Medical officers, scientists, even the World Health Organisation (WHO) refers to the current pandemic as Coronavirus, but not some powerful world leaders, who have used this opportunity to stigmatize a particular disease. We still have not learnt anything from history, Have we?

 Amidst the world combatting the Coronavirus pandemic, the infamous part-time President, full-time “Twitterati” Donald Trump took to Twitter to address COVID-19 as “The Chinese Virus”. While in the same tweet he also said, that the United States of America would continue supporting the worst hit industries, like Airline and Travel Industry, where he completely ignored the dearth of funds the US healthcare system has been facing, the worst part still remains him nationalizing Coronavirus. 


Image Credits: Talk Radio Image Caption: The tweet where Trump addressed Coronavirus as Chinese Virus
Image Credits: Talk Radio
Image Caption: The tweet where Trump addressed Coronavirus as Chinese Virus


The US has been struggling to deal with the pandemic since Day 1, and Trump’s blame game has only jeopardized the situation more. Earlier, Trump blamed ex-President Barack Obama for the rise in number of cases in the States (Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?). Followed by Trump then blaming WHO, his own medical officers and ministers, and well now China. It is confirmed that the first case of Coronavirus was found in China, but does that make the virus Chinese? Trump’s own Secretary went on record to condemn Trump’s racist views as the virus is not propagated by any ethnicity or nationality, but Trump’s views do propagate Xenophobia.

While being asked to comment on his racist remarks of calling the virus Chinese, Trump refuted all accusations by saying, “The only reason I call the virus Chinese is because it originated from China. Whatever I said is not racist. Not racist at all.” Now, the question that persists is why the Coronavirus being called Chinese is extremely wrong?

There are two answers to that question, and both of which lie in power dynamics. Firstly, history has been the witness that whenever a disease or a pandemic has been stigmatized to particular ethnicity or nationality, it has led to catastrophic consequences. In the 14th Century, Jewish people were blamed for the outbreak of Black Death in Europe, and they were killed in great numbers. Again in 19th century Irish Catholic immigrants were blamed for spreading Cholera to the US, and thus were thrown in detention camps and faced mass killings. If you still don’t understand the relation of stigmatization of disease and its effect on people and national policy. In 1876, a group of Chinese people living in San Francisco became the scapegoat for smallpox outbreak which prompted the infamous Chinese Exclusion Act. 

While Trump may just be following the past narrative of naming diseases on the place of their origin, like Ebola, The Zika Virus, and more, what he doesn’t realize is that the world already has realized their mistake of stigmatizing diseases. Therefore, in 2015, WHO laid down the guidelines for naming a disease to avoid exactly what Trump is doing right now. Owing to the ideology that Trump preaches, the Asian-American, specially the Chinese-American community are facing tremendous violence, hate and daily racism. This phenomenon is also evident in India, where several harassment and racism cases have been reported against the North-Eastern citizens.

Secondly, calling the virus Chinese helps Trump to put the entire accountability of failure of the US health infrastructure on China. It also defers people from asking questions to Trump and his health policy, to hating China. Unfortunately, this has been proven true, with now the conspiracy debate around China using Coronavirus as a weapon being more surfaced than questions regarding the poor healthcare system, and how our politicians do not deem to invest in it but would spend all its budget on statues.

The Coronavirus sees no nationality, no ethnicity, no race, it just sees immediate health action plan. Whenever a disease has spread, shameful incidents of xenophobia and stigmatization have been written in history. Trump’s desperate efforts of playing the blame game, and nationalizing the suffrage of people, just shows the ideology of a capital-driven right-wing President.


Feature Image Credits: Bangalore Mirror


Chhavi Bahmba

[email protected]


China emerged as the epicenter of the novel COVID-19 in December 2019, and the past fortnight seems to have shifted the contagion from China to Europe.

In just 15 days, the epicenter of the coronavirus shifted from China to Europe, or Italy to be precise, as the nation reported more than 47,000 cases, which is the second-highest number of cases reported by a single country since the outbreak began. Almost two weeks back, China was struggling to contain the virus while being the epicenter of COVID-19, and it quickly shifted to Europe which has now become the epicenter of the virus.

