New Delhi: Former Indian army chief, General Mukund Naravane, provided a rare insight into the deadly Galwan Valley clash that erupted on June 15, 2020. In his memoir ‘Four Stars of Destiny,’ Naravane spoke about how Indian troops responded to the aggressive Chinese PLA in eastern Ladakh along the LAC.
He said, “Chinese President Xi Jinping will not forget June 16 any time soon as China’s People’s Liberation Army suffered fatal casualties for the first time in over two decades in the fighting.”
One of the foremost Army Generals, Naravane provided a gripping account of the India-China confrontation before and after the deadly Galwan Valley incident, India’s overall response to the Chinese action and how it served as a catalyst to firm up the Army’s combat readiness along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
“It was one of the saddest days of my entire career,” says Naravane recalling the death of 20 Army personnel in the Galwan Valley clashes in June 2020.
About the casualties on the Chinese side, General Naravane says it was evident that they “too suffered substantially”.
His tenure as the Army Chief from December 31, 2019 to April 30, 2022 was primarily marked by the Chinese challenges along the contested border as well as the rolling out of long-term reform measures to enhance the combat capabilities of the force.
“They had been following wolf-warrior diplomacy and salami-slicing tactics everywhere with impunity, browbeating smaller neighbours like Nepal and Bhutan, while staking their ever-increasing claims in the South China Sea, without having to pay any costs, especially in terms of human lives.”
“It took India and the Indian Army to show to the world that enough is enough and to challenge the neighbourhood bully.” Delving into the overall situation along the frontier, Naravane, at the same time, suggests having a “non-aggression” pact between the two countries pending the settlement of the overall boundary dispute, saying it would go a long way in restoring confidence and pave the way for de-escalation and de-induction of forces.
‘Four Stars of Destiny’ published by Penguin Random House India will hit the stands next month.