India Boycott Winter Olympics
Diplomatic relations are the game changers in almost every arena. Politics sometimes overpowers by working behind the doors. The diplomatic boycott of India from the Beijing Winter Olympics 2022 is the perfect instance to be stated here. Initially, Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics were postponed due to the draconian pandemic. On Wednesday, chaos spread in various nations when the three-day Olympic torch relay began.
The grounds for such havoc was one of the torch bearers Qi Fabao, a Chinese soldier who was wounded badly in the Galwan Valley combat. This Chinese soldier who was indulged in Galwan Valley skirmish is now represented by China as a bearer of symbolic flame.
Qi Fabao is recognized as a regimental commander of the People’s Liberation Army(PLA).
China’s Global Times headlines show that the torch was handed over to Qi Fabao by China’s four-time Olympic short-track speed skating champion Wang Meng at the Olympic Foreign Park. The symbolic torch is going to be fetched upon by three zones of China starting with Beijing and will be finished on reaching Zhangjiakou. Don’t forget the 2008 Summer Olympics when protestors stood up against China’s human rights abuses and policies in Tibet which eventually ended up in annulment of the event.
Is India participating in Winter Olympics?
India Boycott Winter Olympics The reasoning behind the Chinese move is considered regrettable by Indian diplomats. The official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, Arindam Bagchi gave his statement as,
“It is indeed regrettable that the Chinese side has chosen to politicize an event like the Olympics. The Charge d’ Affaires of the Embassy of India in Beijing won’t be attending the opening or the closing ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.”
Though India is sending an athlete for the event, their envoy won’t be attending opening or closing ceremonies of Beijing 2022 Olympics. Twitter handlers showered the bunch of tweets in favor of and against China. The group contributing editor of Network18, Aditya Raj Kaul also tweeted during this turmoil,
“After India decided to boycott opening and closing ceremony of #BeijingWinterOlympics where no Indian Diplomat will participate, now Indian National Broadcaster Doordarshan decides to boycott live telecast of opening and closing ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics.”
After the spokesperson’s statement, Chief of public broadcaster Prasar Bharti, CEO Vempati said that they will not telecast live the opening and closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympics 2022.
Unlike India, USA and Britain along with other protestors posed a varied ground of protest. The USA, UK, Australia along with Canada, Denmark, Estonia announced a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics though their athletes are going to participate in the same. However, officials won’t attend the event.
The rationale behind the United States’ move was to protest against human rights violations by Communist party regime. USA concluded by saying that,
“This was because of China’s human rights abuses and atrocities in Xinjiang against the province’s Muslim population. It’s shameful that Beijing chose a torchbearer for the Olympics 2022 who is the part of the military command that attacked India in 2020.”
Galwan Valley’s Skirmish Backdrop
Galwan valley is known to be an extremely inhospitable battlefield. This freezing battlefield witnessed too many clashes between the world’s two most populous countries, India and China. In June 2020, India confronted China again, leading to the escalation of the crisis when India lost its 20 soldiers. China suffered casualties too as per the revelation of losing four troops by China. China cleared the fact that this was the bloodiest combat between the two nations in over four decades. Ergo, the reports of a Chinese soldier involved in Galwan Valley combat, being a torchbearer in the Winter Olympics were meant to dig the past wounds.
However, the Galwan valley dispute is not the only contributing factor in this boycott. The torture of a boy hailing from Arunachal Pradesh by Chinese soldiers has become the fiery reason for protests. This Arunachal boy, Miram Taron (17) recently returned after going through PLA’s captivity. He was abducted by the PLA and is now reunited with his family. He was tortured brutally, got kicked several times by Chinese soldiers, and was given electric shocks too to him.
These two fierce situations kept the diplomatic relations on the edge of a knife. Hence, the situation hyped up after the torchbearer and Miram Taron, both issues were disclosed. Additionally, the symbolic representation by the Chinese to burn the Indian wounds has annoyed the diplomats.
Nonetheless, there cannot be uniformity in perspectives. Chinese media is working as a shield of the torch-bearing decision by furnishing the Fabao as a hero and a warrior. Former editor in chief of China’s Global Times, Hu Xijin tweeted,
“The decision to include soldiers was a call for border peace. Qi Fabao is a survivor of that bloody clash. He participated in the torch relay. What’s wrong with this? If you don’t have a righteous mind, everything you see is distorted.”
To look at the window from another perspective, in the 2012 London Summer games, a UK veteran from Afghanistan participated in the torch relay. That never rang up the bells of these diplomats. Are the intentions of the Chinese really not worth trusting, or is it just our distorted minds. Who knows?
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