The communist parties of India often consider themselves to be morally superior in comparison to the others (particularly the Congress and the BJP). And they never had any trouble rubbing this theory in. But Nandigram showed India and the world the murderous face of Indian communism, particularly the marxist variant. This, along with the economic stagnation that West Bengal and Kerala endured till the beginning of the new millennium under communist rule, while the rest of India kept growing, probably explains why no other Indian state has and will ever touch them even with a barge pole. The fact that West Bengal and Kerala keep voting for them time and again is something I fail to understand, but thats a different matter.
The CPI(M) has always been known for its pro-China stance which more often than not carries an anti-India subtext. So, what CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat has said this time round is hardly surprising. Communists are well known for rewriting that part of history that doesn’t buttress their point of view. So, the fact that Kashmir’s accession into India was not a result of an Indian military invasion of the state, or the fact that India has always accommodated views of those militant organizations (including those in Nagaland) who are ready to lay down their arms and sit across the table and talk sense seem to have cleanly slipped his mind. But that is what communism and communists are all about.
Karat closing his eyes does not mean that China did not invade Tibet and forcefully integrate it within itself. India and the world’s acceptance of Tibet as a part of China is a political compulsion. In a democratic country, government and people work together to maintain the cultural identity of a state. But China simply ran over Tibet, considering it a mining ground for resources and a station for projecting its military might over India. But who will tell these things to the present government and the inane communists? George Fernandes raking up the issue of independent Tibet is irrelevant. He is a nobody in present day Indian politics and age has taken its toll. He, like L.K.Advani, suffers from the dreaded foot-in-the-mouth disease. And the BJP too, should stop acting like a petulant child, and begin acting like a responsible opposition party.
Whatever the politics over Tibet, there is only one solution to the mess. The Chinese government should let go of its paranoia and hubris on this issue, invite the Dalai Lama, talk to him, and allow Tibetans to return. When it can let Hong Kong run as a near-democratic territory, what stops it from offering a similar pact to the Dalai Lama?
In a country where guests are supposed to be treated with great honor, Pranab Mukherjee warning the Dalai Lama to stop his political activities is nothing short of an insult to him. And the way the Indian government has behaved with Tibetan protesters is shameful. When the communists led a gang of idiots in a protest against US President George Bush’s visit to India, I did not see the Indian government reacting in such a manner. If China feels jumpy, should India jump too?
While I don’t believe that the Dalai Lama is behind the violent uprising in Tibet, I hope he realizes that the only reason the world continues to speak in his favor is because he has not indulged in or supported militant methods on Tibet. Also, while any militant uprising in Tibet is bound to be crushed by China, if the world comes to know that such an event had the sanction of the Dalai Lama himself, his aura will be lost forever, and so will any chance for a peaceful resolution to the half-a-century old affair.