By Tenzin Monlam
Tashi Phuntsok, Director of the Tibet Museum explaining a photograph to Kalon Karma Gelek Yuthok during the inaugural ceremony of the ‘Revisiting Cultural Revolution in Tibet’ exhibition on October 28, 2016/Phayul Photo: Kunsang Gashon
DHARAMSHALA, October 28: The Tibet Museum with an aim to aware the younger generations of Tibet and foreigners today started a four-month long exhibition showcasing the Cultural Revolution in Tibet and its ramifications on Tibetan culture and religion.
Kalon Karma Gelek Yuthok, Department of Religion and Culture who attended the inaugural ceremony as the Chief Guest stated that the Cultural Revolution is a big blot in China’s history, which cannot be erased.
“The best answer to the Cultural Revolution is preserve and develop our culture and religion that China tried to destroy. It is admirable that we have managed to do it in exile,” he said, adding that it was only possible due to the blessing and grace of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
The photo exhibition titled, ‘Revisiting Cultural Revolution in Tibet’, the museum has showcased pictures depicting some of the horrifying episodes that happened during the ten-year long (1966-76) assault on Tibetan culture and religion under the name of Cultural Revolution.
“The absence of Beijing’s celebration on 50 years since the inception of Cultural Revolution and severe restriction on its discussions on public platform indicates that they are ashamed and embarrassed of it,” said Tenzin Dhardon Sharling, Secretary-Equivalent (Information), DIIR.
The exhibition has around 40 photographs categorized in six parts, Beginning of the Cultural Revolution, Struggle session, Name Change, Creation of new god and Destructions of Monasteries.
A panel discussion consisting of elderly Tibetans who have had suffered during the revolution in Tibet.
Phurpa Tsering Topgyal, a former CTA staff and a survivor of the revolution said, “We must never forget that China has occupied Tibet and the destructions during the Cultural Revolution and it is unfortunate if we forgot. Therefore, it is really important that it must be remembered for generations to come.”
Lobsang Yonten, who also seen the revolution stated that the older generations are slowing diminishing and the younger generations must be aware of the dark days of Tibet. This exhibition would be helpful in raising their awareness.
Over 6,000 monasteries were destroyed during the period and at least ’92,000 Tibetans who were subjected to ‘struggle sessions’ died or committed suicide and around 1,73,000 died in prison or Chinese labor camps.