March 31, 2012

Tenzin arrested

Why was my friend Tenzin Tsundue arrested before the visit of Chinese Premier Hu? (Who?)

* Because ten years ago, he hung a "Free Tibet" flag from the 14th floor of the Oberoi (now Trident) hotel in Bombay, during the visit of Chinese Premier Zhu?

* Because seven years ago, he hung a "Free Tibet" flag from the top of a building at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, during the visit of Chinese Premier Wen?

* Because he might remind Chinese Premiers, and us, about the arrest and torture of three nuns?

* Because of muddle-headed mumbo-jumbo called "realpolitik"? For just two examples, I mean the stuff which advises that "India must refrain from going overboard in its support for the Tibetan protests lest this issue upset broader relations with China", and which also advises that "It is not in India's interests to antagonise China, a more powerful neighbouring state."

* Because … well, you take your pick.

We gave the Tibetans shelter when they fled from the excesses of China. Now we arrest them when Chinese premiers come visiting.

Seven years ago, I wrote more or less the following three paras. They seem to apply today.

Apparently, the equation is simple. China recognizes our annexure of Sikkim. In return we will be silent on Tibet. (What's the difference, I'd like to know, between them going into Tibet and us going into Sikkim?)

And sure enough, that's just what has happened. With a certain glee, our press reports that Wen brought with him a map acknowledging our claim on Sikkim. And in return for that measly crumb, we are craven enough to shut up on Tibet.

Fortunately, there are Tenzins out there who are neither as craven nor as willing to shut up, arrest or no arrest. Power to your flag, Tenzin. Know this much: you inspire.


Chandru K said...

Big difference between Sikkim joining India, and Tibet being conquered by China. And I've already stated the difference. There was a popular vote in Sikkim for accession to India. There was no invasion or forcing people into foreign countries( China?) as refugees. Whereas Tibetans did flee their homeland and become refugees in India. Where are the Sikkimese refugees and equivalents of Dalai Lama in China, or anywhere, yearning to return to their democratic homeland.
The comparison is perverse.

Rohit said...

It is a shame that free speech and the right to protest (which is the very reason for an independent India) are so easily trampled upon when they become inconvenient for politicians. None of them seem to have even an ounce of integrity.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for giving up blogging. It has made life so much better!

Dilip D'Souza said...

I've made life easier for guys too frightened to use their name? Damn, what a mess up. I shall rectify that pronto.

Anonymous said...

Agli post tab likhoge jab Tenzin release hoga?

Dilip D'Souza said...

Sir-jee, iska kucch irada ki khoj mein hoon. Dekhte rehna.

Anonymous said...

interesting to see your comments regarding people being 'too frightened' to use their name. I always thought it was more important to challenge an idea rather than the person who was proposing it. What do you plan on doing with a person's identity once they tell you who they are? Report them to the authorities if you don't like what they say? Or put them on some kind of a blacklist like the repressive regimes of the day?

Dilip D'Souza said...

What do I plan on doing?

Get over your fright at using your own name, and you'll find out.

Anonymous said...

This blog is a good example of The Cat. The fun appears to be over here .
As for name-using. If you don't like anonymous posts don't permit them. Otherwise cast aside that paper cudgel.


Well I agree with Chandru K and feel that Dilip's fear of India taking a soft approach is also true. China has always been the bigger threat to us than our other poor neighbor. China's clams over Arunachal are proof of that and the way chines are building up infrastructure on boarders and linking them up with Pakistan.

Akash said...

Its all due to our country's political decisions that we make and yes also due to decisions we fail to make... Instead of seeing a good future of our country all politician are busy seeing their own futures.

Unknown said...

Indeed, whatever happened to freedom of expression.

R said...

For your kind information: Mishra's friend, Rakesh Babu, who first flagged this issue, contacted Samar on twitter and asked a simple a question

This was days before Mishra wrote the blog. What was the result ? Rakesh was blocked.

It is after that Mishra wrote his opinion, on his blog.

Enough about not asking for response.