Category Archives: China

India, the land of refuge

India, the land of refuge

It is common for India’s enemies — whether outsiders or, unfortunately, Indians themselves — to harp on the “rise of Hindu fundamentalism in India” (while mentioning Muslim fundamentalism in passing) and the growing intolerance of “fanatical” Hindu movements (the RSS, VHP, and the Bajrang Dal) towards India’s minorities. This has become an accepted proposition among the India specialists, historians, and foreign correspondents.

Yet, everyone seems to forget that, for thousands of years, India has been the land of refuge for all persecuted minorities of the world, whether the Jews after the sack of their temple in Jerusalem, Arab merchants, Parsis from Persia, Syrian Christians, Armenians, or the early Sri Lankan Tamils fleeing Sinhalese persecution.

Nobody mentions that not only is this tolerance a Hindu tradition, because Hinduism has always accepted the divinity of other Gods, but also that, in return for their goodness, Hindus have been for 2,000 years the target of innumerable persecutions, whether at the hands of Christians (the Portuguese, for instance, who razed temples and crucified Brahmins in Goa) or, of course, Muslim invaders (like Timur who, in 1399, is said to have killed 100,000 Hindus in a single day).

And which religion in the world can boast not only of never having invaded another nation to impose its faith upon its inhabitants, but also never tried to convert anybody, even by peaceful means (as the Buddhists did)?

Today, India is still a land of refuge. Witness the Tibetans, persecuted by the Chinese, who have been able to recreate on Indian soil a mini-Tibet (in Dharamsala and other places), where they enjoy full freedom and even the right to travel abroad with Indian documents. Today, almost the whole worldknows that, from 1950 onwards, when the Chinese invaded Tibet, 1.2 million Tibetans have been killed, either directly (through shooting, death squads and torture) or indirectly (in concentration camps, prisons, and famines). As many as 6,254 monasteries, most of them ancient, have been razed to the ground.

Sixty per cent of religious, historical and cultural archives have been destroyed. A quarter million Chinese troops are occupying Tibet. One Tibetan out of 10 is still in jail. There are today in Tibet 7.5 million Chinese settlers for six million Tibetans — in many places such as the capital, Lhasa, Tibetans are outnumbered two to one. Yet, the western world is so wary of China, where they have invested huge amounts of money, that they keep being blackmailed by Beijing and very few world leaders dare to receive openly the Dalai Lama, the living symbol of Tibet’s non-violent resistance to Chinese holocaust.

Recently, India upheld this tradition of granting asylum, when it allowed the Karmapa, third in the Tibetan spiritual hierarchy, to stay in India, after he fled occupied Tibet. Initially, there was some suspicion that Karmapa might have been sent by the Chinese to sow disorder amongst Tibetan refugees, as there was another boy who claimed to be the Karmapa (he lives inFrance).

But the Dalai Lama, whom the Indian Government trusts, has vouched for the boy’s integrity and the 14-year-old Karmapa himself, mature beyond his years, has told many (including this writer) that he fled Tibet “because he felt that he would be more and more used by the Chinese for propaganda purposes and because he refused to make statements against the Dalai Lama, asthe Chinese wanted him to”. For the moment, the boy is more or less confined to a small monastery near Dharamsala, but is eager to settle in the Rumtek monastery of Sikkim, the traditional seat of the exiled karmapas. The Indian Government is hesitant to let him go there, as it does not want to offend theChinese, when border talks are on and the President is in China.

But it should not be hesitant. For, the history of India-China relations since 1947 shows that it is always India which has shown goodwill towards the Chinese and always the Chinese who pretended goodwill while stabbing India in the back. Nehru’s policy of `Hindi-Chini-bhai-bhai’ was a disaster: China attacked India by surprise in 1962 and took away 20,000 square kms of its territory.

Today, China has transferred one-third of its nuclear arsenal to Nagchuka, 250 kms away from Lhassa, a region full of huge caves which the Chinese have linked together by an intricate underground network and where they have installed, according to US estimates, 90 intermediate-range intercontinental ballistic missiles. Tibet is of a great strategic military importance to China as, being on a high plateau, it overlooks Russia and India. But Russia is no more a danger to China. Thus it is towards North Indian cities that most of the nuclear missiles are pointed!

