Thursday, March 27, 2008

Why are the monks acting like punks?

The Guardian runs an article in which Pankaj Mishra has an interesting take on the turmoil in Tibet.


..........Tibet has been enlisted into what is the biggest and swiftest modernisation in history: China's development on the model of consumer capitalism, which has been cheer-led by the Wall Street Journal and other western financial media that found in China the corporate holy grail of low-priced goods and high profits......... How is it that, as the Economist put it, "years of rapid economic growth, which China had hoped would dampen separatist demands, have achieved the opposite"?
For one, the Chinese failed to consult Tibetans about the kind of economic growth they wanted. In this sense, at least, Tibetans are not much more politically impotent than the hundreds of millions of hapless Chinese uprooted by China's Faustian pact with consumer capitalism......

........Far from losing his aura during his long exile, the Dalai Lama has come to symbolise more urgently than ever to Tibetans their cherished and threatened identity. It has also become clear to Tibetans that they pay a high price for other people's enhanced lifestyles.......
..........Propelled by an insatiable global thirst for consumer markets and natural resources, China has done little to allay the fear that Tibetans could soon resemble the Native Americans languishing in reservations - reduced, in the words of the Tibetan novelist Jamyang Norbu, to a "sort of broken third-rate people", who in some years from now will be reduced to "begging from tourists"

Interesting read. Do check it out.

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