Friday, December 14, 2007

Chinese Visa to an Arunachalee-Was it a History in making or a case of hogging the Limelight?

It was on 25th November, 2007. A history was in the making-a history of getting Chinese Visa by an Arunachalee. The applicant was frantically waiting for his visa to be cleared with his finger's crossed, whether his visa would be cleared or not-he being an Arunachalee, at a Coffee Shop of Samrat Hotel and at the eleventh hour his visa got cleared by the Chinese Embassy, finally after initial hesitation. He rushed to the IGI airport with loose visa sheet attached to his passport (no. 1503076) and boarded the fight to China amidst raised eyebrows from officials at airport on how on earth an Arunachalee got visa to China. So they say history was created. Well, that's how the media portrayed it.

The news about this China visit by an Arunachalee was broke by the Head of the Department of the Institution where this Arunachalee worked as a lecturer and all the hell broke loose.

The Vice Chancellor of the University, accused the lecturer of using fraudulent means to get his visa to China, thereby maligning the name of the institution, the state whom he represented and the country as a whole and promised a disciplinary action against him when he returned and issued a memo to HoD for issuing a press release without his knowledge and without University's consent.

But in a dramatic move, all of a sudden, VC Prof. K.C. Belliappa made a 'U' turn and retracted his earlier statement saying that the 'actual factual fact' to obtain the visa to China by his colleague has been ascertained and that he (Marpe Sora) didn't gave false affidavit while applying for the visa.

"I have now ascertained the actual factual facts with the return of Sora to the campus. In the affidavit, Sora has testified that he is an Arunachalee by birth and that he is teaching in Rajiv Gandhi University, Prof. Belliappa said.

The address at Guwahati mentioned in the affidavit is where Sora's brother-in-law lives. Sora was a resident in that house while he was pursuing his M. Tech course in Tezpur University, Assam. Hence, all the three statement made by Sora in the affidavit are factually correct and there is no iota of falsehood in the affidavit."


Now, one wonders, why Prof. Beliappa made this sudden 'U' turn in his statement after vouching to take stern disciplinary action for using fraudulent means in his earlier statement? Being a VC of premier institute, shouldn't he have verified the fact prior to issuing any press statement instead of retracting later? Or was it the case of 'why should I be left behind when others (read HoD) are hogging the limelight of this historical event'? Or was it that New Delhi had asked the VC to do so i.e., to retract his statement (VC stated that he was getting lot's of phone calls in the wake of his statement in the press about the 'false affidavit')? But then, why would New Delhi like to do so? Hmm..sounds rational.

If the VC retracted his statement at the behest of New Delhi, the only sensible reasoning that I can arrive at is-in order to reassure that New Delhi is keen to solve the Boundary problem and they have made significant achievement through diplomatic talks, to the people of Arunachal, which has, off late become quite vocal about the Indian government's stand on Arunachal vis-à-vis Indo-China boundary row over Arunachal, the statement of VC had to be changed, who was hell bent on proving (stated that he had documentary proof) that Marpe Sora got visa not as an Arunachalee but as a resident of Assam, in which case all the hailing of positive shift in Chinese diplomacy towards the vexed boundary dispute would all  go down the drain.

Now that VC has corroborated the 'factual facts' (at whose behest or for whatever reasons) and stated that Marpe Sora had clearly stated that he was an Arunachalee by birth in his affidavit, should we say history was made by Marpe Sora becoming first Arunachalee to visit China on Chinese visa? No, if we go by the claims pouring in. In a Letter to the Editor that appeared in The Arunachal Times dated December 12, one Vishal P Nabam has claimed to have visited China on 90 days visa from Chinese Embassy, New Delhi during the month of October 2006 and that he knows several other Arunachalees who have visited China before him and that all the media hailing Marpe Sora as the first Arunachalee to visit China is 'absurd and misguiding'.

"I would like to make a statement before your esteemed readers and the people of Arunachal Pradesh that I do not accept at all that Marpe Sora is the first Arunachal born citizen to obtain visa to visit China because I had visited China in October, 2006 by duly obtaining a 90 days visa from the Chinese Embassy, New Delhi. I reached Beijing on October 4, 2006 and stayed at Jillin, Changchun province, China for 7 days. I climbed the Great Wall of China on October 11, 2006 and obtained the Hero Card. I have seen Mao Testung Square, World Trade Center (WTC) and many other historical places.

I am not giving a counter claim that I am the first one to visit China but I would like to simply tell that I know that there are many Arunachalees who had visited China before me."
-Vishal P Nabam



I was wondering, why now? Why he didn't come out with this information earlier? Was it that he couldn't take the media attention that a fellow Arunachalee was getting for being the first Arunachalee to visit China and that he needed to share the limelight?

Whether History was set or not, whether all the media statements and claims made for hogging the limelight or not- but this entire event has made one thing clear that an Arunachalee like any other Indians are granted visa to visit China until and unless he/she is on an Indian Government Sponsored Programme.

