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Pictures From The Chinese President’s India Visit That The Government Wished You Didn’t See

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By Somrita Urni Ganguly:

“I am no bird, and no net ensnares me. I am a free human being with an independent will.”

To be physically free is one thing; but to be able to assert that freedom in every imaginable sense, quite another. Jane Eyre’s words, penned by Charlotte Bronte, continue to haunt us even today.

Ugyan’s parents were born in India. His grandparents fled from Tibet when China invaded Tibet in the 1950s. The couple took shelter in India, and their children were born by the roadside in the Kullu Manali region. Ugyan’s voice, heavy with emotion during the telephonic conversation with our correspondent, betrayed a deep sense of nostalgia for a place that he has never been to. For his parents, getting Ugyan educated was the primary goal, because they spent a large part of their lives working as construction workers in the high altitude regions of India, and therefore being deprived of comforts that one often dreams of. In that they have been successful — Ugyan, today, is a research scholar in Jawaharlal Nehru University — he is pursuing his M.Phil from the School of International Studies. He was born, brought up and educated in India. However, the longing for the land of his dreams, a land that is his, only in spirit and not in real, measurable terms, continues to haunt him. Tibetans, residing in the city, once again raised their voice in protest to greet Xi Jinping, President of the Republic of China, on his diplomatic visit to India. Members of the Tibeten Youth Congress and Students for Free Tibet, along with others, participated in these largely peaceful and non-violent demonstrations for the last couple of days. Words are arbitrary; words can coax and coerce; words can hoodwink and brainwash. We will, for this story at least, steer clear of words, and let pictures do the talking. The pictures portray different hues of the protest and the protestors, taken over the last couple of days in different pockets of Delhi, including the Taj Palace, Chanakyapuri, where President Xi Jinping was putting up, and Hyderabad Bhavan.

“Our protests were non violent and peaceful”, asserted Tenzing Jigme, President, Tibetan Youth Congress, in a telephonic interview with our correspondent, “but as many as 78 of our members have been put behind bars. Even as I talk to you now, I am on my way to a police station. I have been visiting these young people who are now in custody for allegedly trying to break the law and order of the country.” Jigme was born in Nepal, but he studied in St. Joseph’s School, North Point, Darjeeling. He lived in USA for fifteen years after his schooling, before returning to India last June. His heart bleeds for his country. Tibet is a victim of one of the most controversial forms of colonization in modern times, but Jigme has faith in the new government of India. He places his hope in Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs minister, Sushma Swaraj, to engage in diplomatic negotiations with China so as to secure not only India’s position vis-à-vis her neighbouring country but also to help Tibet in a positive, significant way. “These young people who are tirelessly striving to achieve freedom for their country inspire me daily”, smiles Jigme, even amidst adversity. “I see them taking responsibility, I see them leading a movement and I remind myself everyday that we need to make sacrifices in order to gain something concrete.”

Indian and Chinese troops remain locked on the borders, suspicious of each other, even as the President of one country makes a courtesy call to the Premier of the other. Here’s hoping something positive emerges from this meeting — because hope is what keeps us alive. Hope is what has kept their struggle to free Tibet alive. Indeed, a nation is not only a defined geographical and political space. It is a spiritual landscape that binds people — people living in exile in different parts of the world.

“Where the mind is without fear
and the head is held high,
where knowledge is free.
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls.
Where words come out from the depth of truth,
where tireless striving stretches its arms toward perfection.
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost it’s way
into the dreary desert sand of dead habit.
Where the mind is led forward by thee
into ever widening thought and action.
In to that heaven of freedom, my father,
Let my country awake!”

May Tagore’s words, which once helped to awaken the conscience of a nation, be the guiding light in present, troubled times! May the forces be with the oppressed! And as the protestors cry, Bhod Gyalo! Freedom to Tibet! Freedom to all!

