propagandist as PM, in terms of the lost territory in Ladakh after 15 Jun 2020 and for this loss, Jawahar Lal Nehru is not responsible!



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