NEW YORK, US, 29 October 2017
Americans can’t decide whether to kneel or stand before their national anthem, or uphold or denounce their second amendment after the Texas massacre. But far from this political chaos, on a parallel universe, there is a harsh simmering political upheaval, where diaspora Tibetans juxtaposed in conscience, can’t decide whether to embrace their old clinging or to shed them for a bolder newer approach, or whether to follow a political path propounded by the CTA that is already clinically dead in many people’s opinion but wouldn’t have courage to say it, so as not offend the crusaders of that path or worse to be labeled anti Dalai Lama without any of their ill intentions, or whether to embrace a more radical approach, that embodies and emboldens truth and that would reckon to reclaim everything we have lost or have sadly scathingly willed to compromise to the distorted history created by our nemesis.
With the changing political and economic dynamics, bred on the fruits of globalization and China having cheated on the leveled playing field, either by currency manipulation or technological theft, their unstoppable rise on the backs of the exploitation of Tibet and worldwide demand for their cheap products and cheap labor, has found a renowned financial magazine called the Economist, to grace its cover with this epitome of success in Chinese President, as the most powerful man on the planet in terms of political and economic leverage.
At such a time, given the rise of China in the world stage, both in terms of hard and soft powers, our beleaguered exile polity, under a supposedly democratic state of things, is as we speak falling under the crevices of entrenched balkanization and infighting within, to the much joy of the chinese, who would be celebrating our every fall without having to use any of their evil toolbox. They are in fact leisurely surfing on the calm waves created by calls of non violence and dialogues by our exile government, knowing at hindsight that this has borne no tangible end. To make it excruciatingly worse, it is evident that China is adroitly playing the waiting game for the inevitable.
On the heels of the recent problems in the Tibetan parliamentary session, I am here deeply envisaging of our governmental order, where amendments and reforms I suppose are badly needed to an outdated framework, that has straitjacketed our political conscience with the inclusion of religion in our political state of affairs. Just as anything archaic could be hammered even if they were carved on stone, keeping up with the changing time and mindset, things such as the constitution and the governmental set up could be reformed, where political representation especially on religious grounds would have no place. The new imagined creation of the Tibetan parliament, should only have democratically elected representative from the original three provinces of Tibet and other major regions outside of India, where Tibetan resides such as the North America, Europe and Australia and we should in all urgency and in good moral faith, eliminate representation from all school of Tibetan Buddhism and thoughts, since religion and politics never worked well anywhere. It’s in fact become our weakness and wrecked like a cancerous disease in our political deliberations.
In the House of Parliamentarians and politicians, where greed and egos meet, where compromise and greed collide, where sensitivities and emotions bleed, anyone wearing crimson robes with shaved head, symbol of renunciation of worldly affairs and political state, should have no place and the door shut for them once and for all. Once this is realized, only then will we as Tibetans under a genuine democracy, far away from the dogmatics strings of pre colonial feudal days, will we be able to live and breathe in a true form of governance, where political debates could be waged that are belted even on religious ground but without having the monks involved, who are often at the brunt end of condemnation, it’s a shame!
I am imagining a world where a political path is not turned into a religious issue as in the case of umey lam. I am so disgusted to see monks having political discourse with laymen especially in our parliament. Everyone has a role and a place. The politicians belong to the House of Representatives, doctors to hospitals, prostitutes to brothels, and like wise, monks should belong to the monastery and its monastic life and not the other way round.
I don’t want to say that Tibet will be free anytime soon, but I can assure you that one day it will again become a free country, while the world order will takes its own course. When I see hundreds of US universities putting up college fairs in China, and every year, record numbers of Chinese students joining American and Western universities, within their very freshman year, their hitherto closed eyes are opened up to a free world, that they could only imagine in their dreams. Over time as they become intoxicated to the progressive and liberal mindset of the West and when they finally go back home to see themselves fall back again into the world of censorship and decay, control and constrictions, it grudgingly paves valleys for underground resentment to brew and one day, this valley of discontentment is bound to erupt that will see the end of the communist rule in China. A wishful thinking indeed but a thought that has proof of life in it.
When the Chinese like the old days believe in eating everything that moves, and when that annual Chinese Yulin dog meat festival takes place, wrenching many people’s hearts with display of merciless slaughter of over ten thousand of man’s best friend, tied up and stuffed like stale vegetables in cages, pictures of dogs being skinned and burned alive and now, many who have had the opportunity to study in the West and have witnessed the humane and respectable treatments even of dogs, have actually started protesting against such animal cruelty and compassionate animals rights groups have sprung all across China. Apart from such groups and underground organization, many other social rights groups have mushroomed that the Chinese government directly sees as a threat to their one-party system that points to a seismic current under the surface of a changing society.
The embrace of widespread Capitalism in the Communist socialistic economic setup of the past, has slowly awakened the tenets of liberalism and free thinking that free market gives birth to. And, along with prosperity and stupendous growth, natural questions of equality, freedom, liberty, Justice and morality upon which Western capitalism thrives slowly emerge on the people’s mindset, liberal values that has long been snatched by their governments. Just like the water, the thirst for freedom has seeped into the cracked desert of the changing fabric of the chinese society. Every economic super power are democratic by and large. China seems to have found a balance between socialism and capitalism, where the government is very involved in its economic growth. But given China’s tight control over the voices of its people, sooner than later they would have to cave in to the tenets of a capitalistic society where freedom of expression is paramount. But despite China writing history in their own accord, it’s only matter of time that they will fail and yield to people’s aspirations and dreams.
With Buddhism fading like fashion trends in the West, and free Tibet movements getting weaker, it’s now left to the Tibetan people to be the sole custodian of our cause and shoulder the mantle and not depend too much on the West for support, as I have interacted with many on such a conclusion. We have already confused them enough, whether it be through changes in our political stance or disillusioned them with our sex scandals by our leading gurus of the Buddhist world.
Instead of focusing on the narratives, let’s delve deeper into the reality of things and accordingly place our pivotal cues. If we know a policy has failed for many decades now, it’s imperative that we should focus on the reality of things and change our stance accordingly. We truly have only two options and whatever options is realistically pragmatic, keeping in mind the evil colonists response, we should maintain an overarching unity underneath at all times. Lastly, let’s muster Tibet’s cause and the movement for the benefit of the country and not for a few organizations and institutions that are banking money on selling a movement and a path that they know for sure won’t work but is quintessential to keep them in the money-making campaign.
I am not inspired by any minute figment of imagination of the extremist Jihadist concept, where they supposedly fight a holy war and behead the infidels, so that they can have seven virgins up in heaven waiting for them, but I do want to conceptualize our peaceful war with China into “Holy war” unlike the Jihadist, where efforts from every Tibetans irrespective of their different walks of life, should muster and fight towards reclaiming our sacred land and restoring respect to our dehumanized people, bring sanctuary to our endangered wildlife, purity to our sacred lakes, reverence to our towering mountains, life to our thick forest and hope to our civilization on the brink of extinction. Just like every movement needs fuel, monetary fuel, we would welcome all help from religious foundation and monastic organization that are overflowing with donated money to mobilize our governmental effort as a gesture of karmic calling.
This is just how I feel regarding our state of things now. I know for sure that many will disagree and pounce on my thoughts with disapproval and I am already bracing for it. But I would love to hear your thoughts, your narrative. Helping another Tibetan with your constructive criticism would be of great help in actually sharpening our own collective thoughts and actions. Remember, I probably might be mirroring many a thought here but not everyone’s for sure.
About the author
Ugyen Gyalpo lives in Woodside, New York, and works as an insurance agent for United Health Group, New York.