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Feb 11

(Guest post) The difference in the Indian and Chinese governments’ approach towards Separatism and Development – and what they can learn from each other

Written by Maitreya Bhakal on Thursday, February 11th, 2010 at 11:03 am
Filed under:Analysis, human rights, Opinion, politics | Tags:, , , , , , , ,
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While the Chinese government prefers development over human rights (like freedom of religion and speech), the Indian government, while guaranteeing these rights, neglects development.

Both India and China face the problems of separatism. Indian Naxalite movements and the recent riots and uprisings in Xinjiang and Tibet further highlights the need for respective governments to tackle the issue seriously.

The Indian PM, Manmohan Singh has called the Naxal movement ‘The biggest internal security threat to the country’. Armed Naxals are active in at least a third of India’s districts. It is estimated that over the years some 6000 people have died as a result of the Naxal insurgency. Apparently, there are some 20,000 armed cadre Naxalites apart from 50,000 regular cadres working in various mass organizations with millions of sympathizers.

In Xinjiang’s capital city of Urumqi, riots broke on the 5th of July 2009 killing 197 people, most of them Han Chinese.Although it appears that the immediate cause of the riot was the Shaoguan incident, Chinese media says that the police have evidence that the World Uyghur Congress (whose main source of funding is the US government) masterminded the riots.

In the Tibetan uprising of 2008, at least 19-22 people had been killed (estimates vary) and there were reports of widespread looting and burning of public property. The Chinese premier Wen Jiabao has said that attacks on between ten and twenty Chinese embassies and consulates occurred around the same time as attacks on non-Tibetan interests in the Tibet Autonomous Region and several other ethnic Tibetan areas; and has openly accused the Dalai Lama as having orchestrated the uprising. The facts that a) the uprising took place on the 49th anniversary of the failed CIA backed Tibet uprising of 1959, and b) that it  occurred just before the Beijing Olympics, are probably not a coincidence.

Whoever might have been guilty of masterminding the riots and uprisings in China, the fact remains that none of the accused parties can claim that there is a lack of Economic Development in the minority regions. Which is in stark contrast to India; where the government itself has admitted that the lack of development is the main cause of the Naxal menace. The Indian government neglected those resource rich regions for years, and is now paying the price. Now, when the government sanctions any big project in the region, then the local tribal population accuses it of “playing into the hands of multinationals”.

By contrast, the Chinese government has put a greater emphasis on economic development and has restricted religious freedom, for example,

  1. Children under 18 are not allowed to visit places of worship
  2. All government employees must denounce their religion and become atheist (While the Indian Government is officially secular; the Chinese government is officially atheist).
  3. Religious practice is restricted to government sanctioned organizations.
  4. Lack of Freedom of assembly

are just some of the restrictions.

Hence, whatever be the cause of the riots (religious restrictions or outside interference), it is clear that the Chinese government doesn’t give as much importance to religion as it does to development. This is in stark contrast to India, where their is complete religious freedom and freedom of speech, but where the government has continuously neglected the development of tribal areas – hence the unrest against it.

And herein lies one of the many differences in these two governments’ approaches. China thinks that (in the words of the western media) that it can ‘buy’ stability with development. A recent conference on Tibet in Beijing concluded with the decision that economic development in Tibet will ensure stability. While the Chinese government often speaks of ‘social stability’ and ‘harmonious society’ (President Hu’s catchphrase) as two of its main goals; it seems that the only goal of the Indian government is to win elections. In the words of Pallavi Aiyar,

“In India legitimacy is derived from process while in China, it’s increasingly drawn from performance. In India, the process of getting elected and the fact that citizens participate actively in the political process provides governments with their legitimacy. Ironically, the result is that once in power performance is not always as important for a government as the fact of having been elected. In other words the means (of getting elected) become more important than the end (of good governance as defined by delivery of public goods etc)”

In other words,  while the Chinese government considers it its duty to deliver growth, the Indian government thinks that its duty is simply by winning elections.

China believes that economic development in minority regions will bring social stability (and has refused to negotiate with the World Uyghur Congress), while the Indian government believes that the right to free speech will ensure social stability; and has offered to talk with the Naxals if they abjure violence.

Most Chinese have so far been largely happy with this tradeoff between better standards of living and Human Rights. While the Indian public and media are proud of their democratic values (The Indian PM, comparing India with China, said, “Unlike China, India has growth with values”), lament on their government’s disability to deliver growth improve living standards. For example, India has more people owning a mobile phone than access to a proper toilet.

