Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

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Part 4 of 4

The Koinange Story: (PANT, Apa – ‘An Extended Family of Fellow Pilgrims’ and ‘An Unusual Raja’)

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Mbiyu Peter Koinange

Pant's connection with the Koinanges dates back to very soon after his arrival as he notes in several of his own books. In October 1948 through the efforts of S.G. Amin, who had just completed his two year term as EAINC President in August 1948 when he was succeeded by D.D. Puri, Pant was introduced to Peter Mbiyu Koinange, the eldest son of Senior Chief Koinange, Peter (Mbiyu) Koinange in October, 1948 at Githinguri in Kiambu District.

Apa Sahib speaks: (How the Pants became Koinanges)

“This miraculous ‘extension to the family’ into Africa was sudden and unexpected.

In Kenya and throughout East Africa, Senior Chief Koinange was recognized as a great leader. He was the senior most ‘elder’ of the Kikuyu, Wakamba and Nandi tribes, residing in the fertile Highlands of Kenya, at the foot of Mt. Kenya, bang on the Equator.

Senior Chief Koinange had four wives and innumerable children. His eldest son, born by the senior most wife, was Mbyu Peter Koinange.

Peter was a student of the great sociologist – anthropologist, Prof. Malinowsky of the London School of Economics. Jomo Kenyatta, the leader of the Mau Mau, was also in England then, and was a student of Malinowsky.

In 1947 Peter (Mbiyu) returned to Kenya and started to organize ‘Independent’ African Schools. ‘Independent’ because he did not ask for and he refused when offered, any grant from the Christian Missionaries or from the Govt. of Kenya. By 1949 Peter had organized throughout the Kikuyu land, over two hundred independent schools. The training college for the teachers of these schools was established at a beautiful spot, nearly 8000 ft, above sea level, the midst of the Highlands, with Mt. Kenya towering behind as a magnificent back drop.

It was at Githanguri that Apakaka and Akka first met Peter and his very charming first wife, Margaret. Peter had several more wives later on. It was Shivabhai Amin, one of the ex-Presidents of the East African Indian Congress, who took Apakaka and Akka there, in October 1948, to meet Peter Koinange.

Peter and Margaret made a great impression upon Apakaka and Akka by their simple, sincere friendliness, and their ‘Africanism’. Both of them were proud of being African, and were obviously keen on African independence.

After this first meeting in 1948, Githanguri became a place for picnics and social and cultural get-togethers for Indians and Africans. Every important guest from India was taken to Githanguri to meet the ‘real’ people.

At one such social gathering, Apakaka and Akka met the Senior Chief. Later they were often invited to his Shamba, farm house.

Senior Chief Koinange was a dignified person of few words but great presence. During the innumerable political, economic and cultural discussions between Jomo Kenyatta, the great Kikuyu leader and the later President of Kenya, Peter, and Apakaka, the Senior Chief sat silently. It was not all clear whether he understood all that was said in English. But when asked a question or stated something, it was precise and to the point. The Senior Chief was a ‘wise’ person.

In 1950 Apakaka took Baba to visit Githanguri. He was given a grand reception in Githanguri, and later received by the Senior Chief Koinange at his Shamba where al Kikuyu, Wakamba, Nandi and Masai ‘elders’, nearly fifty of them, had assembled to meet Raja Bhawanrao of Aundh. Baba was then eighty-three years old.

Baba passed away soon afterwards in India (13thApril 1951), and Akka and Apakaka were in India for nearly four months. Almost immediately after their return to Nairobi, Peter came to visit them and passed on to them ‘an invitation’ from his father ‘for tea’ at his Shamba, with all members of the family, and friends.

So one cold, misty day in August 1951, Apakaka and Akka, along with Aniket and Aditi, Tatya (Inamdar), Vahini, Suryakant Patel and about ten other Indian friends and their families, arrived at the Shamba of the Senior Chief Koinange and were surprised to find a large gathering there of Kikuyu ‘elders’ and other important personages.

Before the party began, the venerable old senior chief Koinange made a speech, which was translated into English verbatim by his eldest son (he had twelve children from four wives). The senior chief said:

“I am welcoming this young man from India today, not as ambassador of a great country. I am welcoming him as a foreigner. This young man has just lost his father in India. God I am sure will take care of his soul, I am sure. I welcome Apa Pant now as my own son from today.”

In front of this distinguished gathering Senior Chief Koinange official adopted Apakaka as his son, and ordered his family to respect his wishes and asked the assembled ‘elders’ to register the fact for all posterity. The senior chief Koinange ordered his children and brothers: “you have to give Apa and his family their rightful share in the land and forests whenever he claims it.”

So I lost a father in India to find another one in Africa.

This story has been recounted elsewhere also. It was a grand experience to see the Pant ‘tribe’ being accepted into the Koinange family of Kenya. The family ‘extended’ into the African Hinterland”.

This induction to the Koinange clan was consummated when in early 1952 through another ceremony in the Abardare mountain forest, where Pant was taken by Pio Gama Pinto at dead of the night, in true cloak and dagger manner. Pant recounts this episode in his publication; ‘Undiplomatic Incidents’ Protocol and Beyond:

“There were no greetings; no shake of hands; no one got up. Without a word, I sat down on an empty stool set in the middle of the hut. Near it, was a foul smelling skin of a white Columbus monkey, as also a panga, a sword like hatchet…. … The ceremony ended with a powerful drink, a brew of maize with strong herbs served in bamboo cups. I hoped that the burning in my throat would not be noticed these kind people. Pio Pinto came out of the darkness and rushed me back to Nairobi before I could pass out, feeling quite a martyr in the service of my motherland”. (Pant, Apa)

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Koinange Apa Pant

Nazareth on Nehru: (Nazareth, JM - Brown Man Black Country)

John Maximian Nazareth was born in Nairobi in 1908, studied at St. Xavier’s College, Bombay (1916-29) and graduated with first class honors and was awarded the St. Francis Xavier Gold Medal for best performance. Nazareth was called to the Inner Temple (193033) and was awarded the Special Prize of Council of Legal Education in Criminal Law (1931), the Poland Prize of the Inner Temple in Criminal Law (1939); the Profomo Prize of the Inner Temple (1932) and was called to the Bar (January 1933. After 1934 Nazareth enrolled as an advocate in the Supreme Court of Kenya, became president of the East African Indian National Congress (1950-52), served as Puisne Judge of the Supreme Court of Kenya (1953) and became president of the Law Society of Kenya (1954). Was elected Member of the Kenya Legislative Council for the Western Electoral Area (1956-60), president of the Gandhi Memorial Academy Society and Chairman of the Gandhi Smarak Nidhi Trustee at the University of Nairobi. He delivered the Gandhi Memorial Lectures at the Universirt of Nairobi (4thseries) the subject being TODAY’S CHALLENGE OF THE STUDENTS. He is the author of Brown Man-Black Country – On the foothills of Uhuru. Nazareth died in Nairobi in 1985 aged 77 years.

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JM Nazareth

Regarding a reference made by Nehru when he designated Kenya Indians as ‘Guests of the Africans’, something that J.M. Nazareth took issue with. Here is what Nazareth wrote:

“at a huge meeting at Nyeri, which was addressed by the newly-elected President of the Kenya African Union, Mr. Jomo Kenyatta, one Mr. H.S. Gathigira read Pandit Nehru’s message that drew attention to the part which called Indians the guests of Africans and expressed himself unable to accept the contention that either the Indian or the European had come to stay. “the time would come”, he said, when they would have to get out and leave the African in full enjoyment of self-government.” (Nazareth)

Further to this occurrence, Nazareth stated: “The Indian community strongly dissented from Nehru and was deeply critical of his references of Indians in Kenya as guests of the African”. Furthermore Nazareth stated. “But Nehru’s native, idealistic, tragic blindness to reality and the claims of ordinary humanity seemed to receive a warm welcome from the Africans. This reference to us as ‘guest’ carried obvious implications”. (Nazareth)

The reader will appreciate the aspect of this digression from Apa Pant, only in part because there is a connection.

In August 1952 Nazareth made a visit to India, and although he held no political office he was able, with the assistance of Apa Pant who provided him with a letter of introduction, to secure an audience between Nehru. Nazareth wrote “Nehru when I met him at Delhi was good enough to give me something like 40 minutes of hard pressed time. He avoided all ostentation, going to the secretariat in a small car, a proceeding which in modern Africa, would be absolutely infra dig., inconceivable to most even minor M.Ps”. (Nazareth) Nazareth wrote:

“Nehru listened to me attentively, but very quietly, almost impassively, with scarcely any interruption. The subject to which I devoted most of my time was his practice of referring to Indians in Kenya as “guests”. Kenyatta, as I have said earlier, had taken up with alacrity and enthusiasm and not infrequently referred to the Indians in Kenya as “guests”. I tried to convey to Nehru that Indians living in Kenya fell in two classes: those who had made their homes in Kenya and intended to remain there, and those who were birds of passage andcould rightly be referred to as “guests”. I made it clear to him that he was doing Indians in Kenya a disservice lumping them all together and referring to them as guests”. (Nazareth)

Angelo Faria, who had some personal interaction with JM Nazareth in the early 1960s and late 1970s, offered this reaction to Nazareth on Nehru:

The Nazareth episode bears some further reflection for several reasons. First, had Nazareth sought a letter of introduction to, and an appointment with Nehru, or was it Pant that suggested it? My own feeling is that Nazareth had felt very strongly on this issue – indeed, in the first page of his book published in 1981 there is a very poignant self-written poem titled: To the African: “No Guest am I”. So it is reasonable to suggest that Nazareth must have sought it, and Pant may well have felt that given Nazareth’s previous standing and Pant’s own close connection with Nehru, it could not hurt and might even help. Second, Nazareth may have felt that he, a second generation Kenyan of Indian descent and the first local born President of the EAINC, could best marshal to an idealistic Nehru why his position was incorrect and what unintended use was being made of it by the Africans. Third, from Nazareth’s own recounting he spoke fully for a self-admittedly long time of 40 minutes laying out the case in his no doubt precise lawyerly style that concealed substantial emotion, but that Nehru uncharacteristically just listened to him but kept his own counsel and made no comment at all. What should one make of this reaction? It is my sense that Nehru may have felt that Nazareth in his clearly narrower perspective and emotional state either could not or would not see the broader perspective from Nehru’s and India’s standpoint, and that there was thus no point to trying to convince him about it, much less attempting a rebuttal. We shall never know.

Peter Wright provides the following reflective evaluation on this episode as described Nazareth:

Guests of the Africans! This little fuss is an excellent indication of the racist attitudes which the British rulers were encouraging, nay imposing, on Kenya, not only upon the white invaders, who unfortunately did not see themselves as guests, but on the Indians too, and I am truly surprised that my friend, John Nazareth should have yielded to this. It was indeed excellent that Jawaharlal, as India's first prime Minister, should have emphasized that Indian immigrants were the guests of the indigenous Africans of Kenya. Had the British shown the same wisdom Kenya's, and Britain's subsequent history would have been far happier too. It is unfortunately true that the Indian community in general was probably in agreement with John Nazareth because they were primarily concerned with their own welfare and anxious not to offend the far more powerfully placed Europeans. But there was always a small Indian minority that was more courageous, people in India could be proud of. Apasaheb and I often discussed the Indian attitudes and were in full agreement with Jawaharlal's policies which Apa was doing his best to carry out. Jawaharlal was never offensive to the British and he did nothing to encourage anti-British movements, yet he was clearly in sympathy with all movements towards further justice and freedom for colonies. Readers can judge for themselves whether Nehru's or J.M. Nazareth's attitude regarding ‘guests’ was the wiser or the fairer! I think time has already told us!


On a separate note: My own impressions in East Africa were that many Europeans found both Apa and Nalini a very charming couple whom they liked and then, alas, increasingly distrusted, believing that they were in fact instruments of Indian imperialism striving to win over the considerable Indian immigrant population and make it an instrument of imperial ambition. Knowing both Nehru and Apa, I was aware that this was nonsense. On the other hand I was well aware of the major aim of both men which was to convince the Indian community that they were indeed guests, not of the British invaders but of the indigenous inhabitants, the African population and should never seek from the British rulers any special treatment or advantages that they did not simultaneously urge for the African population. I warmly supported this myself; but of course this did hit at the root of the local white ambition to dominate.

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Apa and Nalini Pant

Pant on Pinto: (Pant, Apa - Undiplomatic Incidents) [extract]

Pio Gama Pinto was Independent Kenya’s first political martyr, a socialist and freedom fighter dedicated to the cause of African Nationalism in Kenya. Sometime soon after 1949, Pinto became involved in local politics aimed at overthrowing colonialism. He turned to journalism and worked with the Colonial Times and Daily Chronicle. In 1954, 5 months after his marriage, he was rounded up in the notorious Operation Anvil and spent the next four years in on Manda Island with the so called “hard-core” Mau Mau. He was kept in restriction early 1958 until October, 1959 at remote Kabarnet. On his release he once more immersed himself in the struggle for Kenya’s Independence and the release of Jomo Kenyatta. In 1960 he founded the KANU newspaper ‘Sauti ya KANU’ and later Pan African Press of which he subsequently became Director and Secretary. Pio Gama Pinto, a Goan Indian, an African patriot had been foully murdered in broad daylight by assassins who had sold their own conscience and their countrymen.

“Pio Pinto, an Indian who was deeply involved with the African freedom movement in Kenya and who knew all the important underground leaders, called one night to announce that the Kikuyu elders wanted to elect me as one of them. Elected elders are a feature of all African tribes, especially those with a strong democratic tradition such as the Kikuyu, Masia, Busaga, and Ankole. The Buganda too have elders but the Kabaka as their king ruled over them., though not even he could openly transgress the explicitly express advise of the elected elders.

To be asked to become a Kikuyu elder at the height of the Mau-Mau rebellion was, to say the least, quite astounding. As usual, not thinking of consequences, diplomatic or otherwise, of my action, I agreed.

Pio Pinto was quite a character. To look at, no one would have dreamt that he was a revolutionary. He stammered and stuttered when speaking his Goan English. The colonial authorities clearly ignored him. He was not thought to be a nuisance. It is unlikely that he was ever watched, or that there was a file on him with the Secret Police, whereas a platoon with a D.S.P. watched me continually, keeping incriminating official records. But what diminutive, brilliant, highly affectionate Pio Pinto did for India and for the Indian community in Kenya during those critical days of Mau-Mau rebellion can never be forgotten.

The South Africans, the colonial powers and even Israel would have liked the anger, frustration and hatred of the Mau-Mau to be diverted against India and the Indians. Serious and persistent attempts were indeed made to do so. Even the Church joined in the smear campaign, with sermons in Swahili and passion plays depicting Africans as criminally exploited by Indians.

Pio Pinto was largely responsible for having prevented the wrath of Mau-Mau from being vented on the Indian community. He had been able to enter the secret conclaves of freedom fighters unnoticed, and had he not won the trust of leaders such as Stanley Mathenge, Jomo Kenyatta, Senior Chief Koinange and Tom Mboya for his sound and clear advise, thousands of Indians may well have been murdered and their property looted. Nehru and later, Indira Gandhi, knew what Pio Pinto had done for the Indians and in those tumultuous days. After the independence of Kenya, when destiny’s strange ways led to Pio being murdered in broad daylight for being a friend of Tom Mboya, the family sought refuge in India and later migrated to Canada. It is appropriate to offer homage to Pio Pinto – a great freedom fighter, a staunch friend, and a humanist”. (Pant, Apa)

Peter Wright, a long-standing and close friend of Apa Sahib, offered this response on Pant on Pinto:

“Pio Pinto was a highly valued and dear friend of mine, a man with a very real mission -- justice and fairness above all for all Kenya Africans, in fact apart perhaps from Bildad Kaggia and his colleagues, the most ardent African patriot I met. He was indeed so devoted to his mission that he had little time to discuss personal or other matters. He was politically left-wing, a communist perhaps, but that was of minor importance; it was as a champion of freedom and justice that he excelled. Frankly some of Apa's comments quoted in what you sent me astonish me. I was never aware that Pio stammered or stuttered, and I knew him well, and I found no fault with his English. I do know that the Kenya intelligence authorities were watching him and were using John Miller to some extent to spy upon him; recently published intelligence reports make this clear. But it is surprising that Pio was not more harshly treated, although his years in detention were neither so gentle nor in any way justified! Apa's description of him as diminutive seems extraordinary to me. I never thought of him in those terms; to me his stature seemed normal and average. Brilliant he certainly was. What he really did for the Indian community I really have no idea. I believe he was an efficient paid secretary of the Kenya Indian Congress, but what impressed me more than anything else was that he gave his whole loyalty and every spare moment to the cause of freedom and justice for the Africans. Frankly I would like to learn much more of any efforts he made to serve the Indian community”.

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Pio Gama Pinto

Angelo Faria, who had some personal interaction with Pio Gama Pinto in the early 1960s before he was assassinated, offered this reaction to Pant on Pinto:

To view Pinto, as Pant apparently indicated later in his book with evidently a great personal affection, as a somewhat inarticulate Goan politician of slight build who can be credited with “preventing the wrath of Mau Mau from being vented on the Indian (sic) community” strikes me as, to say the least, somewhat curious on several counts. First, Pant’s earlier view of his personality may have had some basis, given the substantial variance in their relative standings at that time. But based on a limited number of my own conversations with him several years later in the early 1960s after he had emerged from about 5 years in detention, Pinto’s apparent soft-spoken style of speaking almost amounting to diffidence was a protective mask that he put on generally to draw out the other person without revealing his own stance; once he trusted the person unconditionally, he clearly became very clear, articulate and decisive. His wiry build resulted from years of serious training to become a top flight athlete. Second, one has only to read the six oaths that all Mau Mau adherents had to swear at their induction in order to realize that their sole objective was to recover ancestral Kikuyu lands form the Europeans by driving them out; there is absolutely no mention of Asians. Moreover, to the best of my knowledge, by late 1954 at the height of Mau Mau activities only 21 Asians had been murdered, none ritually, including a couple of members of a security team and the others mostly traders in the remoter rural areas of Central Province who were victims of straightforward robberies. Nothing in the details that I have seen released since about Mau Mau practices would suggest otherwise. In that sense, I believe Pant to be grossly overstating Pinto’s importance relative to the fate purportedly not suffered by the Indian community. In retrospect, I often wondered if it could represent some form of a delayed mea culpa on Pant’s part, if only because I feel confident that Pinto, who never saw himself as an Asian in such matters, would also never have subscribed to this characterization to describe the result of his efforts. Third, the reference to Tom Mboya is plainly incorrect, because it was well known that Pinto and Mboya were philosophically and organizationally rivals for the soul of the African independence movement. If, however, Pant had meant to refer to Pinto’s connection with Odinga as a factor in his assassination, this makes the reference relatively more plausible. In this connection, I should perhaps point out that Wright by his own verbal admission to me when I met him in Seattle in 2006 had little day to day contact with Pinto before, and none whatsoever after his deportation in November 1952, but his views on Pinto’s personality certainly ring true to me.

APA PANT Associations with Suryakant and Leela Patel:

Apa Sahib Pant in his publication ‘An extended family or fellow pilgrims’ writes about family and friends.

“Frankly, I have never accepted the view that relationships should be strictly restricted to a particular, limited group called father, mother, son, daughter, wife, husband, brother sister, uncle, etc. Yes, if you are born into a particular family you have some important duties and obligations towards this group, and those duties you must do diligently, joyfully and affectionately. If you do not perform those duties properly, you cannot go ‘ahead’ on the path of life.

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Suryakant Patel Apa Pant

Apasaheb remembers a fellow pilgrim in Kenya, Suryakant and Leela Patel who remained special friends of the Pants to very end of his life. Suryakant and Leela had shared a large and intimate part of their Pants lives during the whole period of their stay in Kenya , and even when the Pants returned to Kenya on visits in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Whether for picnics, journeys, meetings or visits of dignitaries, Suryakant was always there to organize and manage at the shortest possible notice, said Apa Sahib. Suryakant was born in Nairobi in 1920, studied in Bandhani Gujarat India and returned back to Kenya in 1939 help in his hardware business. He built a veritable business empire in Nairobi, covering real property and extending to many other spheres of commerce such as the timber, construction, and furniture making industries. Suryakant wrote: “the first African leader I met was Mr. Harry Thuku. He was one of my customers and we used to visit each other at home during the war period. He was not a politician at the time. Because of my association with the Pants I came into contact with other African leaders such as Jomo Kenyatta, Mbyu Koinange, etc. These contacts were lost during the emergency period, from between 1951 to 1961. However, after he was freed from detention, Jomo Kenyatta invited me to his Gatundu home, through our common friends Mr. Pio Gama Pinto and Dr. F.R.S. DeSouza. We all went to Gatundu and met Jomo Kenyatta. He requested me to find an accommodation in the city from where he could carry out his political activities. At the time nobody was willing to give him the premises. I could see his problem and offered him my premises Solar House which I had built in 1958 in the City Square. He used the premises until he became the Prime Minister in 1963……”

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Suryakant Patel Leela Apa Pant

Suryakant Patel was president of Nairobi Seva Dal and a member of the reception committee which organized at the time of Dr. Radharkrishan’s visit to Nairobi for the opening of the Mahatma Gandhi memorial academy Society, in July 1956. The closeness of the relationship between Suryakant and Apa Sahib, is shown in many ways, Suryakant recalls when Sri Apa Pant went to Bandhani (Suryakant’s native place in Gujarat) to visit his father in his absence, showing his real love and affection for the family. Suryakant visited Aundh when Apa Sahib’s father died. When Akka and Apakaka where contemplating the writings the story ‘An extended Family or Fellow Pilgrims’ and of their long friendship, they received as trunk-call from Suryakant’s parents in Baroda, to tell them that Suryakant had suffered a ‘massive’ heart attack and passed away the night before on 3rdSeptember 1986. Apakaka wrote: “ It was a terrible shock! For thirty-eight years Suryakant had been a ‘brother’ working together with Apakaka to remove suspicion, fear, anger, hate between individuals, races and nations in Africa, Europe and elsewhere”....

PANT on AUNDH and his (Father) Baba or BalaSahib (PANT, Apa - Mandala : An Awakening)

With the merger of the State of Aundh, its disappearance as a unit, what seemed to be my career had come to an end? For my wife Nalini, who had given herself to hospital work in the State, a career had now opened as a surgeon in Poona, where in 1947 we built ourselves a house. Aditi, our firstborn, was getting on for five, and Aniket was a crying, highly sensitive bundle of nerves just two years old. We packed our belongings and moved to Poona with the children, leaving the old wooden palace at Aundh that had been my birthplace and the base for my later adventures. It was the end of my life as a prince, and it was like leaving a sinking ship. The deepest wrench, the real agony, was to know that I was leaving my father, who had helped me to be myself, in his old age, in the hour of his loneliness and perhaps of his greatest need. The loss of his State which his family had ruled for three hundred years had been conveyed to him in the brusque manner of bureaucratic communication; nor was there any recognition of his services to free India by the lighting of a beacon in Aundh. Nobody offered him a post, a distinction, even a gesture of acknowledgement. His ego was depleted, and mine, which had sustained itself on him, had no base to function.

So why did I leave Aundh and forsake him in his eighty second year? What was the compulsion? I have been asking that question of myself for the last twenty-seven years without finding an adequate answer. If there is one it is probably to be sought in the fact that I, who for so long had seen him as the steady rock of continuity and confidence, the loving guide of my destiny, was in reality more lost than he. In his state of mental and emotional confusion, I could do nothing but be more confused and uncertain of myself. It was only when a new door was suddenly opened for me, with the unexpected summons to see Pandit Nehru, as Prime Minister of India, when he visited Bombay in 1948, that a sense of life and purpose flowed back into me. Did Nehru, as we sat on the lush lawn of Raj Bhavan, remember the dusty villages of Aundh and the fire of enthusiasm of 1941? I thought he did, and that this was in his mind in offering me a field of completely fresh activity as free India’s first representative in Africa. And I thought also that my father would be pleased and proud, and somehow refreshed by what was opening for his son.

This feeling had a history. The Pratinidhi of our family title signified a viceroy. It derived from the act of Rajaram, the second son of the great Maratha hero Shivaji, in making one of our ancestors, Parashuram Trimbak, the first Pratinidhi of the Maratha Empire. When my grandfather Raja Rishi “Thorale” Maharaj Shrinivasrao Pant was compelled in 1848 to give up to the British the town of Karad, which had been the capital of the Pratinidhi’s for a couple of centuries, he transferred his seat to Aundh, near the temple where he thenceforth performed his daily rituals and meditations. This Pratinidhi’s great spiritual attainments, combined with service to his people, had strengthened my father’s belief that the Pratinidhi’s were somehow destined to be the worthy representatives of the whole of India. And as such my father, with his simple grace and dignity, often thought, felt and behaved. For my part I hoped and prayed that my appointment as the first “ambassador” of India in Africa might appeal to him as a natural fulfillment of his dream. He was still under the shock of what had happened, after all his sacrifice, to the State of Aundh. But I think there was happiness mixed with the sadness of parting when in July 1948 he came to Bombay to see me leave for Mombasa in the B.I.S.N. ship Khandala.

