ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Olaf Caroe's Fabrication of the 'McMahon Line'

In the latter half of the 1930s, British officials under the leadership of Olaf Caroe doctored and garbled the records of the 1914 Simla Conference to make them support the assertion that India's north-eastern borderline lay legitimately just where Henry McMahon had tried to unsuccessfully place it. By the end of World War II, Caroe's fabrication had to a large extent been made good--the alignment he named the "McMahon Line" had been established as the de facto British-India north-eastern borderline (falling short only in its leaving Tawang to Tibet). The assertion that this was also the de jure border had apparently solid evidence, documentary and cartographic, to support it. The evidence for its legitimacy was, however, fraudulent, and Caroe's deception was eventually exposed. Yet, Nehru's absolute refusal to negotiate a boundary settlement with China continues to be Indian government policy.

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