China reported a drastic decline in its new cases as the outbreak peak is now over as claimed by the country. China reported that the number of positive cases for the past week has been over 80,000 and less than 85,000. European countries like Italy and Spain have reported a dramatic increase in their new cases. Mansi, a student of Lady Shri College, opined, “China had resorted to adopting strict lockdowns and other necessary measures to stop the virus from spreading further, and the country has done a fair job considering the fact that nobody was ready for this strange pandemic.”

China had reported 90 percent of the total cases of the outbreak as of March 1. By March 15, the rest of the nations accounted for nearly 50 percent of the confirmed COVID-19 cases. Chinese hospitals were overflowing with patients earlier due to the spread of the virus. However, with a sharp decline in the cases, hospitals designated solely for COVID-19 patients are now lying vacant. World Health Organization claimed earlier today that no new cases were reported in Wuhan in 24 hours which was presumed to be the origin of the novel COVID-19. Spain has ordered its 47 million citizens to remain indoors except necessary venturing such as buying groceries or medications.

Feature image credits-The Week

Suhani Malhotra

[email protected]

The gushing economic repercussions of the Corona virus recrudescence in China is rapidly manifesting across the world which is evident by the recent announcements by big businesses like Microsoft, Apple, and many more reflecting how the virus is harrowing consumer behavior and business sentiment.

Many analysts and thinkers have compared this epidemic with the 2002 SARS epidemic, which didn’t have a very profound impact on the financial markets. This comparison is not quite right, since the dependence and reliance of the global market and the importance of China in the world economic system has ginormously increased. China constituted 4.31% of the world’s GDP in 2002 and currently the numbers are as high as 16%.

Global markets have been benumbed by Apple’s recent cut of its sales forecast due to the potential impact of the virus on the supply chains as well as the plunge of demand in China. Further, there has been a major sag in the German investor sentiment due to apprehensions that the outbreak will affect the germinal recovery in global manufacturing. A major frangibleness for the American and European companies is their increasing dependence solely on factories in China for parts and materials. The activity of Chinese manufacturing factories have plunged due to the outbreak and shows no sign of resurgence which may stifle down thousands of companies and force them to temporarily shut assembly and manufacturing plants. A few companies already have temporarily stopped their production, like Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, who recently announced that it is temporarily halting its production at its car plant in Serbia isn’t able to receive parts from China.  Even the large Indian drug sector has also been hit, since Indian drug producers depend upon China for around 70% of the active ingredients used in making their medicines. As a consequence, India, which is the biggest global supplier of generic drugs, has restricted exports of 26 ingredients and the medicines made from them and hence, there could be a global shortage if the epidemic continues. Further, the 30 billion dollar domestic smartphone market, world’s second largest now, will also see major disruptions. Apart from these, there are a whole lot of other sectors dependent on China like toys, furniture, computers, cars, etc.

Joining the bandwagon of companies cutting down their growth forecast, Mastercard announced a 2%-3% fall, because mostly people are avoiding international trips. Many companies have suspended international tours of employees, fearing the virus. Even the payments firm Visa announced a fall in its growth, amid the fall in cardholders’ spending overseas.

Another factor that may affect companies is the sag in investor sentiment. Investors are becoming more reluctant to lend companies money. Banks have also rigidified lending norms. Stocks of major American Banks like Bank Of America, and Citigroup all have majorly plummeted because of the investors thinking concerns of the outbreak may have a huge effect on the banks.

However, many companies and businesses have also shown a bit of optimism and hope for the situation to get better. Companies like Volkswagen announced that it expects its deliveries to be in line with last year’s. Apple has also shown hope that the situation in China will improve, with apple CEO Tim Cook telling an American news channel When you look at the parts that are done in China, we have reopened factories.Many companies also are expressing about the large amount of business that they will have once the outbreak fades out.

