Hindustan Times

‘Tibetan Struggle Needs A Boost To Achieve Its Goal’
by Pawan Sharma
(Hindustan Times | May 14, 2002)

'Tibetan Freedom struggle in exile has been more symbolic than confrontational,' remarks general secretary of Friends of Tibet (INDIA) organisation, Tenzin Tsundue.

The activists of Friends of Tibet (INDIA) appear reserve and observed that even protest marches taken out on certain important occassions have become a more ritual with the Tibetan youth, who are mistaking 'non-violence' with 'non-action'.

In an exclusive talk with the Hindustan Times, Tenzin Tsundue said, 'we are motivating every Tibetan to become pro-active and shun complacency. Exile in India has become a comfortable bed, which has made Tibetans complacent. Due to comforts in India, the Tibetans have forgotten the cause of Tibet'.

Tenzin was caught in January for climbing the 14th floor of a Mumbai hotel shouting anti-China slogans and unfurling Tibetan flag from the window.

He said Friends of Tibet (INDIA) has built its network at grassroots level and local leaders of the community on regular intervals inform the Tibetans about the situation inside Tibet. 'We want to take out processions, hold rallies on the issue of Tibet. Lack of initiative has made the struggle very passive. We are telling people to do something on their own, instead of waiting for help from others,' he said.

In this fresh move to make the community, especially the youth proactive, the activists of the Friends of Tibet (INDIA) have launched different programmes like workshops, talks and seminars. These different programmes aim at energising, empowering and making Tibetans aware about the Tibetan issue. Besides, the Friends of Tibet (INDIA) will educate the youth how to organise protest marches and how to take the struggle to its logical end.

Disclosing this, Tsundue said workshops would be organised in six different Tibetan camps in North-east and other areas dominated by Tibetans. Friends of Tibet (INDIA) will create leaders in Tibetan settlements who would be further motivate more people of the community to take more active part in the freedom struggle.

'Its like Tibet is on fire and we are outside screaming for help admist comforts of living in independent countries. How can we ask our people stranded inside to face the fire while we are enjoying? We should ask ourselves what have we done for our country and whether we are performing any duty honestly?' said Tenzin. He said only aggressive campaigns could offer some inspiration to Tibetans living inside Tibet.

According to him, ever since the Tibetan government-in-exile started dealing with China, the Tibetan freedom struggle has ceased to be a mass movement.

'Unless it becomes a mass movement, the chances of Tibet becoming independent appear bleak,' Tenzin observed. The Tibetan activist said instead of romanticising about Tibet and supporting the cause for sentimental reasons, Tibteans must understand the struggle.