Monday December 11, 2017
Home World Tales for a H...

Tales for a Home: Tibet marches from exile to extinction? (Part 2)

1
70

By Sagar Sethi

Where we love is home – home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.

                                                                                              -Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Fleeing from those clutches and surviving the snow-filled Himalayan passes, around ninety four thousand Tibetan refugees, as per a CTA survey, 2009, have made it safely to India. Have they managed to carry their culture along with themselves? If so, will the Tibetans be able to preserve it? Let’s peer into the lives of these people to find some answers.

Passang
Passang

Passang journeyed through high mountains and clear lakes to reach Nepal. She travelled through forests and hid in bunkers only so that she could escape the Chinese snipers. When she completed this seven month nightmarish journey to India she was only eleven; frantic but eager to meet the leader of her people. This sixty seven year old Tibetan refugee still misses her home as she says ‘kamse kam tees log hain humare parivar mein, hum ab tak nahi dekha’ (I have at least thirty members of my family in Tibet that I have not seen yet).

She relates the life of her family in Tibet as, ‘Majboori hai, khush toh nahi hai par dikhawa karna padta hai’ (It’s a compulsion, they are not happy but have to pretend so). She vehemently blames the Chinese red brigade for Tibet’s misery – ‘…muh se mitha baat karta hai, piche se chhuri maarta hai’ (China uses sweet words, only to back stab later).

Passang knows she will never see her family in Tibet but hopes for light at the end of the tunnel. Not for her own sake, but rather for the future generations of Tibetan refugees in India.

Chonga
Chonga

At sixteen years of age Chonga felt the need to meet his guru, the Dalai Lama. So he escaped Tibet in search for a home, the feeling not the place. He says, ‘jab tak guruji ka saath hai, tab tak koi phikr nahi hai’ (As long as Dalai Lama is present, there is no reason to worry). This thirty nine year old Tibetan refugee left his motherland, twenty three years ago. ‘Do mahine, din mein chupna tha aur raat mein chalte the,’ (For two months, he hid during the day and walked during nights) is how he describes his journey.

Photo credit: www.asianews.it
Photo credit: www.asianews.it

As per Chonga’s account, life in Tibet is being run solely by the Chinese government. Anything even close to Buddhism, prayer or practice, has been outlawed in Tibet. Even more, all his phone calls to family are under the Chinese government’s surveillance who are waiting for him to make one wrong move.

The irony of his life is that he is a refugee in India, while Tibet no longer feels like home. This man misses his home as he says, ‘ab tak akela hoon kyunki azaadi ke baad hum ghar jayega, phir hi shaadi karega’ (I am still single because after Tibet attains freedom, I will go home and then only will I marry).

Lhamtso
Lhamtso

Three year old Lhamtso came to India with her maa and baba. She has no memory of Tibet and yet her stay in India feels like home, out of compulsion. She spent fifty years of her life in Manali before settling down in Majnu ka Tila, Delhi. She lives in a nice house and her kids are both working. Lhamtso has spent her entire life as a Tibetan refugee. So she doesn’t know if she wants to go back home.

‘Dekha nahi hai toh kaise pata hoga?’ (Haven’t seen my home, so how will I know if I want to go back?), is what she asked. Does this mean that the Tibetan culture is fading with every passing generation? In the next section then, we are going to unravel the stories of those Tibetans born in India, and haven’t ever been to Tibet.

  • Manoj Sethi

    Every beginning has an end. The time will surely come for the Tibetans as well. The sun will rise for them once again in their homeland.

  • Manoj Sethi

    Every beginning has an end. The time will surely come for the Tibetans as well. The sun will rise for them once again in their homeland.

Next Story

‘Dalai Lama is a Political Figure under the cloak of Religion, Meeting or Hosting the Dalai Lama is a major offence’ Warns China

In April this year, China had reacted violently to a visit by the Dalai Lama to Tawang, in India’s northeast border state of Arunachal Pradesh, large parts of which is claimed by Beijing.

0
31
Dalai Lama
The 14th Dalai Lama, Wikimedia

Beijing, October 21, 2017 : As US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson prepares to visit India next week, China on Saturday warned that it will be deeply offended if any foreign leader meets with or any country invites the Dalai Lama.

