The ‘Living God’ at present, ‘installed’ at the palatial
buildings owned by the Merchant-prince, Birla received
kind ‘offerings’ from the daring democrat, Pandit Nehru.
Statesmen have applauded the timely action of Pandit
Nehru, and p`oliticians here and elsewhere are arguing
the pros and cons of the problem that has sprung up.
With minimum cost, one could say, Pandit Nehru has earned
a rich dividend. Those countries that are clubbed together
as ‘democratic’ as opposed to the ‘totalitarian’ have
come forward to praise Pandit Nehru, for this bold step.
Some of those countries were having a sort of suspicion
in their minds – and they had good reason for the same.
For, from the time of the Bandung Conference and the
promulgation of the Five Principles an impression gained
ground, that the slogan ‘Hindi-Chini- Bhai- Bhai’ has
become a solid poltical arrangement. And the ‘western
powers’ who naturally were not happy at the growing
strength of Red China, were scared almost by this ‘Bhai-Bhai!
They were all along planning to maintain and strengthen
Nehru’s India, as a check and challenge to Red China
and for a time, Nehru himself was tempted to toy with
the idea of an Asian Leadership. And so, when they witnessed
the spectacle of Red China and Nehru’s India ‘arm-in-arm’,
they were naturally dismayed. But recent events have
dispelled that fear and suspicion; and Pandit Nehru
is now the recipient of encomiums from many a land.
He has now become the ‘focusing point’ – the one tall
leader who has come forward to champion the causes of
justice, democracy, nationalism. Pandit Nehru has become
overnight a ‘defender of divinity’ as well as democracy
as it were – for in granting ‘protection’ to the fleeing
‘God-on-earth’ Nehru has proclaimed his intention of
blocking the onward march of tatalitarianism.
Of course Pandit Nehru could not take sides, as far
as politics is concerned – and this attitude he has
ably maintained though reports, statements and Radio
news from Peking are of an irritating kind. Pandit Nehru
refuses to succumb to provocation and is maintaining
a poise which is admirable.
But while he is maintaining ‘statesmanship’, there are
around him, many, for whom this appears to be the most
opportune time for having their ‘dig’ at anything ‘Red’.
The ‘Reds’ here, so, have to come forward with their
cudgels – and unfortunately they depend too much on
what is being supplied through ‘air’ from Peking.
The real crux of the problem is thus being either missed
Because of the ‘battle-cries’ raised by these two warring
camps, one section of the public are led to think, that
Red China intends to swallow up Tibet, and from there
it would pounce upon the Indian Territory too, in due
course – and another section of the public are led to
think that ‘foreigners’ have cunningly manoeuvred that
whole affair, and they have cooked up revolt against
the people and democratic forces in Tibet, to safeguard
vested interests and the upper strata in society – in
short, a sort of counter-revolution. Hints and even
open statements are made, to the effect that ‘Indians
in Kalimpong’ had had a hand in this move.
Amidst this din of noise, the real crux of the problem
is being forgetten. And whatever might be the solution
already chalked out by Nehru, until and unless, the
crux of the problem is understood and appreciated, one
could not draw the lesson that the events give.
To be frank, even at the risk of being misunderstood
and hence vilified – we should like to know what is
it that Pandit Nehru wants to defend? And what are the
reasons that he could possibly advance for his stand?
Is Pandit Nehru interested in safeguarding the territorial
integrity of Tibet, or the Ddivine Right of the Dalai
Is Pandit Nehru interested in maintaining the ‘Tibetean
way of life’ – if so, what is it that is attractive
And is it ‘politic’ to expect China having assumed (and
having been assured also) suzerainty over Tibet, to
allow that region to present a system and society not
only entirely different from what is to be found in
China, but also diametrically opposed to the very theories
upon which Red China has been built up?
If Tibet is to have a ‘way of life’ entirely its own,
it should become a Separate Sovereign State – and not
a region in Red China.
China refuses to accept this – and most of her allies,
including Nehru have assured China, that Tibet is part
Tibet cannot say that, she is being exploited by China,
through a ‘Colonial system’. In fact, the Chinese could
point out with pride, some of their achievements. They
have attempted to ‘modernise’ Tibet, and perhaps, they
would even industrialise her, by and by.
Road-building, schools, hospitals, workshops and such
other benefits conferred can be cited. Tibet has not
been ‘reduced’ to serfdom – her natural resources have
not been exploited. China is so vast and so rich that
she has absolutely no need to grab a piece of land on
the ‘Roof of the World’.
How is it, that a feeling of aversion arises? Therein
lies the crux of the problem.
Though the reforms introduced by China, are according
to modern standards, beneficial to the people of Tibet,
and though China is careful enough to do this in a partonising
way, the people not only in Tibet but democrats elsewhere
also, find in this an attempt to annihilate something
It was exactly this feeling of repulsion that was the
reason for the liberation movement started in Tibet.
They call it as Mimang – and the present uprising is
the direct outcome of this Mimang. Pandit Nehru, by
taking the Dalai Lama under his protective wings, has
accepted by implication this Mimang. He has accepted
the fact, that Tibetans are of a distinct nationality,
with a way of life all their own. He has accepted that
a suzerain power has no right to annihilate this ‘nationalism’.
Tibet, compared to China, is a small belt. She cannot
stand comparison to China, in any field of activity
and yet, she wants a separate, sovereign existence –
and Pandit Nehru, though he does not proclaim this in
so many words, has accepted this right.
He could thus be called as the ‘defender of the small
nation’ and his role is being held in high esteem.
But, it is the same democrat, the defender of the small
nation, that is up against the demand for a Dravida
(Editorial - 24-04-1959)