hough I had noticed Prof. Tan (and Mrs. Tan) a
couple of times before during seminars and talks by visiting scholars at the
South Asia Dept. of the University of Chicago, I really took note of him
only during the workshop (May 15-16, 2004) on "The Peculiarities of Indian
Democracy," where he repeatedly intervened from the floor with feeling about
his profound appreciation of the Indian ethos. I was particularly struck by
his response when the topic was broached of the internment of the Chinese
community in India during the border war of 1962. When the Indian speaker
ventured a comparison with the internment of Japanese in USA during the
Second World War, Prof. Tan could not restrain himself from pointing out the
inaptness of the comparison, with his first-hand recollections that the
(so-called) 'internees' had been rather treated as 'house-guests' (with all
the positive connotations that the term has in the Indian cultural context),
and recounted the story about Nehru cited in
my first post to the Abhinavagupta forum about his father and himself
(Jun 24, 2004 ).
Prof. Tan is still an active missionary in the strengthening of
Sino-Indian relations and the presentation of shared Asian values to
audiences in America and Europe. You can
read more about
him at our IndoChina homepage at svAbhinava.
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