Are Shugden and Khampa regionalism dividing Tibetan expats?

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Tenzin Kelsang, the author

Amongst the Tibetans, it is almost a fact universally acknowledged that Dorjee Shugden is a demon bent on destroying our society and shortening the life of HH the Dalai Lama. For the western readers, Dorjee Shugden is the equivalent of Biblical Satan. HH Dalai Lama has strongly advised against worshipping Dorjee Shugden in 1996 after some adherents of the diety murdered a Gelug lama of Rime and his two students living few feet away from Dalai Lama’s residence.

Despite the caution by HH Dalai Lama, Dorjee Shugden movement is gaining more and more traction, driven primarily by the greed for wealth. In exile, many prominent and educated Tibetans are speaking against the de facto ban of the Shugden worship.  For instance, Kirti Rinpoche has lamented the families separated by the quarrel on Dorjee Shugden. Even the prime minister of India, who hasn’t received the blessing of the Dalai Lama, had the audacity to imply that Indian government is against a ban on any kind of faith. Even amongst the youths, it is a shock that the majority of them are saying Dorjee Shugden worship should not be interfered with, even if the practice harms them. Their reasoning was that it is clearly a human right to worship anything and anybody – no matter how silly or stupid – as a matter of faith or religion.  This leads to pondering – where has it all gone wrong?

What is CTA doing to control worship of Dorjee Shugden? Why doesn’t Sikyong investigate Khampa Association? Why aren’t we as individuals try to snoop on our neighbors and report suspected heretics to HH Dalai Lama? Why hasn’t there been a scheme to round up Khampas around Dharamsala to re-educate them to the right path of Rime Movement? The questions are endless, indeed. But I want to focus on the latter part of this outburst on what we as individuals can do to challenge those who worship Dorjee Shugden.

Well, what can you as an individual do to counter the evil curse by the Dark Lord Dorjee Shugden?  You can go on youtube, and put a dislike on Dorjee Shugden videos. If you are in India or Nepal, I heard some good people from Amdo and Utsang have founded an association to kidnap suspected Shugden worshippers and hold them for ransom. Other means can include denying a job to Shugden people in CTA. Of course, currently I am glad that CTA  boasts of zero civil servants professing Shugden faith, and all TCV schools are free of the devilish Shugden children.

I am reminding all of my countrymen to be vigilant against Khampas and their regional diety – the horrible demon king – Dorjee Shugden! If you can’t kill a Dorjee Shugden man, then at least stop ignoring them when you see one.

Tenzin  Kelsang is a political researcher based in London.