27 February, 2021

No Peace Gong This

No Peace Gong This
What would have quietly passed off as a public discourse on Tibetan Buddhism turned into an unseemly display of Chinese insecurity over the Tibet issue. When Geshe Lhakdor-la, senior Tibetan Lama and author, addressed a 170-strong audience at a South Mumbai auditorium on September 27, all he did was expound on the relationship between compassion and suffering, which he stated, binds all sentient more than any religion. But this wasn’t before Song Yumin, China’s deputy consul general in Mumbai, tried his best to foil the talk, smelling "political interference in the affairs of China".

On what was clearly a spiritual agenda, Lhakdor-la, official translator to the Dalai Lama and director of the Dharamshala-based Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, was in Mumbai at the behest of the recently formed Dharma Rain Education Society (DRES), an organisation promoting the understanding of spiritual traditions. But less than a week before the talk, Yumin called Aspi B. Mistry, DRES secretary, and sternly asked him to cancel the talk, repeatedly referring to the speaker’s...

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