China and India are two countries that tend to attract a great deal of attention because they are the two most populous countries in the world. Given that, however, they differ extensively in many areas such as type of government, culture, and economic status. Nevertheless, they also share certain commonalities, particularly in regards to many human rights violations as well as resistance to social changes. This paper will discuss recent articles about events in both countries, and compare their roles in the world.
China is currently under a great deal of criticism from the international community because of its mass incarceration and repression of Muslims and other ethnic minorities. In response to these criticisms, China claims that it is merely reeducating people to help them adjust to life in that country. Chinese government officials maintain that these restrictive policies are an effort to fight terrorism, which they see is occurring in other parts of the world. Detainees of such camps report that while staying in these facilities, which are also described as inhumane, they have been forced to learn the language, sing patriotic songs, and study the Chinese Communist Party doctrine (Kuo, 2000).
In another article by the same journalist, China experienced a terrorist attack in September when an SUV drove the vehicle into a crowded walkway, and exited the car before hacking several people with a knife and shovel. Although the suspect had a history of drug crimes and other petty acts of antisocial behavior, the government issued a statement saying that the motivation of the attacker was to “create a desire for revenge on society” (Kuo, 2018 b). The attack resembled several others that have occurred recently, involving stabbings, bombings, and arson, and the government has followed each of these attacks with the statement blaming them Muslim separatists.
Another recent article described an event in which a rock concert by a British musician was interrupted by police dragging out many concertgoers who were dancing to the music. It appeared that the security guards were reacting to a rainbow flag that was held up during the concert, because in that country there is a great deal of bias against homosexuals. Although homosexuality is not illegal in China, there is an extremely conservative culture that is critical of people who get involved in same-sex relationships (Mou & May, 2018). Authorities frequently become violent with gay-rights groups as well as citizens who support them.
An article about India involved devastating floods that killed over 400 people and covered whole towns, and an offer by the United Arab Emirates to give the country $100 million to assist in the recovery (Venkataraman, Raj, & Abi-Habib, 2018). The Indian government refused the offer of help, insisting that their own resources were adequate to pay for the damage. In reality, many critics feel that the government is incapable of providing enough money to repair the coast after that natural disaster. Besides the loss of so many people following the funds, 1.8 million people were also displaced, and experienced their towns and major public works to continue to be submerged in water, including the country’s international airport.
Another article about India reported that in July, four million residents were stripped of their nationality after their names were removed from the National Registry of Citizens (Bal, 2018). The government claims that this effort was intended to identify illegal immigrants coming from Bangladesh, but the act has been largely perceived as an anti-Muslim activity. The article described that this type of screening to determine citizenship dates back to 1947, when the British divided the land into Pakistan and India, and a registry of citizens was set up but never successfully implemented.
Attempts to define legitimate Indian citizenship has decreed that Indian citizens have been residents who were present in the country before March 25, 1971, and all of those families’ direct descendents (Bal, 2018). The focus on legitimate citizenship has become an all-important issue because of the right to vote in elections in this very populous nation; clearly, voting is limited to citizens of India, and so similar to what is happening in the United States, there is a strong effort to define who should be able to vote.
Reviewing the articles about China and India indicates that one of the most obvious similarities between the two nations is a complex relationship with diversity, and a desire to discriminate against those people who are perceived as different and potentially terrorist. Both countries have exhibited anti-Muslim behaviors and attitudes, and it appears that this prejudice is the basis for many of the actions taken by both the government and citizens. China and India are both important players in the world community because of their sheer numbers of citizens and the immense amount of influence that this yields, economically and socially. India is clearly the poorer of those two nations, although the article about the flooding and the refusal to take money demonstrates a strong sense of pride and determination to take care of its own problems and citizens without receiving help from other more wealthy nations. India’s economic advantages are the number of people and their potential to be employable both in the country and around the world, although as stated, their discriminatory attitudes threaten to interfere with the economic potential. China is already a tremendous influence and force in the economic community around the globe, and has a great deal of power and influence because of its significant presence in all things economic. Like India, however, this country has its problems with tolerance and diversity, and appears to be trying desperately to hold on to its traditional norms regarding who belongs in the nation, and who is to be labeled marginal and therefore reject it.
- Bajoria, J. (2018, September 8). The Indian activist jailed for being gay. Retrieved from BBC.co.uk: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-45444652
- Bal, H. (2018, August 10). Is India created its own Rohingyas? Retrieved from The New York Times.com: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/10/opinion/india-citizenship-assam-modi-rohingyas.html?rref=collection%2Ftimestopic%2FIndia&action=click&contentCollection=world®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=9&pgtype=collection
- Kuo, L. (2018, September 14). China claims Muslim detention camps are “education” centres. Retrieved from Guardian.com: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/14/china-claims-muslim-internment-camps-provide-professional-training
- Kuo, L. (2018b, September 13). Suspect in China car rampage that killed 11 wanted “revenge on society”. Retrieved from The Guardian.com: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/12/car-crashes-into-crowd-in-china-killing-nine-and-injuring-more-than-40
- Mou, Z., & May, T. (2018, September 14). At Dua Lipa concert, dancing fans are dragged out. Retrieved from the New York Times.com: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/14/world/asia/dua-lipa-china-shanghai.html?rref=collection%2Ftimestopic%2FChina&action=click&contentCollection=world®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=collection
- Venkataraman, A., Raj , S., & Abi-Habib, M. (2018, August 23). After worst Kerala floods in a century, Indian rejects foreign aid. Retrieved from The New York Times.com: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/23/world/asia/india-kerala-floods-aid-united-arab-emirates.html?rref=collection%2Ftimestopic%2FIndia&action=click&contentCollection=world®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=5&pgtype=collection