Vande Bharat beats China, Covid
Columns, Point of View

Vande Bharat beats China, Covid

August 4, 2020

By T.J.S. George

India’s view of, and dealings with, China are becoming curiouser and curiouser. Suddenly we are told that dozens of Chinese apps have been banned. Reasons cited include security and privacy. How come these became issues only now? For long China, like all other topics, has been a provider of opportunities for our Prime Minister to display his showmanship; remember his donning South Indian veshti and angavastram for a meeting with Xi Jinping?  All that is forgotten now.

About two months ago our Government decided to put import restrictions on Chinese goods. More recently some 200 proposals China had put forward for investment were held up for “security clearance.” After the Ladakh clash that killed 20 Indian soldiers, these were seen as political – strategic moves.  Why were economic realities never a factor in India’s relations with China?  Lazy India became dependent on hard-working China for even everyday items.

Consider the situation that developed as a result of this approach. Our smart-phone market is dominated by China.  The “Made in India” tag on some phones is a patriotic lie; it only means “assembled” in India.  Radial tyres for trucks, power equipment, electronic components for the metros in our big cities, all come from China.  Why?  Even if this is understandable to some extent, why is it that our Ganesha idols have to be imported from China? Why do our Diwali crackers come from China?

This rather humiliating situation should have woken up our leaders long ago. But there are some hard realities behind the slumber.  Perhaps the most noteworthy is the cleverness with which China massaged our ego and diverted our attention. Look at its almost unnatural interest in Gujarat. Its investments in Gujarat in the last five years add up to an impressive Rs.43,000 crore.  The Chinese association of small and medium enterprises has secured the contract for an industrial plant in Dholera Smart City. Its Great Wall Motors Company has drawn up plans to invest Rs. 7,000 crore in a mega vehicle manufacturing plant in Gujarat. Other Chinese enterprises have also got involved in various projects in Gujarat.

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Which leader from Gujarat would fail to notice with appreciation this level of interest by a foreign country? To drive it further home, the shrewd Chinese picked some politically important platforms for special consideration. Through high-fashion companies like Oppo and Xiaoma, they gave Rs. 49 crore to PM-CARES Fund which, as of now, is not subject to any auditing systems in the country. They also drew up plans to set up a Chinatown in Gujarat.  (Chinatowns are cultural magnets with which the Chinese attract people across the world.  The Chinatowns in New York and San Francisco are living bits of China’s heart with which local people identify in toto.)

Chineseness has another characteristic that is unique.  While Indians in London try to become as English as the English, the Chinese remain Chinese inside and outside.  What is part of their culture they will never shed. Their notions about India with which they have problems of the bristling kind, are deeply entrenched.  India has learned that China is a hard bargainer, unused to yielding an inch even as it expects others to yield a yard.

Add to this their latent disdain for Indians.  They have disdain for all non-Chinese though they do not show it. With India they don’t mind showing a bit of it. A recent Facebook post by a Chinese citizen was typical.  “Even if Chinese people want to boycott Indian products, they can’t really find many Indian goods. Indian friends, you need to have some things that are more important than nationalism.”

Obviously he was aware of India’s dependence on China even for toys and drugs.  So what do we do?  Switching to the US will be a fool’s errand.  Our great nationalist leaders should ask why India is in a situation where it has to depend either on China or on the US to sustain itself.  They are ever boastful about India’s capabilities, but they don’t seem to know how to promote domestic enterprise so that we don’t have to be at the mercy of others for our everyday needs.

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Perhaps the mistake is with observers like me — that we do not see things in the right perspective.  Perhaps the only fact that matters is that our Prime Minister is strong and his Government is firmly entrenched, that he has got Covid and Galwan under his grip and that the sun is shining bright.  A mild Vande Bharat shout will be in order.