As the ship slowly ploughed its way for twenty-three days across the Indian Ocean, whatever thoughts I had of the mission ahead of me were coloured by my own limited experience and by the inspiration of Mahatma Gandhi. I was absorbed with the ideals and philosophy of his soul-force, the non-violence with which I had experimented in Aundh, and which I was convinced held the answer to all the problems, conflicts, tensions and exploitations that I might meet. The Indian spirit of friendship and the non-violent dynamic represented what I felt I should be carrying to the Continent of Dawn, the Africa that had provided the preliminary testing-ground of Gandhi’s faith. The influences that had shaped me were contradictory in this sense, that my father, with all his respect and regard for the Mahatma, never had much time for the non-violent ethic. Indeed, he used to say openly that India had been damaged by the teachings of the Buddha and of the Jains. The true Indian tradition was represented for him by Shivaji, as a protagonist of the belief that evil must be courageously and sacrificially combated with material weapons. Since he held that the Gandhian way was a travesty of this tradition, it was nothing short of a miracle in my eyes that he had gone to meet the Mahatma in 1937, and had followed his advice regarding the new constitution for Aundh. In all the dejection and disappointment that had come to him later, I never heard him say that that advice had been wrong. But when he came to visit us in Nairobi in 1950, bringing with him my much loved stepmother, I could see that something had gone out of him. And in the following April I was called back to Bombay to watch him breathe his last in Room 9 of St. George’s Hospital.

We took him back to Aundh, his head resting in his Rani’s lap as she sat, red-eyed and tearless, in the back of the big black Chrysler. My nephew Bapusaheb, the son of my deceased brother and thus the heir to the empty title of Raja, was in the driving-seat. I knew that since I had left India for Africa I had “freed” myself from my father, in the way that we all must do, and that I was in that sense alone now and independent. But through the eight hours of that 220- mile drive to Aundh, over four escarpments of the Western Ghats and through dusty, familiar villages, I lived again the sight, the sound, the smell of thirty-nine years of my life with him. I suddenly felt myself as a three year o1d in the Rangachi Kholi, his painting-room, playing at his feet with the palette and the heavy brushes that smelt of turpentine, while he sat on his stool, with his tongue jutting out a little, carefully dabbing paint on the canvas. Life was such splendour of colours and smells and security and harmony. When he was pleased he would often sing softly to himself, and then wave after wave of sheer joy would overwhelm me. I felt like eating him up at such moments. As he lay dead in the back of the car I could hear his high baritone voice, singing and acting those Hari kirtans which he performed twice a year, taking up a moral and metaphysical theme from the epics, or perhaps from the life of Shivaji, and illustrating it with song, speech and story. On those days I used to be all excitement, tense with hope and expectation, wanting my father to move the audience to tears or laughter, piety or fervour. And when he did so, as usually happened, the cup of my pride and peace was full. The total experience of his unfailing trust, affection and care for me flowed through me on that last journey.

We reached Aundh at night, and laid him in a palanquin in the main temple. After the agony of those hours my stepmother broke down and wanted to offer herself as a Sati. It took me some time before I could dissuade her. Before dawn, singing and chanting, we took him to his favorite spot near the museum, half-way up the hill. As the sun rose I set fire to the pyre of this great sun-worshipper, and his remains returned to the dust of Mother Earth, and to air, water and ether within an hour.

When the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan delegation crossed the Sikkim border in November 1956, they were welcomed by the Chogyal of Sikkim, Tashi Namgyal and the Indian representative in Sikkim, Apa Pant. For the following three months Apa Pant was in charge of organizing the Dalai Lama’s journey through India, visiting pilgrimage places, but also enabling the Tibetan leader to solicit foreign support for his people under siege.

Some thirty years later
my mother presented me with a little book entitled ‘Das Sonnengebet’ (Sun Prayer). I was just about to develop an interest for all things exotic, so I decided to give the seemingly simple yoga exercises a try. For several months I continued to practice the Surya Namaskars and then I must have moved on to something else that was equally exciting and new, but the flavors of discipline and sanity that came with performing a regular exercise stayed with me for much longer.

Just recently, when researching Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö’s students in Sikkim, I found that Apa Pant had not only been the highest Indian political officer in Sikkim at the time, but also that he was an ardent practitioner of the Surya Namaskar. This stirred my memory and I phoned my mother to send me the book. Unbelievably she still found it sitting on some dusty shelf.

Sure enough the same Apa Pant who had requested Jamyang Khyentse again and again for the ultimate instruction on how to meditate (as described in chapter 5 of Sogyal Rinpoche’s Tibetan Book of Living and Dying) was the author whose instructions for yogic exercise I had followed with great curiosity many years before I even knew anything about Tibetan Buddhism.


-- Apa B Pant in Sikkim as Political Officer, by SIKKIM e.newsletter, edited by S K Sarda


This was indeed the end of an era. All of us, brothers and sisters and my nephew Bapusaheb, recognized it; but at the same time all of us felt the impulse to maintain in some way my father’s personal mystique and the tradition that he had embodied. During the mourning period of forty days we had many discussions of how this could be done, and my cousin Balamaharaj was there to help. We had, I had, fantastically unrealistic dreams, resolving to meet at least once a year in Aundh to commemorate the passing of that Great Spirit. We wanted everything to be kept as it was the palace, the painting-room, the library, the museum, the temples. In that moment Bapusaheb, joined with us in memories and sorrow, promised everything. We initialed a family arrangement, drafted by Balamaharaj, about the disposable property, and as we all left it seemed to me that the Aundh of our memory and imagination would be preserved for ever. We even agreed to keep my father’s precious films and slides (over five thousand of them) safely at Aundh and to look at them together from time to time when we met there.

Perhaps the dream would have faded of its own nature. But as it turned out, Bapusaheb went back on his promises, took to the bottle, and brought all ideas of perpetuating that private Aundh to ruin with himself. That which is indestructible, the spirit that broods over the temples at Aundh and at Kinhai, the village of our origin, has had a transcendental influence on all of us, wherever we may be: an influence so profound and powerful that any member of the family who breaks any of the significant traditions-you could call them the rules of the game—comes to destruction. This has been our experience for generations.

Jai Jagadamb!

Compiler

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Benegal Pereira

Benegal Pereira was born and raised in Kenya during the height of the Mau Mau uprising and Pant’s tenure as India’s first Commissioner to East and Central Africa. Benegal migrated to the US in 1986 and is currently based in New Hampshire, USA. Through his own father's [Eddie Pereira] active interest and involvement with both Kenya and Indian independence political movements, Benegal has been able to recall vividly the tensions and racial divisions associated with the movement of the East African countries to full political independence. In 1998, he founded the internet East Africana forum, Namaskar-Africana, that has since attracted a worldwide participation of former East African Asians His avocation over a number of years has been collecting printed material on East Africa, born out of a love for his birthplace and what he believes is a largely untold story of the Asian contribution to the development of East Africa; as a result, he now possesses perhaps one of the world’s largest private collections of books and materials devoted solely to this subject.

[www.namaskar-africana.com]

Bibliography

Faria, Angelo. Personal Communication . Washington, DC, USA : September 2007, 2007.

Offered a strictly personal perspective by connecting the dots, through evaluating the impact of external development on Pants role in EA that related to the evolution of the external political environment he has offered his personal view of the period of Pants the in East Africa, and has made the particular point.

Peter Wright. Bellevue, WA, USA: Oral Conversations, 2007.

Nazareth, John Maximian. Brown Man Black Country. New Delhi: Tidings Publications, 1981.

Pant, Apa. —.

A Moment in Time, India: Orient Longman, 1974. —.

Mandala : An Awakening, India: Orient Longmans, Ltd, 1978. —.

Undiplomatic Incidents, London: Sangam Books (India) Pvt. Ltd., 1987. —.

An Unusual Raja, Mahatma Gandhi and the Aundh Experiment. London: Sangam Books (India) Pvt. Ltd., 1989. —.

An Extended Family of Fellow Pilgrims, Bombay, India: Sangam Book (India), Ltd., 1990
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Thu May 28, 2020 7:38 am

Apa B Pant in Sikkim as Political Officer
by SIKKIM e.newsletter, edited by S K Sarda
sikkim123.blogspot.com
July 23, 2010

While on her initial mission at the Tibetan camps in 1959-60, Freda also visited Sikkim where a number of Tibetan monks and refugees had settled. It seems to have been then that she first met the head of the Kagyu lineage, one of the four principal schools within Tibetan Buddhism. The 16th Karmapa Lama had escaped from Tibet through Bhutan in the wake of the Dalai Lama's departure and had moved into his order's long established but near derelict monastery at Rumtek in Sikkim. Apa Pant, a senior Indian official, told Freda that she really couldn't come to Sikkim without calling on the Karmapa. Pant was an Oxford contemporary of the Bedis. He was from a princely family and had an inquiring mind about faith and religion; he went on to be one of India's most senior diplomats. At this stage of his career, Pant was India's political officer covering Sikkim and Bhutan, two small largely Buddhist kingdoms which lay on the hugely sensitive border with China, and also in charge of the four Indian missions in Tibet.23 Freda was keen to act on her friend's suggestion:
[Apa Pant] sent me on horseback -- there was no road at that point up to the monastery. And I remember the journey through the forest and it was most beautiful. As we neared the monastery, His Holiness sent people and a picnic basket full of Tibetan tea and cakes and things to refresh us. It's about twenty miles, the path up to the monastery. And when I went to see him, there he was with a great smile on the top floor of a small country monastery surrounded by birds, he just loves birds. ... There he was with his birds, sitting in his room, not on a great throne but on a carpet with a cushion on it. And just at that time, the Burmese changeover took place and the gates of Burma were shut. And I was feeling a great sense of loss that I can't see my Burmese gurus and so I asked the question that was in my mind that I was saving up to ask my guru when I met him. I asked it of His Holiness. And he gave me just the perfect answer.24

There is perhaps an allegoric aspect to much of Freda's shared memories of her relationship with her guru, as the 16th Karmapa became. But at this time political storm clouds were gathering over Burma, leading up to the military coup in March 1962 which sealed the country off from the rest of the world for a generation. The Kagyu school traced its lineage back to the eleventh century and alongside a monastic structure it emphasised meditative training and solitary retreats.25 That suited Freda. And above all she was impressed by the spirituality and personality of the 16th Karmapa, by his 'deep roaring laughter' and by a personal conduct and indeed appearance which put her in mind of the Buddha.

-- The Lives of Freda: The Political, Spiritual and Personal Journeys of Freda Bedi, by Andrew Whitehead


When the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan delegation crossed the Sikkim border in November 1956, they were welcomed by the Chogyal of Sikkim, Tashi Namgyal and the Indian representative in Sikkim, Apa Pant. For the following three months Apa Pant was in charge of organizing the Dalai Lama’s journey through India, visiting pilgrimage places, but also enabling the Tibetan leader to solicit foreign support for his people under siege.

Some thirty years later
my mother presented me with a little book entitled ‘Das Sonnengebet’ (Sun Prayer). I was just about to develop an interest for all things exotic, so I decided to give the seemingly simple yoga exercises a try. For several months I continued to practice the Surya Namaskars
and then I must have moved on to something else that was equally exciting and new, but the flavors of discipline and sanity that came with performing a regular exercise stayed with me for much longer.

Apa Pant, 1998 (1970), Surya Namaskars, Mumbai: Disha Books.

Apa Pant was a successful diplomat in the new India, and the son of Bhavanrao Pant (below), the King of Aundh–a quasi-independent kingdom that was dissolved upon the attainment of nation status for India after 1947. Also a small book it includes some wonderful stories, philosophical perspectives and a basic outline of the Sun Salutation practice with both photographs and drawings....


The Raja of Aundh, Bhavanrao Srinivasrao Pant Pratinidhi, 1989 , Surya Namaskars

This is the king who had SN [Surya Namaskars] taught throughout his land in the 1920s and 30s. It is the first book on the practice in the modern age (reprinted).

-- Further Resources On Surya Namaskar: The Sun Salutation, by Eric Shaw, Jan. 17, 2012


Just recently, when researching Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö’s students in Sikkim, I found that Apa Pant had not only been the highest Indian political officer in Sikkim at the time, but also that he was an ardent practitioner of the Surya Namaskar. This stirred my memory and I phoned my mother to send me the book. Unbelievably she still found it sitting on some dusty shelf.

Sure enough the same Apa Pant who had requested Jamyang Khyentse again and again for the ultimate instruction on how to meditate (as described in chapter 5 of Sogyal Rinpoche’s Tibetan Book of Living and Dying) was the author whose instructions for yogic exercise I had followed with great curiosity many years before I even knew anything about Tibetan Buddhism.

PANT on AUNDH and his (Father) Baba or BalaSahib (PANT, Apa - Mandala : An Awakening)

... We reached Aundh at night, and laid him in a palanquin in the main temple. After the agony of those hours my stepmother broke down and wanted to offer herself as a Sati. It took me some time before I could dissuade her. Before dawn, singing and chanting, we took him to his favorite spot near the museum, half-way up the hill. As the sun rose I set fire to the pyre of this great sun-worshipper, and his remains returned to the dust of Mother Earth, and to air, water and ether within an hour.

-- Apa Pant in East Africa -- Nehru's Protégé, edited and Compiled by Benegal Pereira

Parshuram Rao Pant ‘Apa Sahib’, Padma Shri [1912-1991]

Apa Pant was born in 1912 as the eldest son of the Raja of Aundh. He took his M.A. at Oxford, and was called to the Bar before his return to India in 1937. For the next ten years he was involved in an unusual constitutional experiment by which his father Bala Sahib, aided by Mahatma Gandhi and Maurice Frydman, handed over power to the people of Aundh as an early test of village-level self government in British India. [see also Aundh Experiment]

HH Meherban Shrimant Raja BHAVAN RAO SHRINIVAS ‘BALA SAHIB’, Pant Pratinidhi of Aundh [1868-1951]

Many credit the Raja, Apa Pant’s father, for popularizing Surya Namaskars as a simple physical exercise by introducing it to schools as a form of education for the all-round development of an individual. He was not only a benevolent ruler, but also an avid painter know for his beautiful illustrations of the Ramayana

In 1948, Apa Pant was chosen by the Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, to be India’s Commissioner in British East Africa. From 1951 to 1961 he was made political officer in Sikkim and Bhutan with control over Indian Missions in Tibet.

In 1956 Apa Pant helped facilitate the Indian invitation to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama by way of the Sikkim Crown Prince Thondup Namgyal.

Jamyang Kyentse returned from his pilgrimage to India and Nepal around Losar 1957, just after HH Dalai Lama had returned to Lhasa via Gangtok. It was probably during this time that Apa Pant became a student of Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö. As Sogyal Rinpoche recounts in The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying:


“Apa Pant told me this story. One day our master Jamyang Khyentse was watching a “Lama Dance” in front of the Palace Temple in Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim, and he was chuckling at the antics of the atsara, the clown who provides light relief between dances. Apa Pant kept pestering him, asking him again and again how to meditate, so this time when my master replied, it was in such a way as to let him know that he was telling him once and for all: “Look, it’s like this: When the past thought has ceased, and the future thought has not yet risen, isn’t there a gap?”

“Yes,” said Apa Pant.

“Well, prolong it: That is meditation.”


In the colophon to his teaching “Opening the Dharma” Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö writes:

“This ‘Opening the Dharma’ was written at the request of the Governor of Sikkim, Apa Sahib, by a Tibetan holding the name of Jamyang Khyentse’s emanation (from Dzongsar), stupid Chökyi Lodrö, who, with an extremely good heart, wrote uninterruptedly. May this virtue bring benefit to the Holy Dharma and to all those wandering in Samsara.”


It was this very teaching that HH Sakya Trizin’s sister Jetsün Kushok Chimey Luding happened to hear on radio while playing with her transistor in Sakya.

When, just after Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö had passed away, all of Gangtok was suddenly lit up by a strange, unearthly light, hours after dark, Apa Pant was the first to call and inquire what on earth it could be. (See also the recollections of HH Sakya Trizin in the film: A Tribute to Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö)

Later Apa Pant held diplomatic appointments in Indonesia, Norway, the UAR and as High Commissioner in London from 1969 to 72. As the Indian ambassador to Italy he welcomed His Holiness the Dalai Lama once again who, visiting Europe for the first time, had made it his priority to meet Pope John Paul VI.

He authored several books some of which contain several references to Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö, to whom he refers as the ‘Great Khentse Rimpoche’:


• Surya Namaskars: An Ancient Indian Exercise
• An Unusual Raja: Mahatma Gandhi and the Aundh Experiment
• An Extended Family, or Fellow Pilgrims
• A Moment in Time (his autobiography)
• Undiplomatic Incidents

Apa Pant passed away in 1992.

FROM http://www.rememberthemasters.org
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Fri May 29, 2020 12:06 am

Buxa Fort
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 5/28/20

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


While based at Misamari, Freda also visited the other principal Tibetan camp, at Buxa just across the state border in West Bengal. This was both more substantial than Misamari and more forbidding. It was initially a fort built of bamboo and wood, but had been rebuilt in stone by the British and used as a detention camp -- and as it was so remote, it housed some of what were seen as the more menacing political detainees. When the buildings were made available to the Tibetans, they were in poor repair. All the same, these were allocated for Tibetan Buddhist monks and spiritual teachers. Freda referred to it rather grandly as a monastic college. And unlike Misamari, which was open for little more than a year, Buxa was intended as a long-term camp. It's estimated that at one time as many as 1,500 Tibetans lived there. Conditions were so poor that many monks contracted tuberculosis but it remained in operation for a decade.11

-- The Lives of Freda: The Political, Spiritual and Personal Journeys of Freda Bedi, by Andrew Whitehead


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Buxa Fort
Alipurduar district, West Bengal
Buxa Fort is located in West Bengal
Coordinates 26°45′17.86″N 89°34′49.04″E
Type Hill Fort / Prison
Height 867 metres (2,844 ft)
Site information
Controlled by: (formerly) British Raj
Open to the public: Yes
Condition: Ruins
Site history
Built by: British Empire
In use: Abandoned in 1951
Materials: Bamboo (original), Stone
Battles/wars: Bhutan War

Buxa Fort is located at an altitude of 867 metres (2,844 ft) in the Buxa Tiger Reserve, Alipurduar district, West Bengal. It is located 30 kilometres (19 mi) from Alipurduar, the nearest town. The Bhutan King used the fort to protect the portion of famous Silk Route connecting Tibet with India, via Bhutan. Still later during unrest in Occupation of Tibet, hundreds of refugees arrived at the place and used the then abandoned fort as refuge.

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View of Buxa Fort used as Bengal Native Infantry Barrack and later as prison camp by the British Government. India used it as camp for Tibetan refugees.

Its origin is uncertain. Before the occupation of the fort by the British, it was a point of contention between the King of Bhutan and the Cooch Kings.

British occupation

The British on invitation of the Cooch King intervened and captured the fort which was formally handed over to the British on November 11, 1865 as part of Treaty of Sinchula.[1] The British reconstructed the fort from its bamboo wood structure to stone structure. The fort was to later be used as a high security prison and detention camp in the 1930s;[2] it was the most notorious and unreachable prison in India after the Cellular Jail in Andaman. Nationalist revolutionaries belonging to the Anushilan Samiti and Yugantar group such as Krishnapada Chakraborty were imprisoned there in the 1930s. Forward Bloc leader and ex-Law Minister of West Bengal, Amar Prasad Chakraborty, was also imprisoned at Buxa Fort in 1943. Besides, some communist revolutionaries and intellectuals like the poet Subhash Mukhopadhyay were captivated here in the 1950s.

Tibetan refugee crisis

Drepung was one of the most celebrated monasteries in Tibet, and with over 10,000 monks before the Chinese invasion. But in March 1959, Chinese troops tasked with quelling the Tibetan uprising moved aggressively against the monastery; Only a few hundred monks escaped to India. These expatriate monks, representing all the diverse Tibetan orders, first set up a monastic study center and refugee camp in Buxa Fort, on the grounds of the jungle-bound former prison camp.[3]

In 1966, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs was alerted to the conditions of the Buxa refugee camps, and it became apparent that the Tibetan refugees would have to be relocated to a more hospitable place. Initially reluctant, a message from the Dalai Lama, urging them to think of the future and to strive for sufficiency, and the option of settling near other Tibetan refugees convinced the monks to move, and in 1971 the monks moved to their new locations at Bylakuppe and Mundgod in the state of Karnataka.[4]

Trekking

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Grace Assembly of God Church Santalabari

The following routers are popular among tourists and nature lovers –

• Santalabari to Buxa Fort 5 kilometres (3.1 mi)
• Buxa Fort to Rovers point 3 kilometres (1.9 mi)
• Santalabari to Roopang valley 14 kilometres (8.7 mi)
• Buxa Fort to Lepchakha 5 kilometres (3.1 mi)
• Buxa Fort to Chunabhati 4 kilometres (2.5 mi)

References

1. Singh, Nagendra (1978). "Appendix VII – The Treaty of Sinchula". Bhutan: a Kingdom in the Himalayas : a study of the land, its people, and their government (2 ed.). Thomson Press Publication Division. p. 243. Retrieved 2011-08-25.
2. "West Bengal Forest Development Corporation". Retrieved 9 May 2012.
3. "About The Re-establishment of Drepung Gomang Monastic University in India". Drepung Gomang Monastery. Retrieved 2014-04-29.
4. "Buxa Refugee Camp" (PDF). Retrieved 9 May 2012.

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Religion & Culture -- Tibet's Heritage [Buxa Transit Camp]
-- by Tibet Documentation, http://tibetansinexile.org
Accessed: 5/28/20

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August, 1959: a refugee camp for monks was started in August of 1959 at the Buxa Transit Camp which had earlier housed Tibetan refugees from Bhutan. It was able to accommodate 1500 monks and nuns from the four Buddhist schools and Bon.

The Buxa Duar Lama Ashram was built on top of an ex-British fort and former prison which had housed some of the leaders of the Indian Civil Disobedience Movement such as Mahatma Gandhi and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. It is also said that the monks were placed in the house where Nehru was imprisoned and the nuns were housed in Gandhi’s prison.

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Oct, 1967: At the meeting of the religious heads of sects, a resolution which was passed was the conversion of Buxa Lama Ashram into a centre for learning Tibetan Buddhist Philosophy for all. With this goal in mind, His Holiness the Dalai Lama approached Pandit Nehru in 1964 and this was realized in October 1967 with the enrolment of 108 students at the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies (CIHTS), a special constituent wing of Sampurnanand Sanskrit University.

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1970: From 1959 to 1969, monks of Gaden Shartse were based in Buxa Transit Camp and in 1969 a total of 132 monks left Buxa for the Tibetan Settlement in Mundgod which was established in 1966. With support from local Tibetans and the Indian Government, the first Gelug monastery Gaden Shartse Norling monastery was re-established in exile in 1970.

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Buxa Chogar: Saving Tibetan Buddhism in Exile
by Robyn Brentano
50 Mandala
January - June 2019

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


Many students of elder Tibetan Buddhist geshes may be familiar with the name Buxa Duar, the area in West Bengal, India, where 1,500 monks and nuns lived and studied after escaping Tibet in 1959. The actual camp was informally called Buxa Chogar, which roughly trans lates as “the Dharma camp at Buxa.” Robyn Brentano, an American long-time student of Tibetan Buddhism, has spent the last three years doing research and oral history interviews about Buxa Chogar and shares the story of this critical chapter of Tibetan history.

When His Holiness the Dalai Lama and 80,000 Tibetans fled the Chinese takeover of Tibet in 1959, they sought refuge in India, Bhutan, and Nepal, thinking it would be only a matter of months before they could return home. Among the refugees were thousands of Tibet’s greatest scholars, spiritual masters, reincarnate lamas, and aspiring students from the four lineages of Tibetan Buddhism and from the Bon tradition.

Some Tibetan monks and nuns found refuge in sister monasteries in Sikkim, Bhutan, and Nepal, but thousands of others had to work on road-building projects in India in order to survive. This labor proved deadly for many who were already suffering from trauma, inadequate food and shelter, and exposure to disease and the heat of subtropical India. Recognizing that Tibet’s unique scholarly traditions would perish in a generation if there were no place for the monks to continue their studies and for the monasteries to regroup, the Dalai Lama negotiated with Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to establish a nonsectarian educational institution for 1,500 monks and nuns in a former British prison camp in Buxa Duar in a remote area of West Bengal.

For the next ten years, as the systematic destruction of 6,000 monasteries and temples and the genocide of the Tibetan people continued in Tibet, the Buxa abbots, teachers, monks, and nuns endured the harsh conditions of refugee life to sustain their monastic education and way of life. Their story of personal sacrifice and perseverance in the face of inconceivable loss is an important chapter in the preservation of Tibetan Buddhism and its eventual transmission around the world. For the first time in Tibetan history, monks and nuns from the four monastic lineages lived together under a single institutional roof. Due to the Dalai Lama’s tireless efforts to revitalize the Tibetan monasteries, the rigors and high standards of monastic education have survived the terrible rupture in Tibetan Buddhism’s long history. Tibet had safeguarded and refined the wisdom culture that it inherited from India’s great Nalanda University. Through the rebuilding of Tibet’s monasteries in exile, including the great three Gelug monasteries of Drepung, Ganden, and Sera, the Nalanda tradition has been restored to its birthplace in India.

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BUXA CHOGAR, WEST BENGAL, INDIA, 1963. PHOTO © LIBRARY OF TIBETAN WORKS AND ARCHIVES.

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LAMA YESHE AND LAMA ZOPA RINPOCHE WITH GESHE LOSANG GYATSO (ON RIGHT), ALTOMONT VILLA, DARJEELING, INDIA, 1967. PHOTO BY NIKOLAUS DUTSCHKE; COURTESY OF LAMA YESHE WISDOM ARCHIVE.

Tibetan Buddhism has touched and transformed the lives of countless people and is changing modern society through the spread of Dharma centers, academic programs, and secular applications of the Buddha’s profound wisdom and methods. Since Buxa closed in 1969, several generations of geshes have been trained, and many have gone on to teach in international Dharma centers and academia. Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche, who both lived and studied in Buxa until they moved to Altomont Villa in Darjeeling, began teaching Western students in 1967. In 1975 they founded the Foun - dation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT). Since then, dozens of geshes have served as resident teachers in the more than 160 international centers affiliated with FPMT. As students of Tibetan Buddhism, we have much to be grateful for: If not for the resilience and dedication of the abbots, high lamas, and young scholars, and the concerted efforts of Tibetan and Indian government officials, lay people, and international aid agencies, Buxa would not have helped set the stage for the flourishing of Dharma in the modern world.

