Karmapa Issue, What Is The Truth?

It has been long since I have written about anything on HP. I have been struggling with my own conscience about whole Karmapa issue. I tried my best to understand the issue by going through numerous reports on the web and via online newspapers.

For me love of my home state is priority and thus love for motherland India. If my own home is not in order then I doubt outside or for that matter India itself can be better. Many of my friends talk about national issues and think HP is small provincial state, which of course offends me.

However when I started following Karmapa story on the web my belief in Buddhism which I want to learn later in my life was quite shaken. I thought at least Buddhist in India were keeping away from Politicians.

The complete issue started when people from Karmapa office were caught with Rs. 1 Crore by HP police.

First and foremost there is no need to carry this much cash via car on Indian roads. I know dangerous areas even between Dharmasala and Delhi and I use to hesitate to travel via car during night all alone. It is not usual in India to buy goods with so much cash (only black  money operators do so).

So in a simple way, I just dint get why the staff was carrying so much cash via a vehicle? If this money was accounted and legal then for sure a bank draft could have been carried if there was any need for the office to buy anything.

This did not stop here and HP police started raids on official places and uncovered huge cash. Not an issue as cash donations are just normal in India and local HP temples collect Crores of currency during holy season. And Karmapa has huge international follower base so I am surprised about just few Crores.

However my problem is only one! When you are a guest then it is best to follow host side rules and regulations. No matter where you are guest and how much your host believes you, there is always a scrutiny. That’s true for  a normal person’s life also.

So I believe first and foremost Karmapa office should have deposited any cash received in local bank and then there was no worry about any raids.

No doubts, Lamas won’t know what all was going on and there is lapse via office staff. But then again being a guest it is best to follow every possible care.

The matter could have ended here for me and I’d have followed the case via following the trial at court.

But then I started following Karmapa official page on Facebook and saw so many bad remarks about my home state.

By the way I have read many books by HH Dalai Lama and his regular tweets make my day. His message is making my life better. And I feel proud that my home state hosts HH Dalai Lama. Here in US my conversation about HP starts by mentioning HH Dalai Lama. I do make a point to visit monastery during each visit as I visit other local temples.

The way what all is happening in Egypt just via social media means any bad remarks on a state government or it’s head are not best for a small state like Himachal.

Again followers say anything so I cared less about what all was being mentioned on Krampa official page on Facebook. However Krampa office should have removed negative remarks.

However just two days back a negative story against the Chief  Minister of Himachal which was written via a third party was relayed via official page of Karmapa. I can understand politicians are hated and many people write anything about them.

My problem was official page of Karmapa relaying a negative story against the head of the state where he is just a guest. Chief Minister is no different from central govt. He is head of a democratically elected government which runs the show of the state and state which is part of Union.

Up above that A Lama’s place is for spirituality, guidance and patience.

Yes politics is dirty and politicians do use every opportunity to turn it into their own benefits.

However a High Lama is all about patience. And belief. Belief in a system and also in God. Faith which heals. Faith which runs lives of billions.

Then how come a Lama’s office is issuing a negative story against a State Head and that of a host?

Fortunately after a long debate and some strong remarks the complete discussion was taken out of the official page.

My belief that someone is playing a bad game in Karmapa office got more stronger and I kept following the official page.

So again on 6th of February an official statement comes which is available on Karmapa website also, that Virbhadra Singh, who is a central minister from HP and also former CM, condemns State govt for maligning the Karmapa name.

Here are the words and I quote from Karmapa website:

“Union Minister Virbhadra Singh travelled to the state from Delhi and made several clear statements of support for His Holiness the Karmapa and the Tibetan community as a whole. Addressing a press conference, Union Minister Singh charged the Himachal Pradesh state government with maligning His Holiness the Karmapa. He further urged regularizing land purchase rules to grant Tibetans certain rights to own land in Himachal Pradesh, in which Dharamsala is located. Union Minister Singh is a member of the Cabinet of the Indian Government and a five-time former chief minister of the state of Himachal Pradesh.”

Once again the very existence of Lama is betrayed by his office. First Lama is guest and secondly he represents a religious sect which talks about patience, perseverance, peace, calm, belief and faith.

I am sure the case is in hands of judiciary and it would follow the legal process.

My only problem is why Lama office is getting itself in between of a political battle?

And so I am just feeling uncomfortable and took to write this piece.

  1. Via this post I’d like to know many answers from Karmapa office.
  2. Via this post I’d also like to question the intellect of our state politicians.
  3. Via this post I’d like to know the views of general public and readers to undersand if I am wrong in views.

I am just a mere mortal, heck I can’t even write a good story, but Himachal is my home and in any case I’d not like to get it’s name maligned!

An IT professional for 17 years, based in the US since the last 12 years. Founded NGO My Himachal and then Himachal Media Pvt. Ltd.. A Himachali forever. Always trying to bring together people whose hearts beat for the state.

Join the Conversation


  1. says: Rajneesh

    Avnish Ji,

    I would like to convey certain issues that might be my own understanding about Karmapa issue.

    First, the original established seat of Karmapa is at Sikkim where the guru is 17th Karmapa Thinley Thaye, and Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje is banned for entering.

    Secondly, Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorjes guru is considered in connection with Chinese establishment which is generally known fact.

    Third, when Olympics were declared for China hosting, hundreds of fellow protesting Tibetans were executed and harshly treated, oppressed in homeland Tibet by Chinese authorities ..and Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje didn’t utter a single word for all that inhuman treatment against own people.

    Fourth, Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje heads trust which controls/dictates all transactions/expenditures and financial managements. How come he’s unaware of all blunders going in name of trust headed by HIM. If his followers believe that Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje is not an accountant for financial management, then why he is heading its financial controls.

    Fifth, Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje escaped from Tibet/China under doubtful circumstances and since he came here, his trust is only busy creating network of supporters. He’s hardly getting any time for spiritual endeavors, always surrounded by INDIAN intelligence agencies observing his activities. No authentic spiritual guru would ever compromise with such a treatment, he would rebel, at least for his personal freedom. The one who teaches path of Moksha and Nirvana is himself in misery of bondage and under doubtful observation.

