原文标题： I was, I am, and will remain anti-Chinese
Did they capture a lot of arms and ammunitions?
They must have; also trucks and other equipment from south of Tawang till the Assam border. As far as the 7 Brigade is concerned, it was totally and entirely an on-foot battle. A battle of the fit men only!
From Tawang to Bridge III, it was between 5 and 7 days walk. You had to be strong and I was strong, I was only 21 years old.
With my boys, I walked from Ziminthang to Tsangdhar in 16 hours only.
On October 21, we were kept near the helipad and I saw the two officers who had been killed near their chopper. I went to the Chinese officers who had interpreters in English and Hindi (while in the Chinese prisoner of war camp, they also would speak Gorkhali and Punjabi).
I asked this officer, I want to bury these officers; after I insisted, he said ‘Alright’. With two of my boys, we dug a 2-feet trench and buried Major Ram Singh and Squadron Leader Sehgal. We saluted them.
The next night (October 21-22) we stayed on there.
On the 22nd morning, we walked till Bridge III on the Namkha chu where we stayed for the night. Then we went to Khenzimane and the next day, we reached Le village on Nyamjiang chu in Tibet.
We stayed for two days in Le and moved to Marmang where we spent two nights before being taken in trucks to the PoW’s camp near Tsetang in central Tibet.
22日早上，我们一路走到克节朗河边上的Bridge III，并在那里过夜。随后去了Khenzimane。第二天，我们到达xzNyamjiang chu的勒村。
Were you fed properly?
The Chinese were not well off themselves. I could see this. We had to eat rice and radish for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We had to survive with this.
From Marmang, it took us three days and nights to reach the camp. They had proper roads. After all, Tibet is a plateau. You remove a few stones and you can drive on it.
They kept the majors and the four lieutenant colonels in two blocks; the captains and JCOs were in other houses (though later, they were separated), all around the Chongye monastery (in Yarlung Valley). Nobody lived in the monastery itself.
Gorkhas were kept separately, so were the jawans.
There were 4 PoW camps in Tibet. Ours was only for the 7 Brigade. There were four companies (our boys [17 Parachute Field Regiment], 4 Grenadier, 2 Rajput and 9 Punjab).
The 1/9 Gorkhas were kept separately, they wanted to show that Chinese and Gorkhas are related, they were given a better deal. Brigadier John Dalvi was taken to a commune and kept in solitary confinement; he was a very isolated man.
For a few days, jawans kept pouring in the camp. There were some 500 jawans from the 7 Infantry Brigade, 10 JCOs, 3 majors, 4 lieutenant colonels and 9 other officers.
Did you have proper clothing?
When we received our marching orders on September 24, we had sent a detachment to Kanpur to get warm clothes. I had a parka. We suffered less that some others. There were troops with just an angora shirt, not even a jersey.
After a few weeks, the Chinese gave us padded cloth, what they themselves were wearing. All of us slept on the hay, but being an unmarried man, I could sleep anywhere. I did not worry about anything.
My family got two telegrams: ‘2nd Lt Behl missing, believed dead.’ My uncle went to meet General P P Kumaramangalam (later thw army chief) who said ‘Forget about that boy, he is dead.’
Later, the Chinese gave the names of the prisoners to the Indian Red Cross. My name was in it. My parents knew then that I was alive; it was around New Year. About that time, we received parcels from the Red Cross (tooth paste, tooth brush, a sweater and sweets, etc).
Did they try to demoralise you?
They thought that they knew everything, but they only wanted to find out what they liked to hear. The interpreters would brainwash us daily. They asked questions like this: “What is the relation between generals and officers or officers and jawans?”
We always answered that our relations were good. I say with pride that my 38 boys, though they were not staying in the same block in the PoW’s camp, obeyed my orders 100 per cent from day 1 till the last day.
For example, I had not cut my hair nor did my boss Captain Talwar. My boys would once in the month secretly bring hot water to have a bath at 2 am. One of my jawans brought me tea (without milk and sugar) every day during the time we were prisoners. He knew I was fond of my tea.
He would come: “Ram, Ram, Sahib” and give me my tea. The Chinese did not know about it. Our house was near the kitchen and he was working there.
In the mornings, the Chinese gave us, Atta Chapati with some radish. For lunch and dinner, the menu was radish with rice. We survived. And 2 or 3 times, they gave us tins of pork. It was cooked with the rest and we were quite happy.
Did they try to make you admit that India attacked China?
There was an interpreter, Lieutenant Tong who used to say: “You attacked us.” I answered: “No, we had nothing (to attack you)”. He pushed me around and that was it.
The Chinese interpreters are like robots. If, in the morning, they are told, ‘You should be nice with the prisoners’, they would befriend us; if they were told, ‘Be rude’, they were very rude.
The Chinese have a very peculiar way of discussion or brainwashing. They would read out some news and ask us, “What you have to say?” We would answer: “I have nothing to say”. They would then ask us to write our comments. The officers and men remained very stubborn and did not believe what they said.
