'Will India Wake Up To Reality?' by Tenzin Tsundue
(Mid-Day Daily, January 17, 2001)

Tenzin Tsundue: Rebel With A Cause

The Tibetan freedom struggle in exile has been more symbolic than confrontational. in the past 40 years from outside Tibet, all we have achieved is presenting the real Tibet to the world - as a country where real people of flesh and blood, with the same ability to feel pain and anger, live. We have been able to demystify Tibet from the cliched idea of a land of lamas who walk two inches off the ground.

But the freedom struggle seems to have stopped growing from the zenith of sympathy we reached when His Holiness the Dalai Lama received the Nobel Peace Prize for peace in 1989.

I hear that in Tibet it is difficult to find trustworthy friends. Every other person may be a spy for the Chinese. They whisk away freedom fighters in the dark of night and their dead bodies resurface in the outskirts of the town. Tibetans are a minority in their country. Tibet reels under a cloud of terror and oppression.

Yesterday, India fell for China when Mao Tsetung came with 'friendship ties', screeming 'Hindi-Chini-Bhai-Bhai', but we all know they back-stabbed in 1962, when they attacked India.

Today Zhu Rongji is extending 'economic ties' screaming 'Chini-buy-buy'. We have known the Chinese for long as a difficult neighbour. We know we are fighting a losing battle, with the world having given up upon us. We may perish, but for India it will leave a cancerous wound along its 3,500-km permanent border with China.

Will India wake up to this reality? It is time we worked together for the independence of Tibet and for a safe and secure border for India.

Tenzin Tsundue is a Tibetan poet and the General Secretary of Friends of Tibet (INDIA). He can be contacted at