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China’s Kashmir

In an opinion piece titled “How does China handle its Kashmir?” in the latest issue of Organiser,S Gurumurthy writes....


July 30, 2009 1:12:51 am

In an opinion piece titled “How does China handle its Kashmir?” in the latest issue of Organiser,S Gurumurthy writes: “That China too has its Kashmir and problem with Islamist separatists identical to India’s Kashmir is not widely known. Xinjiang is China’s Kashmir. Xinjiang actually shares borders with Ladakh in India’s Kashmir. China’s Kashmir is physically 100 times bigger than India’s and therefore its problem too is that bigger. Yet many do not know about it. The reason is that China prevented Xinjiang,its Kashmir,from becoming an international issue like India’s Kashmir. Xinjiang,which had a majority Turkish Mulims [known as Uyghurs in 1949,had a short lived state of East Turkestan. China invaded it,crushed it,won back its territory. The name Xinjiang literally means ‘old frontier returns to China’! See the contrast. A year earlier,in 1948,India almost won back most of the Kashmir from Pakistan which had invaded it,but,voluntarily offered and turned it into an international issue. It was India,not Pakistan,which went to the United Nations; made it an international issue. It is struggling to say it is a bilateral one! Now,on to how China handled Xinjiang,its Kashmir,and integrated it with mainland China.”

He adds: “Xinjiang has a population of 20 million plus. The Uyghur Muslims constitute 45 per cent; other Muslims 12 per cent and Hans 41 per cent. What was the population of Han Chinese in Xinjiang in 1949? Just 6 per cent; in six decades it has risen by seven times. This change did not occur on its own. China did not just trust army or administrative control of its territory in Xinjiang. It trusted only its people. It ensured that the Han Chinese slowly began populating Xinjiang. The result is self-evident. But the 41 per cent Han Chinese population does not include Chinese defence personnel and families,and unregistered migrant Chinese workers”.

He concludes: “Yes China do have problem with Islamist separatists,extremists and terrorists. But it has,by diplomacy and action,kept that an internal problem of China unlike India which has on its own made the Kashmir an international issue. China has changed the religious and political demography of Xinjiang by ensuring that 41 per cent of the province’s population is non-Muslim. Instead of working to change the demography in favour of India like China has done,the Indian government,in contrast,could not even prevent the expulsion of the Hindus from the Valley. While Xinjiang is half filled by Han Chinese,Kashmir is cleansed of the Hindus. With the result,India has to defend Kashmir by the army instead of by the people. Had India followed the policy which Chinese had adopted in Xinjiang,conquering back Kashmir instead of contracting under Article 370 which prevented rest of Indians from migrating to Kashmir,today Kashmir would have demographically integrated with India. India would be dealing with internal riots occasionally like China does; and not face or fight wars with Pakistan and with terrorists everyday. The lesson for India is: demography — religious demographic balance that is in tune with the national mainstream — is the guarantee for the nation”.

Educating Kapil Sibal

An editorial titled “The business of education” observes: “There is too much talk of late on education reform. Again the same Prof Yashpal has submitted yet another report on reform in education — this must be the umpteenth,the learned professor must have lost count,but he has been working on reports since Indira Gandhi’s time. Still our children carry twenty-kilo load on their back everyday to school. These are men who made a career reforming education. Yet Indian graduates,one out of ten in humanities and four out of ten in engineering are employable. And we claim that we are one of the largest technical and scientific manpower reserves in the world. 90 per cent of our colleges and 70 per cent of our universities are rated poor in quality. The new media-savvy Human Resources Development Minister is clearly a rabble-rouser. He has whetted many mouths with his grandiose declarations on free entry to foreign education business,no board exam for children and lavish state patronage for divisive minority education bill”.

The editorial concludes: “Kapil Sibal speaks of institutions like Oxford and Yale and dismantling governmental control. He is obviously out of sync with the Indian education scene. We know how pathetically ill-equipped,crassly commercial and cruelly exploitive India’s private and deemed universities are. Same is the case with private schools,colleges and technical institutions. Education is being undermined at every level. Only quality higher education will make India a global power. That needs comprehensive reform and a complete re-orientation of mindset at the top. But the HRD minister is more interested in hogging headlines”.

Compiled by Suman K. Jha

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