In what points at China losing all favour from India, Prasar Bharati the state-run public broadcaster on Wednesday posted a tweet urging people to listen to the Tibetan World Service offered by All India Radio (AIR). This program by AIR offers authentic news and programs from Tibet. The service can also be accessed on YouTube in a text format.
The news might seem insipid to few but its repercussions are far-reaching. India is starting to turn some serious heat against China in the backdrop of the military tensions between the armies of two nations in the Galwan valley of Eastern Ladakh.
Tibet has been China’s Achilles heel and Beijing tries to posture the landlocked country as part of its own territory but the majority of Tibetans do not accept the Chinese and have been protesting against it.
China had annexed Tibet in 1950-51 and over the years has been involved in numerous human rights violations in the region.
India is still following in the footsteps of Nehru’s India and does not recognize Tibet as an independent country. But these measures are being seen as a precursor to India’s changing foreign policy which has been expedited by the loss of 20 Bravehearts of the Indian soil.
Recognizing Tibet as an independent territory would give a severe jolt to Beijing’s ‘One-China’ policy and most likely spur other countries to join the bandwagon. The results could be wide-ranging as it can very well spell the beginning of the end for China.
The Galwan valley stand-off has cemented the fact that the Chinese side is vicious and untrustworthy and although a conventional war might not be the answer—accepting Tibet and bringing other countries into the fold is a sure shot to rile the Chinese and keep it in check.
China will certainly threaten with its empty posturing tactics but as is the age-old adage, “Barking dogs seldom bite”. Neither can China afford a war nor can India.
Aggressive foreign policy—the need of the hour
India needs to shed the garb of neutrality and be a bit more courageous in its foreign policies, especially concerning China. Only accepting Dalai Lama and giving him an asylum will not give justice to the Tibetans. There is enough historical evidence to prove that Tibet has always been an independent country.
The decision to air Tibetian news on the AIR platforms comes at the heels of another important decision the government had undertaken last month.
In May, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) had made a significant move by adding Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and Gilgit-Baltistan in its weather forecast.
IMD had started referring its meteorological sub-division of Jammu and Kashmir as “Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh, Gilgit-Baltistan, and Muzaffarabad”. Muzaffarabad is part of illegal PoK while Gilgit-Baltistan is also under illegal Pakistani occupation.
Taking a cue from the IMD, the state-run broadcaster Doordarshan National, DD News, All India Radio and Kashmir channels had also started including weather forecasts for PoK and Gilgit-Baltistan.
Last year Union Home Minister Amit Shah had asserted in the lower house of Parliament after the abrogation of article 370 that PoK and Aksai Chin are part of Jammu and Kashmir and thumpingly said: “We are ready to give our lives for it”.
Not many know but 24 seats in the Jammu and Kashmir assembly are left vacant for the people of PoK.
The US to recognize Tibet as a country?
The Coronavirus pandemic has opened the floodgates for countries to stand up to China and openly diss its policies—especially ‘One-China’ policy.
U.S. Congressman Scott Perry, late last month introduced a bill in the US Congress which directly challenges Chinese claims over Tibet. It seems like the US is planning to recognize Tibet as an independent country, in a bid to increase pressure on China.
With the US from one side and India from another, if these developments bear any fruit, the geopolitics of Asia and especially the Indo-China region will be completely metamorphized.