By letting the Karmapa settle in Rumtek, India will show that Sikkim is an integral part of its territory and that the Chinese should forget about its territorial claim on Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. India should have learnt by now that the only way to deal with China is firmness. India should also help Tibet to regain its freedom, because as the Dalai Lama has often pointed out, a free demilitarised and denuclearised Tibet would be the idealbuffer zone between the two giants of Asia: India and China. 

Why must India kow-tow to China?

April 18, 2008
For 60 years, China has humiliated India at every step. It betrayed Jawaharlal Nehru’s naive trust in a Hindi-Chini bhai-bhai friendship. It treacherously attacked India from Tibet [Images] which Nehru had implicitly left to the Chinese, humiliating the Indian army which would take decades to recover.

It directly or indirectly encouraged separatist movements in the Northeast; it used Nepal as a front State against India; it armed, and worst of all, gave the nuclear bomb to Pakistan, a crime against humanity.

Today it is still sitting on a million square metres in Aksai Chin (supposedly given to Pakistan), which rightfully belongs to India; it claims Arunachal Pradesh, and sometimes Sikkim, does regular incursions into Indian territory and is still busy encircling India in Burma.

The Chinese despise Indians, witness how they summoned the Indian ambassador at 2 am in the morning as if she was some lower hireling.

Indian leaders are also perfectly aware that the Chinese, in a span of fifty years, have killed 1.2 million Tibetans, razed to the ground 6,254 monasteries, destroyed 60 per cent of religious, historical and cultural archives and that one Tibetan out of ten is still in jail.

As we have entered the Third Millennium, a quarter million Chinese troops are occupying Tibet and there are 7.5 million Chinese settlers for six million Tibetans — in fact, in many places such as the capital, Lhasa, Tibetans are outnumbered two to one…

India has also to wake up to the plain fact that China needs space and has hegemonic aspirations: It got Tibet, it got Hong Kong, it got part of Ladakh; now it wants Taiwan, Arunachal Pradesh, the Spratly islands and what not!

Fifty years ago, during the Korean war, Sri Aurobindo, had seen clearly in the Chinese game: ‘the first move in the Chinese Communist plan of campaign is to dominate and take possession first of these northern parts and then of South East Asia as a preliminary to their manoeuvres with regard to the rest of the continent in passing Tibet as a gate opening to India.’

And magically, for once, India had a chance to get back at China without appearing to do so. It would have been easy to have a little less security for the Olympic torch and let the Tibetans express their anger and resentment in a way that would have once more been flashed all over the world.

Yet, India did exactly the opposite: It went overboard to please the Chinese, giving more security to this sham that was the Olympic relay in New Delhi than it does for Republic Day.

Did anybody see the utter farcical absurdity of this flame, which slept in a five star hotel, had to be guarded by 17,000 security men and ran without spectators, creating unheard off problems for the poor citizen caught in traffic jams?

Is there any peace, is there any sporting and Olympic spirit in such a flame which has become the symbol of Chinese repression, arrogance and thirst for domination in Asia?

Tibet is so important for India: It has always acted as a peaceful, non-violent buffer zone between the two giants of Asia: China and India. And the Dalai Lama [Images] wants it even more peaceful: A demilitarised, denuclearised harmony region.

But it’s exactly the opposite which has happened: According to the CIA, China has transferred one third of its nuclear arsenal to Nagchuka, 250 kms away from Lhasa, a region full of huge caves, which the Chinese have linked together by an intricate underground network and installed nearly 100 intercontinental ballistic missiles, many of them pointed at Indian cities.

The reason for this is that the Chinese, who are probably among the most intelligent people in the world, have always understood that India is their number one potential enemy in Asia — in military, nuclear and economic terms.

Today India is encircled by hostile neighbours, from Pakistan to Bangladesh, from Chinese-occupied Tibet, to a Maoist Nepal.

Never has India faced a darker hour whatever gurus say. Never has she faced so many enemies at the same time — and truly China is one of the most dangerous ones. Yet India always bends backwards to please the Chinese.

Why is that so? Because the Indian intelligentsia, the secular politicians, the journalists, top bureaucrats, are the descendants of these Brown Sahibs, created by Macaulay more than 250 years ago.

The man who thought that all the historical information which can be collected from all the books which have been written in the Sanskrit language, is less valuable than what may be found in the most paltry abridgement used at preparatory schools in England [Images], wished to make of Indians a darker version of the British. He has been immensely successful and has created a nation with a colonised mind.