Related Reading:
Chinese Visa to an Arunachalee-A Positive Diplomatic stance or a Slip Up?

8 comments:

  • Buru

    This new round of official-sponsored lying is making the GOI look even worse than before. Some points:

    Marpe Sora was made to state that he is a permanent resident of Assam in his passport:
    He was not.
    His in-laws may/may not reside in Guwahati is beside the point.

    1.How can a person studying in Tezpur University commute to and from Guwahati daily? Via helicopter?
    2.At the time of applying for passport, he was already working as a permanent employee of RGU for 2 years.So how come he gave residency add in Assam?

    3.Prior to RGU, he was initially educated and then employed temporarily in South India. Prior to that he did schooling in Itanagar Govt HSS.So how come he became an Assam resident?

    4.Different states vary in requirement for giving PR status--most require 7-10 years of unbroken stay, as public servants/settled traders etc but definitely not to students even if they fulfill duration criteria.
    ***
    [Quote]an Arunachalee like any other Indians are granted visa to visit China until and unless he/she is on an Indian Government Sponsored Programme[Unquote]

    I tend to agree with you on this one.I have also heard that an Arunachalee has recently joined MBBS course in a Chinese private Medical school(bad decision--Chinese medical degrees not recognised by MCI)!
    Even if you are on an official tour whose visa got refused on Indian soil there is a bypass--when TL Rajkumar was denied visa by the Chinese embassy in Delhi in 1983 I heard he just flew to Hongkong and got a visa to China there! Many other ministers are said to have taken this route.
    The Chinese are refusing visas in official delegates to make a point.They seem to give it provided its a private visit/low-key person.

  • EmoreL

    I couldn't get the vibe that was intended by this china visit by an arunachali, thats getting so much media attention in AP.
    To me it just seemed a fair enough way to do things , and why are people so worried about his fake affidavits? This event, atleast in AP's context seems to me a lesser cheating practice, compared to other issue that we are simply frustrated but silent, about.

    Claim... by another arunachali about this visit is worth acknowleding. we are just not happy about each other and we wont let the others be happy too...atleast, the major part of this event says so.
    :(

  • Buru

    emorel(anagram of Rome Mele;)

    I think you are looking at the smaller picture of what he did or what he did not.What we are bothered about is the larger implications of that action----i.e. the Indian Govt has by making him file a false affidavit has not only made him do a criminal offence(small picture), but has accepted that it has no wherewithal to make an Arunachalee get his fundamental right as an Indian(larger picture).In addition we may have to file our own addresses in future as being in Assam if the trend continues.
    It has taken the easy way out--cheating. I do not for a moment believe that Mr Sora did the false-affidavit thing of his own volition--his brother is serving in the Civil Services no less so he knows the consequence of a passport offence.

  • EmoreL

    Ya.. Buru, this certainly has bigger implementation.
    I just aired what i didn't like about, bringing in someone's name, when the problem concerned is about the Chinese unrelented claim over AP and their denial mode. This is something that could be discussed without bringing in a person's name.
    Should we be glad to Mr.Sora now ? Since we have a thing to say about the Chinese claim and their continued stand on this imbroglio ?
    This certainly should have been solved long ago. What Sora did , I think was humane... and he had no criminal or any other intention that would harm community people's interest as a whole.
    The whole episode just seems to me like , making him a bait now to leverage on this besotted issue.

    So, Should these whole thing have implied, No Arunachali should have ever visited China till this loophole in the visa process was solved ... Ok.. then for how many years, until some another Sora would have tried the same.

    Well, this is deviating, i Know.
    Just I feel sad about Mr.Sora, the way he is being labelled in Medias.

  • Buru

    emorel,

    I think we both concur: that Mr Sora has been made a scapegoat by the Government for its own inability.
    I really symphatise with him for being used(and then thrown) like a tissue paper.

