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India needs to prepare a blueprint for Tibetan Independence

Dr G Shreekumar Menon

Tibetans have always been good warriors, in the 1950s-60s, the Khampa freedom fighters gave a nightmare to Chinese generals for years. There are now persistent reports that the PLA has started recruiting “exclusive military formations of ethnic Tibetans”. India should not restrict itself to just a single regiment of Tibetans. We need to raise a full-fledged army of young Tibetan men and women, who need to be trained to be the first flank of aggression against the Chinese. Similarly, Tibetans need to be trained to become pilots and handle the latest flying machines. We also need to train them to become Intelligence operatives, in policing and most important, groom the brightest in political administration and to
become bureaucrats.

Khampa warrior

A 1,200-year-old Tibetan Buddhist prophecy of ’The Shambhala Warrior’ predicts ‘that there will come a time when all life on Earth will be in danger. During that time great barbarian forces will have arisen which have unfathomable destructive power. New and unforeseen technologies will appear during this time, with the potential to lay waste the world’.

When we see the world around us, it becomes apparent that many nations have developed Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), which can be nuclear, biological, radiological, and chemical. The destructive power accumulated in the form of nuclear weapons is sufficient to destroy all forms of life many times over.

The current Corona virus afflicting all countries is cited as an example of biological warfare, caused deliberately or accidentally. Speculations are rife that China has a role in propagating the virus, but concrete proof is lacking. Another fast-developing segment is the global hypersonic and directed-energy weapons (DEW’s) or what is also referred to as ‘New Concept Weapons’.

The Chinese also refer to such high technology weapons as ‘Assassin’s Mace’, which was a club used by a Chinese folklore hero named Shashoujian, who overwhelmed enemies by attacking in unexpected ways. Other destructive weapons in the offing are hand-held laser weapons and microwave weapons. One Chinese academic, namely Jin Canrong, the Deputy Dean of the School of International Relations of the Renmin University of China, made a startling claim in a TV program telecasted on November 11, saying that Chinese PLA soldiers had used directed energy weapons (laser weapons) against Indian soldiers during the skirmishes at the Ladakh border in 2020.  He had claimed that Chinese soldiers turned two key hilltops at the border into a “microwave oven”, forcing Indian troops to retreat. However, India has denied reports that Chinese forces at the LAC used microwave weapons against Indian troops in eastern Ladakh. With such formidable weapons on the anvil, the Shambala Prophecy is gaining in credibility, but will a Free Tibet ever become a reality? Do the Tibetans ever stand a chance against Chinese diabolical weapons and massive army manpower?

Compounding the problem is the critical observation by Lieutenant Colonel Sir Francis Edward Younghusband, British army officer and explorer who wrote to his father; “As I have always said, the Tibetans are nothing but sheep.” 

Further, dampening the Tibetan prospects of freedom is the candid statement by American President, in the context of American troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, that “Afghan leaders have to come
together,” Biden told reporters at the White House, saying the Afghan troops outnumber the Taliban and must want to fight. “They’ve got to fight for themselves, fight for their nation” (Reuters August 11 th 2021).

The same logic will apply for Tibetans also. But the Tibetans have no leader to lead a freedom struggle nor any blueprint for gaining independence. While the vast majority of Tibetans eke out their living selling trinkets and wool in different countries, other small groups of Tibetans, supported by Hollywood stars in America, carry banners proclaiming “Free Tibet”protesting against visiting Chinese dignitaries.

Freedom can never be won so easily. As former U.S. President Ronald Reagan had put it “A small nation, faced with the denial of its sovereignty – indeed of its very existence –reminded us that the price of freedom is high but never so costly as the loss of freedom.”

On October 8 2021, Chinese soldiers attempted an incursion along the Line of Actual Control in Arunachal Pradesh, near Yangtse in the Tawang sector. China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of Southern Tibet, and has designs to invade that area.

On August 3 2021, nearly 100 PLA soldiers with 55 horses intruded over 5 km into Uttarakhand’s Barahoti District, crossing Tun Jun La Pass, stayed in the area for over three hours, damaging some infrastructure, including a bridge.

During his visit to Ladakh, in October 2021, the Indian Army Chief, disclosed that Chinese Army had deployed its troops in considerable numbers all across Eastern Ladakh and Northern Front right up to the Eastern Command.

