Tibet Mirror

Last updated

Tibet Mirror
TypeMonthly newspaper
Owner(s) Gergan Dorje Tharchin
Founded1925;95 years ago (1925)
Political alignment Anti-communist
Headquarters Kalimpong, India

The Tibet Mirror (Tibetan : ཡུལ་ཕྱོགས་སོ་སོའི་གསར་འགྱུར་མེ་ལོང, Wylie : yul phyogs so so'i gsar 'gyur gyi me long, ZYPY : Yulchog Soseu Sargyour Mélong) was a Tibetan-language newspaper published in Kalimpong, India, from 1925 to 1963 [1] [2] and circulated primarily in Tibet but eventually with subscribers worldwide. Its originator was Gergan Tharchin who was at the same time its journalist, editor, and manager.

Contents

History

Creation (1925)

In 1925, The Tibet Mirror (Melong) was founded at Kalimpong in West Bengal. After The Ladakh Journal (Ladakh Kyi Akbar), it is the second Tibetan language newspaper to have been started. Its founder was one Gergan Dorje Tharchin, a Tibetan of Christian denomination who was a pastor at Kalimpong, at the time a border town that acted as a centre for the wool trade between Tibet and India. He was born in 1890 in the village of Poo (Wylie: spu) in Himachal Pradesh, he had been educated by Moravian missionaries. [3] [4] Nevertheless, there was no article attempting to proselytise in the newspaper. [3]

Periodicity and circulation

Published on a monthly basis, the journal first came out in October 1925 under the title Yulchog Sosoi Sargyur Melong (Mirror of News from All Sides of the World) ). [5] All 50 copies that were printed were sent to Gergan Tharchin's friends in Lhasa, including one for the 13th Dalai Lama who sent a letter encouraging him to continue with the publication and became an ardent reader. (The 14th Dalai Lama was to inherit the subscription.) [6]

Gergan Tharchin

Tharchin was at the same time journalist, chief editor and publisher. He would select the news from the newspapers of which he was a subscriber, and translate them into Tibetan for the journal. [7] He had assigned to himself the goals of awakening Tibetans to the modern world and opening up Tibet to the outside world. [8] The journal reported on what went on in the world (the Chinese Revolution, the Second World War, the independence of India, etc.) but also and above all in India, Tibet and Kalimpong itself [9]

Influence

Despite its minuscule circulation, the journal exerted a huge influence on a small circle of Tibetan aristocrats, as well as on a smaller circle of reformists. [10] As the journal was an advocate of Tibet's independence, Tharchin's place became a meeting place for Tibetan nationalists and reformists anxious to modernise their country facing China's imminent return. [11]

Tharchin was in close touch with the British intelligence agents operating out of Kalimpong, a town that was a nest of political intrigue involving spies from India and China, refugees from Tibet, China, India and Burma, plus Buddhist scholars, monks, and lamas. He was acquainted with Hisao Kimura, a Japanese secret agent who had visited Mongolia on an undercover mission for the Japanese government, then travelled across Tibet to gather intelligence for the United Kingdom [12]

In the 1950s, the Chinese Communists attempted to woo Tharchin through a Tibetan aristocrat who requested him not to publish anymore "anti-Chinese" article, and to concentrate instead on the "progress" made by China in Tibet, against the promise of a Chinese order of 500 copies of the newspaper, and the assurance not to go bankrupt. Tharchin refused. [3]

Demise (1963)

The Tibet Mirror ceased publication in 1963 [1] [2] after the exiled Tibetans brought out their first newspaper – Tibetan Freedom – started by Gyalo Thondup [3] from Darjeeling [13] Besides, Tharchin was too old to continue publication. He died in 1976 [14]

In 2005, the small house where The Tibet Mirror was based is still standing on the Giri road, with a sign board reading "The Tibet Mirror Press, Kalimpong, Estd. 1925" in English, Tibetan and Hindi [15]

Related Research Articles

1st Dalai Lama Dalai Lama of Tibet (1391-1474)

Gedun Drupa was considered posthumously to be the 1st Dalai Lama.

6th Dalai Lama sixth Dalai Lama of Tibet

Tsangyang Gyatso was the 6th Dalai Lama. He was a Monpa by ethnicity and was born at Urgelling Monastery, 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) from Tawang, India and not far from the large Tawang Monastery in the northwestern part of present-day Arunachal Pradesh.

The Dorje Shugden is a controversy over Dorje Shugden, also known as Dolgyal, who some consider to be one of several protectors of the Gelug school, the school of Tibetan Buddhism to which the Dalai Lamas belong. Dorje Shugden has become the symbolic centre-point of a conflict over the "purity" of the Gelug school and the inclusion of non-Gelug teachings, especially Nyingma ones.

