25 November, 2020

Chin-o-Arab Hamara Hindostan Hamara

A full-throated championing of India ignores troubling questions, and clings on to the coat-tails of prosperity

Jitender Gupta
Chin-o-Arab Hamara Hindostan Hamara
Which lazy Orientalist coined that moronic term Chindia (for China and India)? Did you hear of Brifra (Britain-France) in the 19th century? Have you ever eaten an oraple? Apples are apples, oranges are oranges. You can make a fruit salad out of apples and oranges, but India and China cannot be so chopped up and served.

But the Chindia industry prospers, fuelled by the lazy and the greedy. Lazy ones are those who don’t delve deep into either country. Greedy are the ones who want to sell a book when there’s so much global attention focused on these two Asian neighbours.

If there is any reason for me to welcome the "Chindia" coupling of these two continental, civilisational entities, it is because in the western mind India gets de-hyphenated from Pakistan and gets hyphenated with China. As any social climber will tell you, your status improves when you get coupled with the upwardly mobile. We are the wannabes of this decade. We may yet arrive, but we aren’t there yet, where China already is.

Meanwhile, there’s a publishing industry feeding this feelgood...



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