So apparently, my previous blog on the PLA Peacekeepers running away under fire in South Sudan (LINK) gathered quite a few eyeballs, being shared on some other blogs, fora and WhatsApp too. This what follows, came as part of a WhatsApp message on my school classmates’ group, not particularly addressed to me. Won’t comment on the authenticity of the message ‘coz I have no way of confirming that. Posting it here for two reasons – Firstly, the tone doesn’t seem too different from the essence of my original blog post and secondly, the need to archive the message in some form.
:BEGINNING OF WHATSAPP MESSAGE:
This is from the company commander of the 7 Kumaon company in UNMISS, reinforcing sect south. CHINBAT was part of sect south. Before I comment anything on the article (the ‘article’ refers to my blog post quoted above), I must inform you that I was very impressed of Chinese and their abilities when I was serving with scouts and used to assume Chinese as modern and well equipped army. Chinese had made an impression in my mind that they were superior to us. So when I reached Juba to reinforce Sect south we used to see Chinese soldiers in well equipped and modern attire with hi tech equipment. Therefore my belief of Chinese soldier being better to Indian soldier strengthened. So I always used to be afraid of its negative effects on our boys who used to compare own dress, equipment , vehicles, weapons and drills with that of Cinese, because some day same troops may face each other on LAC or the disputed territories.
Nevertheless, it was the sincere endeavour of my company to practice tactical drills sincerely on daily basis. Focus used to practice reactions to unconventional situations. Hence we evolved non traditional drills. By the time the fighting erupted, each individual of my company was aware and trained in his task and role in his sub unit. During the civil war, Indian company was tasked to reinforce CHINBAT , who were holding the perimeter. By the time No 7 platoon of Indian Company reached the perimeter, Chinese had abandoned their posts and moved back to safer places exposing IDPs to fire from outside. When one of the Chinese officer was asked for the reason they have withdrawn, he said , “It’s not safe out there.” So, Indians had no choice but to plug the breach in perimeter defences, which was done by the Indians in most professional manner and without a scratch.
Observing Indian tactical drills and there ability to outperform Chinese in holding the perimeter, Chinese were forced to hold balance of the perimeter. Next day, No 8 platoon was tasked to control the refugees who had jumped the fence and infiltrated inside UN compound. Third platoon was also sucked in reinforcing these two platoons and looking after other UN employees who were seeking shelter and food. Next day, When rebel forces were fighting the Govt forces at Northern perimeter, a CHINBAT soldier was busy shooting the war scenes. Ill trained militia aimed and shot a RPG at CHINBAT soldier recording ongoing war from BMP, killing two Chinese soldiers and injuring 5 others.
But astonishingly, Chinese could manage international media. CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera were running clips of CHINBAT doing battle drills which were previously recorded. Own Media was highlighting the achievements of External Affairs Dept for successfully evacuating 325 Indians. It was known to every south Sudanese and UN employee in South Sudan that they were saved by Indian company. Unfortunately, achievement of Indians was neither highlighted by foreign media not own.
Secondly, Chinese refused to perform the task assigned by force HQ. Task was to evacuate NGO workers who were threatened by south sudan Govt forces. Later on it was revealed that they were raped by Govt forces. I was bit perturbed by insensitive media who could not exploit this opportunity to expose Chinese or to flag achievement of Indian troops on foreign soil. But at the same time when I ask my boys of their opinion about Chinese troops, the war had changed their and my impression or opinion about Chinese. Chinese may be well equipped with technologically superior weapons but at the same time they lack camaraderie, tactical acumen to use / employ tech equipment, and above all fighting spirit. My faith in the abilities of Indian soldier has strengthened many fold. It is due to the abilities of Indian soldier to withstand hardships of war, superior tactics, camaraderie, fighting spirit for unit’s izzat and actual fighting experience in valley or north east.
:END OF WHATSAPP MESSAGE:
Highlights and font colours are added by me. I thought of adding some comments at the end of the above message, but now I think I think I’d rather not. The message is a brutal commentary on the quality of the PLA soldier that threatens his Indian counterpart across the LAC.
All I’ll say is that shiny toys are no good, if the boys don’t know how to ‘play’ with them when asked to.