The outbreak also provides an opportunity to countries like India to expand their exports, although the complications in the Indian manufacturing ecosystem make it hard for India to benefit from the global disruption in trade. Hence, in order to tap in the gains due to this disruption, the Make In India campaign must be boosted and incentives of lower labor costs must be worked on. Investments from Chinese companies have also helped the local manufacturing. Chinese companies are also expanding their manufacturing in India. Automobile companies like SAIC, and GM motors have announced huge investments of thousands of crores and other Chinese companies like TCL Corp, and TV maker SkyWorth have announced plans to manufacture in India.

Abhinandan Kaul

[email protected]

Feature Image Credits: BBC

Feature Image Caption: Corona virus has majorly impacted global economy


Whenever you think about China what comes into your mind? Mobiles, laptops, alibaba.com or Jackie Chan, but does it ever occur to you or does it ever cross to your mind that nearly 3 million people are being held by China for so-called ‘re-education’, I am also pretty sure that a very few of you would even have the idea that China is indulging in such a gross violation of human rights on its own citizens for just a single reason, being a minority in China. If you have heard about this for the first time then read on.

China, the most populous country in the world, the second largest economy in the world, and the fourth largest country in the world looks just perfect from the outside but as you dig deeper you will discover how brittle this country is. Around 4,000 kilometres away from its capital, Beijing, lies the city of Kashgar or as the Chinese have renamed it Kaxgar. At one point of time, the city woke up every morning with the sounds of Muslim prayers from the local mosques but now only the sounds of marching boots of policemen wearing bullet proof jackets, having shields on one hand, batons on the other and a rifle on their back are heard. The Uighurs, are an ethnic minority who live in the Xinjiang province, which lies in the far western China. The capital city of Xinjiang is Ürüqmi. Uighurs are ethnic Chinese Muslims who have been living in Xinjiang for centuries. Uighurs essentially are a Turkic origin ethnicity who inhabit a lot of central Asian countries like Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, etc. Not a very long time back it was revealed that Uighurs are being taken into so-called ‘re-education’ camps,which are run by the Communist Party of China or CCP. The numbers of these camps are speculated, some say that there are only around ten while other say that they go beyond hundreds.However, earlier China had never acknowledged that it had these education camps, which the world today label as detention centres. But after leaked documents of the CCP were published in the New York Times and were also highlighted by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalist (ICIJ), this whole inhuman project of social engineering of China with its Muslim citizens came to light. So, first let’s understand as to what is the Chinese Muslim genocide?



Image Caption: Image Credits:
Image Credits: Insider.com                                                          Image Caption: The location of Xinjiang in China and Re-Education camps in Xinjiang