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THE SITE OF BUXA CHOGAR IN 2017. PHOTO BY HARRY LUFTING.

EARLY DAYS IN EXILE

On March 31, 1959, the Dalai Lama and members of his party were granted asylum in India and taken by train to Mussorie, where he was welcomed by Prime Minister Nehru. They discussed the future of the refugees, who by then had begun pouring into India. For various reasons, including the evolving political relationship between India and China, Nehru took personal interest in the Tibetans’ situation. He also served as Minister of External Affairs and created a special Tibetan Refugee Section in that department to ensure that the refugees’ affairs would be handled at the highest level of government. Soon after that, the non-governmental Central Relief Committee-India (CRC-I) was formed to coordinate aid from scores of relief agencies based in India and abroad. The Tibetan government administrators and the Dalai Lama’s Private Office faced complex bureaucratic and logistical challenges, but the Indian government officials were supportive and worked closely with them to manage the refugees’ needs.

The Indian government set up two reception camps: One at Missamari in Assam for the refugees who arrived through Mon- Tawang and the other at Buxa Duar for those who came through Bhutan and Sikkim. The camps opened on May 16 and processed about 60,000 refugees over the next year.

Missamari and Buxa Duar were unbearably hot and humid for the Tibetans, who were used to the cold, clear air of the Tibetan plateau. They arrived exhausted, injured, sick, and destitute. The camps’ make-shift bamboo huts offered little respite from the heat. They were forced to shed their woolen and sheepskin clothing and wear lightweight, Indian-style pants and shirts that one geshe described as looking like a prison suit that stripped everyone—men and women, monastics and lay people— of their personal identity. As Geshe Lhundub Sopa recounted, “Mentally we were sad and disoriented, physically we were miserable. We wondered, ‘Where are we going from here?’ We had no idea what would happen next. We just knew that we were a long way from home.”

The Indian authorities did their best to provide for the refugees’ needs, but overcrowding, unsanitary conditions, polluted water, and minimal medical care meant that hundreds succumbed to dysentery, malaria, tuberculosis (TB), and other diseases. The monks conducted pujas for the deaths that continually occurred. Within a year, 167 children and sixty-five adults died in Missamari alone.

As the situation worsened in Tibet, it was clear the refugees would not be returning any time soon and they would need some form of employment to survive. The Indian government decided to send all able-bodied refugees to work on road construction in Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Kullu, Manali, and elsewhere in the Himalayan region. It was agreed that everyone under the age of twenty-five should go to school. To retain Tibetan language and identity, the Tibetan government-in-exile began to set up its own schools and kindergartens. The elderly would be sent to old age homes, and those who had relatives or other connections in India were free to leave the camps.

BUXA CHOGAR

In addition to the refugees’ immediate welfare, the Dalai Lama was very concerned about sustaining the religious and cultural legacy of Tibet. More than 6,000 monks and nuns had escaped from Tibet by early summer. Many, including thousands of young monks whose philosophical studies had been disrupted, were already joining the road crews. The Dalai Lama saw that the scholarly traditions of Tibet’s great monasteries would be lost unless the monks could continue their education and the monasteries could rebuild. “If the abbots, tulkus, and monastics are scattered and mingled with the rest of the refugee population, this will be a huge loss not only for Tibet, but for the world of Buddhism in general,” he said. He envisioned a nonsectarian monastic institution where monks and nuns from all the Tibetan lineages could study, so he traveled to Delhi to petition Nehru for help.

Elements in the Indian government had been critical of Nehru’s decision to admit the Tibetans into India, resulting in some pressure to put all of the Tibetans to work, including the monks, so that aid could be reduced as quickly as possible. Responding to the Dalai Lama’s appeal, the Indian government agreed that 500 monks could stay in Buxa Duar to continue their studies based on the ancient cultural and religious ties between India and Tibet. This was hardly enough to reestablish the monastic structures that would be needed to support the monks’ long-term education or to produce a sufficient number of graduates to sustain the monasteries in the future, so the Dalai Lama asked for more. Indian officials were unfamiliar with the rigorous form of scholarly training in the Tibetan monasteries that required up to twenty-five years of study to earn a geshe degree. After considerable discussion, the Indian authorities agreed that 1,500 monastics could live in Buxa Duar and 500 in Dalhousie.

Thardoe Chosum Chogar Ling, commonly called Buxa Chogar by Tibetan officials and monks, was formally established in August 1959. In September, abbots and scholars of the four Tibetan Buddhist sects and the Dalai Lama’s representatives held a week-long meeting in Kalimpong to decide where each of the monasteries would go. They agreed that Gyuto and Gyudmed tantric colleges, Namgyal Monastery, and elder abbots, tulkus, and geshes would stay in Dalhousie, while 200 from the Nyingma, Sakya, and Kagyu monasteries along with 1,300 abbots, teachers, and “dedicated learners” from the three great Gelug monasteries, would go to Buxa. Twenty-one Kagyu nuns who had escaped with their abbot, Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, also would stay in Buxa. Since thousands of lay people already were living in the Buxa camp and thousands of monks were in Missamari, Kalimpong, Bomdila, Gangtok, and areas where road construction was under way, the Tibetan administrators and abbots had to begin the arduous process of sorting everyone out and verifying the identities and eligibility of the monks. To be admitted to Buxa Chogar, the Gelug monks had to be screened, pass an improvised exam, and prove they had at least begun the first year of Collected Topics (a preliminary subject for formal monastic education) in Tibet.

Buxa Duar sits 2,800 feet (850 meters) above sea level in northwest Bengal, near the border with Bhutan. The camp itself occupied the ruins of an ancient fort that had been seized by the British in 1865 and converted into a high-security prison for political dissidents during India’s independence movement. Gandhi and Nehru were rumored to have been incarcerated there, but no contemporary records confirm this. The two-story-high outer wall, covered with barbed wire, and long concrete barracks with barred windows were still standing when the Tibetans arrived in 1959. A large metal gate and police post guarded the single entrance where the monks had to obtain permits even to visit nearby Alipurduar. The compound sat on a flat promontory perched over a river 1,000 feet (300 meters) below. Thickly wooded mountains on three sides sealed the camp’s claustrophobic atmosphere and trapped the cold, foggy winters, unbearable summer heat, and torrential monsoon rains. Watchtowers built by the British at points along the ridges of the mountains served as an ironic reminder of the constraints on the monks’ lives.

The compound was scarcely large enough to hold everyone, yet the monasteries did their best to divide the buildings equitably, set up communal kitchens, and designate spaces for debate, teachings, and ceremonies. The nuns were given a small house in the center of the compound next to the Indian administration building. With only two small windows high up in the walls, the interiors of the long, narrow barracks were dark and stultifying. Lama Zopa Rinpoche described the living arrangements in the building where he initially stayed: thirty beds lined up on each side of the central door. He, some geshes, and the Sera Me monks lived inside. The Sera Je monks built new bamboo houses outside in the courtyard. Lama Yeshe’s house was over the drain for the water pumps, making it quite smelly and unpleasant.

Indian officials were unfamiliar with the rigorous form of scholarly training in the Tibetan monasteries that required up to twenty-five years of study to earn a geshe degree.


“Sera Je and Sera Me monks would gather in that same building to do pujas,” Lama Zopa Rinpoche said. “The older monks would sit on the beds, while the abbots and incarnate lamas sat up front and other monks sat on the floor.” The monks replaced the toilets at the ends of the buildings with altars that they fashioned out of bamboo. Sharpa Tulku recalled, “Some of the monks were so talented and creative. They made beautiful bamboo furniture, not only altars, but beautiful bamboo beds with crushed bamboo on top, so you didn’t need a mattress. It was so soft.” Poisonous snakes living in the bamboo overhead would drop down on the monks’ beds, but as one of the geshes explained, the snakes kindly took care of the rodents under foot. The monks hung curtains between the beds for privacy so they could study and do their practices, but that did not stop TB and other illnesses from spreading like wildfire.

The environment in and around the camp was exceedingly unhealthy. The water looked clean, but it was polluted by runoff from a military installation upstream. It darkened the monks’ skin and clothes and caused gastric problems. Bed bugs and other vermin made it impossible to get a good night’s sleep. When the monks took walks in the forest to relax, they got terrible blisters from poisonous trees. Since they could not afford shoes, they made sandals from old car tires. For robes, they pieced together whatever scraps they could find including wheat flour bags donated by the United States. On his first visit to Buxa Chogar on Ganden Ngamchoe, the anniversary of Je Tsongkhapa’s death, a wealthy benefactor from Kalimpong, Tehor Gyurmey Sadutsang, saw the monks debating in lay clothes, which was considered inauspicious, so he donated cloth for each of the monks to make a full set of robes.

Most of the monks had difficulty adjusting to the Indian diet. The Indian government provided basic rations of rice, lentils, corn flour, oil, potatoes, sugar, and goat meat. International aid organizations sent wheat, milk powder, and tinned meat. In the beginning, the rations were good quality, but corrupt local officials began intercepting incoming supplies and replacing them with poor quality rice and pulses infested with insects and full of stones. Between the bad food and dysentery, many of the monks and nuns suffered from lengthy bouts of diarrhea.

By mid-1960, the government began to reduce the already meager rations, which caused considerable anxiety among the monks. The Tibetans pressed government leaders to continue the promised level of support, which they did for the time being. The camp faced a food shortage again in 1966 due to famine in Bihar. In 1967 when a Naxilite Maoist insurgency in West Bengal cut off the supply route to Buxa Duar, everyone went without food for twenty days. The Dalai Lama appealed to Indian officials for help, “These scholars constitute the nucleus of our learning. Our strongest hope in the preservation of Buddhism and our culture lies in these people, and for this reason I have always considered their welfare of utmost importance.”

In the early days of Buxa Chogar, a one-room clinic was set up and staffed by local doctors who lacked equipment and medicine to properly treat all the ailments that were occurring. Quite a few of the geshes remembered a particularly bad-tempered health worker who used the same hypodermic needle over and over again. When it became dull, he would sharpen it on a stone, all the while cursing at his patient.

Hundreds contracted TB. Those with severe symptoms were sent to Indian hospitals where they underwent surgery to remove parts of their lungs. Ganden Tri Rinpoche Lobsang Tenzin was treated at a Christian hospital in Rajasthan that had so many Buxa monks it built a special section for them. “Every two weeks, we would have the monks’ confession ceremony and do pujas and prayers together at the hospital,” Rinpoche said. Sharpa Tulku recalled, “Of those who were fortunate enough to return to Buxa, many were missing a rib and did not live very long. It seemed like every few days there would be a cremation. It was a real demonstration of impermanence.”

Hundreds contracted TB. Those with severe symptoms were sent to Indian hospitals where they underwent surgery to remove parts of their lungs. ... “It seemed like every few days there would be a cremation. It was a real demonstration of impermanence."


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HIS HOLINESS THE DALAI LAMA’S JUNIOR TUTOR TRIJANG RINPOCHE TEACHING AT BUXA CHOGAR, WEST BENGAL, INDIA, 1962. PHOTO ©LIBRARY OF TIBETAN WORKS AND ARCHIVES.

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DEBATE ANSWERER GESHES FOR THE WATER TIGER YEAR, GESHE LHUNDUB SOPA IS SECOND FROM RIGHT, BUXA CHOGAR, WEST BENGAL, INDIA, 1962. PHOTO © LIBRARY OF TIBETAN WORKS AND ARCHIVES.

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ALL THE MONKS ATTENDING TSOG, BUXA CHOGAR, WEST BENGAL, INDIA, 1962. PHOTO © LIBRARY OF TIBETAN WORKS AND ARCHIVES.

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INTERPRETER GESHE NYIMA TSERING (ON RIGHT) SHOWS GANDEN SHARTSE GESHE GYALTSEN KALSANG ARCHIVAL PHOTOS OF BUXA CHOGAR, MUNDGOD, KARNATAKA, INDIA, 2016. PHOTO BY ROBYN BRENTANO.

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THE CIRCULATION OF LORD JAMPA AFTER MONLAM CHENMO, BUXA CHOGAR, WEST BENGAL, INDIA, 1962. PHOTO © LIBRARY OF TIBETAN WORKS AND ARCHIVES.

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A CELL BLOCK AT THE SITE OF BUXA CHOGAR, INDIA, 2009. PHOTO BY VEN. TRISHA DONNELLY. COURTESY OF LAMA YESHE WISDOM ARCHIVE.

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VEN. TRISHA DONNELLY AT ENTRANCE TO THE SITE OF BUXA CHOGAR WITH MAP DRAWN BY LAMA ZOPA RINPOCHE. PHOTO BY FRANCES HOWLAND, COURTESY OF LAMA YESHE WISDOM ARCHIVE.

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THE ABBOTS OF BUXA CHOGAR (FROM LEFT) DREPUNG GOMANG KHENPO TENPA TENZIN, GADEN JANGTSE KHENPO UGYAN CHOPHEL, DREPUNG LOSELING KHENPO PEMA GYALTSEN, SERA JE KHENPO GESHE DHEPO, SERA ME KHENPO NGAWANG THEKCHOG, GADEN SHARTSE KHENPO LOBSANG CHOPHEL, AND SAKYA KHENPO NGAWANG SANGPO, WEST BENGAL, INDIA, 1962. PHOTO © LIBRARY OF TIBETAN WORKS AND ARCHIVES.

TB continued to spread unchecked. Adding to the trauma of their escape and loss, the monks were disturbed by the sound of stones dropping on the barracks’ roofs at night, which they attributed to the troubled spirits of prisoners who had been executed by the British. As the reality of their situation sank in—that they would not be returning to Tibet any time soon and that the international community would not recognize Tibet as an independent nation—some of the monks succumbed to despair and mental illness. A few committed suicide. The abbots and Tibetan officials repeatedly requested of the Indian authorities to move the monks to a cooler place and to set up a separate TB ward, but nothing was done until 1966. By then 309 monks (twenty-six percent of the population) had TB and another 203 had already died. The CRC-I finally sent a special medical team to Buxa and built a separate TB barrack. Tibetan officials continued their search for a more conducive location for the monks. They found a property in Palumpur near Dharamsala, but the Indian government, international aid agencies, and UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency) could not finance the purchase of the land. The Tibetan government-in-exile launched an urgent fundraising campaign in the settlements, and the refugees gave whole heartedly, but their donations fell short of the goal.

Despite the difficult living conditions, the monasteries resumed their daily schedule of study, classes, debate, prayer sessions, and common rituals. Geshe exams began in 1962. As news of the destruction of monasteries in Tibet continued to arrive at the camp, the monks realized just how much the preservation of Tibetan Buddhism depended on them. They threw themselves into their studies. They were aware, Sera Je Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Gelek said, that the Indian government was providing long-term support, “so the abbots advised the monks, if we just take the food that the Indian government is giving us and we don’t study, it would be a total betrayal of trust. It’s our responsibility to study as long as we can. The monks took that to heart and studied hard. … It’s especially important to note that in Buxa the monks didn’t have any other work to do at all, so the quality of study was very high. And it’s because of that that now the monasteries and the Dharma have been preserved in the way they have.”

While hundreds of important teachers had been unable to leave Tibet, many highly qualified and revered abbots and scholars did come to Buxa Chogar. The traditional process of teacher-to-student transmission, so crucial to the young monks’ intellectual and character development, was reestablished. In Tibet monks were free to choose their own teachers and would have done this within their own monastic college, but with all the monasteries so close together in Buxa, they could take teachings from any of the great scholars there regardless of lineage. Lama Yeshe, who was keenly nonsectarian, had many new students come to him for teachings and advice, so he studied texts from all the other traditions as well as his own.

The Dalai Lama was especially concerned about providing the best possible conditions for the monks’ education. “You could tell that the state of affairs in Buxa was constantly on his mind,” Sharpa Tulku said. “We were constantly receiving letters from him for all kinds of occasions. He requested his tutors Kyabje Ling Rinpoche and Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche to come when they were traveling in the vicinity. ... He was always trying to provide encouragement to officials like Phala [Thubten Woden, the former Lord Chamberlain of Tibet and Chief Secretary to His Holiness the Dalai Lama] and Kundeling [Woeser Gyaltsen, at the time the Director of the Council for Cultural and Religious Affairs of the Tibetan Govern ment in Exile], and he sent the great master Gyudmed Khensur Ngawang Lekden, who would give the most fascinating lectures and convey His Holiness’s advice, prayers, and support. This happened constantly, and it was very uplifting.” Later, the Dalai Lama sent Khunu Lama Tenzin Gyaltsen Rinpoche, a highly revered Buddhist master from Kinnaur, to give teachings on Shantideva’s A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life and Atisha’s Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment.

The monks began their day at 6:00 A.M. with a rigorous schedule of memorization, teachings, class debate, and prayers, as Lama Zopa Rinpoche explained, so they could “purify, collect merits, and pacify obstacles in order to complete their studies, gain realizations, and achieve enlightenment. They would do Tara prayers, White Umbrella Deity, Heart Sutra, and so on. There were also many prayer requests for people who had died or were sick” and from the Tibetan government for success in its affairs. These were followed by one-on-one debate, lunch, more teachings, dinner, private study, and more debate that lasted many hours into the night.

In Tibet, the monasteries were distant from one another so there were not many opportunities for intramural debate except during the Great Winter Debate after the Monlam Chenmo festival. In Buxa, space for debate was very limited so the six Gelug colleges had to share three areas. The largest area, near Ganden Jangtse’s house, was where Indian prisoners had been executed. One of the geshes said, “It was a sad place, but we did a lot of prayers and gradually the presence of the ghosts was diminished.”

In the mornings and afternoons, the monks debated with members of their own college. In the evenings, the colleges debated together and the Nyingma, Kagyu, and Sakya monks were welcome to join, which they often did. The effect on the monks was galvanizing. Sharpa Tulku recalled, “When we came together for debates, we were able to exchange ideas from all the monastic traditions, which was really fantastic. ... It was even more exciting than debating within our own monastic tradition because it presented a lot of challenges, different views, and ways of under - standing the same topic [whether] authored by Je Rinpoche, Khedrup Je, or the Indian pandits. They were all the same great masters. ... I think that’s what the scholars and teachers really enjoyed, looking forward to this common gathering and sessions.” While the monks debated together like this, the Dalai Lama asked each of the monasteries to take care to preserve their own unique debate manuals and scriptural authorities.

The largest debate ground was paved over with concrete and the monks sat outside, rain or shine. Eventually a large tent was erected. “When we first came to Buxa, the sutra classes followed the same schedule as in Tibet, with debating all night long,” Sera Je Khensur Rinpoche Geshe Lobsang Delek explained. “When there was a geshe examination ceremony, we would start debate at 5:00 in the evening and go until 5:00 in the morning, but later His Holiness advised the monks not to stay up all night because it would harm their health.” The monasteries stopped the debates at 1:00 A.M., but as Lama Zopa Rinpoche explained, the monks would return to their rooms and continue to memorize texts. “After finishing hours of debate, Sera Je Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Delek would come back, drink some black tea, then put a seat outside his room and recite many of the hundreds of pages that he had memorized ... especially Lama Tsongkhapa’s famous text, The Interpretable and Definitive Meanings: The Essence of Good Explanation. ... It is a very, very important text and difficult to learn, but he had memorized hundreds of pages. … He would recite very loudly until about 3:00 A.M. Then he would go to sleep for two or three hours. In the early morning, he would get up and begin memorizing again. That is just one example of how the monks dedicated their lives [in Buxa] to study Dharma.”

“It’s especially important to note that in Buxa the monks didn’t have any other work to do at all, so the quality of study was very high. And it’s because of that that now the monasteries and the Dharma have been preserved in the way they have.”


Over the course of their studies, monks are expected to memorize a vast amount of material so they can argue decisively in debate. The twenty-to-twenty-five year geshe degree curri - culum covers the five great treatises, or philosophical topics of pramana (functioning of the mind and logic), prajnaparamita (the way to develop realizations on the path to enlightenment), madhyamaka (the view of emptiness), vinaya (monastic discipline), and abhidharma (phenomenology and psychology). Monks have to memorize the Indian root texts and commen - taries, the Tibetan commentaries of their particular lineage masters, and extensive study and debate manuals and liturgies of their individual monasteries. Reliance on these texts ensures that the transmission of knowledge from generation to generation will be accurate and vibrant.

A monastery in Bhutan and some lay Tibetans offered texts for study and memorization, but there were far too few in Buxa for all the students at all the levels of classes. The monks had to make do by studying a few pages at a time and circulating them among their classmates. Initially, those who could write trans cribed texts that their teachers and senior scholars knew by heart. They used any paper they could find—powdered milk and butter wrappers from overseas donations were especially prized for their durability.

Around 1962, Khensur Pema Gyaltsen, the abbot of Drepung Loseling monastery, sent three of his monks to Kalimpong to learn lithography from Dorje Tharchin Babhu, a Christian Tibetan intellectual and journalist who published the first Tibetan newspaper, The Mirror, in 1925 and began printing Tibetan Buddhist texts as early as 1944. The printing process was physically demanding and required considerable skill to set up and run, but after much trial and error, the monks were able to reproduce legible texts. For the next three years, they worked hard to meet the demand for texts. Eventually they brought two machines back to Buxa and set up a printing office where the other monasteries sent staff to create master copies of their texts to be printed.

Kyabje Zong Rinpoche was a renowned and beloved scholar and tantric master from Ganden Shartse monastery. He could easily have settled in Dalhousie, where most of the high lamas and tulkus were, or gone to live in comfort with well-off Tibetan benefactors in Kalimpong and other places, but he rejected many invitations and chose to live in Buxa instead. He knew that many tantric lineage-holders were still in Tibet and that the tantric teachings and practices would be lost in exile if they were not transmitted to the upcoming generation. He stayed in a barrack with the Ganden Shartse monks and Lama Zopa Rinpoche.

Despite his strict and imposing demeanor, he was immensely popular and hundreds of monks from all of the sects flocked to his teachings and initiations, which included Guhyasamaja, Hayagriva, Thirteen Deity Yamantaka, Solitary Yamantaka, and Vajrayogini. “He was so artistic,” Sharpa Tulku recalled. “The entire room where he stayed became a beautiful teaching hall. In lieu of butter sculptures, he decorated the offerings with the most creative wooden and paper ornaments. He even made portable play torma offerings for some of the young tulkus. It was always crowded in his room, so he developed a huge fan made from crushed bamboo and covered with cloth and then one or two monks in the back would pull it back and forth and it would cover the entire room!”

As Lama Zopa Rinpoche explained, in Tibet the monks had to complete their studies before they could engage in tantric practices, but in Buxa, “so many monks were able to do retreat because of Zong Rinpoche’s kindness. He advised, don’t do only sutra and debate, but take time to practice, take initiations and practice, and prepare for the next life. Have some realizations and achieve enlightenment.” Zong Rinpoche presided over many of the major rituals, including the torgyag after the Monlam festival at the end of the year to cast out evil influences. He would remind his students: “Right now, people in Tibet are experiencing hell on earth and don’t have any rights. We weren’t able to aban - don the materialistic world by ourselves, but now the Chinese have separated us from worldly ways. We are lucky to have freedom here. If Dharma practitioners think carefully about this, then there’s no need to be attached to anything.”

As the senior-most abbot in Buxa, Drepung Loseling Khenpo Pema Gyaltsen worked with the abbots of all the sects to carry out the Dalai Lama’s instructions that Buxa function as “a new college … [offering] the curriculum of all four schools of Tibetan Dharma.” While each of the schools sustained their own courses of study, the historic juncture of all the lineages living side by side at Buxa opened a new horizon for intra-monastic relations. Sharpa Tulku observed, “The monks from the different colleges came together for daily prayers, monthly sojongs, and Monlam Chenmo. It was amazing that out of the 19,000 monks from the three great Gelug monasteries in Tibet, here were a thousand all meeting in this one small place. ... I’ve never seen such a united spirit of sharing—just the feeling we are all just the same, Tibetan Buddhists. It was the best part of being in Buxa.”

AN EXPERIMENT IN MODERN EDUCATION

By mid-1960, as the Indian government and the Tibetan admin - istration solidified plans to move the refugees to permanent settlements, the Dalai Lama began to consider the long-term prospects for the Buxa Lama Ashram, another name for Buxa Chogar. The Indian government raised concerns about having to support the monks beyond the usual period of two to three years for humanitarian assistance. They proposed that the monastic system be converted into a university-style system that conformed to modern educational standards and pedagogical methods. If the Tibetans agreed to this, the Indian government could rationalize their support of the monks as students under the government’s Education Department.

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DREPUNG KHEN RINPOCHE LOBSANG YESHE, MUNDGOD, KARNATAKA, INDIA, 2016. PHOTO BY ROBYN BRENTANO.

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GANDEN TRI RINPOCHE LOBSANG TENZIN, BYLAKUPPE, KARNATAKA, INDIA, 2016. PHOTO BY ROBYN BRENTANO.

Once again, the Dalai Lama sought Prime Minister Nehru’s advice. They agreed on the idea of establishing a Tibetan institute of higher education that would serve the refugees and people from the Himalayan regions who share religious, cultural, and linguistic ties with Tibet. The Dalai Lama had already conceived of Buxa as a single institution encompassing all the monastic lineages, so he thought that the Indian government’s proposal to convert Buxa’s course of studies to a modern academic framework would be worth trying. According to Samdhong Rinpoche, who helped facilitate early-stage discussions about the conversion, when the Dalai Lama presented the idea to the abbots, they were generally open to it. Their main concern was that they would have to abandon the centuries-old teacher-student relationship, which enshrined the deep process of transmission that sustained the Dharma as a living tradition. Under the new system, the monks would have a different teacher for each topic.

