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  Opinion   Oped  13 Feb 2017  Tackling hypertension, Chinese style

Tackling hypertension, Chinese style

The writer is an advocate practising in the Supreme Court. The views expressed here are personal.
Published : Feb 13, 2017, 2:36 am IST
Updated : Feb 13, 2017, 6:40 am IST

Chinese consider the Dalai to be ill-informed and uneducated, thus is not qualified to speak at the commencement ceremony of the university.

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama (Photo: PTI)
 Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama (Photo: PTI)

Why this sudden burst of fits and fury by the Chinese state media? Why such unprovoked jingoistic, derogatory and venomous language against the Indian state over an invitation extended to the 14th Dalai Lama by the University of California at San Diego? Why did China warn that overseas Indians would face political consequences if they assist the Dalai Lama? Is it because an Indian-origin academic heads the university? The report in the state-run Global Times states: “India is a big country in terms of public diplomacy, but if some overseas Indians make it their business to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries and treading on their sovereignty, they will bear the political consequences.”

How does the Dalai Lama, a living legend in his own right, and a peace-loving Buddhist monk, become a threat to mighty China? What if a counter-question is posed to the Chinese: In what way, how and why, do the universally-declared, Pakistan-bred, supported and ISI-Army funded, trained and guided terrorists like Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar become China’s diplomatic and political friends? Is this an aspiring superpower in the making?

Notwithstanding their intelligence, the Chinese have made a fundamental error in their judgement. The University of California San Diego, as the name suggests, is in the US and not India, so in case of any grievance against the university the Chinese should take it up diplomatically with that country instead of pointing fingers at its neighbour. At least, one expects slightly better knowledge of geography from our erudite neighbour. Surely Donald Trump will give them a patient hearing after the high-profile telephonic talk between Washington and Beijing.  

Beijing’s pro-establishment, ultra-rightist nationalist media considers the Dalai Lama to be “wolf in sheep’s clothing”. How does the same Chinese media regard the likes of Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar? As AK-47, Kalashnikov-toting sheep in wolves’ clothing? Or, without clothing? Can one refer to this rant as early symptoms of paranoia or lunacy? Is this revival of the Chinese tradition that considered foreigners as uncivilised, barbaric and hostile?

Chinese consider the Dalai Lama to be ill-informed and uneducated, thus is not qualified to speak at the commencement ceremony of the university. What is education? A spiritual guru who talks of peace, harmony, ethics is anything but an ignoramus. Does China prefer the “sermons” to kill kafirs and spread hatred by the likes of Hafeez Sayeed and Masood Azhar?

What is clearly evident is Chinese media’s lamentable lack of knowledge and analysis of history when it concluded: “Since modern times, Indians have enjoyed unity bestowed by the British. They ramified Pakistan, annexed Sikkim, and exploited geopolitical interests from ethnic divisions in Sri Lanka and Nepal. If the Indians indulge in the obsession of intruding on the territorial integrity of China, China will not sit still.”

Let the Chinese reflect on this: since modern times, the Chinese have been battered and shattered by Western nations on whom the Chinese now bank heavily for trade. As Europe is not impressed with the Chinese attempt to take over their strategic industries, the Chinese have laid a bait:  One Belt One Road (OBOR), a project to connect Asia (read China) with Europe via the ancient trading centres, a modern Silk Road. Although China theoretically existed as a geographical entity it never had a unitary polity and always tried to claim something beyond its legitimate and bona fide territory. The Chinese ruined Tibet and obliterated Manchuria from the map (like Poland, which was partitioned thrice by Austria, Prussia, Russia in 1772, 1793 and 1795 respectively, and came alive as a nation-state only after the post-First World War peace conference of Paris through five separate treaties). Taiwan has gone beyond China’s grasp because of China’s intolerance. Xinjiang continues to be a cancerous growth with the Pakistani ISI-Army intermittently using it for their own agenda of proxy, trans-border terror war against China. China can do little fearing Muslim backlash. Beijing threatens Mongolia day in and day out and tries to stop any country attempting to maintain or upgrade normal bilateral diplomatic relations with Mongolia. Pakistan is slowly emerging as a semi-autonomous region of Central Asia, a virtual outpost, like that of Xinjiang and Xizang. China had been incessantly fishing in India’s internal affairs through political parties as well as instigating some people in India’s north-eastern states. China is trying to do the same thing in India’s vicinity through dubious diplomacy in Kathmandu, Colombo and Dhaka.

The list is inexhaustible. One does not wish to lengthen it for the sake of the highest regard and respect one has for the great civilisation and culture of China and its wonderful citizens.

Before accusing India and threatening New Delhi with “dire political consequences”, the Chinese need to remember that there are too many subjects on both sides of the serenely-beautiful Himalayas. But one thing should be borne in mind— actions or decisions undertaken by Chinese- or Indian-born citizens of the West are not dictated either by Beijing or New Delhi. Hence, it will be totally unwise for both countries to go ballistic over them. As it is, the Sino-Indian territorial problem itself continues to be a knotty issue, so should one open further multiple conflict-ridden fronts? Would it be wise? That’s already food for thought!

Tags: dalai lama, chinese, masood azhar, hafiz saeed