In a critique of the Narendra Modi government in the aftermath of the clashes between Indian and Chinese forces in Ladakh, and the Centre's reaction thereafter, former prime minister Manmohan Singh said that PM Modi must always be mindful of the implications of his words and declarations on the nation's security as also strategic and territorial interests.
Stressing on the sacrifice of the 20 Indian soldiers who died in a violent face-off in Galwan Valley, Singh said the country stands at historic crossroads at the moment and the government's decisions and actions will have a serious bearing on how the future generations perceive the leaders of today.
“Those who lead us bear the weight of a solemn duty. In our democracy, that responsibility rests with the office of the prime minister. The prime minister must always be mindful of the implications of his words and declarations on our nation’s security as also strategic and territorial interests,” Singh said.
The former premier said that while China is brazenly and illegally seeking to claim parts of Indian territory such as the Galwan Valley and the Pangong Tso Lake by committing multiple incursions between April 2020 till date, India cannot and will not be cowed down by threats and intimidation nor permit a compromise with our territorial integrity. “The prime minister cannot allow them to use his words as a vindication of their position and must ensure that all organs of the government work together to tackle this crisis and prevent it from escalating further,” he said.
Singh's critique is in sync with the Congress view that Modi's statement on the Ladakh developments at the all-party meeting, when seen in conjunction with China's claims on Galwan Valley, leads one to undesirable conclusions. Singh called for a united response to the brazen threat posed by China, but said he wanted to remind the government that “disinformation is no substitute for diplomacy or decisive leadership.” “The truth cannot be suppressed by having pliant allies spout comforting but false statements.
We call upon the prime minister and the government to rise to the occasion, to ensure justice for Colonel B. Santosh Babu and our jawans who have made the ultimate sacrifice and resolutely defended our territorial integrity,” said the former prime minister. “To do any less would be a historic betrayal of the people’s faith,” he added.