Over the next six years, the Dalai Lama, the abbots, Tibetan scholars, W. G. Kundeling, and other Tibetan government officials undertook the complex process of planning the conversion. In November 1963, at the first meeting of the heads of all the Buddhist and Bon schools, a formal resolution was passed to transform Buxa into a unified center of learning. In May 1964, the Dalai Lama met with M.C. Chagla, India’s Minister of Education, to reaffirm the Tibetans’ intentions for a higher learning institute. Chagla asked for a detailed plan and budget for the Indian parliament to review that September. On July 13, 1964, the Dalai Lama convened a week-long meeting with the abbots, scholars, and Tibetan government officials to develop the plan. He presented his ideas for a modern-style university: It should be open to lay men and women and foreigners, have monthly and annual exams, and teach Hindi, science, and other modern topics. Sampurnanand Sanskrit University representatives gave a presentation on their university’s system. The final plan for the Central Institute for Higher Tibetan Studies (CIHTS) was approved in December 1965. It was agreed that it would be implemented in Buxa and at Sampurnanand Sanskrit University and that all the monks would gradually shift to the CIHTS in Varanasi.

In the meantime, a Teacher Training Center was launched in May 1965 in Mussorie for fifty-six senior scholars from Buxa to learn modern teaching methods, curriculum development for traditional subjects, and other topics. The Dalai Lama requested Zong Rinpoche to be the center’s principal and Khunu Lama Rinpoche to be the head teacher. After six months of training, the teachers returned to Buxa and began the new program. The monks attended eight forty-five-minute classes per day covering topics from the five great treatises. Many were in the early years of studying logic or the prajnaparamita when they escaped from Tibet. Under the new system, they also had to study madhyamaka, vinaya, and abhidharma. “The way we studied in Tibet,” Sera Je Khensur Rinpoche Geshe Lobsang Delek said, “was that we memorized the root texts for each of the five treatises. But under the new system, we could only get a rough understanding of the topics because there was not enough time to memorize the root texts. ... After a year or two, the monks were asked which way they preferred to study, and they said they preferred the way before because they could memorize the root texts and get a good understanding of one topic before moving on to the next. So after two years, they changed back to the system as it had been in Tibet.”

On January 1, 1968, the Dalai Lama formally inaugurated the CIHTS at Sampurnanand Sanskrit University. Initially 116 monks were enrolled, but there was no capacity to accept more than fifty monks per year after that. With 927 monks from the three great monasteries in Buxa at that point, it would have taken many years for all the monks to shift to Varanasi. By then, the Tibetan administration had exhausted its search for a new location so another solution was needed.

The CIHTS represented an important development in the emergence of Tibetan Buddhism in the modern world and in the revitalization of the Nalanda tradition in India. Today it is a renowned university-level center for higher Buddhist studies. However, bringing the monasteries together under one roof with a common curriculum risked losing each monastery’s unique commentarial tradition and liturgical texts. For this and other reasons, the Dalai Lama decided that it would be best for the monasteries to move to the settlements in South India where they could rebuild as separate institutions. When this was announced in Buxa, many of the monks objected on the grounds they would be living too close to the lay communities and their time would be taken up with clearing the land and farming rather than study. The abbots conveyed the monks’ objections to the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala. He gave an impassioned response that was tape recorded and played for the monks in Buxa. They had never seen a tape recorder before so when they heard his message, they were riveted. He explained the need to begin a new life in self-reliant communities. They could not live on donated rations forever. As long as the monks remained isolated in Buxa, no new monks would join to revitalize the monas teries. He reminded them that, as the future abbots of the monasteries in exile, the survival of Tibetan Buddhism depended on them. They were persuaded, and the first batch of monks departed for South India in November 1969.

The Karnataka state government gave the monasteries land in the two largest Tibetan settlements in South India; the Drepung, Ganden, and Sakya and Nyingma monks went to Mundgod, and the Sera and Kagyu monks went to Bylakuppe. After making the 1,880-mile (3,000-kilometer) train trip south, the monks arrived to find themselves either in the midst of a dense forest or in barren fields with nothing more than tents for shelter. Drepung Khen Rinpoche Lobsang Yeshe remembered, “At that time we had very bad storms that destroyed the tents, which were old and tore easily. The monks didn’t have any mats under them. They just slept on the ground. They got a salary of one rupee and fifty paisa to work all day cutting down and uprooting the trees. They didn’t have any breakfast and only a small amount of food for lunch. That’s why these days we say the Buxa monks are very kind.”

From these inauspicious beginnings, the monks gradually cleared and ploughed the land; built beautiful Tibetan-style prayer halls, dormitories, and kitchens; and resumed their studies. Since then, the monasteries have grown under the leadership of their great abbots and scholars, attracting monks from the exile community, newly arrived refugees, and others from the Himalayan region. Today almost 11,600 monks live at Drepung, Ganden, and Sera, and these monasteries have opened branches in India and the West, bringing the benefits of the Dharma to countless people.

“Buxa was extremely important [to the continuity of Tibetan Buddhism],” Ganden Tri Rinpoche Lobsang Tenzin observed. “If Buxa hadn’t been there, then the monks who were scholars ... would have gone their own way, some to make roads, some to other places. All that knowledge and tradition would have been lost. Instead, through the kindness of His Holiness and the Indian government, it was possible for the 1,500 monks to stay together in one place and for this tradition of education to continue and flourish.”

Robyn Brentano has been a student of Tibetan Buddhism since 1975, when she attended the eighth Kopan lamrim course and met Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche. Since the mid-1980s, she has worked extensively with the Tibetan community on cultural preservation and humanitarian aid projects in exile and in Tibet, and she has directed an array of documentary and cultural productions related to Tibetan Buddhism. She has served as an executive and philanthropic advisor at various nonprofit organizations dedicated to inter national development; refugee resettlement; contemplative-based education; the environment and climate change; and the arts. She has been a trustee of the FPMT-affiliated Foundation for the Development of Compassion and Wisdom since 2008.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I was inspired to write about Buxa Chogar by Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche, whose amazing stories shed light on Buxa’s important role in “rescuing the Buddha Dharma from the ashes” as many of the elder monks said in our interviews.

Research for this article and the forthcoming book, Buxa: Saving Tibetan Buddhism in Exile (Wisdom Publications) was made possible by the kindness and expertise of many people. I am deeply grateful to Lama Zopa Rinpoche, His Holiness the Sakya Trichen, Ngari Rinpoche, Samdhong Rinpoche, Sharpa Tulku Rinpoche, Doboom Tulku Rinpoche, and forty-one former abbots and elder geshes from Drepung, Gaden, Sera, and the Nyingma monastery in Mundgod, as well as to Pencho Rabgey, Judy Pullen, and many others for their stories shared in extensive interviews.

I am also indebted to His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s archive; the Central Tibetan Administration’s archive; the Tibetan Department of Religion and Culture; the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives; Zong Labrang; Wisdom Publications; Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive; the Tibet Fund; Geshe Dhonden for his book, A Life Story; our amazing interpreters Geshe Nyima Tsering, Geshe Tenzin Namdak, Ven. Lhundup Jampa, Ven. Tenzin Legtsok, Ven. Tenzin Tsomo, Jeffrey Allen, and Joshua Cutler, and translators Dawa Tenzin, Kalsang Tsering, Tenzin Norphel Lama, and Tenzin Sonam; our hosts in India; and the generous donors, whose support has sustained our work.

—Robyn Brentano
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Dalhousie, India
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 5/28/20

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Dalhousie Hill station
Dalhousie is located in Himachal Pradesh
Coordinates: 32.53°N 75.98°ECoordinates: 32.53°N 75.98°E
Country: India
State: Himachal Pradesh
District: Chamba
Elevation: 1,970 m (6,460 ft)
Population: (2011)
• Total 7,051
• Rank 25 in HP
Time zone: UTC+5:30 (IST)
PIN: 176304
Telephone code: +91 1899
Vehicle registration: HP-47

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GPO Post Office at Dalhousie India 1930's


Dalhousie is a hill station in Chamba district, in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. It is situated on 5 hills and has an elevation of 1,970 metres above sea level.[1]

Etymology

Dalhousie Town was named after The Earl of Dalhousie, who was the British Governor-General in India while establishing this place as a summer retreat.[2]

Climate

Dalhousie has a humid subtropical climate. Late summer and early spring see torrential rainfall due to monsoonal influence. The city sees over 90 frost days per year and 45-50 snow days.

References

1. Gopal, Madan (1990). K.S. Gautam (ed.). India through the ages. Publication Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. p. 177.
2. "Dalhousie: perfect summer getaway". Bangalore Mirror. 4 March 2010. Archived from the original on 6 March 2010. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
3. "Climate of Himachal Pradesh" (PDF). Climatological Summaries of States Series - No. 15. India Meteorological Department. January 2010. pp. 36–42. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 February 2020. Retrieved 8 March 2020.

External links

• Dalhousie, India travel guide from Wikivoyage
• More information about Dalhousie.

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Best Places to Visit in Dalhousie
by Sharp Travels (India) Limited
Accessed: 5/29/20

Find the most gorgeous places to visit Dalhousie that is a great escape for the honeymooners looking for some quiet and beautiful time. One can find the most enchanting sites, the most gorgeous landscapes, the sparkling rivers, colonial charm, vintage experiences on Dalhousie Tour packages.

Best things to do in Dalhousie:

One can try various colonial charms being here, enjoy trekking, shopping, various adventures and thrills and also try the most lip smacking food of Dalhousie.

1. Khajjiar

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Khajjiar is famous for its Deodar and Pine trees that one can find, this place has the amazing snow capped Himalayas that form the backdrop, this is a great spot for friends and family. Find the most enchanting Khajjiar Lake that is the best place to visit in Dalhousie.

How far is it from Dalhousie?: This place is 22 km away from Dalhousie.

2. Dainkund Peak

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Also named as the ‘Singing Hill’ this is the best place to visit for the views of the valleys, green hills, and plains, also fall in love with the view of the three rivers – Chenab, Ravi and Beas, that enhance the beauty of this place.

How far is it from Dalhousie?: This place is 10 km away from Dalhousie.

3. Kalatop Wildlife Reserve

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Also famous for housing the Himalayan Bear, this is the best wildlife sanctuaries in Himachal Pradesh and a really popular place to visit in Dalhousie. The beautiful river Ravi provides this place with the water supply. Also find the famous deodar, blue pine, & oak trees here.

How far is it from Dalhousie?: This place is 6 km away from Dalhousie.

4. St. Francis Catholic Church

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Established in the year 1894, this magnificent church has European architecture and décor. The church is a major tourist attraction and a popular place of worship. It’s distinguishing charm is the reason it is counted among the eminent tourist places in Dalhousie.

5. Panchpula

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Panchpula is renowned for its waterfalls, find the sparkling streams, samadhi of the famous freedom fighter Sardar Ajit Singh. This is an important place to visit as it is a main source of water supply to the town as well as nearby villages.

6. Ganji Pahari

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Ganji Pahari is in the Bakrota Hills, and doesn’t have any vegetation on its top. One can find the best views of the surroundings as well as the fresh mountain air that create some great time for children.

How far is it from Dalhousie?: This place is 5 km away from Dalhousie.

Satdhara Falls is on the Panchpula route and is a classic example of nature and natural wonders. This water has a lot of healing and medicinal properties, one can find the out of the world beautiful view of the seven streams on

7. Rang Mahal

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The Rang Mahal is one place exciting place that has a lot of historical significance. One can find the influences of both Mughal and British architecture in Rang Mahal. Find a lot of vibrant wall paintings that portray the life of Lord Krishna and is a major tourist attraction.

8. Chamera Lake

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Chamera lake is an artificial lake and is an important part of Chamera Hydroelectric Project, visiting to this lake and dam are must on your Dalhousie trip. This lake is known for its extra ordinary beauty and has the dense pine forests of Bhandal Valley where one can try some great activities such as motor boating, river rafting, kayaking, canoeing, etc. Make sure to pay a visit to the famous Bhalei temple.

How far is it from Dalhousie?: Chamera lake is 25 km away from Dalhousie.

9. Mall Road

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Mall road is one amazing place to shop from being in Dalhousie, one can enjoy some of the best activities in Dalhousie being here such as rejuvenation, witness the Pir Panjal mountain ranges etc. from here.

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10 Places to Visit in Dalhousie for Traveller's Delight!
by Veena World
April 8, 2020

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A pristine and gorgeous hill town on the Dhauladhar Range, Dalhousie is peacefully nestled amidst green pine and oak trees in the foothills of the Himalayas. One of the most well-known destinations in India, Dalhousie is often referred to as the Switzerland of India. It is characterized by its lush green mountains, beautiful scenic views, colonial architecture, and glistening rivers, and some of the best tourist spots. What’s quite interesting about Dalhousie is that it has managed to retain its serenity and natural beauty and till date elicits a vintage charm that is hard to miss out on.

1. The Best Time to Visit Dalhousie

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If you’re planning to book the best resorts in Dalhousie¸ the best time for you would depend on your plans. The summers last from April to June, so you can visit anytime from March to May to make the most of sightseeing in Dalhousie. The weather starts getting warmer towards June and this time is considered to be the best time to visit, offering you the opportunity to take the most scenic walks around this hill town. If you are more of an adventure enthusiast and are searching for a different experience, you can head to Dalhousie to enjoy its snowy winters from December to February.

2. The Best Places to Visit in Dalhousie

There are several attractions within the town as well as amazing places to visit near Dalhousie which will keep you engaged throughout your trip. That being said, here is a list of the top 10 places you cannot miss out on when you visit Dalhousie: –

2.1 Khajjiar

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Fondly known as the mini Switzerland of India, Khajjiar can be counted among the top places to visit near Dalhousie. It is a heaven for nature lovers with vast expanses of verdant meadows, views of the snow-covered Kailash, and the dense deodar forest. Khajjiar Lake adds to the beauty of the place, making it one of the most favored spots in the area. It is also the commencing point for several trekking routes and is the perfect destination for a day-long exploration trip. Khajjiar can be a great spot to enjoy a picnic with your family and friends. With a small plateau and a freshwater lake, Khajjiar offers a rare destination that brings together three ecosystems – lake, forests, and pastures – making for a sight that is amazing to behold. The best time to visit Khajjiar is in December. Exploring the best tourist places near Dalhousie will be incomplete without a trip to Khajjiar.

2.2 Kalatop Wildlife Reserve

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One of the best places to visit in Dalhousie, the Kalatop Wildlife Reserve is where you can enjoy a jungle safari, trekking, and bird watching here. Home of the wild, you might even be able to spot the Himalayan Bear when here. This reserve is counted among the best wildlife sanctuaries in Himachal Pradesh and is a great place for sightseeing in Dalhousie. However, apart from the abundant wildlife, there’s a lot more that the park has to offer. The park is supplied with water by the beautiful river Ravi that flows nearby. Then there are the blue pine, deodar, and oak trees that dot the Kalatop hills and wild daisies that cover the park, all of which make it one of the most delightful tourist spots in Dalhousie.

2.3 Satdhara Falls

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One of the most beautiful places to visit in Dalhousie, the Satdhara waterfall is located at a height of 2035 meters above sea level. One of the reasons behind the popularity of this waterfall is the tranquil and peaceful ambiance that it offers to all visitors. The name Satdhara means a “blend of seven streams” and the waterfall truly offers a great sight to behold. Another reason why the waterfall is one of the well-known tourist places near Dalhousie is because people believe that the water of this fall has medicinal and healing properties. Satdhara Falls is located on the Panchpula route, this is a destination that showcases natural artwork. This picturesque spot where seven streams blend into one is a very beautiful place and can be called one of the best places to visit in Dalhousie for couples and honeymooners to spend some quality time together.

2.4 Sach Pass – The Trekker’s Paradise

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One of the top places to visit in Dalhousie, Sach Pass is located in the Sach Town in Chamba District. The destination is a very picturesque place to head to and is blessed with a rugged terrain that yields to some of the most picture-perfect landscapes. It doubles up as an amazing trekking trail and is among the best tourist places in Dalhousie for adventure enthusiasts. The trail leads all the way to the Pangi Valley, which is also one of the remotest and most enchanting valleys that you can visit in Himachal. If you plan to get to Sach Pass, you will need to drive through snow-covered crests, thick woods, and verdant rolling plantations. It is among those places to visit near Dalhousie where even the trip itself to the destination offers a very fulfilling experience. Located at an elevation of 14500 feet above sea level, the destination is ideal for a road trip, photography, and activities like trekking and hiking.

2.5 Tibetan Market

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Every trip must include a stop at the local markets where you can indulge even more fully into the local culture; and while sightseeing in Dalhousie will take you to the Mall Road for some shopping, Dalhousie has other places as well. Make sure you give the Tibetan Market a look as well. One of the lesser-known tourist places in Dalhousie, this tiny, beautiful market is a must for your itinerary. If the Tibetan culture and handicrafts pique your interest, you are bound to fall in love with this place. The market is located at Gandhi Chowk and is one of the best places to visit in Dalhousie, Himachal Pradesh, for buying the finest Himachali and Tibetan handicrafts, Chamba slippers, beautifully carved jewellery, colourful hand-woven carpets, souvenirs, home decor items, and woollens and shawls.

2.6 Norwood Paramdham

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This is one of the most famous places in Dalhousie if you want to witness a glorious sunset. Also known as Tapo Bhoomi, Norwood Paramdham is located on the Bakrota Hill. Swami Satyanand breathed his last at this place in 1960, after which it was also known as Param Dham. This is one of the best places to visit in Dalhousie if you are looking for a religious and cultural experience. The house is today managed by Bhagat Hans Raj Ji, a follower of Swami Satyanand who holds regular satang and semi-annual meetings at this place. There’s a certain serenity surrounding it.

Apart from the soothing and peaceful aura, this place is also one of the best places in Dalhousie to see a breath-taking sunset, which will leave you speechless as you marvel at the unparalleled beauty that nature has to offer. You can spend some great time here reveling in the surroundings and enjoying some of the best views.

2.7 Dainkund Peak

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One of the very worthwhile places to see in Dalhousie, thanks to the snow-covered peaks and lush greenery that surrounds the place, Dainkund Peak is one of the most visited spots for sightseeing in Dalhousie. Dainkund is Dalhousie’s highest peak and gets the maximum amount of snowfall during the winter season. While there is a motorable road that will take you to this destination, it is also one of Dalhousie’s famous places for trekking. The route to Dainkund Peak offers some astonishing views that make it worth the effort. The whole stretch has so much natural beauty to offer that you will not be left wanting. Many times referred to as the ‘singing hill’, a trip to Dainkund Peak is highly recommended. While you can enjoy refreshing views of the plains, valleys, and hills, what really makes this place stand out is the enchanting sight of the three rivers, the Beas, Chenab, and Ravi, as they weave through the green landscapes, enhancing your experience here.

2.8 Francis Catholic Church

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Another one of the famous places of Dalhousie, the St. Francis Catholic Church was established in 1894 and till date stands as a paradigm of art and architecture. The church is a very well-known attraction in Dalhousie and a very popular place of worship. It is counted among the best places to visit in Dalhousie for the distinguished charm it exhibits. When you have had enough of the adventure activities and would like to explore what makes Dalhousie such a charming destination, your sightseeing can take you towards the St. Francis Catholic Church, which is a spiritual sanctum that offers the perfect respite for visitors. This is a Dalhousie tourist place where you can embrace the essence of spirituality and experience the serenity that the hallowed walls have to offer.

2.9 Ganji Pahari

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This is one of the places to visit in Dalhousie for some stunning panoramic views. The Ganji Pahari is a scenic hill near Dalhousie town on the Pathankot Road. The term Ganji means bald and Pahari means hill in the local language, and the name of this destination has been derived from its salient feature, which is the complete absence of any flora on the hull. This creates a natural landscape that makes it an amazing trekking trail, and thanks to its accessibility, it is one of the top places to visit in Dalhousie for a picnic. During the winters, the trail is covered with snow which makes the views even more stunning. While you will be able to see some amazing landscapes during any time of the day, the Ganji Pahari is among the best places in Dalhousie to see misty sunsets and sunrises. It’s the perfect place to explore during your trip to Dalhousie.

2.10 Rang Mahal

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One of the most splendid places to visit in Dalhousie, Rang Mahal is a very popular attraction among all kinds of tourists. This is a magnificent palace that showcases a fusion of British and Mughal architecture. It was established by Raja Umed Singh in the 18th century to serve as the residence of the women of the royal family. The walls of the palace are decorated with Punjab hill style paintings that narrate the stories of the life of Lord Krishna. One of the top tourist places in Dalhousie, the Rang Mahal is located in the Surara Mohalla area. The palace is nestled amidst the most picturesque settings of lush greenery and is one of the largest monuments in the area. The palace also houses a handicraft shop, which is a popular place to visit in Dalhousie, where you can find woollen shawls, ethnic slippers, and more too take home as souvenirs.

These are some of the best places to visit in Dalhousie. However, this barely scratches the surface of all that the small town in the Himalayas has to offer. There is so much to witness and experience at this cosy hill town that your Dalhousie tour package will never have a dull moment!

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His Holiness to grace CST Dalhousie’s Golden Jubilee
by Jamphel Shonu
Central Tibetan Administration: Restoring Freedom for Tibetans
April 25, 2013

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A view of the Central School for Tibetans at Dalhousie in northern India

DALHOUSIE: His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Sikyong and Education Kalon Dr Lobsang Sangay will grace the golden jubilee celebrations of Central School for Tibetans (CST), Dalhousie, scheduled for 28-30 April.

Preparations are on full swing for the landmark event, which will be attended by former students and staff from different parts of the world. The alumni include those who hold leading position in the Central Tibetan Administration and other major institutions in exile today.

Established in May 1963, CST in Dalhousie located some 143 km from Dharamsala, is one of the oldest Tibetan schools under the Central Tibetan Schools Administration (CTSA).

Talking to TibetNet, school rector Dawa Tsering said: “More than 4,000 have passed through this school over the years. Former staff and students include some of the most prominent personalities in the Tibetan community. The golden jubilee celebration expects to draw hundreds of former staff and students.”

The school currently has more than 240 students and 36 staff with classes from kindergarten to Class 12.

He said as requested, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay has graciously accepted to grace the occasion.

His Holiness will arrive at Dalhousie on 27 April.

The main function of the three-day event will be held on 28 April during which His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay will address the public, he said.

As a mark of gratitude, the school will present souvenirs to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the government of India, and former Kalon Tripa Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche, who was the school’s second principal.

Other highlights of the event include cultural performances by Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA), performances by Aakama Band, and traditional Tibetan dances by school students and local Tibetans.

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Schoolchildren taking part in a rehearsal for the golden jubilee celebration of the CST Dalhousie/Photo by Sangjey Kyab/TibetNet

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The Marsden Murders, or the tragic lives of three brewing brothers
Zythophile
by Martyl Cornell

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There are stories you come across while researching the history of beer, sometimes, that set the mind boggling on its springs. Such a tale is the one we can call The Marsden Murders.

It centres on Arthur Eagles Marsden, born in 1849 in Pimlico, London to a dynasty of operative brewers. His father, Robert, was a brewer, possibly at Watney’s brewery in Pimlico, his grandfather, George Eagles Marsden, was a brewer living in Lewisham, then in Kent, according to the 1841 census, his uncle George Eagles Marsden junior was an operative brewer living in Heather Street, Kingston upon Thames in 1851 and his mother Anna was the daughter of John Hector, owner of the brewery in Blandford St Mary, Dorset that was later taken over by Hall & Woodhouse.

By 1861 Robert Marsden had moved with his family to the village of Stapenhill, on the edge of Burton upon Trent, where he was undoubtedly working at one of the many breweries in Burton, quite likely, given later history, the Meakin family’s Abbey brewery, in Abbey Street. Arthur, Robert’s oldest son, very likely learned the brewing trade in Burton, but by the early 1870s he was in Halifax, Nova Scotia, working as a brewer.

There he met a young woman named Catherine “Kate” Vaughan, three years his senior, daughter of Patrick Vaughan and Mary Sullivan, both from Cork in Ireland, who had arrived in Halifax around 1844. One source claims that Catherine’s parents “took her away from school” because they were afraid she was about to convert to Catholicism, and forced her “against her will” to marry the Protestant Arthur Marsden. This clashes with the known facts: Catherine was baptised in the Catholic cathedral in Halifax, and she was 26 or so, when she met Marsden, so not “at school”.

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Arthur Eagles Marsden: photograph courtesy of Colleen Murphy

Indeed, Arthur and Catherine were actually married in Manhattan, New York in January 1873, suggesting there were difficulties about them marrying in Halifax, possibly because of the difference in religion. If there were problems with Catherine’s family about her marrying an English Protestant, they could not have been that severe, as one of the witnesses at the Manhattan wedding was her brother John. Arthur Marsden later claimed to have brewed in the United States, so it may be that he was working in New York

Exactly nine months later, in October 1873, Catherine was back in Halifax, where she gave birth to a son who was given a set of Marsden family first names, Robert, for his grandfather, and Eagles from Arthur Marsden’s great-grandmother, Anne Eagles. Soon after the new family returned briefly to England, and then, in December 1874, sailed from Southampton for India, where Arthur had evidently been offered a post as a brewer by the brewing entrepreneur Henry Meakin. Henry was nephew to George Meakin, owner of the Abbey brewery in Burton, and his father, Henry senior, had worked as a brewer in the town before switching to farming. Doubtless Meakin knew Arthur Marsden from the time when the Marsden family were in Burton.

Henry Meakin junior had come out to India in 1869, aged 25, to take control of the Simla Old Brewery, in the Himalayan hill station now known as Shimla, which had been founded in 1860. Its height, almost 7,500 feet above sea level, made it vastly cooler than the Indian plains and thus very popular with recuperating Europeans – and also one of the few places in India where brewing beer was possible without expensive cooling equipment. (There were, eventually, nine or so breweries running in a thousand-mile arc along the foot of the Himalayas, all at 5,000 feet or above, built to supply the garrisons of the British Raj with beer.)

