He Who Must Not Be Named!

By Sunil Kumar

Anyone familiar with the Harry Potter literary canon knows about Lord Voldemort; the evil nemesis behind any nefarious plan hatched by the pure-bloods against the Muggles; the half human semi magical community. J.K Rowling‘s creation has spanned boundaries; to create a worldwide phenomenon. All of this is common knowledge; but the use of Voldemort in a diplomatic dispute is a first of sorts. Next in the cast, put the evil Malfoys, Bellatrix Lestrange or whatever the Japanese and Chinese fancy.

In the dispute between a semi-resurgent Japan and Asia’s new big bully China; the use of “He Who Must Not Be Named” was quite funny indeed.

Here’s the Chinese ambassador’s version in an op-ed in Britain’s Daily Telegraph:

In the Harry Potter story, the dark wizard Voldemort dies hard because the seven horcruxes, which contain parts of his soul, have been destroyed. If militarism is like the haunting Voldemort of Japan, the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo is a kind of horcrux, representing the darkest parts of that nation’s soul.

Now here’s the response from Japan’s ambassador Keeichi Hayashi:

East Asia is now at a crossroads. There are two paths open to China. One is to seek dialogue, and abide by the rule of law. The other is to play the role of Voldemort in the region by letting loose the evil of an arms race and escalation of tensions, although Japan will not escalate the situation from its side. The answer seems obvious. Although China has so far refused to enable dialogue between our leaders, I sincerely hope that it will come forward, rather than keep invoking the ghost of “militarism” of seven decades ago, which no longer exists.

Now with both parties taking the moral high ground here; the use of a British literary figure in a serious international standoff sounded amusing to my ears atleast.

The country in which all of this hoopla took place has been known to be a cross between Voldemort and Potter itself; the British isles. So, how does this impact the rest of the world, including India primarily.

  • For the most part India and the rest of Asia has to bear the brunt of increasing Chinese muscle-flexing. The interdependence of the world with that country has led it to increasingly embark on more brazen violations of the sovereignty of other nations.
  • Japan has never been a noble country either; but for more than five decades; it has followed a pacifist constitution that has hampered it from engaging with the new military power in East Asia.
  • The United Kingdom; a country that has played second fiddle to America for so long is still quite persistent in looking after its self-interest and lecturing the rest of the world on international disputes.
  • For the sake of international peace; if China and Japan settle this dispute amicably; we can have more stability in the world at large
  • That’s about that for this one. I’ve started; so I’ll finish.



















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One Response to He Who Must Not Be Named!

  1. Very thought provoking article,a lot depends on the attitude of both Chinese & Japanese leaders as both nations have fought wars and ruled each other in the past.

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