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Ho Chi Minh: The Architect of Viet Nam - India Friendship (Part 1)

21/12/2015


Ho Chi Minh: The Architect of Viet Nam - India Friendship (Part 1)

Obviously, Nguyen Ai Quoc’s warm feelings towards Indian people were born from very early. That sentiment derived from the insight, empathy and sharing with the fate of people who lost their homeland; with life of slaves, who suffered pain and humiliation under the foreign rule. Simultaneously, through his posts, we see lofty humanitarian ideals of Ho Chi Minh in love for classes, love for people, and his resolute stance to support national liberation struggle of oppressed colonial people - for freedom and happiness of the strata, for the sovereignty of every nation. They could be primary bricks that Ho Chi Minh founded, building up beautiful friendship between Vietnamese people and Indian people.


Ho Chi Minh: The Architect of Viet Nam - India Friendship

Assoc. Prof. PhD. Tran Minh Truong
Director of Department of Personnel & Organization, HCMA

In 1921, Nguyen Ai Quoc published his first article about India, “Revolutionary Movement in India” [1] (in La Revue Communiste of August and September 1921, No. 18-19). The first of Nguyen Ai Quoc’s writings about India was an evidence of his profound perceptions for the country, people, traditions, and culture of India - cradle of the Ganges civilization, a famous antique civilization. He applauded increasingly indomitable patriotism, expressing the solidarity and determination to win national independence of Indian people. He had affirmed a foreseeable collapse of the British Rule in India, for their brutal policies, even though this colonial empire schemed to partner with outside powerhouses to dominate India. Nguyen Ai Quoc wrote, “The British Empire could not contrive to such Indian waves... They could anyway console themselves, when their leaving time in India is coming, by proclaiming that they were brutally leading to the fall of evil French colonialists in Indochine.” [2]

Beside his studies on revolution movements in India as well as other countries to survey revolutionary struggles of colonies and dependent countries, Nguyen Ai Quoc instrumentally founded the Intercolonial Union (L’Union Intercoloniale) in July 1921, Paris. The name Le Paria (The Pariah) of the weekly paper of the Intercolonial Union expressed his empathy and deep understanding of caste discrimination in the society to Indian outcasts. Paria refers to those who have the lowest caste in Indian society (Sudra). It is the ultimate painful rank of three types of miserable and humiliating people, the destiny of slaves.

 Afterward, the great leader Nguyen Ai Quoc wrote many articles on India such as English ‘Colonization’ (in La Vie Ouvriere, 9 November 1923); Letter from India (March 1928); Workers' Movement in India (April 1928); Indian Peasants (April 1928); Peasant and Workers Movements in India (May 1928)... Through events, with figures on the number of movements, number of Indian workers and peasants participating in the struggle against the atrocious oppression and exploitation of British colonialists, the content of Nguyen Ai Quoc’s articles expressed sympathy and deep concern for the patriotic movement, the Freedom Struggle of the people of India. It was “A sign of the times,” [3] Nguyen Ai Quoc said. It was a sign of the times of the rising up of colonial nations to fight for self-determination right, for independence and freedom. Ho Chi Minh agreed and supported to the notion of doctor Bidan to urge Indian people to unite to fight for their fate. Ho Chi Minh wrote, "O the children of India! Please stand up and unite! Homeland needs all you people!" [4]

Obviously, Nguyen Ai Quoc’s warm feelings towards Indian people were born from very early. That sentiment derived from the insight, empathy and sharing with the fate of people who lost their homeland; with life of slaves, who suffered pain and humiliation under the foreign rule. Simultaneously, through his posts, we see lofty humanitarian ideals of Ho Chi Minh in love for classes, love for people, and his resolute stance to support national liberation struggle of oppressed colonial people - for freedom and happiness of the strata, for the sovereignty of every nation. They could be primary bricks that Ho Chi Minh founded, building up beautiful friendship between Vietnamese people and Indian people.

