Afraid of the Unknown

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We had planned to organise the screening of the movie, Kundan, in one of the prominent super specialty hospitals, in Kerala. The staff was very welcoming and they were excited about the idea and expressed interest in showcasing it and the related arrangements began. But, two days before the event, in the evening, we received a text message informing that the management is afraid that they would invite the wrath of their investors, who are based in Hong Kong. They informed that they are ok with any celebrations which do not have the words ‘Tibet’, ‘Dalai Lama’. Eswar tells us of the Big China watching us at the remotest corners of the country, in the weekly column, exclusively for Different Truths.

The other day, while celebrating World Tibet Day, we were organising various programmes in different parts of the country. One such series was screening of the film, Kundun, directed by Martin Scorsese. The film, released in 1997, is a biopic of His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama. The film captured the chronology of events from 1937, when the search team identified the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama, to 1959, when His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama had to leave his motherland and seek refuge in India, following the attempt on his life and plans to kill him were made clear.

Demonstration

As part of the celebrations, we had planned to organise the screening of the movie in one of the prominent super specialty hospitals, in Kerala. The staff was very welcoming and they were excited about the idea and expressed interest in showcasing of the movie and the related arrangements began. In the meantime, we were working on organising other programmes in different cities, having made sure the screening-related activities in the hospital was taken care of. Two days before the event, in the evening we received a text message informing that the management is afraid that they would invite the wrath of their investors, who are based in Hong Kong. They informed that they are ok with any celebrations which do not have the words ‘Tibet’, ‘Dalai Lama’.

Buddhist Monk ArrestI was surprised. We were expecting some resistance in some parts of the country, but not from a town, which was in the remotest corner of the state! The reality was dark and was hitting the , at one side, we are a democratic country, who openly invited and accepted His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama and his , on the other hand, we are afraid of the unknown external forces, who are not part of the country or its day to day functioning. If this is the state of affairs in a little-known village in one of the corners of the country, one just has to imagine the freedom of Tibetans in their own motherland!

Freedom of expression and freedom to practise one’s is something fundamental in any developed and developing economy. What happens when one is strangled of this freedom? Tomorrow, if the investors find that practicing national festival of the country is not in line with their beliefs, would the institution forgo celebrating the festival they had been enjoying and celebrating with much enthusiasm throughout their life? Would they not revolt or talk against such a decision or silently follow orders.

The other day, I received a call from a photo journalist from a European Nation. She informed me that she is planning to travel to China and has applied for Visa, but she is afraid about a photo she had taken in the past, which was published on a website. The photo was a beautiful capture of a Tibetan campaign, not even a non- protest or demonstration. She was afraid that she would be refused Visa because of her name published and photo-credit which was given to her.

There are instances of people who were denied a visa to Tibet because they had a photo taken with the Dalai Lama and posted it in Facebook!

The other day, I was talking to a Tibetan friend. He had escaped from Tibet and had travelled for a SelfImmolationmonth along the Himalayas to reach the Indian border. I was interested to know about the life there in Tibet because the Tibetans I had met earlier were people who were born here or who had left Tibet when they were very young. I was shocked to hear that he would no longer be eligible to inherit his share of family land since he had come on exile! I was not able to digest the information I heard. I was not able to comprehend or imagine a similar situation.

I am afraid of the unknown forces, which is silently dictating terms!

 

©Eswar Anandan

Photos Credits:

SelfImmolation.jpg: https://uyghuramerican.org/article/chinas-minority- problem-global-problem.html

BuddhistMonkArrest.jpg: http://www.fourwinds10.net/

Demonstration.jpg: http://southdakotapolitics.blogs.com/

Protest_Mumbai.jpg: http://www.friendsoftibet.org/sofar/delhi/free_panchen_apr_9_2007.html

#TibetanRights #Monks #DalaiLama #Journalism #Protest #SelfImmolation #Demonstration #China #Kerela

Eswar Anandan

Eswar Anandan

Eswar Anandan’s mother's traverse with Cancer opened his eyes and thoughts about the life outside the glass cubicles. In his own words: "Strong emotions gave way to words, words took poetic form, and I found a new purpose..." His first book, 'Seasons' is a dedication to her.He is currently working on ‘Thoughts in Silence’ and ‘Story of a Nation’. Eswar is an entrepreneur and Friends of Tibet Campaigner.
Eswar Anandan

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