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Tibetan Nationalism: The Politics of Religion Author(s): Ashild Kolas Source: Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 33, No.

1 (Feb., 1996), pp. 51-66 Published by: Sage Publications, Ltd. Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/425133 Accessed: 08/06/2009 09:14
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? Journal of Peace Research, vol. 33, no. 1, 1996, pp. 51-66

Tibetan Nationalism:The Politics of Religion*

International Peace Research Institute, Oslo
Tibetan Buddhism, rather than secular nationalist ideology, provides vital idioms for the political discourse on Tibetan independence. This article deals with the interrelations between Tibetan politics and religion within Tibet and in exile Tibetan settlements in India. It is argued that within and outside Tibet, popular expressions of Tibetan identity rely on religious symbolism. In Tibet, religious idioms are reappearing in completely new contexts, as political expressions of opposition to Chinese rule. In India, Tibetan refugee elites reinterpret these idioms in their own terms while redefining Tibetan identity and culture for the outside world and for refugees themselves. The educated, English-speaking sections of the refugee population are also the main producers of nationalist rhetoric in the secular sense. This is particularly true of those who are based in Dharamsala, the Indian headquarters of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government-in-exile. After examining the 'culture' of Tibetan politics, the questions raised are how and why secular nationalist arguments, rather than arguments based on religion, become a part of political discourse. The choice of arguments is found to reflect the notions of legitimacy and rhetoric of the different audiences addressed. Power relations surface in every aspect of politics, including the use of political languages and definition of the boundaries and contents of 'the political'.

1. Introduction The interconnections between religion and politics in Tibet have been the focus of several historical studies (e.g. Burman, 1979; Michael, 1982), and writers on Tibetan history commonly recognize the close ties between religion and politics in Tibetan culture. Although an historical perspective is included in the present article, my main concern is to describe how politics and religion are interconnected in the present-day context of the Tibetan independence movement. My aim is to investigate different ways of asserting Tibetan identity, and finally to relate these expressions to some of the current theories of nationalism. For analytical purposes, I distinguish between three arenas of communication: three different spheres of interaction where Tibetan identity is articulated. According to the presumed audience or 'other', these are distinguished as fellow Tibetans, the Chinese and the Western world. In Tibetan, these categories of 'others' are commonly expressed by the terms bod pa (Tibetan),
* I am grateful to Malvern Lumsden of JPR, Per Kvaerneand Ronald D. Schwartz for their comments on draft versions. The field research for this article was conducted in India and Tibet during 1989-92. I owe a particular debt of gratitude to the many Tibetans who provided me with help and information.

rgya mi (Chinese) and ing ji (Westerner). The approach outlined here thus regards ethnicity as a process both within and between groups, although constantly from a Tibetan perspective. Through the identification of these three arenas of communication, I attempt to illustrate how different, although interreacting or 'intercommunicating', political languages develop in different spheres of interaction. The term political language here refers to a set of conventions that are commonly understood and used in discourse about the legitimacy of power. A set of common understandings is necessary in order to make discourse possible: we need to agree to a certain extent in order to disagree and contest. Conventions and languages are not entities separate from their expressions. Rather, the terms refer to the repetitive and established aspects of discourse. In the process of communicating, we are constantly reconstructing, developing and changing the conventions we use. Power is reflected in the ability to set standards for communication, the ability to choose which conventions are valid, and to enforce the limits of

The focus of this article is on political discourse taking place in a wide variety of settings. In the Barkor Square of Lhasa,



Tibetan demonstratorsshout for independence and the long life of the Dalai Lama. In the MainTemple of Dharamsala,official speakersproclaimtheir dual goal of rebuilding a Tibetan way of life in exile and working for a futureFree Tibet. In the monasteries of Tibet, monks and nuns make Tibetan flags, compose anti-Chinese songs and political pamphlets. In the classrooms of Tibetan schools in India, children learn Tibetan language and history, and participate in Tibetan cultural activities. In the homes of those who identify themselves as Tibetans,picturesof the Dalai Lamadecorate walls or house altars. Not only the settings, but the situations,media and methods of expression vary, ranging from publications and public speeches to street-songs, dance performances and initiation ceremonies.

may also shed freshlight on familiarways of looking at nationalism. As the concept of 'modern nationalism' is defined, how is 'modernity'to be understood?If 'nationalism' by definitionmust be secular, the case of Tibetan'nationalism' may prove to be an aberration.Before discussingsome theories and definitionsof nationalism,I will present my main subject:the case of the 'culture'of Tibetanpolitics.
2. Historical Background: Religion and Politics in Pre-Communist Tibet 2.1 Tibet as a Political Unit

When we set out to study 'politics' or 'religion', we are already making use of categories we assume are relevant, or may be even take for granted. Implicitin these categories are some notions about their boundariesand relations, i.e. what constitutes politics and how religion is different from politics. As pointed out by Nicholas (1973) the Western notion of 'the political' relies on the dichotomybetween sacredand secular, or spiritualand temporal. In other words, the political as a secular pursuit is somehow opposed to the sacredor religion. Whenwe are confrontedwith very different notions about the political, e.g. in Asia and Africa, we have difficultiesexplainingthese notions. Nicholas (1973, p. 67) describes a typical reactionto this: 'Culture'is invoked from the mainlyto explainawayaberrations expected patternsof 'politicaldevelopment' rather than treated as fundamentalto an of understanding what politics is conceived to be by the citizens of the new nations. Nicholas furtherarguesthat Westernsocial science is not conceptuallypreparedto deal with this culturalcomponent, i.e. the structure of meanings that evaluate political symbolsand politicalacts. The present article will, hopefully, to providea contribution the 'culturalanaly- 2.2 The Land of Religion sis' of politics. By reinvestigatingthe no The notion of the 'religiousland', the polity man's land between politics and religion, it based on and legitimizedby religion, is re-

Boundariesbetween Tibet and China were firstestablishedby treaty in the 8th century AD, when the forces of the Tibetan empire dominated the Silk Road lands and challenged the Chinese Tang rulers. The name Tibet1then became associatednot only with the core area around Lhoka and the Yarlung Valley in Central Tibet, but with the entiremountainregioncontrolledby the lineage of 'heavenly'kings (btsanpo) of the YarlungDynasty. The name bod was originally a name for CentralTibet or U-Tsang, whereas the entire area of the 'three provinces' (Amdo, Khamand U-Tsang)came to be known as bod chen or Great Tibet. The term Tibetan (bod pa) likewise evolved from a namefor CentralTibetans,througha distinction between sedentary farmers and nomads, to an expressionfor the people 'of all regions' of Tibet, as exile Tibetans now assert.2The term 'Tibet', a political device in its own right, thus designatesa territorially based politicalunit. Since the People's Liberation Army invaded Tibet in 1950, the governmentof the People's Republic of China has recognized the politicalunit of Tibet in the sense that it has given 'Tibet Autonomous'status (whetheras 'Region' or 'Prefecture')to the to areasroughlycorresponding GreatTibet. This is almostequivalentto the areaclaimed by the Tibetangovernment-in-exile.

