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What China Can Learn from India
Gupreet Jahaul

China and India are two of the world’s oldest ongoing civilizations, both of them steeped in diversity, richness of culture, and profound spiritual traditions. Both countries have over one billion people, yet they deal with their citizenry in radically different ways. Unfortunately, after the communist takeover in 1949, Chinese leaders quickly moved to purge all “feudalistic superstitions” from the Chinese psyche and began stamping out China’s rich spiritual and cultural heritage. This has resulted in a system where corruption is rife, diversity of opinion is persecuted, and the people are becoming spiritually impotent and disenfranchised.

India, on the other hand, has fully embraced its rich cultural traditions and diverse spiritual beliefs, becoming the Mecca of many of the world’s people who are seeking a deeper meaning to life in the chaos of today’s world. This has allowed India to maintain stability under democratic principles. The heart and soul require nourishment every bit as much as the body and many around the world have turned to India’s spiritual teachings to find this. In this regard, China has much it can learn from India’s example of allowing its large and divergent populace to nurture itself through such beliefs and practices.

China’s heritage is also rich and its spiritual traditions profound. When ancient qigong and meditation were introduced to the public in China, they quickly filled the spiritual void created by the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. Within just years, tens of millions of people were practicing in China and they have become healthier, more productive, and better people living by high moral standards. That vital essence within the sleeping Chinese psyche was once again awakened and tens of millions of people responded to this wake-up call.

Had the communist regime in China allowed the expression of these fundamental principles that govern all people’s hearts to expand and grow, then a much different China would have emerged. However, China’s leaders chose to suppress and persecute these grand teachings out of jealousy and fear of losing power and control over the people of China. People who practice meditation and engage in cultivation practice are being demonized as having an evil practice that threatened the stability of society. Thousands have died and hundreds of thousands languish in labor camps, prisons, and mental hospitals. Tibetans, Uighur Moslems, underground Christians, Falun Gong practitioners, other religious followers, and democracy advocates suffer similar fates. In truth, it is these lies, deceit, and persecution that are the true evils that threaten the stability and future of China.

SARS is a perfect example of China’s lack of openness or transparency, and entrenched policy of lies and deceit. This has not only negatively impacted the Chinese people but is now threatening the entire world with the spread of this deadly virus. Had it been reported to the WHO early after its discovery in Guangdong Province, there’s a very good chance this epidemic could have been contained. Such a complete lack of concern for the welfare of the people and endangering the world, as opposed to political control and saving face, is a sad indictment of such a policy.

The attempt to maintain economic stability is also falling victim to SARS. The entire question of the too-good-to-be-true economic growth statistics out of China is also now highly suspect. If the Chinese regime can lie about such an important issue as the health of its citizens, what is to stop it from lying about the state of the economy and basic human rights? The Chinese regime controls the economy and can publish whatever information it chooses. The truth will reveal that the economy is in a poor state and heavily dependent on loans and continual overseas investment. As a matter of fact, many economists that have looked into China’s figures say they simply don’t add up and are nowhere near what is claimed. Wealth without virtue leads to corruption of the soul. Without moral guidelines to constrain one’s actions, degradation on every level results.

Rather than India looking at trade with China as the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, India needs to recognize its true wealth, the wealth of its spiritual heritage and diversity. Remember that a rainbow is merely an optical illusion – as one chases after it, it always moves away. Instead, it is China that needs to learn from India and allow its great spiritual and cultural heritage to once again freely bloom so its people can sip this sweet nectar. Only then will China be able to truly move forward and take a leading role in the world, a role based on openness and truthfulness, concern for its people, and tolerance of opinions and beliefs. Let us hope that China can learn from India’s example, otherwise, China will implode as Russia did under the weight and pressure of its own corruption and degeneracy.

Mr. Jahaul is an executive and consultant with an MA from Cambridge University, England.

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