The 2 month long Doklam Standoff was one of the tensest times in the relationship between India and China, barring the Sino-Indian war (obviously).

The ties worsened recently with the extreme competition in trade and also China’s increasingly strengthening ties with Pakistan, including the building of the corridor.

These strained relations were put to the test when China started building a road in disputed territory and Indian forces rushed to stop them. This resulted in a stalemate where both sides refused to back off.

After  Doklam Standoff ended, many people lauded the reserve that the Indian government showed, by not reacting in a rash manner and not getting affected by the constant attacks by the Chinese in the political, psychological and media spheres.

Many people believed that the Standoff would lead to war. Not a repeat of the 1962 war, but a war nonetheless. Media channels were rife with animations and our charts and figures of what a war would look like. Jingoists were actively and heavily preaching it, you know the usual.

But the restraint and strength that the government showed were remarkable. And here’s why.

Firstly, Indian troops maintained a totally defensive role despite repeated threats and other statements from China. We held our ground both on the field and in the political arena.

Even when Chinese state media played caricatures of Indians portraying them as dumb, the government was stoic, even if the population was not.

Playing to their strengths and sticking to the moral and legal high ground, the government fought of all accusations and threats and instead of firing back, remained quiet.

What this did was put a monkey wrench in the wheel that is China. If we had fought back and reacted to everything that they said, the situation would have been different. Very different.

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China’s ulterior goal is to change the narrative to favor them, which they would have been able to have we reacted as they expected. This is a testament to the non-interventionist roots of our military-political strategy.

What this tells us about India’s behavior and interaction with other countries in the future is that our approach will be very calculated, thought out.

We will not lash out or take drastic steps just to prove a point or right a wrong. I expect our strategy to be very, very forward thinking. This is because as we saw in the Doklam Standoff, India’s cool behavior gave it a one up in the international community and make China look like the aggressor.

This goes a long way as these events color people’s and government’s perception about us. A positive perception will only help us in the future. It will further send out the message that we will look for the most amicable solution for all sides, something which will make us attractive as potential allies.

The Doklam Standoff told us a lot of things about the approach that the Modi government is going to adopt. A calculated one, not a rash one. It might also vindicate them from the perception of being very hurried that colored them after the surgical strike.

Whatever critics might say, the fact that the Doklam Standoff was resolved peacefully is something we should be happy about. Because we cannot afford a war right now, it will unnecessarily hamper our economic growth and further lower our standing in the international community.

Image Credits: Google Images


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