DHARAMSALA, Oct 28: The Tibet Museum located near Tsug-lag-Khang, the main temple in McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala launched a photo exhibition titled ‘Revisiting the Cultural Revolution in Tibet’ to mark the 50th anniversary of the Cultural Revolution in Tibet.
Ven. Karma Gelek Youthok, Religion and Culture Kalon was the Chief Guest for the occasion attended by several officials of the Central Tibetan Administration and representatives of various NGOs based in Dharamsala among others.
“Although the 10-year long Cultural Revolution began in China in 1966, after Mao’s May 16th notice, Tibetan people bore the wrath of the Cultural Revolution since 1959 after Chinese occupation. Tibetan language, dress and customs were deemed backward, filthy, useless and favoring old society. Any one who defied the authorities were subjected to thamzing, (public struggle sessions)” Mr Tashi Phuntsok, Director of the Tibet Museum said in his opening address.
“During the Cultural Revolution, more than 97 percent of monasteries and and nunneries were destroyed and the population of the monks and nuns were reduced by 93 percent,” he said citing the 10th Penchen Lama’s famous 70,000-character petition written in 1962.
“Although we can’t showcase the extreme stretch to which Tibetan people from the three provinces endured suffering, we are holding this photo exhibition to inform and enlighten our youth and new generation about the Cultural Revolution in Tibet which took place fifty years ago,” the museum director concluded.
The photo exhibition will be on display at the Tibet Museum for four months from today.
“Forty years after the end of Cultural Revolution, Tibetan religion, culture and way of life still continues to be subjected to suppression and clampdown by the Chinese Communist regime in Tibet. China’s ongoing forced demolition of Larung Gar in Serta best reflects it,” Dhardon Sharling Information Secretary of the Department of Information and International Relations said.
“Chinese government is obsessed with marking anniversaries. But Cultural revolution has become a taboo in China and the fact that they didn’t observe its 50th anniversary shows that they are ashamed of it. By revisiting the Cultural Revolution in Tibet, we should make them realize of their blunder and learn lessons from it,” she added.
“Cultural Revolution is one of the biggest blunders committed by the Chinese government and undeniably a dark patch in their history. The blame game that ensued following the death of Mao regarding the Cultural revolution reflects their realization of the same,” Ven. Karma Gelek Youthok, Religion and Culture Kalon said in his key address.
Three survivors of the cultural revolution in Tibet, one each from the three provinces of Tibet also attended the event and took part in the discussion chaired by Sherab Woeser, a researcher at Tibetan Policy Institute.
“Tibetan religion, culture and customs were subjected to brutal suppression during the Cultural Revolution. Its impact is still visible in Tibet now,” said Lobsang Yonten, a Tibetan survivor of the Cultural Revolution.
“The exhibition is very important; we shouldn’t forget what has happened in the past,” Phurba Tsering Tobgyal, a retired CTA staff and a survivor of the Cultural Revolution said.
News from Tibet Express