Civilians on both sides of the sino-Indian border would be wise to take some advice from our troops on the fringes of our land.
While Indians celebrated Independence Day on 15th August, the armed forces from both India and China jointly celebrated the British exodus from India 65 years ago.
“We have three types of activities here. First is the one which takes place on 15th of May on Chinese side and on 15th September on the Indian side. Along with that if there is any issue on the border then we have special flag meetings,” Brigadier Ravi Jhaldiyal, Commander 63 mountain brigade at Nathula Pass told the Hindu.
“Then there are the national days of India and China where we have a special meet. The intention is to basically know them and interact with them so that you have some kind of friendship with them,” Jhaldiyal added. He said these interactions and the resulting friendship helped in resolving a lot of issues on the border. “It also sorts out lots of local border issues. Minor issues, before they could escalate, are also sorted out,” he said.
Constant interaction, building camaraderie and jointly celebrating happy occasions on both sides of the border, have helped to significantly quell fears and dislocate any misunderstandings between troops on either side. Its what our civilians need to learn from. Inchin Closer, a strong proponent of bringing India and China together through mutual trust and understanding of each others language and culture, believes that only when we meet, get to know one another can differences dissolve and trust and friendship bloom.
Now, we need to learn from those that protect our borders – a basic understanding of each other does help to resolve small, issues that can otherwise escalate into international relations disasters as they often have.
This independance day, the Chinese danced to bhangra, a punjabi dance form, the next bilateral social event on their calendar is Chinese National Day on October, 1st. The two sides are already preparing gifts and looking forward to the celebrations.