By October 1871 Meakin had taken over another established brewery in Kasauli, 20 miles to the south, to run alongside the Simla Old Brewery. The “Kussowlie” brewery had been started by a former East India Company officer called Captain Robert Beavan in 1850 to serve the troops in the settlement. In 1874 the Times of India reported that “Her Majesty’s troops in the Hills and at Umballa” (a garrison town 120 miles north of Delhi) had “taken kindly” to the beer from Henry Meakin’s brewery in Kasauli, and “actually prefer it to the beer supplied to the Commissariat from home [i.e. Britain]. This is a strong test, for Her Majesty’s forces are the keenest of critics everywhere … and find faults in such things as beef, bread and porter, which are frequently beyond the ken of their Commanding Officers.”

The same year Meakin took over a third brewery, which had been opened in 1863 at Jeolikot, on the road three miles from Nainital, a hill station 6,800 feet up in the outer Himalayas, 180 miles south-east of Simla and 215 miles east of Delhi. The water at the brewery “resembles more that of Burton than does any other source in India,” it was claimed in 1882. However, the brewery passed through “several” owners, before being acquired by Meakin. He placed Arthur Marsden in charge as manager and brewer, and Marsden “obtained a contract to supply the troops at Naini Tal [sic], which tripled his operations.”


The Naini Tal Brewery Company was brewing XXX double stout at three rupees for a dozen pints in 1876 and two rupees a gallon in casks, as well as pale ale and XXX strong ale: “Customers supplying their own coolies can obtain their Beers at the Brewery by applying for Delivery Orders from the Agents.”. The brewery looks to have been rebuilt in 1877, as Marsden advertised in July that year “to Parents and Guardians” for a pupil “to learn Brewing and Malting,” starting from October 1, when “the spacious new premises, both Brewing and Malting, will then be in working order.” If required, “the Pupil can be taught the English, Canadian and American, in addition to the Indian System of Brewing, at a slight increase of premium, the advertiser having brewed in some of the largest Breweries in each of these countries.”

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Ad Marsden Naini Tal 1876

The Marsdens lived at Nainital until at least the latter half of 1881, with Catherine giving birth to six more children, two of whom died. Some time before October 1879, Arthur was joined at Nainital by his younger brother Hector Lionel Marsden, born in 1858, who had also trained to be a brewer. By 1883, Arthur had moved to Henry Meakin’s Simla Old Brewery, where in December that year his wife gave birth to another son.

A third Marsden brother, the youngest, John Cecil, born in Stapenhill in 1862, had also come out to India as a brewer, and in 1882 he was put in charge of Henry Meakin’s one-year-old brewery at Panch Pool, Dalhousie. This was a cantonment named for the Marquess of Dalhousie, British governor-general of India from 1847 to 1856, 125 miles north-west of Simla and 6,500 ft up. In September 1884, after two years in Dalhousie, and at the age of 22, John shot himself, an act that led the Civil and Military Gazette to editorialise about the pressures on “a European in this country living alone a dreary cheerless existence among uncongenial surroundings, who has rushed upon a fate which those more fortunately situated think he might have escaped if he had the safeguards of society and companionship.”


Hector Marsden moved on to the Lucknow Brewery, 260 miles east of Delhi in the plains of North India, one of several breweries run by Henry Meakin’s big rival Edward Dyer, which had been opened in 1882. The Lucknow brewery, which used refrigerating machinery to help make beer in a climate where even in the coldest month, January, average highs were 76ºF/24.5ºC, was the first successful brewery in the plains. Hector was there by July 1886, when he was advertising for sale in a local newspaper “one silver pedometer, only used on one or two occasions.”

Arthur Marsden and his family look to have continued living in Simla until 1890, when they moved to Dalhousie, for Arthur to take charge of the brewery where his youngest brother had committed suicide six years earlier. The children had all been educated at Catholic schools in Darjeeling, but Arthur had become a Freemason in 1878, and was increasingly anti-Catholic, which was causing strains in the household. The strains became worse when Catherine and her two oldest children, Robert and Mabel (who had been born in Nainital in 1876) began attending mass at a Catholic chapel in Dalhousie run by Belgian priests. Arthur’s fellow Masons in the Dalhousie lodge were under-impressed, and one allegedly told him: “Listen, Marsden, if your wife was mine, I would lodge a bullet in her skull this instant.”

From then, it was claimed, Arthur began to threaten to murder his family, and in September 1893 his wife told one of the Belgian priests: “I am certain that one day or other he will kill us all.” The following month, on the evening of October 10, an argument between Arthur and Mabel saw Catherine try to intervene. A furious Arthur hurled an ink bottle at her head. Robert, who had just had his 20th birthday, tried to defend his mother, and Arthur grappled with his son, dragged him out of the house and threw him down a small ravine on the steep hillside. Robert was bruised but otherwise uninjured, and the two returned to the house. Arthur went upstairs, and Robert and Mabel, attempting to act as if all were well, sat at the family piano and played, while their mother wept in an adjoining apartment.


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The brewery at Panch Pool, Dalhousie, built, like most breweries in the Himalayan foothills, on a steep slope. The brewer’s house is presumably the two-storey building in the middle distance, centre-left

Suddenly Arthur reappeared, went into the apartment where his wife sat, and the horrified youngsters heard two loud reports. Their father had just put two bullets into the head of their mother. Robert rushed into the room, and Arthur shot him in the head, two or three times. He held the revolver close enough to both his victims that they suffered powder burns to their faces. Mabel stood in the doorway, hands clenched, looking at the horror before her, as her father raised his arm and shot her too, the bullet passing through her cheeks. She rushed bleeding out of the house, pursued by her father, and when, in the darkness, she fell, despite the family syce, or coachman, who had appeared, pleading with Arthur not to kill the girl, Mabel’s father bent over her and shot her in the head again, declaring: “Now you are sure to die.”

After this carnage, Arthur returned to the house and prepared a telegram to be sent to Henry Meakin to tell him that another manager would be needed immediately for the brewery. He then wrote several more letters, including one to Lieutenant Barton, the Assistant Civil Commissioner, detailing the events of the evening and declaring himself ready to be arrested. The messages were handed to his coachman to deliver to the post office, and Arthur then went out to the brewery and calmly set in motion the necessary actions for the next day’s brewing.


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Robert Marsden, photographed aged 15 or 16. Courtesy of Colleen Murphy

The coachman, whose name was Abdul Gafar, was on his way to the post office when he found Mabel lying on the path, and rushed to the house of Captain Donnelly nearby. The girl was carried to the Donnellys’ home by servants, and a doctor, who happened to be the Donnellys’ son-in-law, examined her and found that the second bullet her father had fired had glanced along her skull and lodged in her neck. She was still alive, but death had been very close, and initial reports said she was not expected to live.

Meanwhile, Arthur’s letter having been delivered to Lieutenant Barton, a squad of police led by the assistant commissioner, together with the civil surgeon, Dr O’Neill, had arrived at the brewery. There they found Catherine and her son lying dead where they had been shot. The police, amazingly, were unarmed, and all were thus unwilling to go hunting in the dark a madman with a revolver. Lieutenant Barton was getting ready an urgent appeal to the officer in charge of the local army depot to send 100 or 200 men to scour the countryside the next day and, if necessary, shoot Arthur down, when a policeman came up and said that the murdering father had surrendered, quietly and calmly. He was taken away to the hawalat, or jail, where he remained under a strong guard while awaiting interrogation.

Arthur’s version of events, as related to the investigators, was that on the evening of the murders he had been threatened by his son, whom he was constantly upbraiding and finding fault with, and Robert had attempted to shoot his father, unsuccessfully. Arthur then shot his son, he claimed, in self-defence, and went on to shoot his wife and daughter in a fit of madness.

The inquiry into the murders accepted that there was “corroborative evidence” that Robert had levelled a gun at his father but that it had “snapped on an exploded cartridge”: Dr O’Neill, who had seen the bodies, stated at first that he was positive there was a gun on the floor beside Robert on the floor. As a result Arthur was sent to the Chief Court in Lahore to face charges of murdering his wife, the attempted murder of his daughter and “culpable homicide not amounting to murder” in the case of his son, though later Dr O’Neill said in court only that there “might have been” a gun on the floor. The trial was delayed until Mabel was well enough to give evidence. Meanwhile one newspaper in India wrote, ten days after the murders, that “popular feeling is turning round in sympathy” with Arthur: his wife, it was claimed, was “a shrew”, and “the evidence elicited in the trial goes a long way to show the miserable life his family has led him at home. His troubles seem to have dated from the day they were converted from Protestantism to Catholicism; and the subject of Masonry, Mr Marsden being a strong Mason, has always been a bitter bone of contention.”


Image
Mabel Marsden, photographed aged 14 or so. Picture courtesy of Colleen Murphy

At the trial, Arthur insisted that after he had argued with his son over Robert’s laziness, Robert had threatened to shoot him, he had run for his own revolver, and when Robert aimed a gun at him, he fired his revolver in self-defence. Mabel repeated her original statement that Arthur had shot her mother first and then her brother, and denied that her brother was lazy. She gave evidence that her father used to throw chairs and bottles at her mother, and had “a very bad temper, which used to get worse about the time of the new moon.”

The judge, in his summing up, emphasised the gun that might have been on the floor, as apparent evidence that Arthur’s account was believable, and stressed that Mabel’s evidence might not be completely reliable, after she had been shot in the head. He also suggested that it was possible Arthur was sane when he shot his son, believing he was defending himself, and insane when he shot his wife and daughter. The jury, evidently swayed by these arguments, found Arthur not guilty of murdering his son, on the grounds of self-defence, and guilty of causing the death of Catherine and of wounding Mabel, but they acquitted him of murder and attempted murder because of being temporarily insane, the last two verdicts possible under Indian law but not English law.

After the verdicts were announced, lawyers and members of the public went up to Arthur and gave him “hearty congratulations”, a reaction which appalled one Indian newspaper: “That the sober and educated members of an Anglo-Indian community should be offering congratulations to a man whose hands are stained with the blood of his whole family, and who could be regarded best as an irresponsible homicide would have seemed a week ago inconceivable.”


Arthur was not freed, however: the presiding judge, Sir Meredyth Plowden, said that he should be kept in custody in the Lahore Central Jail pending the orders of the Punjab government, to which the case would be reported. In February 1894 the Punjabi government, showing sense rather than sympathy, ruled that Arthur was a “dangerous criminal lunatic, who is sane except when in the least excited,” and orders were issued that he be detained in the Bhowanipur Lunatic Asylum, Calcutta. In 1902 he was sent to Port Blair, in the Andaman islands, where the Indian government often exiled dangerous political prisoners, though he was apparently allowed to roam about: in 1906 he was trying to marry “a native Christian girl”. In 1907 there were proposals to transfer him to a lunatic asylum in England, but the following year he was moved instead to the lunatic asylum in Lahore. He was still apparently being held in a lunatic asylum in 1914: what happened to Arthur over the next 17 years before his death in Lahore in February 1931, aged 85, I have been unable to discover.

Meanwhile there was one more tragedy to be played out among the Marsden brothers. Hector Marsden moved at some point to Solan, 15 miles to the south of Shimla, where he was manager from at least 1894 at the brewery opened there by Edward Dyer in 1877. A young subaltern in the 2nd Battalion Royal Munster Fusiliers, who was stationed in Solan, wrote admiringly in June 1894: “Mr Dyer and his manager Mr Marsden at the Brewery here dispense hospitality with a lavish hand whenever we go over and as they have an excellent billiard table some of us are generally to be found there in the afternoon.” Hector was still in Solan in December 1895, when he was advertising a Webley revolver for sale, “in excellent condition”. Soon after this he returned home to England, where he was apparently living for a while in Derbyshire, possibly with or near his three sisters, who were lodgers in a house in the village of Baslow, in the Derbyshire Peak District. [Update: there appear to be Marsden family links with Derbyshire – see comments from Peter Moynihan and Colleen Murphy below.]. In July 1897 Hector and one of his sisters arrived in Seaford, on the Sussex coast, presumably on holiday, and were staying at a house in Carlton Terrace, Broad Street. On the night of Sunday July 18 Hector retired to his bedroom, apparently well. The next morning he was found on the floor of the bedroom with a revolver wound to the head. He was 39 years old.

Alfred Marsden’s daughter Mabel stayed in India, and went on to have a long career as a teacher, working at convents in Darjeeling and Simla, finally dying in 1960, aged 84. Of the four other children of Arthur and Catherine still alive at the time of the murders, who were all apparently away at Catholic schools in northern India themselves in 1893, Arthur junior, born 1878 in Nainital, became a professor of history and taught at St Xavier’s College, a Catholic establishment in Calcutta, dying in 1959 aged 81; Charles, born in Simla in 1883, died of smallpox about 1909; Cecil, born in Nainital in 1879, fought in the First World War in East Africa with the Calcutta Volunteer Battery, an artillery unit, and died in Calcutta in December 1929, aged 49 – he had been badly disfigured by a tiger at some time, and was looked after by his brother Arthur until his death; and Ethel, born in Nainital in 1880, who married a civil servant working for the Indian government in Simla in 1914, died in 1939. Ethel was the only one of Arthur and Catherine’s children to have children herself: those children were brought up in India, and educated by nuns, who told them that Catherine and Robert had died on the same day of cholera, a story the family continued to believe.

With many thanks to Colleen Murphy for her researches into the Marsden family, without which this tale would have been very much poorer.
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Fri May 29, 2020 7:20 am

Part 1 of 2

A Promise Kept: Memoir of Tibetans in India [Excerpt]
by Germaine Krull
©  2018 by Germaine Krull and Marilyn Ekdahl Ravicz, Ph.D.

Chapter 1

Yes, like everyone of my generation in Europe, I had heard and read about Tibet, the Roof of the World, where people lived high up in the mysterious Himalayan peaks. It was said that there were Lamas in Tibet who passed all the years of their lives in prayer and meditation. They were the keepers of their age-old Buddhist wisdom.

Strange tales were told about these holy men: that they would live for many hundred years; that they could walk without touching the ground; that they could appear simultaneously in different places; and that they could stop the thunder or command the rain to fall.

And then there was also the mysterious Dalai Lama -- the reincarnated Buddha -- who lived in the golden Potala, high up in Lhasa. where no one could reach him. He too was a Keeper of the world's Wisdom. Tales about his miraculous birth and reincarnations were told from time to time in books or popular magazines.

Those tales from my childhood were recounted and later confirmed in books about Tibet; however, none of them ever increased my real knowledge of that country. Yet, The Roof of the World remained in my mind as the holy site where Wisdom and Spirituality were kept alive.

Also like my countrymen and the world, I had heard about the invasion of Tibet by the Chinese Communists. I had even read about how the Tibetan people were fleeing their country. and even how the mysterious Dalai Lama left his golden Potala and took refuge in India too.

Newspapers had told us all about these events. However, our war-weary Europe was still so full of tragedies. and so full of refugees who were all so sad. that the tragedy of Tibet, an unknown for so many of us, disappeared quickly from the front pages of newspapers. And with that disappearance, once the subject was out of our minds, I -- like most others among us -- forgot about the Tibetans for the moment, and even until something happened to me.

It happened during one of those cold winter days in New Delhi, India, in 1962.

The Thai ambassador, whom I had met in Thailand where I still lived, invited me to attend a reception he was giving for a group of young Tibetan monks. These particular monks were said to have been identified as special young reincarnated Lamas of importance. I was told that this small group of Lamas was to be honored by a Thai reception. These young Lamas had been carefully identified and selected as tulkus by an English lady, Freda Bedi. They were selected from among Tibetan refugees working by the thousands in construction gangs along the roads of northern India.

The young Lama refugees being honored by the Thai Ambassador were to be enrolled in a school in Dalhousie. where they would learn English. Hindi. and how to deal with the ways of the Western world as special refugees. Their Buddhist studies would continue to be taught by selected Tibetan Lamas, in a manner consistent with their statuses as tulkus, and future adept-teachers, according to the established custom in Tibet.

The Thai ambassador wanted to entertain and honor the young Lamas, who were mostly ten years old to early teenagers. They were all refugees who had recently arrived in New Delhi. They had never seen countries outside of Tibet -- until they escaped, and were still viewing their country of exile with 'new eyes.' For this reason, the Ambassador had decided to show them movies of Thailand, and also give them Christmas presents.

As guests, we sat in the large reception room of the Thai Embassy in Delhi. This room had an elaborate marble floor inlaid with green and yellow designs, partly covered by beautiful carpets. The windows were closed and covered by drapes and curtains of Thai silk emblazoned in a golden flame design. The walls were high and topped by a dome-shaped ceiling that gave the room a sort of Byzantine air. Opposite the entrance, a life-size gold-framed portrait of the King of Thailand hung next to a similar framed portrait of his lovely Queen Sirikit. The corners of the room were occupied by heavily carved gold Thai vitrines, each of which held displays of Thai handicrafts and dolls. One wall of the room had been arranged so the projected film could be shown, and a row of chairs stood ready to receive the young Tibetan Lama guests.

As we sat around, I studied the Indian ladies. They wore gorgeous silk saris embroidered with gold and silver. I also saw that, since it was cool, they kept their sophisticated soft Kashmiri shawls wrapped around their shoulders. The European ladies mostly wore their fur coats. Only the Thai ladies, garbed in shiny Thai silk dresses with long skirts and a large front fold, seemed not to feel the cold. Their skirts touched the ground, and were topped with tightly fitted silk blouses that were closed from waist to neck by a row of round gold decorative buttons.

In the usual Asian way, the ladies were sitting together apart from the men. They were engaged in the usual gossip while drinking the usual martinis or fruit juices. On the other hand, the gentlemen remained standing, whiskey glasses in hand, and were attended constantly by white-gloved servants. from time to time, the ambassador's louder laughs hinted that the mood of the gentlemen was improving.

Suddenly the doors were opened and two young monks, no more than perhaps ten years of age, arrived. Perfectly calm, and in no way disturbed by the sophisticated surroundings or richly dressed ladies and gentlemen, they entered with folded hands and downcast eyes. They were followed by thirty or forty slightly older monks, all garbed in traditional red-burgundy robes. Without any commotion, they approached the Thai Ambassador in a group, and he greeted them with folded hands. After this greeting, they marched directly to their chairs and, with smiling faces, accepted the lemonade and cookies provided for them by the servants.

In no way did these young monks appear to be disturbed or to feel out of place. On the contrary, it was we who more or less seemed out of place. The very entrance of these young burgundy-clad monks had charged the atmosphere and made a difference. With their intelligent faces, bright dark eyes and calm acceptance of their new surroundings, something new had entered the reception room. Another world had suddenly opened (among and for us).

For me, that evening had initiated a strange sentiment of subtle potential involvement. I felt myself drawn to this group of monks, and somehow already realized that I might want to keep close to them. That evening ended, but not before I had made an appointment with Freda Bedi to visit the Tibetan refugee camp in Delhi on the following morning.

The following morning, a sophisticated white-clad chauffeur drove me to old Delhi in the Thai embassy car. On the way, we passed the famous Red Fort and followed the Ring Road until we finally reached a neighborhood of shabby huts. Many of these structures were made of mud mixed with straw into adobe. They had mostly palm roofs weighted down with stones to keep them from drifting away in the wind. Here, people were huddled in outdoor areas where they tried to warm themselves under the few rays of sunlight that could reach them. They were also trying in this way to avoid the cold winds that blew off the nearby river (the Yamuna River).

"Nothing good here," remarked the chauffeur repeatedly. We continued to drive until we reached the Buddhist Vihara where a large group of Tibetans had already gathered. Once stopped, I descended from the car and tried to make my way through the dense crowds of mostly Tibetan people.

I had already seen multitudes of refugees in Europe, and had even visited a few concentration camps during and after World War II; however, somehow the refugees gathered here seemed especially tragic, although in a different way. Their faces bore expressions of extreme bewilderment. They seemed entirely lost and out of place. There were old and young women, children, and many old men. They sat hunched on the cold black earth. or huddled together on the cement stairs inside of the Vihara courtyard.

The Vihara itself comprised a spacious compound situated along one bank of the river from which an icy cold wind blew periodically. A kind of gallery or walled cloister surrounded the entire vihara compound, and many children were curled up in this protected area. The Tibetan men and women were dressed in similar darkish long robes, and their black hair was arranged in long plaits, which either hung down their backs or were coiled around their heads. Here and there the burgundy-red robes worn by the young lama refugees appeared. It was impossible for me to place my feet on the ground without trodding on an arm or a leg, and I didn't know where to direct my faltering steps in this sea of humans. where was Freda Bedi, and how could I find her?

In one far corner, I could see a commotion developing. Lorries loaded with bags of rice and wheat had pulled up, and these were immediately being off-loaded by Indian Officials. The workers tried valiantly to make themselves understood by the mob of gesticulating and screaming hungry Tibetans; however, it appeared their Hindi was not understood.

At last - in the midst of this confusion where I stood helpless and not knowing where to go - I caught Sight of one of the child Lamas I had met the previous night. He was emerging out of the crowd. Paying little attention to where I placed my feet now, I ran up to him, grasped his robe, and tried to make him understand that I was searching for Freda Bedi.

At first his face remained expressionless, but when he heard the name 'Mrs. Bedi,' his face came alive. I was immediately rewarded with a large smile and nod. After this, running like a small mouse, and weaving among the people without seeming to touch them, he led the way up and down several corridors. I followed him as best I could. People were huddled everywhere, and the entire compound seemed to be a sea composed of massed people in deep misery. At the end of this erratic search, I was virtually pushed into an untidy room where, in front of me, stood Freda Bedi. My little Lama disappeared as quickly as he had appeared, even before I could thank him.

"How sweet of you to come," Freda said. "It's an awful mess here today, but come and meet my daughter, Gulhima, and one of my two sons."

A charming Anglo-Indian girl looked up at me with shining eyes, and a very handsome youth standing nearby smiled. He resembled an Indian more closely than did the daughter.

"It is truly difficult here today," Freda continued, "because a brand new group of Tibetan refugees must be taken care of. They have only recently crossed our border from Sikkim, and apparently had been walking in the wintry cold for days and weeks before. They've walked through several snowstorms from their home areas in Tibet, and are now extremely exhausted and hungry

"Come and I'll show you around, Germaine Krull, but before that, let me give you the Tibetan blessing we learned to give to all our friends."

Freda took a tiny sculptured Buddha figure from a small shrine, touched it to her forehead first. She next touched it to the heads of her daughter and son, after which she touched it to my forehead too, ''This is the way we would give blessings to our friends in Tibet," she explained with a smile, "so why not do the same thing here?"

Next, we were shepherded along a corridor and entered a room that appeared to be a classroom. I saw some of the young Lamas from the previous evening seated here, along with an older Tibetan Lama. He was obviously serving as their teacher.

Freda explained the situation. "These young lamas are all reincarnations of high ranking spiritual previous Lamas in Tibet. With Nehru's consent and support, I have been helped to identify and pick them out from among the many refugees working along the roads in northern India. We intend to enroll them in a special school as soon as possible. They will need to learn what will help them understand about living in the Western world, since they will become special spiritual teachers in the future. We've also been able to identify and pick up many learned older Lamas too. They will now continue to teach the young Lamas their studies, which were interrupted by their collective flight from Tibet. We shall try to help them learn new subjects while maintaining the important spiritual aspects from their Tibetan heritage. In short, they will also learn to adapt to new ways of living as refugees in the Western world, but they will remain Tibetan tulkus as identified, and will teach and guide others in the future."

She turned and added, ''This is Lama Thuthop Tulku, Germaine. He is a reincarnated Lama who comes from a monastery high up in the mountains of Tibet. He is gifted, already picking up English quite well, and is even writing it correctly. This is his brother Chivang Tutku. They are both happy, because their parents were able to escape safely with them. They all escaped at the same time as part of a larger and therefore somewhat safer group."

I looked into the classroom and noticed my little Lama guide who assisted me today. He was sitting at the feet of his teacher, looking up at us and smiling.

Freda Bedi nodded to him and explained, "He is the reincarnation of the Abbot from one of the most important monasteries in Tibet. Now, in this incarnation, he will continue to be placed in charge of many thousand souls whom he will guide and teach when he is an adult.

"There are more young Lamas studying in another room. The whole group of these Lamas and their teachers will be leaving very soon for the north of India. They will settle for the present in Dalhousie, on the edge of the Himalayan lower mountain ranges. There, we have been given a very large house which will serve as our first Lama Home-school. To establish this school, we shall assemble as many special young tulku Lamas as we are able to identify. We also hope to find volunteers from various other countries who will come to India and help us by volunteering to teach them English."

Freda Bedi continued to explain how different groups of Tibetan Friendship Societies were being created around the world, especially in the neutral countries of Europe. She ended with: "I hope, Germaine, that you will come and visit us in Dalhousie. I look forward to showing you our school. It will be the result of two plus years of personal planning and effort."

We were shepherded back down the same corridors, and entered the sea of humans gathered outside around the Vihara. We continued making our way along the riverbank where bunches of Tibetan women were huddled or squatting on the ground with their babies. They were trying to feed them in spite of the cold wind. One of the older English-speaking Lamas had accompanied us, and he translated the many requests for aid from Freda Bedi being made by the Tibetan refugee women.

"You see," he explained, "some of these babies were born along the way from Tibet, and a few were actually born here. This tiny one was born yesterday morning," he pointed, "and we still don't have enough milk for it. The Indians themselves often find it difficult to get milk for their own children, although cows are roaming around everywhere. We still have some powdered milk that friends have given us, but it is never enough for our growing needs."

In spite of their suffering, the women looked at us with warm smiles, apparently relieved to see kind and interested people. At least there was no more wading through snowstorms or rains, and no more fear of Chinese soldiers. At least those dramas were behind them now.

