29 Aug 2017/Tueaday

Who dared? Who won? There is no end to debating on this subject, however what is important to a commoner on both sides is that peace prevails. Geopolitical strategy, status quo, superpower, power corridors, last two months readers have read enough and have got enough insight into the ongoing situation courtesy Doklam. There has been a barrage of articles, videos, caricatures of the Dragon and the Elephant flooding the internet. What are they upto? Somebody found them (as depicted in the pictures above); twirling in Doklam and since then both sides kept speculating who dared and who will win ?

In the last few months Chinese media left no stone unturned to underestimate the Elephant (Indian Army), reporting that “the Dragon (Chinese Army) would annihilate the Elephant”. This is akin to what once the European natural historians used to believe about the Elephant: that it has no knees and it can’t have sex until it eats the ridiculously toxic mandrake root, and even when it successfully mates, Dragons eat its baby. It appears that Chinese didn’t read thereafter (laughs) and therefore this skewed appreciation of the Elephant.

Aristotle’s description had busted the myth that Elephant have no knees. And later on in Roman times, everyone knew elephants had knees, because those lucky enough to attend gladiatorial games were treated to the cruel slaughter of the animals hauled in from Africa and India. In fact, in his sprawling encyclopedia Natural History, Pliny the Elder (historian) specifically mentions the elephant’s knees when recounting a battle in Rome’s Circus “One of these animals fought in a most astonishing manner; being pierced through the feet, it dragged itself on its knees towards the troop, and seizing their bucklers, tossed them aloft into the air: and as they came to the ground they greatly amused the spectators, for they whirled round and round in the air, just as if they had been thrown up with a certain degree of skill, and not by the frantic fury of a wild beast.”

According to the Physiologus (collection of moralized beast tales) also, when it is time for the female elephant to give birth, the male must be vigilant, for the elephant’s eternal enemy, the serpent, will snatch the baby. Pliny refers to it as a dragon, “perpetually at war with the elephant,” he writes, “and is itself of so enormous a size, as easily to envelop the elephants with its folds, and encircle them in its coils. The contest is equally fatal to both; the elephant, vanquished, falls to the earth, and by its weight, crushes the dragon which is entwined around it.” In the Physiologus, the serpent seems decidedly smaller, as the male elephant “kills it by trampling on it until it dies.” The Chinese media therefore must read through these descriptions to draw a correct analogy between the Elephant and the Dragon before declaring who won Doklam.




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