Tibetans Should Believe That Independence Is Possible – OpEd


Some of the recent observations and comments made in social media by number of Tibetans living as refugees or citizens in other countries give an impression that some of them may be losing confidence that independence of Tibet would happen in their life time. Some of them seem to think that such hope of Tibetan independence is a distant dream or unrealistic dream.

To some extent, the Dalai Lama , the venerable leader of great stature, seem to have given room for such feelings by making observations on more than one occasion in recent times that he would be satisfied if Tibet would be given full autonomy within the overall governance of China and he would not demand complete independence for Tibet.

Of course, some quarters among Tibetans have expressed surprise at such stand of the Dalai Lama. It appears that, as yet, the Dalai Lama has not explained in public the logic or justification for diluting the target of independent Tibet and instead asking for autonomy status for Tibet.

In any case, it is very clear that the present Chinese government has no intention of conceding the demand for independence of Tibet or autonomy status for Tibet.

Apart from the fact that the Dalai Lama seem to have diluted his desire for independence of Tibet by asking for autonomy status for Tibet, the ground reality that no country in the world has shown readiness to condemn openly China’s aggression in Tibet seem to have shaken the confidence of section of the Tibetans living around the world that Tibet’s independence would be possible in the foreseeable future.

Barrack Obama, the former President of United States, also contributed significantly to demolish the confidence of Tibetans by receiving the Dalai Lama through the back door in White House, as if he was doing a mistake or scared of antagonizing the Chinese government.

Nevertheless, one should not miss the fact that Chinese government is aware that there is underlying feeling among cross section of world citizens that Tibet has been taken over by China unjustifiably with its military might. China is acutely aware that it has virtually destroyed the Tibetan culture and tradition and world knows it and China further knows that this fact cannot be concealed in the world history in future.

Given this ground reality, China clearly has apprehensions about the world’s view on its occupation of Tibet and it vehemently protests even if the government of a small country would officially receive the Dalai Lama. China objects strongly to any recognition for the Dalai Lama anywhere in the world, since it knows that the Dalai Lama represents a strong moral force and Tibetan cause and the plight of Tibetans can potentially prick the conscience of the world in future.

In recent times, after Mr. Modi has become the Prime Minister of India, the government has exhibited a courage of conviction to stand against China as far as the treatment extended to the Dalai Lama and Tibetans in India are concerned. Certainly, Tibetans across the world should gain confidence from the no nonsense attitude of the Narendra Modi government, which is standing up to China with regard to the importance given to the Dalai Lama and Tibetans in India.

It is a fact that most of the Tibetans living around the world today have not seen Tibet or touched the soil of Tibet, as Tibet lost its freedom around 60 years back. Quite a number of them are citizens of some other countries. However, it is very important that they should keep the Tibetan pride in their families for all time to come and should continue to cherish the thought of independent Tibet.

The Tibetans should not let China has the last laugh with regard to the occupation of Tibet. Tibetans should keep their belief and faith that independence of Tibet would be possible and should keep their spirit alive and strong, by constantly discussing about the cause of Tibet in several world forums wherever possible.

There is also need for the Dalai Lama to think as to what would happen to Tibetan cause after his time, since today the Dalai Lama represents the voice of Tibetans and has a very strong moral power which China too recognizes.

Tibetans need to plan their strategies for independent Tibet under the guidance of the Dalai Lama by organizing several brain storming session in different parts of the world and such strategies should be widely communicated to the Tibetans and friends of Tibet all over the world.

Tibetans should remember that faith and belief has historically changed the tide of misfortune and without faith and belief ,no cause can be achieved.

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.

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