The Indian Army was not equipped to handle the 1962 Indo-China war, with New Delhi closing its eyes to the looming threat from Beijing, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said on Saturday, calling upon the present political establishment to ensure that the defence forces are fully prepared now, in view of the fresh signs of aggression from the country’s eastern border. Blaming New Delhi for India’s humiliating defeat in 1962, Captain Amarinder said the entire atmosphere in New Delhi was then of negation, with nobody ready to believe that the Chinese invasion was imminent despite the signs being loud and clear. Speaking at a panel discussion on `Sino-Indian Conflict 1962’ on the concluding day of the Military Literature Festival, Captain Amarinder said, in response to a question from senior journalist and moderator Vir Sanghvi, that the war ended the way everyone had expected it to end. Pinning the blame for the defeat on the `forward policy’ of the Indian government and its complete intelligence failure, the Chief Minister said with platoons being shifted by the then Defense Minister, sitting in New Delhi, the Indians did not go into the battle with adequate preparation. Captain Amarinder agreed with a view expressed at the discussion that even one general could make a difference in a battle. With a pliant Army Chief, the political masters in Delhi put men of their choice in key positions, with even the Corps Commander handpicked by the government based not on competence but as a personal favor, he added.
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