“No boundary has moral legitimacy or legal validity unless it has the consent of both sides,” legal scholar and researcher A.G. Noorani said here Wednesday at the launch of his latest book, India-China Boundary Problem, 1846-1947: History and Diplomacy. “That is why I have ended the volume with a plea for conciliation”' he added.
The book, published by Oxford University Press, was launched by Vice President Hamid Ansari at a function at his residence.
Based on extensive archival research, the book traces the history of British efforts to secure a defined boundary in both the western sector, following the creation of Jammu and Kashmir in 1846, and the eastern sector some six decades later.
Mr. Noorani said his own views had evolved since his first book on the subject written after the 1962 war with China. His views then were a product of their times. Scholars had to avoid the pitfalls of believing “my country, right or wrong” or “my country is always wrong” and this where the study of archival material was indispensable. “History,” he said, “has direct relevance since both India and China had inherited boundaries from the British.”
In his brief remarks, Mr. Ansari praised Mr. Noorani for his scholarship. The subject of the India-China border is much talked about, he noted, but less frequently studied. The Vice President said the two countries were engaged in a process of resolving the issue and expressed his confidence in the eventual emergence of a settlement that would be acceptable, fair and equitable.
Mr. Noorani's book, which includes maps and rare original documents in its appendices, is dedicated to Ram Sathe, the former Foreign Secretary, who served as the last Indian Consul General in Xinjiang as well as it's Ambassador to China.