July 18, 2020
Xi targets Modi for not giving in to his whims and fancies
By Manash Ghosh
So far as India is concerned, Xi wants to checkmate its southern giant neighbour from becoming a super
power and also emerging as its economic and military counterbalance not only in Asia but the world
over. This is why it is pursuing an encirclement plan in India’s neighbourhood by building a string of naval
ports, network of strategic roads, railways and airports which will be used by its military during peace and
at times of war.
Xi’s expansionist plan is being openly aided and abetted by India’s principal Opposition party, the Indian
National Congress (INC), whose top leaders signed a secret memorandum of understanding (MoU) in
Beijing with CCP in Xi’s presence in 2008 for closer co-operation between the two parties. It also takes
huge sums as donation for activities of its various foundations. At the height of the Doklam border
standoff, its then Vice-President, Rahul Gandhi, secretly went to the Chinese embassy in Delhi to meet
the Chinese ambassador. Despite public pressure, he never disclosed the subject or content of his
discussion. But one fallout of that meeting was that he and his mother ,Sonia Gandhi, desperately tried
to scuttle the Rafale fighter deal that India had signed with France by alleging that Modi and his business
aides had got large kick backs from France. The Indian Communists, who have always worked as China’s fifth column at home, joined the Congress to undermine the deal and desperately tried to scrap it
so that this deadly combat aircraft did not join India’s arsenal.
Whenever Congress ruled India, right from the days of Jawaharlal Nehru, China was allowed to annex
huge chunks of Indian territory without much difficulty. Nehru, in Indian parliament, justified the
annexation of 42,000 sq km of Aksai Chin in Ladakh because “not a blade of grass grows there.” When
the Chinese overran NEFA and were at Tezpur’s doorstep, he, in a special radio broadcast bid goodbye
to the people of Brahmaputra Valley saying,”my heart goes out to the people of Assam at this hour of
China benefited not only territorially but also in every possible way whenever Congress was in power.
Nehru not only allowed the Chinese annexation of Tibet but also recognized its sovereignty over the
region though, his then Home Minister , Vallabhbhai Patel, had warned him that by allowing China to
reach India’s doorstep “ India in future would have serious security problems.” But Nehru rejected
Patel’s comment as “uninformed criticism, as China believed in Lord Buddha’s Panchasheel doctrine of
peaceful coexistence.” How correct Patel was and Nehru was grievously wrong is borne out is borne out
by the happenings on the Sino- Indian border of last six decades. Nehru was also in two minds to give
asylum to Dalai Lama in 1959 as that would irk the Chinese leadership. He, even after granting asylum
to His Holiness, was heard privately saying that he would welcome the Dalai Lama to leave India and
seek asylum in any other country” as China is angry with India for providing refuge to him and his huge
retinue” Nehru used to go out of his way to cultivate the Communist Chinese even at the cost of his own
and India’s national pride and self-esteem. The Chinese found this as a great weakness in Nehru’s
character and exploited it to the hilt to its advantage.
During the three crucial years preceding the Chinese aggression of 1962, Jawaharlal stationed his own
first cousin R. K. Nehru as India’s envoy to Beijing so that his orders for improving India’s relation with
China were carried out in letter and spirit. Jawaharlal’s objective was to put Sino-India relations on a
sound friendly footing. But R. K. Nehru’s tenure as an envoy was a disaster as he was scorned and
pilloried by the Chinese Communist leadership for Nehru’s China policy. Despite this, Jawaharlal
steadfastly followed the one China policy, though his party colleagues, like Mahabir Tyagi and others and
Opposition leaders like Ram Manohar Lohia and H.V. Kamath, wanted India to recognize Taiwan
also.But Nehru refused to exercise this option on the ground that Mao-led Communist party government
represented the true and real Chinese people and Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang party led-Taiwan
government was a lackey of American imperialists and a renegade.
