"Dangal in Doklam": Sino-Indian propaganda video war

« previous post | next post »

China fired the first shot with this infamous Doklam video called "7 Sins of India".  It's all about a remote spot on the border between Bhutan and Tibet, where India is now confronting China in an attempt to preserve the territorial integrity of tiny Bhutan.  This is the same area through which China invaded India in 1962, pushing south as far as Siliguri.

India has now countered China's propaganda video, which has been dubbed crudely racist by many, with a cute, corny video of its own called "Dangal in Doklam".

"Dangal in Doklam: After 7 Sins, Here’s India’s Sonu Song for China"

Deeksha Sharma    the quint

Updated: 23 August, 2017 9:18 AM IST

Prefatory notes:

Sonu in "Sonu Song" refers to a popular movie song producer / composer in the Indian movie industry called Sonu Nigam.

The proper nouns are names of people, places, films, and songs, mostly in India or Bhutan.

Doklam is 洞朗.

Bhutan is 不丹.

Quint is the name of an Indian magazine.

"Ghajini" is the title of an Indian Bollywood movie.  The lead character is a man named  Ghajini, who suffers from memory loss.  In the case of China, “selective amnesia” might be apt to characterize Ghajini.

"3 Idiots" is another Indian film, this one a comedy about backyard inventions.

"Dangal" is a film about wrestling and has come to mean "commotion; combat".  The movie Dangal is based on the true story of Mahavir Singh Phogut, a Hindu Jat from Haryana. As with the previous two movies, "Dangal" was a big draw in China.  It is about a father who trains his daughters to become world-class wrestlers, against all odds. In that sense, the movie "Dangal" has a strong message, in that it takes a stand against patriarchy, male subjugation of women, poverty, etc. So Dangal is about standing up to traditional societal tyranny and established prejudices.  In this context, the meaning of the sentence is clear:  “You don’t want a war (or better still, conflict with India “standing up to” you), Dangal style.

[More notes following the lyrics are marked by asterisks.]


Here's the song (in Hindi, followed line-by-line with English translation).  It's called:

Dangal in Doklam            (commotion at Doklam)


China tujhe India pe bharosa* nahi kya? / China, you did not trust India?

In Doklam you are doing jhol jhol / In Doklam, you are creating a mess

So, The Quint is doing your pol khol! / So, The Quint is unmasking your real self

China tujhe India pe bharosa nahi kya? / China, you did not trust India?

Doklam pe you are making road road / In Doklam, you are making roads

Border treaties fully kiya ig-nore / You are fully ignoring border treaties**

PLA must stop all this tod-phod / PLA must stop all this subversion

Doklam ko akela tu chod chod / You must withdraw from Doklam

China tujhe India pe bharosa nahi kya? / China, you did not trust India?

Bhutan bole doklam apun ka / Bhutan says Doklam is theirs

India bole doklam Bhutan ka / India says Doklam is Bhutan’s

Phir kyu nahi manta ye China? / Then why does China say it's theirs?

China tujhe India pe bharosa nahi kya? / China, you did not trust India?

Bhutan se apni hai dosti / We have friendship with Bhutan

Tujhko hoti hai jelousy / You feel jealous

Isliye tu kare zabardasti / That’s why you are applying force

China tujhe India pe bharosa nahi kya? / China, you did not trust India?

China has panga*** with Taiwan / China has issues with Taiwan

China has panga with Japan / China has issues with Japan

Har neighbour ki China kheeche tang tang / You jerk around every neighbor of yours

China tujhe India pe bharosa nahi kya? / China, you did not trust India?

Memory teri kya hai chhoti / Your memory is short

Have you got symptoms of Ghajini? / Do you have symptoms of Ghajini?

Do you consider us 3 idiots? / Do you consider us 3 idiots?

Surely you don’t want Dangal / Surely you don’t want any combat

Doklam ko chhod varna Dangal / Leave Doklam alone, otherwise combat

Bol..you don’t want Dangal! / Speak up, you don’t want combat

Bol..you don’t want Dangal! / Speak up, you don’t want combat


*can also mean "faith"

**China emphasizes an 1890 treaty, but there are more recent treaties that China completely ignores. The 2009 treaty, for example, clearly makes it binding on India and China not to unilaterally ALTER the status quo at the trijunction area without first coming to a final agreement in consultation with third party Bhutan, which was not a party to the 1890 agreement.

Pangaa or Panga [Devnagari:पंगा, Gurumukhi:ਪੰਗਾ].  This is a Panjabi word borrowed into Hindi.  Here is a useful linguistic note on its meaning in Panjabi — "an issue; a fight".

Perhaps the reason they chose the Panjabi word "panga" in the song was that frontline Indian troops are almost always Sikh, Jat (Hindus), and Punjab regiments.  Even with quotas for other states and castes, Jats, Punjabis, and Sikhs still make up a large proportion of the Army

Here's a Chinese translation.  It's not perfectly literal, but tries to retain the meaning, and it rhymes.


Zhōngguó, nǐ bù xìnrèn Yìndù?

Nǐ zài Dònglǎng zuòwēizuòfú

Wǔdùyīn wǎngzhàn zhèng jiēfā nǐ de zhēnmiànmù

Zhōngguó, nǐ bù xìnrèn Yìndù?