Many of India’s politicians, bureaucrats and journalists are always aping the West, or are always worrying about what the West thinks of them. They never think Indian, they have no idea about India’s great culture, philosophy and spirituality. Very few have read the Bhagavad Gita, or understood that it encourages yoga in action and that sometimes it is important to defend one’s country, culture and borders, by force if necessary.

They are no match for the Chinese, who are proud of themselves and their nation and will use any means, open and covert, legal and foul, to foster their dream of a Greater China. The Olympics [Images] are just such a tool for them.

Francois Gautier

Bush’s five mistakes

President George Bush has committed five major mistakes in the handling of the terrorism crisis which might cost America dear in the long run:

1. He has made the Arab attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon a matter of national ego. ‘How dare a few arrogant terrorists strike at the heart of the great, mighty, and proud United States?’ But Bush forgets two things: The first is that, however, spectacular and deadly these assaults were, America is not the only nation to suffer from terrorism. Countries like India lose thousands of lives to Islamic fundamentalism each year, without the Western world taking any notice.

Secondly, apart from its political angle, the aggression reminded America that capitalism, with all its flamboyant ego, is no more an answer to the world’s problems than was communism. We have to find another way to a more equalitarian and spiritualized society. The frenzied and hysterical reaction of the United States and Western powers (how long is CNN going to brainwash us with its ‘War on terrorism’?) is also completely overdone. What does Mr Bush mean by ‘an attack on freedom’? Did not Western nations often support bloody dictators such as Pinochet or Mobutu who produced bloodbaths on their people, sometimes more deadly than the WTC attacks?

2. George Bush has more or less ignored India, a vibrant, democratic, pro-Western nation. Why? The Asura, which the Mother of Pondichery called the ‘Lord of Nations,’ seem to be presently actively at work in the world. It is ‘he’ who makes men perceive what is true as false and who gives an aspect of truth to what is fundamentally false or even evil; it is he who precipitates countries into war; it is he who was the voice which Hitler heard dictating him what he had to do. Is it this same Asura which makes America think that Pakistan is the answer to solving their problems with terrorism?

How do you eliminate terrorism with terrorism? Because Pakistan is at the root of terrorism. The Taleban came out of Pakistani madarasas and were able to take nearly the whole of Afghanistan with the help of Pakistani officers. Pakistan has made jihad a national enterprise, not only hitting India, but also training militants who struck in the US, Bosnia and Chechnya. By lifting the economic sanctions on both India and Pakistan, the US has also — once again — put on the same footing two nations which, whatever their respective merits (all is not evil in Pakistan), cannot be compared.

India, a giant of a nation, is a bastion of freedom in an Asia torn by fundamentalism and the shadow of Chinese hegemony. Pakistan, a small country, always on the verge of bankruptcy, has been for most of its independence under military dictatorships. This equating Pakistan and India is an old perverse English strategy which had the purpose of dividing Muslims and Hindus so that the British could rule. It is sad to say that 200 years later this policy is still alive in the minds of Western leaders.

3. The third error is to think that by killing Osama bin Laden and bombing Afghanistan, he is going to solve — partly or fully — the problem of Islamic fundamentalism. Bush has also invited Muslim leaders to the White House, telling them that his fight is ‘not against Islam, but against terrorism.’ The first thing Bush should understand is that the problem is not with Muslims, who are like all other human beings in the world — some of are very good, some are okay and some are bad — but with Islam, a religion which teaches that there is only one God and that jihad is justified to convert others to the true religion.

4. The fourth error is to perceive bin Laden as a simple terrorist. If you look at the man’s eyes, you will notice a certain softness, a mystical glow even, that is not far from recalling some of the great Sufi saints. The man has incredible faith and whatever the murderous consequences of that faith, it has to be respected. The US might ultimately succeed in killing him, but will not other bin Ladens surface elsewhere in the world?

You cannot ignore the fact that Islam is the most rapidly spreading religion in the world today when Christianity is on the decline and capitalism shows its ugly, selfish and crass uniformity all over the planet. If only Islam would accept the fact that it has to adapt itself to the world, it could become a wonderful religion. Does it not care for others as no other faith does? It is enough to say anywhere in the world Salam u alli kum, to be treated like a brother, fed, clothed and sometimes helped financially. All Muslims belong to the Ouma, the great universal Muslim brotherhood. Also the pure of Islam do not smoke, do not take drugs, do not drink alcohol; and this is why the Shariat is so successful in Muslim countries.

