New Delhi, Sep 26: Most Indians rightly see the 1962 war between India and China, and a relatively small military defeat and the major national panic that followed, as a cathartic event.
While 1962 will still be the seminal year for Sino-Indian relations, it is in 1967 that Indian and Chinese troops last clashed -- at Nathu La. Since then, not a shot has been fired across the border.
Nathu La at 14,200 feet is an important pass on the Tibet-Sikkim border through which passes the old Gangtok-Yatung-Lhasa trade route. Although the Sikkim-Tibet boundary is well defined,
China never accepted Sikkim as an Indian protectorate with its army deployed there. During the 1965 India-Pakistan war, China gave an ultimatum to India to vacate both Nathu La and Jelep La passes on the Sikkim-Tibet border. Inexplicably, India's 17 Mountain Division vacated Jelep La. It still remains with China.