The Nehru Gandhi family has always been extremely deferential to the Chinese communist leadership
and their sensitivities and has always sought to please and accommodate them in whatever way
possible, even at the cost of India’s international standing and prestige, national security and territorial
integrity. During 1962 Chinese aggression India’s state owned ALL India Radio used to broadcast during
the evening prime time a very popular programme”India and the Dragon” anchored by Indian’s legendary
and much decorated broadcaster MelvilleDemelllo which dwelt exclusively on Chinese betrayal of India.
But China objected to this “highly reprehensible broadcast as it fanned anti China sentiments among
Indians”. Immediately Nehru told then Information and Broadcasting Minister to take the programme off
the air. But when the then Director General of AIR told his Minister and Jawaharlal Nehru that China
should do likewise by stopping anti-India broadcasts by Radio Peking he was told to “mind his own
business and not complicate matters”.
In 1988, when Nehru’s grandson Rajiv Gandhi visited China as India’s Prime Minister, he was told by the
Chinese leadership that India, in its own interest, should desist from building its border infrastructure in
Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh. On his return home, Rajiv not only ordered the stoppage of construction
of border infrastructure in the forward areas but enunciated the ridiculously childish theory that India’s
best defence against future Chinese aggression lay in not building border infrastructure; he believed that
the absence of roads and communication facilities along the LAC would make it difficult for the Chinese
to come deep inside the Indian territory. Worse, India’s Defence Ministers, including A K Antony, even
defended the rationale and soundness of this theory in Parliament. This blunder committed by Rajiv
Gandhi subsequently emboldened the Chinese to issue the cheeky and atrocious diktat to the Indian
Government that Arunachal Pradesh, which it claimed to be its territory, was a “no go area for Indian
leaders, including its President and Prime Minister”.
Beijing got angry when Narendra Modi, unlike Nehru,Rajiv Gandhi and Manmohan Singh, refused to be
a supplicant Indian Prime Minister and decided to challenge Chinese policies like the Belt and Road
Initiative (BRI) and refused to become a member of China-led or sponsored exclusive economic regional
groupings. Unlike Nehru ,Rajiv and Manmohan, Modi refused to turn India into a pliant state which made
him incur Xi”s displeasure. What must have irked Xi more was Modi’s decision to build border infrastructure, especially in Ladakh, at breakneck speed which was very close to his ambitious BRI projects in Chinese held Tibetan territory and in PoK, through which its $64 billion-worth China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) passes.
Beijing thinks that India, by building and strengthening its infrastructure in Ladakh, is posing a serious
security threat to its geo-political ambitions in South Asia and the Indian Ocean regions. The Chinese
leadership has also grown extremely wary and jealous of Narendra Modi’s growing international stature,
popularity and prestige. By opening four fronts in Ladakh, they want to punish and humiliate Modi, at
home and abroad, just as they did to Nehru in 1962, for not listening to all their dictats. Modi’s detractors
at home compare him to the Biblical figure David and Xi to Goliath. They say that Modi, by taking on Xi is
fighting an unequal battle. But they forget that the puny David with his ordinary homemade sling shot had
shot down Goliath.
Manash Ghosh is a former Resident Editor of The Statesman, Delhi, and founding editor of the Dainik
July 11, 2020
BY MANASH GHOSH
There is a great degree of similarity between 1962 and 2020 Communist China’s perfidious armed
aggression against India. In 1962, an expansionist China, under Mao Zedong, was seriously troubled
by his sagging image problem at home because of the starvation deaths of 65 million Chinese during
the Great China famine( called by the Chinese themselves as the greatest man-made disaster in human
history) of 1958-1961. This was because of the suicidal policy that Mao had doggedly pursued under his
so-called epochal great leap forward programme. Under this, he sought to convert China’s overly
agrarian economy into a modern industrial one which would make China a Communist paradise on
As part of this programme, he and his party comrades, armed with repressive measures and revolutionary zeal, forcibly collectivized farm land and herded millions of farm hands into vast communes at an astonishing speed. This caused such widespread administrative, social, distributive and economic inequities and disruptions, that famine conditions prevailed throughout China wiping out millions of lives of commune members in just three years. What had badly marred Mao’s image and made the ordinary
Chinese latently hostile towards him was his infamous comment, “When there is not enough to eat,
people starve to death. It is better to let half the people die so that others can have their fill.”