4th Dalai Lama 4th Dalai Lama of Tibet (1589-1616)

Yonten Gyatso or Yon-tan-rgya-mtsho (1589–1617), was a jinong and the 4th Dalai Lama, born in Mongolia on the 30th day of the 12th month of the Earth-Ox year of the Tibetan calendar. . As the son of the Khan of the Chokur tribe, Tsultrim Choeje, and great-grandson of Altan Khan of the Tümed Mongols and his second wife PhaKhen Nula, Yonten Gyatso was a Mongolian, making him the only non-Tibetan to be recognized as Dalai Lama other than the 6th Dalai Lama, who was a Monpa—but Monpas can be seen either as a Tibetan subgroup or a closely related people.

13th Dalai Lama 19th and 20th-century Dalai Lama of Tibet

Thubten Gyatso was the 13th Dalai Lama of Tibet.

7th Dalai Lama 7th Dalai Lama of Tibet

Kelzang Gyatso, also spelled Kalzang Gyatso, Kelsang Gyatso and Kezang Gyatso, was the 7th Dalai Lama of Tibet.

2nd Dalai Lama Dalai Lama of Tibet (1476-1542)

Gedun Gyatso, also Gendun Gyatso Palzangpo, was considered posthumously to be the second Dalai Lama.

5th Dalai Lama political and religious leader of Tibet (1617-1682)

Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso was the 5th Dalai Lama and the first Dalai Lama to wield effective temporal and spiritual power over all Tibet. He is often referred to simply as the Great Fifth, being a key religious and temporal leader of Tibetan Buddhism and Tibet. Gyatso is credited with unifying all Tibet under the Ganden Phodrang after a Mongol military intervention which ended a protracted era of civil wars. As an independent head of state, he established relations with Qing Empire and other regional countries and also met early European explorers. Gyatso also wrote 24 volumes' worth of scholarly and religious works on a wide range of subjects.

Sera Monastery Buddhist monastery in Tibet

Sera Monastery is one of the "great three" Gelug university monasteries of Tibet, located 1.25 miles (2.01 km) north of Lhasa and about 5 km (3.1 mi) north of the Jokhang. The other two are Ganden Monastery and Drepung Monastery. The origin of its name is attributed to a fact that during construction, the hill behind the monastery was covered with blooming wild roses.

Dudjom Jigdral Yeshe Dorje Tibetan Lama

Dudjom Jigdral Yeshe Dorje, was the second Dudjom Rinpoche. He was recognized as a direct rebirth of Dudjom Lingpa (1835–1904) and was also later appointed the first supreme head of the Nyingma lineage of Tibetan Buddhism by the fourteenth Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan Administration.

Tharpa Choling Monastery

Gaden Tharpa Choling Monastery is a Gelugpa monastery situated at the hilltop in Kalimpong, India. The monastery was founded by Domo Geshe Rinpoche Ngawang Kalsang in 1912. History says that Domo Geshe Rinpoche lived in Kalimpong in 1906 when he came to India for pilgrimage and to collect medicinal plants from India, Nepal and Bhutan. At the request of the Tibetan merchants and some Bhutanese leaders living in Kalimpong to establish a monastery there, Rinpoche instituted this monastery. Gaden Tharpa Choling monastery is a non-profitable development Association, registered under the West Bengal Societies Registration Act, 1961.

Nechung Oracle

The Nechung Oracle is the State Oracle of Tibet. The medium of the State Oracle currently resides with the current Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, India. Prior to the Himalayan diaspora resulting from the annexation of Tibet by the People's Republic of China, the Nechung Oracle was the designated head of the Nechung monastery in Tibet.

Reting Rinpoche

Reting Rinpoche was a title held by abbots of Reting Monastery, a Buddhist monastery in central Tibet.

Taktser Village in Qinghai, Peoples Republic of China

Taktser or Tengtser or Hongya Village is a village in Shihuiyao Township, Ping'an District, Haidong, in the east of Qinghai province, China, where Tibetan, Han and Hui Chinese live. It is notable as the birthplace of the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso.

Lhalu Tsewang Dorje Lhalu (1914-2011)

Lhalu Tsewang Dorje (January 1914- September 15, 2011, commonly known as Lhalu, Lhalu Se, or Lhalu Shape, was a Tibetan aristocrat and politician who held a variety of positions in various Tibetan governments before and after 1951.

Tsepon W. D. Shakabpa Tibetan politician

Tsepon Wangchuk Deden Shakabpa was a Tibetan nobelman, scholar, statesman and former Finance Minister of the government of Tibet.

Kashag Tibetan council created by Qing dynasty in Tibet in 1721 to replace civil council

The Kashag, was the governing council of Tibet during the rule of the Qing dynasty and post-Qing period until the 1950s. It was created in 1721, and set by Qianlong Emperor in 1751 for the Ganden Phodrang in the 13-Article Ordinance for the More Effective Governing of Tibet《酌定西藏善后章程十三条》. In that year the Tibetan government was reorganized after the riots in Lhasa of the previous year. The civil administration was represented by Council (Kashag) after the post of Desi was abolished by the Qing imperial court. The Qing imperial court wanted the 7th Dalai Lama to hold both religious and administrative rule, while strengthening the position of the High Commissioners.

