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Karat just speaks His Master's voice

Karat just speaks His Master's voice

Author: J N Raina
Publication: The Free Press Journal
Date: April 9, 2008
URL: http://www.freepressjournal.in/09042008/Edit3.htm

China need not stiffen its muscles to confront the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama in India. Its surrogate, the Communist Party of India (Marxist), is doing enough at its bidding to browbeat the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize winner.

While China's blemished role in Tibet has sparked off worldwide condemnation, the CPM is playing footsie with their `masters' in Beijing, leaving no stone unturned in hurling invectives on the Dalai Lama. As if on `deputation' from the Communist China, the CPM General Secretary Prakash Karat in a tone bespeaking of disloyalty towards his own nation has generated anger by equating Tibet with Jammu and Kashmir and Nagaland, without mincing words.

In an important policy statement, Karat has obliquely blamed India for `masterminding' pro-Tibet demonstrations in India for orchestrating what he has charged `anti-China propaganda'. He seems to be more loyal than the `king' by issuing a `commandment' that those who are part of the `free Tibet chorus' should clarify if they would allow a free Jammu and Kashmir and free Nagaland. In a way, what has Nagaland and Kashmir to do with Tibet? What is the co-relationship?

While Jammu and Kashmir and Nagaland are integral parts of India by dint of accession or otherwise, Tibet has been forcibly occupied by China. Separatism in Kashmir and Nagaland is a different issue. It exists in one form or the other elsewhere in India, varyingly. The `angry dragon' has itself admitted that some 700 years ago, Tibet was part of China, and so it was felt essential to `occupy' it. However, it is far from reality that Tibet was ever part of China legally.

Tibet was a de facto independent State until China occupied it in 1949. In that year, when Nepal applied for the United Nations membership, it produced a peace treaty it had signed with Tibet in 1856, as evidence of its `independent status'. According to a former diplomat Ranjit Gupta, "There is no document that binds India to accept Tibet as a part of China".

Deputizing himself for China, Karat has criticized the BJP for `disagreeing' with the UPA Government's position on Tibet. The UPA Government came under sharp attack at a conclave of former diplomats and many others who are well aware of the situation in Tibet, for its inept handling of the Tibet problem. Some of them expressed the belief that Tibet cannot be considered a part of China if that country continues to claim Arunachal Pradesh as its territory.

Strangely so, the CPM has been raising concern against the violation of so-called human rights in Kashmir, but as regards Tibet, Karat is fuming that "national sovereignty cannot be breached in the name of human rights". He has remarked that big states (read China) with multi-national and multi-ethnic communities cannot be broken up on the ground of `self-determination'. But so far Jammu and Kashmir is in the picture, his party's tone and that of other like-minded groups like the CPI(ML) is significantly different. The CPM does not mind raising the bogey of `self-determination' for Kashmiris. For Tibet, Karat is speaking in His Master's voice, to placate China.

The Communists are un-oblivious of the fact, that Tibet's occupation by China is posing a security threat to India. China is not sincere in its dealings with India. That country can transport heavy armour and troops on a short notice from the hinterland China to the Indian borders, if the situation demands.

" India's security stands seriously threatened as never before", says Dr N K Trikha, national convenor of the Core Group for Tibetan cause. The threat exists solely because of Tibet's occupation by China. He is of the view that Tibet should regain its autonomy at any cost. And this is what the Dalai Lama has been seeking for. In fact he has climbed down from his original demand of 'independence for Tibet', although the new Tibetan generation is against such a move. The Dalai Lama's volte-face has now led to 'extraordinary political revolt' in Lhasa. China has exploited the rich and diverse resources of Tibet in a ruthless manner. Its ecology has been destroyed, affecting the Indian side too. The CPM is helping China to dominate the Asian region and is trying hard to bolster its image. What a pity.

Several nations are in favour of Tibet's independence under the tutelage of the Dalai Lama. It will lead to friendly relations between the two neighbouring nations, with Tibet remaining a buffer zone as it was till its annexation by Chna. To say China cannot except the MacMahon Line on the plea that Tibet was once a part of China, is rash. On that basis, India too can claim several regions, including Afghanistan, which was once upon a time part of the then Indian Empire. China and Tibet had signed the Shimla convention of 1914 that had delineated the MacMahon Line. But after India's independence, China invaded Tibet. India ultimately insisted Tibet's autonomy be protected. China is reported to have even agreed and signed an agreement with the young Dalai Lama in 1953, but China reneged on it later. It is the time when then premier Jawaharlal Nehru blundered.

The political turmoil in Tibet is not so abrupt. Almost for the past two years, China has hardened its stance against the return of the Dalai Lama to Lhasa, where China considers him as a persona nongrata. Rather it is China, which is not wanted by the people there. Articles appeared in the state-run publications like Xinhua news agency, China Daily and Beijing Review against the Tibetan leader, directing him to change his position or "waste the rest of his life in Dharamsala".

"If the Dalai Lama does not want to change his position, he would probably have no choice but to waste the rest of his life in Dharamsala", the Xinhua commentary said. Another article in "Global Times" has blamed Nehru for `misleading' the then Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai about his `real objective' which it said was to support the independence of Tibet. If so, what? The articles came at a time when India and China were engaged in useful talks last year for establishing durable peace in the region.

The article depicted Nehru in bad light. He was charged with "inheriting the British colonial approach to Tibet, and supporting the U S plans to create an independent Tibet" There is no doubt that China is imbued with hegemonic ambitions. It has lately 'ordered' the Tibetan leader to publicly acknowledge not only Tibet as part of China but Taiwan also. Why should the Dalai Lama speak for Taiwan?

China has denigrated and criticized the Dalai Lama as an "anti-motherland conspiratorial politician", "a wolf in monk's robes", "as a liar and a splitist", et el. Although the entire world knows he is an embodiment of peace and truth.

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