With news on rioting in Tibet, deaths (alleged or not), the Olympics and the impact these riots have on them, I was arrested when I read this particular quote (from this article)
“Have there been any pictures of Tibetans getting killed?” he asked. When told no, he nodded and said, “Of course not.”
Media black-outs by the Chinese government is not news to a lot of people, just as media black-outs by different governments is routine. Safety for reporters, images that could possibly enflame religious sentiments…all these are excuses that we have heard (in some cases, they may also hold true).
The Dalai-Lama has always supported non-violence (even if he cackles about a “War with China” on a televised interview, we know it is meant to be dark humour there). With him in his seventies, will China actually be able to force the selection of the next Dalai Lama as they seem to be ready to do? They just might!
With no country ready to call China’s bluff on Tibet, it is going to be a tough task for Tibetans to get the freedom they are fighting for. There might be noise made on how China needs to get into talks with the Tibet religious head, but these will just remain noise. And China is completely aware of this part, which is why they can get away with the furore that Tibet is causing now.
It’s a diplomatic mess for India, the Dalai Lama is here as a refugee (moved in around 1956) and was welcomed then because we really were not interested in the Chinese being our friends. Now, there is no gag order that can be placed on the Tibetan leader because our press would cry foul. (And he doesn’t seem interested in doing a “Tasleema” right now)
I believe that if the Dalai Lama had asked for refuge from India now, we would have said a “No” to the leader (even if we like to pretend that we are a democracy, we also are hypocrites).
And India cannot be vilified for this stand, it is the dog eat dog world and if we can befriend the larger dog, then we will do so. And this is the diplomatic jungle, if a few lives, ideals and principles are sacrificed, then we argue that it is for the greater good – for India.
Do I believe that India should take a stand on Tibet – yes.
Do I think India will take the right stand – no.
What is the right stand anyway? Tibet is asking for autonomy, if China grants it, will Tibet’s economy survive? Would all these people rioting now be ready to face an uncertain future?
Or would the Tibetans finally be free to do what they want the most – live life as they want to live? Would freedom in Tibet make them a stronger nation?