Tibet Trouble

This is sad indeed, on many levels.

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Dalai Lama's Tibet bloodshed fear

On my Ladakh trip, I've come to admire Buddhism even more for its base thought-process. Also have always had a huge soft corner for Tibetans - they've had it really bad, and merely because of China's might, there isn't too much support for their cause.

(Ok there go my chances of ever being able to bike in China. Oh well!)

I'm also a little disappointed with the GoIndia for not speaking up for the Tibetans a little more. They're toeing the China line a little too much. Pragmatism and poilitical expediency is ok, but on the other hand they don't have to keep reiterating that they believe China rightfully owns Tibet.

I can empathise with the Dalai Lama's stance - though I wish he played the role of the Spiritual Leader a bit more and made the Chinese cringe. He's had the opportunity to play today's Gandhi - and that includes not giving in - but I do think he's squandered it a little bit.

The deepest anguish is with the Tibetan people. When Indians resort to violence it feels sad - when Tibetans (or any other Buddhists) do, one feels a little hopeless - if those who've grown up in the tradition of the middle path shed it and cannot force matters without hurling stones and bombs, there's very little hope for peace in the rest of the world.

I certainly cannot understand the Chinese point of view. Its a culturally different region. Its tough to maintain and administer, and can only be a drain on resources. It did have its usefulness as a buffer between China and India, and controlling it made sense from a military strategists viewpoint, but is that a valid concern or need in this day and age ? On the global stage, its only a blot on China's image - but for a few issues like these everyone's pretty impressed with them and wants to do business.

The only rational explanation one can forward is that the Chinese establishment still harbours thoughts of military expansion - and thats very scary for the rest of us, and regressive for them.

The whole thing's gone downhill in every aspect. I hope the Dalai Lama - like Gandhi always did - feels ashamed of his followers and apologises to the Chinese on their behalf. This might shame them towards a more peace-led yet resolute approach, and in turn put greater pressure (with less of a moral ground to stand on), on the Chinese. Right now they can very easily point to all those pictures of mob violence and justify a crackdown. When you're in a fistfight, who started it first stops mattering.

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