India has an admirable role as the sword arm of the United Nations

India’s enormous contribution to the ONUC (French: Operations des Nations UN Congo), one of the most complex peacekeeping missions of the United Nations (UN) in its 75 years of existence, is also incorrectly recorded in the country’s international history. Relationships. India’s participation in the ONUC lasted for four years from 1960, but accelerated rapidly in 1961 with a series of crises threatening to weaken the mission. India provided diplomatic and military expertise, troops, food and assistance. Why was this episode ignored and what does it mean for India at the UN right now?

The form and scale of India’s participation in the Congo mission was shaped by the requests of then UN Secretary General Doug Hammersk‌zold and the response from Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru throughout the crisis. By the mid-1960s the Congo had gained independence from Belgian rule; By the end of the year, the provinces of Stanleyville, Leopoldville, Butchery and Katanga had split, becoming competitive sovereigns. Also, a refugee crisis has erupted in the North Kasai region of Congo, which employs Indian nurses. With the appointment of Indian Ambassador Rajeshwar Dayal as Special Envoy of Hammerskjold and Brigadier Inderjit Rikhe as Military Adviser for the entire mission, the Indian partnership at the highest level is de Rigur.

In the wake of the 1961 assassination of Congolese Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba, Ambassador Dayal urged the United Nations to actively consider the use of force to defend UNSC directives activating peacekeeping operations, a milestone in the future of all UN peacekeeping. When UNSC Resolution 161 of 1961 was adopted, it allowed India to send troops to ONUC and sent a brigade in March of the same year. India has pledged Rs 5,000,105,000 to the United Nations Fund for the Congo. “It was the greatest and most decisive event in history,” Hummerskjold said of the crisis.

Over the next three years, as Indian forces moved in and out of the country, the most influential military commanders, including Brigadier KAS Raja, Brigadier RS ​​Noronha and Major General Devan Premchand Rampanch, Morthor (commonly known as the Hindi word for operation but also Gorkhali for ‘fight and destruction’ Named in honor of the Gorkha forces that played a major role in the expansion) and the Grand Slam. The Indian Air Force also contributed significantly to the success of UN forces in the Congo, led by Wing Commander AIK Suarez. B (1) 58 Canberra light bombers, along with Swedish, Ethiopian and Italian aircraft, became known as the ‘First UN Air Force’.

Captain GS Salaria of the 3/1 Gorkha Rifles became the only UN peacekeeper to receive the Param Vir Chakra, India’s highest wartime medal. A total of 142 Indian Army officers and men have won gallantry awards for their outstanding service during these three years. Meanwhile, in 1962, Ambassador DN Chatterjee arrived in Leopoldville to establish India’s first diplomatic mission in the Congo, a further sign of New Delhi’s deep commitment. In 1964, after the successful completion of the partition of the province of Katanga in India, the ‘arm of the sword in the Congo’, after cooperating with international operations, none of its national interests were involved in the minimum measure. .

However, the history of these events has been damaged by misrepresentation and misrepresentation of history. For example, in the 2016 film The Siege of Jadotville, a mixed character represents all-Indian military leadership, wears a turban and goes by the name of General Raja (Ode mistaken for Brigadier KAS Raja). In a controversial radio incident, an Indian battalion attacked and captured a radio station, which was shown to have been ordered by General Raja, in fact an operation by Major Sawan Singh. Gorkha forces are rarely mentioned, but when they came with Lieutenant Colonel BS Dhillon in 1961 they were considered crucial to the initial success of the mission and the preservation of Leopoldville. Reporting on Indian military tactics in Congo, the New York Times praised the brigade group for using the music to establish the Army’s first contact with the National Congolese (Congo Army) as an Indian route “exceptionally marked”.

There seems to be a lag between contemporary accounts of Indians in conflict and recent reprints, which rely on whitewashing history. While the siege of Jadotville showed that Indians and Congo were supporting Irish and French forces, the truth was another way.

This January, India became a permanent member of the UN Security Council (UNSC). In the debate over whether India has earned a permanent Security Council seat, peacekeeping deserves to be seen on a large scale. How can there be real appreciation for the role of the country if there are no proper histories about the 49 missions in which India participated? Official records of India and the UN peacekeeping should focus on all aspects, including the large number of women security personnel, police personnel and force commanders, as well as operational expertise provided by India. This is the basis for the petition for an expanded position in the UNSC.

Swapna Kona Naidu works on India’s international relations and political ideas at the Harvard University Asia Center and tweets on Kona Naidu

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