Boy, do these Chinese know how to play mindgames! While we are busy wondering whether it would be prudent to allow the Dalai Lama to visit the row of Tibetan handicraft shops on Janpath in New Delhi, and thereby risk bringing on a supply crisis of cheap toys and chicken manchurian (little realising that the latter is actually an Indian dish), the mandarins from the Muddling Kingdom are inundating India with cheap plastic globes that show Jammu and Kashmir as a separate nation.
While Arunachal Pradesh has been coloured pink along with the People’s Republic of China on the map, these globes priced at Rs 100 a pop have already started to make schoolchildren ask uncomfortable questions about the United Nations Security Council 1948 Resolution 38 and whether Srinagar boy Qazi Touqeer deserved the top prize in the Indian TV talent show Fame Gurukul in 2005.
Yes, people are talking about Kashmir again — which they weren’t before this paper highlighted China’s territorial designs. As an anonymous intelligence officer told us emphatically, “It’s a matter of concern.” One wonders what maps are being sold in the independent nation of Tibet whose Head of State, the Dalai Lama, may be concerned about the advent of shoddy, foreign cartographers.