Title: A game of chess and a battle of wits. The making of India's Forward Policy 1961–1962.
Author: Johan Løøv
Publisher: Bloomsbury India
Number of pages: 273
ISBN 978 93 84052 02 7
This is the story of how great dreams turned into bitter estrangement – of how Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru enthusiastically hailed Indians and Chinese as brothers in 1958, but decided that India should start to exert mild military pressure on China only three years later. By the spring of 1962, small numbers of lightly armed Indian troops pushed forward in disputed border areas, despite intense Chinese sabre-rattling. It would be a fatally flawed Nehruvian version of the Great Game.
The so-called "Forward Policy" is often assumed to have triggered the Chinese attack on India in October 1962. What had originally been intended as a "game of chess and a battle of wits" ended in a humiliating war which still shapes Indian perceptions of China. But what really happened behind the scenes? Did India cause the 1962 war? To answer these questions it is necessary to study the Forward Policy on its own premises and within its own historical context. By drawing on recently declassified sources and archival research, the author seeks to illuminate a still highly controversial topic in the history of India. The war of 1962 still casts long shadows in what promises to be the "Asian Century".
Johan Løøv is an historian and former research fellow of the Centre for Asian Security Studies at the Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies. He hails from the Norwegian city of Trondheim, but has worked and lived in India for several periods since his childhood.
He educated at the University of Oslo. Løøv has also been affiliated with the University of Hyderabad, Fudan University in Shanghai and the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses in New Delhi. He entered the Norwegian Foreign Service in 2012.