The Not-so-Friendly Neighbourhood

China is the greatest threat to India’s territorial integrity. This is one country we must never trust in our naivety. Our present relations are no great surprise, considering China too needs a market to throw its excess manufacture. In every other respect, it is perhaps one country India has to be wary of. Our surrendering the UN Security Council seat to them forces me to think of the consequences otherwise. Now, they make all the wrong noises there and we get to listen! Burmese leader Ba Swe had warned us of Chinese intentions, if only we had listened, 1962 could have been avoided. We were stuck with the idealism of Nehru, while China never played by the rules.

Transgressions on our borders have become a regular feature. I am not sure why we keep denying it, for the sake of good relations. I think the relation is always played upon by China and India falls prey to its tune. Why they do, it is something that would baffle the best of us! It was shocking, when they declared Arunachalis as Chinese and declared that they do not need any visa to go to China! Now when they needed the Torch to go peacefully, we fortified Delhi for our sake.

Should we fear China? There is no reason for that! We have shown China back in 1986, that we are capable of fending them off! Our defence forces are well motivated and can counter-act to China with impunity. Our efficient troop deployment ensured that China backed out of a conflict. It is only our nature to practice diplomacy that we end up being an impact-stricken nation! India needs to stop playing the victim of circumstances in the International Stage! Besides, 1962 was not as much the failure of our might as much as it was a tactical failure.

We have advantages which China doesn’t enjoy owing to their nature of governance. We have free press, they do not! So the world is naturally suspicious of the Chinese owing to their secretive nature. People know of India’s human rights record at least in terms of personal freedom of expression. China is known for being an oppressive state and denies basic political freedom and right to opposition to state. India accepts compulsory International Court of Justice jurisdiction, while China does not. This sways international opinion against them and more to our favour. India supports the UN with heavy amount of troops, so India cannot be ignored. In my opinion threatening China to consider non-interference should be the call of the hour, and rightly so.

A major mistake India did was recognising Tibet as their integral part. In return, India got them to recognise Sikkim. Our bargaining skills sure are remarkable! I think India now must start supporting the Tibetan’s indirectly and tell the Chinese that we are not interested in stopping the Tibetans from saying anything anti-China as we do sympathise with the cause in principle and from our hearts. A policy change is not difficult in this regard. Yes, we must not allow them to raise arms in our country against China, yet we should make our motives clear.

All Indians, and the world, knows of what China has done in Tibet. Yes they have brought a rail link, but have reduced Tibetans to a mere minority in their own country and their area of residence. We have all known about how they annexed Tibet. It was no peaceful incursion. They literally crushed them with their military might. Some allege the death toll to be close to 800,000! At that number any other country can call it genocide. As far as development of the region, we all know the ‘Ethnic Tibetan’ is discriminated against jobs and high positions. They have no religious freedom. Their culture has been ruined. And yes, China is instrumental in doing that! If not our government, the people must truly come out and support the Tibetan cause. We as Indians should always consider and believe in the ideals of freedom and democracy- as every Indian should resonate the strength of these ideals as premier in their evolution!
Abhik Sen
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