While India has also deployed its troops in adequate numbers, there is also a need to galvanize the Tibetans into action, for it is their homeland that needs to be liberated from Chinese clutches. American President Joe Biden’s advise to the Afghans that “They’ve got to fight for themselves, fight for their nation”, holds equally good for the Tibetans. Their war for independence cannot be outsourced to India, they have to revolt and overthrow the Chinese from their lands.

The Shambala warrior’s war cry ‘Ki ki So So’ is a way to rouse the head and shoulders, a method to rouse a sense of uplifted dignity. It is a battle cry against aggression, and conquering aggression. It is a warrior’s cry that celebrates victory over war, victory over aggression, and victory over obstacles. The onerous responsibility of fighting for freedom should rest with the famed Tibetan Khampa warriors.

Khampas, the legendary and fierce warriors of Tibet, are the inhabitants of Kham a rugged mountainous area comprising of Hengduan mountains and several river valleys in Tibet. This region is referred to in Tibetan history as “Chushi Gangdruk” which means the land of six mountains and four rivers. In early 1957, a centralised armed resistance was organised under the leadership of Gompo Tashi Andrugtsang, and named ‘Chushi Gangdruk’ which in mid-1958, was transformed into an all-Tibet force, and named National Volunteer Defence Army (NVDA).

However, the Khampa warriors are known more popularly as ‘Chushi Gangdruk’. They are also referred to as ‘Buddha Warriors’ and were entrusted with the task of protecting His Holiness Dalai Lama even at the cost of their lives. Like many other martial races in different parts of the world, the Khampa warriors were expected to dedicate their life to defending their land till their last blood drop.

When the Chinese invaded Tibet in 1950, the Khampa warriors had put up stiff resistance against the Chinese forces by resorting to guerrilla warfare tactics. Impressed, the CIA took up the responsibility to back the Khampa warriors with arms, funding and training them in guerrilla warfare from the late 1950s until 1969. The initial set of warriors were flown to the US and were trained in Camp Hale in Colorado, and in the Pacific Island of Saipan. Later, the training shifted to a region called Mustang, which was a remote Himalayan area bordering Tibet but geographically located in Nepal.

Hence the initial batches of trained Khampas were also known as “Mustang Warriors”. Though they tasted initial success, Chinese pressure on Nepal resulted in the complete wiping out of the Khampas. Till early 1969 the CIA supported the Khampas but thereafter support was suddenly withdrawn, for some inexplicable reason, presumably it no longer served American interests. The Nepalese also played spoilsport by massacring thousands of Khampa warriors.

In the aftermath to the disastrous Indo-China conflict in 1962, there was a consensus among Indian politicians and Army professionals for the need to raise a force of Tibetans to attack the Chinese Army from within Tibet. An initiative set rolling under the then Defence Minister Krishna Menon and Lt. Gen B.N. Kaul.

Thus, was born the Special Frontier Force (SFF) under Major General S.S. Uban. Director, Intelligence Bureau B.N. Mullick, and the then Odisha Chief Minister Biju Patnaik also played key roles in setting up the Special Frontier Forces.

After the 1962 Sino-Indian border war, Ratuk Ngawang commanded the Tibetan secret regiment, known as the Special Frontier Forces, SSF, or Establishment 22, based near Dehra Dun in Uttar Pradesh.

In the recent confrontation in eastern Ladakh in 2020, it was the Tibetan troops serving with the Indian Army who successfully fought against the Chinese.

The question of Tibetans’ recruitment in the PLA has become acute for the Central Military Commission (CMC-China) after Nyima Tenzin, a Tibetan officer, sacrificed his life during an Indian Army operation to take control of the Kailash range on the southern bank of Pangong Tso (lake) in Ladakh on August 29, 2020. On the night of August 29-30, Tibetan commandos managed to capture from the Chinese a string of strategic high-altitude areas on the Kailash range. It was a resounding victory for India. It was only then that many nations around the world discovered the existence of the Special Frontier Force (SFF) Tibetan troops, also known as Establishment 22 or Vikas Regiment.