Hence, while the Chinese government prefers development over human rights (like freedom of religion and speech), the Indian government, while guaranteeing these rights, neglects development – it would not be an over exaggeration to say that it in fact uses these rights as an excuse to neglect its performance. The standard excuse given is (with even the Home minister P. Chidambaram saying this in an interview) that ” if you don’t like the government, just throw them out and elect a new one”, conveniently ignoring the fact that successive governments have neglected developing tribal areas, regardless of political affiliation. The Naxal movement’s origins can be traced back to 1967.

Hence we find that there is some sort of hatred and dissent against the government in both countries (Although it is more pronounced in India’s case).

Needless to say, if the respective governments combined these two extreme approaches, then they will be in a better position to address their respective problems.

In simple terms, the Chinese government believes that it deserves to be in power because it has developed the country; the Indian Government believes it deserves to be in power simply because the people have voted for it.

Maitreya Bhakal

India’s China Blog – http://indiaschinablog.blogspot.com/


There are currently 7 comments highlighted: 60597, 60598, 60600, 60647, 61430, 61441, 62143.

48 Responses to “(Guest post) The difference in the Indian and Chinese governments’ approach towards Separatism and Development – and what they can learn from each other”

  1. pug_ster Says:

    I don’t know, ‘free speech’ in India didn’t stop those killings in the Naxal insurgency.

  2. Charles Liu Says:

    “Children under 18 are not allowed to visit places of worship”

    Um, child protection law in China regulates indoctrination by religious sect, but in no way does it infrindge on parents rights. I’ve been to temples in China on holidays, and trust me parents do bring their children to such places of worship.

    This is the part Christian zelots in the West harp on – no Sunday school in China. So they cry reigious persecution and fight the law of the land, so their Jesus can hug little Chinese children. Did it ever occur to them to hand out Sunday school material to the adults, so they can bring them home?

    I ain’t never heard of no Gong An busting down doors to stop gradma from praying to the kitchen god with the kids.

    As to requiring people to “denounce their religion” you are either mis-informed, or you meant “renounce” (never heard of that either.) FYI one of the founding leaders of the PLA, surgeon general Fu Lianzhang, was Christian:

    http://cpc.people.com.cn/GB/64162/126778/130393/7587838.html

    (put it thru a translator if you don’t read Chinese.)

  3. Otto Kerner Says:

    Charles,

    Fu Lianzhang has nothing to do with 21st century Tibet. It’s widely reported that Communist Party members in Tibet face harrassment over religion, since religious issues are more sensitive there.

  4. Charles Liu Says:

    Okay Otto, care to produce evidence of “denouncing their religion” requirement? It’s not that I don’t believe you, but last time someone said it’s widely reported schools move meal time to discourage fasting during Ramadan, after some research it was the opposit, meal and study hall were moved to accomidate fasting during Ramadan in Xinjiang.

    BTW, here’s a picture of Tibetan kids in the Tashilhunpo Temple.

  5. Wei Says:

    I don’t think everything is as black and white as you had say in this one.

    I don’t think Indian is really that well with human rights.

  6. ChinkTalk Says:

    I have many Indian friends and I think that China and India would be good friends and neighbours if not for the Western sabotage.

    No one is perfect and we all need to work to be better. And yes, China and India must learn from each other, not in specific political terms like democracy or communism but in the spirit of good intentions.

    Personally, I think the Chinese system is doing well for China and the Indian system is doing well for Indians, but we still can learn from each other’s successes.

    I don’t think that “democracy” and “freedom of expression” is ready for full implementation in China not because China is not ready but because the West will sabotage and cause havoc in China thus the much touted Western idea of Chinese implosion.

    The West wants China to let the Yuan float so that they can do the same job to the Yuan like George Soros did to the Thai Baht.

    The West wants China to allow free internet so that they can do more of the Tibet 2008 riots and the Urumqi riots.

    Why is it that the Nobel committee always chooses Chinese dissidents as candidates.

    I hope India is conscious that the West will never allow India to be powerful, all that support now is just to give India enough ammunition to fight China. In the 70’s, when India was not slated as a pawn to counter China, and of course, China was not a threat, white people in Canada used to called parts of Calgary Paki Meadows, discrimination against Indos was rampant in Canada, white people used to say that Indians mix shit with curry and they would think it tastes good, then suddenly this completely change of face in the 90’s, even Indian shit smells nice to white people. Physically, I look like an Indian, I experienced first hand the mistreatment the white people can dish out, and all of a sudden, I am the darling of the world. This is pure hypocrisy.

    The white people will give India enough rope to have a good fight with the Chinese and then they will rein it in. White people assume Indian names just to create conflict between Indians and Chinese, why?

    Why is it that the US is willing to provide nuclear technology to India eventhough India refuses to sign the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty. To give India enough clout to fight the Chinese.

