March 12, 2011

The Saga Continues: HH the 17th Karmapa.

Photo: Desmond Kavanagh


The Dogs Bark and the Caravan Moves On

(click here for Naomi Levine’s in-depth analysis of the whole scenario in which HH Karmapa has been embroiled) 

The media firestorm burnt itself out this week. In mid-fantasy, somebody turned on a bright light to shake up the adrenalin junkies and inject sanity into sensationalism. 

On February 1st, with the publication in the Hindustan Times by Professor Dibyash Anand, ‘The Buddha’s Not Smiling‘ (nothing to do with the infamous book of that name), the zombie jamboree seemed to end. Ridiculing the hysteria of the Indian press attacks on HH Karmapa, he managed to embarrass the shameless. The New York Times, Time Magazine, Indian Express, India Today – all began to express more informative journalism. 

And today, Tsering Shakya, who described the plot of alleged espionage as worthy of a cheap spy thriller, gives an in-depth analysis of the Tibetan community from the perspective of Indian military intelligence. 

Photo: SFT HQ


The greatest surprise of the week came Friday evening when the Himachal Chief Secretary, Rajwant Sadhu, gave the all clear to HH Karmapa. We congratulated each other and celebrated, relaxing our minds into the natural state. 

By morning the Times of India was pushing a different story. Not one to be upstaged, the bullying investigator-cum-State Minister, Dhumal, in a theatrical coup worthy of the Roman arena he seems to bestride, declared he could not comply as HH Karmapa was still under investigation. The internal politics will probably play out in the next few days. Clearly there’s more work to be done. 

HH Karmapa’s name has to be cleared up forever of suspicions of spying for China. The Central Government has to make a bold statement and offer him permission to travel anywhere to serve the purpose of dharma. The Karmapa’s administration has to be given permission to deposit foreign currency, since anything else is illegal. He has to be given the go-ahead to build his own monastery. 

But the most important question is, what happened to ignite this fire-storm? Who was behind it? It is crucial to know the real enemies of the state, possibly enemies within. And what is the role of the ‘doppelganger’ Karmapa’s minders in all of this? Or are we expected to believe that on January 26, Independence Day, two Indian men carrying a large amount of cash in their car, were so ignorant of border security they did not realize state guards were on the alert for possible weapons and would seize anything suspicious, legal or not? 

I have a feeling the media circus is satiated with the sensational aspects of this story. It’s now time for India to have a long look at how it wants to be seen in the eyes of the world and to understand they have the jewel in the crown. The Karmapa is potentially the greatest good-will ambassador India could ever have. In fact, one reporter declared he was in the office of the Foreign Secretary when HH Karmapa crossed over to Dharamsala. “Delhi’s excitement at having got such a big ‘catch’ was palpable. For good reason: The Karmapa is the only Lama recognized by both India and China.” (The Media is Being Stupid about Karmapa, Sunday Guardian

Before the dogs bark and the caravans move on, the beautiful bird has to be let out of the iron cage. The politicians have to understand that the Karmapa’s freedom in exile is truly on the agenda. Can they do it? 

Check the facts on www.karmapafactvsfiction.com 

Naomi Levine’s website https://www.earthmudra.com

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Naomi Mar 13, 2011 10:21pm

It's always gratifying to get response from readers whwo appreciate what you're writing. The teachigs have just finished and there will be another post before long.
And thank you KIm, that was a nice bit of synchronicity that we met just before you read this.

ed shapiro Mar 12, 2011 7:08am

Brilliant Naomi – this is great update coverage – thank you! many tashi delegs – Deb & Ed

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Naomi Levine

Norma (Naomi) Levine has published four books on Buddhist themes: The Miraculous 16th Karmapa: Incredible Encounters with the Black Crown Buddha; Blessing Power of the Buddhas; A Yearbook of Buddhist Wisdom; and Chronicles of Love and Death: My Years with the Lost Spiritual King of Bhutan. (Vajra Publications, Chronicles of Love and Death for UK readers.) Chronicles of Love and Death at Amazon.co.uk or for Kindle. For India visit Flipkart.com. She has organised pilgrimages to Mt. Kailash in Western Tibet, and to the hidden land of Pemako in Arunachal Pradesh (NE India), and written for some of the major London newspapers, including The Observer, The Times, The Telegraph, and The Guardian. She established a web based mail order business, Windhorse Imports in 1986 to provide Buddhist meditation artefacts to a growing community and sold it in 2003. She has an M. Phil in Drama and Literature from the University of Toronto and completed a PhD thesis before escaping academic life to live in the book-town of Hay-on-Wye on the Welsh borders, famous for its International Literary Festival. She divides her time between the UK and India. Visit Naomi’s website here.