ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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What Happened in Tibet?

This is in response to Srinath Raghavan’s discourse on Tibet (‘The Case for Restraint on Tibet’, April 5). He has argued that the political issue of Tibet as opposed to the moral one does not have “any real traction on Indian public opinion or indeed the political parties”. This kind of argument is quite common in the dominant discourse of the nation state. But if one is interested in bringing back moral questions to the domain of politics, the issue becomes complicated.

The current unrest in Tibet is organically linked to what happened in the region under Chinese rule. In the late 1980s, the eminent anthropologist, Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, wrote the story of rebirth of Tibetan Buddhist institutions in Nepal and India (The Renaissance of Tibetan Civilisation, 1989). In this context he highlighted the ruthless destruction of Tibetan religion and culture by the Chinese government. He conducted interviews with Lamas from Tibet.

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