BANGALORE, India, 5 October 2020
Krishna in the Mahabharata resembles the epitome of truth and justice. He is not an impartial and neutral spectator. He is very much sided — sided for and with truth always. Wherever truth lies, there he stands no matter what. Tibetan people too, looking to the recent past, have been more or less like Krishna, by collectively standing with and for truth — fighting and defending the system whenever it runs on risk.
I see a parallel theme run (maybe coincidentally) between Yudhishthira of the Mahabharata and Penpa Tsering of the exile polity, especially with regards to some of his recent political accounts. Both have never minded taking personal loss, especially when it helps the greater public interest, but have never spared even an inch when the greater public interest is at stake.
Yudhishthira was aided and guided by Krishna almost throughout in his fight to uphold the virtue of righteousness. PT needs a Krishna and I have found his Krishna already. His Krishna is none other than the Tibetan people as a whole, who will withstand and ensure the final and complete victory of democracy by electing him to Sikyong in this 2021 general election.
I am not going to list what PT will do if he gets elected here, because people don’t need any explanation of his manifestos. His past legacy is auto-explanatory for what he is going to deliver if he is elected.
This piece is an attempt to throw some light on how empowerment and safeguarding of our democracy is crucially associated with voting for PT, a theme more of political and historical significant than a candidate prelude — which we may miss if not alerted now. Plus, of course, many socio-economics deliveries we are likely to gain from his election to Sikyong also come into consideration.
As the author of this piece, it is my responsibility to establish and convince my readers satisfactorily as to how there lies a political significance in supporting PT in this coming 2021 election.
Electing PT this time is nothing but conferring a compete victory to our democracy, which unfortunately in 2017 suffered some dent in the hand of our incumbent elected Cabinet by terminating him for reasons.
I wouldn’t have authored this piece if that termination was a personal dealing. It may look very personal on surface observation in an unanalyzed and casual understanding. However, at a deeper look in a political sense, even a person of average intelligence will understand that it was more an invasion of our democratic system than a loss of an individual’s job, which many honestly believe was simply due to lack of political knowledge, which again is an understandable and excusable mistake.
He happily absorbed the personal loss part — no matter how awkward, unreasonable, and arbitrary the Cabinet decision has appeared — by not demanding a reason for his termination, while sitting in the world’s most successful democratic nation blessed with abundant recourse to avail of legal remedies to claim damages.
However, the Cabinet decision being arbitrary and undemocratic, the whole system also has been toppled along with his termination. And to restore the toppled system, he moved court, and the rest we know. The system, to the due of PT’s effort, has been positioned back to the initial. But it is yet to receive hold of earth beneath to stand itself independently in the track of history.
For that our democratic system is eagerly awaiting people’s acknowledgement of Case. 20 verdict given by court for its final and complete reinstallation. And this 2021 general election is the right and never -coming-back platform where you can offer that acknowledgement by electing the same PT through whose medium our democracy was hijacked and toppled.
It’s about safeguarding yours and mine democracy. It’s about your children and grandchildren looking back to this historic victory of democracy with pride and honor. It’s about creating a history of victory of democracy which you can narrate to your children and their children with sense of proud and honor.
I must also tell that the other candidates in this election are also good and competent people. But this political significant of democracy empowerment is not associated with them for the obvious reason we know.
Moreover, PT is not lacking an inch from the competency perspective, compared to that of his peer candidates. If he is lacking competency in some or another portfolio, that poses a risk of losing certain benefits which could have avoided if some other candidate who could possibly deliver that which PT can’t is elected, then indeed we must have a reservation about electing him despite this political significance I am talking about here. But that is not the case. He is well equipped with all the required administrative skills with no less amount, if not more, with a span of 20 years’ experience.
His competency is well proven beyond reasonable doubt from his single-handed victory, in individual capacity, in Case no 20, against the very authority that unjustly terminated him.
It’s not an easy task for an incompetent person to win that way. Merely having the truth on your side is not sufficient to come out as a winner. The competency to establish truth in the court of law — that too against the unjust doings of government — takes so much courage, bravery, and wisdom.
Penpa Tsering is not so important. Many Sikyongs will come and go every five years. But your democracy is important. It will and has to stay intact. History may question us if the dent that our democracy has suffered is not cured back to health for no reason. Posterity will question us for our failure to safeguard our democracy when needed. And for that reason, voting for PT is a call that both past and coming history are demanding from past and future distances.
The unborn coming generations are refusing to accept legacy dues if the dent suffered in the democracy is not completely cured. The gone generation will not forgive if we dare to pass a dented democracy to the next one.