Tibetans have always been good warriors, in the 1950s-60s, the Khampa freedom fighters gave a nightmare to Chinese generals for years. There are now persistent reports that the PLA has started recruiting “exclusive military formations of ethnic Tibetans”. India should not restrict itself to just a single regiment of Tibetans. We need to raise a full-fledged army of young Tibetan men and women, who need to be trained to be the first flank of aggression against the Chinese. Similarly, Tibetans need to be trained to become pilots and handle the latest flying machines. We also need to train them to become Intelligence operatives, in policing and most important, groom the brightest in political administration and to become bureaucrats. The Tibetans wandering in India, selling rugs and carpets will not be able to secure independence by just dreaming. They need an action plan, and India needs to prepare a blueprint for Tibetan independence.


Dr G Shreekumar Menon, IRS (Rtd) Ph. D (Narcotics), is Former Director General National Academy of Customs Indirect Taxes and Narcotics, & Multi-Disciplinary School of Economic Intelligence India,
Fellow, James Martin Centre for Non-Proliferation Studies, USA.
Fellow, Centre for International Trade & Security, University of Georgia, USA. 
Fellow, Public Administration, Maxwell School of Public Administration, Syracuse University, U.S.A.
AOTS Scholar, Japan

Pay to Pray: There is a limit to pushing the Hindus against the wall in India

Dr G Shreekumar Menon

One of the rights guaranteed by the Constitution of India is the right to Freedom of Religion. Right to freedom of religion is described in Articles 25, 26, 27 and 28 of the Indian Constitution.

The world community is continuously kept informed by the democratically elected governments that India is one of the few countries in the world where its citizens enjoy unrestricted freedom of worship. But what is the sordid reality?

According to the 2011 Census of India, 966.3 million people have been identified as Hindu. They represent 79.8% of the country’s population. Yet, this huge segment of India’s population is denied its fundamental right to administer their Temples and use ancient Sanskrit language in prayers. The Hindus are also denied permission to teach their Scriptures inside Temples, and most shockingly – they have to pay to just offer prayers in many important Temples.

On paper, the Indian Constitution does not permit the State to run religious institutions. However, over 15 State Governments in India, control religious institutions of only the Hindus – more specifically Temples. For this brazen violation of the Constitution, State Governments have enacted draconian Acts like “The Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HRCE) Act 1951”, empowering them to take over temples and maintain complete control over them and their properties, right from the appointment of administrators to mandatory collection of 13-18% service charge. Stiff tariff is collected from the pilgrims under several guises, ranging from entry fees to exorbitant rates for performing various kinds of rituals.

Pilgrims who do not have the ability to pay the entry fees are forced to wait for periods beyond 24 hours, just to get a glimpse of their Lord. This may sound strange and absolutely obnoxious to people around the world but this is the sordid reality in India – a country that pontificates to the whole world about freedom of worship. More than 400, 000 Temples are under the unwarranted custody of State Governments, and India has the audacity to pretend to be a champion of religious freedom.

Despite the United Nations enunciating the UN Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination based on Religion or Belief of 1981 (the ‘Declaration on Religion or Belief’), it has failed to notice the blatant discrimination faced by 966.3 million Hindus in India. While the Hindus living in the USA and other European countries, enjoy the fullest freedom in running their Temples, their Hindu counterpart in India have to put up with innumerable restrictions including that of language. While Hindu Scriptures are in Sanskrit language, many politicians, who by virtue of their political affiliations have secured important positions in various Temple administration bodies, bully the hapless and timid priests not to use Sanskrit. Devotees are denied their basic fundamental right to express their prayers in their language of choice. This is like asking a Muslim not to use Arabic language for his prayers or a Roman Catholic not to use Latin. This is the worst sort of religious discrimination and language discrimination that any citizen can be subjected to. Nowhere in the world will devotees be suffering as the Hindus of India.

The Office of International Religious Freedom of U.S. Department of State, which promotes universal respect for freedom of religion or belief for all as a core objective of U.S. foreign policy, is yet to take cognizance of these human rights violations happening continuously in India. Though this institution is set up to monitor religiously motivated abuses, harassment, and discrimination worldwide, and recommend, develop, and implement policies and programs to address these concerns, nothing has been done to alleviate the misery of Hindus in India.

The Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief that is an independent expert appointed by the UN Human Rights Council, to identify existing and emerging obstacles to the enjoyment of the right to freedom of religion or belief and present recommendations on ways and means to overcome such obstacles, has not taken note of the restrictions placed on 966.3 million Hindus in India.

