It is strange that Chi should presume to dictate what India can do and cannot do, and accuse India of “fuelling tension” because the Dalai Lama has been permitted to visit Aruchal Pradesh. Chi has been insisting that certain parts of Aruchal Pradesh are a part of Chi and not India. This is a blatant distortion of facts. Even if one were to concede that parts of the border areas of Aruchal Pradesh might belong to Chi (for the sake of argument), no one will accept any claim that all of Aruchal Pradesh is a part of Chi. As such, Chi may only claim the right to issue directives about who can visit the disputed part of Aruchal Pradesh and who cannot. It has absolutely no right to issue any directives to India about who can visit the State of Aruchal Pradesh and who cannot. But that is precisely the kind of discourteous diplomacy that Chi has practised in connection with the Dalai Lama’s visit to Aruchal Pradesh.
It is ironical that the Dalai Lama’s latest visit to Aruchal Pradesh should raise the hackles of the administration in Chi. In the first place, the Dalai Lama is out on an extended visit of Assam and Aruchal Pradesh and would be interacting with the media as well as with a whole lot of influential people including those who vividly recall his escape from Tibet to India in 1959 and his brief halt at Tezpur. Chi has not been able to live down the fact that the Dalai Lama eluded his capture by the Chinese and maged to escape to India 58 years ago, and that he should have been given the status of an honoured guest for all these years. What Chi failed to do by way of undermining the stature and importance of the Dalai Lama, it has sought to compensate by pretending that Beijing has the right to order the Dalai Lama about what he can do or say publicly. Over the years, Chi has launched propaganda wars against the Dalai Lama on a few occasions and the latest was just one of them. Perhaps the only difference is that this time Chi seems to have persuaded even the leaders of ULFA (I) to issue a statement warning the Dalai Lama not to make any adverse statements about Chi during his visit to Assam and Aruchal Pradesh. In the ULFA (I) statement warning the Dalai Lama against adverse remarks against Chi, its leaders have also referred to the long–standing cordial relations between India and Chi, having evidently chosen to overlook the Chinese aggression on Assam in 1962.
The Dalai Lama’s reference to Chi came in the form of a remark made in the course of his visit to Dirang in Aruchal Pradesh on Thursday when he spoke about Tibet. This is what he had to say: “The condition in Tibet is tragic. I say that the 1.3 billion Chinese people have every right to know the reality, and once they do, they have the ability to judge what is right or wrong... So, censorship of the media (state–controlled in Chi) is harmful. And another thing. Chinese judiciary systems should also upgrade to the intertiol level.” He also reacted to a request from Chinese Buddhists to visit “Chi and, of course, Tibet”. He said: “I tell them that as soon as the Chinese government starts showing some positivity, I’m ready. (Under) present circumstances, if I go there I shall be chained.”
The Dalai Lama has done what he was specifically told by the leaders of ULFA (I) (on behalf of Chi?) not to do. He has also made it clear that his visit to Aruchal Pradesh was “purely spiritual and religious”. No one is likely to dispute the ability of Chi to harm the Dalai Lama. The question, however, is what the leaders of Chi are likely to do in the face of the intertiol reactions that are bound to erupt if anything happens to the Dalai Lama and Chi’s hand in it can be unquestioningly established. Meanwhile, Chi has accused India of “fuelling tension” by allowing the Dalai Lama to visit Aruchal Pradesh, while the Chinese media in Beijing has called for answering “blows with blows” if New Delhi chooses to “play dirty”. It is perhaps reasoble to expect that the only thing that can happen now is that Indians will have a better idea of how the Chinese media operates at the behest of the administration.