    Sixth, Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje’s eyes don’t even look peaceful or spiritual , if compared with 17th Karmapa Thinley Thaye’s eyes..There is a kind of motive and aggression visible in his eyes..just look deeply without prejudice and your own heart will admit it. ..


    Lastly, social networking or FB / Twitter / Orkut etc are tools for propaganda, any tom , dik or harry can use it for good or bad use.

    My views are personal, though i had enough of discussions with people from Lauhal & Spiti and brethren from same faith and most of them had negative views about this KARMAPA sitting at Sidhbari. I am myself a Buddhist in nature, born in Hindu faith and family..have to rectify myself a lot before Karmapa makes an apology..lols !

    1. says: Avnish Katoch

      @Rajneesh Ji,

      Really don’t know how and what all think and how this whole relation among Tibetans and Himachalis is going on as I don’t live in HP and via web it is hard to understand ground realities. Though when I was there, I had many good friends in the Tibetan community and I always enjoyed our visits to the monastreys. My problem was from a so called official page of Karmapa (which is linked via official website: http://www.kagyuoffice.org/) and also statements coming from the website of Karmapa about political favorism. This should have been avoided and belief in judicial process should have been best to satisfy all.

    2. says: ngawang

      FYI– Neither H.H. Dalai lama nor H.H the Karmapa make any remarks during the Olympic games because they were sensitive to India’ relationship with China. They are not just any other ordinary Tibetan, their words would carry much more weight. It isn’t that they didn’t care, rather they were sensitive to its host (India) nation’s relationship with the China. I as Tibetan certainly did not feel betrayed by their silence.
      For all your other views, thats how you like to view and insist on let it be your prerogative.

  2. says: rd

    Everything Buddhism has to say can already be found in Hinduism.
    It is shame that you don’t know that.

    Tibetan treat Himachli who visit their temple or their area as foreigners.
    They are buying property using foreign donations against State rules.
    All they care about is catering to American dollars and tourists.
    Dali Lama is a politician first. Politician talk in vague terms and false
    praise. Don’t be fooled by them. All you have to see the action of
    Tibetan people in Dharmsala.

  3. says: Desi

    Avnish…many false allegations have come out against karmapa. For example Chinese sim cards were supposedly recovered according to the HP police whereas in fact none were recovered. In the list of all stuff confiscated by the police it does not mention that and karmapa’s office were puzzled and angry. Read this story also….http://www.telegraphindia.com/1110205/jsp/opinion/story_13535752.jsp

    The following statement is from karmapa’s office – “Karmapa Office of Administration expressed disappointed about the way some press has continued to report major inaccuracies and outright fabrications. “We reiterate in the strongest possible terms that reports, such as the one published most recently by Times of India, that Chinese SIM cards were seized from the monastery is pure fiction. No SIM cards were taken, as can be confirmed by the seizure list prepared (FIR No23/11, dated 26/1/2011 by the police). The repeated assertion of this outright lie constitutes baseless slander, and defames the character of one of the most revered figures in Tibetan Buddhism. The fact that such fictitious reports are published without contacting the accused party’s spokespersons for comments indicates that these members of the press are are not objective reporters”, the release said. It welcomed the press to contact the office, check their facts or seek comment, and raise the standards of responsible journalism.”

    The biggest joke is that he is a supposedly a Chinese spy. Read the stories planted in the newspaper initially and one would get shocked on how the HP officials have been saying these allegations without completing the investigation first. When so many false allegations which has serious ramifications for anyone’s reputation is being mentioned by officials then one has to come out and defend themselves. Initially people thought it was a misunderstanding but day and day new false allegations started showing up for which a strong defense needed to prepared. The state govt did the biggest mistake of not completing the investigation and then going public with it. Before any investigation was started they went public with the allegation. Only in India I guess! He has no idea about his organization finances as his not involved in it. People donate to his organization which has his name as its because of his name and stature people donate. I guess other desi’s find it hard to belief as we have become so materialistic these days. His organization paid the money to the land seller and the seller wanted in cash. Karmapa’s office had received the pre approval for the land and that story will be cleared soon when the investigation is completed. His organization has been waiting for approval from the central govt on opening of a bank account where he can deposit the money. His staff had diligently collected all the donations and kept in the monastery while pending the approval from central govt. Google that story too. He does not control his facebook page either. When they saw the negative comments they had it removed.
    Heck..I would even mention that what were those people thinking when they went public without completing the investigation. Do they realize that they are alienating the people of Ladakh, Arunachal and Sikkim within India? We already have lots of internal problem and do not want to create one with people living in the border areas who have been very patriotic than many other desi’s as they have brothers, sisters, father’s and mothers working for the armed forces defending and giving their lives for our country. Lets not forget the more than 10,000 Tibetan commando force working under direct orders of the home ministry for sensitive issues in both the western and eastern sector.

    Lets wait for the investigation to be completed and I am sure that those higher officials who made those allegations will regret. Also beware of the Chinese people posting here posing as Indians. More info here….http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/50_Cent_Party

    1. says: Avnish Katoch


      Here is the official website: http://www.kagyuoffice.org/

      And you may check at the end of the page, a link is provided to FB. I’d request Karmapa office to take control of this facebook page and not let negative stories float around. And just FYI, FB is very strict and removes any unofficial page within single day.

      Rest of the details I have clarified in my post, I don’t know much and cant speak about relations and past. I care about my state and wont like to see any negative comments against serving head of the state.

  4. says: Desi

    @Avinash…why are you just caring about your state??? you should care about the country as a collective!! I don’t know about facebook as I don’t have an account but I am wondering if karmapa’s people can control the comments…if they can they they would need to hire a full time employee just to filter out the comments! if tibetans are posting negative comments then i feel they should not as we have provided them shelter but if its other indian citizens then i guess they are exercising their freedom of speech and expression in our democratic country as rightful citizens after hearing all the false allegations. maybe its time for the tibetans to shift to south india where they are allowed to own land in particular areas and then they cannot come across such problems in future.

