According to a report by The Economist, China is putting tough attempts to get a hold of Tibet. It is forcing Tibetans to pay less attention to their religion and show more enthusiasm for president Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). In an attempt to eradicate the Dalai Lama from the spiritual and holy lives of Tibetans to crush their identity and integrity, Beijing has intensified its efforts.
Tibet was occupied by the Chinese government in 1950 and had ever since tried to control the territory, its people and their beliefs.
China views the Dalai Lama as a foreman of an "evil clique", trying to break Tibet from China. Lama had escaped Tibet to India in 1959 and the 10the Panchen Lama (Lobsang Trinley Lhundrup Choekyi Gyaltsen) stayed behind in Tibet. He had many times spoken against the Chinese rule and wrote a report of the chronology of famines in Tibet in the 1960s.
The Tibetian religion is experiencing what the Islam believers are undergoing in Xinjiang - an autonomous territory in northwest China, which the CCP terms as "sinicisation", a process by which non-Chinese communities come under the influence of Chinese culture, language, societal norms, and ethnic identity.
The Chinese authorities in Tibet and Xinjiang, have launched attacks on the people’s religion and cultural traditions.
While the Uyghurs have been introduced to "re-education camps", the Tibetan farmers have been moved to modern housing in or near towns and cities. Besides, the Tibetan language has been replaced with Mandarin similar to that in Xinjiang.
"Surveillance has been stepped up. Networks of informers relay information to the state; smartphones are tapped. Just as Uyghurs can no longer make pilgrimages to Mecca, it has become almost impossible for Tibetans to travel to India to attend religious teachings given by the Dalai Lama, as many did before Xi took power in 2012," The Economist said.
Unlike the Uyghurs, the Tibetans are permitted using social media apps such as WeChat but with certain constraints like posting Dalai Lama pictures is a punishable offence, may be imprisoned.
Robbie Barnett, a scholar of Tibetan culture was quoted by The Economist by saying that introduction of these rules and policies are aimed at creating “future Tibetans who will not know about the Dalai Lama as having any role in Tibetan Buddhism except as an enemy.”