It was during the famine years that the Sino-Indian border dispute had surfaced and it came in handy for
Mao to shore up his image by stoking the Chinese nationalist fervor and take it to a feverish pitch by
launching a massive military operation against India, a country,according to him,called “the running dog
of Western imperialists.” Mao, thus, distracted the attention of the Chinese people from the unfolding
monumental tragedy of his man-made famine and diverted their focus to the “Indian intransigence.” The
Chinese Communist Party leadership and their mouthpiece spewed venom against India and its
“useless” political and military leadership for daring to take on China.
Fifty eight years later history is repeating itself. The present Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party,
Xi Jin Ping, is following Mao’s strategy of “teaching India a lesson” at a time when his leadership stock,
both domestically and internationally, has hit nadir largely because of his futile cover-up bid to disown the
Wuhan virus (developed in a Chinese laboratory), which he deliberately allowed to spread not only in
China but also in those countries perceived to be hostile towards Beijing. Those countries, like India and
the USA, were specially targeted for the spread of the deadly virus as they came in the way of its
expansionist game plan of redrawing its international borders. Like Mao, his reckless and irresponsible
acts resulted not only in the loss of hundreds of thousands of Chinese lives but also sought to hide the
astronomical death figures of his countrymen which has now confronted him with a serious image
problem at home. He wanted the Wuhan virus to rip through China’s sworn rivals, the USA and India, so
as to cause massive social, economic and psychological disruptions which would seriously demoralize
and divide their people and governments. The chaos, confusion and disorder that the pandemic would
unleash on these two enemy countries would so thoroughly overwhelm them that this would provide him
with an excellent opportunity and cover to aggressively pursue his imperialistic and expansionist agenda
of scoring significant territorial gains for China. Also, the Wuhan pandemic has provided XI Jin Ping with
an excellent opportunity to distract the attention of his countrymen from his regime’s failings at home on
various fronts and cover them up with calls for jingoistic nationalism which, he thinks, will bolster his
image among his countrymen. He wants to silence his critics in the party by presenting newly annexed
territories of India, Taiwan, the South China Sea, Senkaku and other small islands in the Pacific Ocean
as a gift for next year’s centenary celebrations of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Many have wondered why Xi suddenly decided on reneging various over-a-decade old agreements
reached between India and China, which envisaged maintaining peace and tranquility on the Line of Actual Control (LAC), and withdrawing his troops to his side of the LAC so as to facilitate disengagement by both sides. The horrendous unsoldierly-like attack on June15-16 night by his troops on an Indian detachment in Ladakh’s Galwan valley with nail studded steel rods and wooden clubs was absolutely unprovoked .The Indian soldiers had gone there to verify whether the Chinese, who had built a watchtower and a temporary shelter at the bend of the Galwan river, an area clearly marked by both sides as disputed, had begun to dismantle their structures as they had promised. But the Chinese suddenly pounced on the Indian detachment and viciously targeted the Commanding officer of the Bihar Regiment, Col Santosh Babu, with the intent to kill him. Indian troops, taken aback by the sudden viciousness of the attack, regrouped and fought back valiantly with bare hands and killed at least 35 Chinese soldiers, including a commanding officer and a captain. While India lost 20 of its brave hearts, many of whom, while fighting, fell into the freezing Galwan River and died of hypothermia. The Chinese casualty was considerable as Chinese helicopters flew nearly 40 sorties next morning to retrieve the bodies of their dead and injured soldiers strewn all over the mountainous ridge. Because of the unexpectedly high casualty figures, the Chinese not only desisted from publishing the names of dead and injured soldiers, but also deleted the incident news from all official and unofficial media sites.
