16 May, 2021

A Cure For Our Sinositis?

Is it paranoia or just plain old envy because China has surged far ahead of us in every field?

U.B. Photos
A Cure For Our Sinositis?

It’s one neighbour we love to hate. Be it reports about “intrusion” across the Line of Actual Control, or surreptitious attempts to bring in “cheap labour” for Indian projects, or behind-the-scenes attempts to break ranks with the developing world on climate change negotiations, China-bashing is the flavour of the season. It seems this season is likely to last long. Sure, many Indians detest Pakistan and distrust Bangladesh, but they don’t fear or envy these smaller neighbours, being quite confident of India’s supremacy.

The hatred for China is different: it’s a mix of deep dislike, suspicion and envy. Most Indians know that China has forged far ahead (see infographic), it’s a heavyweight in comparison to their own country, a superpower in the making. Could it be that Indians suffer from a Sino complex? Says Alka Acharya of the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, “Even if you don’t want to describe it as an inferiority complex, there’s no denying that there is a...

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