The article “Tibet issue and the Indian reaction” (March 24) rightly highlights the need for restraint by the Indian government in responding to the developments in Tibet. We have already done enough by accommodating Tibetans in our country on humanitarian grounds. We cannot allow undemocratic protests by their activists — barging into the Chinese diplomatic premises, burning effigies of Chinese leaders and making incendiary speeches against them — on our soil.
India should be particularly diplomatic while commenting on the affairs in the neighbourhood. The Ministry of External Affairs must do more homework, respond reservedly, and maintain a studied silence where necessary. Let geopolitical and economic realities decide our diplomacy, relations and policies with respect to Beijing.
While the expression of concern by India over the situation in Tibet should please the Tibetan activists, it also exposes New Delhi’s double standards. It has rejected the concerns of various world bodies — the EU, OIC, or Amnesty International — on much more serious issues such as human rights violations and political discontent in Kashmir, the north-east and naxal-controlled regions. India would do well to follow the advice it has rendered to China on Tibet — set its house in order.
New Delhi There is no need for India to change its Tibet policy just because the U.S. and some other countries have taken an aggressive stand vis-À-vis China. We should urge the Dalai Lama to reach a settlement with the Chinese so that Tibetans could have a greater voice in their internal affairs.
Considering the latest attempts by the Chinese to up the ante on Arunachal Pradesh, they needed to be reminded of the simmering unrest in Tibet which they require to focus on. India’s reaction was probably a strategic diversion but what was intended as a rap on the knuckles has spun out of control.
Col. Mahendra Singh (retd.),