    I think that China and India must work together without the West and the world will be all the better for it.

  7. wuming Says:

    The OP is a cool-headed and balanced post. Pallavi Aiyar’s observation about the legitimacy of respective governments also left a strong impression on me.

    I would even extend the observation about Indian government’s source of legitimacy to the case of US as well. It is arguable that political parties in US are merely election machines. There are little governing going on. For this reason, I can’t subscribe to various western conspiracy theories. Many of these governments are much too shortsighted for that.

    On the flip side, I believe there is something to be said when the Chinese government is kept on its toes to deliver growth. Shouldn’t any government be judged on its performance? However, the danger is also when this performance measure is shortsighted and inflexible. The case and point is when China made the development of the auto industry a national priority, which worked for US in early 20th century, and Japan in the late 20th century, but probably will bring more harm than good for China in early 21st century. The good news is that this Chinese government is flexible, and is making a mid-course correction to concentrate on mass-transit development.

  8. TonyP4 Says:

    #6. ChinaTalk. Well talked.

    India’s reputation rises due to large number of professional Indians outside India. They’re looking for a better living. The difference is few want to return while Chinese’s sea turtles are returning during this recession as more opportunity is available at home.

    India can start learning from China in single-child policy. Being #1 in population is a liability to a developing country.

    Secondly, build infrastructure in selected cities like China did 25 years ago. They should continue to buy some mid-tech stuffs like electricity generations from China (cheaper than from the west). Depending solely on internal development is the wrong direction now.

    Sad to say, India lacks far behind China. It will take better governance and policy. US now declining will not play India card as they played China card against Russia. Indians are as smart as Chinese. If they wake up, the next century could be theirs. A strong India is good for the world.

    China has avoided a lot of conflicts externally. Water redirecting project could be one with India, and off-shore drilling could be another one with Vietnam.

    Trade conflicts will be reduced when the internal market is fully developed. The Yuen will be appreciated at China’s pace and US has no right to say when to China and any other country as if they’re either their puppets or their enemies.

  9. Otto Kerner Says:

    Charles,

    No, I don’t care enough to research it. I have no idea whether the stories about harassment of party members are true, but my point is just that a) it’s not absurd; and b) the fact that other policies prevailed in other places at other times doesn’t mean anything.

    Also, I agree with you that the author’s claim, “Children under 18 are not allowed to visit places of worship” is implausible. This is the first I’ve ever heard of it.

  10. Charles Liu Says:

    Otto, if you have no proof, how is it possible to discern if the “denounce religion” claim is absurd or not? Is absurdity even a reliable criteria? You don’t care enough to research the claim you make, then don’t expect peopel to take your seriousely.

    If the OP can make mistake like “children under 18 can’t go to temples in China”, then what else can we say about the other claims re China?

  11. Allen Says:

    @wuming #7,

    Isn’t it interesting that in both the case of China and India – the source of political resides with the people? This is ultimately what the leaders of China mean when they talk about democratization – i.e. how can the gov’t take better care of the people – by listening more to the people – understanding more the predicaments facing the people. Of course, many people here in the West understand democratization in terms of process alone. That’s unfortunate. It’s a very one dimensional perspective of the values of democracy.

  12. colin Says:

    While the author has probably good intentions, this article reflects the simplistic black vs white view of the west. China has democracy – to a degree. It has human rights – to a large degree – and the differences largely reflect different cultural definitions of what is a human right and relative importance of each right (ie a full belly and job vs a loud mouth). India has development – to a large degree recently. If health and nutrition are human rights, India is in no way to lecture any country on human rights. And even in the narrower western definition of human rights, given it’s own cultural stratifications and biases and political history, one shouldn’t eagerly compare India’s human rights record with that of another country.

  13. Maitreya Bhakal Says:

    Thank You all for commenting.

    @pug_ster

    “I don’t know, ‘free speech’ in India didn’t stop those killings in the Naxal insurgency.”

    They didn’t; and I never said that they did. In just the same way that development didn’t stop the riots and uprisings in China (assuming that they were not orchestrated from outside). Both these set of rights (political and developmental) are often inseparable; and when one tries to detach them and focus only on one and ignore the other – the results can be disastrous as can be seen in India and China (and to a small extent in the former USSR or Yugoslavia)

    @Charles Liu , @Otto kerner

    The US Department of State says:
    “….the authorities began to implement more vigorously restrictions on the religious education of youths under the age of 18”
    “monks are not permitted to register and formally join a monastery prior to the age of 18”
    “The participation of minors in religious education is prohibited by regulation”

    Wikipedia says:
    “Chinese over age 18 in Mainland China are permitted to be involved with officially sanctioned Christian meetings through the Three-Self Patriotic Movement or the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Associations.”
    (My emphasis)

    However, all these arguments are Persuasive but not Conclusive. I had also heard from some other sources (which I won’t mention here) about children not being allowed to visit mosques etc. Maybe the rule is that they can’t go alone, but only with their parents.

