Chennai rejects

Some opinions just can’t make it to the People’s Daily of Chennai

The Beijing correspondent of The Hindu can hardly be classified as a critic of the People’s Republic. But when Pallavi Aiyar wrote a piece that compared India and China that showed the latter in rather unfavourable light, she had to publish it in Asia Times Online, a Hong Kong (Special Administrative Region of China) based publication. It is understood that The Hindu, ‘India’s national newspaper’ declined to publish it. Oh! the irony.

In direct contradistinction to China, India’s polity has flourished precisely because of its ability to acknowledge difference. The very survival of India as a country, given the scope of its bewildering diversity, has been dependent on the possibility of dissent…

In China, regular lip service is also paid to the country’s own, considerable diversity. During the National People’s Congress’ annual session, for example, delegates representing China’s multiplicity of minorities swish around the Great Hall of the People in Beijing in their “ethnic” dresses. Beijing regularly talks of the religious freedoms enjoyed by the country’s Buddhists, Christians and Muslims.

But in fact, the fundamental tenet of China’s political philosophy is not diversity but uniformity. This homogeneity does not only extend itself to the tangible, such as architecture or the system of writing alone, but also to thought.

Even in the modern China of the 21st century where there are more Internet users than even in the United States, those who disagree with mainstream, officially sanctioned views outside of the parameters set by mainstream officially sanctioned debate, more often than not find themselves branded as dissidents – suspect, hunted, under threat.

The insistence on “harmony” as the only reality and inability to admit genuine differences in interest and opinions between the peoples of a country of the size and complexity of China is ultimately the country’s greatest weakness.

Talk of political reform in China continues to be bound by the “harmonious” parameters set by Hu Jintao, the president. The idea is that everyone’s interests and opinions are to be balanced and resolved without conflict…

For China’s authorities to simply deny the reality of the problem, blame all tension on an exiled leader and insist that the majority of Tibetans couldn’t be happier with the Communist Party’s harmonious policies, is self-defeating. [Asia Times]

6 thoughts on “Chennai rejects”

  1. What Ms. Aiyar has written is 100 percent true. To N Ram, the article was a tad bit too pro-India, thus jingoistic. Plus, it does square with N Ram’s view of China, which is on the optimistic size!

  2. How do we know that India’s Chinese Newspaper Since 1988 refused to publish this article? Has Ms Aiyar gone public?

  3. It should have been “People’s Daily of China” not “People’s Daily of Chennai”.

    Please don’t bash left always. Look what happened to INS Jalashwa. If present Govt had patience ( sleeplessness ??) to listen to them, we won’t have bought that ship. If we bought it, it might be only for scrap.

  4. Or was that article written to show that she too has integrity…
    Anybody knows that N.Ram anything remotely criticising China or socialism will find no place in his newspaper. Hard believe that Pallavi didn’t know that..

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