I followed Freda through the camp, and saw many old men in ragged robes twirling their prayer wheels. others were chanting prayers. Some were holding their malas (rosaries) in their left hands, while twirling their prayer wheels with their right hands. The old men had wrinkled faces and faraway expressions on their faces under their plaited hair. They wore ragged clothes, but never stopped twirling their prayer wheels or chanting prayers, as they huddled in small groups. I would see similar sights often in the future.

We noticed that some of the women had already started what would become a kind of national refugee-occupation: knitting wool sweaters. As we circled and approached the front of the Vihara, the crowd became even more densely packed. Questions rose softly or in shouts, and were put to Freda from all sides. She pointed out persons who had suffered frozen toes, legs, and hands, as well as others who still had large open unattended wounds. I recall seeing one man whose face appeared to be half eaten-up by something.

"A leper, perhaps?" I asked Freda.

"Yes, possibly." she answered with a sigh. "Or perhaps some other undiagnosed disease that we might not have seen before. Tibetans were isolated a long time, and have little or no resistance to fight against certain physical problems - like chronic infections or tuberculosis."

The Indian officials had by then discharged all their bags of rice and wheat. They also assured Freda that a team of doctors would arrive later that day to attend those who needed additional care among already treated refugees, as well as to help the newly arrived patients.

I left the refugee camp and Vihara about noon that day; however, I also promised Freda Bedi that one day I would visit her in Dalhousie. This is a promise I knew I would certainly keep, even if in the somewhat distant future.
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Fri May 29, 2020 7:21 am

Part 2 of 2

Chapter 2

After this visit with Freda, I planned to return to Europe for several months. I had only planned to stop briefly in Delhi on my way to Europe from Thailand, where I still lived and worked. I sometimes returned to Europe via Delhi, since good direct transport to Europe is still scarce in Thailand. Now I had already stayed more time here than planned, and was anxious to leave as previously arranged.

I had again returned to Thailand, but not to work for too long, and eventually traveled on to India. On this return to India [1965?], I was accompanied by a young Siamese companion: a girl named Leck. She was a friend who had often worked for me while I lived in Bangkok, during my twenty or so years of living and working in Thailand, before I decided to retire in 1966.

During this trip to India, I wanted to avoid the usual manner of tourist travels. During previous visits to India,. I had been in the controlling orbit of tourist organizations. I stayed only in the recommended big tourist hotels, and used only tourist guides. Even my visits to the South of India had been in privately hired cars with drivers and guides. During this trip, I was determined to escape the same tourism orbit. Therefore, somewhat courageously I purchased two seats on the Kashmir Express -- first class sleeper -- all the way to Pathankot, the terminus of the railway. From there, a local bus or shared taxi would carry us on to Dalhousie, where I hoped to visit with Freda Bedi. I wanted to see how her work was progressing with the Tibetan tulkus whom I had met at the Thai reception in Delhi (in the winter, near the end of 1962.

The Kashmir Express was actually quite a comfortable train. Clean bedding was provided for first class passengers, and the four private compartment ventilator fans all worked properly. According to the schedule, having left Delhi about midnight, we were to arrive in Pathankot by 8:00 AM., the next morning. I had a sound sleep that night, but when I awakened my companion Leck said, "You know, Germaine, it seems we are almost about eight hours late."

"What do you mean eight hours late? That's impossible!"

"But I think that is what the porter man said."

I soon found that Leck's statement was unfortunately true. I learned that we were indeed nearly eight hours late. Apparently our train had run into another train on the same rail track, but going the opposite direction. Thus, a wait of several hours to correct this flaw was inevitable. Now we were very late. Soon enough, it started to become very hot inside our compartment. An Indian gentleman, a neighbor in the next compartment, had passed our door several times. He appeared especially interested in my little Thai companion, and therefore proved very helpful to us about securing our breakfast.

I complained to this gentleman that I was worried about our schedule. There was only one daily bus to Dalhousie, and now it would have left long before our late arrival. I asked, "Is it possible to hire a taxi in Pathankot?"

But now the Indian gentleman was of little help. It appeared that he was a high official in the railway administration, so he tried to convince me to return to Delhi later by the same train. As an alternative, he also suggested that we could travel on to Simla, Mussoorie, or some other 'more modern' hill station. Indeed, he insisted that Dalhousie was not interesting to visit for any reason, let alone for tourist activities.

Finally, by somewhat after noon we arrived in Pathankot. There were hundreds of people crowding the quay, and screaming porters came barging into our compartment. This time, I think we would have been lost without our Indian gentleman's help. With a few words, he instructed one porter what to do. He placed our luggage on the head of that porter, and instructed him and us to follow him out of our compartment, and to continue on to the train station to wait.

We followed our helper, and were guided into the station waiting room. We found it to be clean, furnished appropriately, and even air-conditioned. Our luggage was stashed in a corner and waiters - in uniforms that had once been clean - served us a good breakfast of tea, toast and eggs.

During the meal, our Indian gentleman once more suggested that we board the same train and return to Delhi. However, I insisted that I was intent on traveling on to Dalhousie to visit a good friend. I also asked him if there was somebody responsible with whom I might talk about this arrangement in English.

"None of these workers speaks English, only the Station Master. But it appears that today he is absent for an all-day meeting."

"Well then, is there a taxi I could hire to take us to Dalhousie? Or another bus that we could take tomorrow morning?"

"I can offer you my room here, which has an adjoining bed and bathroom. And I'll also see what I can do for you. I'll be in a meeting myself meanwhile, but I'll return later today. I assure you again that my compartment on the train will be vacant, and it's at your disposal if you change your mind and decide to return to Delhi." He was indeed a thoughtful and helpful man, but we didn't want to return to Delhi without seeing Freda. It was also becoming too hot on the plains of India, and would be cooler in Dalhousie anyway.

After he left, we went out on the platform, which was by that time truly 'burning hot.' I started to search for someone who could speak English. At last, in one of the booking offices, I found a clerk who also informed me that the Station Master was out for the day at a meeting. However, he then added that we should stay in the station room provided for us as travelers, and explained that our needs would be met by the staff, while we waited here in Pathankot overnight.

Time passed slowly that day. We were trapped in Pathankot, and it was too hot to go outside. Fortunately by late afternoon, I was able to verify that we indeed had a reserved room with bath. It was on the first floor of the train station, so we then moved our things into that room for a sound overnight sleep later.

By late afternoon, when the Indian gentleman returned, he was quite disappointed that we weren't prepared to return to Delhi. Although he suggested he had made arrangements for the bus, in fact he had not. Also by late afternoon, it was much cooler. I looked around the station again, and realized that fascinating scenes lay all around and in front of us below.

Our balcony overlooked the train platform, so we watched the people hurrying about below. We saw there was a train about to embark for somewhere, and hundreds of people were boarding it. They were mostly carrying their bedding on their heads. Personal bedding consists of a blanket, sheets and whatever is needed for the night, all rolled up in a canvas cover.

We saw men, women, children and soldiers milling about. The latter had packs on their backs and canteens dangling from their belts. We also noticed that some of the men, oddly enough, boarded the train through the open windows! The whole station was a scene with much crowding, a multitude of shouts and screams, plus other unknown noises. There were also itinerant merchants selling all kinds of snack foods. These ranged from fried bananas to boiled eggs, along with a variety of mysterious dishes wrapped in banana leaves.

Along with the noises of the people was the added ruckus of hundreds of screeching parrots, which had settled like a colorful cloud in two big trees adjacent to the balcony. It was amazing how these birds found space to perch among the thick foliage, while screaming at each other and flapping their wings to fight for places. All this coming-and-going continued until the train below finally departed.

We decided we should find the place from which the bus was scheduled to leave, as well as a more exact time of its departure for Dalhousie. To accomplish our search we decided to leave the balcony and go for a walk in the streets below.

I had never before seen so many different but quite equally dirty shops. We couldn't learn exactly what it was they were all selling, but they must have all been selling something. The shops lined the streets in side-by-side rows. The streets were also packed with various kinds of vehicles: big military lorries; small hand-carts loaded with grass; and other larger carts loaded with what appeared to be home furnishings. Many of them, except the military lorries, were pulled by hungry-appearing horses. There were also bullock carts loaded with timber, and many tongas. These vehicles were all jam-packed with women, men and children.

There was also an interspersed sea of humans peddling their bicycles. Some used their handlebars as second passenger seats, while also carrying loads on their back racks. All these people were going or coming to and from other places. I wondered how we were ever going to find the bus stand in all this confusion. We looked around rather desperately now.

Every time I saw an army officer, I tried in English to ask directions. Finally, we arrived at a dusty and dirty location that we were told was the 'bus terminus for Dalhousie.' We were also told that the bus would leave at 4:00 AM. Since there was nobody from whom to buy tickets or take reservations, we were simply told to be at the terminal early the next morning, and we would 'surely be able to find two seats.'

I wasn't satisfied with the answers we were given, and began to wonder if we would ever reach this mysterious Dalhousie. While we managed to return to the safety of our room in the station, our next problem was to find someone who would awaken us at three in the morning, and also help us carry our luggage to the bus terminal we had found.

That evening, a rather surprisingly elaborate dinner was served to us in our room. I made one last attempt to see the Station Master, and was finally able to contact the Assistant Station Master. He informed me the Station Master was still absent at his meeting; however, he seemed to be a very kind Indian man, and told us not to worry. The night watchman would awaken us on time, and would also help us with our portage problem. He also insisted he was certain we could find seats in the very early morning bus to Dalhousie.

That night passed quite well, except for the noises from nearby water pipes, which every now and then broke into piping screams. At three in the morning, the night watchman, who was obedient and dutiful, awakened both of us. We dressed in the dark, since the electricity had failed, and we had no flashlights with us. We managed to load our luggage onto the head of one porter, and ventured into the pitch-dark streets below. Our only guide was the glowing tip of the cigarette in our porter's mouth, so we dutifully followed it.

I don't know exactly how far we walked, but in the end our porter put down our luggage and squatted beside it. There was no bus in sight. Inside the nearby hut - which I saw served as part of the office - we could see several people stretched out on the floor. They were fast asleep, but soon started to stir. Gradually life erupted in and outside the hut. There was nothing to do but wait. Dawn came with its dim light, and things slowly took shape. At last, an old rattling bus arrived. It was powered by an infernally noisy engine. Once parked, all the people immediately rushed toward the bus. It was a wonder that both of us managed to grab window seats. Our porter stowed our luggage under our feet, and we gratefully settled down for the next part of our fateful trip to Dalhousie.

Our bus sported the rather pompous name: 'Kashmir Tiger.' Our driver was a lean and lanky chap. He had long bony arms, long legs, and a high forehead partly covered by a turban, which is called a 'pugri' in its Indian name. He also had a long hooked nose, twin dark eyes and a large mouth partly covered by a reddish droopy moustache. He wore khaki trousers with black patches, and a kind of dark khaki vest and coat. Worn proudly on one shoulder was pinned a small metal badge stating: 'Kashmir Tiger.' He was as long and rattling as his bus, and managed, by shouting and pushing people around, to make some kind of order in the bus. At last - off we went!

We took off with tremendous speed, leaving behind clouds of scattered dusty smoke. Very soon the plains slowly disappeared and we started to climb. The first portion of the road was quite good, and the curves were not too bad. Our Kashmir Tiger took us along all of them, puffing and screaming loudly. Eventually we stopped at a roadside teashop for a break. The shop had been part of a former British rest-house, and we were grateful for the tea and toast served to us there. After that, we climbed back into the bus, creeping over legs, hands, and luggage to reach our seats.

From that point onward, our road became a dreary one-lane passageway. For the next few hours, our ride was on a narrow mountain road, full of treacherous curves and sharp turns. This nightmarish part of the journey remains forever fresh in my mind. As the bus rattled along, it seemed at every curve we might scrape or bump against the mountain on one side, or find ourselves hanging in the air on the other side. I'm still not sure how we managed not to bump into the mountain of rocks in front, or fall over the edge of a cliff in our back during that wild ride!

Inside the bus, passengers were thrown from side to side, no matter how hard we tried to cling to our seats or the windowsills. The bus soon became a terrible mess: water spilled on the floor; luggage fell or slid everywhere; women moaned; children cried; and many leaned out of the windows to be sick. The only one who seemed to enjoy the ride and the passengers' discomfort was the driver. The worse the situation became in the bus, the happier he seemed to be as we throttled along.

I don't know what might have happened if our way had not been finally blocked by a military convoy. Our driver actually overtook one of the convoy trucks, and almost drove it over the edge and off the cliff. Obviously this contretemps forced the military convoy to stop. The convoy Commander, who was by that time quite angry, ordered our bus driver to: 'Fall in line behind my trucks and stay there!' This happenstance event forced our slow-down, and gave the passengers time to recover a little. Finally, after these few hours that felt much longer, we arrived in Dalhousie, a hill station situated at roughly near the seven thousand foot altitude level.

As porters crowded around to grab our luggage upon our arrival, my first impression of Dalhousie was dual: agreeable fresh air and fascinating scenery; and generally confusing with respect to town layout. We immediately saw two hotels in front of us. One was named 'Snow View,' and the other was called 'Mountain View.' To reach both we had to climb up numerous steps. By now, steep hills seemed to encircle us on all sides. Somehow we landed in Snow View, and immediately ate the very good breakfasts served to us in the hotel restaurant.

The view of the encircling mountains was absolutely beautiful. There were no snow-capped peaks visible at the present time, since the mountains were covered by a summery green sheen. A forest of tall pine and cedar trees covered most of the adjacent hilly slopes, and the landscape was entirely composed of a series of hilly ups and downs. Moreover, it actually appeared as if the entire scene was creeping steadily upward, which I later learned was generally true.

I begin to wonder how we would ever be able to find the Tibetan Lama School, since even the owner of the hotel spoke very little English. He seemed neither to know nor had he ever heard of any Tibetan Lama School when first asked. It appeared, as he noted, there were indeed several schools in the area, but how were we going to find out their exact names and where they were situated?

Then I asked, "Have you ever heard of an English lady named Freda Bedi who arrived here with many young Tibetan lamas?"

"No, never!"

I remembered another referral word, so I next asked: "Have you ever heard of a place called the 'Tibetan Kailash?'" The hotel man answered this query quickly in the affirmative. The word 'kailash' ticked his memory as an unusual school referred to in Dalhousie.

"Oh, yes," came his immediate answer. "It is way higher up, near the base of the mountains. There you will see that it's one really big house, now used for teaching young students. Actually, the Kailash might even have a telephone!"

The Kailash did indeed have a telephone, and I was able to speak directly with Freda Bedi. She informed us that she would send a Tibetan youth down to meet us at our hotel. She also added, "Since it is quite high up, it might be necessary to ride a horse instead of trying to walk all the way in this altitude."

We waited for some time, but finally a young Tibetan boy arrived. Surprisingly, he already spoke quite good English. Our luggage was loaded on the shoulders of a young Indian porter, and we set out for our hike up to the Kailash.

I must admit that I was not very courageous by now. My many years of living on the plains made it difficult now for me to climb.

In short, after a little while, I agreed to ride the horse that accompanied us. However, because I hadn't ridden a horse since early childhood, the steep climb onward was as hard for the horse as it was for me. Yet, the higher we climbed, the more beautiful the scenery became. We were surrounded by a mountain forest of tall green trees, while being fully encased in air that was extremely fresh and clean.

Near the end of this journey, we reached a kind of circular flat roadway where our party rested for a while. From this point on, a more level road led in a meander up to the Kailash, which I could see ahead and still above us. I decided to climb down from my horse. However. since I was unable to regain full use of my legs for some minutes, I must have made a grotesque sight staggering around! My girl Leck and the Tibetan youth burst into laughter. Indeed, it took quite a while for me to regain full and confident use of my quavering legs.

We finally reached the big wooden house. We saw that it had a large double front door over which was posted a large sign: 'Kailash Young Lama School.'

We continued down a narrow path and saw that this large house actually resembled a Swiss Chalet with its deeply pitched roof; however, at the same time it had the curious air of a small Indian castle with one small soaring tower. We next mounted more steps to a banked terrace where patches of colorful flowers surrounded us. Our Tibetan guide had already run up the stairway ahead of us, and disappeared into the house.

I was quite weary, and found it difficult to recover my breath in the higher altitude. I stopped in front of the house to view the scenery. It was unique, and appeared to consist of range after range of mountains, each succeeding the previous one in an apparently endless regression of higher peaks. Next to the Kailash were two tall cedar trees that spread their branches over the house like protecting arms or wings. Along the side, clusters of tall pine trees stood like watch towers. I was lost in dreams, but soon heard Freda Bedi's voice calling from somewhere in the house.

"Come in, Germaine, dear! Come in, dear Germaine! I'm so glad you were able at last to come for a visit."

Somehow I continued on, and stumbled up a narrow staircase into the protecting arms of Freda. I looked around and saw we were in a small entry room. On a low bench were several piles of mail. Obviously Freda was trying to catch up on her correspondence. Pushing aside a few bundles and parcels, I sat down heavily on the bench. I tried to recover my panting breath bit by bit.

As soon as we were truly settled in a room nearby, Tibetan servants hurried in to serve us tea and a variety of snacks. Freda began to tell us about the school for which she had worked so hard for more than two years.

"The Young Lama School is the first of its kind in India. There are now fifty young Lama Tulku students here, along with some other monks who enrolled to learn English. If they become better-educated, they will help with teaching others the Dharma. We soon expect many more will be coming, so we shall definitely need more teachers. The young Lamas continue their Dharma studies here under Tibetan Lamas, but also study English reading, writing and speaking every day. They are the best assurance that the Dharma and Sangha will endure into the future; therefore, His Holiness the Dalai Lama is in favor of this school. He also helped planning for it soon after his escape to freedom."

"We have set up the educational program here quite well," Freda said and then noted: "There are a number of young volunteers who have come from all parts of Europe and America to help us with the English teaching part."

At this moment, the door opened and Thuthop Tulku entered. Freda nodded at him and continued: "He has become very good in English, and is now able to help me with our voluminous correspondence. You see, Germaine, it's increasingly the case that we have Tibetan friendship groups forming all over the world. They help by volunteering, as well as by sending us clothing and sometimes some money too. Their gifts help to sustain us here."

We continued to converse for a few hours, interrupted only by servants who occasionally refilled our teacups. By now, and after this conversational rest, I had finally recovered my strength in spite of the altitude.

Freda Bedi added: "You can stay in the Guest House, which is just next door, Germaine. You'll have an Indian servant there who will furnish you with hot water for bathing and your tea. I'll send over Tibetan food for lunch or dinner, and you and Leck can come here anytime you want to visit. Rest yourself and stay as long as you wish in Dalhousie."

off we went again on that circular walkway. It appeared that Freda Bedi's 'next door' meant a walk of more than half an hour for Leck and me, mostly among the pines and cedars.

At last, the young Tibetan monk, carrying our bedrolls and baggage, pointed up the mountain to a small white house. It resembled an eagle's nest. This was Freda's 'next door' Guest House. As we continued to scramble and climb up this final steeper and rockier path, even my little Siamese girl, Leck, had to use her hands to grasp and hold on to the grassy edges to manage making it up the path. Frankly, I don't know how I managed to get up to the house -- by puffing like a steam engine, I guess.

Once we arrived and entered the house, I immediately felt its unique enchantment. A large covered verandah circled the house and overlooked the mountains and valley below. There, well below us, a river flowed like a silvery curving ribbon. Tall trees surrounded the little house like watchful sentinels, and patches of colorful wildflowers bloomed everywhere.

The first floor of the house consisted of one large room attached to a bathroom with running water. This room was furnished with two Indian beds covered with Tibetan rugs, and the remaining furniture included two overstuffed chairs. A large window with glass panes, partly replaced by plywood panels, overlooked the scenery below. That was our bedroom. Outside, the verandah was furnished with a table, two hard chairs and one easy chair.

Next to our big room I saw a smaller room. Our Tibetan helper told us that a young man named Peter sometimes stays in this room. He also said that the kitchen was situated on a lower level, that is to say, downstairs from our big main living and sleeping room.

We quickly installed ourselves in our room, and Leck decided to go down and inspect the kitchen. When she returned, she shuddered at what she had seen. Half in Thai and half in English, she reported her results. She had tried to communicate with the Indian woman there, hoping she would understand the need to clean up the place; however, she wasn't hopeful.

The first night passed without event. I slept from early evening until the next morning in one stretch. Early the next morning, I stepped out onto our verandah and looked down toward the valley below. The sight was breathtaking. The next impressive element was the many monkeys playing in the trees adjacent to the house. When standing upright, they were nearly the size of a man!

Leck soon came into our room almost screaming: "The monkeys are so big that I'm afraid of them."

Our young Tibetan boy, who was still present as a helper, insisted the monkeys were harmless and would never enter the house. Leck wondered about this, but decided instead to focus on washing the kitchen before it was necessary to use it.

Suddenly we heard sounds emanating from the room where Peter was supposedly staying ·sometimes.' I realized we had completely forgotten that he was 'sometimes' here, until we heard the chanting. It became louder and louder, but it was still unintelligible. Later we learned Peter chanted in Tibetan.

Hours later, when Peter came out of his room, we saw he was a tallish, rather pale young American. Peter, who seemed to be about twenty years old, was dressed in a pair of colorless trousers and a white shirt, open at the neck. A scarlet silk cape with a thick cotton lining hung over his shoulders... His feet were shod in worn Indian sandals. "Good morning," he said, "I hope I haven't disturbed you with my morning chanting."

"Oh, no," I shrugged. "I guessed that you would be Peter. Did you have your breakfast? You look so cold."

"No, thanks, but I will have a cup of tea. Actually I'm not cold. This cape, which is not mine but borrowed, is actually very warm."

Peter seemed generally quite absentminded - mostly as if absorbed in some mental questions or exercises of his own most of the time. I asked, "Peter, how long are you going to stay here? And are you going to be teaching the young lamas?"

"Not exactly. That is, I'm helping Mrs. Bedi with some translations, and may stay here for a while, but I really don't know anything for sure yet. You see - I just returned last night from the plains - and now I planned to go down to the Kailash to talk with Freda. Do you have any messages?" He glanced around at us with this question.

"Please tell Freda that I won't be coming to see her today. I wouldn't be able to make it up the hill once I got down after yesterday. I'm still tired from that hike, and need to get more accustomed to the altitude a bit."

Our daily routine took shape and continued in the same pattern for about a week or so. After breakfast, Leck would try to explain to our Tibetan helper that she should try to buy some fresh fruit and vegetables in the market at Dalhousie. Although it was summer, fresh food supplies were not easy to obtain. There were almost no vegetables in the market except some cabbage, poor potatoes and few dessicated carrots. Local gardens were scarce. After trying to buy a chicken that looked more like a sparrow, plus some really poor bony-looking mutton, we gave up pretty much. Fortunately we still had tea, Tibetan noodles, some biscuits and good jam. With these items we were more or less satisfied daily. Occasionally our Indian woman helper would bring us plates of wild raspberries, which were ripening everywhere on the mountain slopes. They were truly delicious.

At this point, Leck was busy trying to help solve our material problems, but I continued to be tired. It seemed a bad cold had taken hold of me, and I felt worse each day. Now the days seemed to drag by. Then one day I felt somewhat better, so we finally ventured down to the Kailash. We hoped to visit with the little Lamas, one by one if possible.

Thuthop Tulku accompanied us around the Kailash, and tried to explain everything for us while I took pictures. We saw there was one big room reserved for the volunteers to work in. We met a couple from Canada there. She was a tall blonde girl, and her companion was a broad-shouldered young man with a long black beard. They both seemed quite unconscious about the state of their clothes, and were both dressed mostly in rags. The young woman was barefoot, and the young man wore a pair of Indian sandals held together with string. Nevertheless, they were quite jolly, and full of fun and laughter. They seemed to be dedicated teachers for the young Lamas, who seemed to like them very much too.

I saw Peter sitting in one corner furiously typing on an ancient typewriter. In another corner, an Australian boy in Tibetan clothing was sitting on the floor. He was looking through Tibetan manuscripts and books, page by page. What an odd international collection had gathered here in the mountains of Dalhousie, India!

That was the first occasion that I actually saw and handled Tibetan books. I saw they consisted of long, loose leaves a little more than a foot in length and about four to five inches wide. Each page was hand-written with script on both sides, and the leaves were piled together into ordered groups about four to five inches thick as a 'book.' Each bunch was wrapped carefully in pieces of colored silk and tied with string.

We learned there were several volunteers working in the Kailash. many of whom were not in the volunteer room at the same time. This is because they were teaching the little Lamas in separate classrooms.

We also met the newly appointed Abbot of the Kailash on that day. He was a young and handsome Lama who spoke quite good English. Freda later told us that he was one of their most important tulku reincarnations. He had luckily left Tibet before the Chinese invasion, and was now devoted to working with the refugees. He had lived in Sikkim for several years, and learned considerable English while in residence there. I also saw several very old Lamas with deeply wrinkled faces, and sincerely hoped to have enough time to photograph some or all of them before leaving Dalhousie.

We later lunched with Freda, and I admitted to her that I was not feeling at all well. I even asked, "Is it possible to find a medical doctor around here?"

"I'm afraid, Germaine, that the doctors around here are not very good. And I'm sure there is no appropriate cold medicine available in Dalhousie. It would be better if you just stayed at home and rested. I'll send your food up to you. Use your own medicine if you have any, and just rest a few days. I realize this altitude and climate are difficult to become accustomed to."

We stayed on at the Kailash that afternoon. There was a special religious ceremony scheduled, and I wanted to take pictures of the monks gathered together.

The ceremony took place in the shrine room, which was a long relatively undecorated room in the main house. On the shrine altar, I noticed a newly painted statue of Buddha, wrapped in several layers of white prayer scarves in the typical Tibetan manner. A row of silver offering bowls was placed in front of the Buddha statue, and a bunch of colorful paper flowers had been heaped nearby. Next to the shrine altar, a large electric bulb shed its light into the far corners of the entire assembly room. I had been told that lights placed over shrines help to attract the attention of the spirits, along with the scents of food and other altar offerings, such as incense.

