EXCLUSIVE : Dalai Lama's visit to Arunachal --Media Analysis

April 21, 2017, 12:32 am
 Tawang  (Arunachal Pradesh): Tibetan Spiritual leader visited India’s North Eastern state of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh in April. The Arunachal visit created much uproar and turmoil on diplomatic front as Arunachal’s Tawang region and Tibet; which China has occupied in 1950 with military aggression are religiously and ethically same and has been part of same kingdom since hundreds of years. After military aggression and forceful accession of Tibet by People’s Liberation Army in 1950, Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama fled China to seek asylum in India through Tawang in 1959. Indian government offered him political asylum and Tibetan Government in exile formed at Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh. Since then India and China confronts each other on Dalai Lama issue. China accuses India of fomenting trouble in Tibet and using Dalai Lama as political ploy to harass China. When Indian government gave nod to Dalai Lama’s latest visit to Tawang, China launched all out diplomatic offensive against India, tried all means to pressurize India to force cancel his visit to Arunachal, but irked by Chinese opposition to India’s entry in elite Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and consistent hurdles created by China in declaring Masood Azar as world terrorist, has forced India to toughen its stand on China. Since The Dalai Lama’s Tawang visit was  declared, the whole media buzzed with news related to Chinese statements, warnings and Indian reply to it. World media also took  the issue very seriously and all frontline newspapers published commentaries on it. Here , we have collated news items in three sections, Indian Media, world Media and Chinese media. Also we have tried to analyze collective behavior of Indian media about China and Dalai Lama’s Tawang visit. The Shocker to China came from unexpected corner when Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu made bold statement that, Arunchal  has a common border with Tibet and not China. The statement  was   a severe blow to China, which is forcefully asserting its claims on Arunachal and especially Tawang, to which it refers as South Tibet. Indian Media was split in two vertical groups, one was directly towing Chinese line on the issue, and publishing raw feed from Chinese media as it is, without processing it. And another section was broadcasting and publishing it in jingoistic manner. The real analysis of the issue and crux of the Sino-India relations and bone of contention was missing in Indian media. Here is another example of Indian media, its behavior and brazen seditious stance while reporting issues pertaining to national security. English News channel NDTV termed Arunachal Pradesh as disputed territory while reporting Dalai Lama’s proposed visit to the region. The Chinese leaders always refer Arunachal as disputed territory and Indian government rejects it. But it is very difficult to understand why such a national news channel referring it as disputed territory and who is alluring, encouraging or forcing this channel to report in Chinese terminology. NDTV pressed Chinese position on Arunachal without leaving any chance of creating confusion among readers (Over Dalai Lama In Arunachal Pradesh, A Furious China Says India Has Damaged Ties www.ndtv.com/india-news/on-dalai- lama-pm-modi-playing-tibet-card-but-dont-underestimate-us-warns-chinesemedia-1677474 ). Put whole blame on India for damaging bilateral relations by allowing Dalai Lama to Tawang. The Scroll, out rightly rejected Indian position on Tawang (India’s so-called new policy on Tibet is neither new nor effective https://scroll.in/article/826269/indiasso-called-new-policy-on-tibet-is-... ). While doing that it went miles ahead by misplaced references of cancelled meeting between BJP supremo Amit Shah and Dalai Lama last year and controversy of giving VISA to Uyghur leader Dolkun Isa and later cancelling it for unknown reasons. India Today in its article focused totally new angle of Dalai Lama’s Tawang connection. Article narrated how Dalai Lama is contributing his spiritual influence in conserving the eroding environmental conditions by exerting his spiritual influence on people on the region and encouraging them to cultivate more and more trees on Himalayan mountains, badly affected by rampant deforestation. (Dalai Lama in Tawang: The other mission of Tibetan spiritual leader in Arunachal http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/dalai-lama-tawang-tibetan-plantation-...) The Quint Concluded that India is taking revenge by allowing Dalai Lama to Tawang (Dalai Lama in Arunachal: Delhi Pays Back China in the Same Coin https://www.thequint.com/opinion/2017/04/05/dalai-lama-arunachal-tawang-... ). In its analytical piece it has mentioned Indian Minister Kiren Rijiju’s statement that China must refrain from commenting on Arunachal as it is inseparable part of India. The article referred earlier two incidences when China insulted