Both the authors, rooted in the Buddhist postulate, were shocked when the Dalai Lama, the spiritual head of the exiled Tibetans, announced on March 10, 2005 that Tibet was willing to remain a part of China. They then decided to write the book which is under review with the objective of explaining the efficacy of the tools namely truth and non-violence.
Following the death of the 13th Dalai Lama in 1933, the current Dalai Lama as a 16-year old was crowned a sovereign. The boy was supposed to have the accumulated merit and wisdom of all his predecessors when he was discovered as a young boy of three. Tibetans had no doubt that he would lead them wisely under impelling circumstances of Chinese threat. While the world witnessed a metamorphosis in the form of the Second World War, emergence of Cold War between communism versus capitalistic free enterprise, independence of India and the communist takeover of China, Tibet did not wake up to these cataclysmic events, engrossed as it was in self-absorption. China took over Tibet and the Dalai Lama seemed so enamoured of Chairman Mao of China that he visited China, showing his acceptance of the 17-point programme. A final blow came in the form of Panch Sheel. In 1954, when India'sthen Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru visited China, he signed a treaty that categorically ruled out interference in the internal matters of each other. The Treaty explicitly stated that Tibet was a part of China. Thus from 1950 till his escape, the Dalai Lama was a prisoner in his homeland.
When the Dalai Lama came to know of Chinese atrocities in Tibet, he decided to escape to India despite trying in vain for 10 long years to stay on. Buddhism, like Hinduism believes in non-violence. The Dalai Lama also focused on non-violence and this won him the Nobel Prize. In 2005, there were more than 1,30,000 Tibetans surviving in India in 30 refugee camps.
Meanwhile the Tibetan youths from the community founded the Tibetan Youth Congress. Initially this organisation reacted strongly against the Chinese occupation and frequently demonstrated against the Chinese embassy but soon acknowledged that the Chinese goal was communist dictatorship. Today they are unable to forget that 60 million Tibetans have been killed between 1949-1970.
The authors say that the Tibetans are now facing the possibility of annihilation as a people and as a nation because of the Chinese practice of genocide by relocating millions of Chinese settlers in Tibet. While the Chinese continue to deride the Dalai Lama as ?splittist?, ?a wolf? and derogatory use of his name, ?Dalai?, the Dalai Lama means well for the Chinese even when he is seeking a solution to the Tibet question in ?mutual interests?.
This book is a tribute to the Dalai Lama and his greatness as a non-violent leader of the exiled Tibetans. ?It is his duty to look after the temporal matters of the Tibetan people? but he is a ?reluctant politician?. The authors say, ?Spirituality and its practical dispensation to as many as possible is his primary motivation.?
The authors also feel that the cadres of the Tibetan Youth Congress are ?hamstrung? by the Dalai Lama. ?Once they are free from his reins, the future of these mavericks will have a distinct bifurcation point.? They warn that the youth might even turn into suicidal terrorists. They conclude on a fatalistic note by stating, ?Tibet shall continue the same way, the Yellow River will continue to flow as unquiet and turbulent as it has done hitherto. Meanwhile Brahmaputra would continue to change its course regardless of the Dalai Lama'sabsence?The echoes of the meditative silence from innumerable monasteries across the world would reverberate to shake the pillars of Chinese hegemony.?
(Concept Publishing Company, A/15-16, Commercial Block, Mohan Garden, New Delhi-110059.)