nov 10th, 2006
i have been extremely uneasy about all the keralites in the UPA govt in positions where they can do some real damage. my level of uneasiness has gone up after shiv shankar menon became foreign secretary.
i am looking at the historical parallels between the loss of tibet and now the loss of nepal and god knows what else.
things are worse now than then. there was only one kerala christist -- m o mathai, and see how much damage he caused. now there are: vincent george (sonia gandhi's conscience keeper), tom vadakkan (allegedly a media genius), a k antony (defense minister) and hormis tharakan (head of RAW). not to mention sonia herself as the vatican's pal. in the case of nehru, he was more mohammedan than christist.
and these worthies will keep jawing until the chinese dam the brahmaputra with nuclear explosions. btw, they have already dammed the mekong, causing problems to lower riparian states like cambodia and thailand. they're going to squeeze them just like they will squeeze india.
no wonder verghese is saying 'lets bend over and grease up for the chinese'. this fellow did not utter a word, i noticed, when godman carol wojtzia (whatever the spelling was, aka john paul 2) went to india and on diwali day proclaimed that asia was going to be 'harvested'. but he has pontificated a lot about alleged 'hindu fundamentalism'. bloody hypocrite. o for a couple of good, feisty guys like christopher hitches ('ghoul of calcutta') or ponkunnam varkey ('the beatified kochappi') exposing the fornication between the godman and the emperor!
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Greetings from Chandigarh, where I am on a business trip. I read this article on China in todays The Tribune here and couldnt help but think about your take on certain keralites of the fifth columnist type. This article makes a true fifth column reading, especialy the author's dismissive treatment of the Brahmaputra issue. That is especially more so when you contrast it with Tom Friedman's article on China in today's The New York Times (China: Scapegoat or Sputnik)( http://select.nytimes.com/2006/11/10/opinion/10friedman.html?hp).
If you consider the Varghese article worthy of posting on your blog, it would be great and I cant wait to read your commentary that would precede.
Also, I would request you to kindly write a series of Rediff articles on China to coincide with their priemier's visit to India. That wouldbe some tonic for the cricket infested brains.
I had to re-type this mail all over again as my previous written mail probably was lost when I clciked send to find that I was already logged out from my verizon mail. Please dont mind if you had already recieved this mail.
Time to talk with China
by B.G. Verghese
President Hu Jintao of China is visiting India later this month. The Government of India must have an agenda for talks. But here is one for consideration.
India-China economic and trade relations have been steadily improving but there is scope for further expansion to mutual benefit. India has been hesitant to grant Chinese visitors visas liberally and has been wary of Chinese firms bidding for consultancy and management contracts. Security concerns have been cited. These are exaggerated and do little credit to a nation that wants to be a major player on the world stage. Hopefully, some rethinking is under way.
The same diffidence is apparent in opening up Nathu La to China-India trade rather than only to limited border trade in traditional goods. Apprehensions that this might flood the market with Chinese manufactures and do harm to nascent industries in eastern and northeastern India have little basis as earlier experience shows when torch cells and hosiery goods were deemed to threaten Indian manufactures. Kolkata-Haldia is the nearest ocean outlet for Lhasa. In fact, with the opening of the Golmud-Lhasa railway, India can also make a bid to augment trade in manufactures with Tibet and heartland China.
It would next be appropriate to review the boundary talks on the basis of the principles laid out and discuss steps to expedite them and exchange maps in regard to those sectors where a broad agreement has been reached. Tawang is apparently the sticking point with the Chinese arguing that Tibetan sentiment favours "restoration" to it of this area. This is not a demand that India can concede. Tawang is not a wilderness but a developed region whose people are totally integrated with India. Its representatives adorn the highest echelons of governance in Arunachal Pradesh.
What could assuage Buddhist sentiments on both sides, if so desired, would be in some suitable manner to permit the extension of Tibetan ecclesiastical jurisdiction over the Tawang monastery on the basis of earlier historical linkages. Indeed, such an arrangement could set a precedent for a resolution of China-Tibet relations in the context of the role and return of the Dalai Lama to Lhasa. The definition of Tibet has been in contention with the Chinese limiting this to what is called the Tibet Autonomous Region or TAR that is currently under the Lhasa administration. The Dalai Lama's people, however, argue that this omits Kham and Amdo that are presently distributed between Yunnan, Sichuan, Gansu and Qinghai. The Chinese find this provocative and denounce such "splittism" as revisionist and revanchist.
It would be practical and healing to extend Tibetan ecclesiastical jurisdiction to Buddhist monasteries and congregations in these Chinese provinces in keeping with the Dalai Lama's traditional role as the spiritual head of the Tibetan Buddhist church. Once this matter is out of the way, other issues about ensuring genuine autonomy in TAR in keeping with the 17-Point Agreement negotiated in the 1950s might become more easily amenable to resolution. The Dalai Lama has moderated his position and the Chinese are now perhaps coming around to the view that their long-term interest lies in seeking an honourable accommodation with the Dalai Lama. It should be in India's interest to facilitate a rapprochement that would bring stability to the region and comfort to the entire Buddhist world.
The Indian and Chinese sides will certainly review the situation arising out of North Korea's nuclear weapons test. Neither side is particularly pleased about the development, which has destabilised the existing balance of power in Northeast Asia. The North Koran test must also trigger fears of further proliferation and the dire consequences clandestine trade in nuclear weapons technology, fissile material and delivery systems of which the Chinese are very aware. Genies are prone to get out of the bottle and develop a frightening life and momentum of their own.
The conversation could naturally lead on from here to Pakistan. The Prime Minister would do well to explain the ongoing peace process with Pakistan. China, too, has been troubled by Pakistan-based jihadis in Xinjiang, the Taliban's increasing presence in Afghanistan and Waziristan and the unrest in Balochistan and will share India's concern for peace, stability and enlightened moderation in the region. The peace prospects in J&K could be furthered if trade and pilgrimage to Tibet were permitted from Ladakh. The reopening of trade between J&K and Xinjiang via Leh and across the Karakoram Pass along the old Silk Route, suitably upgraded, would also be mutually beneficial.
Finally, both leaders should talk about concerting research and action to grapple with issues of climate change on the ground and in negotiations with the global community. The Tibetan plateau and the Himalayan mass play an important part in shaping global weather and Asian river systems. Both are facing the heat of global warming with glaciers in retreat and a meltdown of Tibetan permafrost. However, it is necessary to get rid of recurrent alarms about Chinese plans to divert the entire waters of the Brahmaputra from its U-Bend in eastern Tibet to North China. This ghost must be laid to rest.