Tibetan Nationalism: The Politics of Religion


fleeted in the Tibetan concepts of chos srid gnyis Idan, the dual religious and secular system of government and of chos rgyal, the king as protector and patron of religion. Chos rgyal is a Tibetan expression for the Buddhist conception of Dharma king: the king who turns the wheel of the law (dharmaraja). This conception of polity and political legitimacy has a widespread canonical basis in Buddhism throughout Asia.3 In the case of Tibet, the crucial status of the Dalai Lama epitomized the political system. The Tibetan state continued the universal Buddhist paradigm of statehood, but collapsed the two functions of patron of religion and head of religion into one - the role of Dalai Lama (Schwartz, 1994a, p. 735). The Dalai Lama was understood as chos rgyal in the dual role of political leader and earthly manifestation of Tibet's protector deity Chenrezig, the Buddha of Com-

as well as scriptural transmissions.4 Tibetan 'folk religion' or 'religion of men' (mi chos) is based on oral traditions rather than scriptural (Stein, 1972). In these 'little traditions' of popular beliefs, every community had its own sacred spots, mountain deity, stupa, shrine or temple specific to the locality. These sacred centres defined the local communities, while Tibet in its entirety was defined by the sacred centre of Lhasa, where the Potala Hill was associated with the sacred mountain at the centre of the world, abode of the deity Chenrezig. Lhasa was not only the largest city in Tibet, but also the most important religious centre and centre of political power. The Dalai Lama and his government (sde ba gzhung) were based in the city itself, the large monasteries of Sera, Drepung and Ganden were located close by, and the most influential noblemen (sger pa) had their passion. estates in the core agricultural areas of the Dawa Norbu, a political scientist who Kyichu and Tsangpo river valleys. The grew up in Central Tibet, maintains that the Tibetan government administered most of distinction between Tibetan and non- U-Tsang, and was expanding its influence in Tibetan was a Buddhist differentiation be- Kham during the decades preceding the tween believers and non-believers, and that Chinese occupation. These were the areas 'sub-national identities' prevailed in Tibet under direct administration from Lhasa. before the Chinese invasion (Norbu, 1992a, The nomadic population of Amdo had an p. 10). During interviews with elderly exile independent tribal organization, whereas Tibetans I similarly discovered that 'for- agricultural areas were controlled by the eigners' such as Nepalese, Chinese, Hui and noble families of Amdo and a few large Mongols were distinguished as separate monasteries. groups, but so were Amdowa, Tsangpa and In addition to the somewhat weak governother 'regional' identities. There was no mental administration, political integration clear distinction between 'national' and was furthered through the monastic system. other identities based on place of origin. Monasteries throughout Tibet were organThe most important distinction was in fact ized as branches of the 'three seats' of according to belief. Those who shared the Lhasa: Sera, Drepung and Ganden. The belief in religion (chos) were identified as 'three seats' were also the monastic univernang pa (literally 'insider'), regardless of sities of the Gelukpa school, providing where they were born. According to Corlin religious training for the high lamas of all (1975, pp. 150-153) the concept of bod Gelukpa monasteries. Lhasa was thus a (Tibet) describes the area of the Tibetan centre of religious pilgrimage as well as way of life, whereas chos (religion) de- 'education and administrative pilgrimage'.5 scribes the cultural instrument that provides The Tibetan system of government was the symbols of collective identification. In known as chos srid gnyis Idan or a 'comother words, 'Tibet' describes a particular bined religious and secular system'. Srid is territorial unit identified with and integrated commonly translated as 'politics', whereas by the Buddhist doctrine. chos means religion. In the term chos srid, The clerical Buddhist traditions of Tibet srid may be understood as 'undertakings for draw on a vast array of oral and ceremonial the materialistic world' and chos as 'under-



takings for the spiritual world' (Wangyal, 1975, pp. 78-79). The term implies a distinction between spiritual and worldly affairs, while at the same time emphasizing their interconnectedness. The ideal administration was seen as a balance between two types of officials: monk officials and lay noble officials. This division in a sense reflected the accommodation of power between the two sections of estate holders, the monasteries and the aristocracy. The third major landholder was the government itself. At every level of administration, the duality of monk clerics and nobles was reflected. The ministers of the cabinet thus included both lay and monk officials. At the top of the hierarchy, the Dalai Lama bridged the gap between clerics and nobles. As a spiritual leader, he was the most important reincarnate lama (tulku), while his parents received noble status and joined the highest ranks of the Lhasa aristocracy. The regent (rgyal tshab) who ruled during the minority of the Dalai Lama was also a reincarnate lama. The Tibetan polity was based on notions of three different types of lineage. For nobles and landholding farmers, duties to the government and rights to land were passed down through the lineage of descent. In the monastic community, the lineage of descent was replaced by the lineage of teacher and disciple, and status according to ownership by stages of ordination. According to Buddhist doctrine, every individual has equal opportunity to attain enlightenment, regardless of his or her rank or hereditary status. The monk or nun thus symbolically starts a new life on entering the monastic community, and is given a new name by the lama. The reincarnate tulku epitomized the unimportance of hereditary status and represented a third kind of lineage: the lineage of reincarnation. Tulku were believed to be highly accomplished spiritual masters who could control their own rebirth and carry memories from their past lives. The identification of a child tulku depended on these abilities, and on the interpretation of various supernatural signs. The tulku was in many if not most cases found in a common family of farmers or

nomads. Once recognized, he immediately achieved the very highest monastic position and inherited the property of his predecessors. The Buddhist doctrine of spiritual cause and effect made hierarchy comprehensible in the sense that a good rebirth could be explained as a consequence of the merit accumulated in past lives. The most effectual way of gaining merit was to become a monk or nun. For the laity, merit could be gained from sponsoring religious activities such as prayer ceremonies, the printing of Buddhist scriptures or the construction of religious monuments. The patronage of religion was likewise an important source of legitimacy for secular leaders. The patron gained merit through economic support to the monastic community, who in turn conducted ritual work for the benefit of 'all sentient beings'. 3. CurrentArenas of Political Discourse 3.1 Confronting the Chinese The political language of present-day Tibet has evolved through the influence of and confrontations with the Chinese Communist colonizers and, since Liberalization, through the inspiration of Tibetans in exile.6 Chinese administrators and their Tibetan helpers have introduced a range of new terms and expressions, simultaneously creating a new vocabulary for contesting Chinese rule. Notions of equality, emancipation and progress have all been turned against those who introduced them. From a Tibetan point of view, the greatest success has been attained in a dialogue based on
religious expressions.