On the sidelines of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, a Chinese Minister dubbed the Tibetan spiritual leader as a “political figure under the cloak of religion”.

“Any country or any organisation or anyone accepting to meet with the Dalai Lama in our view is a major offence to the sentiment of the Chinese people,” said Zhang Yijiong, Executive Vice Minister of the United Front Work Department of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC).

“Also, since they have committed to recognising China as a sole legitimate government representing China, it contravenes their attempt, because it is a serious commitment,” Zhang added.

China accuses the Dalai Lama of stoking unrest and secessionist activities in Tibet from where the spiritual leader fled to India in 1959 after a failed uprising.

The Dalai Lama has urged for more autonomy for Tibet.

Beijing opposes any country or leader keeping in touch with the Dalai Lama.

“I want to make it clear that the 14th Dalai Lama, the living Buddha handed down by history is a political figure under the cloak of religion,” said Zhang.

In February this year, Tillerson had told members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during his confirmation hearing that he is committed to promoting dialogue on Tibet and receiving the Dalai Lama.

Top US Democrat Nancy Pelosi had visited the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, India, in May, and sought to draw the world’s attention to human rights in Tibet, triggering protests by China.

China resorts to different tactics if any country hosts the Dalai Lama. For instance, Beijing blocked a major highway leading to Mongolia, crippling the economy there after Ulan Bator hosted the leader late last year.

Mongolia later apologised and promised Beijing never to invite the Dalai Lama.

“Officials, in their capacity as officials, attending all foreign-related activities represent their governments. So I hope governments around the world speak and act with caution and give full consideration to their friendship with China and their respect for China’s sovereignty,” Zhang added.

The comments from the Chinese Minister also comes days after Tillersoon described India as a partner in a strategic relationship and said the US would “never have the same relationship with China, a non-democratic society”.

According to reports, last month China refused to fund travel for visiting scholars at University of California, San Diego, apparently in retaliation for inviting the Dalai Lama to be its 2017 commencement speaker.

In April this year, China had reacted violently to a visit by the Dalai Lama to Tawang, in India’s northeast border state of Arunachal Pradesh, large parts of which is claimed by Beijing. (IANS)

Next Story

Dalai Lama on Three Day Visit to Manipur

0
14
Dalai Lama
Dalai Lama will be in Manipur on Tuesday. ians

Imphal, October 16: Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama will arrive here on Tuesday on a three-day visit to Manipur, officials said.

This will be his second trip to India’s northeast after his April visit to Arunachal Pradesh.

Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh told IANS on Monday that the government had declared the Dalai Lama a state guest.

“We will extend a warm welcome to him. He will be given all facilities as an honoured guest,” he said.

On Wednesday, the Dalai Lama will be given a public reception at the Convention Centre here. It will be followed by a felicitation programme at the same venue.

The Dalai Lama will interact with members of the public and dignitaries.

The Dalai Lama, who has lived in India in self-imposed exile since fleeing his homeland in 1959, is coming to Manipur at the invitation of the Speaker of the Manipur Assembly.

His Arunachal Pradesh visit had sparked a diplomatic row between India and China.(IANS)

Next Story

Tibetan Ladies Tie Rakhi on wrist of RSS boss Mohan Bhagwat on the event of Raksha Bandhan

On each Raksha Bandhan, Tibetan ladies from Gothangaon tie rakhi on Bhagwat's wrist

0
46
Rakhi
A group of Tibetan women from neighbouring Gondia district tied rakhi on the wrist of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. Wikimedia Commons

Nagpur, August 8, 2017: A bunch of Tibetan ladies from neighboring Gondia locale today tied rakhi on the wrist of RSS boss Mohan Bhagwat on the event of Raksha Bandhan.

On each Raksha Bandhan, Tibetan ladies from Gothangaon in Gondia area visit the RSS base camp here so as to tie rakhi on Bhagwat’s wrist.

ALSO READ: August 7 is Rakshabandhan: Hindu Festival that Celebrates Brother-Sister Bond can be traced back to Indus Valley Civilization

After their flight in 1959 to India, Tibetan fugitives were restored in different parts of the nation.

Gothangaon is one such fugitive settlement.

-prepared by Harsimran Kaur of NewsGram. Twitter @Hkaur1025