  • Mike

    Nice blog !!!!! .I am interest to post comment in this blog about my china trip last year .me and my family member enjoyed lot . Hukou Waterfalls (Kettle Spout Falls) is very beautiful waterfall in china .
    The Yellow River is the mother river of the Chinese nation. In its basin, there is a tourist attraction that visitors should not miss. That is Hukou Waterfalls, a glistening pearl in the middle reaches of the Yellow River. It is located in Yichuan County in Yan'an City, Shaanxi Province. It is the only magnificent yellow waterfall in the world and the second biggest waterfall in China after Huangguoshu Waterfall .
    When the mighty Yellow River flows through mountains and gorges to Hukou, the billowy water streams narrow suddenly, falling 30 meters (33 yards) into a deep riverbed like a herd of galloping horses, transforming the quiet river into a turbulent one. The thundering sound can be heard from quite a distance. The tremendous mass of water strikes the rocks, creating piles of foam and huge water poles. It is an amazing view with mist all around. The riverbed here is like an enormous teapot absorbing all the rushing water, so the waterfall is named Hukou Waterfalls (Kettle Spout Falls). No matter its rumbling sound, its grand vigor or its marvelous scenery can make you exclaim that the nature is really incredible.
    The power of the yellow water of Hukou Waterfalls is tremendous when falling down to the pond, so it is hard for you to get close to the main waterfall. Looking from a distance, you still can enjoy the vast and gorgeous yellow ocean of mist-covered water. The big waves and foam, like angry beasts, are running and roaring. The beauty and vigor of the waterfalls are indeed beyond words. You cannot know unless you visit it in person.
    There are many wonders at Hukou Waterfalls, such as smoke from the river, boats on land, rainbows in the sunshine, and so on. In Hukou the water falls to the deep pond from a relatively high place, stirring the mist which rises high into the air like surging heavy smoke coming out of the river. You can see various shapes of rainbows formed by the rising mist, refracted by the sunshine from different angles. Sometimes rainbows are arched, cutting into the river from the sky like a dragon playing with water; sometimes they are colored ribbons lying across the river; sometimes they become colorful masses which change second by second. The water in Hukou is very much torrential, so all the boats from the upper reaches must be pulled out of the river onto to the bank when they arrive. These boats will have to detour around this section, carried by a group of boatmen or shipped by truck before they can be put in the river again.
    The view of Hukou Waterfalls changes according to the seasons. In spring the frozen ground thaws and the stalactites of snow fall into the pond like the mountains collapsing and the earth cracking up. In summer and autumn there is much rainfall. With the rains, the river rushes and the yellow waves seem to reach the sky. In winter Hukou Waterfalls gives the visitors another new look. On the surface of the silvery ice waterfalls, cool water flows down. Little silver icicles hang on the cliffs around the waterfalls. It presents you a distinctive natural landscape of the northern region of China.
    The Hukou Waterfalls has for years attracted visitors from all over the world. You can have a better understanding of natural wonder if you come here in person. The Hukou Waterfalls will give you a warm welcome with its thrilling sound, rolling golden waves, changing scenery and majestic vigor.
    Transportation: You can take number 4, 6, 16, or 19 bus to the bus station in Yanan City and then taking the regular buses to Hukou Waterfalls. The buses to Hukou Waterfalls will be delivered every 30 minutes and the whole journey will take you about four hours.

  • Mike

    nice blog !!!!!!!!
    last year i went to china tour in that i like : Zhao Mausoleum (Zhao Ling)
    about : Zhao Mausoleum (Zhao Ling)
    Zhaoling is the mausoleum of Li Shimin, Emperor Taizong of Tang Dynasty (618-907); he was one of the most brilliant rulers in Chinese history. Located in Jiuzong Mountain, 83 kilometers (51.5miles) from downtown Xian, Shaanxi, Zhaoling is the largest among the 18 mausoleums of the Tang Dynasty. It is also the largest royal mausoleum in the world.
    Covering an area of 87.5 square miles, Zhaoling has 190 satellite tombs that have been verified with 37 which have been excavated. Th owners of the satellite tombs include famous ministers, royal families and high officials. All five forms of satellite burials in history have been represented here thereby justifying Zhaoling as the most typical imperial mausoleum in China. The configuration of Emperor Taizong's tomb as it overlooks the satellite ones symbolizes the utmost authority of the emperor.
    The style of Zhaoling as it is set against the mountain is a miniature of the renovation in Tang Dynasty. Record has it that before her death, Empress Wende told Emperor Taizong that her burial site should be placed against a mountain so that there would be no need to build a tomb. After her burial, the Emperor wrote on the tombstone that an emperor regarded the whole world as his family. Why be bound to a mausoleum? In the mausoleum against Jiuzong Mountain, there was no gold or jade or anything precious except for some earthen and wooden wares. These were placed here to pacify thieves; their existence or loss was not important. From the excavated parts of the mausoleum, we could now say that the whole project was lavish instead of thrifty. Therefore, in setting the tomb against the mountain they protected it from theft rather than the initial propose as requested by the empress.
    The construction of the mausoleum lasted 107 years beginning with burial of Empress Wende in 636 until completion in 741. Rich cultural relics were left on the ground and underground. Zhaoling as a witness to the development from the beginning of Tang to its eventual prosperity. It is also a valuable treasury to help us know the culture, politics and economy of the Chinese feudal society; kept in Zhaoling are large quantities of calligraphy, sculpture and painting works. The epitaphs written by reputed calligraphers in Zhaoling can be said to be the norm of calligraphy in the beginning of Tang Dynasty. Murals in Zhaoling are a portraiture of the real life in Tang Dynasty with a romantic touch. Glazed pottery figures are daintily designed with bright colors.

  • ~X~

    Great Post ! Rock On !

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