It’s been 20 days since the infamous video that went viral in India and caused unfathomable pain and suffering to the sentiments of thousands of Tibetan in diaspora and to millions inside of Tibet, when the Chinese government for the first time made the video of Dalai lama available on their heavily censored internet search bars for all the wrong reason, with the malicious intent to sow hatred, stir disgust and relegate the stature of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from the psyche of the Tibetan people, who has revered him for centuries and places an indomitable faith and unshakable respect on him.
But ironically, without any surprise, the tactic to defame the Dalai Lama by presenting to the hitherto censored internet inside of Tibet backfired, since the Tibetan weren’t so gullible to be sold to such cooked-up story and knew from their hearts that China had a malicious intent in all of this. Tibetans from sources inside of Tibet are said to rejoicing in actually seeing their ultimate spiritual leader in flesh and blood for the first time in decades, after his picture and any searches were banned inside of Tibet and China. FYI; the picture of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan national flag is totally banned inside of Tibet for decades now. Anyone caught carrying portraits of the Dalai Lama is punished as a criminal. Yet despite the draconian ban, the images of His Holiness the Dalai Lama reside within the moated altar of every Tibetan hearts and minds.
Just to remind everyone that China spends half a billion dollars a year on disinformation campaign, to smear His Holiness’s name and the righteous struggle of the Tibetan people for freedom. They have bought the medias and social media influencers to spread mis/dis information and sow poison to create hatred against the Tibetan people. Even a Pakistan journalist was caught red handed being sold out to the China few years ago, when he compared India sheltering an enemy of China vis a vis the Dalai lama to a Pakistani terrorist India put up on the global terrorist list.
Just wanted to let the world know that His Holiness the Dalai Lama is not the construction of the media. He is in fact the deconstruction of sensationalism. He is the conduit to the medium of truth. To understand him, you have to rise above all the conspiracy and malicious intentions of the Chinese Communists Party, who is directly planting and funding such baseless allegations as the doctored video. The CCP are hellbent on distorting the truth, to evaporate Tibet from the face of the planet. Their newest target is to destroy and relegate Tibet’s spirituality into anonymity. They have shamelessly interfered and hijacked into the reincarnation processes of the Dalai and Panchen Lamas.
CCP is well known for their relentless efforts to tarnish His Holiness’s image. They are using the media to taint his global image to capitalize on such innocent gesture by cropping a casual interaction with a child and weaponizing the gesture of sticking tongue to pedophilic behavior and vulgar heights.
Even social media influencers are getting paid to tweet about the video. Cardi B, an American rapper, who probably never even heard of His Holiness and even read a quote from him yet, so easily shared the viral videos as disgusting and hinted how powerful people abuse children. This is being weaponized by haters of the Tibetan spiritual leaders and to destabilize his global recognition as the flag-bearer of peace and spiritual leader of the Buddhist world. We Tibetans and followers of the Dalai Lama have a duty to educate these ignorant people. Hatred arises by exploiting the minds of these little people. Let’s help shine some light into their darkness.
Still to this day despite the protest that reverberated from the whole Himalayan belt, from Ladakh to Arunachal, from Sikkim to Darjeeling, who revere His Holiness as their root spiritual guru, major Indian media houses like the NDTV hasn’t apologized yet. Despite hurting the religious sentiments of millions of Buddhist followers, despite defaming and insulting His Holiness to blasphemous levels, the India media who fueled the CCP’s doctored video without any fact checking and research still doesn’t have any remorse.
I am imagining a world order where the story is flipped and a Hindu God or a Muslim -Clerics is sexually alleged on similar doctored video, all hell would break lose, moving trains would be burnt, riots would break, civil war would ensue.
I honestly think that attacking Dalai lama was convenient for the media because of our vulnerability as a religious minority, because of our deeply moated ethic of tolerance and forgiveness that Buddhism had taught us, where religious fanaticism doesn’t exist.
Taliban destroyed the Bamiyan statues in front of our eyes, but the Talibanization of the Indian people by the sold-out media orchestrated by the Chinese government destroyed a living, breathing Buddha. In a flash twenty seconds doctored video, a life long legacy of His Holiness who dedicated his entire life to promote peace, love and cultivate compassion and loving kindness into the hearts and minds of people all around the globe was maligned.
China in the not too distant past played on their strategy of the “long wait game,” shelving any talks with the Dalai Lama indefinitely to bring about a resolution to the issue of Tibet and wait like vultures for his eventual death, hoping that along with his passing, the Tibetan cause and resistance shall die too.
But as of late, they have changed their tactics on the heels of His Holiness taking an active part in recognizing and naming an eight-year Mongolian boy as the reincarnation of the third most important leader in Tibetan Buddhism as the 10th Khalkha Jetsun Dhampa Rinpoche. This event predicated the anger and wrath of the Chinese Communist Party, who unleashed cyber-attack on the indelible global image of His Holiness with an attempt to relegate the Dalai Lama as the supreme pontiff of the Buddhist world.
China might have conquered Tibet, the land, but they have failed to conquer the hearts and minds of Tibetan people despite decades of Cinicization campaign and forced assimilation. Just like China is trying to win over Tibet by hijacking the Dalai Lama reincarnation and taking Tibetan Buddhism hostage to control the Tibetan minds and spirits, India led by Modi has also made a similar pitch without the viciousness of the Chinese Communists Party to win over Buddhist countries surrounding China. Modi has promised to bring about a revival of Buddhism in India and he was the mastermind of the first International Buddhist conference concluded just few days ago in New Delhi, where along with many Buddhist leaders of the world, the Dalai Lama also participated. The event though was boycotted by China as a retaliation for inviting His Holiness the Dalai Lama. A pivotal move by Modi to counter China by taking ownership of Buddhism at the international level and making India the Mecca of Buddhism.
Lately due to the growing conflict with China, Modi is leveraging Tibet and playing Tibet card to suit its own geopolitical agenda. The border encroachment by the Chinese from Arunanchal to Doklam has India resurrecting the McMohan line signed by sovereign Tibet and the East India company back in 1913. China rejects the McMohan line stating that at the time Tibet signed the Simla treaty back in 1913 with East India Company, Tibet wasn’t a sovereign country. But regardless, India is hell bent on interpreting and recognizing the McMohan line as the legal boundary thereby legitimizing the treaty as well as Tibet as a sovereign country.
Lesson learned is that this attempt by the CCP wouldn’t be the last to defame and derail His Holiness the Dalai Lama. China will make repeated attempts to destabilize the legitimacy of the Dalai Lama not only as the leader of the Tibetan people but also as a spiritual leader of the Buddhist world. The next decade will be a decade, where within the Sino-Indian conflict, Tibet will always remain the elephant in the room and India will try its level best to resurrect Tibet as an independent country, as a historical buffer state with whom India not China shared the border historically. Modi has risen and from here on there is no looking back, unless India wants to risk receding Arunachal, Ladakh and Sikkim back to China as a legitimate Tibetan territory that they have occupied since 1959.
Writes: Ugyen Gyalpo, New York. Born and raised in Darjeeling.