16 November, 2006

Rangzen (Freedom)

The Government’s gag order on Tenzin Tsundue (link via Desipundit ) should come as no surprise. Over the last several years, we’ve seen the ease with which institutions bend over backwards to avoid displeasing those whose sentiments are easily hurt. Think of the censor certificate row that led to Vikalp.

Of course, while it is not clear that the Chinese Government is similarly stuffed with fragile sentiments, our Government probably feels it is right to err on the side of caution.

But deportation? And to Tibet? What does that mean – to deport a Tibetan with a Resident Certificate, to a country that doesn’t exist as an independent entity? In effect, does it not mean handing over Tenzin Tundue to the Chinese Government? It seems a disproportionately severe threat to hold over someone who is only going to say, Free Tibet.

Here’s a poem of Tsundue’s:


When I was born
my mother said you are a refugee.
Our tent on the roadside
smoked in the snow.

On your forehead
between your eyebrows
there is an R embossed
my teacher said.

I scratched and scrubbed,
on my forehead I found
a brash of red pain.

I have three tongues
the one that sings
is my mother tongue.

The R on my forehead
between my English and Hindi
the Tibetan tongue reads:


More poems here.

But lest anyone think that Tsundue is another woolly-headed Tibetan who believes that something will happen some day that will magically solve all the problems of Tibetan refugees, this article should dispel those illusions. He says:

A general apathy over Tibet and this non-action "non-violent freedom struggle'
isslowly killing the movement. Though exotic Tibet sells in the West, there
arehardly any takers when it comes to tackling the real issue. The issue

and later:

The very nature of the Tibetan problem is political, and it has to have
apolitical solution. We are grateful to India for whatever help and support
sheextended to us, but if the Tibetan problem has to be solved she should
supportthe freedom struggle.

This might help to explain India's gag order. A call to actively support the Tibetan freedom struggle, over some well-meaning arrangements they might make to facilitate a Kalachakra ceremony? Oh, no. That would be way too risky. Who knows who else might follow with calls to support their freedom struggles?

Other links:
Amardeep’s post at Sepia Mutiny
Friends Of Tibet
Pankaj Mishra’s article in NYT


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very interesting views.

22/11/06 23:33  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

but what form will this struggle take ?
is he hinting at maybe an armed revolution, well that doesnt work
there are enough instances to prove that.
so what political solution? and by whom ?
india and china shud decide tibets fate ?
i dont think india can take on the might of china.

25/11/06 05:20  
Blogger Space Bar said...

raghave, i'm sorry -- i've just seen the comments, so apologies. iwell, i think it is a kind of disaffection the younger generation of tibetans in exile feels, towards the dalai lama's approach so far.

i'm not sure what direction it will take, of course, but one cn only hope that it is not a violent one.

3/12/06 20:40  

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