A row of torma cakes was also placed near the front of the altar. As usual, these torma cakes were made by mixing butter and barley flour into a dough that was sculptured into the usual round and pointed cone-like forms. These were quite simple, since none was decorated or painted with designs. I had learned that tormas were meant to serve as food offerings to the Buddha and/or particular spiritual embodiments for whom the altar was dedicated. The shrine altar also held a row of small bowls that contained the usual offerings: water, barley and rice. A row of butter lamps burned along the very edge, in front of all the other offerings.

Along the wall in back of the shrine altar hung three large thankas, as well as the usual large photograph of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Two parallel rows of chanting monks sat on small Tibetan carpets placed in front of the altar. In all, there were about forty or fifty little Lamas being led in prayer by the Abbot, who sat elevated in the middle of the room in front of the shrine altar. Nearly all of the volunteers entered and participated by joining in as well as they were able.

I felt as if I were in another world where time did not count. It was nearly dark by the time we came out. While on our way up to our eagle's nest house, we were caught in a heavy and sudden rainstorm!

"Oh my, Leck, just look," I complained, "how far we truly are from Western civilization's promises! My trench coat, which was supposed to be waterproof, has absorbed water like a sponge."

Drenched, cold and shivering, we arrived at our little perch-house again. It seemed as if that night might finally be the end of me! My cold now settled inside me in earnest, and it lasted for more than five days without improvement.

On the fifth day, when I was sitting on the verandah wrapped in my fur coat and all the blankets I could find, I saw Freda Bedi. She and Thuthop Tulku were wending their way up the steep and winding path toward us. Once they arrived, Freda announced: "We have come to pray for you. Do you mind?"

"No. Why should I mind?" I replied glumly.

Without further delay, they sat and started chanting their prayers. I sat in my chair and listened calmly to their chanting. About half an hour later, a sharp pain slashed through my chest and body and I felt quite odd. After minutes of this odd sensation, I felt relieved for the first time in almost two weeks. Even my breathing had become much easier for me.

After Freda and Thuthop Tulku left, I exited from all my wrappings and slipped into my warm bed. While I felt strangely like someone who had awakened from a very bad dream, I also felt as if my cold had almost disappeared. who knows ...

Chapter 3

The rain finally stopped, and I could see the entire valley spread out in front of us the next day. We decided to go down to the Kailash, and slowly wended our way down along the familiar circular path. While walking, we saw the usual scenes: Tibetan nuns carrying heavy loads of bundled leaves or wood; young Tibetan men or groups of young monks carrying tools; and as we neared the Kailash, more and more Tibetans engaged in coming and going. Near the Kailash itself, everyone seemed busy working in the gardens. A tree had been felled. and the logs were being trimmed and oiled carefully. Even placid Thuthop Tulku was running from one to another group, gesticulating and talking.

"What do you think is wrong here?" I asked. "Something must have happened, because there's an unusual amount of activity going on."

Just then Freda came running down the stairs and called out to us: "Germaine, something big is happening to us. It's a very lucky thing! We shall have a visit from one of the most important Lamas of all! His Holiness Sakya Trizin is coming to see us! Next to the Dalai Lama. he is one of the most important spiritual lights in Asia. His Holiness Sakya Trizin is supposed to be an emanation of Manjusri, the Boddhisattva of Accomplished Wisdom! What luck for you both to be able to meet him while you're here in Dalhousie!"

During the following two days of preparation, the entire place was like an ants' nest of activities until the big day came. Once the important Lama arrived, conch shells and drums sounded from early morning onward. I was told I should wait in our perch house, and that we would be summoned when it was possible to meet His Holiness Sakya Trizin.

The day passed slowly, and nobody came to our eagle's nest to visit. Our Indian lady told us, with many gestures and broken English, that the great Lama was very young, quite chubby, and did not wear the same robes other lamas wore. He dressed in a white robe, and had a deep red shawl wrapped around his shoulders. He wore his hair in long braids and has a long golden earring with blue stones hanging from one ear. Indeed, she suggested that he looked more womanish than mannish, especially with these odd accoutrements and his long braided hair style and jewelry.

By now we were very curious and waited impatiently to see him. Finally, in the late afternoon, a monk came to fetch us. He said that he would accompany us to the nunnery where the Great Lama was now teaching.

Once in the nunnery, we waited in a large dimly lit room where everything seemed wrapped in an air of mystery. Nuns I had never before seen were rushing to and fro from room to room, and many monks sat around waiting with us too. The entire place seemed both shrouded in mystery and full of excitement at the same time. From behind closed doors came the sound of chanting, interrupted only by the occasional ringing of hand-held bells and hand-drums.

Then Freda called me in a hushed voice, I entered a room lighted only by one dim light bulb. In one corner was a shrine altar from which lighted butter lamps flickered beams of illumination that morphed into nebulous shadows. There were many people in the room, but I saw only one figure before me. This was a sturdy person of medium height who seemed less a human being than a spiritual presence to which I felt deeply drawn.

Strangely too, His Holiness made an instinctive gesture directly toward me. I approached, and we looked into one another's eyes for more than a long second.

It was only when Freda, who was standing beside me, introduced us that I returned to a normal focus and reality. Then, I somewhat awkwardly presented my white prayer scarf or kathak to His Holiness, as one should. I held it out to him with both hands.

I was unable to speak a single word when presenting my scarf. It was only after a few minutes, as I was readying myself to leave, and His Holiness had placed his hands on my head to bless me that I returned consciously fully to myself again. Then, I asked softly: "May I please see you again?" He nodded yes, silently.

This was an impressive and important meeting for me. I felt strangely happy afterwards, although I could not say or define exactly why. I felt that this was a meeting with someone whom I had known all my life; or maybe someone I had known forever, even somehow known before time itself existed.

The next morning I returned to the Kailash again.

"You must have a very happy karma, Germaine," said Freda, "since it brought you so close to His Holiness yesterday."

"Yes, I felt as if I had known him always. Moreover, I think he too felt that I was not a complete stranger."

We waited together in the entry room for a while. We again heard drumming and chanting from the shrine room. After a while, Lama Thuthop came out. He made a gesture to us that His Holiness was waiting to see us again.

His Holiness greeted us with a big smile and folded hands. He made a gesture that signaled I could sit by his side on his bench-chair if I wanted. However, I felt more at ease sitting on a carpet on the floor in front of him.

Now, in the light of day, His Holiness appeared more human. His bright eyes peered at me from behind his round spectacles, and looked straight at me. His long braids were wound around his head today, and his gold and turquoise earring was suspended from a red woolen string that was wrapped around one ear. It shook whenever he moved his head.

His Holiness was not too tall but definitively of a sturdy build. The most striking part of him was not his round face or bright eyes, it was his hands. His Holiness' hands were small and delicately shaped, like the hands and fingers of the Buddhas depicted in old Tibetan paintings. They were graceful and almost childlike hands, with long and slender fingers. These hands were actually fascinating and attractive. They moved with such unusual grace when making mudras, or even simple gestures of any kind.

Our conversation started quickly and informally. The initial shyness I had experienced the previous day had left me, and His Holiness seemed more like an old friend. We talked for a long time that day. He wanted to know about France, about me and my life, and about European history. He asked many questions. His English was still somewhat limited, so Lama Thuthop translated for us when necessary. His presence helped the flow of our conversation.

At one point, Lama Thuthop interrupted with, "His Holiness says that you should come and visit him in Mussoorie."

"My next planned journey will take me back to Europe for some months," I told him; "however, if you or His Holiness will send me a note with news from time to time, when I return to Asia, I shall surely visit him in Mussoorie."

After this, I took many pictures of His Holiness. Lama Thuthop then told me that I should come into another room and meet His Holiness' 'Aunty.' ''This 'Aunty,' as we all call her, was more or less like His Holiness' mother," Lama Thuthop added with a smile. "I was also told that it was she who helped rear him after the early death of his birth mother, and somewhat later when his father's early death interrupted his education as a youth. She is important to all of us, and still cares and plans for this family, including his sister whom you will meet."

'Aunty' was a small lady whose sparse hair was parted in the middle and tied up into a gray knot. Large gold earrings dangled from her small ears. She had a fine, straight nose, tiny mouth, and a very kind smile. That smile matched the sympathetic look in her dark grayish eyes. She sat alone on a carpet-covered bench in a room that was normally reserved for His Holiness' personal use.

A large thermos of hot Tibetan tea was placed at the foot of 'Auntie's' bench, and every time her cup was emptied or cool, a Tibetan servant hurriedly refilled it. Lama Thuthop explained to 'Aunty' who Leck and I were as visitors. She nodded brightly and presented me with a large red apple. I took several photographs of her too. Then, since it was already evening, we left and climbed up to our eagle's nest. I realized then that I would meet' Aunty' again when I visited His Holiness in Mussoorie. In fact, I certainly intended to make that visit one day during a future trip to India, which I was now certain to make again.

Throughout that evening and night, Leck and I heard the steady throb of drums and the hooting sounds of conch shells in the distance. When Peter returned to the house later that night, he explained: "His Holiness is giving some special teachings to the monks." Then he added, "You've been very lucky today, Germaine, since His Holiness seemed pleased when he met and talked with you."

"I thought so too. Somehow I felt as if I had known him for a long time, and perhaps he might have felt that way too."

"Yes. I saw the meeting, and think he must have felt the same way you did."

During the same evening, we heard a rash of worrisome news over the wireless radio. It reported that political trouble was brewing again between Pakistan and India. The problem, as usual, was about the border between these two countries. When we heard this rumor too repeatedly for comfort, we set the next day for our departure from Dalhousie. Even Freda was troubled about the rumors, since we had both noticed several Indian military planes flying over our peaceful area.

Under the circumstances, it did not seem to be a good idea to stay on, and perhaps become involved in troubles whose origins and resolutions would be problematic for us. This was not the first time I had experienced similar border problems in my life. Moreover, I had already planned to return to Europe after this side-trip from Thailand.

Early the next morning, as I was finishing the last of my packing, a monk arrived with a message from Freda. Apparently that day was being dedicated to a very important religious Buddhist celebration. The message also said that this ceremony was rarely held, and that we should not miss the opportunity to witness such a rare puja to he held nearby. We agreed.

The single jeep in Dalhousie had been made available to His Holiness, and we were told to wait for its arrival too. We walked down to the main road and waited. After some time, the jeep arrived with a white-turbaned Sikh as the chauffeur. Sitting next to the driver was His Holiness, and piled in back were two attendants, a personal servant and Lama Thuthop. There was barely room for Freda and me, along with our pile of luggage and other odd packets.

Arrangements had to be made. Therefore, almost immediately Freda asked for the jeep to stop. She arranged to have our luggage offloaded at a nearby hotel where we would stay for our last night in Dalhousie. She then instructed the driver to return after delivering us to pick up Leck who would wait here, and drive her to where the ceremony was being held.

So off we went again. Our first stop was to visit a very old Lama who was unable to attend the ceremony due to his advanced age. The jeep next maneuvered down a steep hill, even though the road had become almost too narrow. The chauffeur often found it difficult going, especially because so many people were running alongside our jeep to receive a blessing or quick touch from His Holiness Sakya Trizin.

It took considerable skill in driving before we arrived at our destination, which turned out to be another small house. We saw several monks and another 'ancient' Lama awaiting the arrival of His Holiness outside. We all entered the house together, and His Holiness was soon seated on his special high chair. The rest of us sat on long benches with small tables in front of us. We were first served the traditional guests' small dish of sweet rice and tea.

Later, for the first time in my life, I was formally served Tibetan butter tea. It was poured from a great silver kettle into a tiny cup placed in front of me. I didn't think it had a bad taste. Instead, I thought it was a strange but not disagreeable drink that resembled an amorphous too salty hotel soup. It was different from any normal tea I had ever known or been served before, but I could see its value here.

After our tea, we were again guided on our way. We climbed back into the jeep, only to discover the chauffeur had a very difficult time turning it around. We finally returned to the main road, and discovered that following it was every bit as perilous as our original downhill descent had been. All along the way, the road was crowded with Tibetans. There were young and old men twirling their prayer wheels and reciting the beads of their rosaries while walking. There were women walking with hands folded and holding burning incense sticks. Those with children held them up near the jeep for His Holiness to bless them in passing. We continued on our pilgrimage. but stopped once more to visit other very old lamas who were unable to attend the main ceremony. His Holiness blessed them in passing.

Finally, the jeep climbed upward again; however, when the road became even more steep and narrow, we were asked to descend and walk the remainder of the way.

We finally came to the location for the ceremony, which was to be held outdoors. It consisted of a large grassy meadow with row upon row of monks and lamas sitting cross-legged on the grass. Each one held a flower in his hand. There was also a crowd of lay people sitting in back of and around the monks. There were many women dressed in traditional Tibetan chubas worn under their colorful striped aprons. Most sat holding their children. There were long-haired Tibetan men of all ages, as well as a number of local Indian people from Dalhousie. A large group of various foreigners had also come to see and hear the great Lama deliver his teaching. Among this group, the majority were garbed in the usual casual 'hippie' fashion.

A white open-sided tent had been erected in one part of the meadow. In the center of the tent stood a high wooden chair (in lieu of a Lotus Throne) for His Holiness Sakya Trizin. Nearby was placed a large gold-framed photograph of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Near this photo, a large thanka of the Buddha had been pinned to one of the tent walls. On the table in front of His Holiness' throne-chair, a Vajra, a special Bell, and several other ritual or ceremonial objects were readied for use.

The ceremony in the meadow began immediately. As His Holiness started to chant the opening prayer, most of the monks and lamas joined with him. His Holiness combined the chanted prayers with specific and intricate hand movements or mudras.

I observed that the ritual hand movements resembled a dance of raised arms and hands, plus joined, flexed and released fingers. The prayer delivered was long. Once the chanting and prayers ended, His Holiness blessed everyone present by touching the Vajra to the head of each passing participant. This blessing was followed by additional blessings given by three lamas. The first lama placed a red or green string around the neck of each person; the second one poured some lotion from a silver chabai into the hand of each person, some of which was swallowed, and the rest was swiped across the head. The third lama gave each person a tiny barley cake to be eaten later. This procedure sometimes follows certain ceremonies as a special physical blessing that is thus related to the body, spirit and mind.
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I waited to receive my blessing until all the monks and lay people had been served theirs. After receiving this final blessing, I felt strangely free and very happy once again.

We noticed that His Holiness had finally stepped down from his raised seat and disappeared into the crowd of lamas. After this, Leck, who had arrived during the ceremony, and I left the meadow. We were driven back to the hotel to spend the last night before our departure in the morning.

We left the next morning for Delhi, but somehow I knew I would visit His Holiness again, either here or in another place in India. I also hoped to see Freda again.

This time our return bus trip up and down the hills back to Pathankot was not in the 'Kashmir Tiger,' but in the 'Hill Express.' While I could not say that the trip was easier or more pleasant, the current political border problems meant that the roads were heavily occupied by military trucks and convoys; therefore. the forced slower speed of the bus made the return ride much less back-breaking for us packed-in passengers. Even the aisles were used for seating. since the news of possible strife was ominous.

Once back in the crowds of Pathankot, we returned to that other world in feeling: that of being among hectic crowded activities. We quickly learned that the political border crisis had become even worse than we had imagined. Most adolescent Indian boys wandered about with transistor radios dangling around their necks. Their faces had grim expressions from the news they were hearing. The atmosphere was permeated with an explosive feeling of tension, and the Pathankot area was filled with a military presence. We were told that we should take the next train to Delhi, since it might well be the last one to leave Pathankot for a long time.

By the time we finally arrived in Delhi, I realized just how serious the border problem had become. Because of the touchy situation between Pakistan and India, we were advised to depart India on the next possible international plane. We made rapid departure arrangements and, in fact, ours plane was the last one to leave India and not be grounded when flying over Karachi.

We left, but I continued to worry about the friends and refugees left behind in Dalhousie. After all, that area was not too far from the troubled spots. Later I received the good news that no harm had come to the Kailash, or to anyone living nearby it in Dalhousie. I was much relieved.

_______________

Notes:

Dalhousie is situated in the northern Himachal Pradesh area, actually only about forty some miles from Pathankot, or about three hours (theoretically) by bus or taxi on a difficult road. Dalhousie was home to one of the earliest Tibetan refugee communities about the 1950 exodus of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from Tibet. After his successful flight from Tibet, the roads and trails were immediately flooded with as many refugees as could muster the courage to escape. Hundreds wanted to free themselves from Chinese occupied Tibet, and most directed their steps toward areas of northern India. Thus, one of the earliest fully functional schools, the ‘Central School for Tibetans,’ was founded in this community. Perhaps consulting a map is suggested here, because visualizing the different hill station locations makes it easier to understand the cluster of Tibetan refugee centers situated in these northern to more central areas of India. The editor was unable to find a single map which locates all the settlements noted in the Memoir.

Dalhousie was founded by Lord Dalhousie in 1854, during the early days of the nearly century-long Raj colonial occupation of India. Like other hill stations, Dalhousie became a popular place to which British government or military commands often moved their offices during the summer, since it is at the on-average 6,463 foot level of elevation, and thus avoids the numbing heat of the Indian plains and capital of Delhi. It still remains a popular summer resort, and is renowned for its Victorian left-over houses and hotels constructed during the Raj. Some of these buildings became schools, and others became small hotels.

Dalhousie is also known as the place where many educational schools of quality were situated, some of which are still operative. The favorite British shopping stores and restaurants were located in the central part of this station. As in other hill stations, the popular Raj-favored Indian restaurant chefs early learned to cook the inevitable British-preferred non-spicy meat and potato dishes, drab first-served soups, and post entrée puddings the Raj colonials preferred for dessert.

It is amusing to read the few Indian-Raj cookbooks that eventuated during that long Colonial occupation. The editor found and bought one copy as a kind of ‘collectors’ item. While it might have once been popular as a guide for Indian colonial cooks, who were typically men, I doubt it would have ‘many takers’ among Indian chefs today. The recipes are nothing traditionally Indian, except by name. They are bland and compulsively repetitive, and with too many ‘toned down’ sauces to be interesting.

For those interested in actual Indian cookery, there are now many excellent Indian recipes given online, some of which can be visited under Raj-styled Indian dishes or recipes, with pictures to visualize the dish. Indian food is often of interest to vegetarian-prone eaters, because of its many non-meat traditional dishes that have spicy sauces without chilis, which makes them flavorful, but not too hot.

Dalhousie, like most hill stations, has many beautiful gardens, lovely mountain vistas, and a moderate climate, except during the cool rainy season. Its good central location was another factor that contributed to its early popularity as a Raj hill station. The surrounding land is more suited to animal shepherding than farming, since the soil is stony and not well suited for most crops. Hunting was also good in the Dalhousie area, so the military enjoyed the city and its environs for their ‘sporting’ potential too….

The first school for Tibetan Lamas as tulkus was established with Nehru’s express permission, and supported primarily by Christopher Hills, a British-born author, philosopher and scientist. The first Abbot of the school was Karma Thinley Rinpoche, and Chogyal Trumpa assisted him as the spiritual Advisor. Although more Kagyu in its early orientation, as was its leader, Freda Bed, the school later directed its educational programs toward all four Tibetan Schools of interpretation, and became a growing fountain of productivity through the decades. As it grew, it accepted Indian aid, and other than Tulkus and Tibetans as students. Finally, it thereby gained a much larger enrollment, including local Indian students.

It should be noted that the Kailash School for Lamas in Dalhousie continued to operate under the leadership of Freda Bedi for some more months. At that time, the new post-Freda leadership changed its orientation and student body to include a wider spectrum of students, since Freda wanted to return to Gangtok. Under new leadership, the school continued.

When Freda left Dalhousie to study in Gangtok, Sikkim, with Karmapa, she was later declared to be a ‘high and special status Kagyu nun,’ and became known internationally as ‘Sister Palmo,’ or ‘Kechog Palmo.’…

The summer 1965 and later border skirmish was series, but was ultimately mitigated through diplomacy, and the assistance of the United Nations to which India had referred this recurring problem. It did last until late September with threats from both sides; however, ultimately the controversy was resolved without any seriously anticipated military engagements.

It was shortly after this period that Freda Bedi ended her work at the Kailash for Tibetan Tulkus. She had apparently decided to return and study against with Karmapa in Gangtok Kagyu monastery and temple in Sikkim. She was already a nun, but wanted to focus more on Buddhist philosophy. Thus, the school continued, but was refigured to include a wider spectrum of students as suggested.

Meanwhile, sometime in 1966, Germaine decided to sever her ties with the Oriental Hotel, of which she had been a part owner and developer since after World War II. When she returned to Bangkok from a few months in Europe, she sold her shares in April of 1966 [Wikipedia says 1967]. She planned to travel and spend part of her time in Europe (Paris mostly), as well as occasional trips to Asia, including India. However, she apparently knew by this time that she would eventually return to north India to be near Sakya Trizin and his family as well.
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

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Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 5/29/20

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Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok
View of Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok
from the Chao Phraya River
Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok is located in BangkokMandarin Oriental, Bangkok
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Location within Bangkok
General information
Location 48 Oriental Avenue, Bangkok 10500, Thailand
Coordinates 13°43′25″N 100°30′52″E
Opening 1876
Management Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group
Other information
Number of rooms: 393
Number of suites: 35
Number of restaurants: 8
Website: MandarinOriental.com/bangkok

Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok is a five-star hotel in Bangkok owned in part and managed by Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group. Located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, the original structure was the first hotel built in Thailand when it opened as The Oriental in 1876. Today, the hotel is one of two flagship properties of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group.

History

When Siam opened to foreign trade after the signing of the Bowring Treaty the sailors that manned the ships which conveyed this trade though Bangkok required accommodation on shore. To meet this demand, Captain Dyers, an American and his partner J.E. Barnes opened a hotel called the Oriental Hotel. This burnt down in 1865.[1]

Several years later a partnership of Danish captains opened a replacement hotel.[2] In the 1870s the board of the Oriental Hotel decided with the opening of the new River Wing, upon 1876 as the official establishment date of the Oriental Hotel.

H. N. Andersen

In 1881 29-year-old Hans Niels Andersen, a Danish businessman, bought the premises.[3] His various business ventures led to him becoming a much respected member of the Western community in Siam. Andersen identified a need for a respectable hotel with good accommodation, a bar and a western menu to meet the needs of travellers and businessmen visiting to Siam.

Encouraged by Prince Prisdang Jumsai, Hans Niels Andersen formed a partnership with Peter Andersen and Frederick Kinch to build a luxury hotel. Designed by Cardu & Rossi, a team of local Italian architects, the Oriental was the first luxury hotel in Siam. The hotel opened on 19 May 1887 with 40 rooms and features which at the time had never been seen in Siam outside of a royal palace: a second floor (during a time of single-storey bungalows), carpeted hallways, smoking and ladies rooms, a billiards room and a bar capable of seating 50 patrons.[4] To ensure the success of the restaurant and a satisfactory level of service the owners lured the chef and butler away from the French Consulate to work at the hotel.

The first major event that the hotel hosted was a grand banquet on 24 May 1888 to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria. After personally inspecting the hotel’s facilities in December 1890, King Chulalongkorn decided the hotel was up to the standard necessary to host visiting royalty. The hotel's first royal guests were the entourage of Crown Prince Nicholas of Russia, (later Tsar Nicholas) in April 1891.

A succession of owners followed until Marie Maire took over the ownership in 1910. She immediately went to work revamping the hotel. She sold it in 1932. During the Second World War the hotel was leased to the Japanese Army who used it as an officers club (under the management of the Imperial Hotel of Tokyo). At the end of the war it was used to house liberated Allied prisoners of war, who in the belief that it was a Japanese property ransacked the building.[2][5]

Germaine Krull

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The original 19th century Authors' Wing

At the end of the war a six-person partnership each contributed US$250 to buy the hotel, badly run down from its wartime service. The partnership consisted of Germaine Krull (1897–1985),...

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Germaine Luise Krull (20 November 1897 – 31 July 1985) was a photographer, political activist, and hotel owner. Her nationality has been categorized as German, French, and Dutch, but she spent years in Brazil, Republic of the Congo, Thailand, and India. Described as "an especially outspoken example" of a group of early 20th-century female photographers who "could lead lives free from convention", she is best known for photographically-illustrated books such as her 1928 portfolio Métal.

Krull was born in Posen-Wilda, a district of Posen (then in Germany; now Poznań, Poland), of an affluent German family. In her early years, the family moved around Europe frequently; she did not receive a formal education, but instead received homeschooling from her father, an accomplished engineer and a free thinker (whom some characterized as a "ne'er-do-well"). Her father let her dress as a boy when she was young, which may have contributed to her ideas about women's roles later in her life. In addition, her father's views on social justice "seem to have predisposed her to involvement with radical politics."

Between 1915 and 1917 or 1918 she attended the Lehr- und Versuchsanstalt für Photographie, a photography school in Munich, Germany, at which Frank Eugene's teaching of pictorialism in 1907–1913 had been influential. She opened a studio in Munich in approximately 1918, took portraits of Kurt Eisner ...

Kurt Eisner (14 May 1867 – 21 February 1919) was a politician, revolutionary, journalist and theatre critic from Germany. As a socialist journalist, he organised the Socialist Revolution that overthrew the Wittelsbach monarchy in Bavaria in November 1918, which led to his being described as "the symbol of the Bavarian revolution". He is used as an example of charismatic authority by Max Weber. Eisner subsequently proclaimed the People's State of Bavaria, but was assassinated by far-right German nationalist Anton Graf von Arco auf Valley in Munich on 21 February 1919.

-- Kurt Eisner, by Wikipedia


and others, and befriended prominent people such as Rainer Maria Rilke, Friedrich Pollock, and Max Horkheimer.

