Free Tibet: A Chimera!

The Picture shows US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visiting Dalai Lama in Dharamshala, India in March 08.

Tibet is in spotlight again! The Tibetans and monks have spearheaded the struggle for freedom again and China is determined to crush the movement.
It has been a long wait for Tibet. In 1951 China annexed Tibet and in a single stroke became India’s neighbor. It is worthwhile to recollect that before that India and China were separated by Tibet.

In 1958, Dalai Lama fled to India and since then we have a Tibetan Government-in-exile in Dharamshala (Himachal Pradesh). Not only that, India is the host to thousands of Tibetans and hundreds of Tibetans come in exodus to India almost every year.

The uprising this time has attracted world-wide attention and many causalities have been reported. Even Dalai Lama has termed that Tibet is under cultural invasion. But he has sort of refrained from demanding a free Tibet, he has talked about autonomy. That could be a disappointment for many. Dalai lama has struck to his ‘Middle Path” approach and has repeatedly said he advocates only nonviolence, presses not for independence but a “preservation of Tibetan culture,” endorses China’s role as host of the Olympic Games in August and is happy to speak to Chinese authorities, including Chinese President Hu Jinato.

The current situation in Tibet creates a unique situation for India: dilemma as well as an opportunity. India’s dilemma is understandable since India is interested in improving relationship with India.

But at the same point, herein lies the opportunity for India. After all, India is the greatest supporter of Tibet cause in the world. This fact is exemplified by Dalai Lama’s 49 years of exile in India. India is the soil from where his Government-in-exile opeartes, he travels to the world and puts forth his cause for Tibet. And obviously that impresses China the least!

Tibet- known as ‘The Roof of the World’ needs liberation and the only solution to its cultural invasion is a Free Tibet. This is another point that ‘cultural invasion’ has already taken place to some extent in Tibet, thanks to the active efforts on part of China. In the name of development, which Dalai lama has actually termed ” Demographic Aggression” contours of Lhasa and Tibet have changed. Pico Iyer writes in the cover story of a recent issue of Time magazine: “Lhasa, sometimes known as an “abode of gods,” has turned from the small traditional settlement I first saw in 1985 into an Eastern Las Vegas, with a population of 300,000 (two out of every three of them Chinese). On the main street alone, by one Western scholar’s count, there are 238 dance halls, and karaoke parlors and 658 brothels, and the Potala Palace- for centuries a symbol of a culture whose people were ruled by a monk and a home to nine Dalai Lamas- is now mockingly surrounded by an amusement park.”

Tibet needs the voice of the World, before its genocide is over!

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