India while India applied for membership of NSG and the Masood Azar issue. The article is balanced  and covers all facets of the issue and with fully stressing Indian diplomatic position. The Times of India wrote (China’s immature and dangerous behaviour on Dalai Lama’s visit to Tawang blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/no-free-lunch/85090/) that Chinese hype, outburst and aggressive behavior in Dalai Lama issue are ridiculous and useless as India is grossly ignoring Chinese reactions. Also it termed it as immature and dangerous. The Hindustan Times quoted only Chinese experts and headline was also deceptive as of Indian experts said so. ( Dalai Lama’s Arunachal visit likely to hurt India-China ties, say experts www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/chill-ahead-inindia-china-ties-over-da...). In this report HIndustan Times  repeated run-on-the-mill Chinese rhetoric, threats and warnings to India, which it always used to issue on Arunachal. The World Media played balancing act by juxtaposing Indian and Chinese position equally and many of the websites and newspapers went ahead by bashing Chinese aggressive posturing and imperialist behavior. Here are links attached, to go deep into the reporting by Foreign Media on this issue. The Chinese Media’s behavior was as per Chinese ruling party. Chinese and Media are oxymoron terms. Media means freedom and impartiality. But Chinese media is carefully developed machinery to project and propagate Communists ideology and diplomacy all over China and world. So we can’t expect any independent and out of the box opinion from them, defying or antagonizing official Chinese stand. Here are links in this piece  to go through the Chinese Media. INDIAN MEDIA DALAI LAMA: IT’S NORMAL FOR CHINA TO GIVE ‘POLITICAL COLOUR’ TO MY SPIRITUAL VISITS Apr 8, 2017 https://scroll.in/article/834033/the-dalai-lamas-reincarnation-in-arunac... Is the Dalai Lama's 'reincarnation' in Arunachal Pradesh the real worry for the Chinese? The Dalai Lama had visited Arunachal Pradesh six times before this. But he was not as old then. China has reacted with anger at the visit of the Dalai Lama to Tawang.. given how badly Beijing damages Indian interests through its relationship with Pakistan, the statement is not likely to cut much ice in New Delhi. Chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh, which the Chinese term as “southern Tibet”, observed (in a statement) that his state only shares a border with Tibet, not China. In the context of invitation extended to Prime Minister of the Tibetan government-inexile, Lobsang Sangay, to the PM Modi’s oath taking ceremony and reception accorded to Dalai Lama at Tawang by MoS Kiren Rijiju, It is observed  ‘Modi government has ‘gone out of its way to use the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan issue to needle China’. Dr Manoj Joshi, a   Fellow,  and Observer of Research Foundation, is of the opinion  that the Tawang issue and Dalai Lama’s visit have ‘ put Sino-Indian relations in a time machine taking us to the 1950s and 1960s. All the positive vibes that were there in the early 2000s have vanished and both countries will be the losers for it.’ Is Arunachal Pradesh South Tibet , asks Harendra Nath Bora, in the title of his article published in The Assam Tribune dated April 13, 2017 as he is aware of the fact that ‘The Himalayas being the natural northern boundary of India since ages, areas south of The Himalayas were politically and culturally linked only to India for thousands of years. That the Himalayas are known to the world by its Sanskrit nomenclature only, meaning the ‘abode of snow’, automatically suggest the Indian influence and intermingling of the south Himalayan races with India. ‘Historical records on Tibet are available from the seventh century AD’. says Bora who, on the basis of historical facts arrive at the conclusion that ‘the Chinese calling Arunachal Pradesh and Tibet southern Tibet an absurd proposing. ‘ Dalai Lama thanks Arunachal govt for memorable visit of the  Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama on Monday delivered his last sermon to thronging devotees here and thanked the Arunachal Pradesh government, especially Chief Minister Pema Khandu, for the invitation and facilitating his visit, which has drawn much flak from China. Addressing devotees in chaste Tibetan at the Yid GaChosin monastery, the Dalai Lama said his visit to the northeastern state has been a "memorable one" and that he would cherish it forever. He also thanked the people, particularly from far off villages, who gathered in large numbers to welcome and listen to him at all the places that he visited. Giving a talk on the last day of his four-day visit to Tawang, the Tibetan spiritual leader also said secular ethics is the only way to bring lasting peace and happiness in the world. China furious over Dalai Lama's Arunachal visit, India says nothing political Reacting to Beijing's objection against his visit to Arunachal Pradesh, the Nobel Peace Laureate said: "There are many in China who love India, but