Sunday, August 28, 2011

Disturbing Incidents: Where Are You?

Recently, I came across two very disturbing incidents in our exile community. These disturbing incidents truly help to postulate that Tibetan society or community is not as compassionate and peace loving as it's been romanticized by many outsiders and accepted as such by Tibetans in general. Moreover, many a times, Tibetan tries to hide or ignore social evils (and doers) in our society as if it jeopardizes this romaticization. These act remains a giant barricade that cramps the door for open discussion of these rare yet recurring social evils.

Moreover, most evil doers remain at large with less or no fair trial of the crime they committed. Their crimes are generally resolved by the respective Tibetan Settlement/Welfare Office with little or no fair verdict. Though it is not advisable to visit Indian judicial courts for all cases, I believe many wrong doers should be put on trial before the Indian Judiciary System.

Before I talk on these two incidents, it is important to know that I only heard of these two from my friends. As such, I have neither the first-hand nor the complete information.


First Incident
Where: Tibetan Children's Village Suja, Bir, Himachal Pradesh, India
When: Few weeks ago

Ama Jetsun Pema la has been widely praised for bringing an end to corporal punishment in the Tibetan Children's Village Schools. However, the recent death of a student at one of her old school may have disheartened her the most. Or it may not have as this death involves not a teacher or a staff but a school prefect/group leader. Some may simply say the school prefect/group leader is the wrongdoer. However, if you look at the incident with your heart and mind, its not the school prefect/group leader but the school system - the ultimate culprit.

if you remember, a minor girl was also recently abortioned under the same school system. The role of the Tibetan Women Association in helping this girl continue her studies was commendable. However, these social evils in Tibetan schools remain a problem that has so far been only acknowledged at the surface level and not at the policy level.

With the new Tibetan Kalon Tripa's top priority on education, will these Tibetan schools see a change or will the new administration stress more on maintaining the status quo on these invisible policies? Should we wait and hope? Or should the public act? There are many unanswered questions.


Second Incident
Where: Tenzingang Tibetan Settlement, Arunachal Pradesh, India
When: A week or two ago

A young Tibetan lady was stripped naked in public for her illicit romance with a married man. There is no doubt this lady will not pass the fair test. However, the question here is on the nature of penalizing her on her illicit romance. Do Tibetans own the right to take the law into hand? Are they still holding onto the primitive method of punishment? Have we grown up or just grown old? Again, many unanswered questions.

This case was later resolved by the local Tibetan Settlement Office with a verdict that favors the victim less. As a concerned citizen, you and me can write to the Tibetan Settlement Office for more information on this case with a copy of the same to the Secretary, Department of Home, Dharamsala; President, Tibetan Women Association, Dharamsala; Kashag Secretariat, Kashag, Dharamsala; and Speaker, Assembly of Tibetan People Deputies.

On this incident, I again put a question mark on the sleeping role of the Tibetan Women Association. They fail to act where they should.

Similarly, the role of Tibetan press and media has been very irresponsible in terms of addressing the ins and outs of the so-called nice and simple Tibetan society. They failed continuously on their social responsibility role i.e., to bring these social evils into the limelight for debate and discussion.

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