Friday, May 29, 2015

Gyalo Dhondup's book

“The Noodle Maker of Kalimpong”, By Gyalo Thondup and Anne .F Thursday is an assuming title that mitigates the seriousness and the magnitude of his endeavors and critical role in Tibet’s struggle.

I am thankful to the authors for making his story public. The readers might have different views on the substance and worthiness of the book, but the fact that Gyalo Dhondup is  such a  stalwart political figure in the annals of modern Tibetan history, so I believe  any serious Tibetan of all rank and files cannot ignore  his thoughts, stand and endeavors on the Tibetan struggle.

The book provides in many way an intimate and insightful up to close on Gyalo Dhondup’s tryst with the fate of Tibetan people. This book did not fail in portraying his character, and his thinking, his strength and weakness.

The book is gripping, intriguing, and revealing and therefore a wonderful reading. The book  provide a rare insight on Tibetan crisis and politics prior and post Chinese invasion of Tibet unlike like any other works that  have ever done it.

The Untold Story of his struggle for Tibet, in many ways brings out his multifaceted personality as candid, straightforward and yet brusque personality.

As a reader, I have a sense of closeness and trust in what he said, a feeling that he has done all that is within his reach and means. What he could not deliver should not constitute his failure; for that odds was all against and the circumstance was such that it might be impossible.

As the brain behind Tibetan people’s armed resistance, he reminds me of Indian’s parallel freedom fighter, Subashi Changdra Boss, leading armed struggle against the British.  

 There are fresh prospective, startling revelations, bold and courageous, as he has been in his life; he also demonstrated those in this book.  Many of the things he discussed are not new, but it reinforced my understanding of Tibetan struggle, sacrifices, mistakes and lessons from the past actions.

 What I felt about the author:

  Even before reading his book, I already know that Gyalo Thondup earned a place in Modern Tibetan history as a terrific or terrible diplomat. I first saw his picture in His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s autobiography “my land and my people” in Tibetan version of it, that I have one day inadvertently fell my eyes upon during a visit to a relative’s house . That encounter left an indelible impression on my impressionable mind, which sparked a kind of unknown resolve in me to work for relieving Tibetan people’s plight.

What inspired me? 

Gyalo Dhondup has dedicated his life to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and to the Tibetan people’s struggle, he has left no stone unturned to better the Tibetan situation.  He deserves a place in Tibetan people’s struggle for freedom.   But yes, he is also a controversial figure; but having said that to my knowledge hardly any Tibetan public figure remains immaculate during their service or after.  There are always criticism and admiration. But Gyalo did not shy away from anything.  

What the book is all about? 

There are certainly lessons we could learn. For instances, there are circumstances, where we could have turned the tide, provided with proper handling of the situation and through good judgment.Such as the  Dalai Lama’s announcement of Panchen Lama,  refusal to attend late Panchen Lama’s funeral service, early negotiation attempts and so on are few examples of misjudgment or mistrust, that didn’t play out well for our interest.For some people, the book might be a bombshell with all those bold allegations.

When Gyalo says anything, it is a serious issue.  

Some startling revelations are: 

His inside view of vicious and sometimes deadly power struggles within the Potala Palace, or aristocratic. His portrayal of incompetency of the Tibetan aristocracy, in the early 1950s before Chinese communist occupation,

Bhutaness king and Tibetan refugee plot story. His blame on Indian Intelligence for setting up Tibetan refugee as scapegoat,Exile government’s gold /treasure mismanagement, accusation of Tibetan official corruption, his candid assessment of collaboration of CIA involvement as a big failure, which he still regrets deeply, Gyalo has been selective in what he stresses and highlighted in his book. For example  there are things Gyalo has not mentioned.  

His give and take proposal that lede to his ouster or resignation from Khashag post.

In Tibetan’s Ling Gesar epic story, there is character called Akur Truthong, Gyalo Thondup reminds me of that character. The character causes problem, but also instrumental of many important things, absolutely essential for the success of many.   

He doesn’t take many credits, and doesn’t shy away in finger pointing at others, including Indian prime minister. 

Anne F. Thurston’s afterword set some of the things straight, and raised into question some of those serious allegations.  

I think Gyalo Dhondup might not have any particular motivations, at his final stage of life. He opened up and was very candid in some of his conclusions.

The e book ends in optimistic note and also heaped praise on those freedom fighters for Tibetan. What is Gyalo’s political stance, not clear, but what is clear is that he agrees, that Tibetans can never agree to the initially Jiangzem Men’s precondition that the Tibet is an inalienable part of China, and that the Dalai Lama recognize Taiwan a province of China.  

Gyalo Dhondup’s legacy will be known to the future generation, but his motivation and sincere effort for the betterment of Tibetan issue  is inspiring and in that sense he is a  true hero of Tibetan people. We should understand Gyalo Dhondup's actions within the circumstance and the time in which he lived.







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