Every life lost by the migrant labour in the wake of the lockdown must be considered a martyrdom in the country’s defence against coronavirus. Their numbers must, therefore, be added to the figures strenuously doctored by the government machinery so as to make the total number of casualties due to the pandemic look less appalling.

The escalation of tension across India -China border is a matter of great concern for all peace-loving people. It took an unexpected turn when 20 Indian soldiers were killed at Galwan valley. Those martyrs will be remembered as heroes of the nation. We hope that their families will be taken care of by the government. Though the Chinese side did not reveal their casualties, reports say that they also had damages including loss of human lives. Cross border interventions by any neighbour could not be tolerated by any country with self-respect. Territorial encroachment is nothing but attempt for territorial expansionism. In the past also China had expressed her affinity to that.
That is the political psychology of yesteryears. In modern times whichever country who choose that path will only be termed as warmongers and expansionists. Politics of war is destructive and suicidal. India’s tradition and philosophy stand against it.
Border disputes are nothing new in the trajectory of India- China relations. Due to obvious reasons, both sides used to contain it within limits. Disputes were never allowed to raise to confrontations. There was a mechanism established and practiced by both India and China. Present casualties could have been avoided had the mechanism and the resultant pacts been followed. Ground level talks were the thrust of the pact aimed at de-escalation of stand-off between the armies.

Talks between higher officials and even political level could have been undertaken in order to maintain peace and stability in the difficult terrain with sub -zero temperature on the border. But it took an unfortunate turn on the eventful night of 15-16 June. It is not known why the Government of India decided to keep mum after this very important incident. None from the political leadership of the government came out to explain to the nation about the real situation.

At such crucial times it is the duty of the leaders of the country to reach the people and tell the facts. The newly founded wisdom of Indian diplomacy guided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi choose to adopt a different course. The country wants its leaders to be reasonable and responsible to the basic interests of this great peace-loving nation and its suffering masses.

Ideologues of hyper nationalism have become overactive and their propaganda machines are put to over timework. They look at the border issue with a narrow unrealistic perspective. For them relations between neighbouring nations are matters of least significance. This adventuristic philosophy and its diplomatic guidelines have made India a country with minimum friends in the neighbourhood. Instead, it looks to America for every needed and not needed occasions. For such elements, military buildup in the Chinese border might be the easiest option. Their allies in the international arena would also appreciate such a move. Protagonists of war and merchants of death might see this stand- off between two powerful neighbours as an opportunity for their deals in arms, through whipping up tensions. They should not be allowed to lead India at this critical moment of decision making.
Every inch of Indian territory needs to be protected. The lives and dignity of our Jawans at the borders have to be safe guarded. But war is not the only option for it. India cannot think of such a large-scale military confrontation now, when the whole country is reeling under the clutches of the pandemic. Even otherwise, war should not be the choice for any sensible nation in the nuclear era. It will have no victors at the end and will only put further hardships on the masses. Same is the case with China, equally suffering under the pandemic attack. Dialogue at the political level is the need. Conversation between external affairs ministers of India and China is a promising step in this direction. Let that initiative grow to new and more meaningful levels and Peace be restored between the two great neighbours.

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