    1. says: Avnish Katoch


      Read my complete post again. Caring state means caring country. Our organization ‘My Himachal’ is very small and we also have FB page for this site (http://www.facebook.com/pages/My-Himachal/221283207827) and also for our NGO. Many times people created fake pages and FB removed them with just single email. Controlling comments and what not is an excuse. Karmapa office is equipped with complete staff. Please check their website.

      Again I am not pro Dhumal or against Virbhadra at all. My concern is that Karmapa office should not quote politicians and should not condemn state government which houses Karmapa.

      Read this again “Addressing a press conference, Union Minister Singh charged the Himachal Pradesh state government with maligning His Holiness the Karmapa.” it is still available on this link: http://www.kagyuoffice.org/.

      Why should a religious office quote one politician at all? HP govt also follows law of India and same is for central government where Virbhadra Singh is minister.

      Have you ever been to HP and seen with your eyes how Tibetans are treated in HP?

      My neighbors are Tibetans and also friends and I am proud that we host them.

      Would commend you if you can reveal your real name!

    2. says: Vishal

      By defending a state, one defends the country. Note that the gist is an accusation against a holy man and a representative of a state ( any state I may say ). When a seat of authority, whether elected or by belief is maligned, any discussion represents those 2 entities and any macro level entity they are a part of…. A CM of a state is a seat of authority in our federal structure as is Karmapa in the Buddhist hierarchy of religious belief structure.

      Please do not make this an issue , which it is not..There is no destructive regionalism in Avnish’s comment. It is pride in Himachal and thus by extension our great country and it’s ( sometimes dilapidated ) institutions.

  5. says: Vishal

    This is tricky. I for one am pretty reactive somewhat to the point of stupidity at any aspersion cast on my state. The facebook entry is full of folks who are militantly ( and perhaps admiringly ) anti any doubt on Karmapa’s good name and that has to be taken for what it is.. folks who are less pragmatic and are disinclined to hear any other view point. We as human beings tend to see/hear and trust what we believe in and things than start appearing black and white, which leads to less appreciation of the various other view points that do not fit into one’s own personal narrative.

    I am no follower of HH, neither I subscribe to our politicians naivety. And that dictates my take on this event. Dhumal’s going to town on an issue of this sensitivity betrays a lack of statesmanship if rooted in naivety and utter lack of discipline/ethos/morals if rooted in some other agenda. A CM as a representative of a state , should talk sparingly and with utmost discretion more so when there are national and/or international ramifications. Clearly it is an aspersion on a holy man, followed by many zealous followers and thus the whole topic is extra sensitive.

    On the other hand the office of Karmappa and it’s daily missives lack a sense of again statesmanship, respect for the law as well as the citizens of this great state and lastly ( and may be the biggest ) a lack political ( yes I said political ) acumen and common sense to stay away from the muck that is Indian politics. I am sure Dalai Lama HH would have played this very differently.

    1. says: Avnish Katoch

      @Vishal, I agree with you about Dhumal making statements without going into details.

      Karmapa office and statement etc are controlled by his staff and not himself. There is complete staff with PR department and I did not expect a statement quoting one opponent. By this statement “Addressing a press conference, Union Minister Singh charged the Himachal Pradesh state government with maligning His Holiness the Karmapa.“, Karmapa office has separated Himachal from India.

      1. says: Vishal

        Yep, that was strange, but kind of predictable. Politicians never loose one opportunity to score points over their rivals. These 2 have a very caustic relationship and thus this is not news. What I would advise all, is to keep away from any and every politician less they turn this into unhealthy/unfix able acrimony.
        The former CM did retract his statement a wee bit and again that underscores your point. People are wise, yet political operatives have their own calculations.if there is nothing to hide and this was an honest mistake ( or no mistake at all ) , it would naturally reflect very very poorly on Dhumal.
        Yet if there is an iota of truth, than consequences should apply and nobody decides that other than the courts. If there is none than I would want repercussions…

        Free speak is allowed, but vitriol , that is a big no.

  6. says: Geshe Tandhar

    Avnish Katoch ji,

    It is very sad episode that breaks hearts of many Himachalis and Tibetans. I am a Tibetan who have grown up in Himachal and love the Himachalis and the Pradesh.

    You are absolutely right that when you are guest (or refugee), you should respect the laws. I believe, the misunderstandings occurred mainly due to the Karmapa monks’ ignorance of the system.

    The Karmapa Office had applied for the legal permit years ago, and pending for approval.

    The Karmapa was trying to build his own monastery there for which, I understand, Himachal Government had granted permission. Although they say it is legal to pay in cash, it was quite unfortunate that the owner of land had asked them to pay him in cash.

    His Holiness Dalai Lama has asked for “thorough investigation” on this sad event related with His Eminence 17th Karmapa. I read that both Home Minister Chidambaram and Defence Minister Anthony had issued remarks about taking notice of the issue. May this sad episode cleared all the obstacles for Karmapa’s visit to his main Monastery in India, Rumtek. (Please see website Karmapatorumtek.org for Sikkim Chief Minister’s letter to the Prime Minister.)

    Jai Hind!
    Jai Tibbat!


    Geshe Tandhar

    1. says: Avnish Katoch

      Respected Geshe Tandhar Ji,

      Many thanks for clearing the air. Lot of people are criticising Tibetans for no reason. Buddhism and then Tibetans are part of our culture. I am not historian but I know how devoted my own state natives from Lahaul and Spiti and Kinnaur are about Buddhism. No more explanation is needed about our association with Tibetans.

      My only problem and I have explained it very clearly is from the office of Krampa which first let the negative story float around and then issued a statement from an opponent of state CM. Both are known to settle their political scores in media and also in courts.

      For a Buddhist monk office taking either side of the politician is not good.

      They issued a latest statement about media speculation and I was the first to appreciate it.

      Best regards!