Tibet Vernacular Paper

The Tibet Vernacular Paper, also translated as The Tibetan Vernacular Paper, is the first newspaper to have been established in Tibet. Written in both Tibetan (藏文) and vernacular Chinese, it was founded in April 1909 by amban Lian Yu, and his deputy Zhang Yintang, in the final years of the Qing Dynasty. The first issue was lithographically printed, with a print-run fewer than 100 copies a day. It was disestablished in 1911. The mission of the newspaper was mainly educational, but also propagandistic.Nothing is known about how the paper was received by Tibetans.

Kyabje Rinpoche

Kyabje Khensur Kangurwa Lobsang Thubten Rinpoche, was a Buddhist monk, Abbot of Sera Jey Monastery, and the founder of Tibetan Buddhist Institute (Adelaide). Khensur means "former abbot" and Rinpoche means "precious teacher".

Lobsang Thubten Trinley Yarphel, was the 5th Gangchen Tulku Rinpoche of Tibet. He was a Tibetan-Italian lama of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism.

References

  1. 1 2 "Yul phyogs so soʾi gsar ʾgyur me loṅ". www.columbia.edu. Archived from the original on 23 June 2017. Retrieved 29 August 2017.
  2. 1 2 "Tibet Mirror | Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library". beinecke.library.yale.edu. Archived from the original on 10 April 2015. Retrieved 29 August 2017. Tibet Mirror A digital archive of the Tibetan-language newspaper, published from 1925 to 1963.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Thubten Samphel, Virtual Tibet: The Media, in Exile as challenge: the Tibetan diaspora (Dagmar Bernstorff, Hubertus von Welck eds), Orient Blackswan, 2003, 488 pages, especially pages 172-175 - ISBN   81-250-2555-3, ISBN   978-81-250-2555-9.
  4. Lobsang Wangyal, The Tibet Mirror: The first Tibetan newspaper, now only a memory, Lobsang Wangyal's personal site, 12 May 2005.
  5. Lobsang Wangyal, op. cit.: Yulchog Sosoi Sargyur Melong (Mirror of News from All Sides of the World) was the original Tibetan name of the Tibet Mirror. The first issue of the newspaper came out in October 1925. The issues came out at irregular intervals.
  6. Lobsang Wangyal, op. cit.: Of the fifty initial copies, most were sent to his friends in Lhasa, including one to the 13th Dalai Lama. The 13th Dalai Lama became an ardent reader of the paper and encouraged Tharchin to continue with the publication (...). The current 14th Dalai Lama inherited the subscription of the late 13th.
  7. Lobsang Wangyal, op. cit.: "It was my grandfather who did all the work of the newspaper. He selected the news from the newspapers he subscribed to and translated them for the paper."
  8. Lobsang Wangyal, op. cit.: Tharchin (...) made much effort to report on affairs of the world, to educate Tibetans and to encourage the opening up of Tibet to the changing modern world.
  9. Thubten Samphel, op. cit., p. 173: The Mirror published articles on world events and especially reported what was taking place in India, Tibet and in the region of Kalimpong.
  10. Thubten Samphel, op. cit., p. 173: Despite its minuscule circulation, the impact of Tibbet Mirror, though confined to a small circle of Tibetan aristocrats and an even smaller circle of Tibetan reformists (...) was enormous.
  11. Thubten Samphel, op. cit., pages 173 and 175: Tibetan nationalists, scholars and dissidents held regular conclaves at Babu Tharchin's place to discuss how Tibet could best avoid the gathering political storm, Tharchin Babu and the office of Tibet Mirror became the meeting point of intellectuals and reformists who wanted to modernize Tibet so that it would effectively counter the challenges posed by a resurgent China.
  12. Barun Roy, op. cit. : In the late 1940s, Kalimpong (...) could be rightly described as a nest of political intrigue, involving British, Indian and Chinese spies, refugees from Tibet, China, India and Burma, with a sprinkling of Buddhist scholars, monks and lamas.
  13. Thubten Samphel, op. cit., p. 175: Tibet Mirror ceased publication in 1962 when the Tibetan refugees brought out their own newspaper called Tibetan Freedom from neighbouring Darjeeling.
  14. Lobsang Wangyal, op. cit.: the paper came to an end in 1962, and Tharchin died in 1976. "My grandfather was getting too old to continue the paper" .
  15. Lobsang Wangyal, op. cit.: "The Tibet Mirror Press; Established 1925", reads the sign board on the crumbling tinned house (...) on Giri road.

Books on Gergan Tharchin