For more pictures and videos, please visit the following links —
Tibetan Youth Congress
Students for a Free Tibet — India Chapter

You must be to comment.
  1. Gaurav

    I see the youth likes being anarchist! Refugees in another country should not be allowed to protest in the manner the Tibetans have freely done for years. And expecting a country which has given away a vast amount of territory to its neighbours over the years, to help you get your country back is near impossible. Just get on with your lives.

    1. Bhavika

      Well said! Such behavior is disruptive. They shouldn’t take our hospitality for granted.

  2. Kamal Kant

    There is no love for TIBET by China. There is no Love for Leh Ladakh / Arunachal Pradesh by CHINA.
    The love is ONLY for the minerals & metals found at TIBET / LEH LADAKH / ARUNACHAL.
    The World’s largest deposit of Gold & 101 more minerals has been found at Tibet – One can search on Google.
    What Mr. Xi Jin Ping has offered to promote China in his visit – will come from the Soil of India itself (if China takes the lands at Arunachal / Leh Ladhak).
    China built the railways from Beijing to Tibet – why ? I do not feel it was for love of the Tibetians – It was to get the mineral / metals from the mines.
    THINK !!!

    1. ann

      So true, Kamal. All this love and consideration is BS. Same reason for the invasions in the middle east. China is suffocating the world with economic invasions.

  3. Rahul

    Who so ever has showing dis pic let me tell u it’s our country and our Prime Minister is doing his work to make dis country better place to live not for us only but for these tibbets too.. And they have no rights to show dis drama/protest/dharna (and respect d country where they are living as a refugee )infront of Hyderabad house. If they are really want to do any kind of Dharna/protest or anythng then they shud go to Tibbet and fight for their rights. They shud kindly respect our Goverment/constitution and their work and rather they shud ask for d support to our Goverment for their rights. We are alwayz their to help.

    1. Sagar

      Oh, thanks for enlightening the ‘Tibbets’ – whatever that is. You’re a special kind of stupid.

  4. Urni

    Each person is welcome to his opinion. I just want to clarify one thing at this point of time, because it seems to me that there might be some confusion regarding that at the moment — the Tibetan refugees were not demonstrating against Prime Minister Modi or his government or the Indian state. From the protestors that I have talked to, I have gathered that have nothing but deep respect for this country which has given them shelter. The non violent protests were against Xi Jinping. The protestors also have a lot of faith in the new Indian Government and one of the reasons behind the demonstrations was to influence Prime Minister Modi to include the issue of Tibet in his talks with Xi Jinping. Now whether that was the right thing to do, whether it is right for them to expect anything of India are questions that require further analysis but I do think we need to get our basics right at least before engaging in the sort of debating that we are engaging in. Thanks.

    1. abhishek

      nice one!

    2. Urni

      Thank you, Abhi =)

  5. Bhavika

    They’re refugees; our country has given them more than enough — shelter, opportunities to study, even many privileges that ordinary Indian citizens do not enjoy. Peaceful protest is one thing, but disrupting the peace and normal functioning of day-to-day affairs is another. Let them write to Mr. Modi or send a leader of their Youth Body / a representative to go meet with heads of the state. Such drama on the streets is disruptive, subversive, and uncalled for. Our police women officers in these photos can be seen doing their duty; yet, our government and security personnel are often represented as oppressive and draconian by leftist media, which is a misrepresentation! Very irresponsible journalism!

    1. tarun chand

      with all due respect mam….get our basics right ….
      yeah i understand that being violent during the protest was wrong but just assume what you do in this scenario…….
      and the demonstration was not against the indian gov., it was against the XI…. the love given by chiana to tibbet is world known fact…. so please I request dont get so harsh…sometimes being sentimental on wrong reocrds and saying such things can do worse than killing someone….

      thank you……
      i respect your love for India…..

    2. Urni

      Glad that at least some of you, like Tarun, have realised that the protest was not against the Indian Govt. For the strangest reason, I canot seem to fathom where that misconception came from.

  6. mehfooz ahmad

    Tibetans are getting too much from our country even our own Indian people are deprived of such benefits in this system as they have.they are a rich buisiness community due to the vast indian,they should not resort to such disturbing tactics.