India, which is seeking permanent membership of the UN Security Council, needs to be told to address the plight of its Hindu worshippers. When India’s eighth term as a non-Permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, commenced, India’s Permanent Representative boasted that from “Kashmir to Kanyakumari”, India stood united by democracy, pluralism and commitment to fundamental rights. Somebody ought to have pointed out to him that 966.3 million Hindus of India have their right to worship, which is fully shackled. First set your house in order before preaching to the world shoulld have been the message.

The recent incident on Wednesday 13 October, at Kannur in Kerala, where the Malabar Devasom Board officials accompanied by a posse of Police, stormed into the Mattannur Mahadeva Temple, by breaking the locked gate and door, is a standing testimony of the brutal harassment that Hindu devotees have to face routinely. The storming into the Temple, accompanied by local Marxists, was done without any prior notice. Such uncivilized and forceful takeover of a religious place of worship happens only in India and only the Hindu Temples are routinely targeted.

Devotees who protested were beaten up, arrested, and harassed for resisting the illegal takeover. As is common, the Marxist party members will soon get appointed in various capacities in the Temple administration, impose stiff tariff for performing rituals and ceremonies, instal Hundis (money collection boxes) throughout the Temple. As there is no proper auditing by any reputed auditing firm, much of the funds collected are prone to misappropriation and unauthorised diversion. This is happening in every State in India and under every political dispensation, hence politicians of all hues, colours and titles keep quiet and connive at the discriminatory treatment meted out to Hindus exclusively. While the same politicians act with alacrity when it comes to the protection of places of worship of other communities, and vociferously defend their right to worship without interference by the State, around 966.3 million Hindus, routinely see their places of worship defiled and desecrated by State government officials and Police, in the name of ‘takeover’. Getting timely justice is a very rare phenomenon in India, hence Hindus despite approaching courts, are unable to liberate their places of worship from unauthorised and illegal control of State Governments.

While India is prompt in pointing fingers at other nations and accuse them of religious discrimination and other associated offences, they cleverly hide the takeover of Hindu Temples, which affects the religious freedom of 966.3 million Hindus. Nowhere else in the world are Hindu Temples taken over by any government, it happens only in India, why?

Darshan for commoners

The most obnoxious imposition by the State governments is the imposition of a stiff levy just to pray. This is effected by herding devotees into special enclosures and deliberately creating a crowd of several hundreds. An arrangement is made, whereby, by paying a stiff fee, the crowd can be bypassed and priority worship is assured. This kind of obnoxious imposition has no parallel anywhere else in the world, and is known in euphemistic terms as ‘Special Darshan’, ‘Quick Darshan’, ‘VIP Darshan’. In simple terms it means ‘Pay to Pray’. This mortification is faced only by Hindu devotees in India. It is surprising that no nation has questioned this religious discrimination happening in India, no world organization has brought this to the notice of the United Nations Human Rights Commission for taking action.

Special Darshan

The flimsy reasoning given by State governments in India for levying this ‘pay to pray’ imposition is that the rush of devotees is unmanageable. But this is a specious plea when we take into account that the Haj pilgrimage to Mecca attracts the world’s largest human gathering of almost 2.5 million worshippers. The Saudi government has no scheme like in India of ‘pay to pray’.

The United Nations Commission on Human Rights appointed Special Rapporteur on religious intolerance has the following as its mandate:

  • To identify existing and emerging obstacles to the enjoyment of the right to freedom of religion or belief and present recommendations on ways and means to overcome such obstacles;
  • To continue her/his efforts to examine incidents and governmental actions that are incompatible with the provisions of the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief and to recommend remedial measures as appropriate.

The prevalence in India of the obnoxious exploitation of Hindu devotees directing them to ‘pay to pray’ definitely attracts the above clauses and warrants interference by the United Nations as the right to freedom of belief of 966.3 million Hindu devotees is at stake. That such a massive infraction of human rights and religious rights has not engaged the attention of the United Nations till date is a serious matter. It is hoped that the United Nations will deliberate on the need to protect the religious interests of 966.3 million Hindus, liberate their places of worship from State control and iniquitous impositions of levies and taxes. It will certainly be a landmark in the history of human struggle for religious freedom and right to worship.

