I felt miserable after reading your letter. I really apologise that my harsh words caused you personal anguish, and I in no way meant to do that to anyone. I wrote that post on a really angry afternoon and should not have used some of the tough words I used there. I am not a bigot or xenophobe; I apologise, again. It was very uncharacteristic of me and thanks for writing in with such eloquence. I have, you will notice, edited my post to try and make it less offensive.
I do, of course, stand by my views.
Our personal experiences often shape our larger world view. That is perhaps true for both you and me on this issue. You told me of your grandfather; I also know of the pain of a young Kashmiri Pandit woman whose grandfather was brutally killed by people in Kashmir who are now public figures. Then she and her family had to leave their home at a few minutes' notice.
Truth has many faces, and they are often equally true in some measure for all of us. That is how the world works, and that is why people disagree. So even as I completely respect your angst and anguish, I feel the Tibetan community needs to engage and connect more with the people of the country that welcomed it. You say I do not know about the community -- and perhaps you are right -- but could the community have done more at its end to let an Indian citizen understand them better?
I also feel that India needs to get its convoluted policy on Tibet a bit more straightened out, and to look with greater empathy at displaced people within the country who are bearing the brunt of someone else's madnesses.
I was disappointed that you wrote that you are "as much Indian" as I am. You mentioned how you cheer for the cricket team etc. As an Indian citizen, I do not urge your loyalty to India. If you feel Indian, I am honoured that you do. But that is really not my business -- you don't have to prove anything to anybody. Loyalty is not my concern at all -- I am not one of those who will say that a Hindu is very sporting when he cheers for Pakistan but a Muslim is a traitor.
And I hope that the next time the Kashmiri Pandits or Gujarat riot survivors or SEZ victims protest their displacement, the Tibetan Youth Congress and the young generation of Tibetans will lend a chorus of support -- to others who have lost homes and homelands just like they have.