The Galwan attack by the Chinese was not an accidental episode but a part of their well-thought out and
pre-determined strategy to intimidate India. This is borne out by the statement of Gel Zhao Zongi, head
of China’s western theatre command who, on instructions from the top Communist Party leadership,
ordered a ”lightning ambush so as to teach the Indians a lesson of their life.” It was on his instructions,
that the Chinese troops last May had entered the clearly well-defined Indian territory at three different
points to erect structures. On each occasion, Indians foiled their attempt by engaging them in unarmed
combat. The Indian soldiers belonged mostly to “ghatok” Special Forces. The Chinese responded by
deploying soldiers specialist in mixed martial art but they could not cope with the onslaught of the
“ghatok” squad on 15-16 June night.
Political pundits and military analysts the world over are shocked by XI’s recklessness in brushing aside
international protocols and conventions to achieve his objectives. He has already done this with India
and adopted the same tactics elsewhere. The National Security Law, that Xi recently piloted through the
National People’s Congress, was in clear violation of the Sino-British joint declaration of 1997 which
guaranteed 50 years of unhindered freedom, democracy and autonomy to the residents of the former
crown colony when it reverted back to Beijing’s control under “one country two systems” formula . Xi is
already enforcing the harsh security law in Hong Kong by resorting to large scale arrests and severe
persecution of those who have been demanding protection and continuation of this economic hub’s
autonomy and democratic rights as provided under the 1997 Sino-British agreement. Xi also brought
Hong Kong under the purview of China’s extremely harsh extradition law which provoked widespread
protests among its residents. Moreover, the utter contempt and disdain with which Xi has rejected the
International Maritime court’s verdict on the South China Sea is alarming. He has claimed this vital and
extremely busy international sea lane as its own territorial waters and is forcibly enforcing its writ by
keeping foreign vessels out of this area by deploying its naval fleet. This has made many analysts say
that Xi is fast developing megalomaniacal tendencies in his bid to establish China as a maritime super
power of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. His next objective is to annex the island nation of Taiwan for
which he is indulging in a lot of saber rattling. Enforcing Chinese sovereignty over the Japanese islets of
Senkaku is also aimed at impressing his party and the Chinese people that he, by these annexations, is
reawakening his country’s nationalist pride and spirit.
What has emboldened Xi to embark on his ambitious Mussolini and Hitler- like expansionist plans so that
he can push and redraw China’s international border, is that the response of the free and democratic
world and international bodies, like the UN, to his military adventurism has been pitiful to say the least.
Except mouthing meaningless homilies and oral expression of support, the bulk of the free world has
chosen to remain silent on Chinese incursions and the killing of Indian soldiers. Take Britain’s role, for
instance. On Chinese transgressions in Hong Kong, Whitehall, except for announcing that it might offer
citizenship to three million Hong Kongers, who are unwilling to live under a repressive Communist
regime, has said or done little to shame China by raising the issue of Chinese violation of the 1997
agreement and gross violation of human rights in its former colony at the UN bodies, though, it is morally
bound to do so as it is a signatory to the bilateral agreement. The UN and its human rights body have
also remained a mute spectator. Instead of castigating China for violating established international laws,
agreements and practices, it recently chose to induct China into its human rights panel.
Manash Ghosh is a former Resident Eiditor of THE STATESMAN, Delhi, and founding editor of the DANINIK STATEMAN, Kolkata.
July 3, 2020
Manoj Kumar Saha, Gopalganj:
Police say Nikhil's death was an accident and no complaints were lodged over his death.
A farmer, who had his spinal cord broken in three places after he was allegedly beaten by police, has died while undergoing treatment at the National Institute of Traumatology & Orthopaedic Rehabilitation (NITOR) in Dhaka on Wednesday.
