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In our delegation’s talks with the officials of the Tibetan Autonomous Region in Lhasa and some researchers in Beijing we are told Beijing has poured huge investments into the region to lift Tibetans out of poverty and illiteracy . I would believe it has resulted in a positive socio-economic transformation in the region . I have seen it for myself during our tour of the counties mentioned above that the living standards of the Tibetan masses are much higher than their counterparts in the world today, not to speak of those in most of the Middle Eastern states wherein the minorities are treated like animals and even worse .

Our delegation’s interaction with people engaged in Tibet’s agriculture, animal husbandry, handicraft , health and education reveals all these important sectors are flourishing . There is an application of the appropriate technology wherever required. This has sustained the growth rate in the TRA at more than ten per cent during the last five years. In the Tibetan handicraft industry an average worker earns over Rs 18000 rupees a month. In model Tibetan villages a cow yields 12 kg milk per day. The Tibetans have access to hospitals, education , electricity , cell phones and Internet. They are better connected to different parts of the plateau as well as the mainland by their new rail and airways .


We find Tibetan Capital Lhasa is well developed . It has modern shops and manicured parks . It is absolutely clean with most of its vehicles run on electricity keeping away the maddening cacophony and pollution so notoriously associated with most of the towns elsewhere in the world today . There is no traffic congestion in the city with its traffic system and its high-tech signals fully operational . And, of course, there is little space for any road rage with foot patrols stationed around appropriately in the city. Beware, this is communist China wherein freedom is not a license of the kind it is in the hands of the privileged in democratic India !

What I have found in Tibet cannot be brushed aside as an over-exaggeration of development in the region. In a conversation I had with the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama some years ago, he, too, admitted that there had been a lot of economic development in the region in the recent past. He told me that in view of this it would be in the interest of Tibetans today to have peaceful co-existence with the Chinese.

It is time the die-hard critics of Beijing developed a realistic, objective assessment of the Tibetan scenario and conducted themselves in a manner that would foster a greater harmony between the Tibetans, wherever they are today, and the Chinese resulting in the peace and prosperity of the entire region in future. The approach of the die-hard critics is antithetical to the Dalai’s philosophy of the Middle Path aimed at a peaceful solution of the Tibetan problem. The Dalai is a man of love and peace. In a media interaction some time back, the Dalai said, “We must build good relations with the Chinese…we should not develop anti-Chinese feelings. We must live together side by side. In Tibet, Han Chinese and Tibetans can live happily… Don’t commit violence… Violence is against human nature. ”

Knowledgeable sources say that in tune with his Gandhian political philosophy the Dalai has long abandoned any demand for independence for Tibet . In 1974 he came forward with his Middle-Way policy ,according to which subjects of diplomacy, defence, communication and finance will be under the jurisdiction of the Central government in Beijing and those of culture, education, environment and religion the provincial Tibetan government in Lhasa . But the approach of the die-hard critics, apparently on the side of the Dalai , sends confusing signals about his intention to Beijing thereby deterring the solution to the Tibetan problem.

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Jagdish N. Singh is an Indian journalist based in New Delhi.