Time to save the sinking ship of the Tibetan cause

Ugyen Gyalpo

Ugyen Gyalpo

By Ugyen Gyalpo

NEW YORK, US, 28 April 2018

Gone are the days when Tibetan solidarity was demonstrated through inter-organisational unity, and transparency and teamwork were not conundrums. The architects of endemic ideologies, the clash of mighty egos, and our flawed democracy, a system without multiple parties to represent different voices, has our community deeply divided and entrenched on regional grounds.

A short-circuit motherboard, like that which existed on an imaginary level before His Holiness’ devolution of his political role, that managed different flows of energy and controlled frequencies of differential arrays with a single switch, is surely missing in these rather difficult days of our newly-minted, hard-to-understand, infant democracy.

Every organisation or group has different agendas to put forth, even though the supposedly ultimate goal of solving Tibet’s issue for that matter is unequivocally shared by our same moral obligations. Every organisation in itself has become a marshy pond, where viruses of egocentrism are birthed and thrive. Every organisation and everyone leading them has somehow made islands of isolationist groups of like-minded people.

There is a silent battle of ‘creditworthiness’ brewing within our bureaucracy, and a hunger to ‘monetize’ by the many Tibet Support Groups of the cult-like brand Tibet, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s name has become detrimental to our cause and to the unity that we critically need.

Furthermore, the millions in American aid has intoxicated our movement and has us habituated to seeking monetary help, while losing sight of our goal. And the supposed leader of the free world in the United States, having lost completely the needle of its moral compass, shoves our greater issues silently under the political rug, while we rejoice in their perennial candy aid. Whilst our elected leader impatiently awaits for applause on the issues of such aid, has only added mileage to the charade that exists. It is ever too clear how wolfishly the world led by the US have sidelined the Tibet issue with the changing dynamic and symbiosis and the dominant political clout of China in its newly-found realm.

Just like Africa remains poor because of the surplus Western food that is dumped as ‘humanitarian aid’ into the market, which in turn debilitates and destroys the local farming there and makes them lazy and cyclically dependent, the Tibetan diaspora’s dependence on Western aid is no different. it has trapped them into the eternal hypocrisy of the West and made them complacent and numbingly patient.

The dynamics of what the West could have done some twenty years ago when China was easy to contain, and the empty promises and hypocrisy that exist now through reaffirmation of their help by way of lobbying and institutionalisation of the Tibetan cause, has got us nowhere but to a cycle of regimental renewal of oaths and vacant promises, and deepening of the pockets of those who exploit our cause.

The long-wished-for occasion of China one day crumbling under the weight of their capitalistic boom, which would hopefully propel uts people to yearn for greater rights and freedom guaranteed on democratic grounds that comes along with flowering seeds of prosperity, seems to be dead on arrival ever since President Xi, who seems to be Mao’s incarnate, rewrote the constitution in his own terms and vowed to rule the country indefinitely as a dictator. The likelihood of the collapse of communist China like the former USSR is far from reality now. And so are the chances of any possibility of coming to an agreement on the call for autonomy that Tibetans have been pushing for decades now.

I am not a political analyst nor an expert pundit on geopolitical changes, but my gut instinct tells me that our struggle for freedom should be waged from India of all other places. As of now realizing through this sad awakening, the Tibetan issue has become a case of the leper that no one wants to touch but only sympathise with. We have had enough of world sympathy, and of countries that once supported Tibet kowtowing to China. We should take matters into our own hands now. What we need more than anything is only our own self-help.

Having said that, the era of dependency on Western help and lobbying is a farce. We need to gather support from our natural and genuine automatic half-brother in India. Through the era of leadership of Modi’s courage, we will be able to stand up against the Chinese might in unison. Tibetans are scattered like broken rosary beads all over the world, but since the thread that brings us together is based in India, it’s but natural to wage our campaigns from there.

These last two decades have transformed not just China but India too. Having grown far from their third-world stigma, and now a leader in an emerging economy, India has become a dominant player in world politics as well. Any or all help from our half-brothers, who have given us refuge along with our religion and our script, is what we should look forward to now. India ranks among the world’s top five armed forces. No matter what, China can’t bully India lest they risk an all-out war that neither would want in the real world.

Tibet has evidently been a thorny issue in China-India bilateral relations ever since His Holiness was given refuge. As of late, the diplomatic fall-out from the slippery tongue of CTA’s President that flashed out covert secretive mission by an emissary to China, inadvertently keeping India out of the loop has caused some mistrust within the Indian politburo. India has much to lose if Tibet is ever given genuine autonomy and if China reclaims all of Tibet based on the McMahon line. As of late, India’s snubbing of Tibet and the Dalai Lama’s related programmes and events is evidence of their intentional withdrawal. The only way we Tibetans can earn back India’s hitherto undeniable moral support and trust is if we vehemently change our political course and steer this sinking ship on chartered waves of reclaiming total independence that will reshape the paradigm of where we stand as refugees in the eyes of the Indian government, and where our ultimate goal lies.

It is time that the CTA should reverse its ideology and go back to its original and genuine aim of reclaiming everything we have lost, to follow the shadow of truth of Tibet being once an independent country and nothing more. The only strong answer to China is the reaffirmation of our calls for complete independence. We must send them a strong message that we are not one of their ethnic minorities, but proud Tibetans who once ruled over their subservience.


About the author

Ugyen Gyalpo lives in Woodside, New York, and works as an insurance agent for United Health Group, New York.

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