Let Not The World Conscience Remain Silent Anymore On Plight Of Tibetans – OpEd


Around 60 years back, China forcibly entered Tibet and occupied the region. Until then, Tibet was a peaceful country and Tibetans were living with high value systems and devoted to Buddhist philosophy with ill will for none. Tibet had no army worth its name and when China carried out the aggression and its troops entered Tibet, all that the Tibetans could do was to peacefully protest against the invasion. The merciless Chinese troops massacred the protesting Tibetans in thousands. In such grim situation, the respected spiritual leader the Dalai Lama had no alternative other than leaving Tibet and entering the neighbouring country India with around 85000 Tibetan followers.

During this period of stress and strain, Tibet was almost left alone to suffer by the rest of the world. Government of neighbouring country India ought to have protested against Chinese invasion but it did not do so and to add insult to injury, recognised the occupation of Tibet by the Chinese aggressors. At that time, there were many sane voices in India which urged the Government of India to register its protest but the Government of India did not do so.

All that the Government of India did was to allow the respected the Dalai Lama and his followers to stay in India as refugees. Over the last sixty years, the third generation Tibetans now are mostly living as refugees in India.

After occupying Tibet over the last sixty years, China has been systematically plundering the several mineral wealth such as lithium and water resources in Tibet . In a methodical way , Chinese government have been sending native Chinese to settle in Tibet, to destroy the Tibetan culture and traditions. Several monasteries in Tibet have been destroyed.

The story of injustice to Tibet done by China continues today.

In the last six decades, China has not concealed its territorial greed and has entered into war with India and have now occupied thousands of kilometres of Indian territory. Obviously, occupation of Tibet by China was the first step in achieving its territorial greed. This practice of claiming the territory of other countries by China continue till today and China seems to be having the last laugh.

In such circumstances, it is now gratifying that the US House of Representatives have passed the” Resolve Tibet Act”, that called upon the Chinese government to engage with the respected the Dalai Lama, to ensure that the independence of Tibet would be restored back to Tibetans.

Subsequently, an influential group of US law makers have met the respected the Dalai Lama in Himachal Pradesh in India and exchanged views and offered support to the cause of Tibet. They have further clearly warned Chinese government that they would take steps to safeguard the sovereignty of Tibet in the coming period.

Of course, as expected, Chinese government has protested against the observations of the US lawmakers and said that Tibet is an internal matter for China.

Now, what would be the further developments?

While US lawmakers have taken the initiative to support the Tibetan cause, even though after so many decades, it can be said that it is better late than never. The question is whether other countries in the world, particularly western democracies and the discerning thinkers in these regions would voice their support to the initiative taken by the US lawmakers.

The ball is now clearly in the court of Government of India to seize the initiative and take it forward by extending support to the Tibetan cause. The question is whether the Government of India would do so or fail in its responsibility towards independent Tibet. In this connection, it may be noted that Indian Prime Minister Modi has not met the respected the Dalai Lama even once during the last ten years, when he has been the Prime Minister of India and he remains so now.

In recent times, China has acted against India’s interest in several international forums and obviously, view India as its first enemy. 

Possibly, Indian government does not want to antagonise Chinese government to avoid a military confrontation. If this is the attitude of Government of India, it is a defeatist attitude and lacking courage of conviction. Millions of Indians today are sympathetic towards Tibetan cause and want government fo India to speak for Tibet in the world forums.

Many Tibetans have now gone to different countries as refuges and later on becoming citizens of those countries. They all seem to be pre occupied with the business of getting their living and are unable to do anything substantially to help the cause of their motherland.

The initiative of US lawmakers should get further vigour and India can certainly play a catalytic role in espousing and strengthening the Tibetan cause and stir the world conscience, which has been silent for all practical purposes so far with regard to the plight of Tibetans.

N. S. Venkataraman

N. S. Venkataraman is a trustee with the "Nandini Voice for the Deprived," a not-for-profit organization that aims to highlight the problems of downtrodden and deprived people and support their cause. To promote probity and ethical values in private and public life and to deliberate on socio-economic issues in a dispassionate and objective manner.

One thought on “Let Not The World Conscience Remain Silent Anymore On Plight Of Tibetans – OpEd

  • June 21, 2024 at 10:56 am

    PM Modi should have called and talked to Xi Jingping after the Chinese incursion into Galwan, But he chose to remain silent.


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