I was playing basketball when I saw my Tibetan colleagues cutting charts, juxtaposing words, clearly they were onto something big.Voila! They came with their pen shaped chart made pillar, scribbled upon it “Free Shokjang”. All of the people (including me who did nothing) were called to take picture with it and although very less of us knew what it really meant we went on agreeing since we somewhat guessed it was for Tibet.
After the game, I read what was written on the ‘pen shaped pillar’. It was written “Free Shokjang” and as soon as I reached my room, I started browsing on him. I will be blatant, I have neither heard nor read anything written by Shokjang before. He remained my unattended guest.
After reading about Shokjang and some of his translated works(although only three have been available to me through the internet in English) I felt this hasty outburst of emotions. It is his voice that does not tolerate injustice happening towards his (my) people and since, Tibetans like me who are outside Tibet have this freedom to raise our voice and express unlike Shokjang(and many inside Chinese Regime), I thought I should at least give it a try.
Instead of his real name, he is widely recognised by his pen name Shokjang. His real name is Drukar Gyal, also known as Druklo.
Shokjang has been sentenced to three years imprisonment and is served simultaneous two years deprivation of political rights for inciting separatism. He rejected the verdict from Intermediate People’s Court and decided to appeal against it; all in vain( Chinese deaf ears).
“Since the early 1980s, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has been advocating for autonomy for Tibetans. One must appreciate that this is a resolution that is beneficial to both parties. I am aware that Liu Junning proposes a policy that claims to treat Han Chinese and other ethnic minorities equally in an effort to establish an egalitarian Socialist society. However, there are a few risks with his proposal.” “Conflict and Resolution: A Response to Liu Junning” By Shokjang
The Kunming Incident took place on March 1, 2014, at the main train station in Kunming and in which at least 28 people were killed in knife attacks. According to Chinese state media, the attacks “have clearly indicated a despicable trend that separatists are targeting civilians out of Xinjiang.” In his writing, Shokjang exhibits the Russification like administration administered by Chinas’ policy makers. Here he highlights the importance of ethnic minority groups whether it is human rights or about unique cultural and livelihood preservation. He argues that elimination of term “ethnicity” [Ch:民族, minzu / nationality] is just futile as a point of solution(critiquing Lui Jining’s idea).What really resonates to us(readers) is that these conflicts and contentions are not engendered by the system of the ethnic autonomous administration model, but are prompted by a historical consciousness and that by attempting to erase the term”ethnicity” Chinese Regime would surge strong emotions from ethnic minorities. If we look at another piece by Shokjang “Tonight, I am in the Grasslands of my Hometown”
we will clearly come to term with his raging expression of why historical memory serves as a strong force behind the problem.
“Suddenly, I miss the black tent of the past, recalling the bright stars that can be seen from the opening on the top of the tent. The bursting pristine stars that can seen by everyone, remembering the scattering stars falling into my eyes as a star or two fell through the opening on the top of the tent. I remember reciting Mani, as though a life was extinguished each time a meteor fell through space.” -Shokjang
The question is not only cultural but also about just treatment. Writers like Shokjang not only argues but seeks solution. They not only look on ideological apathy but also seek real-ground empathy. His eye-opening article on mistreatment of Tibetan people in Chang Cheng Hospital is another exemplary piece on how China is not different from North Korea.