In 1950, the Tibetan Army was defeated in Kham, and Tibet was occupied by the (Chinese) People's Liberation Army (PLA). The invasion itself had very little impact on the lives of ordinary Tibetans. Chinese military personnel in Tibet first made an effort to win the favour of the Tibetan population, in particular, religious leaders. However, outside Central Tibet land reforms and other so-called democratic reforms soon followed. These campaigns were implemented in a spirit of total disre-

Tibetan Nationalism: The Politics of Religion


gard, if not aggression, causing a spiral of violence. Guerrilla groups were formed in Kham, taking their name from an epitome for Kham, Four Rivers Six Ranges. The guerrillas were also called 'Defenders of the Faith', an indication that religion had already become an important issue in the confrontation between Tibetans and Chinese Communists. Violent resistance finally spread to Lhasa, and in 1959 the Dalai Lama was forced to escape to India, followed by another approximately 80,000 Tibetan refugees. After complete military control was established throughout Tibet, the PRC authorities gradually implemented a system of exploitation which penetrated the lives of all Tibetans. Monastic leaders were classified as 'enemies of the state' and persecuted, along with members of the aristocracy, government officials and resistance leaders. Religious persecution was an important part of the process of dismantling the Tibetan political system, soon followed by the 'redistribution' of land. Through the forced introduction of 'people's communes', Tibetan smallholders as well as large landowners were required to give up their land to the local commune for the sake of Socialism. The suppression of religious practice was particularly harsh during the Cultural Revolution, although the processes of subjugation continued relentlessly throughout the 1960s and 1970s. The social, economic and not least psychological scars left after this period have still not healed. In the wake of Liberalization, social control and 'separatist' activities have become major concerns of the PRC leadership. Apart from civil unrest, there are growing problems concerning local-level corruption and transient populations. Liberalization has meant new opportunities in the economic sphere, but also a widening gap between rich and poor. In Tibet, it has meant a relaxation towards religious expression, and subsequently sharpened reactions against political dissent. Social inequality has been growing along already existing ethnic lines, increasing the differences between Tibet and the prospering

Chinese provinces, between cities and rural areas, and between Chinese and Tibetans. Simultaneously, the Open Doors policy has done more than bring Holiday Inn to Lhasa. It has brought a new awareness about conditions outside China, while providing the means for expressions of dissent to reach the outside world. The current religious revival in Tibet embodies the most important threat to Chinese rule: the lack of popular support for the Chinese government and its policies. More than anything else, the suppression of religion has alienated the Tibetan people from their Chinese rulers. The suppression of religion has become a metaphor for Chinese repression in general, in a process where religious expressions have come to stand for resistance. Since the 1980s, a few monasteries have been rebuilt and a select number of young Tibetans have been permitted to revive Tibetan religious tradition. Some of these new monks and nuns have gained the attention of the international media as initiators of pro-independence demonstrations. In Lhasa, demonstrations have been staged in the Barkor, the pilgrimage route encircling Lhasa's 'Central Cathedral'. In the course of the Barkor demonstrations, the religious expression of circumambulation has been turned into a political statement of opposition to Chinese authority.7 During the late 1980s, Chinese security forces shot and killed a number of unarmed demonstrators in the Barkor. Those who are arrested for demonstrating are still routinely tortured to extract 'confessions' (Amnesty International, 1993, p. 95). The symbolic accomplishments have thus been achieved at a great personal risk, involving enormous sacrifices for those who have been arrested. Sacrifice has in turn become an ideal enhancing the appeal of demonstrating.8 The value of sacrifice is explained in terms of Buddhist ethics associated with the image of the altruistic Bodhisattva who has reached enlightenment but continues to be reborn for the sake of helping others. The Dalai Lama is one such Bodhisattva. Monks and nuns were traditionally venerated for their ritual work for the common



good. Sponsoring monks and nuns gave the patron a share of the merit. In the same way, political leaders gain moral legitimacy by the patronage of religion. When monks and nuns now protest against Chinese rule, this means that the Chinese 'patronage of religion' is challenged and invariably loses legitimacy. In the dialogue between Tibetans and Chinese, there is a constant return to and manipulation of religious language and idioms. These idioms pervaded discourse in Tibet prior to the Chinese occupation, and are now being recreated and used in a new political context. Religious idioms and symbols are being manipulated by both sides in various ways, and there seems to be a mutual understanding of their importance. A virtual 'battle for control' is being fought, where political expression in itself has become a matter of great significance. The practice of religion is ultimately a threat to Chinese authority because it represents and enacts an alternative conception of society. From a Tibetan perspective, religion provides a more legitimate set of values than the Communist Party doctrine. Moral power lies with the congregation of monks and nuns, whereas physical power lies with the security forces. Religion as politics is too powerful to be disregarded. One of the major problems for policymakers has been to allow religious expression while keeping political dissent at bay. The tourist business is an important source of income, and the reopening of major monasteries and temples in Lhasa and Shigatse has been a very successful way of attracting tourists. Moreover, the Chinese government has been under increasing international pressure, in particular from the USA, to improve its human rights record in Tibet. The Chinese government has been anxious to show the outside world that Tibetans are free to practice religion. Monk and nun demonstrators thus pose a particular threat to the authorities. The harsh repression of demonstrations, including the martial law period between March 1989 and May 1990, illustrates the Chinese leadership's apprehensions about 'opening up' and 'liberalization' policies.

New ideas about international law, human rights and democracy are currently being expressed by politically-concerned Tibetans, often through the idioms and vocabulary of Tibetan Buddhism. The emphasis on nonviolent protest is one aspect of this political articulation. Demonstrators know that nonviolence is supported in 'foreign countries', and choose their methods of protest accordingly. Although demonstrators involve a Chinese audience of government officials and, more directly, police and security forces, the international media are in fact the main target of demonstrations. Tourism has provided a channel for disseminating information about demonstrations in Lhasa to the outside world. While the Chinese Xinhua news agency has lost its monopoly on information, a new kind of political awareness is spreading in Tibet, partly as a result of contacts with the outside world and Tibetans in exile. For two decades (1959-1979) the southern borders of Tibet were tightly closed. Although refugees still managed to escape, there was very little two-way traffic across the border. Nepalese traders and All India Radio's broadcasting in Tibetan were the only channels of information from the exile world to Tibetans within the Bamboo Curtain. With the coming of the Open Doors policy, travel restrictions were relaxed. The result was not only a flood of new refugees, but also a wide range of opportunities for Tibetans to communicate across the borders. Contacts between relatives have been re-established, and pilgrimage to religious festivals in India has been permitted. During the Kalachakra festival at Bodh Gaya in 1985, tens of thousands of pilgrims were given official travel permits. Because of the large number of travellers, even those who lacked permits were able to cross the Nepalese border unhindered. At Bodh Gaya, they joined exile Tibetans listening to the Dalai Lama's speeches, some directly addressing Tibetans in Tibet. These speeches were available on tape, and were brought back to Tibet for distribution. According to LAWASIA/TIN (1991, p. 43)9 12,782 products 'containing religious propaganda with splittist content' were seized by

