Tsundue returns to Dharamsala after 123 days of ‘Walking the Himalayas’ campaign
DHARAMSALA, 23 Dec: Tibetan writer and activist Tenzin Tsundue has completed his ‘Walking the Himalayas’ to create awareness about Tibet and rising threats from China.
“Traversing from Ladakh to Arunachal’s Easternmost corners I have travelled through five Indian Himalayan states in these 123 days using local transports and mostly walking through villages, remote nomadic regions and border areas to create awareness about Tibet and rising threats from China,” Tsundue said after concluding his campaign in New Delhi.
Having covered around 20,000 kilometres campaigning across Leh, Himachal, Uttrakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh screening the film “Escape of the Dalai Lama from Tibet produced by Mumbai based Rangrez Films for Epic TV channel,” Tsundue declared that “walking the Himalayas is my travel plan to journey through the Indian Himalayas to create more awareness about the 70 years of Chinese occupation of Tibet and its impact on Indian Himalayas, and also the growing Chinese security threats on India.”
“We show this 80 min film in Hindi to wherever possible in the villages, markets, schools, civil societies, anywhere. I travel with a projector, a soundbox and a bedsheet-screen. This film makes sense of the Chinese occupation of Tibet and Chinese military pressure across the Himalayan borders. And wherever possible, I conduct a Creative Writing Workshop for local youths or do a poetry reading session in a cafe or in a courtyard or around a bonfire. Poetry connects people in the most powerful ways.”
The 46-year-old, who has been an “activist in the Tibetan freedom movement for over 25 years, maintained that “although the government and the Indian Army are doing everything necessary, I observed on this journey that the common people in the border regions have little to no awareness about China’s expansionist policies and its current activities in the borders.”
“All cross the Himalayas; people are extremely kind and hard working. They are very conscious of their traditional culture, even among the youngsters, but also hugely aware they are lagging behind in modernization. But what shocked me is changing landscapes of the native languages of Himalayan people, different dialects and subdialects. Many youngsters no longer speak their mother tongue and therefore are unable to speak to their grandparents who mostly do not speak languages other than their mother tongue,” Tsundue added.
He concluded by stating that “despite lagging behind in modern amenities including roads and telecommunication facilities people are hugely patriotic towards India. The Chinese attempts in road building and population resettlement in the borders have infused insecurity and therefore are supportive of Indian army’s effort in safeguarding the country.”
Tsundue reached back to Dharamsala, the exile headquarters of the Tibetan people on Tuesday.