Thursday, March 27, 2008

Bringing the wall down...

Recently the news of Tibet unrest overshadowed media as China went on crushing the Tibet rioters with a usual IRON FIST. World saw China unleashing close down on Tibet with every source of news out of China being shut. Great hue & cry was raised about the incident and China was criticized about its policy. But the story biased from perspective of the victim is always feared exaggerated. So what world saw or read was the general perception of how Chinese system control and functioning from the messages spread by loyal Dalai Lamas supporters worldwide. People viewed current Chinese crackdown as effort to salvage her reputation before Beijing Olympics and to prevent further demonstrations during the event.

However curtaining the freedom of press & using military crackdown on peaceful dissenters also raises questions about Chinese credibility and commitment towards ensuring peace in the region. First of all trying to dilute the identity of native people by inducing demographical changes and controlling daily affairs of monks and temples was the cause of outburst. People are always protective of their identity and any attempt to negate it always raises outcry. Maybe China can take a cue from India in these matters. India is the prime example of Unity in Diversity comprising of vastly different communities within its geographical boundary. India has always promoted and encouraged local culture and traditions giving reasonable powers to local bodies while at the same time placing a proper central control so as to prevent any dissenting tendencies. Sure there has been disturbances but in comparison to number of ethnic communities the experiment would be termed a success.

Also control of means of flow of information beyond certain extent lead to unrest as people then tend to take drastic steps in order to get attention from world community. Chinese authorities must realize this sooner or they must be prepared to face a rebellion at much bigger scale than this. Freedom of expression helps in peaceful venting of grievances and people find a proper platform to raise voice. Its not that US, EU or India does not faces any lesser problems but no such revolts happen there just because of freedom of expression thereby preventing a much sinister version of public unrest, reason for the fall of erstwhile Soviet Union.

However in my opinion Tibetan protesters must also realize that world has changed a lot from 1950 to 2008. Changes in IT and technology has given entirely new vision to lives and people are no longer restricted within their local environs. They must realize how difficult it would be for them to exist without the kind of help China can provide them in IT and infrastructure. They cannot remain isolated as a holy kingdom and let native Tibetans be deprived of modern advances. Nor would China let go a region full of natural reserves and a prime position in geopolitical scenario in central Asia.

Also countries like US should stop taking sides and use the situation to gain political mileage. Irresponsible statements and state visits like that of Nancy Pelosi will only increase mistrust at international stage. India faces a policy dilemma under current situation. India has rightfully granted refuge to Tibetans on its territory but that should not mean that any protests from its soil must be allowed. Its time to realize that for Indians the future lies together with Chinese and not against them. When India does not like anti-India propaganda propagated in POK how can we let the same happen against China.

So probably a middle path must be carved out between Chinese authorities and pro Dalai Lama Tibetans giving former the control over foreign policies while at the same time giving Tibetans sufficient room for governance through their own laws and customs. Most importantly one should not politicize Beijing Olympics. Olympics give nations platform to prove their mettle on field and every effort must be made to let it remain so. We does not want our future generations to look at 2008 Olympics the way we see earlier Munich and Moscow versions.

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