THE MOVING FINGER WRITES
By MV Kamath
It is painful to associate the people of any Communist country or a country run by dictators with their governments. Very often the people come through as decent, friendly and peace-loving while their governments appear to be violence-prone, illogical and untrustworthy. That is the way it is in Pakistan and that is the way it apparently is in China, judging by the language recently used by the official media in seeking to damn India. It is sickening to read the obviously-sponsored attack made by the Xinhua News Agency which was posted prominently on the front page of its website.
Authored by one Li Hongmei, a columnist known for her nationalist views, it spoke of India’s jitters’ and fears of encirclements by China, reflecting an inferiority complex” and “loud jealousy”. One thought that it was the other way round, with China getting increasingly fearful of being surrounded by enemies,” as is apparent in its reactions to India getting closer to countries like Vietnam and Myanmar. But fancy India being charged with developing an “inferiority complex”! what it shows is China’s discomfort at realising that its bullying tactics are getting it nowhere.
To begin with, India with its glorious past has no reason to suffer from an “inferiority complex” vis-à-vis China. It was India which, under Asoka, sent a team of Buddhist scholars and monks to China to popularise Buddhism. It was Zuanzang who came to India to gather knowledge in such fields as philosophy, science and allied subjects and spent years at Nalanda. China had no comparable university to attract Indian scholars. It was courtesy India, that enabled China to become a Permanent Member of the UN Security Council. China is scared stiff to return that courtesy. Its inferiority complex is too obvious for all to see. With India winning friends in Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines, China is beginning to feel it has no friends among neighbours, including, of course, Japan. If China thinks countries abroad are afraid of its “gaining prestige in Asia”, it is living in a dream world. China is plainly hated for its obsessive desire to flaunt its power. Its ill-mannered diplomats abroad can’t stand questioning as was recently noticed in India when a Chinese Ambassador told a questioner to “shut up” when the latter asked an inconvenient question.
India has not sent a couple of million Hindus and Sikhs to settle in the Vale of Kashmir to put the majority Muslims in their place. China, on the other hand, has settled ethnic Chinese in Tibet to make the Tibetans a minority in their own country with a view to destroy their culture. It has made offensive remarks against the Dalai Lama. China should know what the world thinks of it: it is not very flattering. At the United Nations General Assembly, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN office in Geneva, A Gopinath, convincingly defeated the controversial Chinese Ambassador, Zhang yan to the membership of UN’s Joint Inspection Unit for a 5-year term, starting on January 1, 2013. Gopinath defeated Zhang by a vote of 106 to 77 in a straight contest. That vote is historic as the first test between India and China, the latter fighting as a Permanent Member of the UN Security Council.
The Communist Party of China is a party of murderers. India could boast of a Mahatma Gandhi. Who has China to boast about: Mao Tse-Tung? Reading Jung Chang and Jon Halliday’s biography of Mao (Jonathan Cape) makes one feel sick in the stomach. What do they have to tell about Mao? Here are a few quotations: “What really happened was that Mao discovered in himself a love for blood-thirsty thuggery…Mao did not come to violence via theory. The propensity sprang from his character…. He had demonstrated a penchant for slow killing… He made killing compulsory viewing for a large part of the population… To be dragooned into a crowd powerless to walk away, forced to watch people put to death in a bloody and agonising way, hearing their screams, struck fears deep into those present… Mao out-bandited the bandits”. And how did the Red Army behave when it came to power? When a city was captured, say the authors, the Reds captured the city’s defender and killed him. A rally was held at which his corpse was hung upside down from a chestnut tree by the dais where Mao made a speech and the corpse was then paraded through the streets…”
Mao was even cruel to his own wife. In a town called Futian, Mao had those who disagreed with him – both men and women – tortured. One method was breaking the thumb slowly with “excruciating pain”. Another was to burn victims “with flaming wicks”. Women were stripped naked and their bodies, particularly their vaginas burnt with flaming wicks and their breasts were cut with small knives.” What else? Massacre was common. Those whom Mao did not trust were “executed”. Victims were hacked to death with knives, their bodies kicked down into the pit. Many were buried alive. The book published by Jonathan Cape has to be read to be believed. And these followers of Mao have the nerve to insult India.
According to Jayadev Ranade, writing in DNA (November 23) China is opposed to India deploying 1,40,000 troops in the North East. He quotes the Chinese newspaper Peoples’ Daily (November 15) as saying a concentration of Indian troops “could be easily eliminated wholesale with precision-guided weapons”. Another example of bullying. According to Halliday’s work on Mao, his “27 years’ rule brought death to well over 70 million Chinese”. If a man can kill his own countrymen ruthlessly, one can understand the current Chinese psyche, threatening death and destruction of anyone coming in its way.
If China thinks India is jealous of China’s status, it has another guess coming. China must know that today’s India is vastly different from Nehru’s India when China could invade India to “teach it a lesson”. China has forfeited all respect. India has a different set of values. India respects the Chinese people who have suffered tremendously under Communist rule. According to Frank Dikotter, Chair Professor of Humanities at the University of Hong Kong and Professor of Modern History of China at the University of London, between 1958 and 1962 “China descended into hell”, with the Government “destroying tens of millions of lives”. It is no pleasure to recount these events, but the attack on India made by the Xinhua News Agency cannot be allowed to go unchallenged. It was made in poor taste.
India, goodness knows, has its shortcomings, of which its government is only too well aware, as are its people. India respects China. But if Beijing doesn’t care to reciprocate it, it only reflects its current ethos. India knows its place under the sun and can ignore provocative remarks.