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Wednesday Seminar | The Fractured Himalaya: India Tibet China 1949 to 1962 | 27th April @ 3:00 PM IST | Zoom Webinar

27 Apr 2022
Nirupama Rao
Venue: Zoom Webinar
Time: 3:00 PM

Nirupama Rao’s book ‘The Fractured Himalaya: India Tibet China 1949 to 1962’ (Penguin Random House India, 2021) is a history of the diplomacy between India and China during a crucial period of their early nationhood. This year, 2022, we mark sixty years after the momentous events of 1962 that culminated in the brief, but bitter, conflict between India and China, fought in the high Himalaya, across terrain that is the most forbidding in the world. Public memory of the war is hazy and often , incomplete, shot through with numerous stereotypes and insufficient ‘capture’ of what happened in that eventful year. A new generation of Indians, particularly millennials, have had no exposure to what happened in 1962. Given the current state of India’s relations with China, and all the attendant complications in that relationship, telling the story of the years between 1949 and 1962 in India-China ties is of relevance to the understanding of the disputes between these two nations. A more in-depth understanding of the Tibet factor in the complex relationship is also relevant to the study of diplomacy between India and China. Drawing from her deeply researched book which delves into primary archival resources, Ambassador Rao will discuss the complex nature of the history she presents.

 

About the Speaker

Nirupama Rao is a former Indian Foreign Service officer. She retired as Foreign Secretary to the Government of India, the senior most position in the Foreign Service, being the second woman to occupy the post (2009-2011). She was the first woman spokesperson (2001-02) of the Indian foreign office. She served as India's first woman High Commissioner (Ambassador) to Sri Lanka (2004-2006) and to the People Republic of China (2006-2009). She was Ambassador of India to the United States from 2011 to 2013. In retirement she has taught at various universities, including Brown University, Columbia University, etc.

 

About the Discussant

Ananth Krishnan is the China correspondent for The Hindu. In 2019, he was a Visiting Fellow at Brookings India. He was previously the Beijing-based Associate Editor at the India Today Group until August 2018. He has lived in Beijing since 2009, earlier reporting for The Hindu. His reporting in China has taken him to all but three of China’s 33 provinces and regions. His interests include India-China relations as well as Tibet, Xinjiang and ethnic minorities in China. Before moving to China, Ananth was based at The Hindu’s headquarters in Chennai. He has authored a book titled, India’s China Challenge (HarperCollins, 2020).

 

About the Chair

Ashok K. Kantha has been the Director of the Institute of Chinese Studies since 2017. A career diplomat, Kantha was Ambassador of India to China until January 2016. Prior to this, he was Secretary (East) at the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi, with responsibility for about 65 countries in India’s extended neighbourhood. His previous assignments include High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka and Malaysia, Consul General in Hong Kong, Deputy Chief of Mission in Kathmandu (Nepal), and Joint Secretary (East Asia) in the Ministry of External Affairs. Earlier, Kantha served in different capacities at Indian Missions in Singapore, China and the USA, and at headquarters in New Delhi. In his diplomatic career spanning over 38 years, Kantha specialized in Asian affairs, with a particular focus on China.

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MEDIA

  • Nirupama Rao’s book ‘The Fractured Himalaya: India Tibet China 1949 to 1962’ (Penguin Random House India, 2021) is a history of the diplomacy between India and China during a crucial period of their early nationhood.

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