Pooja Poddar Marwah

All for a road

“The war will end. The leaders will shake hands. The old woman will keep waiting for her martyred son. That girl will wait for her beloved husband. And those children will wait for their heroic father. I don’t know who sold our homeland. But I saw who paid the price.”

It is becoming increasingly impossible to even look East anymore. With the clashes at Galvan Valley that brutally killed our soldiers, how important is the Line of Control or Actual Control? How does the difference really matter?

They say the assault was physical, without guns. They say India crossed the line, they are told to have a propaganda, but after 45 years, the standoff between India and China ended in a manner that will make peace talks futile.

The truth is that we were prepared as were they. We killed their soldiers as did they ours. And our leaders sit and say this was a conspiracy. That we will fight back. That they were wrong. In the end, how does it really matter who toed the line or who crossed it? For the brave soldiers that died, why couldn’t the talks have reached a conclusion amicably? Where are our leaders when we need them to take a stand and talk for us?

It is imperative here to know the history behind the fight. In 1962, China attacked India across our eastern and northern borders. The trigger for this war was the construction of a road between Xinjiang and Tibet. Around 179 km of this highway passes through Aksai Chin in the Indian Territory. The road the Chinese had built then was without India’s consent.

Finally, on September 7, 1993 The Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the People’s Republic of China entered into an Agreement and assured the maintenance of peace and tranquillity in areas, along the line of actual control in the India-China border areas.

I have always believed that the pen is mightier than the sword. So, as a proud citizen, I would like to emphasise on the fact that the collective weight of this tragedy lies on our Leaders. We needed to ensure that the Bilateral talks were not just “in process” but were conducive to both Countries. They needed to put the matter on priority and to foresee the disastrous outcome that could have happened at their lapse in timing. As it did.

For no matter how many talks happen, for our soldiers that died.. there is a family for them that still wants to believe it is a lie. There is a family out there that still has hope that their son will return.

And the sad truth is – He did return, wrapped in the saffron white and green flag, in a box!

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