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Sunday, March 11, 2007

Another 10 March - Another Mandatory Function?

Another 10th March is here and another mandatory function will be held and a march will be undertaken for a Free Tibet. But today more than ever before, the dream of a Free Tibet is getting farther and farther and almost turning into a mirage for the freedom thirsty Tibetans...always there in front of us but never reaching us.

Our grandfather and grandmothers' generations were the ones who can look back on this day and say that: "Yes!!! they rose for what they believed and against a foreign invasion on their own soil, risking their lives and a lot more. Our parents suffered the real repurcussions of a life in exile. But for our generation; born and brought up in exile....Tibet was our motherland and we its future generation and it was our duty to get our freedom back. We were never made to forget by our elders about this load on our shoulders and the ever popular rebuke about the "R" on our foreheads whenever they thought we strayed out of line.

I still remember those Uprising Days commemorated during our school days. The long line that was made for the march till the market centre. People from all walks of life participated-students, teachers, parents, old people, sweater sellers etc and etc. At the start of the march we would feel quite conscious of the people around watching the long procession of shouting Tibetans.But gradually we would be carried away by the historical relevance of the day and we would be shouting ourselves hoarse. I still remember those slogans: "UNO we want justice","Bhago Bhago- Chinese Bhago", and the most catchy of all-"Jaan bhi dhenga,Khoon bhi dhenga Desh ki mitti kabhi na dhengei". And at the end of the procession most of us would find ourselves with a bad sore throat. But with a great satisfaction in our mind.Whether it made any difference or not, but we felt like we had done something for our nation. And it was a very good feeling because being far from one's nation we never got any chance of showing off our patriotism and nationalism.

Time have gone by and we find our place of being the future generations of Tibet has long been taken by a new set of generation. A generation that finds itself farther from their motherland than our generation. And the one day that we, during our days, got to get in touch with our nation's struggle for freedom by shouting ourselves hoarse....has become another mandatory function and a holiday for this new generation.They can't feel the difference between a peace process and passivity. So it isn't any wonder that we find most of our youth so passive. They feel helpless and when given the opportunity they go to extreme lengths as can be seen by the self immolation attempt by Lhakpa tsering in Mumbai during last years Hu visit.

They don't get an outlet to express that silent rage and the emptiness they feel for being a nationless people. Once it was almost unthikable not to attend any function commemorating 10th March and now we find people finding it another formality to be observed which is of no use.

Once we felt proud of being called the future seeds of Tibet and responsible for making our nation free and take our free nation into modernity. Now when I tell the young kids that they have to get our freedom back..they shoot back without batting an eyelid, "It was our grandparents generation who lost it and now we have to get it back.Its not fair!!!" I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

I can't blame them either. The passive nature of our freedom struggle and the ongoing cynicism of their elders lead to them being disbelieve in a future Free Tibet. I had a talk with someone the day before and his take on returning to a FreeTibet is--'Firstly we will never get back our freedom and if we did then its a loss for us exile borns to go to Tibet .we won't get anything.All will be taken by those in Tibet!"

I don't know which led to which...the change in policy to this cynicism or is change in time and mindsets responsible??

Maybe rooting for an Independent Tibet is more fulfilling for most Tibetans however impossible it may be; rather than asking only for an autonomy and waiting on the beck and call of a conscience less opponent!


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