Unsilenced: Voices of Young Tibetans

Unsilenced: Voices of Young Tibetans

by Tenzing Dhamdul

WATCH IT HERE  https://youtu.be/Stuenv50DUU 

Conversation with TENZIN NYINJEY

Hosted by Tenzing Dhamdul, FNVA 

The Unsilenced: Voices of Young Tibetans podcast session saw FNVA engage with Tenzin Nyinjey, a well-known Tibetan Researcher and Rangsten Advocate. Many Tibetan youngsters also see him as a resource person. His thoughts and opinions focus on the sub-altern, which is a much needed space developing in the Tibetan diasporic community. The podcast session with Tenzin Nyinjey engages upon, Tibet, The Tibetan Freedom Movement, The Tibetan Uprising Day, The Exile Tibetan Democracy and the Tibetan Youths. When it came to democracy and the democratic reforms practiced by the Tibetan community he stated ‘Democratic reforms should not be pigeon-holed and restricted to political structures. Democracy in the offices, hospitals, schools, homes and other institutions should be taken in account.’


Tenzin Nyinjey details us his humble journey from the Tibetan Settlement of Odisha, after which he left this settlement for studies to Shimla then Delhi and finally reached Dharamshala, where he served for more than a decade at various offices. The Department of Information and International Relations, the Library of Tibet Works and Archies and The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) being a few notables one where he left his mark. His journey from a small Tibetan settlement to the Dharamshala is a journey which is frequented by Tibetans born in exile.


When discussing on the differences that he observed when living in India and now in Canada he mentioned that there is definitely a stark differences in terms of the level of development and wealth but he putting that aside he stated that ‘There is not much appreciation for the wealth and beauty, with there  being a clear lack of alternative world view among the general Canadian Public’. He also stated ‘In India it was more a relaxed environment while here it is pay check to pay check, where if you do not continue to work, you will likely be kicked out from your rented rooms’. 


On the Tibetan exile democracy setup, he is of the opinion that it is very exciting times especially since His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and his office, the Ganden Phorang handed down the political power to elected Tibetans. The reason being that it gives the Tibetans, the common Tibetans a space to not only be heard and be represented but have their opinions and chart out the new Tibetan political environment through their vision. ‘I think right now it is very important for Tibetans to withdraw and reflect and have honest and internal conversations among ourselves’ said Tenzin Nyinjey.


‘The Biggest challenge when I was researching on Tibet and Tibetans during my time in Dharamshala is the emotional drainage. Being a Tibetan one is deeply involved in the struggle itself and at the same time doing research. It is difficult to possess this combination of where you can be emotionally involved and mentally strong’ asserted Tenzin Nyinjey when enquired upon his biggest challenge when it came to researching Tibet. He also mentioned that there is a critical need of translating works on Tibet published in English to Tibetan, so that the wider Tibetan community can have access to such texts that which would eventually enlarge their horizons.


Tenzin Nyinjey said ‘China will continue to suppress the Tibetan dream of freedom and independence. At the same time they are very smart in neutralizing the Tibetan struggle, the moment a Tibetan tries to express political views be it in the form of a serious article, or poem or even displays a picture of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Crackdown ensues.’ He mentioned Tibetan intellectual Go Sherab Gyasto and how because of his progressive works, he is behind bars now. On Xi Jinping and China he views that its current leadership is continuing to tread down this path of belligerence, with the imminent invasion of Taiwan an inevitability. With the US central intelligence bodies growing concerns over it, backing his opinion here.


He finally concluded by bringing out an honest appeal to all the Tibetan Youths to not rest on their laurels but continue to persevere. He shared his own regrets here of not doing and exploring enough during his college days. And wants the Tibetan youth who have this envious advantage of being Bilingual (Indian PM allowing His Holiness the Dalai Lama to set up Tibetan schools being a catalyst) to make the most out of it and bring change to Tibet and the larger world community. Before which he sincerely thanked the Tibet supporters for their continued support to Tibet and the Tibetans.

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