Responsibility for the debacle rests with Nehru, V.K. Krishna Menon and Brigadier B.M. Kaul.

A melancholy anniversary passed unremembered three days ago. China’s invasion of India 60 years ago. The responsibility for the debacle rests with Jawaharlal Nehru, his erratic and incompetent Defence Minister, V.K. Krishna Menon and Brigadier B.M. Kaul, a favourite of Nehru and Menon.
To appoint Menon Defence Minister was to give precedence to friendship over national interest.
S. Gopal, in volume three of his biography of Jawaharlal Nehru, writes, “On one occasion, for example in the summer of 1961, addressing a large number of junior officers, Menon vilified the Chiefs of Staff, ‘Seventy five percent of our difficulties come from Chiefs of Staff. I am not saying that they have not made up their minds, because they haven’t got minds to make up’.”
General Thimayya, the brilliant Chief of the Army Staff, offered to resign because Menon constantly ignored his advice. Gopal, a genuine admirer of Nehru, had disdain for Menon. In his words, “As Menon became the Chief figure in the demonology of Indian politics and many at home and abroad saw him as Nehru’s Chief adviser in such matters as Goa, the Prime Minister’s defence of him became correspondingly more vigorous and unqualified.”
Neither Jawaharlal Nehru nor V.K. Krishna Menon had the fuggiest idea of how to conduct a war. Krishna Menon had convinced Nehru that the real enemy was Pakistan and not China.
Jawaharlal Nehru at one stage appointed Kailash Nath Katju (1887-1968) as Defence Minister. He was the despair of the Defence Ministry. The Prime Minister, as late as 1957, was “insufficiently alert to possible Chinese encroachment on a major scale” (Gopal).
I quote an incredible pronouncement on China by Nehru on 26 July 1956. “I am not at all sure of what China may do in ten or twenty years hence. But to protect ourselves against developments, we have to do other things and not to put up a useless Maginot Line. In particular we have to have peace, quiet and contentment on our side of the border. I am more worried about the Naga trouble from this point of view than about anything the Chinese may do.”
After the Chinese withdrawal, Nehru remarked, “I do not know how I will explain to Parliament why we have been found lacking in equipment. It is not much good shifting about blame. The fact remains that we have approached these things in a somewhat amateurish way.”
The Non-Aligned countries remained neutral. The USA under Kennedy promptly came to Nehru’s aid. As did UK and France.
Winston Churchill was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in 1952 when I was in my first year at Cambridge.
Liz Truss sat in Churchill’s chair for 44 chaotic days. No other served a shorter term. Even the 44 days were like “revolving chaos”. Truss lost her Secretaries of State for Foreign and Home Affairs in quick succession. The brutal fact is that the United Kingdom has no government because it has no Prime Minister.
Candidates to succeed her are the Indian origin Rishi Sunak, who was defeated by Liz Truss seven weeks ago. The next is Penny Mordaunt and the lamentable, discredited Boris Johnson who lied in the House of Commons. The Labour Party is seeking a general election. The Conservatives will certainly not agree. The party has a large majority in the House of Commons. In an election they will be wiped out. The UK will have a Prime Minister by 28 October. The frontrunners appear to be Rishi Sunak. If Barack Obama can be President of the United States why can’t a brown man head a government in the UK? The image of the UK has taken an unprecedented beating. How have the mighty fallen! It really is absurd for Britain to remain a permanent member of the UN Security Council. At least Britain should give up using the veto.
Two days ago, a billionaire Indian, who has a vast business establishment in Ukraine, came to see me. I met him after many years. His house is next to that of the President of Ukraine. He told me that the Ukraine war would end by December. I sincerely hope so.