While temple lands are shrinking or they are being encraoched with impunity, it has also been reported that the plan is to melt a couple of thousand kgs of temple gold. The seriousness of the matter can be gauged from the fact that the Tamil Nadu Government after coming under attack over the melting of temple gold into bars for being deposited in banks told the Madras High Court on Tuesday 12 October 2021 that such a gold monetisation scheme has continued for more than 4 decades.


The author, Dr G Shreekumar Menon, IRS (Rtd) Ph. D (Narcotics) is
Former Director General National Academy of Customs Indirect Taxes and Narcotics, & Multi-Disciplinary School of Economic Intelligence India; Fellow, James Martin Centre for Non-Proliferation Studies, USA. Fellow, Centre for International Trade & Security, University of Georgia, USA: Public Administration, Maxwell School of Public Administration, Syracuse University, U.S.A; andAOTS Scholar, Japan – www.shreekumarmenon.com

M Dharma maintains lead, Khalin Joshi in second place at Jaipur Open 

Newsroom24x7 Network

Jaipur: Bengalureans  M Dharma and Khalin Joshi are all set to take on each other in a  contest for top honours in the final round of the Rs. 40 lakh Jaipur Open at the par-70 Rambagh Golf Club (RGC).

Two-time PGTI winner Dharma (62-62-65), the overnight leader by three shots, ended round three with a two-shot lead after his score of 65 on Thursday moved his total to 21-under 189.

Khalin Joshi (61-66-64), a winner of four titles including one on the Asian Tour, moved from overnight tied second to sole second place at 19-under 191 following his 64 in round three.

Thirty-five-year-old Dharma and 29-year-old Khalin, have stamped their authority this week in Jaipur as both have been placed inside the top-3 on the first three days of the event.

Veer Ahlawat (67) of Gurugram and Chandigarh’s Harendra Gupta (67) will be the dark horses going into the final day as they are currently placed third at 16-under 194 and fourth at 15-under 195 respectively.

Dharma, looking for his first title in four years, had a slow start to the day as he missed a few short birdie putts early on and then dropped a bogey on the fourth after finding the bunker. Dharma finally got into his stride with a great tee shot on the sixth that left him a four-foot birdie conversion.

Thereafter Dharma added five more birdies till the 16th thanks to some birdie conversions from a range of six to 10 feet. His accurate approach on the 15th set up a tap-in birdie for him. He missed only his second green of the day on the 17th and paid the penalty with another bogey. Dharma capped the day picking up another stroke on the 18th where he had an opportunity for an eagle from 15 feet.

Dharma said, “The fact that I missed two greens today and bogeyed both those holes means I need to continue hitting it well in order to create more chances for myself. Once I do that, I’m confident that the putts will roll in.

“After a poor start, it was the excellent tee shot on the fourth that got me back in my rhythm. I enjoy playing at the RGC as it is a shorter course and thus suits my game since my wedge-play is very strong.

Khalin Joshi, searching for his first win in three years, went bogey-free for the first time this week. His six birdies were complemented by two outstanding par-saves from a distance of 12 to 20 feet on the eighth and 16th.  

Veer Ahlawat kept himself in contention with a 67 that featured six birdies and three bogeys. He finished runner-up in consecutive PGTI events in September.

Harendra Gupta sank an eagle on the 17th and made four birdies and three bogeys during his 67. He has maintained his position inside the top-5 over the first three days.

Kolkata’s Sunit Chowrasia shot the day’s best score of 63 to be placed tied fifth at 14-under 196 along with PGTI Order of Merit leader Karandeep Kochhar (67) of Chandigarh and last week’s winner Viraj Madappa (68) of Kolkata. Pune’s  Udayan Mane (68) was tied 12th at 11-under 199. Hemendra Choudhary (66-70-68), playing at his home course, was tied 31st at six-under 204.
HSB

Seltos is the best selling SUV in India

Newsroom24x7 Network

Kia India sold 9583 units of Seltos mid-size SUV in September 2021. Kia has registered a YoY growth of 1.4% with a market share of 7.8 percent.

In September 2021, Tata sold 9,211 units of the Nexon SUV against 8193 units of Hyundai’s Creta SUVs. Hyundai’s Venue overtook key rival Vitara Brezza of Maruti in the same period by with 7,924 units sold.