Tibetan Nationalism: The Politics of Religion


border customs officials between 1986 and 1989. The list of items included 615 leaflets and 415 video tapes of the Dalai Lama. Photos of the Dalai Lama in company with Western political leaders have been on display in many temple altars, along with various Free Tibet items. Pocket-sized 'Dalai Lama photos' are extremely popular, despite the fact that they have been periodically banned and targets for confiscation. The Dalai Lama is gaining ground in Tibet as a political leader and a symbol. As expressed by a young Lhasa monk in 1992: 'The Chinese have Mao, we have the Dalai Lama'. In their Indian exile, the Dalai Lama and his officials have created a system of government which is developing a reputation as a viable alternative to Chinese rule. In Tibet, religious idioms derive their political meaning not only from the Pre-Communist religio-political system and the confrontation between Buddhism and Communism, but from the use of these idioms in exile. 3.2 The Tibetan Community in Exile Approximately 90,000 Tibetans now live in India, the majority in planned refugee settlements. For the Tibetan refugee community, recreating and preserving the memories of Tibet is crucial for maintaining the vision of Free Tibet as a common cause. These memories also provide the tools of expression, the language and idioms of Tibetan unity and identity. The heritage of stories and rituals, sanctified by religion and incorporated in Tibetan language, forms a basis for expressing entirely new and rapidly changing situations: the flight from Tibet and life as refugees. The Dalai Lama as a personification of the protector deity of Tibet is the primary symbol of Tibetan unity. As a reincarnation of the deity Chenrezig, the Dalai Lama is the only unquestioned leader of the Tibetan people. Chenrezig not only provides continuity to the history of Tibet, but epitomizes the community of Tibetans itself. These themes are repeatedly emphasized in public ceremonies, the enactments of community in exile. The annual religious festivals are now ac-

companied by secular counterparts. The most important of these is the annual commemoration of the 1959 Lhasa uprising, the 10 March Uprising Day. Uprising Day in Dharamsala is celebrated at the Main Temple, decorated with huge Tibetan flags, and features speeches by leading CTA representatives, the Dalai Lama's yearly statement, the singing of the national anthem, marches by a drum and bugle corps, and folk dances. The symbols of Uprising Day are a mixture of old and more recent creations.'0 The British marches played by military bands were first introduced during the 1920s, when British officers were engaged in the training of Tibetan troops. The national flag was designed in 1912, based on the formats of previous military flags, as a standard flag for all Tibetan military defence establishments. Change is generally under-communicated or ignored by exile administrators, whereas continuity and the preservation of Tibetan culture are recurring themes. An example of this is the government-in-exile itself, seen as the direct continuation of the Tibetan Government of the Dalai Lama at Lhasa. Similarly, ca. 165 monasteries and 8 nunneries have been 're-established' in India and Nepal. In 1992, there were ca. 13,000 monks and 500 nuns in these monasteries and nunneries, a third of whom had arrived since 1980 as new refugees. The monasteries are still vital institutions of the exile community, but their role in society has undergone important changes. For example, monastic institutions are no longer the sole keepers of the sacred scriptures and the mainstay of Tibetan medicine, astrology and art. Through a range of new secular institutions, Tibetan culture and identity is defined and standardized. Tibetan textbooks and teachers likewise transmit a curriculum of 'Tibetaness'. In the name of preservation and tradition, notions of the 'Tibetan' are being formed and transformed. As an elite strategy, the emphasis on Tibetan 'culture' and 'religion' is partly due to popular response, and partly a result of outside influences. Indian authorities have imposed restrictions on political activity, but not on cultural and religious expression.



Tibetan elites in the exile administration knowledge. This change has been more proand large organizations play an important nounced in exile settlements than in Tibet role as organizers of the Tibetan com- itself, where most children in rural areas munity, and of cultural institutions and spend their childhood working along with schools. During the 1960s, the first gener- their families. For children in Tibet, being ation of exile elites was made up mainly of Tibetan is understood through the childmonk scholars and members of the former hood discoveries of 'us' and 'them' in their aristocracy who were educated in India.1' immediate environment. For Tibetan chilThe noble families who were familiar with dren in India, being Tibetan is taught at resiIndia were among the first to leave Tibet dential schools and in the sheltered environduring the 1950s and settle in northern ment of the Tibetan settlements, where India. In 1960 many former officials and differences between Tibetans and Indians monastic leaders joined the Dalai Lama are consciously played down, and the conwhen his headquarters at Dharamsala were flict between Tibetans and Chinese is set up. They were appointed to manage the emphasized and accentuated. various offices and institutions which were By the early 1970s, young Tibetans edubeing established to administer aid to the cated in the Tibetan schools in India were thousands of empty-handed new arrivals graduating from colleges and universities. A new generation of exile elites was taking from Tibet. Along with resettlement projects, one of shape. In the following years, a number of the top priorities of the exile administration new institutions were established, such as has been to provide education for refugee the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, children. The goal has been to equip the Information Office of H.H. the Dalai Tibetan children to meet the 'modern Lama, the Department of Finance and the world', while at the same time 'keeping the Department of Health. The Library of Tibetan Works and Tibetan heritage alive'. Through the Tibetan boarding schools, Tibetan children Archives has become an important instithus learn about their culture, through text- tution for the study of Tibetan history, books, prayer sessions, art classes, staged including religious texts. Ancient docuevents and lectures rather than through par- ments which have been brought out of Tibet ticipation in the activities of family life. The are preserved in the archives. There is also a total enrolment in Tibetan schools is high: museum which keeps a selection of sacred about 25,000 or 84% of Tibetan refugee objects. The library is often visited by pilchildren according to Tibetan sources. In grims from Tibet and Ladakh. In the evencomparison, the level of attendance for pri- ings, many residents of Dharamsala spend mary schools in Tibet is not more than 30% their time circumambulating the library, and for rural areas.12 The Department of Edu- some bring a small carpet and prostrate in cation of the exile government recruits front of the doorway. The library has been teachers to all the Tibetan schools in India, turned into a place of worship as well as a runs sponsorship programmes for children, cultural institution. In Tibetan religious practice there is arranges training courses for Tibetan teachers and supplies Tibetan textbooks to clearly an underlying emphasis on the value the schools. Although the medium of of tradition itself. On the other hand, the instruction in Tibetan schools is English, museums, libraries and institutes estabTibetan lessons are held daily, and Tibetan lished by the government-in-exile are music and dance is part of the curriculum. modelled on Western ideas of cultural 'presThe Tibetan textbooks themselves and ervation'. The 'culture of Tibet' is in a sense other school activities are meant to provide being constructed and objectified through children with an understanding of Tibetan the new institutions, and through the idea of 'culture' itself. Historical texts are being history and traditions. secularized and new, Within a generation, modern education reinterpreted, has markedly changed the transmission of accounts of the history of Tibet are being