5. Finally, there is one factor which Bush has completely overlooked. What is China going to do?

At the times of the attacks, Beijing was on the verge of strengthening its ties with the Taleban. Since then, it has closed its borders with Afghanistan for fear that some of the terrorists might spill into Xinjiang and worsen the already simmering Islamic problem there.

But China is a cold calculator and it will do only what serves its interests regardless of the moral consequences. We have seen how it armed Pakistan to counter India and gave Islamabad the technology to build nuclear weapons — and even the capability to deliver them, thanks to North Korean M-11 missiles. Will China ultimately side — even if temporarily — with the Muslim world, when it starts uniting against American imperialism? Only then will the possibility of a third World War really emerge.

Francois Gautier

The wall between

Author: Francois Gautier
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: March 5, 2003

There are two giants in Asia – China and India. And when the two are compared, India always comes out unfavourably. Look at the statistics: China gets over US $40 billion as foreign direct investment, while India gets only $2 billion. China had an export turnover of $322 billion in 2002, while India’s will not exceed $40 billion in 2002-03. China’s official defence budget in 2000 was $14.5 billion. In 2001 it was $17.05 billion. The actual figure could be about three times higher at $50 billion. The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China, which has 40 members in the 160 member Central Commission, is insisting on a 17 per cent increase in the defence budget next year. China is moving, and moving fast.

Yet, the irony is that India is a democracy, while China isn’t; India is pro-West, while China is deeply suspicious of the West, particularly of the United States; India has been the soft target of Muslim fundamentalism, while China has ruthlessly clamped down on its own Muslim separatism. Yet the West remains totally enamored of China, while completely bypassing and ignoring India, its innate ally in Asia.

In 1948, China understood that its natural competitor in Asia was India, because India could not only match it in terms of manpower, but also in sheer skills and brains. It hit upon a very simple idea to keep India tied-up: It would support Pakistan militarily, even going to the extent of providing Islamabad with nuclear technology, so that it could have its own Islamic atomic bomb. Today, China supplies 70 per cent of military aircraft and main battle tanks (MBT) to Pakistan. Every missile project in Pakistan has been initiated through active Chinese or North Korean assistance and is India specific. The Kargil conflict even saw long lines of Chinese trucks along the Karakoram highway carrying military equipment to Pakistan.

By taking over Tibet, Beijing also made sure it would strategically overlook India. It also kept it destabilised by continuously claiming Indian territories such as Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim. Beijing protested the loudest when the BJP exploded its nuclear device in 1998, but this is pure hypocrisy: China has today an estimated stockpile of 400 nuclear warheads ranging from 5 mt to low kt warheads. It has a wide range of missiles from 158 km range CSS-8 weapon systems to the CSS-4 with a range of 13,000 km. According to the CIA, China has transferred one-third of its nuclear arsenal to Nagchuka, 250 km away from Lhasa, a region full of huge caves, which the Chinese have linked together by an intricate underground network and where they have installed nearly 100 Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs), many of them pointed at Indian cities. China is also rapidly modernising its blue water navy to achieve its aim of “power projection”. It has a large submarine force of some 71 submarines, though it lacks enough aircraft carriers. China’s immediate naval agenda is to control the sea-lanes of the Indian Ocean, along which a major share of world trade and oil is transported. The US estimates that China would be its main rival by 2015.

China has also been supplying arms to India’s neighbours Burma, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, in order to increase its influence in these countries. To the east of India, China’s close links with Burma has helped it to increase military activities in areas bordering the Bay of Bengal. The Chinese have also built a signal monitoring station in the Coco Islands. They have opened up the old Burma-China road as well as the Irrawady river for traffic. These will facilitate rapid troop movement as and when required. The Chinese navy has already started using Myanmar as a base for operations in the Bay of Bengal and the Malacca Straits. To the south of our country, China is trying to acquire naval facilities in Sri Lanka. To the north of India, China has considerably improved its military infrastructure.

In Tibet, China has constructed some 13 air bases and is laying the Gormo-Laksha oil pipeline to ease its problem of supplying fuel to its forces in Tibet. The problem of supply will further ease with the construction of a rail link to Lhasa on which work is reported to be in progress. On top of that, China still occupies one-third of Ladakh which it took during the 1962 conflict. China has thus thrown an iron ring around India’s neck. Unfortunately, generations of Indian leaders starting with Nehru have decided that India and China are natural brothers in Asia, the infamous “Hindi-Chini-Bhai-Bhai”.

