India should recognize Tibetan freedom for its own good.

Yusuf

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When Manmohan Singh clearly and courageously said last month that there was no question of his government cancelling the Dalai Lama's Arunachal

Pradesh visit, i was proud. As refugees in India, it is painful for us Tibetans to witness Beijing bureaucrats laying down the law to our host government in arrogant, bullying terms. This visit's historic importance is that it swings back focus on the McMahon Line and therefore Tibet. That's why China was so impatient to shoot it down. The result of this pivotal visit will be a realisation that, without reinstating Tibet as a buffer zone, India will forever be subjected to pressures: militarily, politically, environmentally and, now, over water.

Many Indians do not realise the pressure that Beijing is exerting on New Delhi. They portray the visit as yet another China-Dalai Lama showdown. The fundamental problem China has is with Indian borders. It did not need a Dalai Lama to add to its rants. Dealing with China is tricky; a capitalist nation, ruled by a Communist-style party in the name of socialism, is aggressive and hugely defensive. One cannot lose a point; concede one point and you become subordinate. That is why Barack Obama has armed himself for his first Beijing visit as US president with Dalai Lama power, prepared to punch home points with Chinese President Hu Jintao. After facing Hu, he will still get to meet the Dalai Lama.

A unique bond with the Monpas of Buddhist Tawang has led to the 14th Dalai Lama's fifth visit to India's ''Land of Dawn-lit mountains''. The programme at Tawang monastery is solely to impart Buddhist teachings. It is at a most appropriate time, when the Indian government needs to assert its territorial rights in Arunachal Pradesh. In the face of China's strident claims over Arunachal, the Tibetan leader's spiritual visit to his followers legitimises India's stance in the most significant yet entirely non-verbal manner.

Historically, Tawang was Tibetan territory until early last century. Even today many families in the region retain ancestral tax papers for making payments to the government of Tibet. During the Chinese invasion of Tibet, India unilaterally declared the McMahon Line as the border and swiftly evicted the remaining Tibetan officials from the local administration in 1950. Arunachal Pradesh as a state was formed in 1987; till then it was part of the North East Frontier Agency.

The 6th Dalai Lama by virtue of his birth in Tawang in 1683 made sacred this 2,000 sq km region. The Great 13th Dalai Lama ceded the region to British India in 1914 by signing the bilateral McMahon Treaty in Delhi. The 14th incarnation is today symbolically and silently gifting it again to India. The Dalai Lama and his government-in-exile in Dharamsala have repeatedly confirmed that they honour the 13th Dalai Lama's decision. For the Tibetan populace, within and outside Tibet, Arunachal Pradesh is a part of India.

In 2004, Sun Yuxi, then Chinese ambassador to India, made that ill-phrased claim over Arunachal not just Tawang, he said, but ''the whole of it''. Former Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee rescued Sikkim from China's ambitions by surrendering India's remaining authority to speak on Tibet and, recently, a Chinese map portrayed Kashmir as an independent country.

China is not going to stop there since Beijing refuses to recognise the 1914 McMahon Line and the Simla Agreement also. It is most likely to question the territorial integrity of the remainder of the 890 km McMahon Line, the Demchok region in eastern Ladakh and the Sumdho area of the eastern Himachal Pradesh border. Having one of its vital military installations at Sumdho (Tibet: trisection) between Tibet and Himachal's Lahaul-Spiti, India is expected to counter any attempts on Sumdho with armed might.

As schoolboys in a Tibetan refugee camp, we used to be marched out once in a while for Free Tibet protest rallies. We shouted slogans in Tibetan and English but never understood this phrase in Hindi: ''Tibbat ki azadi, Bharat ki suraksha'' (Tibet's independence is India's security). It never made sense to me until later, when i realised how India had accepted Tibetan refugees fleeing Chinese persecution, nurtured us and reinforced us not with guns but with education.

The Tibetan armed resistance, based in Mustang, western Nepal, and disbanded in 1974, was later reconstituted into a Tibetan battalion in the Indian army known as Establishment No 22, a classified paramilitary force deployed in important operations like the Kargil war. Today, 7,000 Tibetan soldiers under the ministry of home affairs - man the most difficult and dangerous borders in India's mountainous terrain.