I was anti-Chinese, I am and will remain anti-Chinese because I know by experience that they can put a dagger in our back at any time.
During my stay, I planned for an escape with Captain Talwar and Captain Kohli. I would report sick every day and collect medicine.
Some other PoWs mentioned that there was a beautiful lady doctor.
Yes, everybody used to report sick to see her. But my objective was only to collect medicines. The Chinese had basic medicines, further they were practicing acupuncture. We planned to take the direction of the sun and then follow the route that we had taken to escape.
When did you learn about the cease-fire?
Two or three days after the cease-fire through the public address system. They used to give their own news in Hindi. They used to play songs: ‘Everywhere it is resounding that Indians and Chinese are brothers’.
How were you repatriated?
We were taken by the same road, except that we crossed at Bumla where we were handed over to the Indian Red Cross. By that time the Chinese had built a road between Bumla and Tawang. They built it in one month.
The point is that there is no mercy, no feelings, no democracy in their books: they brought people from Tibet and along with local Monpas, they made them work. They must have known the topography of the place by taking air photos. They knew the area well.
How do you explain that there is no photograph of the operations from the Indian side?
Obviously the Chinese being the winners had all the time to take pictures and use it for their propaganda.
Were the PoW camps ready months in advance to receive prisoners?
No, they were not. These houses had no windows and no door. They put some hay and that was it. No preparation was required. We had 2 or 3 mugs of water by day. The river was located at about 1 1/2 km.
Captains, lieutenants and other ranks had to carry water once in ten days. Senior officers were exempted.
What about the decorations? Some say that many were not merited.
It is not that all people who are decorated are brave and those not decorated are cowards.
But I want to tell you that NOBODY from the 7 Infantry Brigade received an order to withdraw to the best of my knowledge. Whosoever has withdrawn, withdrew on their own.
Some have been decorated, some not, it proves nothing. It is true that some people may not have deserved it, but that was it. The government probably wanted to show the nation, that the army fought well, therefore decorations were given.
Remember that it was a state of total chaos. Nobody knew what was happening. The fog of war was so thick that nobody could see anything.
It is an experience which marked everybody’s life.
In the Western sector, 13 Kumaon gave the Chinese a good fight in Chushul (Ladakh).
Though I was a carefree man, it was a harrowing experience. But even when people were running away, neither I nor my jawans thought of abandoning our post. We kept fighting, fighting.
Major Ram Singh and Squadron Leader Sehgal
Poor majors, army soldiers who died fighting battle, little did they know they died because of eunich Nehru and his megalomaniac thinking of keeping China away with his wishful thinking.
China has border problems with Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam,
by devedas bhaskar
Philippines and India…
by neelam bansal
I agree with Brig.Behl.I am anti-china and remain till I die.I still remember as a schoolchild while our mother’s donated gold to buy arms in 1962,our politicians failed us.
by Debasish Sarkar
I am also anti Chinese. Yes, Chacha Nehru did extreme Himalayan Blunder, and for that, we the INDIANS still suffering. Till date these Congress led Governments, kept us in dark about that Mega-Failure for us in that ill fated INDO-CHINESE WAR. We are still suffering. We now want some rectification in our National HISTORY BOOKS.
Its not 1962 anymore!
India today has nuke weapons and a comparable army to the chinese. There will be no repeat of 1962 now.
china needs to change its attitude towards us and start treating us with respect. India is not a natural enemy of china. We dont plan on attacking and capturing their territory. We are not a threat to them.
And china should clearly reciprocate!
If china is not a threat to us, they need to say it and show it. If they dont want to grab our territory, they need to sign the border agreement and agree to the current maps.
china faces reall threats from their old enemies of the west and the east. They dont need to add India to that list.
by mani shrinivas
Dear Brig Behl Sir
It was nice to read the first hand account of the 1962 war. If you remember we served togeter in 10 Arty Bde in 1983. I found you a fearless person who called a spade a spade. I was happy to hear that you are well settled in Chandigarh. I wish you a good health.
by raghvendra singh
country had to suffer due to mismanagement and ill preparedness of army unde Neu–another example to neglect coutys inteest
CHINA, a country of cheaters and betrayers
by Arun Agarwal
we are spineless people of the corrupt country, without any guts. why are we allowing indian markets to flooded with chinese goods..? why are we not openly supporting Dalai lama and why do we accept Tibbat as part of china, which it was never. Why Indian govt do not declare Tibbat as an independent country and declare its support for it..? Note down, China has eaten Tibbat, next is Arunachal pradesh……!