Shortly before China’s attack in 1962, the Indian Army Chief of Staff had drafted a paper on the threats to India’s security from China, along with recommendations for a clear defence policy. But when Nehru read the paper, he said: “Rubbish. Total rubbish. We don’t need a defence plan. Our policy is non-violence. We foresee no military threats. Scrap the Army. The police are good enough to meet our security needs.” We know the results of this very foolish assessment.

Even today, barring Defence Minister George Fernandes, who alone had the courage to say that China is India’s enemy Number 1, everybody keeps mum. Yet the truth is that Pakistan is a small country which has lost all the wars it has initiated against India. Even a nuclear war would be a holocaust for Pakistan, while India would survive. What Indian leaders do not understand is that it is not China that has to be appeased to contain Pakistan; but rather, ultimately, it should be Pakistan that has to be appeased (in the true sense of the term: making peace with) to contain China. Because everything – bar religion – unites India and Pakistan: Their customs, languages, culture, ethnic stock, history. Whereas India and China have very little in common, except Nehru’s elusive dream of a socialist brotherhood.

Unlike Pakistan, China is a huge country, powerful, self-confident, crafty and it beat India hollow the only time the two Asian brothers fought. How come the BJP, which, before coming to power, was the staunchest friend of the exiled Tibetans, has not had the courage to support Tibets’ independence? It would unsettle the Chinese and give them a taste of their own medicine. For the biggest blunder of Nehru was to betray Tibet, a peaceful, spiritualised nation, which had always acted as a natural buffer between the two Asian giants. In fact, the Dalai Lama’s repeated the offer that Tibet be denuclearised and demilitarised between India and China, makes eminent sense today and Indian leaders should immediately adopt this line.

India’s great sage, Sri Aurobindo, had seen through the Chinese game: “The first move in the Chinese Communist plan of campaign is to dominate and take possession first of these northern parts and then of South-East Asia as a preliminary to their manoeuvres with regard to the rest of the continent, in passing Tibet as a gate opening to India”.

"HINDI-CHINI BYE-BYE"

ATT. NIKHIL / EDITOR REDIFF

(from Francois Gautier/correspondent South Asia ‘Le Figaro’)

Source: rediff.com & http://www.francoisgautier.com

Once more, China has duped India, as it has done so many times in the last fifty years. Remember how Mr Jaswant Singh came back all glowing from Beijing and announced “that the two sides would enter consultations on establishing a security mechanism”. But yesterday, when Nawaz Sharif was in Beijing, China reiterated its call for a cease-fire… Which is exactly what Pakistan wants ! And Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji had earlier slapped India in the face : while expressing a token “satisfaction at a new warming in Sino-Indian relations”, he repeatedly kept silent on the above-mentioned security co-operation, which Jaswant Sinngh was so keen about.

How is it, that after five decades of bitter experience at the hands of the Chinese, of double talk, betrayal and contempt, India – and a ‘nationalist’ government at

that – still gets hoodwinked by the Chinese ? And on top of that, hasn’t Mr Singh proposed that India and China celebrate 50 years of friendship ? Fifty years of friendship – is that a joke ? Doesn’t Mr Singh know that China still occupies one third of Ladhak, which it took during the 62 war, still claims for herself the whole of Arunachal Pradesh and uses Pakistan – to whom it furnished its missiles (c/o North Korea) and the know-how to manufacture nuclear weapons – so as to neutralise India ?

How can Mr Singh (who otherwise is a fine gentleman), say that China is not a security menace to India ? Doesn’t he know also that according to the CIA, China has transferred one third of its nuclear arsenal to Nagchuka, 250 kms away from Lhassa, a region full of huge caves, which the Chinese have linked together by an intricate underground network and where they have installed nearly one hundred Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles, many of them pointed at Indian cities ? The reason for this is that the Chinese, who are probably among the most intelligent people in the world, have always understood that India is their number one economic, military and nuclear competitor in Asia (remember Beijing’s hysterical reaction after Pokhran II). Does Mr Jaswant Singh also know that the Chinese have killed 1,2 million Tibetans, that 6254 monasteries have been razed to the ground, that 60% of religious, historical and cultural archives have been destroyed and that one Tibetan out of ten is still in jail ? Today a quarter million Chinese troops are occupying Tibet and there are 7,5 million Chinese settlers for six million Tibetans – in fact, in many places such as the capital, Lhassa, Tibetans are outnumbered two to one…