Majority of people who live in China are Han Chinese. This is the majority ethnic group in China which accounts to nearly 91% of the whole Chinese population. But there are several different ethnic groups who live on the other parts of China. Like Tibetans in Tibet, Mongolians in Inner Mongolia, Manchus in Manchuriaand so on. CCP for a very long time has considered the Han Chinese as the prime citizens of China. The Han Chinese, mostly loyal to the Communist Party command most of the high ranking posts in the government. They are also given an unspoken preference over all the other ethnic groups.This grand and ruthless plan of social engineering was initiated by Xi Jinping himself. Under the plan, various detention centres were opened and people were taken into these detention centres for crimes that are so small and negligible that it’s painstaking to even think about how China is committing crimes on its own people. Victims say that people like them are sent to detention camps for doing things like reading the Qur’an, learning Arabic, not eating pork, not speaking Chinese, travelling overseas and contacting people overseas without taking permission from the government. One victim even said that he was taken into the detention centre and was locked up for over seven years just because he had opened a kindergarten school which started teaching Uighur language. The people in Xinjiang are not allowed to speak to journalist and journalists themselves are not allowed to interview any person in Xinjiang without a permission from the government itself. This tells us as to how scared is the Chinese government about the truth of its activities being told to the world. Whenever someone is taken into a detention centre, their DNA samples are taken, their face and voice recognition is done. Victims have even claimed that pregnant women are forced to abort their children against their will. Moreover, on the other hand children are taken away from their mothers and sent to hostels which also act as re-education centres for children. The Chinese government has gone to such extents that now it does not even allow its citizens to keep the names freely, names like Muhammad have been banned in Xinjiang. Apart from this the most sophisticated surveillance systems are placed all over Xinjiang to monitor each and every activity of Uighurs. And based on these systems, the Chinese government stops any kind of revolutionary activity to take place. Think of it this way, cities like Kashgar, Hotan and Aksu in Xinjiang have CrPC 144 imposed on them but for life.The majority Chinese population which sits on the eastern corner of China blindly approves of this activity and this is where the Chinese government’s PR team comes into action. China has for long time taught its citizens about the so-called,‘The Three Together’. Which translates into Eat Together, Live Together and Work Together. Via this major statement the Chinese Communist Party wants to ignite a feeling of Nationalism in its citizens. The CCP, has for a long time told its citizens and has made them to believe that anybody who raises their voice against the Government of China, is raising a voice against the idea of China and against the people of China. The largest mosque in China, the Id-Kah Mosque in Kashgar was made out of bounds for its own worshipers. When the Uighurs protested against this action the Chinese government ‘appealed’ to its citizens that it should maintain unity and it should not stop the government for doing‘development work’. It is estimated that nearly 5,000 mosques in Xinjinag have been demolished and moreover converted into government buildings. The Chinese government calls the Education Campus, Vocational Centres where vocational training is done but the police forces here lockup the people and if the detainees do not obey the rules then not allowed to talk to their fellow inmates and they are not even given their food. Moreover to get your food you have to sing some songs without which you do not get anything, an example of which is, “Without the Communist party there won’t be a China,and the Communist party toiled for the nation”. If a detained citizen refuses to do these activities, they can also be shot dead. Chinese government also justifies its activities in Xinjiang because at one point of time this region was a hub for terrorism. Terror outfits like East Turkestan Liberation Organisation (ETLO)and East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) were mostly of Uighurian background and are even supported global terror outfits like Al-Qaeda and Tehreek-e-Taliban. These organisations demanded a free Turkestan or Xinjiang and did not want to be a part of China. The reason given by these people was that the cultural difference between these mainland China and Xinjianghuge and that China is trying to exert influence on to them. And therefore they want an independent nation. Though this is not the first time that China is trying to influence the culture of a place to make that place its own, we can see the very recent example of Hong Kong, where people still protesting day and night against thetyranny of an expansionist China. The difference between Chinese detention centres and the ones run by Nazis is that the Nazis wanted to kill the Jews. Whereas the Chinese are onto something even worse. It has no plans of killing the Uighurs but instead they want to kill their heritage, their culture, their language, their religion, their ethnicity and their pride. In short they want to carve out the ideal communist Chinese forcefully out of an ordinary citizen. This is the type of hyper nationalism that China wants in each of its citizens. Moreover this hyper nationalism is not directed towards allegiance with the nation but for the supreme Chinese Communist party. Cruelty in these cases goes beyond all measures. It is alleged that whenever an Uighur man is taken away by the Chinese authoritiesthe woman of the house is forced to live with another Han Chinese man and even forced to sleep on the same bed. Whenever a whole family is taken into detention centre their house is given to another Han Chinese family so that even when they come back to their houses they cannot find one.

But we have to ask, if we know so much about China then why anyone isn’t doing anything. This is where China’s economic supremacy comes into place. All of us have seen various activists speaking up for the independence of Palestine, about the Human Rights violations committed by the Israeli Defence Forces, Human Rights violations committed by US defence forces in Syria and the Human Rights violations committed by Saudi Arabian forces or Turkish forces in the middle eastern region but nobody ever, not even a single Muslim majority or Islamic Republic Nation has ever criticized China. The reason is that basically all of the Muslim majority nations around the World are under the debt of China. China has been building huge number of infrastructure projects and providing aides to these Nations and thus these Nations can’t really speak up. A very viable example is that of our beloved neighbour Pakistan. Pakistan has been very vocal about India and the Human Rights violation that India commits in Jammu and Kashmir, even though the evidence of it is not substantial. Still Pakistan goes on and on with this. But the Pakistani Government and the Pakistani people have never even bothered about this gross Human Rights violation in China. Muslims in China are forced to speak Mandarin, forced to not read the Qur’an. They are even forced to drink alcohol and eat pork even though it is forbidden in Islam to do these activities. But nations like Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and numerous other Islamic activists have never spoken or been even vocal about this issue, the reason being, money. International politics also plays a major role here, any resolution which needs to be passed by the United Nations needs the vote of all the five UNSC (United Nations Security Council­) members and China is part of this council. Even if the United Nations wants to pass a resolution against China based on these Human Rights violations, China would never let that happened because it has what we know as a ‘veto power’ with which it can stop any resolution passed by the UN without giving any reason whatsoever.