    There are a lot of sources on the internet. Some of them might be right and some wrong. Only someone who actually lives in the Chinese minority regions can verify beyond doubt whether children are allowed to visit places of worship or not.Since you say that you have seen with your own eyes that that’s not the case; clearly the
    sources form which I took this information were wrong. I’m very glad that you brought this up.

    I’m delighted that children are allowed to visit mosques, temples etc. in China. I am very happy to be proven wrong on this count.

    As for “renouncing” or “denouncing” religion –

    this if from globalsecurity.org:
    “The law does not prohibit religious believers from holding public office; however, most influential positions in government were reserved for Party members, and Party officials stated that Party membership and religious belief are incompatible. Party membership also was required for almost all high-level positions in government and in state-owned businesses and organizations. The Party reportedly issued circulars ordering Party members not to adhere to religious beliefs. The Routine Service Regulations of the People’s Liberation Army state explicitly that servicemen “may not take part in religious or superstitious activities.”

    The US Department of State says:
    “the Government continues to insist that Communist Party members and senior government employees adhere to the Party’s code of atheism
    “Government officials stated that all Religious Affairs Bureau (RAB) officers are members of the Communist Party and that Party members are required to be atheists

    The Economist says
    ” (The CCP has) trouble recruiting in rural Tibet because of its insistence on atheism

    (My emphasis)

    Again, I must mention that all these arguments suggest that although Party members and state employees are discouraged from practicing religion, they are not in practice exactly barred from it.
    Thanks again for bringing this up.

    @Wei

    “I don’t think everything is as black and white as you had say in this one.”

    It is certainly not completely black and white; and I’ve never said that it is. However, I have just attempted to simplify an issue which generally the western media over-complicates or pays less attention to. Of course things are always not as simple as they seem and change will take time.
    Might I just add that although this is one of the few articles on the subject out there; the idea is nothing new.

    “I don’t think Indian is really that well with human rights.”

    It isn’t, it’s just that it is ‘more well’ than China.

    @colin

    “this article reflects the simplistic black vs white view of the west”
    See above

    “China has democracy – to a degree. It has human rights – to a large degree”

    I agree. But that ‘degree’ is not as large as India – which is what I say in my article. In just the
    same way that India has development to a degree, but not as much as China.

    “If health and nutrition are human rights, India is in no way to lecture any country on human rights”

    Seconded. As I said earlier, India has more people owning a mobile phone than access to a proper toilet. For example, Mumbai, India’s financial capital, which generates 5% of India’s GDP, a third of India’s tax revenues, accounts for 25% of industrial output, 40% of maritime trade, and 70% of capital transactions to India’s economy – has 53% of its people living in slums!

    “one shouldn’t eagerly compare India’s human rights record with that of another country.”

    While it is true that human rights in a country depends on its history, culture and political background to a large extent, there are some rights which are universal and as such all people should have them, regardless of which country they reside in. The point here is to compare India and China by staying within this framework. Cultural and Historical differences need not account for the differences in basic Human Rights.

    – Maitreya Bhakal
    http://indiaschinablog.blogspot.com/

  14. Charles Liu Says:

    I’m sorry Maitreya, even taking your citations at face value, I don’t see where “denouncing their religion” came from. Do you mean renounce?

  15. Maitreya Bhakal Says:

    @Charles Liu

    I think that both are applicable here, again staying within the framework that although Party members may be encouraged to do so, they are not in effect barred from doing it. I agree that the original statement of mine in the OP may have lent itself to misinterpretation.

  16. ChinkTalk Says:

    “””“I don’t think Indian is really that well with human rights.”

    It isn’t, it’s just that it is ‘more well’ than China.””””

    —————————————-

    I agree with Maitreya. I have never been to China but here in Canada, I have many Punjabi friends and they treat me like family. Of course, I love being part of their family because of all the beautiful Punjabi women. With Chinese people, while they are nice to me as well, but there is this guardedness about them that is hard to understand, they are friendly to an extend but there are limits.

    This is my interpretation, please correct me if I am wrong, I think that the Chinese government cares more about human rights than the Indian government, but the Indian people are much better at human rights than Chinese people.

  17. Maitreya Bhakal Says:

    @ChinkTalk

    “…all the beautiful Punjabi women”

    Seconded 🙂 (and Thirded, and Fourthed and……)

    “With Chinese people, while they are nice to me as well, but there is this guardedness about them that is hard to understand, they are friendly to an extend but there are limits.”

