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Handling China (.hindu)

India could well have “cancelled” the official visit of the Dalai Lama to Tawang, positively responding to Chinese sensibilities. The whole world recognises Tibet to be more or less Chinese territory. In response to India’s stand, China “retaliated” by giving Chinese names to a few cities in Arunachal. India could well have ignored this Chinese “prank” but “trumpeted it as a form of cartographic aggression”.

India did have two great moral moments as a nation state when it gave asylum to Tibetan refugees including the Dalai Lama after the Lhoka uprising in 1959, and to a million Bengalis after the genocide in Bangladesh. But today India is on shaky moral ground. India seeks globalisation of power rather than globalisation of ethics or moral values. Granted, China “has been problematic for India and even for the idea of India, but this subject cannot be treated as a security or a foreign policy problem. India and China are two large land masses, two large nations, two of the oldest civilisations and are constantly confronting each other on almost every issue”. Many believe that at every confrontation, it is India that “seems to blink and then go hysterical”. It is time to “rescue the Indian reading of China from defence analysts, security experts and technocrats. Let us try to make Chinese society and civilisation a part of our curriculum. If China is a neighbour, it is time to create a neighbourhood, break the grimness of China watchers and celebrate China”.

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