What were the main reasons for India’s defeat in the 1962 war against China?

There were several causes of India’s defeat in the hands of China in 1962. It is believed that the Chinese troops entered the North East Frontier Agency or present Arunachal Pradesh without giving much notice in advance. The area was evacuated within a very short period of time and definitely the permanent loss of Aksai Chin and temporarily loss of NEFA.

The main causes were:

  • Non-use of proper forces-India did not use its Air Force or Naval Force and only relied on its army for fighting the huge Chinese troops, which fell insufficient.
  • Lack of preparedness-There was no war readiness on the part of the army. On receiving orders, the army had to for the first time reach a height of 14000 feet by pulling the trucks themselves. They were not even well-equipped with ammunitions.
  • Failure of political leadership-The political leadership was not prepared to handle such a war situation. The jawana were asked to cover every kilometre of the border within a very short period of time without any maps or weapons.
  • Unsuitable weather-The jawans were made to fight in such cold weather for the first time. They had to fight the weather more than the troops. Further, shifting logistics was a difficult task.

India was not in a position to fight the army at all. The war stopped only when China declared ceasefire after a month and withdrew from the disputed area on its own.