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NL Interview: AS Bhasin on his latest book and the trials of researching the 1962 Sino-Indian War

Most documents are still classified but in 2014, he got access to a ‘treasure trove’ of Nehru papers.

WrittenBy:NL Team
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Avtar Singh Bhasin is a writer and historian. In this interview with Newslaundry’s Shardool Katyayan, he talks about his latest book Nehru, Tibet and China, which explores the backdrop of the 1962 Sino-Indian War and its aftermath.

Bhasin talks about the time and effort he spent researching the book, and how most government documents and records about the 1962 war are classified. “Since independence,” he says, “nothing has been thrown open though it is against the archival rules which suggest that these records should be made available after 25 years.”

But in 2014, he says, “a very big collection of Nehru papers, earlier in private hands, became available and was passed on to official hands, and I was able to get permission to check those papers. And it was a treasure trove.”

He also talks about the McMahon line, drawn by the British to separate India and China, and says China was not consulted on it and, therefore, never accepted it.


Text by Advaita Sood

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