Monday, September 18, 2006

And what gives me the right to Nation-bash?

So... a friend read my Orient Express post and told me that it made him very uncomfortable to read it. I seemed to be so anti-China in it. Do I hate China and the Chinese?

Well, let me ask you if the Chinese dissident who is thrown into jail for protesting things he sees wrong with the Chinese political ideology hates China? Maybe s/he does, maybe not. To answer that question straight up- No, I do not hate China as a country or the Chinese as a people. Historically, this is a culture that is a sister to my own (Indian). I do however have a strong aversion to China as an ideology- that which seems to avert attention from individual rights by making them secondary to a nationalistic philosophy which is dictated by the few to the many.

Many Chinese have given voice to how much better their lives are getting. And yet, the few dissidents whose voices are raised against some injustice are being silenced underfoot. Why? If everything is so good, why be scared of a peaceful movement like Falun Gong? Why kidnap the Panchen Lama and replace him with a State-sanctioned Panchen? Why not let Taiwan exist independently? Why...

In short, no I don't hate the country of China anymore than I hate the US or India. But I am as much against its ideology and philosophy as the nearest Chinese dissident.


April said...

Rad -

Agreed. Your friend's remark is, of course, the same criticism lobbied against we Americans who are finding it difficult to recognize our own country lately. Do we hate our country? Do we hate our neighbors for supporting a war mongering president? Must we substitute our good sense for blind patriotism?

Shining light on the ills of our society means you have to judge - and I find that judgment is unacceptable in many circles. It's uncouth, you know? Better to live and let live. To these folks, I say I am not clear on how reasoned dialog can happen if we do not examine what we are seeing and why we find it unacceptable.

Radhika said...

Yes, in the final analysis, I think "love" can happen only with eyes wide open. And it is because you love that you want things to be different. Not because you hate.

Radhika said...

Let's talk American politics. Sure to ruffle some feathers, hey?! :D