The Wendish Research Exchange

Yunsong, Huang and Andreas Gruschke: Cultural Security under Conditions of Challenged Livelihoods?

mersiowsky - 2-17-2018 at 12:52 PM

Lětopis Abstract 2017 2: Yunsong, Huang and Andreas Gruschke: Cultural Security under Conditions of Challenged Livelihoods?

In comparison with other foreign communities in India, Tibetan exiles have widely been thought of as a privileged group of people where their culture can thrive even better than in their own homeland and their livelihoods have become stable. The threat of being deprived of one’s land would rarely occur to an outsider as an issue. This article explores the Tibetans’ land predicament and the causes that almost led to the targeted eviction of Tibetan exiles in the settlements scattered around 10 states of India. In various cases, the lawful and historical entitlements of Tibetan exiles to the leased land have come under question due to their increased thirst for real property and involvement in illegal benami transactions. We explore several aspects of the issue ranging from the logic behind the Tibetans’ higher demand for land, to the discourse by the specific groups and local authorities in the host states, the stance of the Government of India in light of its strategic potential repercussion to China-India relations, the legal restrictions that led to an escalation of tensions and the sense of insecurity among Tibetan communities. We eventually offer an interpretation of the Tibetan Rehabilitation Policy 2014 that was merely a transient solution to the matter. Through a detailed examination, this article also reveals that India’s prevention of Tibetans attaining citizenship has resulted in New Delhi’s inability to address the land issue in a fundamental way, and that therefore cultural security for Tibetans is a bigger issue than expected since it is challenged at its very basis: by a non-sustainable livelihood basis as well as by a sociopolitical environment that expects them to integrate themselves and at the same time obstructs their attempts to avail the right to citizenship by birth.