  7. says: Dharam P. Sharma

    The Karmapa episode has raked up many issues and need to be analysed one by one.
    First and foremost is the growing resentment amongst the local population who seem to consider Tibetans as intruders and pests to their land and resources.
    When HH DalaiLama was settled in Dharmshala, it was a small sleepy town created by Britishers as their summer retreat and was part of Kangra district of Punjab that extended up to China border.Population was scanty. With the arrival of Dalai Lama and his governments headquarters, it grew in importance and increased commerce resulted in increased population and development. Now there is competition for land and other resources and local people see Tibetans as outsiders occupying their land which is really not true. They never unsettled any locals; only the barren government land was provided to settle them;and being gregarious in habit, nurturing a feeling of insecurity and inferiority complex keeps them isolated from the Indian people. In a way it is good because that has helped them preserve their language and culture. Otherwise they would also be posing as cheap Bollywood heros and eroding their cultural values like us!

    I think it was a grave mistake to settle Tibetans in Kangra. The erestwhile state of Rampur Bushahar was more suited to them since Tibet had trade and cultural ties with this princely state. No wonder Raja Virbhadra Singh is angry at the poorly handled Karmapa episode since he can appreciate Tibetan culture and sentiments better than any other Himachali.
    However, all the international tourism and business that Dharmshala attracts is just because it is the seat of HH Dalai Lama.

    The discovery of six crores of cash is not a major issue in a country where laks of crores worth of benaami transactions take place every day.It appears like a set up by some influential party not to allow that property deal to take place.
    Third, if Karmapa is a Chinese spy or has Chinese spies living under his protection, then the initiative should have come from the central intelligence agencies than the local police. Thus, there is something fishy brewing here.

    Fourth, the episode has increased hatred amongst locals against Tibetans to the point that it has become vocal. It is not good for HP and its people. It is equally bad for India’s image in the international arena. And in today well connected world that can be very dangerous.Organization like yours should try to depoliticize the issue and build bridges between two communities with compassion, tolerance and patience, the three creeds of Himachali culture.

    1. says: Avnish Katoch

      Dharam Ji,

      About past and so called Raja, things on ground have changed a lot since you and me left India. It also reminds me how our very own Raja’s compromised with Mughal invaders. But would write another article about that sometime. About ‘your organisation’ we few are trying very hard and facing major hurdles to build an organization for Himachal. And for that also I’ll write an article. Via posting this article here I have tried to bring harmony and clear picture. And I can see our government in HP just sleeps on crucial issues like these and does not even care to reply. But we are doing what we can with our very limited resources. This platform is not funded via donations or support from corporate houses!

      1. says: Dharam P. Sharma

        Avinash ji, you have an extra-ordinary weapon at your finger tips to spread change in the society and make it more compassionate, tolerant and a bridge-builder amongst people- the power of a pen alias, keyboard! This world will be so wonderful to live in if all try to understand each other help out each other and learn to smile at one’s own mistakes! There is only one life to live and the only way to seek fulfillment is by helping others.Hatred and ego will only make it more miserable!

        1. says: Avnish Katoch

          Dharam ji,

          We have a seasoned media professional as an Editor on board who keeps an eye on the content. I have displayed no ego and hatred nor given a chance to float negative remarks. Internet as you said is tool of this new decade and future. Everyone should be careful and mature to utilise this new weapon. I hope cooler heads prevail from politicians and also from office of Lama. This is a legal issue now and should be fought at court not via media or internet. Himachal is a small state which welcomes tourist and guests with open arms. We are known to be peaceful and wonderful hosts. Never in past we ever had any issues but the way India’s politics is becoming dirty, it is better that we maintain a sensible balance while quoting politicians. Via this platform we always try to keep a balance and also bring positive stories and also work for a positive change in the society. And we always look for guidance and support from seniors like you. To the critics of either side a clear message is given via this article and wonderful comments from both communities, and to those who keep hatred in their heart, may Higher Power guide them towards peace.

          1. says: ngawang

            Avnish Ji, while we all look for the higher power for guidance, please do keep us Tibetans in your prayer too. For, in the eyes of the higher power, we are all equal, be it the host or the “guest.” I appreciate your effort for a positive change in the society.
            For someone who has grown up in H.P. and later moved to the US, I feel a deep sense of connection with the indians, and at times even feel more Indian than Tibetan in my habits, liking for Bollywood songs, food,….My fellow Tibetans may not have the rights as Indians, (eventhough most of us are born and raised there) we feel very much Indian in many ways, and i hope you don’t mind us feeling Indian, and at times be able to see our side of the story rather than brushing us off as “guest,” hence of not much importance. If you truelly cared for your motherland, then you would surely care how India takes care of its guest. Nehru had betrayed us…well, the past is past, not many of us Tibetans are dwelling on it.We just wanted to be treated with respect and dignity. This is not to say we Tibetans are above the law.
            Thank you again, for effort.

            1. says: Avnish Katoch

              Same person, same place here in US but different name. Propagand does not work when other side also knows technology:) get my message.

  8. says: jsmurthy

    If Indian Government does not give permission let’s do things illegally.
    How come Dalai Lama is unaware of all these illegal land deals? Now that he aware what is he doing. Nothing voluntarily . Expect the Indian Government to dig out things.
    Are we supposed to spent the the rest of our future keeping a eye on Tibetans and digging out things.

    Tibet is not our problem. Not at the cost of our children in Himachal Pradesh..
    We have tolerated enough.

    Dalai Lama should confine to Tibet speak not give sermons to us.

  9. says: Karma Dawa Tashi

    With all respect, the article on Facebook to which you refer, “Rogue Politician Prem Kumar Dhumal Shames India in Eyes of the World” was published on one of the largest Buddhist blogs on the internet, where it was read by over 500,000 people, and was linked to hundreds of other sites and pages, not just the Karmapa’s Facebook page. Why was it so popular? Because it reflects the worldwide perception of CM Dhumal following his reckless handling of this affair. And not just worldwide perception, but also the perception of a five-time former CM — who is clearly in a position to understand the situation best, by virtue of his long experience. The point is, are we supposed to applaud the wolf and forget all about the sheep’s clothing? Since when is it appropriate for a Chief Minister to act as judge and executioner? Since when is it appropriate for a supposedly “professional” policeman to malign a religious person? I tell you the truth: this incident has blackened Himachal Pradesh’s reputation, and for this you want to blame a Facebook page? Be serious, please. CM Dhumal’s karma has ripened very quickly. That is all — http://tibetanaltar.blogspot.com/2011/01/rogue-politician-prem-kumar-dhumal.html

    1. says: Avnish Katoch

      Dear Tashi,

      Politicians carry very little respect however a Lama, religious Guru signifies patience and belief in higher power. And that’s all I can reply. May peace be with all of us!

