Has India been judicious in its response to developments in Tibet or has it allowed itself to be bullied by Beijing? That is the key issue Karan Thapar discussed on Devil’s Advocate with former defence minister George Fernandes.
Karan Thapar: As someone who has been a supporter of Tibet for 50 years, what’s your view of the Indian response to developments in Tibet?
George Fernandes: India has sold out to China.
Karan Thapar: Has India been bullied by China?
George Fernandes: Absolutely and it accepts it.
Karan Thapar: So this is a shameful response from India.
Karan Thapar: I want to discuss with you certain specific things. Was it fitting and proper that a meeting fixed between the Dalai Lama and the Vice President two months ago should have been canceled because it was going to happen in the present circumstances.
George Fernandes: It should not have happened and it shows what I said earlier…
Karan Thapar: That India has sold out to China?
Karan Thapar: In other words the Vice President should have met the Dalai Lama?
Karan Thapar: Would you say it was a discourtesy to cancel the meeting.
George Fernandes: Yes it is.
Karan Thapar: The second thing I want to discuss is the fact that the Indian Ambassador in Beijing allowed herself to be summoned by the Chinese foreign office at 2 in the morning. By attending on the Chinese at 2 in the morning did she end up belittling and demeaning India?
George Fernandes: Well our Government allowed it. It has no shame.
Karan Thapar: You are saying Delhi should have told the Ambassador in Beijing – you must not go at 2 AM in the morning, wait till the next day.
George Fernandes: Yes that is what it should have been elsewhere it is how it happens.