    1. Stupidpplsuck

      Please leave the world! I am ashamed to call my self and Indian for comments as uneducated as yours. I should be bashed for even resorting to a reply here but you folks is what’s wrong with this country.

    2. Urni

      Now, now, let us not take recourse to the same sort of emotional badmouthing that some of the others here, have. There needs to be a line demarcating the wise from the not so wise. No? =) Thank you for all that passion though!

  7. Jyotsna George

    Honestly, I am shocked to see some of the comments here. How quickly we have forgotten the values on which our very own freedom struggle was based: freedom, justice and democracy. We should be proud that we have been able to provide Tibetans a place for peaceful, nonviolent expression of their grief over the critical situation inside Tibet. Pre-independence there were figures like Azad and Bhagat Singh, whom we have deep respect for today. These young Tibetans are the Azad and Bhagat Singh of their freedom movement. I am honoured that India is able to provide Tibetans a space for resistance and peaceful struggle, because that is the legacy of our own freedom struggle. Inquilab ZIndabad!

    1. Urni

      Jyotsna, kudos for being an active part of the demonstrations. Inquilaab, long live!

  8. mayank

    If it was a protest by the north indians against the growing invasion of pakistan in kashmir, the whole nation would have joined it rather than opposing it. But since it is tibet, and we don’t have balls to say a word about their human rights to China, lets blame it on the tibetans under the coat of ”we have given them too much freedom” and stay quite and pretend to be a democratic country with a feeling of nationalism for all the parts.

    1. Urni

      I am reminded of this thing which Bhagat Singh’s character says in a Bollywood movie – despite the fact that it is rather filmy, I have to allude to it in this context. Behron ko sunane ke liye dhamaka karna padta hai.

  9. Chandrahas M

    Thank you for bringing this into light.

    1. Urni


  10. Well wisher

    Dear author,
    Your article reinvigorates the contentious Tibetan issue caught in an unforgiving limbo through all these years. I would like to firmly believe that majority, if not all Indians support the Tibetan homeland claim unequivocally. While it would be safe to assume that this support is partly fuelled by the Sino-Indian animosity, as well as frivolous Chinese claims over sovereign Indian territory, an overwhelming majority among us genuinely wish for an independent Tibet due to historical, cultural and religious proximity. Tibetans among us are an indeseperable part of our culture and existence, and have contributed greatly. However, it would be important to put into perspective the current geo polital dynamics that stand. A lot of water has indeed flowed under the bridge, and therefore exploring an India led military option to liberate Tibet seems too far fetched. So where does the solution lie? It lies in a constant engagement with the PRC, seeking common ground and pushing for greater autonomy, as also cultural and religious freedom, under the overall stewardship of PRC. This was subtly put across by HH the Dalai Lama recently during President Xi’s visit to India. While it would be foolish to assume genuine concessions in this regard from PRC in the immediate future, a start in this direction will alleviate Chinese myths about the possibility of any future Indian designs in Tibet. The Tibetan youth is the future and at the heart of any possible solution to this. It is heartning to witness Tibetans doing well across the spectrum of Indian society. It also invokes a sense of pride in me for being part of a country that has embraced them into our folds. Losing hope and becoming disgruntled certainly seems to be the easier choice for them, which unfortunately will only diminish any remnant hope for the cause. The way ahead lies in wresting greater role in pragmatic decision making and seeking a more active engagement with PRC on equal terms.

  11. Pedro

    I think we need to focus on engaging China and saving their face instead of protesting in this manner. I believe people have the right to do it this way, but I don’t think it is the most effective way by any means. As another individual here pointed out, an agreement in which the PRC and other governments can work out their differences and build a relationship of trust will be the goal for great changes.

    China has done a lot of great things for the world and throughout the course of history, we need to remind ourselves that each country is a country with different perspectives and with enough time and effort things can be discussed in their appropriate context.

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