There is nothing in History china did to keep friendship policy?
by ajit d
India proposed friendship, China treated it as weakness attacked it in 1962. Its policy if you see is just rude and attacking see with japan or philipine or korea…. Indians will be doing the worst blunder if they go for friendship again. China wants friendship as only to neutralise American intersts
This report should be removed from the website. It talks about a demoralized defeat of Indian army in the hands of enemy. What do we gain by discussing this? We didn’t listen to the Chinese demand to return back Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai China, which were originally part of Tibet (occupied by China) and were incorporated into the greater Indian territory by the British. So from the Chinese perspective they had right to ask it back.
Re: This report
Ok, u mean that crime should be total. Else, it should be completed after some time.
i.e. when China raped Tibet, it forgot its two sisters – Arunachal and Aksai. So it has right to come back and kidnap these protected girls too ??
Re: This report
by sudhir kumar
i agree with what Mr SyZ says
Re: This report
by Nirpinder Singh
Success is the breeding ground for failure. Failure is the breeding ground for Success. If one remembers one’s failures and learns from them one is bound to succeed. a People who do not learn from their History are bound to repeat it
Re: This report
by Deepak Bhavnani
What sort of a “Lahoree” logic is this, SYZ? Tibet was and is an independent country. It has been illegally occupied by China. So, once chinese illegally occupied Tibet, acording to you they also had the right to illegally occupy Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin? Obviously, you Pakistanis have a retarded lahoree logic.
MMS is giving our jobs toi china
MMS has given all our jobs to china. now india is importing everything from china. chinese companies like huwaie are sending 100s of chinese india.
ppl. pls wake u and understand what is happening. this govt. is killing our industry and security
Why can’t we exchange our corrupt leaders for POW
by Bharat Soni
I have a good suggestion to show our gratitude to all the soldiers who are still held as captive by other foreign countries. Why don’t we exchange them with our corrupt politicians from BJP, Congress, LEFT and other regional parties. If they do not agree we can even offer exchange 1 and get 1 free.
Unlike the Japanese, it seems the Chinese were not cruel to their POWs. That is a redeeming feature. Of course, they had planned the war and timed it to synchronize with bay of pigs issue and that was crafty. But Nehru and menon and Kaul were not above blame and were also responsible. Let us not hate the Chinese while at the same time keeping our forces ready for treachery.
Re: One thing
by ravinder agrawal
Right, atleast there was no ill treatment (atleast in this case).
more then Chinese, it is our own poloticians (like Nehru) who is responsible for what happened to Indian Army and we lost war because of poor leadership of Nehru.
Re: Re: One thing
by Anand sodo
It was Jawahar Lal NGandhi…who had DECIEVED the Chinese..by inviting the Dalai Lama to come to india and run his Government in exile from Dharamshala.
It was JLNGandhi again…who, said India doesnt need any Army…It is a wastage of National Wealth!.
Our soldiers had to fight the 1962 war – Bare Footed, Bare-Handed…as they had no vehicles and very few weapons/Ammunition…and had no Maps or any Idea of the topography of that area…Our soldiers were surrounded from all sides…..and many were killed even after ‘Surrender’…. only a few were taken POWs …just for the records….
Re: One thing
You have the advantage of hind sight to blame the debacle on Nehru and Mennon. But remember, China was considered a docile country for much of her past life. There was a lot of bravado from India side but that is expected. When you are weak, you don’t go out showing the world that you are weak, you put up a front. That is what Nehru and company did. China was the aggressor and would have done what she did regardless. No country can build the army from grounds within 20 years of her birth, especially to compete with Chinese.
All veterans are super humans. I only wonder what they’d feel when they see stunts played out on national TV every day. people claiming to be patriots and destroying the morale of the country
by Ashok mishra
Salute salute and salute to all those brave warriers who fought the war in most diverse and difficult cicumstances.The are our Heros and role model to todays soldioers.
A hate campaigner.
by Ahi Sen
Like any other professional people those who join the forces also go for earning livelihood. It has some risk like many other professionals.However, during the peacetime they get all the comforts that is not enjoyed by others. There is a tendency to talk big after retirement. India was unprepared to take on China at that time yet tried to bully them and faced the defeat. The Chinese declared cease fire and walked back. Since then there has not been any further war with China. That shows that the neighbor had never wanted to their military might rather wanted friendship with us. Create good wave length and enjoy life.
Re: A hate campaigner.
by Amlan Kundu
The most famous book on this topic is ‘India’s China War’ by Neville Maxwell. Like every other Indian, I also believed in the treachery of the Chinese till I read the book. This book is used in the West as the primary book on this conflict, and West leaves no opportunity to belittle China. Summary of this book — China was rational if not generous, India was neither rational nor generous. This book along with General Kaul’s “Untold Story” were banned till Bajpayee lifted the ban after becoming the prime minister. I want to make another point. All our history books, media reports routinely call the Chinese ‘treacherous’, ‘barbarian’, ‘back-stabber’ and what not. Chinese do not do that. The media (in China) there make a distinction between people and authority. I have read translation of some reports from China on this topic to make this statement. We should not make such statements about Chinese people in general.