Think Tibet and Friends of Tibet jointly organise an audio-visual presentation by Vijay Crishna: ‘Tibet of Our Minds: A Journey’s End?’ at the Tibetan Youth Hostel, Bangalore . Mr. Vijay Crishna, the Managing Director of Godrej GE Ltd conducted a presentation on “Tibet of our mind, a journey’s end?” to a large group of Tibetan students and Indian friends.
A multiple faceted personality who has practised theatre for many years, done many movies and is an avid trekker, the latter which ultimately brought him to the terrains of the Himalayas and soon into the Chinese-occupied Tibet.
He admitted having been unacquainted with Tibet’s complex sweep of history, geography, religion and politics until he tramped across the Himalayas in 1992 to Mt Kailas and holy Mansarovar. Someone who has extensively read on Tibet and seen it with his own eyes on several occasions in all the trips he made there the last being on 2007, he dedicated his presentation to His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
It was an overwhelming discourse on Tibet ranging from (cut short here) Tibet’s symbiotic relationships with the old India and the Russian, British and Chinese empires, his fascination for the exploration of the country which drew him there twice in 2006 and 2007, Mao’s march in Tibet and the rest of the world remaining a mere spectator when help was sought from Nepal, India, UK and USA, the occupation of Tibet in 1959, cumulative Tibetan deaths over a million since 1950 by Hu Jintao, the re education system in Tibet and China inculcating hatred towards the Dalai Lama and more ignorance towards reality, the state of cultural degredation that Tibet now witnesses, the influx of Han Chinese to sinicize Tibet, the policies executed by the PRC to annihilate the identity of Tibet and many other raging issues and historical references establishing Tibet as an independent country once.
He also spoke on how official racism, discrimination, political and religious repression have been common since 1949 ( the year when the PLA strolled into Tibet).
Interesting aspects of the presentation on his observations was on why Tibet should an issue of concern geographically. He referred to the fact that Tibet is a source of major rivers like the Indus, Ganga, Sutlej, Coracle,the Yellow, Nanga Parbat, Namche Barwa, Salween and the Brahmaputrra gushing into her neighbouring countries thus slaking the thirst of 47% of the world’s population. The unsettling fact about Tibetan plateau being one of the earth’s 12 identified global warming tipping points that could initiate sudden and unpredictable changes globally.
He forecasted tomorrow’s need of the world to be water after this tussle over energy and with 7% melt rate per annum at which the glaciers around the plateau are disappearing, it should be a matter of great fright and hence demands attention to the geopolitical importance of the region. He highlighted on the need to regenerate Tibet and preserve its eco system which is under lot of damage in terms of deforestation, soil degradation, shrinking of plateau wetlands, etc.
He also candidly shared with the audience of his interactions with the local Tibetans, the breathtaking beauty Tibet is with images and video clippings and his concern for the friends he has made there since the March uprising in Tibet this year.
On whether Tibet will get freedom or full autonomy, he believes that a perfect storm of environmental degradation, civic unrest, new aspirations and repressive Government heavy-handedness of China could create explosive circumstance and for that day to arrive, pressure must be kept up from people within China, within Tibet and outside them.
An outstanding presentation provided by his extensive reading, personal experiences and trips in Tibet and most importantly a strong appetite for facts and the reality concerning Tibet.
“I like tramping in the hills and mountains. Like St Augustine said “The world’s a book and those who don’t travel read only a page”, that started all this, pure and simple, no deep convictions or religious thoughts. My sentiments (for Tibet) came later.” He had begun the discussion on that note.