For India to keep Arunachal, based on the McMahon Line, the only choice is to recognise Tibet's independence. It cannot legitimise the McMahon Line border otherwise. Faced with this political reality, India may not be able to summon the courage to support the movement for Tibetan independence overtly, but it is important that it stands firm on its position.

The writer is a Tibetan activist.

The Moral Defence Rests - Edit Page - Opinion - Home - The Times of India
Something that most Indians in the forum world thing. India should use Tibet as a weapon to fight China. This coming out from a Tibetan activist, shows how much the Tibetans too support India in its defense.
Though it may sound selfish, but it suits either side to use each other in the fight against China.
 

Ashoka

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It never made sense to me until later, when i realised how India had accepted Tibetan refugees fleeing Chinese persecution, nurtured us and reinforced us not with guns but with education.
Excellent piece. Just the perfect answer to those who cry foul over 'India encouraging separatists in China'.

For India to keep Arunachal, based on the McMahon Line, the only choice is to recognise Tibet's independence. It cannot legitimise the McMahon Line border otherwise. Faced with this political reality, India may not be able to summon the courage to support the movement for Tibetan independence overtly, but it is important that it stands firm on its position.
And just the perfect ending excerpt too. Personally to me, it makes a lot of sense to declare Tibet as a free state for multitude of reasons. India - China border dispute is not going to be solved thru negotiations & discussions as both countries will not cede even an inch of terrain to the other. By declaring Tibet as free state, we take the air out of the balloon.

Secondly, China has never shied away from portraying Kashmir as a separate country. There is no reason why we should not reciprocate.

Third, it forms a sort of cushion between China & India in case of a real ground/air attack from China & can be extremely handy in case of a full blown war. This may sound selfish, but very practical. Also Xinjiang not being very far from the border, if they get some Indian support too, can form a very effective protective shield for India.

Fourth, I do not see any potential fallouts of this move even if it is bound to attract China’s wrath. The trade & everything with China will go on as it is today, since we can see that the trade with Pakistan has remained unaffected even after so many years of rivalry. And this move will certainly push back belligerent China a little & hopefully the war rhetoric will ease from their side.
 

MMuthu

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I hope China is more anxious to annex Taiwan than Tawang into its province. I hope Taiwan does not allow that to happen that easily neither Uncle Sam.

They have very big ambitions like becoming super power by defeating US and control the world economy.

I dont think China will put an end to these Ambitions by waging a war with India. I am not sure whether India will be in a position to win a full-scale war against China but definitely India can give a big blow for any Chinese aggression.

Even though English won the WW II, They lost everything to the Americans. It took 60 years to clear their Debt.
 

MMuthu

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In addition to that we should make Tawang as the home of Dalai Lama and the exiled Tibeteans... If they try to invade AP... first they have to attack the Tibeteans and it will be a global call and the news will spread very fast.
 

badguy2000

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well, I am somewhat tired of such naive articles....

why not just ask Indian government to recognize the independence of Tibet ,if you really like messing CHina tooooo much?

just stood up against Chinese tyranny bravely ? then you great India will have enough pliitical capital to defy those cowards such as yankees and erupeans....

come on ,brave indian people....stand up and drive Chinese evil rule out of Tibet ....let the whole world know that CHina is just a paper tiger or not?.....and great India is the most shining town of democracy in the world.....
 

MMuthu

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just stood up against Chinese tyranny bravely ? then you great India will have enough pliitical capital to defy those cowards such as yankees and erupeans....

come on ,brave indian people....stand up and drive Chinese evil rule out of Tibet ....let the whole world know that CHina is just a paper tiger or not?.....and great India is the most shining town of democracy in the world.....
Aaaa.... Whether this article says India should wage a war against China for Tibet?

Why is your nut always getting loose?
 

Koji

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well, I am somewhat tired of such naive articles....

why not just ask Indian government to recognize the independence of Tibet ,if you really like messing CHina tooooo much?

just stood up against Chinese tyranny bravely ? then you great India will have enough pliitical capital to defy those cowards such as yankees and erupeans....

come on ,brave indian people....stand up and drive Chinese evil rule out of Tibet ....let the whole world know that CHina is just a paper tiger or not?.....and great India is the most shining town of democracy in the world.....
Exactly, here on this forum it's all for Tibetan independance. In the actual world of governance, India is all for Chinese ownership of Tibet.
 