We as students also need to be ask is that, do Uighurs deserve such a treatment by their own countrymen. Does it not hurt you as a student that we in India have the right to question the government, that we in India have the right to protest against the government but in China if you do so, you will be taken into a detention centre and not released for years on end. I am not saying that we are the perfect democracy but at least we can fight for our rights. All of us students have the right to investigate and to go to which ever part of India we want and to which ever part of the world we want. But what about students and children in Xinjiang? They can’t learn about their culture, they can’t learn about their language, they can’t be sure whethertheir parents will be with them, they can’t maintain the name which was given by their parents and sometimes they can’t even meet their parents because they are forcefully sent into Foster homes. What have the Uighur children and students done to deserve this? The only crime according to Chinese government that they have committed, is that they are Muslim.

Respect all human beings irrespective of their religion, caste, sex, language, status, property, birth and so on.

-Quran 17/70

 Aniket Singh Chauhan

[email protected]

Feature Image CreditsForeign Policy

Hong Kong, one of Asia’s largest and most development cities is yet again grappled in tensions. The former British colony which was handed over to China as late as 1997, is struggling to keep its identity and freedoms intact from its ruler, i.e. China.

All this started way back in the late 1600’s because of-believe it or not-tea. The British were essentially hooked to this Chinese beverage for which they were prepared to spend any amount of money. The Chinese emperor only used to take payments for tea exports in silver bricks only, which led to the massive degradation of silver in the British Royal treasury. The solution for this problem led to large scale smuggling of Opium by the British to the Chinese people. The payment for the same was now taken by the British in silver and then this silver was used to pay off for tea imports, hence for the British, their problem was solved. But it is at this instance, that history changed its course. This smuggling led to massive crackdowns by Chinese authorities on these smuggling dens which in turn led to the well-known ‘Opium Wars‘. These wars were ended with the Chinese leasing the islands of Hong Kong to the British for 99 years. Hong Kong which earlier was a small fishing village, had an explosion in its economy under the British and went on to become one of the major economic Asian mega cities. This long British rule also made a significant mark on the people of Hong Kong or Hongkongers. As they mostly speak English and Cantonese as opposed to mainland China wherein Mandarin is the dominant language. Also many popular British sports are still played in Hong Kong like cricket, lawn ball, etc.

Cut to 1997, the 99 year lease finished and the British then handed over Hong Kong to China under the condition of ‘One Party, Two Systems‘. This system said that Hong Kong would retain its political and social autonomy for the next 50 years, i.e. till 2047. Though, this agreement was frowned upon in by communist Chinese in mainland China, it was still agreed upon without any problem as at that time Hong Kong’s own economy was around 25% of that of China, so it made sense, economically. It was also given its own constitution which today is known as the ‘Basic Law‘. This constitution is the basis of the Hong Kong’s political and social systems. It guarantees Hongkongers rights like freedom of speech, freedom of expression, etc. which is in stark contrast to the rights given to mainland Chinese. Though this partial autonomy of Hong Kong was only to be present till the year 2047, after which it’d be fully integrated as a Chinese region. But here is where the problem lies, the Chinese government doesn’t want to wait that long, as Hong Kong today isn’t as economically viable as it used to be in the 90’s due rise of mega Chinese cities in the pearl river delta like Shenzhen, Guangzhou, etc. who today are way more economically productive than Hong Kong which presently contributes to only 3% of the Chinese economy. Thus, it is enforcing its propaganda in Hong Kong increasingly and thus is waging a mental as well as a cultural war. This propaganda ranges from pro-China school textbooks and daily Chinese propaganda shows on TV to forceful teaching of Mandarin in Hong Kong schools.

