In a couple of days, Mamallapuram of Tamilnadu will hopefully enter into the books of history for the Summit between the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Chinese President Xi Jinping. We wish them the very best!
These two great leaders have all the energy, resources and potentials to place the world firmly on the path of peace and prosperity – by their vintage positions that only a few in the history had possessed. Welcome Modi! Welcome Jinping!
The meeting, as can only be expected, has already hit the headlines giving it the tag – ‘most important event’.
And without ever caring to get into the details of it, the political leaders of Tamilnadu, where the Summit is scheduled to be held, are unanimous in appreciating, praising and extolling the move to hold the meeting at Mamallapuram. They say it would enhance the prestige of the state.
This is how the ‘leaders’ of Tamilnadu carry forward the ‘pride’ of Tamils for the past 50 years or so. Somebody in no way related to TN would do something and these leaders would readily jump into the fray and lay claim on all the great things done and established by the greats of yesteryears. Does anyone of us ask them this simple question – ‘what is your part in being so happy about it?’
I do not think any other country and any other state or city would have lavished so much of praise for having ‘chosen’ a venue for the meeting in their region or locality. We have to tolerate all these dramas of these little men of vastly glorified dreams. We just can’t help it.
In the next few days, the summit and related developments would naturally gather much more momentum. So,if the ‘world attention’ is to be prime object of the leaders to meet, they will have it in plenty for sure. Why not?
Both are, as it stands now, undisputed leaders of their lands with none in sight to challenge their supremacy at home. Both Modi and Jinping are on a strong wicket in matters of political fortunes in their respective countries. They have consolidated their position so authoritatively that even their opponents have started back tracking more out of desperation than for anything like a deserving achievement.
The meeting may leave ‘turbulent waves’ or even shocks that may go beyond Asia – to America and far off, ‘unknown’ places. This ‘informal’ meeting has all the ingredients of a thriller to make America trembling; to keep Russia guessing and to drive England and Japan to a state of bewilderment. This is very much possible given the stature of these two leaders; given their penchant for ‘stealing the show’.
The working styles of both Modi and Jinping are almost similar – both being ruthlessly dominant and calculatingly rigid in their appearance and in their approach. Neither may give in yet both of them would emerge more pronouncing than ever before. Both are master manipulators. They are so good at it that they can literally snatch the cake from our hands, eat it and make us to thank them for being so kind and generous! Make no mistake – this is not a political statement but a real appreciation of their brutal skills.
Who will in that case ‘win’ when they meet? The answer is very simple. Neither will lose.
This common characteristic of playing their cards so smart as to outsmart the other could be the rallying point. It would not be a surprise if they resort to all sorts of gimmicks and dramas that only a ‘county’ politician would dare enact in public. International media, in that case, would have so much to be happy about completely forgetting the focal point, if there is to be anything as such, of any such high level summit between the leaders of two big nations.
I for one would not be surprised with any such pre-conceived game of playing to the gallery. This is not bad too since international relations in recent past have moved far beyond the closed door meetings and parleys, well drafted discussions and negotiations. In this aspect, the Indian Prime Minister is truly doing a great job in coping with the changing times and in effectively responding to the oscillating fortunes at the global arena.
International community has never considered China to be a favourite or a reliable trade partner. The credibility of China has never been so low and… it has never been high too. Transparency has never been a quality of China. Its political and economic moves are always susceptible and the world has never accepted the words of China in its entirety –as it is.
China, in particular Xi Jinping, does not seem to attach too much of importance to being consistent or being ethically strong when dealing with any issue of international significance. China has even the shed the long standing image of being a rigorous communist State and is ready to follow a more liberal path than America or India if it would suit and help their economic needs. On this front, Xi Jinping has never bothered to tread an altogether new path if it would mean good to China.
All said and done, nobody could take away the credit from Jinping for his sheer commitment to his nation and to his people. As we can see from outside, all that he does is – ‘For China; For the Chinese’ with no hidden personal agenda. This honesty is his strength that puts him firmly, as we said earlier, on a strong wicket to play the game as he wants to.
As recently as yesterday, China has taken a self-contradictory stand on the issue of Kashmir. It says that the issue is something purely bilateral between India and Pakistan – only to take a U-turn the very next day and declare that they should abide by the United Nations Charter. Of course, we need not take it so seriously as we are pretty sure that the Chinese President would not fumble a bit to vociferously support India when he is here tomorrow.
What is it then that makes the informal meet so important? Is there anything at all of significance in the agenda of the summit? Nobody knows.
What we can safely presume is that there might not be anything like an ‘ice-breaking’ moment. Yet, the top two leaders representing 1/3rd of the world population would declare the meet satisfactory and successful too – smiling at the newsmen and waving their hands at the photographers of International media.
If anything other than this were to happen, I would only be too happy to apologise. But thankfully, at the present political scenario across the globe, no leader of any nation is so inhuman as to drive any of us to apologise or to say sorry for anything that we guess or presume.
Will Mamallapuram be different?
Baskaran Krishnamurthy – Educationist, Columnist, proponent of Gandian philosophy, guide for competitive examinations