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why don't you ask Tibetans who they want governing them, and Indians are completely against Chinese occupation of Tibet no matter what the Indian government pretends.
 

johnee

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Exactly, here on this forum it's all for Tibetan independance. In the actual world of governance, India is all for Chinese ownership of Tibet.
Our successive Govts have been naive to believe that all the nations are essentially peaceful in nature. They thought that once India accepts Tibet as a part of China, Sino-Indian relations will improve. But the true face of China, as a hegemonic power, came to fore. And the Indian public is more aware of China's intentions now than in the past.

India and the world has to understand that rogue nations and hegemonic powers cannot be satisfied by giving in to their whims and fancies. Giving Kashmir to Pakistan wont satisfy Pakistan, Gifting away Tawang wont satisfy China. Talk of friendship in the face of bullying will be interpretted as weakness and the bayonet will be dig deeper.
 

Sabir

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Exactly, here on this forum it's all for Tibetan independance. In the actual world of governance, India is all for Chinese ownership of Tibet.
Because, here we have the freedom of not thinking in line of the Government. We may not be able to fight and drive China out of Tibet (at least in near future)but that does not change the reality that Chaina came and occupied Tibet.
 

johnee

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Exactly, here on this forum it's all for Tibetan independance. In the actual world of governance, India is all for Chinese ownership of Tibet.
Yes, as Sabir said, here in India, we are free to disagree with our Govt on its policies unlike our neighbour to north! :p
 

badguy2000

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Yes, as Sabir said, here in India, we are free to disagree with our Govt on its policies unlike our neighbour to north! :p
well, In china, I are free now to scold CCP:" Damn stupid CCP, why didn't those tupid morons send all Uyghrus in labour campl?" ,when I'm chatting with you ,drinking a cup of bee-honey。
 

MMuthu

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well, In china, I are free now to scold CCP:" Damn stupid CCP, why didn't those tupid morons send all Uyghrus in labour campl?" ,when I'm chatting with you ,drinking a cup of bee-honey。
Your nut gone loose for sure..... Send all the Uyghrus to Labor Camps.... and see the results.

I hope the boost of economic growth has gone to the head for the Han Chinese people, by the way a cup of bee honey is good but not :dfi-1: this thought.
 

Koji

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Torture is unfortunate and not uncommon. It happens in China I'm sure, but I'm sure as well that it happens in the US and its outsourced interrogation centers and I'm also sure that Indian police use torture on a daily basis. To single out China as if it's the only one is untrue.
 

Sabir

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Torture is unfortunate and not uncommon. It happens in China I'm sure, but I'm sure as well that it happens in the US and its outsourced interrogation centers and I'm also sure that Indian police use torture on a daily basis. To single out China as if it's the only one is untrue.
Agreed. But Chinese leaders believe it is Dalai Lama Who lies always..........
 

Daredevil

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Another related article on using Tibet to settle Arunachal issue.

Tibet is India's legitimate ticket to claim Arunachal

November 09, 2009 10:01 IST

As a responsible law abiding nation, India has a moral responsibility to tell the truth that Tibet is an occupied country, says Tashi Phuntsok.
India and China are squabbling over Arunachal Pradesh, which historically belonged to neither country. This dispute came to light again, recently, when China protested the Dalai Lama's plan to visit the state. Throughout the brief history of this territorial dispute, India has chosen to be on the defensive side for all the wrong reasons.

At the 11th round of Sino-India border negotiations in 2008 in Harbin, China, then Indian foreign minister Pranab Mukherjee awkwardly sounded optimistic and pragmatic about the establishment of a working group to prepare for the settlement of the Sino-India border issue.

He used the language of mutual understanding, mutual accommodation, and mutual adjustment, but at the time, the language of Zhou Gang, the special consultant to the Chinese foreign ministry and former Chinese ambassador to India, did not contain mutualism.

The Chinese envoy firmly emphasised that India must make a substantial adjustment in the eastern sector including returning Tawang to China as a precondition to reach any settlement. It is important to notice the words 'eastern sector' which indicates that acquiring Tawang is not the end of the dispute.

The Chinese claim over Arunachal Pradesh is based on Tibetan history. Zhou Gang did not hesitate reminding the history of Tawang in his statement. 'I cited the following example that during my tenure as Chinese ambassador to India, I made it clear on many occasions to the Indian public -- Tawang belongs to China, it is the birthplace of the sixth Dalai Lama and the Dalai Lama is 'China's Dalai Lama', who cannot be 'India's Dalai Lama.'