    Maybe just the Chinese people you met were not that friendly; and maybe the Indian people you met were more friendly. It is generally not advisable to generalise from just a few examples.

    “I think that the Chinese government cares more about human rights than the Indian government”

    Well, if you are talking about Human Rights like Freedom of Speech etc. then I think that many people would beg to differ, including myself (this was in fact the main theme of my article).

    “the Indian people are much better at human rights than Chinese people.”

    In the modern age, that might or might not be true; but can be verified only if the Chinese people were given a chance to experience better human rights in China….
    As for Chinese citizens abroad, I would refrain from making such a generalisation, as I made clear above.

  18. ChinkTalk Says:

    @Maitreya

    “It is generally not advisable to generalise from just a few examples”

    Of course, agree with you 100%.

    Unfortunately I am not a well travelled person, never been outside of North America, so the only way I can judge is from my own experiences. That is why I said Punjabis rather than generalizing by saying Indians. One thing I do find reliable is that verbal confirmations from people of India and China are more accurate than media reports or foreign commentators.

    For example, my friend owns a small Chinese fast food restaurant and he hires people from the Mainland, there is this Tibetan woman working for him and she works along side the Han people just fine. I asked her about her experience in China and she said that she was actually born in a Chinese prison because of something her parents did. One thing interesting is that she bears no ill will towards the Han Chinese, her husband is a Han and he used to be in the Chinese Air Force, now he is studying to be an aircraft mechanic in Canada. She is upbeat and funny, one time I asked her to sing the Chinese National anthem and when she was singing it she was using all the hand gestures and marching feet and everything. It was just so funny. The point is that she is in Canada now and she can really bad mouth China if she wants to but she didn’t.

    Again, it is not good to generalize, but I do think that while there are problems in Tibet, it is not what the Western media is trying to portray.

  19. pug_ster Says:

    I don’t know about ‘human rights’ in india. Chinese prisons are hell, at least that’s what the western Media and China bashers say. In reality that four people die every day in India’s prisons.

    http://www.sindhtoday.net/south-asia/9275.htm

    It is not to say that Chinese prisons are great, but compared between the 2, I think Chinese prisons are better.

  20. Wahaha Says:

    While it is true that human rights in a country depends on its history, culture and political background to a large extent, there are some rights which are universal and as such all people should have them,
    ___________________________________________________________________________

    1) “Lakshmi and me”, Watch it.

    2) “people”, there are lot of kinds of people, the rich, the poor, the ones being mistreated, the ones who tried to screw others, the parasites, the a$$holes, ALL OF THEM ARE PEOPLE, should ALL of them have the rights you mentioned ?

    3) What has happened in India also has been happening in America, google “God bless America, a nation of cowards.”

  21. Maitreya Bhakal Says:

    @ChinkTalk

    “One thing I do find reliable is that verbal confirmations from people of India and China are more accurate than media reports or foreign commentators.”

    I completely agree.

    I am of the firm opinion that all these riots and uprisings are the work of only a few extremists; the majority just want peace.

    Also, there is another relevant point here. Indians have been attacked throughout Australia in racially motivated acts. However, there are more Chinese there than Indians; but not a single Chinese was attacked (nor any other nationality, for that matter). Now, from these events, if one concludes that Indians are less friendly than Chinese; then it would be wrong and highly inappropriate. That is why I said that it is wrong to generalise from a few examples.

    I personally believe that how friendly a person is hardly depends on his/her nationality.

    @pug_ster

    Indians enjoy better Freedom of Speech etc. than Chinese. It is in those type of Human Rights that India leads China; as I’ve made clear in my article.
    It’s really sad that four people die every year in India’s prisons. But I’m not surprised – India’s prisons are in a dismal state; and this is widely known.
    Also, Indian railways is in fact much worse (The insides of Mumbai’s local trains resemble a sort of prison anyway – they carry more than twice their capacity during peak hours). An average of 10 people die every day (yes, 10 everyday; and that’s NOT a typo) in Mumbai in railway related accidents.

  22. ChinkTalk Says:

    Maitreya, what are the general sentiments of the average person in India towards Chinese people and China. Do they resent Chinese people. I agree with you about the freedom of expression in the Indian media, I read the Hindustan, The Times of India and the Tribune, and they are better than the Canadian media in both the variety of opinions and objectivity. Some of the Indian journalists are very good in their analysis of the issues.

    I wonder if the average Indian realizes that the West is really using India as a pawn to counter China. The West is putting India on a pedestal because it wants India to be at loggerheads with China. But the West will always look at India and Indians as subordinates. Look at the case recently in Canada that an Indo-Canadian born in Canada complained that visible minorities are not being represented in the 2010 Olympics. If you would look at the comments in which 95% of the people start to bash Indians and Chinese for being a threat to Canadian society.

