Tibet has seen an exodus of people from its lands since 1959. After Dalai Lama moved to Dharamshala in India and made it the headquarters of Central Tibetan Administration, Tibetan Freedom Movement gained momentum. It was acknowledged by especially the college going population which empathized with the Tibetan state of affairs.
As the history suggests, China occupied Tibet and discarded the then governing Tibetan administration. Later reconciliations ensued and Chinese government allowed Tibetans to continue leading the lives as they wished. Chinese have always been very conservative in opening up to the rest of the world. China follows an approach that does not go very well with rest of the world as most of us are now trying to be more welcoming and forthcoming with globalization. China still prefers to maintain a secrecy about itself.
Coming back to Tibetans in India, they have seen the toughest of the times that a society can bear.
Forced to move out of their own homelands, starting a new life in a foreign land with limited resources is a tough one !
Lot of literature and motion pictures have been produced about Tibet Freedom movement. Northern cities in India like Delhi have been hosting music, literature and theater festivals commemorating Tibetan Freedom movement. One of the directors duo – Ritu Sarin & Tenzing Sonam created 2 films about Tibet exodus – Dreaming Lhasa & The Sweet Requiem. The latter, as the name suggests is a remembrance of the movement of people from Tibet. It also shows how the Tibetans have adjusted to the life in Delhi.
Tibetans did it ! They survived the test of the time. Exiled Tibetans have been able to restart their lives in India and other nations.
In 2017, Government of India announced that Tibetans born in India during 1957-1987 are eligible for an Indian passport. This announcement has led Tibetans to a question –
‘What about the fight for a free Tibet !’
Some are of the opinion that Tibet is a lost cause.
Some others vouch for the international support that has been garnered over the years that will yield a free Tibet.
A third faction believes in a middle path that is more of a Buddhist outlook. When the entire world recognizes your freedom movement and encourages your view point, it is the beginning of a new era. An era that you fought for.
One might argue that a freedom movement must culminate in Tibet gaining complete independence from the existing authoritarian government.
And one might as well counter this argument with a simple proposition – “Freedom is much bigger than a mere boundary drawn on a piece of paper”.