Tuesday the 21st: “HU JIN TAO–GO BACK!!”
*Hu Jin Tao, the leader of China, is in Delhi.* So the Tibetans are actively protesting his arrival, and the Indian government’s cooperation with China’s overtaking of Tibet. (If you don’t know about China and Tibet, for example: China recently publicized it’s “Happy 40th Birthday, Tibet” celebrations, even though Tibet has been around for hundreds and hundreds of years. It’s just only been “China” for the last 40….you can read more about the protests & the situation at “Students for a Free Tibet”:http://blog.studentsforafreetibet.org/2006/11/21/final-day-of-delhi-protests-a-big-success/
*Monday there was a sit-in sort of protest near the main bus stand* here, people were *hunger-striking* together for the day. Tuesday we were sitting in a cafe, reading, journaling, painting, etc. and there was a rush of life force coming up the hill. So many Tibetans and supporters (but mainly Tibetans) coming up the hill, with flags and signs and banners, chanting loudly for Hu Jin Tao to go home. Sean and I had just been discussing the situation before they came up the hill, Sean saying that there is so little possiblity of the Chinese government being willing to compromise or negotiate. So to see all these people crying out so passionately, for their home and their culture was pretty devastating. I took some photos and video and watched them and just cried. It was too sad. It made it seem so hard to feel hopeful for any positive change in this world, with the people we have in power. It was so sad to see them fighting so and to feel within myself that it is a hopeless cause (maybe). A French woman saw me and came by and said *”come, we must go with them, not just have coffee,”* and she went out. I did not follow her. What would following her do? It was not just the sadness of the Tibetans, but sadness at the whole balance of power in the world, at the negligence of the people in charge. . .
Are things worse now than other times? Maybe it really is just the force of CHANGE that upsets us so…..you can see here such usefulness for Buddhism, for Hinduism, I suppose for any religion. Life is hard, you see people around you whose fingers are falling off, or who are destined to live in a low caste, or who have been forced to leave their home and perhaps tortured in the process. How can you not develop a philosophy that says the world causes suffering, and that you need to find a way to seperate yourself from its coursing, to detach, to not be wrenched apart by its tides? It is a lot easier to be without religion when you live in a modern flat in a clean city and anything you want or need can be delivered to your door, provided you can pay. (all sorts of prices I guess)….
*And if you are supposed to aim to be detached*, then what of the Tibetans clinging to their homeland? . . . it’s complicated. If you are Hindu, though, you have Kali, the destroyer, to help you destroy your negativity, Ganesh to help remove any obstacles, and Sarasvati to give you some wisdom—maybe these guys’ll help you see more clearly beyond the illusion? . . . At any rate they all, elephantine Ganesh, scary Kali, smiling Buddha, teaching Jesus, urge you to be compassionate, to open your heart to all of the world.