3 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Vande Bharat beats China, Covid”

  1. Hello, hello! says:

    That photograph, says the whole story of Xi Jinping’s China and Modi’s India, and Modi;s love of photo opportunities.
    “Our great nationalist leaders should ask why India is in a situation where it has to depend either on China or on the US to sustain itself. They are ever boastful about India’s capabilities, but they don’t seem to know how to promote domestic enterprise so that we don’t have to be at the mercy of others for our everyday needs”
    Buying from US paying in Us Dollars, considering that $1 = Rupees 80? Forget it, and the US Congress will put a load of restrictions too as the US president has no power as for as trade approval is concerned.
    Why is India in this pathetic state. India opted for cheap IT work calling it as software engineering expertise, although, nothing innovative in software engineering is produced in India. India simply carries out outsourced software coding coding work where for the salary of one US programmer, you could get many India programmers slogging like ants.
    Apple has otsiurced all its iPhone, iPad and lap top manufacturing to China. India does not manufacture much. Hence, despite its boasting, has to fork out lots of money for the old technology that Rafale jet fighters are as they are not the modern stealth fighters.
    Mobile technology, Wi Fi services and apps have been mastered by China. meanwhile, the large IT sweat shops in Bengaluru made to day, Murthys and Ramjis , the billionaires, nothing else! Indians are most interested in H1B visas, emigration etc.. and do not want to live and work in India.
    The big news stories even in this Covid-19 spread in India and Chinese incursions, is Trump cancelling H1B visas and Foreign students threatened to be evicted out of the US!!
    that is what is wrong in India.

  2. In the quest for righteousness (Dharma) says:

    Hypocrisy to the core –
    Through high-fashion companies like Oppo and Xiaoma, they gave Rs. 49 crore to PM-CARES Fund which, as of now, is not subject to any auditing systems in the country.
    I have not seen one article from this guy TJS George regarding the funding by terrorists like Zakir Naik to RGF and he is blaming PM-CARES as un-auditable and funded by Oppo and Xiaoma. Seriously, you got to me kidding me.

    Perhaps the mistake is with observers like me — that we do not see things in the right perspective. Perhaps the only fact that matters is that our Prime Minister is strong and his Government is firmly entrenched, that he has got Covid and Galwan under his grip and that the sun is shining bright. A mild Vande Bharat shout will be in order.
    Yeah, TJS George is the only person who sees things in proper perspective. All the others who are supporting Modi/government are fools and fit for nationalism. This type of argument from George is completely baseless and unscientific.

    All the articles I see from this TJS George is about hate for Modi.

  3. Be warned! says:

    So many Modi worshippers, even after Galwin fiasco, and Chinese taking away a few KM of land. From the photo and what he did even hen he was the CM of Gujarat, was that Modi, the fool who thought that he would solve the long-standing China and India animosity by being the best chum of Xi Jinping, committed the blunder that even Nehru did not commit: that is believing Xi Jinping as his best friend. Inviting him dressed as a Madrasi! Meeting his 19 times, and embracing his as his bosom pal! That photograph is the evidence, and Modi’s followers should be ashamed of it. BTW, I do not live in India, and has no votes. Glad that I left the country decades ago.
    That the Saffron Party followers and Modi worshippers do not want to accept. George analyses this well, and that these disciples of Modi cannot stand.
    India is a third world country, and not a NATO country and cannot expect military help from US or from any other Western country. Trump, however, foolish he looks will not help, neither his successor, Joe Biden , if elected. India which has Dollars is purely from remittances from Indians abroad, very little of it from exports, cannot simply buy from US forking out Dollars.
    India is not a manufacturing nation and neither it is strong in modern technologies that China has mastered, like its supremacy in mobile and wireless technologies, and this George has pointed out correctly. Modi himself used the Chinese mobile apps happily for long, whilst Indian IT companies earned plenty of money for their founders in billions of Dollars for deploying cheap labour, none of which improved India’s strength. That simple.
    You need plenty of brain cells to understand the subtle analysis George has made.

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