East Turkestan ( Xinjiang ) is rich in oil and minerals. Her boundary touches India, Pakistan and Cental Asian Islamic Republics. Because of her strategic geographical situation and because of being a mineral rich region, China always wanted to control this Islamic nation, though culturally both are poles apart. Han Chinese majority is very different from the minority Uighur Muslims of Turkish origin. But China annexed the region and imposed her monolithic Han culture on them. Uighur Muslims can’t go freely to mosques, they can’t offer mandatory five prayers a day, they can’t fast during holy month of Ramzan. And yet as per Chinese government, this province along with Tibet, is an autonomous region. Wow, what an autonomy!!!
The trouble started when two Uighur Muslims workers were killed in Guangdong by Han Chinese workers. This may be the immediate provocation for the uprising in volatile East Turkestan ( Xinjiang ), but anger against Han Chinese was simmering since decades. China controls all her autonomous regions tightly. This time also after riots, Twitter is blocked, mobile and internet services have been cut off and only official verson is allowed on the state control T.V. China blames western powers for the unrest, blissfully forgetting that her policy of allowing Han Chinese to settle in the occupied provinces and thus changing the demographic nature of that particular region permanently, is the root cause of this pent up anger.
Like Dalai Lama in Tibet, China has found a scapegoat in East Turkestan also. She is 56 years old and exiled Rebiya Kadeer, head of ” World Uighur Congress “. As per official Chinese version, W.U.C. is a seperatist force aided and helped by western forces. According to them apart from ” World Uighur Congress “, there are two other groups inciting violence. They are “East Turkestan Islamic Movement” and “Turkestan Islamic Movement”.
Chinese government is blaming everyone for the unrest. They say that E.T.I.M. and T.I.M. are terrorist organizations and are affiliated to Al Qaeda. Who knows the truth. May be they are, may be they are not. China lectures us on Kashmir. They always support Pakistani version. They forget that we hold regular free and fair elections in Kashmir. We don’t impose monolithic Hindu culture on them. We have article 370 of the constitution to safeguard their ethnic peculiarities and regional aspirations.
It is high time. China should stop playing with fire. Memory of one unarmed man, known as TANK MAN, standing in front of tanks during TIANANMEN square massacre of June 1989, is still fresh in the memory of general public. Now again an unarmed and aged Uighur woman on crutches, standing in front of the posse of paramilitary forces in Urumqi, is too poignant to be forgotten. These are the symbolic protests by two unarmed human beings, standing in front of the might of a nation, that to as brutal as China, is too important a lesson to be forgotten.
In October 2009, China is planning to celebrate 60th anniversary of the Communist rule. Who knows, what is in store for her on that occasion? May be like Russia, another monolithic communist country, China is waiting for implosion. If two unarmed individuals can stand up fearlessly, what will happen if the whole populace will rise in protest?