To understand this Indian obsession for hindi-chini bhai bhai, this crave for appeasing China, whatever the cost, one has to go back to Nehru, who had decided that India and China were the natural ‘socialist’ brothers of Asia. Nehru should have had second thoughts when China showed its true face in Tibet – but he chose to ignore the warning. In a brilliant forthcoming book to be published by flamboyant Narendra Kumar, editor of Har-Anand, Tibet specialist Claude Arpi throws light for the fist time on the Tibet-China-India triangle and Nehru’s iniquitous role. Mr Arpi first recalls how shortly after Independence, the Indian Army Chief of Staff had drafted the first paper on the threats to India’s security by China, along with recommendations for a clear defence policy. But when Nehru read the paper, he said : “Rubbish. Total Rubbish. We don’t need a defence plan. Our policy is non-violence. We foresee no military threats. Scrap the Army. The police are good enough to meet our security needs.” We know the results of that remark : when the Chinese invaded India in 1962, the Indian army, thanks to Nehru’s blindness and appeasement policy, was totally unprepared and was so badly routed, that the psychological scars even show today.

But the biggest blunder that Nehru did was to betray Tibet, a peaceful, spiritualized nation, who had always acted as a natural buffer between the two Giants of Asia (in fact, the Dalai Lama’s repeated offer that Tibet becomes a denuclearized, demilitarised zone between India and China, makes total sense today and Indian leaders should have immediately adopted it). But unfortunately, if there is one thing which all political parties in India share, it is the policy of appeasing China in exchange for a non-interference of the Chinese in Kashmir. But what non-interference ? It can be argued that not only China gave Pakistan many of the weapons that it is using – or will be using against India in the future – but it also may be quite possible that Beijing knew in advance of Pakistan’s Kargil plan (in fact Pakistan’s army Chief was in the Chinese capital at the beginning of hostilities). What Mr Jaswant Singh does not understand is that it is not China that has to appeased to contain Pakistan; but rather, ultimately, it should be Pakistan that has to be appeased (in the true sense of the term = making peace with) to contain China. Because everything – bar religion – unites India and Pakistan : customs, languages, culture, ethnic stock, history… Whereas India and China have very little in common, except Nehru’s elusive dream of a socialist brotherhood.

It should also be clear that as long as India does not stand-up up to its responsibility towards Tibet and continues to recognise China’s unjust suzerainty of it, there will be no peace in Asia. For China needs space and we have to wake-up to the fact that it has hegemonic aspirations : it got Tibet, it got Hong Kong, it got part of Ladhak; now it wants Taiwan, Arunachal Pradesh, the Spratly islands and what not ! Fifty years ago, during the Korean war India’s great Sage, Sri Aurobindo, had seen clearly in the Chinese game: “the first move in the Chinese Communist plan of campaign is to dominate and take possession first of these northern parts and then of South East Asia as a preliminary to their manoeuvres with regard to the rest of the continent, in passing Tibet as a gate opening to India”.

India should also understand that contrary to Indian political leaders, who keep making statements and not acting upon them, China keeps silent, but it ACTS – and then denies having acted with a straight face (like it denies the theft of nuclear secrets from the US). In fact, India should take a lesson or two from the Chinese communist leadership, which first decides upon a clear, one track policy (we will keep Tibet, by all means) – and follows it, regardless of what the world says ! It does not care about a goody-goody image, like India, which uncecessarily appealed to the G-8 …The story of the Panchen lama is a perfect example of that : Beijing decided that one of the ways of getting rid of the Dalai lama was to provide an alternate source of spiritual leadership to the Tibetans – hence the choice of another Panchen lama, overriding the one chosen by the Dalai lama. Now after six years of indoctrination in Beijing, the counterfeit Panchen lama has surfaced again in Tibet – and its very presence there is further jeopardising the possibility of a free Tibet.

What one does not understand is how the BJP, a party which wants to be different, who has always stressed before coming to power, that it sympathises with the Tibetan people’s aspiration to regain their independence, can follow the same old Congress policy of appeasement towards China ! One should be realistic and learn from Swami Rama Thirtha, a great sage of the beginning of the century :”The policy of appeasement is never successful. It increases the demands of the bully and encourages his unreasonableness. He will never listen to you. On the contrary, he will further insult you, by heaping imaginary allegations on you and finding baseless aberrations”.

100 years later, India has still not learnt that lesson : the need of the day is not “hindi-chini bhai-bhai”, but “hindi-chini bye-bye”.

FRANCOIS GAUTIER