  10. says: Tenzin G

    Dear avinish ji, HH Karmapa never said anything bad about Himachal and central govt nor by official facebook managed by his staff. Instead, he said he praise the indian democracy by saying he had a faith in it. They (staff) copy the link in their facebook that some Indian media has published. He and Tibetan had great respect for fellow indian people.

    1. says: Avnish Katoch

      Dear Tenzin Ji,

      Thank you for the clarification. I strongly believe in dialogue and power of free speech and via this article it is just a try to clear all the doubts and keep the peace and harmony intact.

    2. says: Vishal

      Dear Tenzin,
      I have tibetan/buddhist friends and one of my very close friend is married to a tibetan. There is a level of integration that has been happening and most of us subscribe to “Free Tibet” movement as u do… Sanity is what is required and that has to be applauded and thus I applaud you. These small occurrences happen in any household and will be resolved as it should be, by the adults in the family. Let not folks who have meager knowledge of history and pick and chose instances to malign us take away the glory of this historical/holy alliance.

      I urge folks who do not understand ties that bind us together, find faults that can tear us apart. That will be a blunder of historical proportions.

  11. says: ABCD

    I’m not an India but a simple Buddhist from the US. All I know about HP is the fact that HHDL and Karmapa lives there. Upon seeing the action of the CM and the police chief of HP, I also strongly believe that Tibetans should all relocate away from this place. It clearly do not welcome them. the CM has openly declare that he wants money to keep tabs on ALL TIBETANS. This is not how you treat guests – this is how you treat slave labors. Your CM and your police chief has shamed your state to the entire world. I have personally swore never to visit your state ever again once HH Karmapa has a chance to escape from the house arrest imposed on him by your great state. You maybe a good person, and there maybe other good Indians living in HP, but your government officials has left me with a distinct bad taste when I hear the name of your state. Just as Americans has to bear the shameful actions of George W. Bush, so you have to bear the shame brought to you by your CM.

    1. says: Avnish Katoch

      Dear ABCD,

      First posting with your real name would bring authenticity to your comment. What do you fear? Buddhism and Hinduism both teach fear from Supreme Power only. You may see at this platform we do let every view publish as long no bad language is used. HP CM did not ask money from Tibetans. Again try to read the article once again. I have clearly mentioned politicians do anything for their career? However a Lama and its office represents Supreme Power and conveys message of tranquility which means if that office which represents a religious sect starts using politicians against each other then what would happen about we mortals? Answer these few questions.

      Moving to US and what not, Tenzin has anwered another anonymous person DESI very well!

    2. says: Vishal

      What? Dude you are unaware of any history.

      Please do away with histrionics of any kind. The scope of any action done vis a vis the state’s CM can has no moral equivalence to what Bush did. I would dare say that your next post will likely equate the current instance to the holocaust.

      U use words like “slave” , “shame” which have very negative connotations and are undesirable in an adult conversation.

      Do not fan emotions where none is required. If u do not want to come to our state.. good riddance.. do not give this as a reason.

      This is an issue that will be resolved amicably.

      1. says: Dharam P. Sharma

        Vedas teach us compassion and strength to listen and analyze others’ viewpoints with patience without eroding the grace of our our nation; some words that appear harsh to us may sound perfectly normal in other cultures.

        But is it not a fact that most of us grumble all the time about the state of affairs there and how our nation works? The country of ‘Satya Mev Jayate’ has become almost a nation of ‘Asatyamev Jayate’. We should shed our dual standards and become brave enough to accept the facts. Only then we will be able to correct our wrongs.

        1. says: Vishal

          I respectfully disagree. I live in US. A slave is a slave is a slave. The negative perceptions attached to this word are more deep in US than any where else. The history of blacks and slavery still rankles every US citizen. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery_in_the_United_States. The debates around this topic are very sensitive.

          In the charged political climate in the current civic debate, much is tolerated, and much is ignored or dismissed.But you diminish the memory and meaning of the slavery when you use it to discredit any individual or organization you disagree with. These are words that should be used sparingly and that to to define what they stand for. And mind this does not even come close.

          A civil discourse regarding the accusations is one thing but comparing it to the basest form of atrocity by a man towards a man is not only unfortunate but mean…..

          1. says: Vishal

            I stress, civility in a public discourse is needed. There is a growing realization that our inability to deal with broad range of problems is largely attributable to the destructive ways in which the issues are being addressed. Using inflammable words that have no base in facts, do not help anybody….

            As I have tried to stress… this issue will be resolved amicably, there is no need to add haughtiness and incivility to an inflamed issue.

    3. says: Rajneesh

      DEAR ABCD,

      You pose as a pseudo spiritualist and are so scared to publish your own name and saying so many things against a Nation that has allowed peaceful existence to TIBETANS despite ignoring the fact it brings enmity from CHINA. What are you trying to prove by the way? Don’t act as a self styled Messiah to TIBETANS. This ABCD “TITLE” simply says you are diplomatic in nature and trying to act super smart.

      Why don;t you sponsor green cards to fellow TIBETANS and take them along with you to your home, nourish them well, as guests or god and then you’ll have no grudges against anyone. Why should we bear SHAME? The fact is that HH KARMAPA and his team has been playing along with our hospitality and taken law for granted.

      Before commenting , be brave to publish your own name or identity, this way posting comments simply by ABCD means you are a born coward and your sense and understanding and spiritual pursuits are fake. Spirituality is a supermarket in modern world, be brave to market and establish yourself first with authenticity !