Nothing will be more painful for China than seeing a common citizen winning through legal means against the specific unjust act of authority, especially when it is happening in the exile Tibetan polity which, for decades, they have attempted to portray to the world as nothing more than a dissatisfied dissenting bourgeois clique. And what will be more devastating for China than the former is seeing the same individual (who suffered injustice; fought and won through legal means) democratically getting elected to the highest political post of the system. Given this, voting for PT is directly hitting the dragon where it hurts the most. Because after all, it all speaks of what kind of system we have in place for our governance, the democracy and its values — which millions oppressed common Chinese envy, and at the same time hope for also. But failing to do this will definitely give a boost to China to strengthen the grip on all its occupied sovereigns, including Tibet, which may become a cause for unnecessarily prolonging the struggle. Because, very reasonably they (CCP) will have a good case to show us that their (dictatorial) works and ours (Democracy) doesn’t, giving our own case of failure to protect democracy to back up their claim.
PT being a long-professing advocate of the Middle-Way policy, voting for him is in addition a channel for you to show your unwavering and transparent support to His Holiness’ guided and people’s chosen Middle-Way policy for the resolution of the Tibet Issue.
Krishna’s efforts to coronate Yudhishthira back to the throne of Hatsinapur is actually, in a deeper political sense, nothing but restoration of a fallen system and thereby protecting justice for the good of all. Likewise, we the Tibetan people also in the form of Krishna can heal the dent our system has suffered by voting for PT.
Until the coming of this specific understanding to my mind recently, I was very hesitant to vote for PT in this coming election. Because it is not a good reason to vote for him simply because truth lies on his side in the Case 20. Case 20 and General election are two different things, if such a political and historical significance is not inseparably connected between the two. But this interconnected link between Case 20 and the election leaves me with no option other than to vote for him.
With this conviction, I am going to vote for PT this time to confer the complete victory to our democracy and system. And I am not going to ask anyone of you to vote for PT also. I will leave the choice absolutely to your sweet will. But yes, when I am on the way to do this, I will definitely turn back to check if I am alone in this mission to confer complete victory to our democratic system, or are there many others as well who, like me, want to do the same and create a great history that will kick China hard right there in the midst of this ongoing Covid Pandemic mess.
Like Krisha’s Gita was preached at Kurukshetra the minute before the commencement of the Mahabharata war only for those who don’t know, so too this my piece is also for those don’t know and not for those who know everything, but don’t want to know anything still.
If PT is Yudhishthira, you can be the Krishna! As simple as that.
About the author
Kunchok Gyatso, LLM, is a Sr Legal Associate at Exigent Group Ltd, Bangalore, India.
We have all seen and experienced nepotism, regionalism, disagreeable policies, factionalism, disunity, money laundering, power abuse, self-promotion, personal agenda, and dereliction of the Supreme court decision in the last 10 years of LS. Use your vote wisely.
People, please ignore Gangchenpa from Phoenix and just share your opinion. He is acting like a class monitor in this comment section dictating what every commentator should think, do and what even the Tibet Sun has to do to fulfill his need for brief information on every Sikyong candidates and policies. Not only that he wants all the Sikyong candidates to come one by one to Tibet Sun to debate, just because Gangchenpa has work and is time bound. Everyone has work and simultaneously taking interest in Tibet issue and commenting their opinions. We don’t have extra time to fulfill Gangchenpa’s every wishes. Please Gangchenpa, don’t hijack this comment section and stop acting like self-appointed class monitor. It is so annoying.
Guys, Dongchung Ngodup is around the corner stealing votes from Penpa Tsering. Their votebanks are the same people. People who voted for Lobsang Sangay in 2016 will vote Gyalri Dolma or Kaydor. All votes Dongchung gets will have to come from Penpa Tsering’s votebank.
Dharamshala voted Penpa Tsering in 2016. But now, 90% of Dharamshala Tibetans will vote Dongchung Ngodup since he is more well-known there.
It feels fair to jump straight to the quater final of the election. PT and Dongchung competes in group A of conservatives. Kaydor and Gyari competes on the other hand in group B of libertals. The two winners fight for the final election.
Wish folks will pen essays about other candidates you mention.
Also maybe the candidates can provide their political platform or goals and policies initially on one page, with supporting documentation that maybe many pages.
Yes I know some Tibetans regard it an insult to reduce policies and hopes to a page: but be kind to us who are not in the know and busy earning daily keep.
And maybe Tibetsun can compile the top 10 issues that Tibetans inside and outside face…on just one page? Polls are expensive but pioneers should have wide tolerance or margin of error.
Then we look forward to debates where all can have their say and contest claims by their competitors! WITH DUE RESPECT TO THE SILENT MAJORITY.
We can draw such traditional predictions if we were in 2011 and 2016. Now we have an interesting mix of candidates and such an increased awareness among the voters that our election will toss up interesting and unpredictable results. This is my feeling at the moment.
Unlike previous elections, people are more hesitant to publicly voice their support for their particular candidate publicly in this unprecedented polarized atmosphere. That is why what is seen and projected right now might not be what will happen in the end.
