This is an unusual book review for me as usually my reviews cover books on finance, investing or business biographies.
This book was gifted to me by the good folks at Shanti Stupa, Ladakh and hence I feel a bit obligated to write about it.
Many Indians do not know anything about Tibet or about the struggle of the Tibetan people.
Tibet was more or less independent when China “liberated” Tibet in 1950.With brute force, they suppressed the Tibetan people.
On 10 March,1959, the Tibetan people rose in revolt.The Chinese crushed this revolt mercilessly and many lost their lives.
Since then, 10 March is commemorated by the Tibetans as ‘National Uprising Day’
The Book is a collection of speeches made by His Holiness the Dalai Lama on 10 March every year for a period of 40 years from 1961-2011
The speeches more or less fit a pattern:
- Remembrance of those martyred on that fateful day
- Highlighting the changes in the international arena
- Illuminating on the oppression,injustices and cultural genocide faced by the Tibetans
- Appealing to the Chinese for talks
- Thanking Indians and the India Govt for their support and assistance
- Ending with a prayer for peace , truth and justice
As you start reading the letters, it feels like you have gone back in time when Mao was ruling China
As you come to the present, you realize how little China and their Han Nationalism attitude towards Tibet and even India has changed over the years.
You also appreciate how difficult it is to wage a non-violent struggle for freedom from an authoritarian power…it takes decades and decades before one can succeed.
As such,I feel lucky to live in a free India and thank our freedom fighters who made it possible.