'Gandhi topi' inspires 'Free Tibet' struggle
Revived by Anna Hazare's anti-corruption crusade and the emergence of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the Gandhi cap has now inspired the staggering struggle of Tibetans in exile.Updated: Feb 09, 2014 21:12 IST
Revived by Anna Hazare's anti-corruption crusade and the emergence of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the Gandhi cap has now inspired the staggering struggle of Tibetans in exile.
The white-coloured, boat-shaped cap – with the message 'Free Tibet' inscribed on it – was worn by Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC) activists who embarked on a 600-kilometre "uprising march" from Dharamsala to Delhi, in protest against communist rule in China, on Sunday.
"The Tibetan struggle has been inspired by the peaceful Indian freedom movement that was spearheaded by the Mahatma. The 'topi' is symbolic of Gandhi and peace," said Sonam Yougyal, who was leading the first day of 'The Uprising March'.
TYC's Kalimpong (Darjeeling) head, Yougyal, said the Gandhi cap helped AAP sail through the Delhi polls and form a government. "It has become a symbol of change; such things keep our hopes alive," Yougyal said. Another TYC activist, Tsewang Dolam, said the cap had inspired the Tibetan generation born in exile in India. For the Tibetan activists, it's also a gesture of thanks to the Indians for their hospitality of about half a century.
'THE UPRISING MARCH'
Tibetan Youth Congress' 'The Uprising March' that began from Dharamsala on Sunday will conclude in Delhi on March 10, which marks the 55 years of the Tibetan people's "uprising" against Chinese forces in Lhasa in 1959.The 55 marchers – each marcher representing a year under Chinese rule – will cover a distance of about 600 kilometres in a month.
On completion, the TYC will present a memorandum with a set of five demands to the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi and submit appeals to the United Nations and embassies of other countries to support their demands. "If the Chinese government fails to bring out any practical solutions to our demands, the TYC pledges that there will be renewed efforts to expose China's misrule in Tibet," said Tenzin Jigme, president of TYC, adding that Tibet today faced a life-and-death situation.