The autumn of 1962 was one of turmoil for India. The nation was at war with China. The Chinese forces had invaded India and were advancing into the country day by day. Tibetan refugees were pouring into India through the mountain passes. The streets of Mussoorie were flooded by Tibetans carrying whatever belongings they could bring with them and narrating tales of the great horrors being perpetrated by the Chinese in Tibet.
China had already taken over Tibet and its next target was India. There were many who believed that it was China’s plan to take over India and to keep it under subjugation like the Moguls and the British had done in the past.
The Indian forces were so poorly armed that they were no match for the Chinese who were using human wave tactics, launching massive attacks with hundred and thousands of men, simply overrunning the Indian positions along the borders. For long now India had ignored its defences. Its leaders had been so convinced of the friendship of China that they had relaxed their attitude on the frontiers. Anyone who knew anything about military history knew that the defeat of India had become inevitable.
The nations of the world who India had taken to be its friends, like the Soviet Union, had turned its back on the crisis. India was not getting assistance from the West either, because the Indian leadership had alienated the western countries by its friendship with the Soviet Union.
Mateshwari had predicted this would happen. She had not been happy when the Chinese leaders Mao Tse Tung and Chou En Lai had come to India and had been given royal treatment in India. She had said at the time:
“Their eyes must have popped out of their sockets on seeing the wealth of India.”
“Inn logo kee aankhen phatt gayi hongi Hindustan ko dekh ke!
Mateshwari had predicted that the Chinese would invade India shortly after the Dalai Lama had taken refuge in India.
The manner in which the Chinese hordes were coming towards India made their intentions clear, which were clearly to take over India and to subjugate it just like the British had done. While Indians had got along with the British, it would have been impossible for them to bear the brunt of the Chinese atheistic rule.
Mateshwari even went to the extent of saying:
“Ye log Hindustaaniyon ko kachchaa chabaa jaayenge! They will eat the Indians raw.”
Shri Nathji kept his ears glued to the PYE radio in his room which gave the news in a low inaudible tone. However, he thought he heard the Indian Prime Minister Nehru say:
“Bhaayiyo, ab kyaa karen! Brothers, what can we do now!”
Never before in the history of independent India had the country faced so serious a crisis. There was no stopping the Chinese. The speed with which they were advancing showed that they would take over the whole of North India and be in Delhi any day. The casualties of the Indian forces were rising day by day.