  12. says: Tenzin G

    Most Tibetan of present generation are born and brought up in India and is our second home. How could we go against the govt and people of India provided necessary help / assistance in times of difficulty. We are forever grateful to all citizens of India and never feel bad about Tibetan people. Thank you India once again.

    1. says: Raman Sharma

      I don’t know much about this issue but I would like to say as Himachali that we welcome Tibetans deep from our heart and we recognize them as our owns..

      Raman Sharma

  13. says: dawa

    It is unfortunate that the Karmapa name is maligned. His Holiness Ogyen Trinley Dorje should be held responsible for the actions of his Trusts and aides. His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government in exile should stay away from this imbroglio. I dont want to see out struggle for a free Tibet tied up with religious issues. For our own cause we should respect Indian Law. The free Tibet movement will suffer greatly if mother India looses faith on Tibetans and fears for her own safety. As Tibetans we need to make a solemn commitment to ourselves that a free, safe, just and sovereign Tibet is more important than the Lamas, Rinpoches or Buddhism. If we hesitate here, as we have over centuries, our struggle is all the more muted. Bo Gyalo!

    1. says: Rajneesh


      You reflect maturity ! your statement “The free Tibet movement will suffer greatly if mother India looses faith on Tibetans and fears for her own safety” This statement is worth publishing in national or international press !

      who would entertain a guest at home who is trying to bring disaster to the host and its family ! I agree, Tibetan freedom struggle is a political move, spirituality has no link or reasoning in it. Almighty has created whole earth without boundaries and human limitations ..spiritual interference in political affairs makes them complicated and issues reach a point of no solution !

      I agree with DAWA ! He makes a lot of sense with his statement !

  14. says: Tenzin G

    I think you are Chinese agent or anti Indian / Tibetan trying to create problems with baseless accusation to Tibetan people. All our fellow Indian’s who visited Dharamsala knows us well.

  15. says: Tenzin G

    Dear Rajneesh ji,
    His Holiness The Dalai Lama is supreme head of all religious sects of Tibetan buddhism and his mere approval of Urgen Thinley Dorjee as 17th karmapa is a proved of authenticity. And moreover, all the people practising Tibetan buddhism from Ladakh, Sikkim, Arunachal and of course Tibetan accepted Urgen Thinley Dorjee as 17th Gyalwa Karmapa. It is clear and he is innocent. Those all allegation are worked of some agents of chinese or opposition party who was banned by Tibetan govt at that time for inciting war with Nepal.

  16. says: Tenzin G

    Dear dawa la,
    His Holiness The Dalai Lama is supreme head of all religious sects of Tibetan buddhism. His Holiness and Religion & Culture Department of Tibetan Govt in Exile recognition is important and must. We are not seeking independance from chinese what we are seeking is geniune autonomy to preserve our religion, culture, language & environment. If any of this survival is at stake how could we distant from it. Is it not our responsibility as a Tibetan to clarify or voice to concern over it?..

  17. says: Loday

    I am a Tibetan living outside of India but with high regard for India. I started this article with great enthusiasm but ended up being sad. The article was written with a good intent but unfortunately ended with hard questions to the very subject it is writing about. It is amply clear even people very near and around His Holiness Karmapa are suspicious of Him. It is very sad that intellectuals in HP are sandwiched between their love for their Chief Minister and state and the Tibetan Lamas residing there. I am now wondering what will become of us Tibetans living in India. I only hope for the best. Anway dear Avnish, I thank you for your time and effort. We will try to be a good and obedient GUEST.

    1. says: Avnish Katoch

      Dear Loday,

      Please read all comments. We have all spoken about peace and harmony and brotherhood among all of us. Politicians are not religious preachers. I have mentioned very clearly, they do anything for their own career and gains. Even this issue would come during elections and both parties would fight each other. However if Karmapa office keeps itself away from issuing statements via politicians they would gain more respect. As at the end of the day, win is of truth! So why to worry as only Karmapa, Budhhism or any other religion tells us to believe in Higher Power and forget about materialistic world. And in this case Law of land would take its own course.

      1. says: Tsering dorjee

        Dear Mr. Avnish
        Although I am pleased that you chose not to focus too much on the rumors regarding the whole Karmapa event, nevertheless I am disappointed by intellectuals like yourself, at the end decided to defend “your ” CM, regardless of whether he is right or wrong. I was hoping for more of an objective article. By defending “your ” CM (just because he is from H.P), knowing fully ” they do anything for their own career and gains.” How than is “your” CM is above all that. In fact, if you do some research on him, there is plenty of corruption charges against him. Is it only because we are “guest.” We are reminded that when it comes to refugees even intellectuals like yourself and fellow buddhist, would have a bullish attitude towards us, because you host us. It is not Karmapa we are worried about rather the attitudes even of intellectuals like yourself who is so quick to defend the CM based solely on ATTACHMENT (because he is your CM). As you have reminded us to believe in “higher power, forget about materialistic world;” I like to remind you that Buddha warns us of ATTACHMENT. Attachment can blind your judjment!
        You have reminded us that Karmapa’ office should stay above negative…on the CM (which I don’t believe they did) you should in the same token remind the head of your the state not be so quick on his judgments….We were marching not protesting against the govt, in support of HH karmapa for all the allegations against him…which we knew not to be true. As apparent in the latest news.
        Mr. Avnish, I say this believe or not, with due respect. I am not hear to make a snipe or sarcastic comment to you. Rather hoping you would understand where we are coming from.
        thank you

        1. says: Avnish Katoch

          Dear Tsering,

          You know in this article and in all comments I ended up defendig Karmapa more! When I am relating him and his office with God’s very own then I am keeping him higher than murky waters of politics. I am just reminding the higher standards of a religious head. I am not defending politicians at all.

          All the critics never cared to answer one simple question I have! Why would Karmapa office use Virbhadra Singh against HP govt. If they would have used him against Dhumal as politicians I would have cared less. But come on, you call yourself God’s own and then don’t even believe the government? HP govt means, law of land. Dhumal and Virbhadra means politicians. How hard is to understand?

