Hi guest, Register | Login | Contact Us
Welcome to Phayul.com - Our News Your Views
Fri 20, Apr 2018 02:30 PM (IST)
Search:     powered by Google
 MENU
Home
News
Photo News
Opinions
Statements &
Press Releases

Book Reviews
Movie Reviews
Interviews
Travels
Health
Obituaries
News Discussions
News Archives
Download photos from Tibet
 Latest Stories
USCIRF Commissioner Dr. Tenzin Dorjee urges China to release the Panchen Lama
Two monks detained by China for sharing “illegal contents” on WeChat
Dalai Lama condoles the demise of former President Bush’s mother
Tibetan farmers' land forcefully grabbed by Chinese authorities near Lhasa
China launches website for citizens to report spies, corrupt bureaucrats
Dalai Lama meets with foreign tourists, urges oneness of humanity
Shoton Festival postponed in solidarity for families of 27 killed in bus mishap
Tibetan President in DC, Special Coordinator for Tibet and Reciprocal Access to Tibet bill among key agenda
Tibetan man charged in Sweden for spying for China
Dalai Lama Foundation announces 2018 Graduate Scholarship Program
 Latest Photo News
His Holiness the Dalai Lama leaves for Gaggal airport, March 17, 2018. He would be attending the first Convocation of the Central University of Jammu (CUJ) on Sunday.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama looks at a picture of his former home, the Potala palace, in Drepung Monastery, Dec 14, 2017, Phayul Photo/Geleck Palsang
Tibetans participate in a candle light vigil to mourn the passing away of Chinese activist Liu Xiaobo in China, TCV Day School, July 14, 2017 Phayul Photo: Kunsang Gashon
more photos »
Advertisement
THE DIALECTICS OF BEING SHEEP – by Jamyang Norbu
By Email[Saturday, June 28, 2014 18:24]
Eli Wallach and Clint Eastwood in "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly".
Eli Wallach and Clint Eastwood in "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly".
Eli Wallach, the Hollywood character actor, died this Tuesday at the age of 98. As a boy in Darjeeling I had seen him in a number of classic Westerns: How the West was Won, Mackenna’s Gold, The Good the Bad and the Ugly and my favorite The Magnificent Seven. He invariably played the bad guy, but in a funny, nasty, scruffy and hugely memorable fashion. He also had some great lines. In the Good the Bad and the Ugly he is waylaid in his bath by an enemy who talks at length on why he’s going to kill him. Eli Wallach has a pistol hidden in the soapsuds and guns him down. His parting advice “When you have to shoot…Shoot. Don’t talk.”

The last film I mentioned, The Magnificent Seven, is an underrated classic. It is perhaps not as monumental a film as Kurosawa’s The Seven Samurai, from which it was re-made, but it has one profound line of dialogue where the Mexican bandit chief, Calvera, played by Eli Wallach, explains to Chris (Yul Brynner) the leader of the “Seven” defending the Mexican village, why he robs peasants: “If God had not meant them to be sheared, he would not have made them sheep.” Which brought to mind a “sheep” moment in modern Tibetan history.

All Tibetans have heard the story of how when the Chinese invaded in October 1950 and the cabinet secretary in Lhasa was informed of this by radio from Army HQ at Chamdo, he is said to have replied that the kashag could not be disturbed as they were having their annual party (or picnic). Okay, this is not good, but then I suppose nobody likes to bust up a good party. There is actually another event, leading up to this exchange, which is far more disgraceful, and which clearly reveals the sheep mentality endemic within much of the Tibetan leadership then.