    This demonstrates that if the Indians are good little boys, they will be given leeways and support, but as soon as they start to voice an opinion that is contrary to the white agenda, a swift boot to the ass.

    http://www.cbc.ca/politics/story/2010/02/18/bc-visible-minorities-olympic-ceremonies.html

  23. Zickyyy Says:

    I don’t know why so many people like to compare China with India.

    No offence but in my opinion, India as a country has nothing for China to learn from.
    Its development is imbalanced, infrastructure is poor and democracy is flawed. Not to mention its corruption and beaurocracy.

    I have a few Indian friends. Whether they are born in the west or in India, they are all nice, friendly and intelligent. But none of them wants to return and live in India.

    There are lots of things that China needs to learn: democracy, freedom, technology, modern civilization, legal system. But learn it from the US, Japan, western Europe. NOT from India.

  24. pug_ster Says:

    @Maitreya Bhakal

    No actually, the article says that 4 people die every day in India’s prisons, not year. Besides, ‘Freedom of Speech’ is just a matter of opinion. Not every citizen has some kind of beef with the government.

  25. Maitreya Bhakal Says:

    @Wahaha

    ” “people”, there are lot of kinds of people, the rich, the poor, the ones being mistreated, the ones who tried to screw others, the parasites, the a$$holes, ALL OF THEM ARE PEOPLE, should ALL of them have the rights you mentioned ?”

    What I actually mentioned was that all people should have equal rights regardless of their country. Read my comment (13) carefully, where I say, “….there are some rights which are universal and as such all people should have them, regardless of which country they reside in
    The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights says, “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights…” (My emphasis).

    The ‘people’ whom you mentioned – ‘the ones who tried to screw others’ etc, also have rights (like the right to legal representation etc.) but that does not mean that they shouldn’t be punished for what they have done.

    @pug_ster

    I meant ‘day’ not ‘year’ in my earlier comment. Sorry about that.

    “‘Freedom of Speech’ is just a matter of opinion. Not every citizen has some kind of beef with the government.”

    I agree. But Freedom of Speech only comes into account or is only more useful for those people who have a ‘beef’ with the government.

    @Zickyyy

    “I don’t know why so many people like to compare China with India”

    Not so many people actually. But the number is growing. I’ve often been told that comparing these two countries is one of the most interesting discussions in the media.
    There are many similarities as well as differences between these two countries.

  26. foobar Says:

    “the Indian people are much better at human rights than Chinese people.”

    What does ‘being good at human rights’ mean?

  27. Maitreya Bhakal Says:

    @ChinkTalk

    “Maitreya, what are the general sentiments of the average person in India towards Chinese people and China. Do they resent Chinese people”

    I think that the general sentiments of Indians towards Chinese people are quite positive. Its the Chinese government that they resent.

    “Some of the Indian journalists are very good in their analysis of the issues”

    Not regarding Chinese issues. A lot of Indian journalists and analysts let their own prejudice take over their professionalism when it comes to Chinese issues. They print biased articles, make wrong statements without verifying them, and sometimes publish downright lies. It sometimes seems that they simply throw journalistic standards out of the window while writing about China. Its almost as if they were jealous of China’s rise.

    I am going to write a blogpost about this in the future, giving examples of such articles.

  28. ChinkTalk Says:

    Foobar, being good at human rights is like being good at singing or playing hockey. It is part nature and part nurture. It is something you can practice and improve upon or something you might simply have a natural talent that enables you to be exceptional.

  29. ChinkTalk Says:

    Personally, I have learned a great deal from Indian people. I can only speak for myself.

    Confucius said: “if you meet three beggars, one of them maybe your teacher.”. Or something like that since I heard that from someone else.

  30. pug_ster Says:

    Chinktalk,

    ‘Human Rights’ is another example of Democratic countries of saying ‘Do as I say, but not say as I do.’ It is like Tiger Woods trying to teach us the morals of infidelity. Don’t you think the sad reminders of average of 4 people dying in prisons everyday and 10 people dying in railroad incidents are human rights issues? If that happens in China, there no doubt that US and most Western countries would be in China’s case.

  31. Wahaha Says:

    The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights says, “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights…” (My emphasis).
    ________________________________________

    Again, watch “Lakshmi and me”.

    the poor girl needed money, she wouldnt get a job unless she worked 7 days a week even she was sick.

    When you are poor, you dont have dignity.

    25 years ago, mainland chinese was treated by Hongkonger, Taiwanese and westerners like servants.

