Mumbai, June 30: As the members of the Tibetan
TYC hunger strike in progress at Mumbai's Azad Maidan. (Courtesy: TYC)
Youth Congress from its regional chapters in northern India announed an indefinite hunger strike from Tihar Jail in Delhi, another 50 members launched a one-day hunger strike in Mumbai city against the railway line built by China to link Tibet to its capital Beijing. The participants came from various Indian cities situated in the western, Central and southern parts of India with the exception of the Dharamsala chapter. The venue of the hunger strike was Azad Maidan in Mumbai where the onset of monsoon made things difficult for the hunger strikers but the program went on successfully despite intermittent rainfall and high humidity conditions.
The hunger strike was led by TYC vice president Mr. Lobsang Yeshi who in his inaugural speech at the beginning of the program highlighted China’s dubious intentions behind the Gormo-Lhasa railway line and listed its severe implications on Tibet including its militarization, extraction of its mineral resources, irreversible damage to its fragile ecology, and impacts on Tibetan culture, religion and race due to massive population transfer and sinicization of Tibet.
Mr. Rohit Singh, an Indian supporter among those many others who visited the program venue to express their support and solidarity said China’s railway in Tibet was aimed to consolidate its position and fasten its grip on Tibet. He further stated, "This railway will also pose a great threat to the security of India and Asia". Mr. Kallianpur, a long time supporter of Tibetan cause and National convener of Friends of Tibet (India) said, "It is surprising to learn that an Olympic hosting nation has a more important priority of constructing railways in Tibet rather than preparing for games".
A photo exhibition alongside the hunger strikers' makeshift tent displayed the environmental destruction caused by the Gormo-Lhasa Railway in Tibet. TYC members distributed over 4,000 pamphlets in major areas of the city and another bunch of 4,000 were distributed as morning newspaper supplements. The hunger strikers also staged loud protests and slogan shouting and attracted quite a number of media coverage.
The later part of the day was spent boosting the spirit and determination among the activists as older members shared their experiences with the young. The day concluded with candlelight vigil and prayers to pay homage to all martyrs who had sacrificed for Tibet.