Of History and Responsibility
---Remarks of CG Tang Guocai at the book launch of “The Deoliwallahs”

We all know that Mumbai, India and China are now in a joint fight against Covid-19. I decide to join your event, because this part of history is very important for better understanding between our two countries. I want to share the following three points.

Firstly, make peace with history. History has already gone away, but it is so complicated that we need take time to understand, acknowledge and transcend it. From an expanded perspective of history, India suffered from colonialism for over 200 years, and China suffered from semi-colonialism for over 100 years, leaving deep scars on Chinese and Indian people. The hangover from colonialism is the main cause of many misunderstandings between China and India, such as the McMahon Line, border issues, Chinese Tibet, Hong Kong, etc. Therefore, looking back at the 1962 history against the backdrop of our over 70 years of republic history is not enough. Perhaps true independence of mind takes longer time.

Secondly, gain wisdom from history. Human sufferings and compassion are the driving engines for humanity and civilization. It makes peoples wiser and nations stronger. This book is another good example. The sufferings and resilience conveyed by the Chinese Indians as well as support, empathy expressed by the audiences here are so inspiring. It showcases ongoing social justice and progress. I highly commend the efforts and courage to tell and share these sufferings, instead of confined themselves in fear or resentment. Past experience, if not forgotten, is a guide for the future. Frank communication for different ethics and different nations contributes to mutual understanding and cooperation. As the current global pandemic reminds us, we live in a global village, which shall be a community of shared future for all.

Thirdly, follow the great trend of history. This book touches upon a special part of China-India story, just like the tip of an iceberg. From a greater perspective of history, both China and India share a long and great history of exchanges that goes back thousands of years. With 1/3 of world populations, China and India are the only two living human civilizations. Our cultures are surely mainstreams of history, like the widest and deepest ocean in the world. Naturally, we have special responsibilities for humanity. At the critical moment in fighting against Covid-19, we must unite together, and share our knowledge, resource and courage. Only by doing so can we live up to the expectations of our thousands years of glorious history.

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