New Delhi, Mar 30: Former Defence Minister George Fernandes has said that India has sold out to China on the Tibet issue as it was scared of its ''big bully'' neighbour. In strong support for the Tibetan cause and severe criticism of Beijing as well as the Indian government's response to events in Tibet, he said China was a threat to the whole world.
Recalling the comment he made ten years ago, Mr Fernandes said China was "still potential threat number one" and could become an "enemy". The former Defence Minister said India was being bullied by China. ''Absolutely and it (India) accepts it. India is scared of China,'' he added. Asked why he thought India was so easily bullied by China, Mr Fernandes said the 1962 war was to blame and there was fear.
''I have the feeling that what happened in 1962 is still affecting the people's mind and they can't get out of it.'' ''Yes, that's what it is,'' Mr Fernandes said when asked if this was fear. He replied in the affirmative when asked if India was scared to stand up because of being scared of getting beaten in another war by the Chinese.
Mr Fernandes also accused the Government of India of having "surrendered" by permitting the Indian Ambassador in Beijing to be summoned by the Chinese Foreign Office at 0200 hrs. "Well, our Government allowed it. It has no shame." Asked if New Delhi should have told the Ambassador in Beijing not to go at 0200 hrs and wait till next day, the former Defence Minister said: ''Yes, that's what it should have done. Elsewhere, that's what would have happened. Our Government having (once) surrendered, surrenders everywhere.'' On being asked if India should be proud of or embarrassed by Chinese praise for the way the country has handled Tibetan protests, he termed it ''a disgrace and an insult''.
''It's a disgrace that China should say that India has done well. It's an insult to India. It's a disgrace, I said.'' Mr Fernandes replied in affirmative when asked if this was surrender to China.
He was also critical about reports that a meeting between Vice President Hamid Ansari and the Dalai Lama, arranged two months earlier, was cancelled because it would have taken place in the present circumstances. ''This should not have happened and it shows that India has sold out.'' Mr Fernandes said India's response expressing ''distress'' about events in Tibet was inadequate.
"India should have shown more courage,'" the former Defence Minister said in an interview on News Channel. He replied in the affirmative when asked if this was a shameful response from India.