Tibetan Nationalism: The Politics of Religion


produced. New explanations and comments on rituals and religious traditions are also being published. A relatively fluid mixture of traditions is being bounded, fixed and recorded much more efficiently than ever before. The monasteries of Tibet were cultural institutions in the sense that they were involved in recording (in writing), reproducing (in woodblock print) and storing scriptures, as well as passing down the teachings to future generations. The stylized decorations and works of art of the monasteries also represented an objectification or production of symbols in that certain objects were conventionally reproduced. However, these symbols, works of art and teachings were not perceived as specifically 'Tibetan' or belonging to the 'culture' of Tibetans, they were perceived as 'religious' or rather belonging to chos, the Buddha's teachings. Maintaining and recreating a Tibetan identity in exile involves a self-conscious display of Tibetan Buddhist religion and an organized construction of Tibetan culture. Publicly enacted religious expressions enhance feelings of a common purpose within the Tibetan community. Contained within secular institutions, religious expressions become the objects of Tibetan culture which represent Tibetan identity to the outside world. 3.3 Dealing with the West In their search for outside support, Tibetan elites have been learning the language of international politics dominated by the Western powers. Britain was the first Western power to be encountered by Tibetan leaders, in 1904 when Colonal Younghusband and his armed expedition marched into Lhasa. As a counter-measure, Manchu troops subsequently launched an invasion in an effort to reclaim Tibet to the Chinese sphere of interest. With the Chinese Nationalist take-over in 1912, Manchu troops were expelled from Tibet, and both China and Tibet for the first time officially asserted their 'independence'. The Western concept of 'independence' thus entered Tibetan elite discourse. The Thirteenth Dalai Lama's 1912 proclamation not only

introduced the term 'independence', but suggested the situation in which the term became significant:
Tibet is a country with rich natural resources; but it is not scientifically advanced like other lands. We are a small, religious, and independent nation. To keep up with the rest of the world, we must defend our country. In view of past invasions by foreigners, our people may have to face certain difficulties, which they must disregard. To safeguard and maintain the independence of our country, one and all should voluntarily work hard.13

The 1913 'Treaty of Friendship and Alliance' between Tibet and Mongolia similarly declares that 'Mongolia and Tibet, having freed themselves from the dynasty of the Manchus and separated from China, have formed their own independent States'.14 In the process of the 1913-14 Simla Conference, Tibetan government officials had a chance to learn the conventions of international politics, as defined by the representatives of Great Britain. British influence continued, especially from 1921, when the Political Officer in Sikkim, Charles Bell, led an official mission to Lhasa. Charles Bell was authorized to conclude a new bilateral agreement with the Tibetan government. According to the terms of this agreement, Britain undertook to 'grant to the Tibetan Government reasonable assistance in the protection and development of Tibet' (Praag, 1987, p. 64). Although China and other countries of the Third World have been participants in the growth of international law, the Western world has been able to choose the conventions and set the standards of validity. After the Tibetan encounter with the UN in 1950, Tibetan leaders began to realize that they would be forced to argue their case according to these standards. In order to gain recognition and support, they would have to convince the world that Tibet had in fact been a 'state' according to the legitimate definition, with a permanent population, a defined territory, government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other states. Closely related to the concept of 'permanent population' is the concept of 'nationhood'. The question of legitimate government



has been constantly evolving during the Lama is needed as a leader, but some Tibetans' 30 years of exile, along with Tibetans also maintain that the Dalai Lama notions of the Welfare State and its re- is and has always been the only democratic sponsibilities. Some of the key political leader of the Tibetan people. In fact, the issues have also been taken up in Tibetan democratically elected Assembly has preelite discourse, i.e. democracy, human sented the greatest opposition to changes in rights, development, peace and environ- the Dalai Lama's political role. The Charter of Tibetans-In-Exile, which mental protection. By learning to present their case to a Western audience, Tibetans came into force in 1991, was a step further in have been increasingly successful in gaining the direction of a democratic political attention and support. With the Dalai Lama system. The Charter maintains the Dalai in the lead, they have managed to create a Lama's authority to dissolve the cabinet or favourable impression of the people of Tibet remove ministers. However, other clauses limit the authority of the Dalai Lama. For as propagators of Buddhist ethics. In the exile capitol of Dharamasala, con- example, one clause states that the executact with Westerners is a part of everyday tive functions of the Dalai Lama shall be life for many Tibetans. Through these con- exercised by the Council of Regency when tacts and through personal experience by the Tibetan Assembly, by more than twotravelling, an increasing number of Tibetans thirds of its total members in consultation are acquainted with Western ideas and with the Tibetan Supreme Justice Commethods of expression. In short, Tibetans mission, decides that it is in the highest are learning more and more about how to interests of the Tibetan Administration and present their case successfully to a Western the Tibetan people. Another clause states that any ordinances promulgated by the audience. An important strategy in the struggle for Dalai Lama when the Assembly is not in support has been the move towards democ- session may be amended, altered or anracy. The Dalai Lama initiated the democ- nulled by the Tibetan Assembly through deratization process soon after his arrival in liberation during their subsequent session. India, with the first elections for the The XIth Tibetan Assembly proposed the Assembly of Tibetan People's Deputies. withdrawal of precisely these two clauses, This was of course an entirely new experi- arguing that 'the people have been telling us ence for the refugees. There were no candi- that since these two clauses run counter to dates, the voters simply wrote a name on a their hopes and aspirations, they must be piece of paper (Avedon, 1985, p. 138). The amended if we want to be a true democracy' first group of deputies gained experience by (Tibetan Bulletin, July-August 1992, p. 36). working in the various departments. In 1963 According to the same source, the Assembly's proposal was 'rejected' by the a draft constitution was promulgated. There were probably various reasons for Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama has had to take many initiating the democratization process, and I am not implying that gaining legitimacy was considerations into account. On the one the only one. However, the transition to- hand, he relies on the support of the mawards democracy was certainly im- jority of Tibetans, who look up to him as a plemented 'from above', and democratiza- Buddha of Compassion and saviour Bodhition no doubt helped present the Dalai sattva. On the other hand, he relies on the Lama as the true representative of the support of Western governments, who do Tibetan people.15 Democracy seems to be a not understand his position in the Tibetan difficult question for Tibetans. When asked community, and measure representativity in about their views on democracy, a common terms of a 'modern' political system. One of reply is that in a future independent Tibet the criteria of such a political system is the the Dalai Lama should have the complete separation of state and church. Within the authority and there should be democracy. Tibetan community, the Dalai Lama freThere is no reason to doubt that the Dalai quently consults the State Oracle, confirms