Coming to the present protests against China, it started in the most classical fashion, a murder, which neither took place in China or Hong Kong but in Taiwan. A Hong Kong man with his girlfriend went to Taiwan, wherein he murdered his girlfriend and fled back to Hong Kong. Now as Hong Kong and Taiwan do not have any extradition agreements, the man, who now has pleaded guilty can’t be tried in Taiwan. Hence, the Hong Kong government to deliver justice to the victim’s family proposed the, now infamous, Extradition Bill. But this is the part where China made a shrewd move, the law not only has proposed extraditions to Taiwan but also to mainland China, the same nation which previously has illegally abducted and extradited Hongkongers who spoke against the Chinese Communist Party or the Chinese government. Another important announcement which was made by Taiwan,  stated that it doesn’t want to be part of any law that includes China. So, the bill effectively now doesn’t provide justice to the family of the murdered girl but instead would give immense power to the Chinese Communist Party or CCP to silence all the critics as it has done with the whole of mainland China before.

The demands of the protesters are as follows: –
1. Complete withdrawal of the proposed Extradition Bill from the legislative process (as opposed to suspension)
2. Retraction of the characterisation of the protests as “riots”. Release and exoneration of arrested protesters
3. Establishment of an independent commission of inquiry into police behaviour
4. Universal suffrage for Legislative Council and Chief Executives elections
5. Resignation of Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Carrie Lam

These demands, though have been taken ‘very seriously‘ by the government but still haven’t been met. Only one demand has been partially met, the bill is now suspended but not completely withdrawn. This according to the protestors isn’t enough as the bill even if proposed in the Hong Kong’s LegCo (Legislative Council) is surely going to pass as the assembly itself is made in such a way that only pro-China parties always form the majority, even though in every election pro-democracy parties have been winning. Even the head of Hong Kong or the Chief Executive of Hong Kong isn’t selected by Hongkongers but is selected and approved by the CCP. The present Chief Executive Carrie Lam thus, doesn’t care about Hong Kong as long as China is happy. Hongkongers are carrying out these protests in a very peaceful manner also, but the Chinese authorities aren’t peaceful at all with their methods as they’ve been using weapons like tear gas grenades and water cannons, also the Chinese authorities have classified this protest as a riot which has resulted into arrests of non-violent protesters and more so Hongkongers. This shows the vulnerability of the Chinese regime which is so scared of an independent population that they go to unforseen and unethical depths to shut such people. The protest now has been going on for more than six months and has witnessed many events. The protestors though were successful in getting the bill withdrawn on 23rd October, but the protest now has broadened to more democratic liberties from China. From Molotov cocktails to turning of the Polytechnic University or PolyU into a battleground, the peaceful protests have now turned violent. Though it should be noted that this violence has grown in the last two months only, before which the protests were largely peaceful. Both sides, i.e. Hongkongers and the Chinese blame each other for the violence. In recent months even pro-China mobs have come out to protest against Hongkongers itself. Thus, till now no possible ending of the protests is insight.

So, these people who are on the streets every weekend (as they work on weekdays) are fighting for their freedom and rights, they are fighting for fairness, justice and most importantly they are fighting for their own self-respect. As long as Hong Kong and its people stand in the way, they won’t let the Chinese regime to take away their freedoms from them so easily or any time before 2047.

Feature Image Credits: Jerome Favere

Aniket Singh Chauhan

[email protected]





Tibet: A Historical Background

Tibet, located across the Himalayas, became a nation in the 2nd century B.C. From then on, till the 9th century A.D., a dynasty of 43 successive kings ruled over a sovereign, united Tibet of three provinces and emerged as one of the most powerful and prosperous nations in Central Asia. From 9th century AD, Tibet disintegrated into small principalities. From the 13th century to the 17th century, Tibet was ruled by a series of hegemonies such as Sakya, Phagdru, Rinpung and Tsangpa.

In the year 1642 A.D., His Holiness the Fifth Dalai Lama founded a government which ruled Tibet for the subsequent three centuries until the invasion of Tibet by Communist China in 1949. Until then, Tibet maintained its steady position as a peaceful buffer state between the two Asian giants – India and China.