    That, is reality. The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights is just an utopical ideal like communism under which there is no rich and poor.

  32. pug_ster Says:

    Yes I agree, the outdated Caste system should go like Foot Bindings in China.

  33. ChinkTalk Says:

    The West uses “Human Rights” as a weapon against adversaries. That is why you never see the words “human rights” in the Canadian media when an article is about India, eventhough there are myriad of examples of human rights abuses in India.

    This is the West’s way of supporting India to go against China.

    But I don’t blame India. Like Wahaha mentioned, human rights is a bourgeoisie concept in which the poor cannot afford. Both India and China are still poor countries by Western standards.

    But I do blame the West, promoting genocidal tendencies between India and China is the worst human rights abuse ever.

  34. Maitreya Bhakal Says:

    @Wahaha

    “The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights is just an utopical ideal like communism under which there is no rich and poor.”

    You are right – The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights is about what is supposed to happen in an ideal world.
    However, it is just what all nations should aim at – a target point – a benchmark. However, as we have seen all over the world, these things are better said than done.
    Government policies should be aimed at achieving that pinnacle and ensuring basic human rights (as well as standard of living) for all citizens.
    Rich people sometimes do seem to have more ‘Human Rights’ than poor people because they have the resources to make themselves heard.

    As I said earlier, Human Rights and Development go hand in hand and are inexorably interlinked, so much so that any attempt to de-link the two could have disastrous consequences, as we have seen in India and China.

  35. r v Says:

    what is termed “human rights” should be clarified.

    Conventional use of “human rights” have really been about “individual rights” or “minority rights”, and not so much about “collective rights”.

    As such, the term “human rights” is really a huge misnomer.

    If “human rights” include “collective rights”, (which it should), then the UDHR is an inadequate document.

    All good governance is based upon a stable balance between the “collective rights” and the “individual rights”.

    To overly emphasize “individual rights” in “human rights”, is the current gap in the wisdom of the UDHR.

    And most nations, even in the West, understands that implicitly.

    Repeatedly, US has refused to enforce claims of rights based solely on the UDHR. (Otherwise, according to UDHR, homosexuals and polygamists would be allowed to have their marriages legalized in US.)

  36. Wahaha Says:

    Human Rights and Development go hand in hand
    ____________________________________

    Huh ?

    Thousands of educated chinese died for communism before 1949, would they have died for communism if they had known what Stalin did ?

    So I dont believe theory, especially those sound so good.

    Read this :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Street_children_in_the_Philippines

    10 years, no change.

    No disrespect, but please no hollow education, tell us why there has been no change for 10 years.

  37. Maitreya Bhakal Says:

    @Wahaha

    My complete statement was: “Human Rights and Development go hand in hand and are inexorably interlinked, so much so that any attempt to de-link the two could have disastrous consequences, as we have seen in India and China.”

    “Thousands of educated chinese died for communism before 1949, would they have died for communism if they had known what Stalin did ?”

    Here’s a counter question: Thousands of people have died for democracy, would they have died if they knew what was happening in ‘democratic’ countries like India, or the Philippines? Or what the US does in the name of democracy?
    Besides, it is wrong to look at Stalin as the sole representative of communism.

    Examples are many, but the basic point is that all people should have human rights (like freedom of speech etc.) along with basic standards of living (which is also a human right). That is what governments should aim at.

    “So I dont believe theory, especially those sound so good.”

    As I’ve already said earlier, these things are better said than done. But we need to know the theory (our aim) which we are applying first before doing the practicals. The UDHR is just a symbolic standard which we should, to use a mathematical term, ‘tend’ towards. But ‘tending’ towards something in mathematics means that we are never going to reach it, hence it is Utopian. We should try to reach as near to it as possible. Governments should try to provide both ‘types’ of human rights to its citizens – Political (Freedom of Speech, right to start a political party etc.) and Developmental (higher standards of living etc.).

    For example, the freedom to protest against the government has little meaning for someone who struggles to feed himself/herself and his/her family thrice a day and goes to bed hungry.
    Conversely, if someone enjoys a better standard of living, he/she may not be satisfied with some other government policies and may want to have his/her say in administrative affairs.

    But that comes second, the basic thing is food, shelter and clothing (which are the most basic human rights). Everything else (freedom of speech etc.) comes later. But since every country will always have some poor people, such ‘layers’ of human rights can hardly be ensured for everyone. Hence, the UDHR is largely symbolic and is an Utopian ideal.

    “No disrespect, but please no hollow education, tell us why there has been no change for 10 years.”

