YEAR OF OLYMPICS: YEAR OF THE TROJAN RATS
February 7,2008, was the beginning of the Chinese New Year. The Chinese call the current year "the Year of the Rat".
2. As I was browsing through various blogs, chat rooms etc, I came across the following write-up: "Today begins the year of the Rat, whichnot only ushers in the celebrated Chinese New Year, but restarts the entire twelve-year cycle of the Chinese Zodiac. ....Being the animal thatkicks off the Zodiac cycle, the rat is associated with leadership and conquerors.....In life, rats are known for their suave personalities andcharm. But get them in competition, they become smart, controlling, aggressive and calculative. Get in their face and it's even worse. Ratscan get quick-tempered, aggressive and even dangerous to others."
3. There were many references to a new computer virus disseminated by Chinese hackers, which they had named "the Trojan Rat". Therewere also references to a football team called "the Trojan Rats."
4. There were also ominous (for the Chinese, if they had seen them) references to the Trojan Rats, which would keep the Chinese foxed andbusy throughout the year of the Olympics. Many were planning to let loose Trojan Rats all over China as the Beijing Olympics approachedand during the Olympics.
5. The highly intelligent, Internet-savvy Tibetan youth, the bin Laden-admiring Uighurs, the Falun Gong, the disgruntled youth of China, thepro-democracy activists of Hong Kong, the many anti-China groups in the US----- they were all planning for their own Year of the Trojan Rat.
6.Each had strong reasons for anger against the Chinese. Each was determined to give vent to his or her anger in this year of the Olympics.Each was determined to make this go down in history as the Year of the Trojan Rats.
7. What the Chinese saw in Tibet and Sichuan was only the beginning. The Mullas and students of the Lal Masjid of Islamabad are planningtheir next attack on the Chinese when the Olympic flame passes through Islamabad on April 16, followed by an uprising by the UighurMuslims of Xinjiang.
8. The Falun Gong---inside China and outside--- have their own plans. They know that the business companies of the West would never allowthe Games to be boycotted by their countries. They have invested so much not only in the Chinese economy, but also in the Games itself assponsors.Coca Cola and Pepsi are looking forward to sales of their drinks, which would beat their previous records. They are not going toallow any official boycott of the Games.
9. So, the Falun Gong have been contacting individual athletes---- particularly in the developing countries---- to persuade them to refuse tojoin their national teams. Their campaign against the Games is already showing some signs of success in Africa.
10. Till now, no Western athlete is prepared to join the boycott. So, they are appealing to them to do other things----such as wearing T-shirtswith the pics of the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama (the genuine one, not the bogus one created by the Chinese), to shout slogansagainst the violation of human rights in China during the opening and closing ceremonies, to distribute copies of the Holy Bible to thepeople, distribute pics of the Dalai and Panchen Lamas etc.
11. The members of the Falun Gong and the Tibetan and Uighur students studying in Beijing are planning their own protest. The Chinese areworried that Osama bin Laden might be having his own plans for Jihadi Trojan Rats, but nobody knows about them.
12. In the Year of the Olympics, the entire world focus is on China. The Chinese cannot adopt the same methods of suppression as theynormally do. They have to suppress without seeming to be doing so.
13. The Chinese are worried not only over what could happen before and during the Olympics. They are also worried as to what couldhappen thereafter. Will the Olympics set in motion the weakening of the control of the Chinese Communist Party over the people?
14. A Chinese friend of mine recently remarked that often he wondered whether it was wise on their part to have bid for the Olympics.
15. They thought the Olympics would bring them glory. They did not realise that it could also bring the Trojan Rats. (19-3-08)
(The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat. Govt. of India, New Delhi and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies,Chennai. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org )