As the tussle between both India and China continue to grow at borders, the mounting tension between both the countries is widely being felt both on and off borders. In a recent take, the Indian students in China, who are currently pursuing their education are the recipient of the climbing tensions between the nations’ surging anti-sentiments. Different Indian students studying in China talking said that due to the rising tension, Indian students as expected to be vulnerable have noticed a change in the attitude of Chinese people towards them.
Chandan, an Indian student of Chinese language in Southwestern province of China said, “Before the tension between both the countries, the locals treated me with a good sense of hospitality and welcoming gesture. But as the relationship becomes a strain, they have turned their back on me.”
In his work with different interpreters in China, he recalls that people there calmly pointed out that India is quite a malnourished country and faces poverty. They also said that the Indian army battalion is also not very sophisticated with tools and weapons.
Hearing this, Chandan countered back the Chinese person and replied, “Today’s India is an emerging power and doing good in all the frontlines. Our army is the fourth largest in the world.”
Chandan also speaks that his teachers at some occasion try to bring him down by attacking his sentiments towards his country. He also added that Chinese are quite loyal to their party and on occasions of boosting their pride they never keep their mouth shut. They say that Chinese see Tibet, Assam, Arunachal as their righteous territory dating back to the advent of Han dynasty in the 16th century and claim it on that basis.
On further inquiring him if he wishes to continue to study and work in China in near future he answered that he likes his work and urges to be best at it, but he does not see his future in China very encouraging as people turn hostile at times and want to continue his work and living in India working for the same.
Another student named Sachin who is taking his degree from China said, “In the few years living in China, I have concluded that the country is biased and stereotypes India. They have a common image of India as a country of the slum, stuck with poverty and thinks Indians are barbarians because of their eating habits with hands. Also, racial discrimination based on colour is practised in the country, whereas the Chinese consider fair skin better than the dark.”
Asking him if he wants to continue in China soon, he replied, “Why not? I see a good future in the country because my nature of the study is widely demanded in China.”
However, Harshita, a student of International Relations, who was rewarded with the scholarship by Human Resource Development Ministry of India says, “I have had a beautiful time while pursuing a Masters in China. As a non-Chinese speaker, I felt a sort of discrimination. And my teachers are quite encouraging and firmly stick to their business of studies.”
In the last few days ever since the relationship has become quite serious between the countries, Harshita’s teacher has never discussed the issue in front of the class, which is a good sign, as the studies are kept in a healthy environment. Moreover, she says that the current situation, however, is shadowing a part of her future. “As a student of IR, I want to study and know more about the culture, the country’s policies, which is a kind of important element of my study.” But the recent disappointment in the borders can be a factor letting her not to avoid it. But she remains optimistic by saying that she has faith in the government and MHRD that they will figure out a way.
Currently, although the situation on the border seems to be slowly easing out, one can not deny that its impact over Indian diaspora especially students studying in China will remain as it is for some time now.