4th Prof Dawa Norbu Memorial Lecture held at JNU
By Lobsang Tenchoe
DHARAMSALA, April 10: Tibet Forum-Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) hosted the 4th Prof Dawa Norbu Memorial Lecture on April 9 in New Delhi to commemorate the works of the late Prof Dawa Norbu and to reinvigorate Tibet as an important academic field of study.
Prof Tsering Shakya from the University of British Columbia gave the Memorial Lecture, who is also a friend of the late Prof Dawa Norbu gave the Memorial Lecture at the day-long ‘Symposium in Memory of Professor Dawa Norbu’ held at the school of social science auditorium in JNU.
“Dawa Norbu had always believed that he can only speak for himself and not for Tibetans, but however he became a crucial voice for Tibetans,” Prof Tsering Shakya said in his address and further described Prof Norbu as one of the very few Tibetans who has successfully articulated his own ideas and reality of Tibet that in a way challenged the either romanticized or mystified portrayal of Tibet and Tibetans by non-Tibetans especially the western travelers.
Prof. Norbu, a foremost Tibetan social scientist used critical methods in social science to understand Tibetan societies and has created enormous awareness about Tibet and its people through his acclaimed books like Red Star Over Tibet, Tibet: The Road Ahead, China’s Tibet Policy, Culture and Politics of Third World Nationalism and published numerous articles in acclaimed Journals.
The day-long symposium is being held with an objective to commemorate the works of Prof Dawa Norbu for his great academic contribution as an expert in modern Tibetan Studies and to reinvigorate Tibet as an important academic field of study for its socio-political structure, religion, culture, and geopolitics, Tibet Forum-JNU stated in its press release.
Prof Yeshi Choedon, Centre for International Politics, Organization and Disarmament, School of International Studies, JNU, attended the symposium along with Prof Tsering Sakya. The duo stated that the Tibetans owe a huge intellectual debt to Prof. Norbu and failed to acknowledge his contribution when he was alive.
The second session in the afternoon featured ‘Young Research Scholars Presentation’. The speakers were, Lobsang Yangtso Ph.D. graduate from JNU, Gregory Bruno from London School of Economics and Arnab Chakrabarty from JNU. They spoke on subjects such as conceptualization of environmentalism and how it is evolving in Tibet, Pan Asian Revival of Nalanda Tradition and Cultural Genocide in Tibet and China’s assertive foreign policy in the recent period.
The annual symposium is being organized by the Tibet Forum- JNU, made up of young and motivated Tibetan students of the JNUsince 2015 as a tribute to the late professor. The fourth symposium was funded by Lhasa Boys from Switzerland.