What we see right now are the vociferous group (however small) dominating the social media space and giving the impression of a mass support. I think it will be the silent majority who will play a major role in deciding this election outcome.
PT is a good leader. He will find it difficult to gain trust of Khampa faction who supports LS/Kaydor and Gyari Dolma. It is a tricky situation
Rise of PT will be a vindication of good over evil and right over wrong.
Hope and pray this phoenix rises with full glory!
Not sure who are the other candidates for this position: but Kalsang Lodoe says “Rise of PT will be vindication of good over evil and right over wrong.”
Who are the evil candidates who have dared to avail themselves of democratic right to stand in elections?
Kalsang Lodoe from Toronto has the moral and legal obligation to justify her charges.
We can put forward our candidates, support policies that help Tibetans but I am not sure how 70 plus years of hell gets us to a time and place where we tell Tibetans that it is a vindication of good over evil and right over wrong WITHOUT providing any facts and supporting documentation?!!!
Gangchenpa la, please don’t go beserk twisting facts like Maha government and Shiv Sena. If you don’t like PT, that’s definitely not my problem.
Why this online bully is asking me to justify morally and legally a general comment that I made, as if we live in North Korea? Did I in anyway mention PT’s rise to be associated ONLY with this general election?
If you read the above article again, the author of this article has chosen the backdrop and characters of Mahabharatha. As far as I know, the underlying theme in both the Indian epic Ramayana and Mahabharata is the victory of good over evil by choosing right over wrong or rather, righting the wrong. So, now I have to bring in “facts and supporting documents” to justify why I said what I said on a universal theme? Unbelievable!
I only wrote two lines about PT in this comment section and you express outrage, try to instigate other candidates, asked me to justify, and made me into a female. As you rightly said, support your own candidate and let me do my thing. I seriously have not enough time to write more on PT’s goodness and greatness (unless you provoke me to) or to rebut your wild allegations anymore.
Thanks for sharing your philosophy.
You wrote: “Rise of PT will be a vindication of good over evil and right over wrong.”
Not my words but you have the ownership.
Ramayana and Mahabharatha are many and varied epics that have differing stories and endings.
You know and I know. But if your campaign is to vote for someone who gambled and lost his kingdom in the mists of time so long ago, I have a duty to question your metaphor.
But good and evil are Middle Eastern monotheistic notions, in the main. We Tibetans say: Pray to Drey with good intentions and Lha will answer; Pray to Lha with evil intentions and Drey will answer.
I guess when we say that negative actions are so habituated that the person becomes subject to “Zhenwang” then it comes close to the Monotheistic notion of Evil.
My point was: This is an election. There are a limited number of candidates for position of the next Sikyong.
Your candidate may be the best and you have every right to say so.
But you are in no legal or moral or philosophical position to portray this election of next Sikyong as “Rise of PT will be a vindication of good over evil and right over wrong.”
Ramayana and Mahabharatha are classics that commend great respect but similes and metaphors need some familiarity with this great Indian classic.
But my main point: last election smart operators resorted to regional ties; now we have a struggle for good over evil and right over wrong!
I see no progress but if you feel that providing facts and documentation (which is a standard in modern courts) then you are missing the fact that I respected you enough to hold you to normal legal standards. Not in anyway to bully someone who made such a charge.
Thanks for your initial reprimand and this seemingly long lecture in a response form, which were both unsolicited and unwarranted. While agreeing to disagree on some of your views therein over which further discussion seems like a futile exercise, I appreciate the reasonable tone of your response this time and leave it at that.
So Yudhishthira gambled and lost his kingdom; I like to think of Krishna being mischievous and passionate with Radha. It is possible that there are six million Radhas to six million manifestations of Krishna.
Would CCP be the Raksha minions of Ravana?
The discourse should be in choosing a candidate who is the best for Tibet. It should not be swayed by personal likes and dislikes even though we have to weigh the candidates merits and demerits.
The biggest problem for the future leader is the lack of political education among the public. The Tibetan public including those who are born in exile lack far sightedness, thus instead of keeping the goal of the movement as the ultimate goal of our democracy, they see it as an opportunity to push their candidate and their agenda as the ultimate goal!
As a result, even if it is harmful for the real cause of Tibet, they are prepared to indulge in insane smear campaigns and internecine feuds among themselves. This is suicidal. This will not help the cause of Tibet.
The leader should be someone who can lead by inclusiveness rather than exclusivity and demonising and scapegoating individuals who don’t toe their line. Freedom to dissent is the core of civilised democracy. Disagreement defines our individuality. It energises our progress and enlarges our perspectives.
The culture of tolerance towards those who have a mind of their own has not yet taken root among the Tibetan public. We are still stuck in the treadmill of feudalism which demands unquestioned subservience to the higher authorities. Democracy without freedom to dissent is tyranny.
