Commencing my Odyssey with the Chinese Liberal Democrats

December 31, 2020 3:27 AM
By Cllr Yukteshwar Kumar

Cllr Yukteshwar Kumar

Though I have been following the Twitter handle of the Chinese Liberal Democrats (CLD) for slew of years now, I never thought one day, I shall be part of the executive committee of the CLD myself. I was neither born in China nor any Chinese blood flows in the arteries or veins of my body. None of my parents are from the rich Chinese ethnicity, so simply put- I do not have any Chinese heritage. My morphological feature does not look like a Chinese person and till class 10, I did not know about any other cities of China, except Beijing and Shanghai.

However, Chinese, Chinese-English translation & interpreting as well as China's international relations seems to have ingrained and entrenched into every nucleus and cells of tissues of my deteriorating body. Though, a completely inadvertent rendezvous of my life, I have been associated with this discipline for more than 65% of my whole life till now.

Therefore, even if my facial feature does not flourish like a Chinese person, I reckon my Chinese linguistic ability and understanding of Chinese society and culture gives me the minimum required credentials to be incorporated as a member of the executive committee of the CLD. I learnt Chinese in my university and since 1993, I have been teaching Chinese and Chinese-English translation at the Indian, Chinese and British Universities.

I was born in one of the most deprived and unprivileged states of India-Bihar-where not to talk of modern amenities and facilities of television, computers and mobiles, but even the basic and essential needs of electricity and hygienic water was not facilitated. I wanted to flee away from the cocoon of that kind of impoverished place and study at the best university of the country-Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). JNU still does not offer an undergraduate degree in any other subject except foreign languages, and I was selected for studying Chinese, some 33 years ago for an integrated UG and PG programme.

I had planned to take Chinese as a subject and appear in the Indian Civil Services examination to become a bureaucrat or diplomat, but as soon as I graduated, I was absorbed as a faculty in the same department and my love and respect for the Chinese culture and civilisation further bolstered. As I have illustrated above, after teaching for several years in Indian and Chinese universities, I landed in the UK in 2007 to teach and in 2013, I became a member of the Liberal Democrats.

My membership to the CLD perhaps also adds a bit of diversity and colour to the committee and hopefully, I shall contribute to the organisation to the best of their expectation.

Editor: Welcome Cllr Kumar! So delighted to have you on board!