Once again, an ancient civilization a history and culturally rich nation with her 6 million inhabitants are in dire situation of losing her mother tongue in the light of intense oppression from one of the world’s most powerful nation of the 21st century. A land so harsh, however, the people learned to live in this so called ‘shambala’ which created a picture of mysteries and wonderland for so many people. We lived in total isolation; far away from any countries and civilization. During the 7th century, king srongtsen gampo took the vow to free all sentient beings from harm and suffering; hence Buddha Dharma shone brightly in the land much covered with snow. Historically, Indian professors have come to Tibet the Buddhist philosophy and the Tibetans have till present become reliable chelas (students) in preserving the Nalanda Buddhist Tradition where it lost its luster in its own land .
Therefore, Indians and Tibetans share a unique relation. Thunmi Sambhotta, the founder of the Tibetan language was sent by King Srongtsen Gampo to introduce a new language so that the culture, traditon, identity and religion could be preserved and flourished in the long run. Since then up to 1940. We were happy and content with our own way of life and work.
After the so-called Communists takeover of China, where the ideology of communism reached its peak height in peking influenced primarily from the Soviet Union, Lenin was considered a state hero in Peking at that time, Chairman Mao Zedong, and influential and popular leader who had widespread support from the peasents of Mainland China. Also, an influential and pragmatic son of Chian; Ding Xiaping, who studied in France, came back to his homeland to bring positive changes. However, to his surprise he was jerked out of the communitst party two times, but later on became the chairman of the people’s republic of China. He is widely known for being a pragmatic leader of modern China.
The so-called Cultural Revolution in Tibet brought suffering and intense destruction all over Tibet. Thousands and thousands of monasteries were destroyed, thousands were imprisoned and executed. People were told to study communism and regard religion as nothing more than person. Encouragement of Tibetan Language was seen as an act of dessident towards the unity of the PRC. According to His Holiness the Great 14th Dalai Lama said.’ intenionally or unintentionally cultural genocide is taking place in Tibet.’ Education reform has been at the heart of the Chinese Colonanism whereby they remove any element of Tibetan identity and Buddha Dharma in Tibetan text.
Discouraging Tibetan to speak their own language in their own country. looking down on Tibetan who speak Tibetan language is a common sight in many parts of Tibet where huge influx of chinese. Han migrants have settled. This migrants have no interest in learning the Tibetan language and Culture what so ever, and their prime motive being for earning money. So, inside Tibet, the Tibetan language is losing its grounding among the young Tibetans, Therefore, His Holiness the 14th Dalai lama escape into India 1959 stressed the importance of modern education along with rich Tibetan Tradition and language has made the Tibetans, one of the most successful refugees in the world by establishing a school in exile in the hill station of India.
Owing to His Holiness’s vission is of incalculating a modern education and the rich Tibetan religion, tradition and language; Tibetans have successful to some extent preserved their unique culture, tradition and language amidst difficult circumstances. Language plays an important role in an individual’s life; it represents one identity, culture and faith. It provides a sense of belonging to a particular group of people who share the same history, sentiments and culture which is so very important at this time in history. However, there are also signs that our mother tongue is an danger of survival as China continues to excute policies which aim at total annihilation of Budhha Dharma and Tibetan language. It is a very sad and also one of the most fasinating challenging times of this great ancient nation and its people that we are asked to whow our moral courage and determination to preserve our culture, language in the 21st century.
Karma Monlam (chemi)
Bodrigpunda member (Australia)