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Chanakya’s View: Why is Delhi so eager to kowtow to Beijing?

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In diplomacy, foolhardiness is as damaging as pusillanimity. To show bravado, without the ability to implement it, displays lack of maturity. To show timidity, when the situation does not warrant it, shows lack of strategic resolve. These thoughts come to mind in the light of the recent directive sent by Cabinet Secretary P.K. Sinha to the Centre and states that senior leaders and government officials should refrain from attending functions marking 60 years in exile of the Dalai Lama. The directive was reportedly prompted by a note by foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale that such a step was advisable given that India-China relations were going through a sensitive phase. As a result, the Tibetan government-in-exile has cancelled two events in New Delhi — one, an inter-faith prayer meeting at Rajghat; and two, a “Thank You India” function, which has been shifted to Dharamsala.

Is this genuflection before Chinese sensitivities justified? Perhaps there are facts, or new developments, to which the MEA is privy to, but prima facie this deference to China is difficult to understand. The Dalai Lama has been in India for the past 60 years. India has reiterated to the Chinese that we recognise Tibet as a part of China, and that His Holiness will refrain from any political activity. That this has largely been the case is verifiable, and becomes manifestly clear through the nature of activities planned to commemorate the 60th anniversary — special prayers, mass tree plantations, yoga events, cleanliness drives, feeding of the hungry and homeless, and distribution of blankets to the........

© Deccan Chronicle