OTHERS

dated May 21, 1951: A ''Forest'' on the move

A whole forest of stunted pine trees suddenly started moving towards American positions along the Pukhan river valley as dawn broke across jumbled hills on May 18. The trees were camouflaged Chinese, who having learned in a previous engagement that allied defences were strong again, were trying to breach the undented United Nations line on the Central front.

In their deep trenches and bunkers, American soldiers who were shivering in an unreasonably icy wind, heard the Chinese rustle towards them in the half light.

Strained Indo - U.S. relationship

Deeply concerned over the growing misunderstanding between India and the USA, the Ford Foundation was proposing to send a commission consisting of eminent Americans to study at firsthand the relations between the two countries and the cause for the existing tension and report to the American Government and people on measures to foster greater Indo-American friendship and co- operation. The Foundation was waiting for the Indian Governmen't reaction before it finalised its plans to send out his high-level commission.

Indian observers in New York felt that basic cause for the present strained relationship might lie in America itself - in its consuming preoccupation in the East West struggle and its apparent inability to judge anything except against the backdrop of combating Soviet power. This had created intolerance towards those not accepting mutely American policies.

Four American observers who had attended the Bombay Conference of Cultural Freedom had returned full of forebodings about India's future and had been creating an impression in New York that India was going Communist. Mr. Norman Thomas, a great liberal and five times Presidential candidate, seemed annoyed that India had not aligned herself with the western bloc. He almost forgot India's contribution to the last two world wars and the Indian Army's record and remarked that India need have no fear that the USA would drag her into war, because ``no General would want her on his side in a war. She will be a deadweight like Italy was to Germany in the last war.''