CHENNAI, India, 25 November 2017
Many Tibetans around the world, longing for an independent Tibet and returning back to Tibet with dignity, would have been shocked to hear the remarks of the Dalai Lama once again that Tibet does not seek independence from China but only wants greater development. The Dalai Lama made similar remarks earlier, but many thought that he would change his stance after listening to the voice of Tibetans who love their motherland and want Tibet to be an independent country. Unfortunately, the Dalai Lama has chosen to persist with his counter-productive stand of not insisting on independence for Tibet.
No one will be happy about such views of the Dalai Lama except the Chinese government and its aggressive leader Mr Xi Jinping. Many even wonder now whether the Dalai Lama has chosen to echo the views of the Chinese government.
In the period around 1950, China aggressively invaded Tibet, mercilessly killed the freedom fighters in Tibet, and drove the Dalai Lama and his followers out of Tibet. The Dalai Lama left for India seeking refugee status, and all these years the Tibetans have been looking for a day when they would be able to return back to independent Tibet.
Ever since the Chinese occupied Tibet, China has been systematically and ruthlessly carrying out genocide in Tibet, destroying its culture and traditional practices. It has been trying to brainwash the Tibetans living in Tibet that Tibet is only part of China and not an independent country.
Unfortunately, all the countries in the world have chosen to ignore the atrocities committed by China in Tibet, and such attitude of the other countries have emboldened China to tighten its grip over Tibet in all possible ways.
During the last few decades, China has been systematically opposing any country even allowing a visit by the Dalai Lama. USA also has succumbed to the pressure of China and have now virtually disowned the cause of Tibet.
While this is so, the voice of the Tibetans across the world have not been silenced. There are many people in different countries who understand that Tibetans have been wronged and think that they should get their motherland back, so that the sovereignty and the status of Tibet as an independent country would be restored. The spirit of independence for Tibet continues to remain vibrant.
In such circumstances, it is extremely disappointing to know that the Dalai Lama has been repeatedly stating that he does not want independence for Tibet. While advancing such view, it is unfortunate that the respected octogenarian monk does not realise that he is doing a grave historical mistake and he is disrespecting the spirit of Tibetans.
The philosophy of Buddhism certainly does not advocate hatred even against the worst enemy. One would approve if the Dalai Lama would say that he loves Chinese people and respects them in spite of all the wrongs and harm that China has done to Tibetans. But simply succumbing to the atrocities of China in Tibet and sacrificing the dignity of Tibet as an independent country cannot be part of Buddhist culture and faith.
The Dalai Lama is certainly a much respected person and he would continue to remain so. However, for all the Tibetans across the world, the Dalai Lama has caused great anguish now that he has given up the demand for independent Tibet and wants to be part of China.
Even while respecting the Dalai Lama for all the great contributions that he has made for Tibetans and their culture in the past, Tibetans should politely tell the Dalai Lama that they would continue to have faith in the cause of independent Tibet and would strive for it, with great faith that good cause would always triumph over evil.
About the author
NS Venkataraman is a chemical engineer as well as a social activist in Chennai, India. He is the founder trustee of Nandini Voice for the Deprived, a Chennai-based not-for-profit organisation serving the cause of the deprived and down-trodden, and working for probity in public life.
More articles by NS Venkataraman on Tibet Sun.