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The simple reason PM Modi won’t say “China”

Do you expect India’s Prime Minister to respond to a troll from the Global Times? In other words, PM Modi cannot talk about China because Xi Jinping is not talking about India.

After months of restraint, the Indian Army has now taken hold of advantageous positions against the Chinese PLA. The whole world knows this and is also laughing at the Chinese because of it.

But since the Galwan Valley clash in mid-June, some people have been going on and on on social media, mainstream media and online platforms: Why won’t the Prime Minister even say ‘China’?

He won’t. Because it’s the most basic ground rule of diplomacy. Because India’s Prime Minister speaks only at the level of his Chinese counterpart. In other words, Xi Jinping.

Why would PM Modi say China?

Did Xi Jinping ever mention India?

In Moscow recently, our Defense Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to the Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe. Around the same time, our External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

Do you see how simple this is? Our Defense Minister talks to theirs. Our Foreign Minister talks to theirs. Even talks between frontline military officers are always at the same level. There are “Brigade Commander level” talks and “Corps commander level” talks and so on.

In other words, PM Modi cannot talk about China because Xi Jinping is not talking about India.

Do you expect India’s Prime Minister to respond to a troll from the Global Times?

This is basic diplomatic protocol. And we the people need to understand the compulsions here. Obviously, we cannot expect the PM to go on record naming China to explain why he won’t name China.

Unlike Xi Jinping however, PM Modi heads a democracy. And therefore he faces domestic pressures to communicate with the people. His critics are therefore trying to use his basic diplomatic compulsion to their advantage.

Why won’t he name China? Is he scared? – They ask.

Many of these critics are actually quite well informed people. And they understand perfectly well why the PM cannot explicitly name China here. They just don’t care. They want to break the morale of our people and our forces. Why? Because they are jealous, bitter and angry.

Ever since the standoff with China began, a certain group of people has constantly been making statements that will hit the morale of the Indian military and the Indian people. These people have a pathological hatred for our current Prime Minister. They are finding it hard to distinguish between undermining PM Modi and undermining India itself. And most of all, they have an emotional need to defend one particular politician from 1962.

Like other normal human beings living in 2020, these bitter commentators could have shrugged off 1962 as distant past. Most of these people probably weren’t even born then, or were very young. But when you have committed to serving five generations (and more) of one family, you are constantly looking to redeem the honor of ghosts.

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Abhishek Banerjeehttps://dynastycrooks.wordpress.com/
Abhishek Banerjee is a math lover who may or may not be an Associate Professor at IISc Bangalore. He is the author of Operation Johar - A Love Story, a novel on the pain of left wing terror in Jharkhand, available on Amazon here.  

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