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An Indian Quest for Understanding China

Edited by Tan Chung

Assistant Editor : Dr. Ravni Thakur

1998, xxvi+553pp., col. and b&w illus.,  ISBN: 81-212-0585-9 Rs. 1200 (HB)


Acknowledgements Tan Chung
Foreword Kapila Vatsyayan
Preface Karan Singh
Introduction Tan Chung


Gurudeva Rabindranath Tagore,

 Pioneer in modern times in strengthening cultural ties between India and China

Indian Leaders' Speeches in Chinese Universities

  1. Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi at Qinghua University, Beijing, 1988.
  2. Prime Minister Narasimha Rao at Beijing University, 1993.
  3. Vice-President K R Narayan at Fudan University, Shanghai, 1994

Indian Savants' Observations on China

  1. Raja Rammohan Roy
  2. Gurudeva Rabindranath Tagore
  3. Mahatma Gandhi
  4. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru
  5. A K Coomaraswami
  6. P C Bagchi


  1. A Holistic Eye on Cultural Interface and Syneregy - Kapila Vatsyayan
  2. The Critique of Modernity in India and China - Prasenjit Duara
  3. Enchantment and Disenchantment: A Sino-Indian Introspection - Ravni Thakur & Tan Chung
  4. Gandhi and Mao: National Identity for an Alternative Future - Mira Sinha Bhattacharjea
  5. Body, State and Comos: Mao Zedong's "Study of Physical Education" 1917 - Patricia Uberoi
  6. A Sino-Indian Perspective for India-China Understanding - Tan Chung
  7. Unveiling Xuanzang and the Xuanzang Spirit - Haraprasad Ray
  8. Towards an Understanding of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics - Hemant Adlakha

Culture and Art

  1. Some Aspects of Jataka Paintings in Indian and Chinese (Central Asian) Art - M C Joshi & Radha Banerjee
  2. India and China: Beyond and the Within - Lokesh Chandra
  3. My Trust with Chinese Art - M N Deshpande
  4. Icons of Cultural Linkage - D C Bhattacharyya
  5. Cultural Synthesis in the Buddhist Art of China - Arputharani Sengupta
  6. New Revelations of Xinjiang Art - Priyatosh Banerjee
  7. The Creation of Goddess of Mercy from Avloketesvara - Bagyalakshmi
  8. The Manichaean Input to Chinese Culture and Art - Radha Banerjee

 Socio-Political Changes and Economic Development

Socio-Political Institutions

  1. Development and Democracy: The Indian and Chinese Experience - Manoranjan Mohanty
  2. Understanding "Human Relationship" in China - Kamal Sheel

Economic Developments

  1. The Economic Ideas of Mao Zedong: Agricultural Transformation - Utsa Patnaik
  2. Roads for Large Populations Towards Development and Prosperity - S P Gupta

Gender Issues

  1. Change and Continuity: Orthodox Discourse on Gender Relations in China - Ravni Thakur
  2. Women and Family in India and China - Bidyut Mohanty
  3. Women and Adult Literacy in China - Shreemati Chakrabarty

History and Literature

Tagore and China

  1. The Controversial Guest: Tagore's 1924 Visit at China - Sisir Kumar Das     Part 1 | Part 2
  2. Tagore's Inspiration in Chinese New Poetry - Tan Chung   Part 1 | Part 2

Ancients on War

  1. Strategic Thinking in Ancient Indian and China: Kautilya and Sunzi - Giri Deshingkar
  2. Arthashastra and Sunzi Bingfa - V R Ragavan

Modern Chinese Literature

  1. The Lofty Height of a Writer: My Evaluation of Lu Xun - Manik Bhattacharyya
  2. Comeback of Hundred Flowers in Chinese Literataure: 1976-1989 - Sabaree Mitra

India-China Relationship

  1. Mao Zedong's Vision: China, The World and India - Mira Sinha Bhattacharjea
  2. The Nehru Years Revisited - Giri Deshingkar
  3. Retrace Indian Steps in the Agricultural Scene in China 40 Years Back - S K Bhutani

Diplomats' Reminiscences

  1. Interwoven Memories about China - K.P.S. Menon
  2. My Trust with India-China Friendship - A Talk at IGNCA - K.P.S. Menon
  3. Diary of an Old China Hand - A K Damodaran
  4. Delicious Memories - A Talk at IGNCA - A.K. Damodaran
  5. Walk out of the Dinner and Eat it - A Talk at IGNCA - Brajesh Mishra
  6. Memories of An Indian Ambassador, 1987-1991 - C V Ranganathan
  7. A Young Indian Diplomat in China in the 1960s and 1970s - K S Rana
  8. How I Arrived on the China Scene - Vinod Khanna

Better Understanding

  1. How to Understand China? - V V Paranjpe
  2. How to Understand Deng Xiaping's China? - C V Ranganathan
  3. Positive Agenda for Positive Action: Better India-China Understanding - Eric Gonsalves
  4. Indian Policies Towards China - A Talk at IGNCA - Salman Haidar
  5. Looking at China Across the Border - Dipankar Banerjee
  6. India-China Relations: A Military Perspective - V R Raghavan
  7. Three Agreements and Five Principles between India and China
  8. Building Confidence with China - Swaran Singh - Part 1 | Part 2
  9. China Becoming a Superpower and India's Options - Sreedhar
  10. The Importance of understanding China - Surjit Mansing


This book is the fruition of Step 1 of a project launched by the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) whic is a premier Indian research institution dedicated to a holistic understanding world civilization and to the promotion of information and insight between different cultures of the world. "Sino-Indian Studies" is a special window of IGNCA drawing inspiration from Gurudeva Rabindranath Tagore's longing for reenacting the history of the "great pilgrimage" and path-opening" - "to maintain the [Sino-Indian] "intercourse of culture and friendship", in Tagore's own words. Dr. Kapila Vatsyayan, blazed a new trail in 1990, leading scholars of India and China to "look at each other" instead of trying to see each other's country through the Western Hemisphere. All the 40 Indian authors in this volume have contributed their mite to this endeavour--making it a book that parades the various Indian perspective on China, on her civilization, history, society and present developments. While scrutinizing their writings, readers also get a glance over Indian Savants' observations and Indian leaders' addresses at Chinese universities. The book also targets the Chinese readership with the aim of creating its companion volume of Chinese perspectives on India which is the Step II of the IGNCA project in promoting indepth understanding between the two most populous countries--close neighbours and partners of the 21st century.


TAN CHUNG is an Indian Citizen of Chinese descent born in Malaya in 1929, having lived, first, in China for 23 years, and then, in India for 44 years till date. He stepped into the shoes of his illustrious father, Prof. TanYun-shan (1898-1983) of Shantiniketan - a pioneer of Chinese studies in India and Sino-Indian studies- and contributed to the building up of the Chinese studies programmes in Delhi University and Jawarharlal Nehru University from 1964 up till 1994 when he finally retired from JNU as Professor of Chinese. He has been a Consultant of IGNCA from 1989 onwards to help develop its East Asian Programme. He has authored many books, among which, China and the Brave New World and also Triton and Dragon (a Gyan Publication) are text books for history courses in Indian and foreign universities. His Dunhuang Art Through the Eyes of Duan Wenjie is a reference book for art courses on US and other English languge compuses.

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1998 Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced any manner without written permission of the publisher. 

Published in 1998 by 

Gyan Publishing House

5, Ansari Road, Darya Ganj,

New Delhi - 110 002.