Wednesday, October 7, 2009

How to Contain the Dragon?

Not long ago when most of our fellow Indians were obsessed with the thought that India was at par with China. Even our military bosses kept the morale of our soldiers by pronouncing that they could give hard knocks to their big neighbour, if situation so arose. But of late, there is a paradigm shift in the perception. The Dragons are way ahead of us in almost every field, and so our experts feel a bit uncomfortable while exaggerating the might of the People's Republic of China. It is true that, even if not regularly, China does not miss a chance to exhibit its power to the world. Be it the Beijing Olympic's extravaganza or its military showcase during its 60th year of commemoration.

During the past sixty years, it has been noticed that China's foreign policy seemed superior in nature in comparison to India. Though Nehru was considered as a great diplomat, who discovered the principle of Panchsheel and the slogan of Hindi Chini Bhai Bhai, yet we were thrashed hopelessly by the Chinese in the Sino-India War of 1962. What went wrong with our policy? If we go deeply into the labyrinth, we find Dalai Lama was one of the reasons behind the war. Today, his movement in and around India, is causing bitterness amongst the two giant neighbours. Are we facing another war, again due to the intricacies involving Dalai Lama? Even US President Barrack Obama passed up a meeting with the Tibetan leader in Washington this week to avoid any controversy in Beijing next month. Most nations today understand the might of China, and keep distance of from any controversy. Be it US, UK, or Russia. India too should learn from them.

As of today, India's relations to its neighbours cannot be termed as neighbour-like. Not only Pakistan, our relations are strained with China and Bangladesh. Our one time buddy Nepal has slipped away, and no one really knows as to when we would put the Himalayan Kingdom in the brackets of China and Bangladesh. We have practically no relation with Burma, once a good ally of India. The terrorism caused by LTTE and our policy have made Sri Lanka jittery towards us. Finally we are left with two tiny nations, Bhutan and Maldives, whom we may call with pride as our friends. Often we are accused of hegemony by our neighbours. Comparing to this, China may claim better relations with its neighbours. Except Taiwan, no one dares to look at China with hostility.

The time has come when we should interpret the lacunas of our foreign policies thoroughly. It seems the cream of our civil services, the IFS, are not good enough to handle the foreign relations involving neighbours. It's a highly paying job, but nothing substantial has been earned through them over the years. We need a thorough professional people at the helm who may assure us a decent relationship growing between us and our neighbours.

At present, we cannot dare take on China either militarily or economically. Both ways they are the superpower. We are left with only friendship and go along with them, to sustain in this new world order. Highly trained professionals who are blessed with extra intelligence, overly smart and outright raconteur are required, who by using their acumen, may subside our neighbours esp. the China. It is too late to over power them, but containing them to our terms, will not be a lesser work. It is for sure, that we may no longer trust our so called IFS officers to carry on with their routine file work and expect that the world is sleeping. Can we ignore what Kautilya said two thousand years ago," We can change our friends, but not the neighbours."

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