Tibetan Nationalism: The Politics of Religion


the authenticity of tulku rebirths, gives religious teachings, blessings and initiations. However, during visits to Western countries, he has approved of the complete separation of religious institutions from the system of government. He has frequently stated that the future role of the Dalai Lama should be purely religious. The PRC diplomatic strategy has always been to emphasize the religious role of the Dalai Lama, and persuade other governments to do the same. This has probably affected the premisses for much of the Dalai Lama's diplomacy. In 1979, when the Dalai Lama visited the Soviet Union and toured the USA for the first time, he was welcomed as a 'religious leader'. In this capacity he has met with a number of Christian religious leaders, including pope John Paul II. During the Dalai Lama's first visit to the USA he was invited to speak at many churches as well as Buddhist centres, and was honoured with the Doctor's degree by two Christian universities. Since the mid-1980s the Dalai Lama has been gaining recognition not only as a religious leader, but as the exiled political leader of Tibet. In June 1987 the US House of Representatives passed an amendment denouncing Chinese human rights violations in Tibet. In addition, the Dalai Lama was invited to address the Human Rights Caucus of the US Congress, where in September 1987 he presented his Five-Point Peace Plan. In 1988 the Tibetan leader was further invited to speak at the European Parliament, where he restated and expanded on his Five-Point Peace Plan in what has been called the Strasbourg Proposal. When the Dalai Lama visited Norway in October 1988, he was still recognized there merely as a religious leader. He was invited privately by Buddhist organizations and Tibetans in Norway, and had no official meetings with Norwegian MPs or government representatives. One year later, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded the Dalai Lama as religious and political leader of the Tibetan people. Needless to say, he was immediately congratulated by the Norwegian Prime Minister. In 1991 the United Nations 43rd Sub-

Commission on human rights passed the first UN resolution on Tibet since 1965. The resolution expressed concern about 'continuing reports of violations of fundamental human rights and freedoms', and added that these violations 'threaten the distinct cultural, religious, and national identity of the Tibetan people'. The suppression of the 'distinctive cultural and religious life' of the Tibetan people has likewise been the issue of UN resolutions on Tibet in 1959, 1961 and 1965. For exile Tibetan leaders these resolutions highlight the inferior currency of religious and cultural identities, as opposed to national identity, as sources of political legitimacy. 4. Theories of Nationalism While nationalism is not the only way to legitimize statehood and claim rights to selfdetermination, it is probably the most predominant today. As such it has also been the main topic of academic discussion on secessionist movements. The origin of nationalism is the classic issue which has preoccupied scholars (e.g. Best, 1982; Greenfeld, 1992; Kamenka, 1976; Kedourie, 1960 and 1970; Plamenatz, 1976; Seton-Watson, 1977 inter alios). Although there seems to be a general agreement as to the 'when' of nationalism, the issue of the 'modernity' of nationalism is still a topic of discussion. Anthony Smith has referred to this discussion as an opposition between 'primordialists' and 'modernists' (Smith, 1986, pp. 7-13). More recently he has distinguished between a 'primordialist' and an 'instrumentalist' approach, and views of the nation as 'primordial' and 'natural' vs. 'constructed' (Smith, 1988, pp. 2-7; 1989; p. 341). According to Smith, Ernest Gellner (1983) and Benedict Anderson (1983) are among the most important advocates of the 'modernist' view. Gellner deals with nationalism as a sociological phenomenon rather than as discourse about the legitimacy of power. He basically argues that nationalism is a natural and necessary concomitant of industrial society, whereas agrarian society is unable to produce the prerequisites of nationalism,



especially in terms of mass education and cultural homogeneity. to According Gellner, agrarian societies are not prone to use culture (i.e. language-based codes) to define political units. He further claims that Islam is unique in that it allows the use of a pre-industrial great tradition of a clerisy as 'the national, socially pervasive idiom and belief of a new-style community' (Gellner, 1983, p. 81). The Tibetan case seems to be another exception to Gellner's model. Before the Chinese invasion in 1950, Tibetan Buddhist 'high culture' (whether as a code of conduct or doctrine, a collection of writings, or a society of monks and nuns) did in fact define the political unit of Tibet. Gellner maintains that nationalism occurs when a high culture pervades the whole of society, defines it, and needs to be sustained by the polity (1983, p. 18). Further, 'the imperative of exo-socialization' is the main clue as to why state and culture must be linked in the 'age of nationalism' (1983, p. 38). I suggest that in Tibet 'exo-socialization' took place in the monasteries, although the kind of education acquired there was not oriented towards production. State and culture were no doubt linked, but not necessarily for material purposes as such. The 'anachronism' of Tibet thus seems to point out important flaws in Gellner's line of argument. Gellner explains nationalism as an invariable outcome of the development from 'agrarian' to 'industrial society'. Gellner's account is thus modernist not only in a chronological sense, but qualitatively. Moreover, mankind is described by Gellner as irreversibly committed to industrial society, and the kind of cultural homogeneity demanded by nationalism as one of the essential concomitants of industrial society (p. 39). For Gellner, nationalism is inherent in a certain set of social conditions; the mutual relationship of a modern culture and state springs inevitably from the requirements of a modern economy (pp. 125, 140). This borders on historical determinism and in effect makes Gellner's nationalism as natural as any primordialist could portray it. account of Benedict Anderson's 'imagined communities' has no such impli-

cations. Nationalism is made possible by print-capitalism, but it is not an unavoidable consequence. In contrast to Gellner, Benedict Anderson is interested in the processes by which the nation came to be imagined, and in explaining the attachment people feel for the inventions of their imaginations (Anderson, 1983, p. 129). Anderson argues that the very possibility of imagining the nation arose when and where three fundamental cultural conceptions lost their 'axiomatic grip on men's minds'. The first of these was the idea that a particular script-language offered privileged access to ontological truth. The second was the belief that society was naturally organized around and under high centres: monarchs who were persons apart from other human beings and ruled by cosmological/divine dispensation. The third was a conception of temporality in which cosmology and history were indistinguishable, the origins of the world and of men essentially identical. In place of these certainties printcapitalism made it possible for 'rapidly growing numbers of people to think about themselves, and relate themselves to others, in profoundly new ways' (Anderson, 1983, p. 40). Anderson's description of the ancient 'sacral cultures' summarized above provides a striking characterization of old Tibetan 'styles of imagining'. In Tibet, as in Anderson's dynastic realm, populations were subjects, not citizens; the ruler derived his legitimacy from divinity, not from populations; states were defined by centres, not legally demarcated borders. Despite the accuracy of Anderson's description, an important question remains. What are the consequences of these changes in the style of imagination, and do they necessarily mark the boundaries of nationalism? Ultimately, this seems to be a question of how we define nationalism, and what we choose to include within the boundaries of our object of study. If nationalism as a political ideology is incompatible with religion by definition, nationalism inevitably becomes a matter of secular politics, defined by its secular nature as such. Both Gellner and Anderson seem to be applying this conception of nationalist politics.

