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China and India, fighting the same battle

January 10, 2013

The frigid weather hovering over Delhi and Beijing might just be an extension of the sentiment between her people and their governments. Cold gusts of wind tell tales of people protesting against lax laws and the inability of the government to react in time to protect her people – one of their fundamental duties.

While Beijing shivers under a mass media protest against curbing government propaganda, New Delhi is huddling under the covers, her government trying to get justice for women in a society that doesn’t allow her to walk freely after dark. 2013, it seems will be a year when both China and India will need to check their domestic social indicators, keep the calm at home and maintain stability amongst her people and governments.

In China, hundreds of journalists have taken to the streets protesting against being the governments mouth piece. Summoning similarities between the heady days of student protest at Tiananmen Square in 1989,  people fueled by journalists ire have taken to the streets protesting the watering-down of a feisty New Year’s message that a local newspaper, Southern Weekend, was preparing to run in its latest edition. It would have urged the Communist Party to uphold the Chinese constitution and the freedoms it purportedly guarantees. Chinese journalists have accused censors of modifying the message to make it more like praise of the party. Swept up by the rage, protests have spread Northward, and taken a global que thanks to the internet. Further supported by international media that believes in the freedom of the press to even criticize the party in power, China’s recently elected President Xi Jinping has been cornered into a tight spot. Just when Chinese media were gradually inching their way towards increased freedom of expression, they have been clamped down by the bamboo curtain.

Fighting for freedom on the other side of the Himalayas  Indian women have come down hard on the state of apathy towards treatment of women. Said to uphold half the sky in their largest neighbor  Indian women are treated with disregard, disrespect and often just seen as objects of pleasure. The fairer sex, has been fighting a vociferous battle in India’s capital to get the government to listen to her pleas, to gain an equal footing on the streets, at home and in the workplace. Fueled by the mass rape and subsequent murder of a 23-year old physiotherapy student on a public bus by six men, the treatment meted out to Indian women, the mentality of Indian men, educational and religious values are all being questioned. A 5000 year old country is still trying to find a rightful place for half its population, one who they often idolize, worship and seek for solace.

Both incidents in China and India, call for a strengthening of social justice. As both our nations develop, our people are increasingly being stretched between two starkly unequal poles. The diabolical asymmetry is definitely a source of discontent and disconnect between her people and governments often leading to clashes on various fronts. We might be fighting different battles, but the root of unhappiness is the same, it needs to be seen which government, which political system is better at dealing and resolving the issues of her people. The test isn’t for which economic system works better, our real test is for which of our people are ultimately happier.

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