    Because the Philippines government doesn’t care about the street children. (btw, don’t worry, no disrespect taken)

    @r v
    what is termed “human rights” should be clarified.
    see above

    In short, Political Will can achieve anything.
    The Indian government lacks the political will to uplift its street children from poverty, but provides them the right to protest or vote out the government.
    The Chinese government has the political will to provide a higher standard of living for its citizens, but doesn’t allow the citizens to voice their concerns, if they would have any.

    Hence, in comparison, China provides many of its citizens the human right of economic development, but denies them the human right of free speech. India provides its citizens the human right of free speech, but denies many of them the human right of economic development.

  38. ChinkTalk Says:

    Maitreya, I am watching the Vancouver 2010 Olympics and Canada has 21 medals, China 11 and Great Britain 1.

    When you look at those Chinese Olympians, they are all born in the Communist era, and they are all so proud when they carry the Chinese flag around upon winning. To me, this is what human rights is all about. That a country is able to give dignity to its citizens.

    For me, as an ethnic Chinese Canadian, when China is strong, I find that my voice is being heard where otherwise it is usually suppressed. Anti-Chinese sentiments in Canada have been well documented. My family has been in Canada since the railroad days, I have no connections with China but the rise of China has affected me significantly, it has given me dignity in which my own country Canada has failed to provide.

  39. r v Says:

    Maitreya,

    “In short, Political Will can achieve anything.
    The Indian government lacks the political will to uplift its street children from poverty, but provides them the right to protest or vote out the government.
    The Chinese government has the political will to provide a higher standard of living for its citizens, but doesn’t allow the citizens to voice their concerns, if they would have any.

    Hence, in comparison, China provides many of its citizens the human right of economic development, but denies them the human right of free speech. India provides its citizens the human right of free speech, but denies many of them the human right of economic development.”

    That would rather defeat your previous argument that “human rights” and “development” go hand in hand.

  40. Maitreya Bhakal Says:

    @r v

    Again, my complete statement was: “Human Rights and Development go hand in hand and are inexorably interlinked, so much so that any attempt to de-link the two could have disastrous consequences, as we have seen in India and China.”

    From the tone, I meant this to be read as – Human Rights and Development OUGHT to go hand in hand……

    I just thought that that was assumed/understood from the tone of the article and comments.

    I hope that clears it up.

  41. Wahaha Says:

    Here’s a counter question: Thousands of people have died for democracy, would they have died if they knew what was happening in ‘democratic’ countries like India, or the Philippines? Or what the US does in the name of democracy?
    ___________________________________

    ?????

    They wouldnt or they shouldnt, unless they are fighting for their OWN rights, not people’s right.

    and I dont see how you can say chinese now are fighting for communism. who the F@#$ care communism ?

  42. Maitreya Bhakal Says:

    @Wahaha

    When have I ever said that ‘Chinese are now fighting for communism’?

  43. r v Says:

    Maitreya,

    I don’t know what you mean by “attempt to delink them.”

    As far as anyone understands, there is always a priority of some rights over some other rights.

    Neither China nor India has claim that they think some rights do not exist, or some rights are “delinked”.

    Rather all countries think some rights are more important than others.

    Having priorities, doesn’t mean that there are “attempts to delink” the rights.

  44. Wahaha Says:

    When have I ever said that ‘Chinese are now fighting for communism’?
    ___________________________________________________

    Then your question is not an answer to my question. so what did you mean by asking that question ?

  45. Maitreya Bhakal Says:

    @r v

    The ‘priorities’ are exactly what I mean when I say that there is an ‘attempt to de-link’ them. It is in fact obvious from the results. Again, here we are talking only relatively among different countries and not in an absolute sense.
    Nordic countries have a large amount of both.

    Take India, for example. I have included quotes from the Prime Minister and Home Minister in my article which clearly point in that general direction. Hence, in that sense, indirectly, India has often ‘claimed’ that they ‘prioritize’.
    China will promote the internet (i.e.development) but block sensitive searches. Hence, they claim that having access to the internet (minus the censored sites) is more important than internet freedom.

    @Wahaha

    Again – You were just putting words in my mouth. I never said that ‘Chinese are now fighting for communism’.

    What I meant by asking that question was that the things which you say about communism can be applied to democracy as well. As well as the fact that it is wrong to look at Stalin as the sole representative of communism.

  46. Tanmay Says:

    @Maitreya
    Gotcha you bastard! I have been trying to get in touch with you for a long time!

    Here’s a shout out to you: I’ll be following all your articles and comments.

    So dont you dare fck up!

  47. Maitreya Bhakal Says:

    @Tanmay

    Ha ha! So you finally caught up!!

    Welcome to FM! I see from your comments on other posts that you’ve made yourself quite comfortable here. I’ve myself been a bit busy lately; and I’m looking forward to your comments on future articles!

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