Tibetan Nationalism: The Politics of Religion


The historicist claims of nationalist discourse are apparently difficult to keep out of the academic discourse on nationalism. Claims to modernity are read as counterclaims to the nationalist's 'ancient and promordial nation', whereas arguments for the nation's 'ethnic origins' are read as support for 'nationalist rhetoric'. Anthony Smith has made this problem clear in his discussion of the 'myth of the "Modern Nation"', where he describes the academic effort to debunk the claims of nationalism's own myth of the nation, demythologizing the nation by viewing it through a neutral lens of sociological detachment. According to Smith, the dramatic element in the myth's narrative is the radical break between agrarian and industrial, traditional and modern society, and it views human history as ultimately progressive, if discontinuous (Smith, 1988, pp. 6-7). Writing on the particular case of Tibet, Dreyfus (1994) addresses a similar problem. According to Dreyfus, a suspicion of nationalism is reflected in the recent literature on the topic. A common tendency in this literature has been to demythologize nationalism by arguing that, despite its claim to represent and defend the original roots of a people, nationalism is in fact a modern creation. Nationalism has thus been depicted as a rootless 'invention of tradition', an artificial creation mythically retrojected into the past of a human community in order to legitimize its present political organization. Dreyfus himself attempts to exemplify a more diversified and inclusive understanding of nationalism by focusing on the case of Tibet. He argues that although modern Tibetan nationalist ideology idealizes its continuity with the past and tends to primordialize its sense of community, such continuity does in fact exist. Continuity with the past is strongly emphasized by Tibetans, and the way this is done should be seriously taken into account. Recollecting the past is certainly not an accidental or spurious activity, it is a vital political tool. Symbolic construction, creative negotiation and representation are inherent aspects of all social life. The discourse of

ethnicity is neither an exception nor a special case. Excepting Dreyfus's article, most of the works cited so far have either disregarded nationalism outside of Europe altogether, or treated it as secondary or derivative. A typical example is Kedourie's explanation of nationalism as one of the European ideas which 'happened to be taken up overseas' and 'came to be known and adopted either by the accident of transmission and diffusion or because they happened to be emphasized or propagated for some reason in Europe itself' (Kedourie, 1970, p. 28).16 In State and Nation in the Third World, Anthony Smith tries to correct this Eurocentric view by describing social and political change in Africa and Asia as the confrontation and interplay of Western ideals and forms with indigenous structures and cultures (Smith, 1983, p. 122). The Tibetan social scientist Dawa Norbu is one of the first writers to present a comprehensive account and theory of Third World nationalism (Norbu, 1992b). According to him, nationalism has both a traditional and a modern component, and the social potency and mass appeal of nationalism resides in the unique combination of two contrasting idea-systems. Traditional culture provides the emotional power that mystifies the rational mind, while egalitarian ideology provides a rational framework for the resolution of social problems (Norbu, 1992b, p. 2). For Norbu, religion-induced culture is a vital part of the traditional element of nationalism, and this is precisely why it is so important in political mobilization. Unlike most Western theorists, Norbu does not contrast religion and nationalism. Rather, he recognizes that world religions have the potential for mass politics. The questions posed in the present article are not 'what is nationalism and how did it originate?' but rather 'how and why are secular nationalist arguments, among other kinds of arguments, a part of political discourse?' For this purpose, 'nationalist arguments' are claims to ethnic nationhood as a way of legitimizing claims to an independent state. The concept of 'nation' thus implies a concept of 'state'.



5. Discussion Before attempting an answer, it is important to recognize that Tibetan religion and politics are still closely intertwined. There is thus an inherent difficulty in defining which of the arguments for independence used by Tibetans are 'nationalist arguments'. For example, how are we to interpret the Dalai Lama's role as protector deity of Tibet? This idiom has both a religious and a political significance which would be impossible to separate. Before 1950, the idea of ethnic nationhood was represented in Tibetan political language mainly through the idiom of the Dalai Lama as the reincarnate protector deity of Tibet. The lineage of the deity Chenrezig goes back to the 'religious kings' and the mythical monkey forefather of the Tibetan people, linking the principles of descent and reincarnation. Today, Chenrezig as the Dalai Lama remains the primary symbol of the nation of Tibet, and the Dalai Lama's unique position as spiritual and secular leader still associates him with both religious collectivity and territorial politics. Within the exile community, Tibetans contest the notion of 'Tibetanness' in various ways. Religion (chos) comprises the main idiom of Tibetan identity; the source of unity between all Tibetans. Religion as a source of identity seems to be especially important to the uneducated, the elderly and recent arrivals from Tibet. On the other hand, the secular concept of Tibet (bod) is now being established as the primary idiom of identity, mainly as an elite project. In the preceding pages I have described three different spheres of interaction where distinct modes of communication or political languages have developed. Mediating between two arenas of communication requires knowledge of both sets of conventions, and the ability to translate between different political languages. Moreover, new concepts and expressions introduced through communication with outsiders gradually become incorporated into the political vocabulary in use within the group. As an example, the word democracy (dmangs gtso) was first introduced in Tibet in the 1950s by Chinese and Tibetan cadres.

