Archives / June 5, 2023

Recent articles – The Thurman Interview, etc

  • Why the Dalai Lama Matters – Interview Prof Robert Thurman
    Prof. Robert Thurman is a well-know figure in the United States. Not only because he was nominated as one of the 25 most influential Americans by the Time Magazine, but also because he is one of oldest supporters of the Dalai Lama, a respected scholar of Columbia University and …the father of Hollywood beauty Uma Thurman. 
    He speaks to Claude Arpi about his years as a monk in North India in the 1960’s; his relation with the Dalai Lama (Thurman’s latest best-seller is entitled Why the Dalai Lama matters); the present state of ‘Capitalist’ China; the Buddhist wave in the West; his idea of a Second Renaissance; his work for the preservion old Indian sastras in Columbia University, the Obama-Dalai Lama encounter and his vision for the future of planet.
  • China’s Weakness: The Tibetan and Uygur ‘Nationalities’ Areas
    A Symptomatic Lapsus
    It was very symptomatic. As the People’s Republic of China began to celebrate the 60th anniversary of its founding, a ’monthly report card’ released by the Ministry of Home Affairs mentioned the completion
    of road construction ‘on the Indo-Tibet border’. 
    During a media conference, Home Minister P. Chidambaram read the written report: “On the Indo-Tibet border, work on construction of 10 roads totaling 196 km is under progress. 45.27 km of formation works and 4.77 km of surfacing works were completed in September.” That the Minister himself referred to the ‘Indo-Tibet border’ shows how deeply the fact that Tibet has been the Indian border for millennia is anchored into the Indian psyche. In any case, whatever name the Government of India uses to refer to its international border in the north is anecdotal; the fact remains that Tibet strategically occupies a special place for the defence of the Indian frontiers. The ministries of Home or External Affairs would perhaps prefer to erase the word ’Tibet’ from their vocabulary, but the Roof of the World can not be wished away so easily.
  • Ignoring a true friend – February 2, 2009 (The Pioneer)
    March 2009 will mark 50 years in exile for the Dalai Lama and his followers. During this half-a-century, the Tibetan leader has supported India and stood by the country in the face of international criticism. Is it not time for India to officially recognise the Dalai Lama’s contribution to peace and tolerance and honour him with the Bharat Ratna?
  • Hiding History from People – December 31, 2008 (with Dr. Subroto Roy)
    The Government of India continues to hide India’s history from India’s people using specious excuses. An example is the Henderson-Brook report on the 1962 war, a single copy of which is said to exist locked away in the Defence Ministry. An anti-Indian author like Neville Maxwell is among the few ever given access to it; he has reiterated his factually incorrect theory (accepted by Henry Kissinger and Zhou Enlai and the US and Chinese establishments since) that the 1962 war was due to Nehru’s aggressive policy and China had no choice but launch a “pre-emptive attack”.
  • Interview Ranjan Mathai – Septtember 2008 (Part II)
    Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is in France for a dialogue with leaders of the European Union and a summit with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
    In the first part of the interview with senior contributor Claude Arpi, India’s Ambassador to France Ranjan Mathai discussed Indo-French nuclear cooperation.
  • One should talk of a global nuclear deal – July 24 (Interview Jerome Bonnafont for Rediff)
    The French ambassador spoke to Claude Arpi about India’s nuclear deal which he terms ’global’ and not uniquely ’US’ as well as the objectives of the French presidency of the European Union. He points out the implications of the global food crisis as well as the energy issue from the European Union’s point of view. He forcefully expresses the commonality of purpose of both France and India in the fight against terrorism and the shared values of democracy, social justice and strategic matters.

    Interview Kiren Rijiju, MP, Arunachal Pradesh
    Kiren Rijiju, the 36-year-old firebrand Member of Parliament representing Arunachal Pradesh (West), does not share the government’s and Indian Army’s perceptions about Chinese incursions in his border state.
    While Defence Minister A K Antony and army chief General Deepak Kapoor have underplayed the intrusions on several occasions, Rijiju has tried to convey in Parliament the seriousness of the situation in the strategic state. Unfortunately till now his voice has been lost in the corridors of power.
    Rijiju has pointed out for long that the Indian Army is not prepared for a conflict with China and today this is an accepted fact. The young MP still regrets that only cosmetic actions are being taken to correct this imbalance.
    In this wide-ranging interview with Claude Arpi, the MP highlights not only the patriotism of the people of Arunachal, but also conveys in the strongest terms that it is time for India to wake up, to be self-confident and to stand by her interests and her borders.

  • US loves tyrants – February 6, 2008 (The Pioneer)
    The US Administration is untiring in preaching democracy and human rights to others. But it warmly embraces dictators who loathe democracy and trample on human rights. We are seeing this in Pakistan. We saw it in Indonesia during Suharto’s brutal excesses.
  • Indian defence and the Abominable No Men – December 31, 2007 (Sify)
    India’s defence sector is today facing one of the grimmest times since the debacle of 1962. Many will infer that it is because India is a democracy governed by the rule of law and not a totalitarian regime. It could be, let us first have a look at the facts…
  • The battle over the new Dalai Lama – December 14, 2007 (
    Today, even if the Dalai Lama holds a referendum to know if the Tibetan people want the present system to continue, he will still have to decide upon the best way to ‘transmit’ his knowledge and experience to ‘carry out the tasks of the previous life.’ One thing is sure, it is not for you or me or the Karats or Hu Jintaos to decide; it is too profound a tradition to be left in the hands of the profane.

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