          1. says: Tsering dorjee

            Dear Mr.Avnish, I don’t believe the Karmapa office is using Virbhadra Singh in particular against Dhumal. Virbhadra happens to appreciate our culture, and is a supporter of community. He has a greater respect and understanding of our people and culture. So, it is only natural for him to come out and voice his opinion. From a personal point of view he would have something to say, and from a political point of view of course he would have something to say, because the issue is a political matter. Both the men share a very different view of the Tibetan matter. So, it would be natural for Virbhadur to come out, especially when the matter was getting beyond HP and Dhumal seemed to be on a crusade to crucify us, like few resentful locals feel towards us Tibetans.
            The resentment of some of the locals are real and the fear is not exaggerated. Our shops, houses, in Manali, Dharamsala had been burned down by local Indians, over individual incidents. Many Tibetans during this event were worried too. It has nothing to do with not trusting the HP government, rather fear of how few resentful individuals would take advantage of the situation. Hence Dhumal’ word has far more power and must be used with caution.
            For this very reason, I feel i am disappointed that you fail to see the power of your own words, especially when you chose to have your article printed in the local newspaper. When you come out with sentimental statements rather than objective your have to stir the emotions of many, especially those who are radicals, and the consequences can be dire, for all. Of course a guest has to bel grateful and respectful of its host, so does the host. Just because we are guest does not mean we can’t voice against allegations that are not true, whether it is coming from individual, or politicians. As guest we are obligated and feel the need to deal with the issue. The government in exile as well as the karmapa office has again again requested that the mattered be handled in court not in the public with rumors and inciting words from various corners. Like individuals all around the world there are Tibetans who don’t follow the law of the counry its residing in, that does not mean one should lump us all in and remind us we are guest and refugees. We are well aware of that. As refugees/host eventhough many of us are born in India and have kids born in India, we still do not have many rights that you indians enjoy. I am sure you would not appreciate you would not any form of discrimination in the united states against you, in the same way we don’t either, more so because we already have to live by less rights. We are only human, mr Avnish. For you to sit in the States, enjoy and believe in full rights as any other person in the United states ( who has given you the citizenshi) it is strange that you remind you country men that an “attack” on the head of a state or the host by its guest is unacceptable to you be it right or wrong. While you have moved to a nation, where even before you became a citizen you enjoyed the freedom of speech. No one reminded you, you are an Indian.
            You uphold Karmapa and its people in such “esteem” that you leave no room for any mistake, whether intentional or unintentional. If you read enough of the article, then you woould much of the answers to your questions. For e.g. the money was carried by 2 of the sellers (landowner) people along with one of the karmapa’ staff, since the seller demanded the money in cash. And much of the allegations have proven to be allegation.
            Regardless, I appreciate you engaging in this forum. Please know that your words are powerful.

            1. says: Avnish Katoch

              I’ll find time to go through about all you have written.

              Once again let Dhumal and Virbhadra fight. But a statement from Karmapa office states below:

              Addressing a press conference, Union Minister Singh charged the Himachal Pradesh state government with maligning His Holiness the Karmapa.

              So tell me do you think Lama office believes HP Govt is different from Union govt.?

              Simple question, don’t need a story. For free speech, your comments are all getting published here.

              And fire victims and what not, read here:


              Get facts straight!

  18. says: ABCD

    Looks like you Indians resort to personal attacks when you can’t find a good argument. I chose to be anonymous because I don’t trust the internet, and Indian sites even less. You can do ad hominem attacks all you want, but still doesn’t change the fact that your HP local CM is a moron who has hurt India’s national interest and brought shame to your state. You don’t like the terminology I use, great. I could not care less about your feelings. When a top government official open declare that he wants to open an agency to spy on an entire minority population, well that’s just smack of Nazi Germany. What else can you say about that? You guys need to find out if a certain group is paying your CM and your police chief to treat His Holiness in such horrifying manner. I’m sorry you’re all acting butt hurt, but hey, this is your lovely state.

    1. says: Avnish Katoch

      Dear ABCD,

      Just answer my simple question. Forget about CM ans what not.

      Why would Karmapa office issue a statement from a political rival?

      Here I quote the statement again “Addressing a press conference, Union Minister Singh charged the Himachal Pradesh state government with maligning His Holiness the Karmapa“.

      Then we will talk about India, Indians and our state.

    2. says: Rajneesh

      Very Nice ABCD,

      You don’t trust the internet but you use it..another example of your double standards. Using things which you don’t trust ! You are a person of self doubts and unsure of your own views. HP CM is good or bad is local issue and people are there to decide about it. Your views don’t make any difference !

      INDIA’s national pride is not so thin to be hurt by jokers like you. I guess you are not well adjusted in your own homeland and trying to act missionary for people who don’t even know you rightly. First get good home work done on self and rectify ABCD to reality !

      We’ll check out who’s paying our CM, but you first consult a good Charted Accounted and ask him how much he needs to be paid to rescue Karmapa’s financial mess and blunders in the name of Chinese donations !

    3. says: Vishal

      There you go. I had forewarned that you would go all Nazi and Holocaust next and you did not disappoint… way to go.

  19. says: tashi dolma

    Dear mr Avnish, you come under the pretext that you are an objective intellectual, but again and again seems to argue that we are just “a guest” over which the heads of the state should not fight like “kids.” I have been following your various comments on FB. How would you like to solve the problem? Lets just show allegiance to the head of the state, Dhumal, otherwise would be seen as not “loving motherland.” Would you like to “spank” those that seem to sympathize with the “guest.” Its the moral obligation of any person when one is wrong fully accused. If you take pride in your country and its law then let the law handle the matter, and if you can be an agent a peace great, if not don’t be so divisive, and righteous. Why want only Dhumal to have a voice, I am sure Virbhadur, since he is not a guest or a refugee, he as an Indian, individual, and a politician would has the right to speak, unlike we the guest. I am glad you have chosen to live in the United states, where your ethnicity does not bar you from expressing your grievance.

