On the second day of peaceful demonstration by Karmapa devotees, the government and the media remain indifferent.
Two days of daylong peaceful prayers in burning sun by Lamas from across the north India at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi; visits by hundreds of devotees, faithful and sympathisers and outcry in the heart and minds of millions of Buddhist devotees in India and abroad doesn’t seem to be “Newsworthy” to any of the mainstream Indian media. Nor has any Central Government ministers including the Prime Minister, Home minister or anybody else has given time to meet the representatives of the Karmapa devotees who have come from as far as Sikkim, Ladakh, Arunachal, Himachal and Darjeeling to New Delhi to hold peaceful prayers for the happiness and prosperity of all the Indians.
No wonder the mood among the devotees remains of anticipation. Yet, hope is what the devotees of HH the 17th Karmapa have not given up.
“We came with folded hands, white robes and prayers on our lips. Media covers frivolous incidents, murders, crimes and scandals. But what we are doing is no news for the media”, said Karma Toden, former Indian ambassador to Mongolia and one among the devotees. “Buddhism is a peaceful religion. We hope that the government listens to us”, he added.
“It is ridiculous that the mainstream media runs stories of Arushi murder and Amar Singh phone tapping but not peaceful protests”, said a young Buddhist at the venue.
Interestingly, many cameras could be seen at the peaceful prayer meet of Karmapa devotees yesterday and today as well. But no major TV channel ran the story.
“What do you do when your prayers are not heard”, asked another young devotee from Ladakh. “It is our elder’s generation that has this much patience. I doubt when our generation will lead, we will tolerate such indifference.” Another groups of youth said, “If we would have burnt cars and pelted stones on government offices, we would have immediately got coverage. This is shameful.” One of them adds, “If we are not heard, we will have to be disruptive.”
CNN IBN Business Editor Karma Paljor, the most celebrated journalist from Sikkim told iSikkim.com, “All these Buddhists come from border areas along China and Karmapa is a very sensitive issue for them. If there is instability in Ladakh, Sikkim and Arunachal and unrest spreads, the government and the nation will be in serious trouble.”
“We have asked for time with the Home minister and the Prime Minister apart from others. I hope we get an appointment. We are the people of this country and have come here from great distances. We hope that we will be heard”, said Mr. Karma Topden.
Tomorrow, the meet will come to an end with a candle march. May be the media and government sees light before darkness envelops these peaceful lands.
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