The drawing and blogpost are a commentary by the author on Tibetan society and its relationship with Tibetan intellectuals. In the drawing, Tibetan intellectuals past and present are represented are standing in a line, holding their names up on signs: Lungshar, Gendun Choephel, Rangdrol (Tibetan poet Dhondup Gyal’s pen name), Jamyang Norbu (US based), Shogdung, Jamyang Kyi and a general “youth” figure.
Below them are a rabble, pointing fingers and calling them names. The author’s opinion is that Tibetan society lacks space for new ideas or new ways of thinking. Instead, intellectuals are subjected to personal attack.
Although I thought of writing an article based on the drawing above, there is no intellectual space where we can exchange ideas, share perspectives and discuss cultural issues. From ancient times till today, our so-called cultural criticism and exchange of thoughts has been disgraceful, thoughts which should have enlightened the minds of the public and inspired them to have a better understanding of the world.
Dobi, Geuding and Dorzhi are such examples, they have written numerous articles with wonderful titles but their writings are similar to the above drawing. The ultimate aim of their works is to attack others and chase opponents out of society. The above drawing is titled “Slave to Tradition and My Words”.
1. We are the ones who called Gendun Choephel an infidel. We are the ones who said Gendun Choephel was a devout Buddhist. Haha, today, people have started to argue whether Gendun Choephel was Gelugpa or Nyingmapa.
2. Gendun Choephel is someone who thought Buddha was the sublime teacher. He took the teachings of the Buddha to be as precious as gold. Therefore, the drawing and its implication is like someone who is lifting a rock and dropping it on his own feet. What they are doing is trying to make efforts to express the strength of the youth. All I can say here is, “poor kids, you are too young”.
3. The drawing contains deep implications. This is a subject which deserves a fair critic indeed. The lack of courage, shortsighted view and the wrong ways of our intellectuals needs to be reviewed.
This post is also available in: English