The list of countries whose representatives will miss the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony on Friday is a veritable who’s who of the illiberal world.
India should not join that list, if only in the memory of its own great writers who withstood tyranny to protect the freedom to write, the most precious freedom there can be for man.
There are some doubts on this count. India is said to be wavering in view of Chinese “sensibilities”. When was the last time China reciprocated Indian sensibilities? Our minister for external affairs, S.M. Krishna, has to repeatedly request Chinese authorities to be “sensitive” towards Indian concerns; yet, the former continues with its insouciant behaviour.
Realism demands that we keep our relations with Beijing on an even keel. But if all principles are to be sacrificed at the altar of realism, a day will come when we realize that there would be nothing left to fight for.