It is hoped that the aspiring candidates keep this in mind in order to usher Tibetans into a democracy both in spirit and practice. The public should reject candidates who blatantly misuse the good name of esteemed people to demonize and ostracise dissenters as we have seen in the last election.
FREEDOM OF SPEECH IS THE MOST VITAL PART OF DEMOCRACY AND AN INDIVIDUAL RIGHT ENSHRINED IN THE UN CHARTER OF HUMAN RIGHTS!
You nailed it perfectly!
Thank you for this article. It was much needed and reminded. We are the holder of Tibetan Cause. Honestly, if we think about our past and future we must vote PT because he has now become a symbol.
If we go by least experience and out-of-box thinking, then Sikyong candidate Tashi Topgay fits the bill. He thrashed LS left, right and center in one of his FB videos.
The division which is created in society thanks to your yudhistra.
Lets see what happens.
If Tibetans are Krishna where is Sweet and Dusky Radha? And is Arjuna est 22?
Not a big fan of the big story is internecine warfare: Central Asian Aryans attacking dusky native Indians maybe lost to your narrative. But still this is an innovative political promo.
Penpa Tsering has a loads and loads of bureaucratic experience. But it is unclear how important the experience is when leading the highest office of a state. Research on US presidents found no direct link between the amount of experience and the actual performance in office.
Greatest leaders of the world had minimal experience, and led their group from their teens or early twenties. Songtsen Gompo ruled as a teenager. HH Dalai Lama himself led at age 16. Gengkhis Khan was 13. Alexdendra the Great was 25 when he was conquering the world.
But then now the times have changed since the arrival of democracy. And in democracy, a recent trend of choosing leaders largely based on their policies and how they directly impact their lives appears to rule the roost. e.g. Donald Trump won by virtue of his strong anti-immigration rhetorics when pitted against Mrs Hilary Clinton who is the paragon of ‘experienced politician.’ Now ‘experienced politician’ is slightly stigmatized, and is associated with ‘career politicians’ whose life was mostly spent in government bureaucracy.
In the Tibetan context, Dongchung Ngodup, Gyari Dolma, Penpa Tsering, Acharya Yeshi, Lobsang Nyendak fit the bill for career politicians with 20+ years of bureaucratic experience. That is a bad thing for many. Too much experience hampers out of the box thinking, and risk-taking. Kaydor Aukatsang will be fine.
Anyway, Penpa Tsering has to first clear himself of the lingering rumour about his involvement in the suspicious death of Kathak Lama and his addiction to alcohol.
These two are serious issues. And PT has to address these issues clearly to the public instead of just saying, ‘Say this in the court.’ It isn’t always about the court, sometimes it is also about the public opinion.
This Daveno guy has three agendas:
No one but Khampas should have the cake and eat.
When it comes to religious divisions, Sakyas are the best.
And when his provincial and sectarian divisions could not stir enough trouble for his paymasters, then create divisions between Shecha people and Sarjor.
I have watched this guy for so long from Jamyang Norbu’s blog to Phayul to Tibet Sun. He is one who launched ceaseless attacks on Kasur Tethong in support of LS. At that time one of his MO was Kudrags are evils.
Judge for yourself. I think he is CCP agent. Track his online foot prints and connect the dots. One can find enough clues.
Here, the contextual background is Tibetan governance-in-exile and it is not comparable to the free and greatest democracy of the US. For one, we are currently operating our government from a borrowed land. Your analogy, therefore, is quite far-fetched.
We have had 10 years of LS’s leadership based on “minimal experience” with “out-of-the-box thinking” for all to see and experience. Kaydor is a misfit among this bunch of Sikyong candidates. For a 54 year old man, his only real claim to service is his nine years under LS. But he can’t be clubbed as a candidate not having been steeped in bureaucracy either as he has worked closely with LS as his advisor and partner in many of LS’ undertakings for these nine years. He should have and could have already used much of the “out-of-the-box” policies then.
There is also nothing so extraordinary about Kaydor’s manifesto too as he is only regurgitating 5-50, Tibet Corp and the like. If he is a new candidate like LS when he first ran, people would surely buy this “career politician” versus “out-of-the-box thinking candidate” argument. People know Kaydor and his works very well to be taken in by any flowery adjectives now.
I think public opinion has clearly concluded that “lingering rumor about PT’s involvement in the suspicious death of Kathak Lama and his addiction to alcohol” are just that – RUMOURS. Such baseless allegations are created by vested interest to sway public opinion, but public are way more smarter these days to see through such activities.
I think it is high time we give the reigns of power in the hands of a mature, experienced, and dedicated leader (it can be anyone of the above so-called “career politician”) to heal the Tibetan community first as well as work towards our common goal.