Marching towards Rangzen in unison
The primary objective of His Holiness the Dalai Lama adopting the Middle Path approach since 1979 had been to create an environment to ensure the protection of Tibet’s unique culture and religion. Especially with the former Chinese President Deng Xiaoping agreeing to negotiate on any issue except Tibet’s Independence, His Holiness, on the face of Tibet’s critical situation gravely adopted the path with the faith to resolve the future status of the Tibetan people.
Since then a large number of the Tibetan leaders in exile, acknowledging China as unmatchable Super power in their heart, explain likewise to the Tibetan people. But I believe that China is not unchangeable power. Recently several western experts who participated in the Olympics believe that under the circumstances of the gnawing widespread gap between the rich and the poor in the rural and the cities, change is definitely in the offing in China. When the people who witnessed such a big event as a guest in China had such feelings, what other truth could there be?
Consequently, today we have reached a stage where we need to review the choice of adopting the Middle Path or the Rangzen (Independence) as a means of our freedom struggle. What exactly are the gains that we have achieved in our struggle through over 30 years of our Middle Path approach? We must, while recognizing the real China’s act, adopt a firm approach and direction. In my decade long involvement in struggle, I have always believed in and supported the Middle Path approach and regarded it as the future direction of struggle.
However the gradual change in the global scenario and the pungent smell of the blood of the Tibetan race had forced me to eventually shift my stand towards Independence of Tibet as the sole struggle. The question one must ask oneself is, Shall we be really satisfied with the Autonomy gained through the Middle Path approach? Will China ever provide us the Autonomy consists of all three traditional provinces of Tibet? In today’s China where there is the lack of a powerful and effective leader like Deng Xiaoping, to whom do we place our hope on?
Notwithstanding numerous visits to China by our Special envoys, why do we keep supporting the so-called dialogue with the China when we know that it consistently demonstrated lack of respect and interest to our envoys and the dialogue process?China simply ridicules and denigrates the envoys on expressing their opinion and thrives in playing the politics of waiting for the demise of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
In todays time when there is a great difficulty in affirming an approach for the Tibetan struggle that effectively represents the wishes of the Tibetan people, we must; however, undertake a profound retrospection on the uprising that enveloped Tibet in the recent months.
On the one hand, I am involved in the Tibetan freedom struggle with an unwavering pledge to sacrifice my life for the sake of my country and the people, on the other hand, the crisis of the Tibetan people seems dwindling like a dream on the face of our recent upsurge in recognition of the struggle regardless of monastic charter and the regulation, Independence is not only our rights but also in accordance with the historical truth. Today when His Holiness the Dalai Lama is alive amongst us, we should unitedly stand for Independence as our most precious legacy for the future generation of Tibet. With the power of such an integrated stand and goal, we must carry forward our struggle against China.
Our goal of Independence would not only reinvigorate our freedom struggle but also bolster our unity and the power of decision making. The belief that our adoption of goal of Independence would let to the derailment of our struggle from the path of non-violence is a huge misconception. Our change in goal does not necessarily mean a change in the method of our struggle. Our struggle would, unquestionably, march on the path of non-violence.
One can never say that the downfall of China is not possible nor can one say that Independence is not attainable. We have no desire to shed our blood in exile and have been enduring our flames within. But our anxious and hapless condition is ushering an era where we have to leave our bloody print and a legacy of freedom struggle in the exile. Dear Tibetans, if this be our survival, can we continue to survive in such a state?
Brothers! How can a unity be achieved without similar direction?
Brothers! In the absence of unified cooperation, how can our strength grow?Brothers! Without the strength of unity, how can we struggle our enemy?
BOD GAYLO! BOD RANGZEN!
Shingsa Rinpoche, Sera Je Monastery, Bylakuppe, South India
(Translated from Tibetan)
Biography of Marcher: Shingza Rinpoche
Rinpoche Lobsang Tenzin Choekyi Gyaltsen (”Shingza Rinpoche”) was born in Tsonyon, Amdo. At the age of 13, he was recognized as a reincarnation by the Raga Gompa Monastery. He was asked by the Chinese government to be a part of a group of lamas from different districts of Tibet who would recognize the fake Panchen Lama, but he refused. Shingza Rinpoche felt that if he went along with the Chinese government, he would be forced to do many other things that would go against the Dalai Lama and his fellow Tibetans. For that reason, the Rinpoche decided to flee into exile at the age of 17.
When he reached India, the Dalai Lama recommended that he pursue his studies at Sera Monastery in south India. At Sera, Shingza Rinpoche was on the editorial committee for different journals published by the monastery about Tibetan culture and education. The Rinpoche said that until March of this year, he was not involved in any political activities.
Because of the uprising in Tibet, Shingza Rinpoche was driven to participate in a 24-hour hunger strike organized by a group of Rinpoches in south India. He first heard about the March to Tibet when a group of monks from his monastery left to join the march. Shingza Rinpoche joined the March himself on April 18th, as it departed from Delhi.
“The marchers will keep on marching towards Tibet,” said Shingza Rinpoche. “But we need the help of Tibetans outside the March to support us and spread the news of what’s happening in Tibet and on the March to Tibet. At this critical time, it is crucial that there is unity and coordination between Tibetans inside Tibet and those in exile.”
Marching towards Rangzen in unison