Transformation of a critic after hearing Penpa Tsering

Kunchok Gyatso

Kunchok Gyatso

By Kunchok Gyatso

BANGALORE, India, 27 March 2021

Often we get hypnotized by the surrounding social environment unconsciously and get dragged into some pre-programed thinking so much to an extent that our rationality completely goes into sleep mode. But few wise have the wisdom and courage to see and accept their fault and come out from the clutch of such hypnotized thinking. Tenzin Rangdol, a Khampa guy, who has authored a short but very appealing opinion (the below excerpt) on current 2021 Sikyong candidate Penpa Tsering dated 18 January 20216 in Khabdha Journal, is one such brave and wise man.

Almost 90% of the non-vested-interest critics of Penpa Tsering are like Tenzin Rangdol before changing his mind: just hypnotized political pawns unconsciously shaped by the social environment in which they dwell. They don’t know why they are against PT. They don’t get a good answer when asked themselves why they are doing so and so. They go on doing what is seen doing around without bothering to question. But Tenzin Rangdol proved himself smart before it was too late. He became conscious that what he is doing is not coming from his own mind, but propelled from the surrounding social influences. He became conscious that he has been for long dictated by the prevailing culture of the social circles which are ultimately the mind and decision of a few actors whose thoughts are being unconsciously imposed upon and taken for granted.

Below is the excerpt of Rangdol that I translated from his Tibetan original published in Khabdha Journal, dated: 18 January 2016. It is too appealing and helpful for non-vested-interest critics of PT to become themselves proud and responsible voters in the final on 11 April 2021. Because he has written with a strong realization with deep remorse of what he was before and reflects on how proud he feels later after the paradigm shift of thinking from previous to current.

I will leave the interpretation part to the wisdom of readers themselves. Here it is below, please:


“Penpa Tsering – I am so amazed”, by Tenzin Rangdol on 18 January 2016.

My perception of Penpa Tsering got changed. My view and narrative of you as a person also got changed. Before saying anything, I would like to say “SORRY” to you from the depth of my heart.

I, till now, never made any effort to know in detail what you say and do actually, apart from making derogatory remarks and baseless allegations. I wrote so many insulting and abusive comments on you in Facebook ever since the news of your arrival in New York was heard. That was not because of hatred and ill-intent to you also. It was rather a habitual way of thinking by me and my social circles. In the past, all my thinking and doings, right or wrong, whatever, all are simply just directed to you not getting elected to Sikyong and your opponent getting elected as the only motive behind and nothing else.

However, I listened your earlier online speech that you addressed to the audience of New York and New Jersey, till end. Initially, I wasn’t that willing to listen. To be honest, as you have said, my listening was only to find any mistake, if any. However, while listening, I forgot all my initial intent to find mistake, and I totally got absorbed and lost myself into your speech which introduced me in great detail to the current political affairs of Tibet and Tibetans from all perspectives.

It also, uncontrollably and enthusiastically, made me to feel if I too wish I can give a speech like this, if get an opportunity to give one on any social platform. I have never seen or heard anytime earlier anyone from Kashag or any incumbent MP of Exile-Government giving such an impressive speech like yours. Human intellectuality convincing the minds of other human with reason is if not this, what else it could be then!

Your full speech and question-answer session and post that the two clarifications at the conclusion broke all my guilt-and-shame in heart into pieces and left me feeling warm blushing on face in embarrassment, even though I am alone in the room.

Not only that you have won much votes from Ganchen Kyishong, there are many educated people in exile, as you have said, who support you. For instance, I have heard since earlier about many former government officers, religious lamas, and learned Geshes supporting you politically. Now that unanimous but undiscussed thought of those dignitaries has become clear understanding to my knowledge. Hence now onwards, I, with pride and seeing valid reason, became determined to support you wholeheartedly. And that is not for sake of anything like “you are an Amdo” and “I am a Khampa” etc., but solely for the unity and future of six million Tibetan people alone and nothing else.

Respected honorable Speaker Penpa Tsering, thank you so much. You have awakened me from my sleep of ignorance. The future Sikyong of Tibetan people, Penpa Tsering, now I support you on the basis of truth and valid reason!


Wondering how many like Rangdol are still wandering around unconsciously, without any purpose; without any direction, without any clarity, without any responsibility; without knowing consequences, but merely keep acting under the surrounding influences.

There are thousands such perhaps who do something not out of their own conscience and conviction, but merely influenced by the surrounding environment. But Rangdol proved himself intelligent by becoming conscious of his thoughts and actions, and saved himself from continuously being an unconscious hostage of political propaganda.

First he helped himself by preventing himself from becoming a pawn of political dicta and social influences. Second he helped the public by providing society a responsible citizen (himself). This happens only when one uses his own mind in analyzing and determining things right or wrong. I don’t want to elaborate much here. Because this piece is more about how Rangdol used his intelligence to revise his wrong judgment and arrive at the valid conclusion, and not about my opinion.

My intention behind writing this piece is not even to cause supporters of other candidates to switch to PT’s side either. Of course it is individual choice and freedom whom to vote for and whom not to. However, this is indeed a willful attempt to alert people to recheck their decision, their judgment, their perception — if it is actually their own, or imposed and programed by surrounding influences.

Today Rangdol is a proud responsible Tibetan. Not a Khampa. Neither Amdo, he is. Not even U-Tsang. Just a Tibetan and nothing else. And how he became so? The answer is by using his own brain!

Be like Rangdol! It’s not too late. The final is still not over! Who knows, you too may prove yourself a Rangdol-like proud and responsible Tibetan in the final election on 11 April 2021.

Proud of you, Tenzin Rangdol!


About the author

Kunchok Gyatso, LLM, is a corporate lawyer working in Bangalore, India.

More articles by Kunchok Gyatso on Tibet Sun.

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