India China War.
These 3 words have been seen together for 50 years. Even in 2020, we now are witnessing a hostile environment between these 2 countries.
Since independence, many encounters have taken place like,
1. India China war in 1962
2. India China war 1965
3. India China War in 1967
4. Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 (China’s influence)
5. India China War 1987
So it came as a coincidence when I got an opportunity to review “Watershed 1967: India’s Forgotten Victory over China” by Probal Dasgupta.
What is Watershed 1967 all about?
Watershed 1967 is about a story that you might have not heard. There’s a lot that happened in 1967. India’s dominance and victory over their arch-rivals in this period were possible solely because of the actions of many brave-hearts.
Through this book, the author wishes to shed a spotlight on a story that every Indian will be proud of.
Watershed 1967 – Story:
The book is divided into 3 parts. Let me explain it to you in a precise manner.
Part 1 is all about India’s hostile relations with Pakistan from 1962-1965. China meddled in India’s affairs and it felt like India might have to face not 1 but 2 enemies. But India is considered to never attack first or make aggressive moves. What will they do this time?
Part 2 is about the battle in Nathu La and Cho La in Sikkim between India and China. The battle of 1967 is explained in a detailed manner. It shows how desperate China was to not let Sikkim be a part of India. The heroics of our army men will amaze you.
Part 3 is an epilogue post the war that shows relations between India and China from the 1967 war until 2020. Various encounters took place in this time and each snippet will make you realize how much less we know about the India China war.
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My review of this book:
It’s surprising to read a story that I have no idea about. Yes, I’m amazed such events even took place and that the Indian Army was bad-ass back then as well. If you think the story of URI was inspiring, then my friend… you have no clue about the war of 1967.
There’s a lot of history at the start. It’s good to see the author give us a good look at India-China-Pakistan relations in the ‘60’s. You need to know every bit of information as one action leads to a reaction from the enemy.
These events shape up to wars that took place in 1962, 1965, and the final one in 1967. While many only remember China humiliating India in 1962, the wars in 1965 and 67 show India in a new avatar. The strategies, the moves, and every action were taken by the Indian Army left me struck in awe.
Who should read this book?
If you love to read about the Indian Army, India’s history with Pakistan and China, war stories, or have a genuine interest in a good story, this book is for you. It has everything right from good characters, a gripping story-line, and a jaw-dropping finale.
Who should avoid reading this book?
If you are looking for a fast-paced story-line, then this is not something I would recommend. The author explains every action in detail and hence it will take you time to digest every new piece of information. Also, if war stories do not interest you, you can avoid reading this.