In 1949, the Chinese Communists established their rule over Mainland China and as per their policy of expansion, started invading Tibet from its eastern borders. Hence, in the early 1950s, revolts against the Chinese occupying forces started erupting in Eastern Tibet, ultimately culminating in the 1959 National Uprising in the capital city, Lhasa. Thus, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, his government, and over 80,000 Tibetans sought refuge in India. As a result of the Chinese occupation of Tibet more than 1.2 million Tibetans have lost their lives and 6,000 monasteries were destroyed.

What’s going on in Tibet?

Tibet, ruled by China since 1959, has been under virtual martial law since the peaceful protests that swept across the Tibetan plateau in 2008. As a result of over 50 years of Chinese hard-line policies leading to political repression, cultural assimilation, Chinese population transfer, economic marginalisation and environmental destruction, Tibetans inside Tibet began protesting  through self-immolation (the act of setting one’s body on fire) in 2009. In the absence of space for conventional forms of protest, Tibetans are left with no other option. As of January 10, 2013, 97 Tibetans are confirmed to have self-immolated and 82 of them have died. The whereabouts and conditions of the surviving 15 remain unknown. The self-immolations have taken place across geographical regions and social groups in Tibet including monks, nuns, students, nomads, farmers, intellectuals, and artistes. Though most of the self immolators are young, their ages range from 16 to 64.

China’s Response to Tibetan Self-immolations

Rather than objectively investigating the causes behind the self-immolations and re-evaluating their policies in Tibetan areas, the Chinese authorities have responded to the self-immolations with further repressive policies and dismissed them as “acts of terrorism incited by the ‘Dalai clique’”.

Besides complete regional lockdown, heavy-handed measures have been put in place to punish the self-immolators’ family and friends through criminal prosecution. Self-immolation is now classified as a criminal act and anyone who organizes, plots, incites, coerces, entices, or assists another to carry out self-immolations is to be held criminally liable for intentional homicide.

Why Tibet Matters to India

National Security

Historically, Tibet served as a buffer state between India and China. If the issue of Tibet is resolved peacefully, Tibet could serve as a bridge between the two most populous nations in the world.

Environmental Security

As the roof of the world and the water tower of Asia, irreversible environmental destruction in Tibet bears severe consequences for the entire world, particularly the neighbouring downstream countries. The PRC government plans to divert Tibet’s mighty rivers northward to feed the arid areas. These river waters are a lifeline to India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Bhutan, Nepal, Cambodia, Pakistan, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam, which make up 47 percent of the global population.

Indian Cultural Heritage

Cultural and religious ties between India and Tibet are more than 13 centuries old. Tibet is an extension of Indian cultural heritage, with Tibetan Buddhism originating from India. The advent of Buddhism in Tibet had completely transformed the Tibetan people’s way of life. Tibetan script was also derived from India’s Devnagri script. Therefore, Tibetans often describe their relationship to India as that of a Guru (teacher) and Tibetans as chela (student).

Despite over 50 years of repressive Chinese policies aimed at eradicating Tibetan identity, Tibetans inside Tibet remain firm in their determination to pursue their aspirations. Most of the self-immolators are young Tibetans, who were born after the Cultural Revolution and have never met His Holiness the Dalai Lama. They were driven to self-immolate as a result of their direct personal experience with the Chinese hard-line and discriminatory policies in Tibet. In its efforts to find a lasting solution to the situation in Tibet, the Central Tibetan Administration remains fully committed to non-violence and pursuit of dialogue.


What Can You Do: 

Join the Solidarity with Tibet Campaign by:

  • Sharing the link to www.solidaritywithtibet.org on your facebook page and other social networking sites;
  • Organize a presentation on the current situation in Tibet;
  • Write to your local MLAs and MPs requesting them to raise the Tibet issue in the State Legislative Assembly and the Parliament;
  • Write articles in your local newspaper and magazines about the current situation in Tibet;
  • Set up a Tibet Support Group in your locality i.e. schools, colleges, universities;
  • Organize rallies and vigils to show solidarity with Tibet and raise public awareness on the issue.

For more information, please visit:


An organisation called ‘India for a free Tibet’