there are some narrow-minded politicians because of their certain views..they considered me as a demon." Some more headlines: China Is Fooling Its Own People Over Arunachal Visit, Says Dalai Lama Dalai Lama says people should decide fate of his office, successor ‘might’ be a woman indianexpress.com/article/india/dalai-lama-arunachal-pradesh-bomdila-tawang-buddhist-leader-china- 4605016/ Why is China nervous? Dalai Lama has already visited Arunachal Pradesh six times indiatoday.intoday.in/story/the-dalai-lama-china-arunachal-pradesh-tawang/1/922400.html Chinese media warns India over using ‘Dalai Lama card’, calls move ‘clumsy and rude’ indianexpress.com/article/india/dalai-lama-arunachal-pradesh-chinese-media-editorial-china-warns-india- 4601738/ Dalai Lama’s Journey Provokes China, and hints at His Heir https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/06/world/asia/dalai-lama-sucessor-tibet-... Dalai Lama in Arunachal: China piles diplomatic pressure, but relations can’t be a one-way street CHINESE MEDIA Some of the headlines and text in Chinese media read like: Dalai Lama's trip a betrayal of the country His latest visit to the region, at the invitation of the Indian government, shows that he can't wait to give away Tawang district, the holy land of China's Tibet where the sixth Dalai Lama was born, in exchange for India's support for the survival of his separatist group. His trip is testimony to his betrayal of himself, the people, the country, as well as regional peace. India's use of Dalai Lama as leverage irresponsible The Times of India, for one, made it crystal clear: "Dalai Lama and Tibet: India's leverage against China", is the headline of an article published  that says "Tibet and the Dalai Lama can help India counter in some measure the vice like veto China exercises on India's entry to the Nuclear Suppliers Group and its move to bring Pakistan-based terrorist mastermind Masood Azhar under UN sanctions". Calling Southern Tibet "an inseparable part of India", Kiren Rijiju, the Indian junior minister, said: "China should not object to the Dalai Lama's visit and interfere in India's internal affairs." Beijing concerned over Dalai Lama border visit FM: Dalai Lama visit harmful to EU ties Dalai Lama's peaceful image hides real agenda Dalai Lama trip 'won't change' China's aim The Dalai Lama's actions won't change Beijing's position on Tibet-related issues and the boundary question, a Foreign Ministry official said, after India invited the Dalai Lama to visit the disputed eastern section of the China-India boundary despite China's concerns. WORLD MEDIA China lashes out at India for arranging Dalai Lama visit By Associated Press April 12 BEIJING — China lashed out at India for hosting the Dalai Lama near their disputed border, warning Wednesday that the Tibetan spiritual leader’s visit has touched on the political foundation of the Asian giants’ relationship. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said bilateral ties will suffer after Indian officials hosted the 81-year-old monk last week in disputed territory and “indulged in provocative political statements.” The comments were the latest salvo in a weekslong war-of-words between the two nuclear-armed neighbours over the Dalai Lama’s visit, which has raised thorny territorial issues. Beijing considers the India-based Dalai Lama a dangerous separatist seeking Tibet’s independence and frequently objects when governments host him on his travels. Hundreds of Tibetans defy China, gather at birthplace of Buddhism in India By Annie Gowen January 13 The young Tibetan monk was taking his elderly aunt and uncle on the trip of a lifetime — a tour of holy Buddhist sites in India and a chance to meet the Dalai Lama. But halfway through, word came from China: The family was to return right away. Chinese police had descended on the monk’s home five times in December, fingerprinting his parents and forcing them to sign documents guaranteeing his return. But the monk and his family were determined to see the Dalai Lama speak at Bodh Gaya, the Indian city that many consider the birthplace of Buddhism. So they defied Chinese authorities and continued their journey, risking imprisonment, harsh questioning or loss of identity cards on their return home. China prepares for Dalai Lama’s death by looking to its own top Tibetan cleric By Simon Denyer September 26, 2016 LHASA, China — In the contest for Tibetan hearts and minds, a 26-year-old Buddhist monk is emerging into the spotlight. He is the Chinese-appointed Panchen Lama, and he is being groomed by the Communist Party to fill an important political and religious role in Tibet. Obedient to the party and loyal to the Chinese state, the “Chinese Panchen” is being pushed forward as an alternative to the Dalai Lama, a man widely loved by Tibetans as their supreme religious leader but reviled by the Chinese Communist Party as a “wolf in monk’s clothing” trying to split Tibet from the motherland.
 Inputs :Dhruv Saikia-,Vinay Joshi,BishalSinha and Swapnil Shermale
 

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