Dr. Vijaya Rajiva
Bharat has 3 major enemies : 1. the Christian-imperialist- West axis, 2. Jihadi terrorism, 3. Chinese great power ambitions (for short the Dragon).These are not listed in any special order, all are asuric forces.
As a Hindutvadin the present writer is concerned with all three asuric forces. In this article I shall look at the menace from the Dragon. The general reader is requested to look up the excellent articles on the Chinese question by the defence analyst and expert Shri B. Raman (former Secretary in the Cabinet Secretariat, and now associate of the Chennai Institute for Chinese Studies). These articles are characterised by realism, maturity and sobriety. At present the Nepalese Maoists are split between various factions. They are no longer the unified force they were during the insurrection (1996-2006). The Raman articles are numerous and they examine various aspects of the Chinese presence in Nepal and how this impacts on India.
The Chinese enjoyed a certain privileged relationship with the Nepalese kings who did a balancing and clever act between India and China. Until the Maoists came to power in the coalition government in 2006, after the ten year insurrection, China had distanced itself from the Maoists and even helped the king to fight the insurrection. India also did, until it was clear that King Gyanendra was not only playing a double game but was being ruthless in his dealings with the people of Nepal. But now the Chinese are using the Nepalese Maoists to further their own aims in the region.
As the world knows only too well, China is an unabashedly capitalist country now. Its cynical leaders are bent on achieving their aims at all costs. There is no communism proper, has never been in either Russia or China. The noble aim of Karl Marx : from each according to his capacity, to each according to his need, had never been practised in Stalinist Russia or Maoist China. Today, China is in league with the world’s capitalist powers and all attempts to whitewash this phenomenon must be seen for what they are.
What is the Dragon’s agenda in Nepal, where they now have a significant presence through the exercise of soft power (aid to Nepal, engaging in hydro electric projects, exchange of students, subsidising trips to china etc.) ?
There are 3 goals for China in Nepal : 1. use the Nepalese Maoists to oppress and quell Tibetan revolts against Chinese domination, 2. downgrade India, which stands in the way of its great power ambitions in South Asia and its domination of Tibet, 3. build its own economic clout by exploiting the natural resources of Nepal.
While the West is also fishing in troubled waters in Nepal, that is not yet the imminent threat to Hindu India. And such issues as the presence of genetically modified crops by the Western corporations such as Monsanto are being taken up by the relevant NGOs (as well they should).
Hindu India must focus clearly on the first two questions. Tibet has always been a home of Buddhism outside India. While Buddhism in the far East, in Vietnam and Japan has been eclipsed by conversions to Christianity, in Tibet the people continue to follow their traditional religion, a mix both of native cults and the Buddhism that came from India via the Buddhist monks. In that sense the Dalai Lama is a Dharmic religious leader, and whatever the reasons for the Western powers support of his cause, we the Hindus of India have a religious/spiritual reason to oppose the Dragon’s policy in Tibet. The imposition by China of the Panchen Lama did not go well with the people and the Chinese leadership is mortally afraid that if and when the Dalai Lama passes on there will be disturbances. Hence, their use of the Nepalese Maoists to keep the Tibetans in line.
Articles by various Indic scholars make it abundantly clear that the Chinese are both pragmatic and ambitious simultaneously in their relations with the world and especially their neighbour India. B. Raman has pointed out that while they may not repeat the adventurism of 1962 since they have a lot more to lose now than then, an attack via aerial methods cannot be ruled out. Their pragmatism tells them not to waste time, money and resources in a fresh battle with India, but their ambitions cannot always be held in check. A nuclear attack is also not on the cards. However, they engage in what is called ‘salami slicing’, the slow incremental advance, such as what they practise in Arunachal Pradesh. Their very earliest and ongoing military and logistical support of Pakistan is intended not for altruistic purposes, but to keep India off balance. And should war break out, then India will have to fight on two fronts.
Hence, while a cautious and limited engagement with the Dragon on the economic front is well advised (such as the business enterprises even by noted giants like the Tatas in their Tata Consulting Service, on top of the list of services to China) it should be kept well under control. The recent scandal involving telecommunications is a case in point. China cannot be allowed to have input into India’s telecommunications. Trade in goods and other services can be encouraged up to a point, but not to the extent that it is allowed to flood the market with cheap goods and thus drive the Indian small and medium entrepreneur out of business.
In Nepal, India’s soft power is slowly declining because of the steady beat of anti Indian propaganda. Many Indian companies are also finding it difficult because of the hostility that is being fanned against them. At the same time China is vigorously promoting its own projects in Nepal, which are not only profitable for themselves, but also demonstrate the use of their soft power. Unlike in Tibet this is working for them. The highway, the railway line etc. are also effective support for their military designs against India.
In such a context Hindu India must not only safeguard its territory using both military defence and diplomacy, its enterprises, its economy but also its Hindu ethos. This last call cannot be neglected because no civilisation folds up purely from external causes and attacks. The strength of the Bharatiya civilisation for several millenia has always been and will continue to be its enduring Dharmic ethos, meaning its Veda Agama. Here, the aam admi has been an enduring upholder of civilisational practices. The traditional acharyas and mathams are also the preservers and conveyors of Hinduism. The middle classes on the other hand can be proselytised by the attractions of a false communistic propaganda.
The effect of this propaganda is two fold : the illusion that some millenarian style (revolutionary) action is the solution to the problems of a society, hence the refusal to engage in a slow careful modest approach to social reform. The devilish actions of the naxalites are well known to the public.Many of its leaders were middle class ideologues. There is the story of the Maoist Kishanji who used to train his potential revolutionaries by hardening them to bloodshed by the routine slaughter of helpless animals !And ofcourse, the ready use of slogans such as power lies in the barrel of a gun. There is the misleading propaganda that state power has to be seized and dismantled in order to achieve their social goals. In India, this is standard fare for the naxals. There is the mindless violence against individual policmen such as beheading. In Nepal the numbers of the population that were killed runs into thousands, and the retaliation by the Nepalese state is said to also be in the same category. The direct link of the Nepalese Maoists to the Indian insurgents is well known, so also China’s clandestine support via this route.
These outdated practices are borrowed directly from the Maoist dictionary from across the border. To the extent that the Dragon keeps up its propaganda both in Nepal and elsewhere it acts as a magnet to immature and unsteady minds elsewhere. The fact that the Nepalese Maoists have given up all thoughts of world revolution is not the issue, they have. What has persisted, hovering over their psyches are the diabolical philosophies that they learned from Maoism.
Countering it can only be done by a steady practice of Veda Agama. If the Vedic injunctions were to be followed then our society will be inwardly cleansed and social justice problems will also be resolved. The Devas, Devatas, and Devis are there ever present in the land. Hindu society has only to follow their righteous injunctions and their incandescent benedictions. This reality alone should motivate Hindus to work for the betterment of their own society. Our dharmic scriptures are sufficient for that purpose.
The asuric forces across the border must resolutely be rejected. Under no circumstance and under no excuse should they be glorified or held up as a model to young Hindus. To that extent Hindus should worry about the Dragon, meanwhile setting our own house in order, so that the diabolical influences are not allowed to enter right from the get go. The question then is not only should Hindus worry about the Dragon in Nepal, but also in what sense should they so worry.
(The writer is a Political Philosopher who taught at a Canadian university)