Claude Arpi is an expert on the history of Tibet, China and the subcontinent. He was born in Angoulême, France. After graduating from Bordeaux University in 1974, he moved to India and settled in Auroville, Pondicherry, where he now lives with his Indian wife and young daughter.
The author of numerous English and French books including The Fate of Tibet; La Politique Française de Nehru: 1947-1954; Born in Sin: the Panchsheel Agreement and India and Her Neighbourhood. He writes regularly on Tibet, China, India and Indo-French relations.
In this exclusive column, he explains why Tibetans are weary of the unending dialogue with China.
Over the last couple of weeks, we have witnessed a large increase in the number of ‘Tibet pundits’ in the media, particularly in India.
This is a good thing: the public as well as the security agencies, our army brass and our diplomats should get acquainted with the question of Tibet and the larger issue of the so-called ‘Peaceful Rise of China.’
The Pakistan-centric attitude of the Indian establishment is one of the most dangerous aspects of Indian foreign policy, (if such a thing exists). Any widening of the horizon, particularly towards the north, can only be welcomed. In the years to come, India will have to deal with China and not Pakistan.
Unfortunately, the new pundits do not always grasp all the intricacies of the Tibetan imbroglio, and several analysts have concluded that the only workable solution for the Tibetan unrest is the resumption of the dialogue between Dharamsala and Beijing.
In fact, it is probably because that so-called dialogue has led nowhere (and could not lead anywhere) that the Tibetans in Lhasa and in other provinces took to the streets in protest.
The Tibetan population, particularly the monks, were frustrated with a process which is a dead end for the Tibetans, while for the Chinese, it is an easy way to appease Western leaders and gain time till the Dalai Lama passes away.
Image: The Panchen Lama and the Dalai Lama with Chairman Mao during a meeting in 1955. (Inset) The Dalai Lama with Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.