Since the 1980s, the Dalai Lama's democratic system of government in exile has served as an example for Tibetans in Tibet who contest Chinese rule as 'un-democratic'. In addition, the exile government's claims of democracy are being questioned by exile critics. The comparison of different audiences shows how expressions are interpreted according to different conventions and contexts, and how symbols and idioms are correspondingly used differently or replaced entirely according to the perceived audience. The dialogue itself affects the meaning and use of political languages. Is nationhood important as a way of legitimizing claims to an independent state and, if so, which audience is this argument addressed to? Power relations are important in determining which conventions are considered relevant, which claims are accepted as legitimate, and how these claims need to be presented. Power relations also determine the Tibetan struggle for outside support. Tibetan elites need to adopt the language and political notions of the First World, and this affects the way religious idioms are used in discourse aimed at a Western audience. In Tibet, a widespread sense of Tibetan identity has become evident along with the increasing Chinese presence. Despite this, ethnic nationalism in the secular sense has not become an important counter-argument to Chinese rhetoric. The PRC authorities depict the Chinese 'motherland' as a multinational state. The 'Middle Kingdom' is not meant to be comprised of 'one nation, one state', but rather of a territory corresponding to the 'Chinese Empire'. Tibetans are accepted as a nation or 'nationality', but according to the Chinese government this does not give them the right to form a separate state. Hence there is no reason for Tibetans in Tibet to argue in terms of nationalism, except towards an outside Western audience. Towards a Chinese audience, claims to an independent state are based on other terms, particularly on alternative versions of history and the perfect society. The 'Socialist Paradise' is countered by the 'land of religion'. Young monks and nuns, representatives of the tra-

Tibetan Nationalism: The Politics of Religion


ditional elite of Tibet, are thus among the most active advocates of independence in Tibet. On the other hand, educated Englishspeaking exile elites have taken up a 'modern' or secular variety of ethnic nationalism while propagating the Tibetan cause specifically for a Western audience. They are aware that Western notions of legitimate government are based on claims to nationhood. However, these are not the only relevant claims. A range of other popular issues are also brought into the discourse, and are sometimes more important than the question of nationhood. Westernstyle education contributes to the spread of 'modern' nationalism, through the diffusion and development of a 'modern' political language. As for the refugee Tibetans who lack these skills of expression, their loyalties are still towards religion (chos) rather than Tibet as a nation-state, not because they are uninterested in independence, but because chos is their way of 'imagining Tibet'. 6. Conclusion The role of religion needs to be re-examined by theorists of nationalism, by posing new questions about nationalist discourse and looking at nationalism from new perspectives. It is not sufficient to treat religion as an obsolete phenomenon, as many theorists have done. A typical example of this tendency is Gellner's comment that the agrarian world was 'far too well provided with religions' for them all to survive 'even in transmogrified form, as ethnic units' (1983, p. 72). Does the concept of nationalism have to be redefined, or do we include only secular politics in our definition? Should we create a new subtype of nationalism to accommodate religious movements, or do they belong with the antiquated protonationalisms? As suggested in the present article, we also need to rethink the question of the appeal of nationalism, in particular the importance of power relations. NOTES
1. Tibetan: bod; Chinese: tubo (now transcribed as tufan) or tubote.

2. For a description of the term bod pa as a distinction between sedentary farmers and nomadic pastoralists, see Ekvall (1968), p. 23. 3. For a discussion of Buddhist kingship, see Tambiah (1976, 1987). 4. Samuel (1993) makes a distinction between clerical Buddhism and shamanic Tantric Buddhism. 5. This term is borrowed from Anderson (1983), ch. 7, where he describes the 'Last Wave' of nationalism in the colonial territories. 6. On the creation of a new political language, see R. D. Schwartz, 'Democracy, Tibetan Independence and Protest Under Chinese Rule', The Tibet Journal, vol. 17, no. 2, Summer 1992, pp. 3-27, and 'Nationalism and Human Rights in Tibet', Tibetan Review, vol. 36, no. 7, July 1991. pp. 1517. 7. See Schwartz (1994b) for a more detailed discussion of the current political role and motivation of monks and nuns. 8. See also Schwartz (1994a). 9. The source of this information is 'The Slogan with a 77 Year Long History', in Hainan Island Review, August 1989, in Chinese. 10. For a more detailed description of the symbolism of Uprising Day, see Nowak (1984). 11. Since the 1920s some of the Lhasa nobles have sent their children to English medium Christian missionary boarding schools in Darjeeling and Kalimpong. 12. I base this assessment on Grunfeld (1987), p. 165 (citing official Chinese sources of 1976), and Goldstein-Kyaga (1993), p. 147 (estimating on the basis of refugee interviews from 1989-90). 13. Cited in Shakabpa (1967), pp. 246-248. 14. Cited in Praag (1987), pp. 320-321, reprinted from F0535/16, no. 88, 1913. 15. See also Edin (1992). 16. See also Kedourie (1970), p. 61 on the way Indian politicians and Asians and Africans in general came to speak a Western political idiom. Kedourie suggests that most of these '. . . rather took it for granted, accepted it unquestioningly, in the belief it was the only possible language in the world . . .'.

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Dreyfus, Georges, 1994. 'Proto-Nationalism in Tibet', pp. 205-218 in Kvaerne. Edin, Maria, 1992. 'Transition to Democracy in Exile. A Study of the Tibetan Government's Strategy for Self-Determination'. Minor Field Study no. 16. Department of Government, University of Uppsala. Ekvall, Robert, 1968. Fields on the Hoof. Nexus of Tibetan Nomadic Pastoralists. New York, NY: Holt Rinehart & Winston. Gellner, Ernest, 1983. Nations and Nationalism. New York, NY: Cornell University Press. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. Goldstein-Kyaga, Katrin, 1993. The Tibetans - School for Survival or Submission. An Investigation of Ethnicity and Education. Stockholm: HLS Forlag. Greenfeld, Liah, 1992. Nationalism. Five Roads to Modernity. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Grunfeld, A. Tom, 1987. The Making of Modern Tibet. London: Zed Books. Kamenka, Eugene, ed., 1976. Nationalism. The Nature and Evolution of an Idea. London: Edward Arnold. Kamenka, Eugene, 1976. 'Political Nationalism - The Evolution of the Idea', pp. 2-20 in Kamenka. Kedourie, Elie, 1960. Nationalism. London: Hutchinson. Kedourie, Elie, 1970. 'Introduction', pp. 1-152 in Elie Kedourie, ed., Nationalism in Asia and Africa. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. Kvaerne,Per, ed., 1994. Tibetan Studies. Proceedings of the 6th Seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies, Fagernes 1992, vol. 1. Oslo: Institute for Comparative Research in Human Culture. LAWASIA/TIN, 1991. Defying the Dragon. China and Human Rights in Tibet. London: Tibet Information Network. Michael, Franz, 1982. Rule by Incarnation. Tibetan Buddhism and its Role in Society and State. Boulder, CO: Westview. Nicholas, Ralph W., 1973. 'Social and Political Movements', Annual Review of Anthropology, vol. 2, pp. 63-84. Norbu, Dawa, 1992a. i"Otherness" and the Modern Tibetan Identity', Himal, May/June pp. 10-11. Norbu, Dawa, 1992b. Culture and the Politics of Third World Nationalism. London: Routledge.

ASHILD KOLAS, b. 1961, Cand. Polit. in Social Anthropology at the International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (1993-94).

(University of Oslo, 1994); assistant