|Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the 1950s|
The announcement came yesterday, a day before Vajpayee's 90th birthday.
It is a welcomed development, hailed by practically all political parties.
On this occasion, I post an article which appeared in 'Swadesh', a Hindi journal published from Lucknow.
It is dated October 26, 1950, the day after the invasion of Tibet was reported in the news.
Vajpayee was then a journalist working for several publications linked to the RSS.
A Rajya Sabha intervention of the new Bharat Ratna about Tibet (in April 1989) is also posted below.
English translation of the 'Swadesh' article:
The 'Shanti Path' of the 6th anniversary of the UN was not even finished when we heard of a new invasion. The armies of communist China were ordered to invade Tibet. Although behind the iron curtain they try to hide all news, the news of the invasion, even before being received officially from Peking, was sent by China News Agency [Xinhua] and it is why the world received the first news of the invasion of Tibet not from Peking but from London.
Some people did not believe in these news, because several times in the past there had been rumours of invasion of this kind. So much so that the Tibetan representatives who had arrived in India also said that they did not believe in the truth of these news. One reason for this disbelief was that the negotiations between China and Tibet. The Indian government had arranged for the talks through the Ambassador to India of Communist China. But he declared that not Delhi but Beijing was the proper place for the talks. And the delegation of Tibetan representatives was thus today to go to Peking via Calcutta. On one side, peace talks, on the other side invasion, naturally nobody could believe it, but with the Peking government officially announcing the invasion has removed all doubts.
With the announcement of the invasion the communist government has thrown some light on its causes and its aims. Yet the causes and the language are the same as those of all invaders, that is to say, the aggressor is never attacking for egoist purposes, he attacks to liberate the people of the attacked region. And they had to take this step to save the people from the evil conspiracy of imperialist forces. The communist China invades also for this same reason -- to save the people of Tibet from the grip of imperialist forces, the communist armies marched in Tibet. But the efforts it made till today for getting the membership of UN surely put on them some moral responsibility to respect the principles of UN. China can reject it saying that it is an internal matter, but Tibet is a free country, even if at the time of imperialist China there were sovereignty in name of China over it. Communist China which is so opposed to imperialism surely is not bound by this tradition, nor can it be a ground for declaring legal this invasion of the independent state of Tibet. More than Tibet Formosa is a part of China, but nobody included America would accept its invasion. If an invasion of Formosa is considered as contrary to the ideals of the UN, then how much more for Tibet? Will the UN pay attention and help Tibet? It is possible that the powers, trapped each one in its own interest, will not pay attention to Tibet. The reason for the invasion of Tibet is not the discovery of uranium and the greed of the imperialist powers for it; it is an attempt to strengthen the moral of the communist block. The invasion of South Korea by North Korea and the initial victory over the army of UN had given a boost to the communists of all countries. But the victory of UN has put cold water on their enthusiasm. The influence of Russia has diminished somewhat. When the question came on the UN armies crossing the 38° latitude, then China warned that if it happens then she will attack the UN armies. But the UN did not worry and ordered its armies to get full victory. Russia felt that with the cold war becoming hot they had to suffer defeat. Seeing the state of North Korea, China did not have the courage to up its army against UN army. In consequence it was not possible for the Chinese armies to advance towards Formosa and Korea…
Invading Tibet is a way for China to wipe its tears.
|Prime Minister Vajpayee |
receives the Dalai Lama
Atal Bihari Vajpayee's intervention in the Rajya Sabha on April 28, 1989:
The Prime Minister [Rajiv Gandhi] went to China, he went to Pakistan. There is a bitter chapter of our relations with China. Myself I went to China in 1978, the talks were good, but during that time they attacked Vietnam and that spoiled the whole trip. This time there was nothing of the sort, I am happy about it. But how many minutes this leader's hand remained in that leader's hand, this cannot be the touchstone of the success of a foreign tour... Whether the Prime Ministers, the Presidents of two countries address each other by their first names, cannot be a criteria of the fruitfulness of the relations. As if I would say: "Narasimha Rao, how are you?" And then Narasimha Rao would say: "Atal, I am all right. How are you"
The other day I had raised also this question in the advisory committee: when the Prime Minister went to China and the leaders of China raised the question of Tibet, they had given us the opportunity to say something about Tibet. I am an admirer of Nehru but in accepting that Tibet is a part of China, he made a Himalayan blunder. I don't want to go into detail in the reason why he made that mistake. Tibet has also the right to be free. But the mistake was done. China had recognised Tibet as an 'autonomous region'. Today where is the autonomy? There is violation of human rights, martial law has been proclaimed, there is repression on a big scale, there is terror. Now the leaders of China raising the question of Tibet themselves had given us an opportunity to raise the issue of human rights, to draw the attention of the Chinese leaders on this, and to talk in an atmosphere of friendship. We did not seize this opportunity. There has been a change in the point of view of the Dalai Lama. Peking should have welcomed this change. But the Tibetans fight for their recognition, for their honour. There is an effort to rectify the mistakes that were committed during the days of the Cultural Revolution -- the mistakes that were done in the internal affairs. China should also rectify the mistakes that were committed in the foreign affairs. We should encourage them on this. But if we remain silent about Tibet, we will neither do justice to Tibet nor to ourselves.