A Spiritual Thought!
The Dalai Lama has triggered a sensation by saying that “had Jawaharlal Nehru not been self-centred, India and Pakistan would have been one country”.
The Tibetan spiritual leader made such a comment during an event organised by the Goa Institute of Management in Sanquelim village near Panaji on Wednesday. In response to a question from a student, he said: “Mahatma Gandhi wanted to give the prime ministership to (Mohammad Ali) Jinnah. But Nehru refused. He was self-centred. He said, ‘I wanted to be Prime Minister’. India and Pakistan would have been united (had Jinnah been made Prime Minister at the time). Pandit Nehru is very experienced. But mistakes do happen.”
Jinnah, Nehru & Gandhi
Asked how to avoid committing mistakes in life, the 83-year-old monk stressed that the people would have to find ways to reduce conflict amongst themselves and resolve all the problems through discussions.
Meanwhile, the 14th Dalai Lama showered praises on the Indian Muslims for their religious tolerance, urging them to reach out to “Muslims in Afghanistan and Syria and convey to the Muslims across countries abroad that Sunnis and Shias can co-exist peacefully like in India, without killing each other”.
The octogenarian spiritual leader had to take political asylum in India after advocating a representative democracy in ‘communist’ China. On Wednesday, he once again opined that democracy is the ‘most acceptable’ political system, saying: “I feel democratic systems are very good than the feudal system, which gives power of making decisions in the hands of a few people, which is more dangerous.”
The Dalai Lama still remembers the events that forced him to leave China. “On the night of March 17, 1959, after 10th March crisis which was result of the problem that started in 1956, we had to escape,” he told the audience. As Chinese officers kept on being more and more aggressive, he and his followers decided to leave the country. However, the monk claimed that Tibetans never consider Chinese people as their enemy. “We respect them. We always look at them as our human brothers and sisters,” added the Dalai Lama.
The spiritual leader believes that an EU-type arrangement could ensure the coexistence of China and Tibet, as it has become increasingly difficult for Tibet to get Independence. “Even if freedom was achieved, only a part of Central Tibet would be free, which would be meaningless,” he told the Indian management students. The Dalai Lama further said: “I am one of the admirers of the EU. It is wonderful that they consider that common interest is more important than national sovereignty. The world is becoming smaller and smaller. So, there is a big question whether independent Tibet is in our interest or to remain within the People’s Republic of China with all the rights mentioned the Chinese Constitution is. That is practical and realistic.”
It is to be noted that the Tibetan monk has always influenced the Sino-Indian ties. Recently, China has decided to deploy ‘electromagnetic catapult’ rockets on the Tibetan plateau near the Indian border!
Earlier this week, the state-run Global Times reported that it would be possible to destroy any distant targets in hilly and remote areas with the help of this technology. The daily further reported that the catapult-propelled rockets could easily hit targets beyond 200km, as they would be more powerful and effective than conventional artillery guns.
Currently, the Chinese forces are using short range conventional artillery guns in Tibet. “Conventional artillery that uses powder may suffer from lack of oxygen on plateaus. Artillery that uses an electromagnetic catapult will not need to face the same problem. This makes it very valuable in warfare on plateaus,” said Chinese military expert Song Zhongping. He stressed that China’s future aircraft carriers would use the electromagnetic catapult system, as the move would allow more fighter jets to take off in a shorter time. It will also boost the carrier’s combat capabilities.
Han Junli, a senior scientist and the project leader, claimed that a military incident had taken place in the border region on a plateau in south-western part of the country. The incident helped him see the potential necessity of deploying rocket artillery there. “China has large plateau and mountainous areas where rocket artillery could destroy invading forces from hundreds of kilometres away without soldiers crossing mountains,” Han told the press.
Why Beijing want to use this technology in Tibet?
Without mentioning the 72-day Doklam crisis between China and India in 2017, the Global Times said that the Xi Jinping administration decided to deploy electromagnetic catapult rockets in Tibet after considering the security situation along the country’s south-western border. Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj recently informed the Parliament about the current situation in Doklam. She told the House that India was holding diplomatic talks with China to maintain peace in the region. However, the Global Times published the report just a couple of days after Swaraj expressed satisfaction over the current situation in Doklam.
However, China’s plan to deploy electromagnetic catapult rockets in Tibet is of concern to India.
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