Friday, June 12, 2009

CHINDIA

I do not understand the obsession of Indian media with China. Every other day in one or the other leading daily or website there is news about India's perceived Chinese threat or the competition between the two Asian giants.

In May of 2007 I spent one whole month in China, and to my surprise there wasn't the remotest mention of India in any form of media. The people that I met and interacted with over my entire course of the month long stay were from diverse walks of life; from a cabbie to a President of leading Chinese multinational firm. The few from amongst the Australians, Europeans,Indians, Africans and Turkish that I met were all in awe of the China's rapid all round systematic growth.

For the Chinese, India-China comparison is akin to Bangladesh matching itself up with India. India seemed nowhere to be China's scheme of things, they were more eager to be counted amongst the South Korea's and the Japan's of the world, not India for godsake.

Unlike Indians, Chinese are not known to express their views openly. So, when I plodded and pushed a few Chinese to opine about India, the only thing they had to say was China was a friend of Pakistan and, that India according to what they knew, was trying to disturb peace in Pakistan and a war-monger. A few of them had also read that everyday some tens of thousands in India died of starvation and it was a very-very poor country.

So, If there is anything my interactions with an average Chinese tells me it is for us Indians to get over this Chinese obsession and move ahead. Ignore China, let it be. The day is not far when China will crumble under the weight of its own created expectations.

Indian media should instead concentrate on improving relations with our immediate neigbours namely; Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Highlight achievements and accompalishments of people from those countries, win confidence and trust of their people. Rather then foster hatred and fear, create a positive feeling amongst us Indians about our neighbours. This will help wean them away from the Chinese clutches and create a sense of level-play for them. Lets work off the ghost of partition, we have come a long way since then.

We as the most powerful presence in the region should make our neighbours feel secure. Because with power comes responsibilities.Let not China or any other nation of the world use the disharmony that exist between these SAARC countries to their advantage against India.

Its high time we ignore China and concentrate on people with whom we share history and common heritage. A time will come when, let alone China the whole worlds eyes will be on us. And that day is not too far.
Ekla chalo re.