Ho Chi Minh’s warm feelings and shares with the people and the country of India is also reflected by Ho Chi Minh’s interest for revolutionaries of India, typically Jawaharlal Nehru [5]. While being imprisoned by Kuomintang forces of Chiang Kai-shek, suffering custody, Ho Chi Minh still paid attention to tracking the patriotic struggle of the Indian. Knowing the patriot J. Nehru was under arrest in British colonial jail, Ho Chi Minh wrote a poem in Han, from prison in Guangxi, on Jawaharlal Nehru. "To Nehru" - a poem that Ho Chi Minh wrote on Nehru in his "Prison Diary" in 1942-1943:

To Nehru

I am struggling, you are active

You are in Jail, I am in prison

Ten thousand miles apart, we have not met

We communicate without words.

 

Shared ideas link you and me

What we lack is personal encounter

I am jailed by a neighbouring friend

You are chained and fettered by the enemy.[6]

The poem expresses sympathy, shared view, encouragement to patriots and revolutionary activists for the country, who now share status in prison. It was from that empathy, Prime Minister of the Republic India Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru accepted the invitation from President Ho Chi Minh, became the first national leader in the world to officially visit the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam, soon after peace was restored in the North Viet Nam (October 1954) and the Viet Nam Government has just taken over the capital.

As heart-to-heart friends, said President Ho Chi Minh during a state banquet for the Indian Prime Minister J. Nehru, “Today, the people and the Government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam are happy to welcome Prime Minister Pandit Nehru, the beloved leader of the great India, a soldier who commits to peace in Asia and the world, our Vietnamese’ unshakeable good friend” [7]. After the official visit of Prime Minister J. Nehru, the first pages of the history of beautiful Vietnam - India friendship opened.

In the late fifties, the Southern revolution was being under oppression and fierce persecution of US forces and Army of Republic of Vietnam. At the invitation of the Government of India, His Excellency Ho Chi Minh, President of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, conducted an official visit in 2 May 1958 to the Republic of India and Burma, met the sentiment of Indian Prime Minister J. Nehru. The state visit would further strengthen these friendly relations and at the same time contribute to the continual solidarity among Asian and African countries, to the consolidation of peace in Asia and in the world.[8]

On expressing his deep appreciation of the Vietnam - India relationship, President Ho Chi Minh told cadres and people who farewell him at Gia Lam airport, “India is a very big country and Indian people are heroic. Previously, they were at the same colonial oppression as we were; people of India and Burma won national independence and now are on the building of their country. We are going to learn many valuable experiences through this visit. When return, we will tell you fellows and comrades, to learn from our brotherly nations.” [9]

(Part 2)

[1] The Complete Works of Ho Chi Minh (Ho Chi Minh Toan Tap), Vol.1, Pg. 55, National Politics Publishing House in Ha Noi, 2011

[2] The Complete Works of Ho Chi Minh (Ho Chi Minh Toan Tap), Vol.1, Pg. 60, National Politics Publishing House in Ha Noi, 2011

[3] The Complete Works of Ho Chi Minh (Ho Chi Minh Toan Tap), Vol.2, Pg. 366, National Politics Publishing House in Ha Noi, 2011

[4] The Complete Works of Ho Chi Minh (Ho Chi Minh Toan Tap), Vol.2, Pg. 352, National Politics Publishing House in Ha Noi, 2011

[5] Jawaharlal Nehru (1889 – 1964): Prime Minister of India in 18 years (1947 – 1964)

[6] The Complete Works of Ho Chi Minh (Ho Chi Minh Toan Tap), Vol.3, Pg. 402, National Politics Publishing House in Ha Noi, 2011. Translated by Hoang Trung Thong.

[7] The Complete Works of Ho Chi Minh (Ho Chi Minh Toan Tap), Vol.7, Pg. 370, National Politics Publishing House in Ha Noi, 2011.

[8] Institute of Marx – Lenin and Ho Chi Minh Ideology (1995), Ho Chi Minh Biography: the Chronicle, Vol.7, Pg. 32, National Politics Publishing House in Ha Noi.

[9] The Complete Works of Ho Chi Minh (Ho Chi Minh Toan Tap), Vol.9, Pg. 35, National Politics Publishing House in Ha Noi, 2011.

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