Of all mainstream political parties, it is the BJP that is deemed most 'nationalist' - especially by its supporters. Hence it is interesting that the Communist Party of China has invited a delegation of key BJP/RSS folk led by people such as Ram Madhav and Balbir Punj to China. Though the report (rediff link above) is dated Jan 08, 2009, it mentions December 5th as the date of the trip. Has it been a month now or is it a typo?
This invitation seemed unbelievable in the backdrop of several things like the following:
1. BJP/Sangh folks have always brought attention, to put mildly, to the Chinese "treachery" of 1962. And apparently there was no greater sham than "Hindi Chini Bhai Bhai"
2. NDA defence minister, George Fernandes openly naming China as rival no 1
3. That China is widely recognized as the arch rival not just in defense but in most other spheres.
4. That China has helped Pakistan with logistical and arms support over the years. It is quite possible that Pakistan became a nuclear state only because of China.
5. The cause of Tibet
6. China doing other things like claiming suzerainty over Arunachal Pradesh and damming rivers like Brahmaputra - all seen as India threatening.
To their credit, however, the delegation that visited China opined:
"We emphasised that Tibet has a distinct culture and that identity must be preserved. We also gave them an idea about how much Dalai Lama is revered in India. Of course, we have different perspectives but dialogue is important."Good to read that. This is indeed the first time that there has been any dialog at the party level between India and China. (barring the CPs of India, of course)
I am also sure most of the delegation has read books like "Are we deceiving ourselves again?" by Arun Shourie (and Dalvi's Himalayan Blunder - banned in India - but these guys should have had access to it).
But this seems to be a definite instance where one could repeat Lord Byron's oft quoted words:
'Tis strange, but true; for truth is always strange;
Stranger than fiction: if it could be told