Nǐ zài Dònglǎng xiū lù

Biānjìng tiáoyuē shìruòwúdǔ

Jiěfàngjūn bìxū tíngzhǐ yīqiè diānfù

Nǐ bìxū cóng Dònglǎng gǔn chū

Zhōngguó, nǐ bù xìnrèn Yìndù?

Bùdān shuō Dònglǎng shì Bùdān lǐngtǔ

Yìndù shuō Dònglǎng shì Bùdān lǐngtǔ

Wèihé Zhōngguó shuō Dònglǎng shì Zhōngguó lǐngtǔ?

Zhōngguó, nǐ bù xìnrèn Yìndù?

Wǒmen hé Bùdān hùxiāng bāngzhù

Nǐ jiù jídù

Suǒyǐ nǐ dòngwǔ

Zhōngguó, nǐ bù xìnrèn Yìndù?

Zhōngguó gēn Táiwān nán xiāngchǔ

Zhōngguó gēn Rìběn nán xiāngchǔ

Nǐ gēn línguó dōu nán xiāngchǔ

Zhōngguó, nǐ bù xìnrèn Yìndù?

Nǐ jìyì tuìbù

Nǐ gēn Gājíní yīyàng míhú?

Nǐ yǐwéi wǒmen shì Sāngè Shǎguā zhī tú?

Nǐ dāngrán bù xiǎng zǒu shàng zhànzhēng zhī lù

Nà jiù lí Dònglǎng yuǎn diǎn, fǒuzé dǎng bù zhù

Dàshēng shuō ba, nǐ bù xiǎng zǒu shàng zhànzhēng zhī lù

Dàshēng shuō ba, nǐ bù xiǎng zǒu shàng zhànzhēng zhī lù






























What I find most fascinating about the Indian video is how heavily it is based no Bollywood culture and how it mixes languages fluidly.  The Chinese video, in contrast, bases its approach on the "Seven Sins", which may have been inspired by the "Seven Deadly Sins" of Christianity.  Moreover, the Chinese video — despite canned (sarcastic) laughter at a fake Sikh with a pasted-on beard — is deadly serious from beginning to end.  The Indian video has a real Sikh with a real beard (see the note on "panga" above), and it's funny from start to finish (best of all are the hilarious toy guns "Made in China").

[H.t. Ilango Gurusamy; thanks to Melvin Lee, Surendra & Vijay Gambhir, and Sunny Singh]


  1. Sean M said,

    August 25, 2017 @ 9:52 am

    Does Hindi regularly duplicate a word to mark the plural ("Doklam pe you are making road road ") or is that just poetic license? Some plurals are formed in Sumerian that way.

  2. tsts said,

    August 25, 2017 @ 10:51 am

    "This is the same area through which China invaded India in 1962, pushing south as far as Siliguri."

    I do not think this sentence is correct. Most of the fighting happened to the east of Bhutan, and in the western areas in Ladakh/Kashmir. There was limited fighting at the border in Sikkim (north of Siliguri), but I cannot find any indication that Chinese troops came anywhere close to Siliguri. Any reference for this? Thanks.

  3. Jonathan said,

    August 25, 2017 @ 11:02 am

    Here's a direct YouTube link to the video, for people like me who tend to have JavaScript disabled: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mk8Bd92RkoE

  4. Matt said,

    August 25, 2017 @ 2:04 pm

    I noticed that the Quint song used the English word "India" instead of whatever the declined version is of the Hindi "Bharat." Is this normal in everyday speech, is this a Bollywood convention or is something else going on here?

  5. Antariksh said,

    August 25, 2017 @ 4:15 pm

    @Sean M

    Indian languages do plenty of reduplication (and echoic reduplication) but in this song it seems to have been done to match the meter with other lines of the song that do have natural sounding reduplication (tod-phod etc.)


    It is extremely common to refer to India as India even while talking in Hindi. In general, urban Hindi usage very freely intersperses English words and some words are almost always referred to by their English forms. Of course this varies a lot geographically and based on speaker demographics, but for the kind of people shown in the video (young, urban), it would be very natural.


    Pangaa is an extremely common word in everyday Hindi, so it's not at all unusual to hear it being used in this song. Ascribing that to military demographics will be reading too much between the lines.

    Also, a small nitpick—In the movie Ghajini (inspired by Memento), Ghajini isn't the one with anterograde amnesia—he is actually the villain who the protagonist with amnesia wants to kill. I am guessing that when the song says "Have you got symptoms of Ghajini?", it is referring to Ghajini the movie (which was famous for its use of that disease as a plot device), not the character.

  6. maidhc said,

    August 26, 2017 @ 12:19 pm

    This is actually "Mrs. Mike". I was married to an Indian for 20 years and spent a lot of time there during some of the most historic times (creation of Bangladesh, the "Emergency".

    I noticed that no one mentioned the final "Hindi, Chini -bye, bye." That is a pun on a catch phrase from the 50's when India and China were briefly trying to get a long. There was even a song called "Hindi Chini, Bhai, Bhai". "Indian and China, Brothers". So "Bhai, Bhai" has become
    "Bye, Bye".

  7. dw said,

    August 29, 2017 @ 2:36 am

    Going off on a tangent here, but Bollywood remakes of Western movies tend to be hilarious, with comic relief characters and song-and-dance numbers crowbarred into the original plot willy-nilly. For example, Agatha Christie's locked-room mystery *And Then There Were None* somehow became Gumnaam (trailer linked).

RSS feed for comments on this post