OPINION

China - Censored Growth

January 21, 2010
sufferingsocrates

I am extremely proud and happy to be in India. India could have multiple issues, both regional and religious. But that speaks volumes about the strong emotional bonding that India has enjoyed all through the 62 years of Independence. Notwithstanding hostile neighborhoods, India has continued to be peace loving, and sometimes even too docile for its own good. There is honestly no comparison of India with either Pakistan or China. While Pakistan has been the rogue nation, owing to a politically mismanaged nation and a nation with radicals lurking in every corner, China has been the nation trying to bully around, not only its own citizens, but other Asian nations as well.

Thomas Friedman noted in an article that China is at cross roads of whether to adopt a new age China, or get subdued under the Communist rule. He goes onto mention how China is grappling to come to terms with an increasing knowledge consuming world, which would force the nation to embrace and gain knowledge through multiple channels for its own development. What this would do is inhibit the stringent measures of the Chinese rule, because the exchange of knowledge information needs vast amount of transnational interactions. Human rights violation has been a long discussed issue in China, with executions for crimes being very common, and no freedom for citizens.

Not surprisingly, this is the very reason the Chinese officials are wary of the Web 2.0 revolution and want to monitor human rights activists' actions. One wonders what insecurities should the Chinese have, when it is in the cusp of becoming the second largest economy in the world. The Chinese government is increasingly insecure of uprisings which could arise out of their strict policies. Why else would it raise a cyber army just to track down, hack computers across the world and steal vital information ? Google is threatening to pull the plug from China for this very issue of China hacking into accounts of human rights activists. What China is not realising is, more the restrictions, more are the chances of uprisings and revolts.

In another very disturbing move, China is going to scan text messages to filter out unhealthy or ill-content in mobile phones. What this means is, a Chinese citizen, who may share some passionate messages with his/her spouse over mobile phone could well be jailed and may even be executed ! It is truly unfortunate that China is imposing restrictions in citizens' private lives as well. Already, the rule of a single child in China is coming back to haunt the Chinese. It is resulting in a rapidly aging population in several important cities in China, forcing Chinese to rethink the single child rule. If the single child policy wasn't interference enough in private lives of citizens, scanning text messages is outright intrusive.

For precisely such restrictions and rules that the Chinese employ, it is hard to understand if there will be any emotion or sentiment left in a Chinese citizen. Being patriotic is great, but who would want to be patriotic for a nation which does not allow freedom, even in personal lives ? Who would want to be patriotic to a nation which is always monitoring every single step of any and every citizen ? Which citizen would like to continue in a country, where they live more in fear than for the love of the land ? Consequently, it is not difficult to understand why, any Chinese trained individual would be more robotic than human. Devoid of any emotion or sentiments, be it sportsmen or the army, would automatically tend to be more machine like. Without true love for the nation.

Now think of India. A nation highlighted as being poor, winning Oscars for its slum dwellers. But what India has is, freedom of speech and expression. Sometimes, a little too much of it one would say. But India has stayed on for 62 years with an incredibly diverse populace, and also embracing liberalization along the way. Corruption maybe rampant in India. But pray, where is corruption not seen ? The Indian growth story has been quite remarkable, and more and more honchos in businesses are from India. The world has confidence in an increasingly globalised India, in spite of its infrastructure woes and red tapism. The simple reason is the freedom and the confidence that businesses can flourish in, and that India has the brain power as well as the manpower.

Unlike a Pakistan, India has continued to vote democratically. Though there have been fragile governments, no Indian citizen can complain about the freedom (s)he enjoys.Pakistan is struggling against foes they themselves fostered over the years. India has been the victim of terrorism from Pakistan, and is increasingly under threat from an insecure China. China's insecurity is understandable, with India's increased presence both economically and diplomatically. China is certainly miles ahead economically and militarily, but India and Indians have their hearts in place.

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