….India China and the High Himalayas
A BOOK REVIEW
I recently I came across a most informative compilation of 14 essays titled One Mountain Two Tigers put together by Shakti Sinha a bureaucrat turned political analyst cum author presently holding charge of Honorary Director Atal Bihari Institute of Policy Research and International Studies. Each essay penned by experts on Indo China Relations covering genesis of Indo China conflict has come up as impromptu response to recent flare up on India China border.The individual essays are capsulation of information covering a very wide canvas on the subject .
The book recalls that while at one juncture the two asian lions appeared to have reconciled to shake hands and focus on peace and economic cooperation leaving the border issues for future generations, the recent border incidents have brought to the forefront the urgency of finding a lasting solutions for settling border issues. It is now an agreed fact that various lines drawn across maps which are relied for defining the border have various deficiencies depending on constraints thrown by such socio economic inter dependance of the two economic giants and issue has been further complicated by the geographically treacherous terrain which constitutes the border..
The region studded with rich cultural legacy and impressive record of human developments is however too large to remain in a state of rest or have everlasting peace. Political changes within China and rest of world including United States and periodic tremors arising out of smoking conflict zones such as Gilgit ,Tibet, Baltistan have by a chain of events kept the region in state of ferment and the dormant volcano starts emitting lava and smoke periodically.The book looks for background for such conflict and to some extent seeks answers to contain such developments within manageable limits.
The Essays in the Compilation recall how historical and religious characteristics of the two civilisations have intertwined the fate of the two giants. The compilation has been prompted by recent disturbances on Indo China Border but an author has also recalled that India and China have remained peaceful neighbours for more than 5000 years. The countrIes have a common platform where they share literature and rituals, languages and scripts to so much extent that certain modern Chinese Scholars have at one stage in recent past even analysed “Indianisation” of China in their writings. Mount Kailash and Mansarovar lake located well inside Chinese territory continue to attract generations of Indians for pilgrimage purposes.
The compilation also vividly brings out the fact of inter dependence of Trade and Commerce related activities between the two countries as well as kingdom of Kashmir.
The compilation covers everything which an ordinary person would like to know about Indo China conflicts.I felt happy that I had with my spouse already extensively toured China three years back, because the Hind Chini Bhai Bhai spirit may remain bottled up for sometime now.
The concluding essay titled “China :Anxiety and Aggression” by Shakti Sinha is itself a masterpiece.It recalls the amazing carelessness shown by China in facilitating spread of Corona Virus to various parts of the world followed up by flaring disputes with multiple countries on issues which had no immediate provocation.China has also initiated verbal disputes with several countries using unparliamentary words which had so far been used for a few chosen enemies like Dalai Lama.The brazen contempt has been linked to meteoric rise of Chinese economy but present day realisation that the growth trajectory is unlikely to continue.On Social development front environmental issues and China’s one child policy have thrown up challenges. According to author the wide range of conflicts with multiplicity of countries makes Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and it’s General Secretary insecure and uncomfortable. Future holds the key to resurgence or decline of China as economic super powers.
The incidents which have occasionally propped up are in-fact not isolated occurrences. Developments on Indo China border including Socio political or Economic Developments and trade related movements are results of a sequence of events prompted by a critical balance of conflicting economic and political forces between asian nation and superpowers including United States of America and Soviet Union.The solutions may be decades away.