The deceased, Nikhil Karmakar, of Gopalganj’s Kotalipara was playing cards with his friends at the Ramshil Bazar when the incident took place on Tuesday, said Iti Karmakar, Nikhil's wife.
According to her statement, Kotalipara police arrived on the scene when Nikhil and his friends were playing cards. As soon as the police arrived, his friends ran, leaving Nikhil apprehended by Assistant Sub Inspector Shamim Uddin.
ASI Shamim then beat Nikhil for playing cards and broke his spine in three places, which the test showed later. He was then taken to NITOR, where he died while undergoing treatment.
Quoting the family sources, Ramshil UP Chairman, Khokon Bala, said: "Nikhil was known to be a well-mannered man. If the police engage in this sort of crime where would we go for justice."
Contacted, the accused ASI Shamim Uddin said: "I won’t comment on the matter. If you have any question you can ask the OC."
Kotalipara police station OC Sheikh Lutfar Rahman said: "As far as I know, Nikhil was critically injured after hitting a tree while evading from the police. He died while undergoing treatment."
Gopalganj Superintendent of Police Md Saidur Rahman Khan said: "As per my knowledge, Nikhil's death was an accident. We haven’t received any complaint of police brutality, but if we do we will surely investigate the incident."
Note: The tragic story of Nikhil Talukdar first comes out in a Dhaka daily, The Prothom Alo on 04 June 2020 and in The Daily Samakal the next day. Nikhil, a farmer was brutally killed by a Police officer Mohammed Shamim Uddin. The incident happened on 02 June 2020 at Kotalipara, Gopalganj, the electoral constituency of the sitting Prime Minister Sheik Hasina. Nikhil, a Hindu was playing cards along with three others, when the police officer caught him, although playing cards is not illegal in Bangladesh. The officer along with two civilians beat Nikhil mercilessly and in one stage officer forcibly break Nikhil’s backbone in 3 pieces with his knee! Later X-ray confirmed that. Nikhil was taken to local hospital and then to Dhaka, but he died on 04 June 2020. Initially no case was filed and the local government party leaders along with officials tried to settle the issue outside the court. But pressure mounted from outside Bangladesh and police accepted a case filed by the younger brother of the victim, the officer was arrested.
Sitangshu Guha, 16 June 2020:
Two friends, George Floyd, a black man from Minneapolis, USA and Nikhil Talukdar, a poor Hindu farmer from Gopalganj, Bangladesh meet in another world. George Floyd was killed by a white policeman, Nikhil Talukdar was killed by a Muslim policeman.
George: What is your name?
Nikhil: Nikhil, what is yours?
Nikhil: It is nice to know you.
George: Thank you. I have heard your name and I know that you were also killed by the police.
Nikhil: Yes, it was about a week after your death. But, hey, I saw a lot of very important people attended your funeral. It was televised around the world.
George: Yes, that was wonderful. How was your funeral?
Nikhil: Well, I was cremated before the world came to know about my death.
George: What happened to you, Nikhil?
Nikhil: You were chased for apparently using a fake twenty-dollar bill, and I was for playing cards. The policeman eventually caught up with me and killed me by breaking my spine.
George: My past is not clean, I have been to jail, but you are an innocent farmer and as far as I understand playing cards is not illegal, even in your country, then why has this happened to you? Is this because you are a Hindu?
Nikhil: What was that policeman thinking as he strangled you with his knee? This is a black man, it would not be a big deal if he dies, Am I right? Similarly, in Bangladesh, killing a Hindu person or taking away his property do not bear much consequence. Law usually does not punish the perpetrators.
George: I was killed by white police; we call it racism. Is there racism in your country?
Nikhil: It is a different kind of racism. Blacks face discrimination in America because of their race, their skin color, in Bangladesh Hindus face discrimination because of the religion they practice or just because their names identify them as belonging to the Bengali Hindu community. We do not call it racism; we call it religious communal repression.
