BORN IN SIN: THE PANCHSHEEL AGREEMENT
SACRIFICE OF TIBET
India, one often hears of Panchsheel, but few know that
it only was an "Agreement on Trade and Intercourse between the
Tibet region of China and India signed by China and India on April
the preamble of this Agreement contained the famous Five Principles,
it was dubbed the Panchsheel Agreement. Though it lapsed
in 1962 and was never renewed, it has kept its aura as the ideal solution
to conduct foreign relations. But its first result was that Tibet, a
2000-old nation was erased from the map of Asia.
a debate in the Parliament in 1958, the Socialist leader Acharya Kripalani
stated: This great doctrine was born in sin, because it was enunciated
to put the seal of our approval upon the destruction of an ancient nation
which was associated with us spiritually and culturally
a nation which wanted to live its own life and it sought to have been
allowed to live its own life.
1962 Sino-Indian conflict was another consequence of the Panchsheel
hundred years ago a young British Colonel, Francis Younghusband entered
the holy city of Lhasa and forced upon the Tibetans their first Agreement
with the mighty British Empire. In signing this treaty with the Crown,
Tibet was acknowledged as a separate nation by the British.
years later, London called for a tripartite Conference in Simla to settle
the issue: British India, Tibet and China sat together at a negotiation
table for the first time.
Simla Convention, born out of the Conference was still in force when
India became independent in August 1947.
an event changed the destiny of the Land of Snows. In October 1950,
Mao Zedongs troops invaded Tibet.
this background, the present research looks at the genesis of the Panchsheel
Agreement between India and China which converted the Land of Snows
into merely Tibets Region of China. A natural and
cultural buffer zone between India and China disappeared.
preamble of the Agreement contained the Five Principles which formed
the main pillar of Indias foreign policy for the next fifty years.
This was the beginning of the Hindi-Chini Bhai-Bhai slogan and Indias
policy still haunts an India unable to sort out her border tangle with
China. This study concludes with some tentative but constructive proposals
to come out of the current impasse.
Year of Publication: August 2004
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