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Tibetans Lack Inspirational Leadership

posted Jan 24, 2013, 5:08 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
By Pema Rinchen

Last night I met with an activist, who has been involved with the Tibetan cause for many years.

He was complaining against the Tibetan people for not showing enough enthusiasm and passion to fight for our struggle.

He said that every time an official or an activist from Dharamsala visits Tibetan settlements to give lectures on Tibetan struggle, the public is not paying much attention.

I told him that is true, but may be the problem does not lie with the public only.

Perhaps the problem lies with the officials and activists from Dharamsala - the leadership.

For they must be lacking imagination to engage the public.

If that is the case, he said, how can we seriously engage the public.

After much argument, we have come to the agreement that the cause we often talk about innocently is an ambiguous word that needs to be enumerated clearly.

We both said that we have to ensure first of all whether the cause is relevant to the public, whether we are able to engage the issues that are affecting the public in the settlements.

This made us suspect that we are not able to do this successfully.

We both agreed that the narratives in our cause have become cliches, often bereft of any real meaning.

Words such as human rights violations, religious freedom, Middle-Way, Communist China, Rangzen have become jargons, empty and hallowed out of their true meaning.

It is as if these words have grown too old, almost on the verge of death now.

We both agreed we are living in different times, in different eras, so obviously we need different narratives to represent our times accurately.

So what are the problems we face nowadays, we asked each other.

Nihilism - we recognized.

Lost of meaning and hope in life.

Nowadays, people don’t care much about values.

They often wonder if values are real. One example we found is the fascination and determination to reach the West at all costs.

Many young people today believe reaching the goal is the key. They say as long as you reach America, that’s what matters.

They seem to be saying end justifies the means. So that’s why we have young and old people using every hook and crook to reach the shores of the West.

Human trafficking is widespread, so as infidelity and breaking up of homes an open secret.

We then said if these are the real crisis, if nihilism curses our community, what are the solutions? Why can’t we find them?

We said solutions must be there.

One thing we could do is learn from past societies who had gone through such crises and came out successfully.

At the risk of sounding hollow and pompous, we gave ourselves the examples of Gandhi and Martin King, who remained true to their promises and never gave up.

In the end, we found the reason why our movement has remained dormant, not able to make much progress.

We blamed it on lack of true inspirational leadership.

But my friend said, ‘are we not complaining again?’

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