George: Oh, I understand! It looks like racism and communal repression are similar?
Nikhil: Yes, they are similar to some extent, but they are also different in many aspects.
George: How come?
Nikhil: You were born as a black, but your death launched a movement. I was born poor, and I died poor, but in addition I died in vain. I belonged to the Hindu community, and it is laughable to think that my death could launch a movement against the repression of Hindus in Bangladesh.
George: What are you saying?
Nikhil: In spite of the coronavirus, millions of people marched on the street to protest your death, major networks carried the news, politicians demanded dismantling systemic racism not only within the police, but in every American institution. Many white policemen took the knee to ask for forgiveness. For a poor Hindu farmer like me, the death news was simply a footnote in the newspapers, people did not take to the streets because they were too busy denouncing racism in America. It is true! They watch American TV and get riled up by what is happening in America, but they have no understanding of the injustice that is happening next door to them. No, I misspoke, they wilfully ignore what is happening next door.
George: Are you sure?
Nikhil: Listen, after I was killed, initially my family was not even allowed to file a case! Later, only after some commotion a case was filed.
George: See, the law has taken in course.
Nikhil: Not necessarily, the process is not transparent. In the meantime, my family may face the wrath of the majority!
George: Are you saying there is no law and order in the country?
Nikhil: There is some, but Hindus have no recourse to that.
George: So you will be in pain even after your death?
Nikhil: You got it! George, you died, your family will be compensated. Your daughter’s college education is already free. There will be scholarships in your name, but more than that your death has launched an awakening that will change America for the best.
George: I do not understand! I was killed by a white policeman, now all whites are crying for me. One police killed me, now the whole police department in kneeling down in support of the protesters.
Nikhil: That is why, I am telling you are lucky. I was killed by a Muslim policeman, rather than following the procedure, in a meeting, where even a few Hindus participated, the local leaders decided not to file any case and persuaded my wife to accept their decision in lieu of two lakh taka, which is about $2300, and jobs for my wife and brother.
George: Did your wife accept the offer?
Nikhil: You will not understand George! It is impossible to stay in the village if you disobey the ruling of the local leaders. How could a wife of a poor farmer can go against them? It is almost impossible!
George: But you said, a case has been filed?
Nikhil: Yes, a case was eventually filed. This is because some expatriate Bangladeshi Hindus protested, and also the Bangladesh Government could not ignore the strong sentiment that was associated with the Black Lives Matter movement. Unfortunately, if we go by history, such cases are never resolved and my killer will never face justice.
George: I am sorry, my friend!
Nikhil: See, George, your death has brightened the future of your daughter, it has changed the country, you have become a hero. My death has not only terminated my life, it would put my wife and two little children in the street. I was a poor farmer to begin with and in death I have become absolutely nobody. Your and my journeys were the same, my friend, but the outcomes are very different.
George: I still cannot understand, a crime has been committed, why justice will not be served?
Nikhil: If the policeman were tried, it would tarnish the image of my country as being an exemplary Islamic country of communal harmony, where different religious and ethnic groups thrive in spite of it being a Muslim country. You may not know Hindus are being driven out of their homes for decades in this country.
George: My God! The movement Black Lives Matter got energized after my death. Will there be anything like that for you?
Nikhil: Some expatriate Hindus of my country, had started a movement called Hindu Lives Matter, but nothing will come out of this!
George: Why not?
Nikhil: In your country majority, the majority whites has come forward to amend the wrong. In my country, some of the majority Muslims are either not aware that such injustices are being perpetrated or they intentionally ignore these injustices because they dream of an 100% Islamic country, but what unites these two groups is that both deny that the minority religious and ethnic groups are being subjected to discrimination and unfairness.
George: You are really unfortunate!
Nikhil: Finally, you understand! I thank you, my friend, for understanding.
George: Thank you also, I learned a lot, we will meet again. Our struggles continue.
BHAKTI CHARU SWAMI