China Strategist's Hope for India's Breakup

Given the many ethnic, regional, religious and caste fault lines running through the length and breadth of India, there have long been questions raised about India's identity as a nation. Speaking about it last April, the US South Asia expert Stephen Cohen of Brookings Institution said, " But there is no all-Indian Hindu identity—India is riven by caste and linguistic differences, and Aishwarya Rai and Sachin Tendulkar are more relevant rallying points for more Indians than any Hindu caste or sect, let alone the Sanskritized Hindi that is officially promulgated".

Now, in a report written by strategist Zhan Lue of the China International Institute of Strategic Studies in July, the author argues that a fragmented India would be in China's best interest, and would also lead to prosperity in the region. The report proposes dividing the country into thirty independent states.

The Times of India quotes it as saying that Beijing "should work towards the the break-up of India into 20-30 independent states with the help of friendly countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan".

On the surface, Lue's proposed strategy appears to be a natural response to the burgeoning India-US ties that the US expects to use as a counterweight to the growing power and influence of China in Asia and the rest of the world.

The writer proposes that China, in its own interest and the progress of Asia, should join forces with different nationalities within India like the Assamese, Bengalis, Naxalites, Marathis, Punjabis, Tamils, and the occupied Kashmiris and support all of them in establishing independent nation-States of their own, out of India. In particular, the ULFA (United Liberation Front of Assam) in Assam, a territory neighboring China, can be helped by China so that Assam realizes its national independence.

According to the article, if India today relies on anything for unity, it is the Hindu religion. The emergence of a republic of India in 1947 was based on religion [the Hindus were a majority so they should rule.] The Chinese strategist wrote that India could only be described today as a 'Hindu religious state'.

Adding that Hinduism is a decadent religion as it allows caste exploitation and is unhelpful to the country's modernization, the report described the Indian government as one in a dilemma with regard to eradication of the caste system as it realizes that the process to do away with castes may shake the foundation of the consciousness of the Indian nation.

The Chinese think tank report has been angrily dismissed by the Indian Foreign Ministry, according to the BBC.

Related Links:

BBC report

Challenges for India's Democracy

July Vacation in Beijing

Vito Corleone: Metaphor for Uncle Sam Today?

Comments

arnab_iitr said…
China has long forseen India as its foe and a strong competitor in Asia.Though India is not fully cable to thrawt any Chinese attach as both of them are nuclear powers,its main strategy now lies in breaking up India from Inside but utilizing its weakness.This can only be achieved by supporting evil countries like Pakistan as is popularly called "enemys enemy is my friend".Though Indians are united from kashmir to Kanyakumari and Gujrat till arunchal pradesh,India will take back Kashmir and parts of its terrritory occupied by China,as is it will emerge to be the super power.
Riaz Haq said…
Recent studies have suggested that India’s traditional caste system remains surprisingly intact despite the country’s economic surge. A 2011 report, for instance, found that in “40 percent of the schools across sample districts in Uttar Pradesh—India’s most populous state, with 199 million people—teachers and students refuse to partake of government-sponsored free midday meals because they are cooked by dalits (once known as untouchables).” It's also certainly still a factor in the country's politics, as shown by the emergence of the controversial Dalit politician Mayawati.
But when did the caste system actually begin? One team of researchers believes the country’s genetic history holds the key. In a recent paper published in the American Journal of Human Genetics, researchers from Harvard, MIT, and the CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad assembled what they call the “most comprehensive sampling of Indian genetic variation to date,” using samples collected from 571 individuals belonging to 73 “well-defined ethno-linguistic groups.” The data allowed the authors to trace not just the genetic mixture between these groups but how long ago this mixture occurred.
Five thousand years ago, the ancestors of modern Indians were comprised primarily of two groups: ancestral North Indians, who related to people of Central Asia, the Middle East, the Caucasus, and Europe, and ancestral South Indians, who are not closely related to groups outside the subcontinent. The mixture between these two groups and their many subcategories happened mostly between 4,200 and 1,900 years ago, according to the study. The authors note that this period is significant as it was a "time of profound change in India, characterized by the deurbanization of the Indus civilization, increasing population density in the central and downstream portions of the Gangetic system, shifts in burial practices, and the likely first appearance of Indo-European languages and Vedic religion in the subcontinent.”
Around 1,900 years ago, the mixture largely stopped, as Indian society moved toward endogamy—the practice of avoiding intermarriage or close relationships between ethnic groups—which reached its most extreme form in the creation of the caste system. As one of the study’s authors told the Times of India, "the present-day structure of the caste system came into being only relatively recently in Indian history."
How long it will last into the future is another question.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_world_/2013/08/20/origins_of_india_s_caste_system_genetic_research_suggests_the_country_s.html

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