None of the Tibetan frontline units at the Drichu river had radios, so the first news of the long-feared Chinese invasion arrived at Chamdo military headquarters only five days after the first attack. The exhausted army messenger from General Karchung rode into the residency of the Governor-General just before midnight on the 11th of October. Ngapo immediately informed the kashag in Lhasa. On the 12th evening when Radio Lhasa went on air at 5 p.m. with the news in English, Tibetan and Chinese, there was no mention of the invasion. Robert Ford, our chief radio-operator and other Tibetan officials at Chamdo who were waiting anxiously for the announcement, were stunned and dismayed. The next day and the day after that there was still dead silence from Radio Lhasa. Ford found it difficult to comprehend the Tibetan government’s silence, and later in his book Captured in Tibet (1957) wrote:

‘The actions of the Lhasa government would have been easier to understand if it had intended to offer only a token resistance to the Chinese and then sue for peace, but it was not doing anything of the kind. The resistance was real … there was never any question of surrender. I could only think it was a matter of habit. The Lhasa government was so used to the policy of saying nothing that might offend or provoke the Chinese that it kept it up after provocation had become irrelevant. It was still trying to avert a war that had already broken out.


If you think that’s bad in terms of sheep-like behavior, then how about the mentality of our leadership now, pretending that nothing terrible has really happened in the last sixty five years. That the Chinese are “our brothers and sisters”, and that all we have to do is not to raise the issue of Tibetan independence or democracy, prohibit all exile groups and organizations from protesting against Beijing, and then China will surely come around to inviting us for another round of talks (the 26th?) in Beijing, or at least permit His Holiness go on a pilgrimage to Wutai Shan, to which end so many exile officials and Chinese intellectual friends are working their fingers to the bone.

Lu Xun
Lu Xun
This is worse than sheep behavior, this is dead sheep behavior. China’s greatest modern writer, Lu Xun, who wrote essay after essay bemoaning the sheep-like nature of the Chinese people, pointed out in one zawen that there was perhaps a way that even such a stubborn character trait could be fundamentally altered:


You tell me ‘sheep will always be sheep. What else can they do but obediently walk in line to the slaughterhouse? As to the pigs, which have to be dragged, which jump squeal, and try to run away, in the end they still cannot escape their fate. Why such desperate efforts? Is it not a sheer waste of energy?’ But this is to say that even when faced with death, one should behave like sheep; thus the world will be in peace, and everyone will be spared much trouble. Very well, this is perhaps an excellent solution. However, have you ever considered wild boars? With their tusks they can force even experienced hunters to keep at a distance. Actually all that an ordinary pig needs to do is run away from the sty where the swineherd was keeping it locked, and reach the forest – and in no time it will grow such tusks.


It is time for all Tibetans living in the free world to start grow tusks – or something else. In the last couple of years nearly everyone I know in the exile community (including inji supporters) seem to have crawled into their personal funk holes, nervous of being accused of “hurting the feelings of the Dalai Lama”, or “causing him to live only to the age of 108 and not 113 as he had intended” (Penpa Tsering), or of being a secret Shugden propitiator. I personally live in relative peace and seclusion in the mountains of Tennessee so it would be wrong of me to tell my friends, who probably live cheek by jowl with maroon ayatollahs and fundamentalist yahoos, what they should or should not do. This task would perhaps be better left to the inimitable Lu Xun:

“If there are still men who really want to live in this world, they should dare to speak out, to laugh, to cry, to be angry, to accuse, to fight – that they may at least cleanse this accursed place of its accursed atmosphere!”



The views expressed in this piece are that of the author and the publication of the piece on this website does not necessarily reflect their endorsement by the website.
Print Send Bookmark and Share
  Readers' Comments »
Who are those you comparing with ayotolla? (thupnyima)
Your Comments

 More..
Refugees: A poem by a Gaddi
The Formulation, Backlash and the Continuing Commotion of Tibetan Women’s Day
Tourism in Tibet: China's Money Making Machine
Open Letter from Shenpenn Khymsar
TIBETAN NARRATIVE ON TAWANG – A HISTORICAL APPROACH
Importance of Secular Ethics in Educational Curriculum
My observations as an intern at the European Parliament
A First in a Refugee Settlement
President Trump, meet the Dalai Lama
“I Too Can Speak About Education”: By Alak Dorshi
Advertisement
Advertisement
Photo Galleries
Advertisement
Phayul.com does not endorse the advertisements placed on the site. It does not have any control over the google ads. Please send the URL of the ads if found objectionable to editor@phayul.com
Copyright © 2004-2018 Phayul.com   feedback | advertise | contact us
Powered by Lateng Online
Advertisement