    1. says: Avnish Katoch

      Tashi, for you also same question as I posed to Tsering. Simple. One liner. No need to go into US and HP and India.

      And by the way both you and Tsering are also in US only and I should say same person.

  20. says: Tenzin G

    As of now both state secretary and central govt had given clean chit HH Karmapa and mr dhumal is wondering in no where… I am sure his karmic will come in this lifetime only. . . . .

    1. says: Rajneesh

      Mr. tenzin, clean chits are not spiritual affairs, this time CM is doing right , what is needed. Who knows whats hidden in the Pandora Box of KARMAPA ? By the way, what Karmic Balance Tibetans Owe to CHINA that they had to flee from own homeland ?

      Does KARMAPA anywhere seems close to BUDDHA teaching? Amassing huge wealth and unaccounted money with fabricated statements-and counter statements. Tibetans are fooled by western nations specially to be used against China..Where does your freedom struggle stand against CHINA when your entire community is busy selling “Made In China” products? You are passing good time in INDIA with donations and hassle free business without paying a single penny as taxes…90% of Tibetan shopkeepers bring truck loads of “Made In China” goods from Delhi ..and sell here .. What have you contributed to INDIA for last 50 years living here peacefully and enjoying privileges that our fellow countrymen don’t have.

      First give a clean chit to your own actions, selling “Made in China ” and asking for freedom, what a mockery..Freedom doesn’t come with candle marches or taking posters of Free Tibet in hands..Go and fight in your homeland, then you will realize how easy is to talk about freedom and difficult to attain, see how China treats you there, you’ll all come back crying to INDIA and then come here and say you are “Tibetans or Indians”

  21. says: SN

    I like to thank everyone who have tried their best to mitigate the situation by sharing their constructive thoughts. It is really unfortunate that we are facing such a situation. It does not matter who is on which side. This is a very emotional and sensitive issue. I pray that people will keep their cool and try to understand the negative repercussions their opinions may result into before writing or expressing their opinion in public in such an intense situation. We all make mistakes irrespective of where we are in life, what position we hold, whether we are crore pati or do pesa pati. India is a big country, with diligent and wise, men and women, to look into what happened, why happened and what is the best for all of us.

    Even this retired IAS officer doesn not know which is the oldest tradition of Tibetan Bhudhism. And he puts in public what he thinks of Karmapa! I do not expect this from him, so I will attribute this to some typo during the course of the article’s journey to here. So the normal folks, my dear brothers and sisters, who do not know much about Bhudhism, specially Tibetan Bhudhism, and how intricately it is interwomen into the society of people, whether they are Tibetans or Indians, refrain from making comments which may not be based on facts and truth. It will bring our image down and it will only hurt us nationally and internationally.

    Also to clarify, I am a born Bhudhist. I know how much religion plays in our culture and society. Most of the folks do not have any right to teach me about Tibetan Bhudhism when Bhudhism is not your religion. Most stories are flavoured with masala. I dare you folks to talk things like that to the established Holy people in Hindu, and Muslim religion. Crores of people will be on streets!. Think about this, at least, before opening your mouth.

    And bear in mind, Holy people in Tibetan Bhudhism(Lamas/Rinpochhes) are not normal people. They do not react in ways you expect them to. Otherwise what is the difference between you and them. Also holy Bhudhist men/women do not behave in the way other holy men/women from other religions because religions are different. And who says Tibetan people are not thankful to Indian people? Go and ask His Holiness Dalai Lama! Go and ask Karmapa!. Go and ask every Holy Bhudhist lama along the Indian Himalayas? Go and aks each of my Bihari brother and sister. Go and ask every person along the Himalayas. Go and ask every Indian. Then publish the survey. You will get your answer, and only the true asnwer. I am sure every Tibetan will cry and shed tears in helplessness if you blame them of not being thankful to this Land of ours and its beutiful people, from Kashmir to Kanya Kumari, from spectacular West to the Mishmi Hills and the Tawang Gonpa to the East.

    By asking what Tibetans have done for India, whatever we have done for Tibetans as Indians, however small or big, have lost the credibility for it. Go and read Indian History! Go and read world history. 100 times and see for yourself what Tibetans have done for us. No Tibetan will claim they have done anything for India because they will always say how much India has done for them. And because this land has been the source of their culture and society. This is simply not possible. Understand world politics. Tibetans are not cause of our problems. How can less than a lakh of guests can cause India ( a land of billinon plus) to loose anything at all! Shame on all of us! Blame on a few thousand people for the problems of a billion people! I cant’ believe this.

    My dear brothers and sisters, I am pained to see my state in this turmoil, my country in turmoil, my religion in turmoil, my culture and society being muddied. It has hurt enough. Enough is enough. I just need this favour from my dear brothers and sisters of India, try to write every media platfrom whether Facebook, Twitter or others to not plant/publish unfounded stories because it is Hurting India, it is hurting Himachal, it is playing with the emotions of the very people along the Himalayan Region and Bhudhists at large all around the world. Meanwhile I will do my little part. I also got carried away when writing this, so my apologies if I have made mistakes and hurt anyone’s feelings/opinions which is not my intention. Wanted to clarify things but even a shloka from Geeta can not be expounded upon in such short time and in few paragraphs. Please keep “My Himachal” a nice place to come back and share ideas about our great country and its people. Bless you all!

    1. says: Avnish Katoch

      You are asking to remove comments and what not but then posting comments with factious names and different emails. Please send your right email so that this discussion can be carried in a right manner.

      1. says: SN

        I do not understand what are you alluding to. I read the comments again. I do not see anything. Is this comment for me? Please send an email to me if this is not a mistake.

        1. says: Avnish Katoch

          SN, I did send email to you and also 3 other people who posted comments with different name and email to remove comments. All those comments came from same IP which is yours. Which also means same person posted different views to remove some comments.

  22. says: lakpa

    Urgen thinley and Thaya Dorjee They are not real karmapa they are just misusing the title of Great,Holly 16th karmapa,Yes i am sure one day real karmapa will come .

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