Chinese missile deployment at Kailash-Manasarovar – Aravindan Neelakandan

Mount Kailas & Mansarovar Lake

Aravindan NeelakandanThe construction of a missile base in the holiest of the holy Kailash range of Hindu, Bon, Buddhist, and Jain religions is not just a military action but also a statement against the Dharma religions. This is exactly what every invader of expansionist monoculture has been doing to our sacred places for centuries. – Aravindan Neelakandan

The news of China deploying surface to air missiles in Kailash-Manasarovar should be deeply depressing to any Hindu of whatever sampradaya—but particularly to Hindus of the Shaivite tradition.

Nehru, in his double blindness resulting from his notions of political superiority of Maoism over Tibetan Buddhism and the racial superiority of Han Chinese, facilitated the Chinese take over of Tibet. Since then, for decades the Kailash-Manasarovar route was closed.

It was Atal Bihari Vajpayee who persistently worked on opening the path for Hindu pilgrimage. In 1979, during the Janata Party’s brief rule, Vajpayee as external affairs minister visited China and put forward a proposal for Indian pilgrims to visit Kailash and Manasarovar.

In a whispered story, it is said Vajpayee asked a friend, who happened to be a Shiva devotee, what he should bring for him from China. The friend asked for nothing but permission to do pilgrimage to Kailash-Manasarovar. The efforts of Vajpayee, whose mission itself was aborted when China made military aggression on Vietnam, would slowly give results.

From 1982 onward only small batches of pilgrims were allowed. The yatra became accessible to ordinary Hindus to a significant extent after June 1999.

Yet, for the double-blindness of Nehru, Hindu pilgrims who visit Kailash have to pay a jizya tax to a Maoist state.

It starts with a visa fee of Rs 2400 and US$ 801 to be paid to Chinese authorities in Tibet for lodging, meals, transportation, transporting luggage, etc. It should be noted that this is paid to Chinese authorities and not directly to Tibetans themselves.

Then Rs 3600 is paid to the authorities for porter service (both ways) and Rs 10,500 for pony services. Again all these are not paid to Tibetans but to Chinese authorities in Tibet.

To make a comparison, there are Christian holy places in Israel, a Jewish state. But Israel does not control the Christian holy places or forces the pilgrims to take porters or transportation services only from Jewish authorities. The Jewish state even protects the controversial Al Aqsa Mosque on a sacred Jewish site, persecuting non-Muslims who try to reclaim the site. The mosque is managed by a waqf board.

As against such civilised behaviour, the Maoist regime created a humiliating situation for Hindu pilgrims. No other religious people suffer such a humiliation in silence. And the world media which still nurtures colonial prejudices against Hindus with new labels has been happily silent on this denial of basic human decency to Hindu pilgrims to Kailash-Mansarovar.

Now, the deployment of the surface-to-air-missiles in this sacred mountain range should act as the last straw for Hindu patience and indifference. From humiliating the pilgrims, the Maoist state has gone to the point of desecrating the sacred mountains in an irreversible manner with the creation of missile launching bases. This is also a danger to Indian cities.

Hindus should now react to this destructive Maoist aggression strongly. They, along with Buddhists and Bon religionists should organise protest rallies with social distancing. In India itself there should be protest demonstrations, again with social distancing, in front of not only the Chinese embassy but also the informal Maoist franchise marketing agencies in the country namely Communist Party of India (Marxist) offices and its allied organisations.

The construction of a missile base in the holiest of the holy places of Vedic, Buddhist, Jain, and Tibetan Bon religions is not just a military action but also a statement against the natural religions—the last of which is the federation we call Hindu Dharma. This is exactly what every invader of expansionist monoculture has been doing to our sacred places, including our temples.

Hindus world over along with Buddhists should work to create international pressure that should free Kailash-Manasarovar of control by any nation state and give it to a governing Hindu-Buddhist body. If we start working on this now, then in another decade or so or even before that, the Kailash-Manasarovar region can be freed from the clutches of an inhuman, authoritarian state. – Swarajya, 2 September 2020

› Aravindan Neelakandan is an author, psychology and economics major, and contributing editor at Swarajya.

Kailash-Manasarovar Area Satellite Image