He conveniently did not mention that China annexed Tibet in 1949, and that was how China's claim over Arunachal Pradesh began. Indian foreign policy think tanks beginning from Jawaharlal Nehru-V K Krishna Menon to current Cabinets knew that the Sino-India border never existed until the Chinese annexation of Tibet, but they always chose to ignore the historical accounts of the disputed territory.

India's ownership of Tawang came from the Simla Convention signed between British India and sovereign Tibet on July 3, 1914. The official boundary between the two nations was named the McMahon Line to honour Sir Henry McMahon, the British foreign secretary who signed the Simla Convention from the British side. So, in order to give any legitimacy to her claim over Arunachal Pradesh, India has to give her partner in the Simla Convention a sovereign political status, at least historically.

The Chinese have flatly rejected the McMahon Line. They have been loudly claiming Indian territories to be part of China in every available media outlet, but Indian leaders have not shown the courage to remind the Chinese that in more than a thousand years of history, India never had a border dispute with Tibet until China annexed Tibet.

In 2003 during his visit to China, then Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee yielded to the Chinese pressure to accept the Tibetan Autonomous Region as an inalienable part of China in writing. To Vajpayee, perhaps that was just a semantic shift, but to the Chinese it added validity to their claim over Indian territories.

India has no big card to play in this negotiation. India has sold out Tibet chiefly to China and is now paying the price of potentially losing territories in this mutual adjustment deal. Nehru's failed foreign policy of appeasing China still prevails in the Indian diplomatic book of wisdom.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government clearly demonstrated this China appeasement policy by minimising recent Chinese military incursions into Indian territories. Sensing the weakness in Indian leaders, China has become bolder in recent times, claiming Arunachal Pradesh to be part of China publicly in a greater, assertive, tone. Last year, China denied a visa to an Indian delegate from Arunachal Pradesh and also objected to Asian Development Bank funding for an irrigation project in Arunachal.

India is an emerging world power economically, militarily, and politically. Unlike the People's Republic of China, India is a democratic and morally sensible nation. The new powerful India has no reason to bend to Chinese aggression.

For her own interest, India has to resurrect the Tibet issue on the international platform and eventually bring it into the United Nations General Assembly. Several Western countries are waiting for India to take that initiative.

Tibet is India's legitimate ticket to its claim over Arunachal Pradesh and this claim is based on historical fact. The McMahon Line is the legitimate Indo-Tibet border. As a emerging regional superpower, India must show courage to present the truth for her own sake, if not for the unfortunate Tibetan people who have lost everything in this long standing illegitimate border dispute between China and India.

As a responsible law abiding nation, India has a moral responsibility to tell the truth that Tibet is an occupied country.

Tashi Phunstok is a high school teacher and Tibet activist in the US. He can be contacted at [email protected]

Tashi Phuntsok
 

roma

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the west were the bioggest hypocrites in the tibet episode

If they try to invade AP... first they have to attack the Tibeteans and it will be a global call and the news will spread very fast.
that "global call " will be worth nothing . the anglo-saxon west is goo d at giving limited humanitarian aid to refugees while at the same time locating their factories in communist china - a perfectly hypocritical response.
 

redragon

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actually, I agree India should recognize Tibet as an independent country, because I hate the Chinese propaganda saying people in other countries are friendly to China. Chinese don't believe CCP about a lot things but they believe about this one.
By recognizing Tibet, India can help to wake Chinese people up about the true reality in the international relationship, after they feel the pressure they will realize the only way out is to build China stronger, and be more forcus, with will prepare Chinese mindset for China being a real superpower
 

johnee

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Frankly, in this day and age, small and peaceful countries like Tibet cannot exist on their own. HH Dalai Lama recognises this and has been asking only for autonomy, but the insecure CPC has refused even that and instead resorted to demonising the pontiff. So, India should declare Tibet as protectorate of India or even as an autonomous part of India. That would be an aggressive stance and deflect the attention from Arunachal Pradesh and focus on Tibet which is rightfully the real issue.

I dont understand what are the possible repercussions for such a move. What could China do to India if such a stand were taken by India? Would China make a war?
 

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