The recent decision by the Centre to ban 59 Chinese mobile apps has significantly caught everyone’s attention in the wider spectrum. Following the Chinese incursion and adventurism in the Galwan valley region of Ladakh, claiming lives of 20 Indian soldiers on the intervening night of 15th-16th June. Although casualties were also said to be reported on the Chinese side, it largely went unnoticed. However, it seemed sufficient to draw the ire of the nationalist pride, prestige and sentiments of people who were anguished, aggrieved and annoyed by the irreparable loss of our army soldiers.
Systematic efforts were made by the ruling power elites to structure their response in a way, serving the aspirations of their ideological commitments to national sovereignty and territorial integrity. The domestic opposition in the country kept on asking for elaboration and details, but none seemed to be provided as Chinese began intruding in Ladakh around April. Delivering on the infrastructure critical for its hold in the region, as per various satellite images available in public domain, the Centre has been dismissive and cited its physical prowess, resources and strength. But how does all of it make us better and bold when at first glance, the Chinese seem to be atop the edge when it comes to our immediate neighbours?
Leave aside Pakistan for a while, if we look at countries such as Nepal, Sri Lanka, Maldives etc, then we will realise how China has enhanced its footprints and hold in the South Asian region by fostering a deep sense of cynicism and suspicion against India in the minds and psyche of these countrymen. Running successfully a debt-laden model of infrastructure development, it has, on its part, habituated the people into believing what its might, dominance and hegemony stands for. Thus, we have a spate of incidences in Hong Kong and Taiwan where people are asking for greater autonomy and rights that are vehemently being denied by the authoritarian regime of China by virtue of brutal repression of people’s collective.
In this regard, the policy decision by the Indian Government to ban 59 Chinese mobile apps proves to be of great disservice to our national interest viz a foreign policy bereft of any merit. Going forward, the Chinese also banned a few of Indian journals popular across Beijing. Does this make any difference at all, as we have abjectly surrendered to the people’s will where mass sentiments and sensitivities generated in the backdrop of populism and polemics sounds as promising and pioneering a method in our foreign policy outcome?
This ought to make a go simply outcrying those who defer with your opinions and viewpoints is not going to provide you with a solution. Instead, we will have to accommodate, engage and interact with all the constituents in order to achieve a coherent policy framework. I am made to understand that such moment calls for statesmanship and an approach in containing and dealing with such a situation — calling for extraordinary means and measures through which an attempt in reaching a consensus can be shaped. It certainly should have a bearing on our strength as, accordingly, we can then opt for alternatives.