Krull was politically active between 1918 and 1921. In 1919 she switched from the Independent Socialist Party of Bavaria to the Communist Party of Germany, and was arrested and imprisoned for assisting a Bolshevik emissary's attempted escape to Austria. She was expelled from Bavaria in 1920 for her Communist activities, and traveled to Russia with lover Samuel Levit. After Levit abandoned her in 1921, Krull was imprisoned as an "anti-Bolshevik" and expelled from Russia.

She lived in Berlin between 1922 and 1925 where she resumed her photographic career. She and Kurt Hübschmann (later to be known as Kurt Hutton) worked together in a Berlin studio between 1922 and 1924. Among other photographs Krull produced in Berlin were a series of nudes (recently disparaged by an unimpressed 21st-century critic as "almost like satires of lesbian pornography").

Having met Dutch filmmaker and communist Joris Ivens in 1923, she moved to Amsterdam in 1925. After Krull returned to Paris in 1926, Ivens and Krull entered into a marriage of convenience between 1927 and 1943 so that Krull could hold a Dutch passport and could have a "veneer of married respectability without sacrificing her autonomy."

In Paris between 1926 and 1928, Krull became friends with Sonia Delaunay, Robert Delaunay, Eli Lotar, André Malraux, Colette, Jean Cocteau, André Gide and others; her commercial work consisted of fashion photography, nudes, and portraits....

By 1928 Krull was considered one of the best photographers in Paris, along with André Kertész and Man Ray. Between 1928 and 1933, her photographic work consisted primarily of photojournalism, such as her photographs for Vu, a French magazine; also in the early 1930s,she also made a pioneering study of employment black spots in Britain for Weekly Illustrated (most of her ground-breaking reportage work from this period remains immured in press archives and she has never received the credit which is her due for this work). Her book Études de Nu ("Studies of Nudes") published in 1930 is still well-known today. Between 1930 and 1935 she contributed photographs for a number of travel and detective fiction books.

In 1935–1940, Krull lived in Monte Carlo where she had a photographic studio. Among her subjects during this period were buildings (such as casinos and palaces), automobiles, celebrities, and common people. She may have been a member of the Black Star photojournalism agency which had been founded in 1935, but "no trace of her work appears in the press with that label."

... Henry Luce, the largest publisher of the day, with periodicals such as Time and Fortune. Luce collaborated with Black Star to produce a new weekly magazine called Life. Life would use artistic photos in a new format. These pictures would be large and take up the majority of the page. They could capture not only a moment in time, but an emotion and story that would be paramount to the text. Prior to this, photojournalism in the U.S. was relegated to regional newspapers where text was more important than photos...

Kornfeld became Black Star's best picture agent. He had a talent for creating rapport between client and artist. Therefore, Kornfeld handled their most important client, Life magazine, providing up to 200 photos a week.

-- Black Star (photo agency), by Wikipedia


In World War II, she became disenchanted with the Vichy France government, and sought to join the Free French Forces in Africa. Due to her Dutch passport and her need to obtain proper visas, her journey to Africa included over a year (1941–1942) in Brazil where she photographed the city of Ouro Preto. Between 1942 and 1944 she was in Brazzaville in French Equatorial Africa, after which she spent several months in Algiers and then returned to France.

After World War II, she traveled to Southeast Asia as a war correspondent, but by 1946 had become a co-owner of the Oriental Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand, a role that she undertook until 1966. She published three books with photographs during this period, and also collaborated with Malraux on a project concerning the sculpture and architecture of Southeast Asia.

After retiring from the hotel business in 1966, she briefly lived near Paris, then moved to Northern India and converted to the Sakya school of Tibetan Buddhism. Her final major photographic project was the publication of a 1968 book Tibetans in India that included a portrait of the Dalai Lama. After a stroke, she moved to a nursing home in Wetzlar, Germany, where she died in 1985.

-- Germaine Krull, by Wikipedia


Prince Bhanu [Prince Bhanubandhu Yugala],

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Prince Bhanubandhu Yugala (Thai: พระเจ้าวรวงศ์เธอ พระองค์เจ้าภาณุพันธุ์ยุคล; RTGS: Phanuphan Yukhon, born 27 November 1910 in Songkhla Province, Thailand, died 5 February 1995 in Bangkok) was a Thai film director, producer and screenwriter, playwright, composer and author.

He was a grandson of King Chulalongkorn,...

Chulalongkorn, also known as King Rama V, reigning title Phra Chula Chom Klao Chao Yu Hua[a] (Thai: จุฬาลงกรณ์; RTGS: Chunlalongkon; 20 September 1853 – 23 October 1910), was the fifth monarch of Siam under the House of Chakri. He was known to the Siamese of his time as Phra Phuttha Chao Luang (พระพุทธเจ้าหลวง, the Royal Buddha). His reign was characterized by the modernisation of Siam, governmental and social reforms, and territorial concessions to the British and French. As Siam was threatened by Western expansionism, Chulalongkorn, through his policies and acts, managed to save Siam from colonization. All his reforms were dedicated to ensuring Siam's survival in the face of Western colonialism, so that Chulalongkorn earned the epithet Phra Piya Maharat (พระปิยมหาราช, the Great Beloved King).

-- Chulalongkorn, by Wikipedia


the maternal grandfather of Princess Soamsawali Kitiyakara and an uncle of director Chatrichalerm Yukol....

Prince Bhanubandhu was the eldest of three children of Prince Yugala Dighambara ...

Yugala Dighambara, Prince of Lopburi (March 17, 1882 – April 8, 1932) (Thai: สมเด็จพระเจ้าบรมวงศ์เธอ เจ้าฟ้ายุคลฑิฆัมพร กรมหลวงลพบุรีราเมศร์, RTGS: Chao Fa Yukhon Thikhamphon Krom Luang Lopburi Ramet), was a son of King Chulalongkorn of Siam.

The Prince graduated from Cambridge University. He served as Viceroy of the South during the reign of his half-brother King Vajiravhud and as the Minister of the Interior in the government of King Prajadhipok.

He married Princess Chalermkhetra Mangala (Bhanubandh), a daughter of Prince Bhanurangsi Savangwongse. Their grandson is the filmmaker Prince Chatrichalerm Yugala.

-- Yugala Dighambara, by Wikipedia


and Princess Chalermkhet Mongkhol. He was a grandson of King Chulalongkorn. He was educated in Thailand at Thepsirin School, and then in France. He also lived abroad in his youth in England and the United States. In his 20s, he returned to Thailand and enlisted in the Royal Thai Army's cavalry division. While in the army, he studied filmmaking in his spare time....

Prince Bhanubandhu founded his own company, the Thai Film Company, in 1938, first producing the film, Tharn Fai Kao (The Old Flame). Four other films followed: Wan Phen, Mae Sue Sao (Girl Matchmaker), Pid Thong Lang Phru and Look Thung (The Folks). The company was disbanded during World War II, with its assets sold to the Royal Thai Air Force....

After the war ended, Bhanubandhu formed a new production company, Assawin Pictures.

Bhanubandhu also composed the score for his films. One of his songs from 1938's Tharn Fai Kao, was selected in 1979 by UNESCO as a "Song of Asia".

-- Bhanubandhu Yugala, Wikipedia


General Chai Prateepasen,...

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Major General Chai Prateepasen
Secretary General of the Cabinet: February 18, 1943 - August 5, 1944

-- Long Live the King: Government Officials and Employees of the Secretariat of the Cabinet, by soc.go.th


Pote Sarasin (prominent businessman and lawyer)

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Pote Sarasin (Thai: พจน์ สารสิน, RTGS: Phot Sarasin, pronounced [pʰót sǎː.rā.sǐn]; 25 March 1905 – 28 September 2000) was a Thai diplomat and politician from the influential Sarasin family. He served as foreign minister from 1949 to 1951 and then served as ambassador to the United States. In September 1957 when Sarit Thanarat seized power in a military coup, he appointed Pote to be the acting prime minister. He resigned in December 1957. Pote also served as the first Secretary General of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization from September 1957 until 1964....

Pote was a scion of the Sarasin family, one of Bangkok's oldest and wealthiest assimilated Chinese families. The Sarasins had always cultivated good relations with the bureaucratic elite of the 19th century, and by the early 1950s held substantial interests in real estate and rice trading. His father, Thian Hee (Chinese: 黄天喜, whose official title was Phraya Sarasinsawamiphakh), was the son of a traditional Chinese doctor and pharmacist who had immigrated from Hainan to Siam in the early 19th century.

Pote's sons are Pong, a leading businessman, Police General Pao, who once served as the Chief of the Royal Thai Police, and Arsa, who, like his father, was also one of the former foreign ministers of Thailand and was serving as the late King Bhumibol's Principal Private Secretary. All three sons–Pong, Arsa and Pao Sarasin had all served as the Deputy Prime Ministers of Thailand.

-- Pote Sarasin, by Wikipedia


and John Webster and Jim Thompson, two Americans who had served in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and who had stayed on in Thailand.

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James Harrison Wilson Thompson (March 21, 1906 – March 26, 1967 disappeared) was an American businessman who helped revitalise the Thai silk industry in the 1950s and 1960s. At the time of his disappearance he was one of the most famous Americans living in Asia. Time magazine claimed he "almost singlehanded(ly) saved Thailand's vital silk industry from extinction".

Jim Thompson was born in Greenville, Delaware in 1906. He was the youngest of five children of Henry and Mary Thompson. His father was a wealthy textile manufacturer; his mother was the daughter of James Harrison Wilson (1837–1925), a noted Union general during the American Civil War....

From 1931 to 1940, he practised in New York City with Holden, McLaughlin & Associates, designing homes for the East Coast rich. During this period, he led an active social life and sat on the board of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo.

The Original Ballet Russe (originally named Ballets Russes de Monte-Carlo) was a ballet company established in 1931 by René Blum and Colonel Wassily de Basil as a successor to the Ballets Russes, founded in 1909 by Sergei Diaghilev. The company assumed the new name Original Ballet Russe after a split between de Basil and Blum. De Basil led the renamed company, while Blum and others founded a new company under the name Ballet Russe de Monte-Carlo. It was a large scale professional ballet company which toured extensively in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, the United States, and Central and South America. It closed down operations in 1947.

-- Original Ballet Russe, by Wikipedia


In 1941, he quit his job and enlisted with the Delaware National Guard. Before the outbreak of the Second World War, he was transferred to a military outpost in Fort Monroe, Virginia. While he was here, he got to know Second Lieutenant Edwin Fahey Black, a fresh graduate from the US Military Academy, West Point. It was Black who encouraged him to join the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the forerunner of the Central Intelligence Agency.

At the height of the Second World War, Thompson was recruited by major general William Joseph Donovan (1883–1959) to serve as an operative in the OSS.

His first assignment was with the French Resistance in North Africa. He was then sent to Europe. After Victory in Europe Day (May 7–8, 1945), he was transferred to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) to work with the pro-Allied Seri Thai (Free Thai Movement). Their mission was to help liberate Thailand from the occupying Japanese Army
. The group had the support of Pridi Panomyong, the regent to King Ananda Mahidol of Thailand, and Seni Pramoj, the Thai ambassador to the United States.

In August 1945, Thompson was about to be sent into Thailand, when the Surrender of Japan officially ended World War II. He arrived in Thailand shortly after Victory over Japan Day and organised the Bangkok OSS office. It was here he got to know Constance (Connie) Mangskau, an Allied Services translator, who later became one of his closest friends.

In the spring of 1946, Thompson went to work as military attaché at the United States legation for his former Princeton classmate Charles Woodruff Yost, the US Minister to Thailand. Thompson used his contacts with the Free Thai and Free Lao groups to gather information and defuse conflicts on Thailand's borders. Working with him in the Legation was Kenneth Landon, an American missionary whose wife, Margaret Landon, was the author of Anna and the King of Siam, which was the inspiration for a 1946 film of the same name, and The King and I in 1956.


In late 1946, Thompson headed for home to seek his discharge from the army. After his divorce from Patricia Thraves (1920–1969), he returned to Thailand to join a group of investors to buy The Oriental Hotel in Bangkok. While working on its restoration, he had some differences with his associates and this resulted in him giving up his shares. He subsequently switched his focus to silk.

In 1948,[13] he partnered with George Barrie to found the Thai Silk Company Limited. It was capitalised at US$25,000. They each bought eighteen percent of the shares. The remaining sixty-four percent were sold to Thai and foreign investors.

The firm achieved a coup in 1951 when designer Irene Sharaff made use of Thai silk fabrics for the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, The King and I. From then on, the company prospered.... It was only after Thompson's disappearance that the Thai Silk Company relocated its weaving operations to Korat, a city which serves as a base of operations for the Royal Thai Army....

In 1958, he began what was to be the pinnacle of his architectural achievement – the construction of a new home to showcase his objets d'art.

Using parts of old up-country houses – some as old as a hundred years – he succeeded in constructing a masterpiece that involved the reassembling of six Thai dwellings on his estate. Most of the units were dismantled and brought over by river from Ayutthaya, but the largest – a weaver's house (now the living room) – came from Bangkrua. On arrival, the woodwork was offloaded and pieced together....

After he was through with its creation, he filled his home with the items he had collected in the past. Decorating his rooms were Chinese blue-and-white Ming pieces, Belgian glass, Cambodian carvings, Victorian-era chandeliers, Benjarong earthenware, Thai stone images, Burmese statues, and a dining table which was once used by King Rama V of Thailand....

Thompson disappeared from Malaysia's Cameron Highlands on Sunday, March 26, 1967. His disappearance from the hill station generated one of the largest land searches in Southeast Asian history, and is one of the most famous mysteries in the region.

-- Jim Thompson (designer), by Wikipedia


Krull took the position of manager in 1947, despite no prior experience in the hotel field. Born in Germany, she had been best known as a photographer during the 1920s before service in the Pacific as a war correspondent for Agence France Presse.[/size][/b] The hotel's restoration and restocking offered Thompson an opportunity to put to use his architectural and artistic abilities.

The hotel reopened for business on 12 June 1947. Krull turned out to be a natural hotelier and during her reign restored the hotel to its position as the premier hotel in Thailand. Thompson soon left the partnership over a plan to build a new wing, though he stayed on in residence at the hotel for some time. To compete with popular clubs and a new local bar called Chez Eve, Krull established the Bamboo Bar, which soon became one of the leading bars in Bangkok.[6]

In 1958 the ten-storey Garden Wing was built. It featured the city’s first elevator and was home to the Le Normandie Restaurant.[2] In 1967, fearful that Thailand would fall to the communists, Krull sold her share to Italthai which at the time was well on its way to becoming one of the country’s most significant mercantile groups eventually totally some 60 companies involved in almost all aspects of the Thai economy.

Italthai

Italthai had been founded in the mid-fifties by Giorgio Berlingieri, an Italian born in Genoa and Dr Chaijudh Karnasuta, a Thai. Berlingieri felt that the Oriental had begun to rest on its laurels and had dropped behind its competitors. He wanted to develop the Oriental into one of the best hotels in the world. Too involved with his various businesses to devote time to the project, Berlingieri in November 1967 appointed 30-year-old Kurt Wachtveitl (1937– ), at that time manager of Nipa Lodge (a hotel that Italthai owned in Pattaya), as general manager of the Oriental.

In 1972 the hotel acquired an adjacent property upon which it erected the 350-room River Wing.[2]

ACC [Asian Cultural Council] is both a grantmaking and grantseeking organization. It is supported by funding from individuals, foundations, and corporations including The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Beijing Contemporary Art Foundation, Ford Foundation, the Henry Luce Foundation, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Newman’s Own Foundation and The Starr Foundation

-- Asian Cultural Council, by Wikipedia


Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group and Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok

Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong is a five-star hotel located on Connaught Road in Central, Hong Kong, owned and managed by Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group....

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group (MOHG; Chinese: 文華東方酒店), a member of the Jardine Matheson Group, is an international hotel investment and management group with luxury hotels, resorts and residences in Asia, Europe and the Americas.

-- Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, by Wikipedia


Jardine Matheson Holdings Limited (also known as Jardines) is a British conglomerate incorporated in Bermuda and headquartered in Hong Kong, with its primary listing on the London Stock Exchange and secondary listings on the Singapore Exchange and Bermuda Stock Exchange. The majority of its business interests are in Asia, and its subsidiaries include Jardine Pacific, Jardine Motors, Jardine Lloyd Thompson, Hongkong Land, Jardine Strategic Holdings, Dairy Farm, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Jardine Cycle & Carriage and Astra International. It sponsors the Jardine Scholarship.

Jardines was one of the original Hong Kong trading houses or Hongs that date back to Imperial China and, as of December 2010, 41 percent of the company's profits were still earned in China. The company is controlled by the Keswick family, who are descendants of co-founder William Jardine's older sister, Jean Johnstone.

-- Jardine Matheson, by Wikipedia


In the 1920s, the U.S. threw its weight behind Chiang Kai-shek, whose Kuomintang Party was fighting the Communists and several other warlords for control of China. The U.S. was competing with the other colonial nations for control of China, which had a cheap labor force and represented billions in profits for U.S. corporations and investors. The problem was that the Kuomintang supported itself through the opium trade. It's well documented in the diplomatic cables between the U.S. government and its representatives in China. Historians Kinder and Walker said the Commissioner of the Bureau of Narcotics, Harry Anslinger, "clearly knew about the ties between Chiang and opium dealers."

Anslinger knew that Shanghai was "the prime producer and exporter to the illicit world drug markets," through a syndicate controlled by Du Yue-sheng, a crime lord who facilitated Chiang's bloody ascent to power in 1927. As early as 1932, Anslinger knew that Chiang's finance minister was Du's protector. He'd had evidence since 1929 that American t'ongs were receiving Kuomintang narcotics and distributing it to the Mafia. Middlemen worked with opium merchants, gangsters like Du, Japanese occupation forces in Manchuria, and Dr. Lansing Ling, "who supplied narcotics to Chinese officials traveling abroad." In 1938 Chiang Kai-shek appointed Dr. Ling head of his Narcotic Control Department.

In October 1934, the Treasury attache in Shanghai "submitted reports implicating Chiang Kai-shek in the heroin trade to North America." In 1935 the attache reported that the Superintendent of Maritime Customs in Shanghai was "acting as agent for Chiang Kaishek in arranging for the preparation and shipment of the stuff to the United States."

These reports reached Anslinger's desk, so he knew which KMT officials and trade missions were delivering dope to American t'ongs and which American Mafia drug rings were buying it. He knew the t'ongs were kicking back a percentage of the profits to finance Chiang's regime.

After Japanese forces seized Shanghai in August 1937, Anslinger was even less willing to deal honestly with the situation. By then Du was sitting on Shanghai's Municipal Board with William J. Keswick, a director of the Jardine Matheson Shipping Company. Through Keswick, Du found sanctuary in Hong Kong, where he was welcomed by a cabal of free-trading British colonialists whose shipping and banking companies earned huge revenues by allowing Du to push his drugs on the hapless Chinese. The revenues were truly immense: according to Colonel Joseph Stilwell, the U.S. military attache in China, in 1935 there were "eight million Chinese heroin and morphine addicts and another 72 million Chinese opium addicts."

Anslinger tried to minimize the problem by lying and saying that Americans were not affected. But the final decisions were made by his bosses in Washington, and from their national security perspective, the profits enabled the Kuomintang to purchase $31 million worth of fighter planes from arms dealer William Pawley to fight the Communists, and that trumped any moral dilemmas about trading with the Japanese or getting Americans addicted.

It's all documented. Check the sources I cite in my books. Plus, U.S. Congressmen and Senators in the China Lobby were profiting from the guns for drugs business too. They got kickbacks in the form of campaign funds and in exchange, they looked away as long as Anslinger told them the dope stayed overseas. After 1949, the China Lobby manipulated public hearings and Anslinger cooked the books to make sure that the Peoples Republic was blamed for all narcotics coming out of the Far East. Everyone made money and after 1949 the operation was run out of Taiwan, with CIA assistance.

-- The CIA as Organized Crime: How Illegal Operations Corrupt America and the World, by Douglas Valentine


The Keswick family (pronounced with a silent "w", "Kezzick") are a business dynasty of Scottish origin associated with the Far East since 1855 and in particular the conglomerate Jardine Matheson.

As tai-pans of Jardine Matheson & Company, the Keswick family have at some time been closely associated with the ownership or management of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, the Indo-China Steam Navigation Company Ltd., the Canton Insurance Office Ltd, (now the HSBC Insurance Co), The Hongkong and Kowloon Wharf and Godown Company Limited, Star Ferry, Hong Kong Tramway, the Hong Kong Land Investment and Agency Co Ltd, and the Hongkong and Whampoa Dock Co Ltd.

The Hon. William Keswick (1834–1912)

The founder of the dynasty, he was born in 1834, in Dumfriesshire in the Scottish Lowlands. His grandmother, Jean Jardine Johnstone was an older sister of Dr. William Jardine, the founder of Jardine Matheson & Company. His father Thomas Keswick had married Margaret Johnstone, Jardine's niece and daughter of Jean, and entered the Jardine business. The company operated as opium traders and had a major influence in the First and Second Opium Wars although the company stopped this trading in 1870 to pursue a broad range of other trading interests including shipping, railways, textiles and property development.

William arrived in China and Hong Kong in 1855, the first of five generations of the Keswick family to be associated with Jardines. He established a Jardine Matheson office in Yokohama, Japan in 1859. He returned to Hong Kong to become a partner of the firm in 1862. He became managing partner (Taipan) from 1874 to 1886. He left Hong Kong in 1886 to work with Matheson & Co. in London as a senior director responsible only to Sir Robert Jardine (1825–1905), a son of David Jardine, William Jardine's older brother and the head of Mathesons in London.

-- Keswick family, by Wikipedia


Originally called The Mandarin, the hotel was built on the former site of the colonial Queen's Building on the waterfront in Central Hong Kong. From the onset, the concept was to create a hotel firmly rooted in Eastern culture, providing gracious service to a standard generally experienced only in the Asia–Pacific region. The original cost of construction totalled HKD 42 million, while the interior design amounted to even 50% more at HKD 66 million, sparing no luxury or detail. John Howarth of Leigh & Orange architectural firm was hired to design the building while the interior was entrusted to Don Ashton, a Hollywood Art Director for such films as The Bridge on the River Kwai, Indiscreet, and Billy Budd. The Mandarin officially opened for business in October 1963, and at 26 storeys, it was the tallest building in Hong Kong. In addition to its record-setting height, the hotel was the first in Hong Kong to have direct dial phones and the first in Asia to include a bath in every guestroom. The hotel quickly drew recognition for its service and elegance, and back in 1967 was listed by Fortune magazine as one of eleven great hotels in the world.

-- Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, by Wikipedia


The Group began with the opening of its flagship property, The Mandarin, in Hong Kong in 1963, which soon built up a reputation for luxurious service. In 1974, Mandarin International Hotels Limited was formed as a hotel management company. The Group's intention was to expand into Asia and operate hotels with a standard of service comparable with their property in Hong Kong.[7]

In 1974 the company's hotel interests expanded further through the acquisition of a 49% interest in The Oriental, Bangkok. Through the management of both The Mandarin in Hong Kong and The Oriental, Bangkok, the Group was in an unusual position of having two "flagship" hotels. In 1985, the Company rationalized its corporate structure by combining these two properties under a common name, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group.[7]

The hotel opened its renowned Oriental Spa in 1993 and finished a complete renovation of its rooms and suites in 2003. In 2006, The Oriental, Bangkok celebrated its 130th anniversary.[8] In September 2008, the hotel formally changed its name from The Oriental, Bangkok to Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok.

Hotel

The hotel has contained 331 rooms, including 60 unique suites. The two-story Authors' Wing, the only remaining structure of the original 19th century hotel, houses suites named after Joseph Conrad, Somerset Maugham, Noël Coward and James Michener. The River Wing contains deluxe two bedroom suites named after former guests or personages associated with the hotel including Barbara Cartland, Gore Vidal, Graham Greene, Wilbur Smith, John le Carré, Jim Thompson, Norman Mailer, Thai author Kukrit Pramoj.[9] Other suites are named after ships associated with the early Bangkok trade such as Otago (once captained by Joseph Conrad), HMS Melita, Vesatri and Natuna.

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Sala Rim Naam restaurant and terrace

Restaurants[10]

• Le Normandie: Contemporary French cuisine
• Lord Jim’s: Seafood and prime cut grill
• Sala Rim Naam: Traditional Thai cuisine
• Terrace Rim Naam: Authentic Thai dishes
• The China House: Classic Chinese cuisine
• Riverside Terrace: International BBQ
• The Verandah: International all-day dining
• Ciao Terrazza: Italian cuisine
• Kinu by Takagi :Japanese Kaiseki dining

Lounges and bars[11]

• The Authors' Lounge: Traditional afternoon tea served with old world charm
• The Bamboo Bar: Live Jazz & Blues Bar

Additional services and facilities

• The Oriental Spa[12]
• The Oriental Thai Cooking School[13]

Awards[14]

• Named “Best City Hotel in Asia” and one of the “Top 20 Hotels Worldwide” (Travel + Leisure's annual World Best Awards 2009)[15]
• Best City Center Hotel Spa Worldwide (Luxury Travel Advisor, December 2008 - Awards of Excellence)
• Urban Spa of the Year (AsiaSpa Magazine, November 2008 - AsiaSpa Awards)
• Named one of the 400 Best Hotels (Forbes Traveler, November 2008)
• No. 8 in Overseas Leisure Hotels - Asia & the Indian Subcontinent (Condé Nast Traveller, October 2008 - Readers’ Travel Awards
• No. 13 in Spas in Overseas Hotel (Condé Nast Traveller, October 2008 - Readers’ Travel Awards)
• No. 3 in Top 20 International City Hotels (Andrew Harper’s Hideaway Report, September 2008 - The World’s Best Hotel, Resorts & Hideaways)

Photo gallery

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The Oriental Spa

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The Riverside Terrace

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Kinu by Takagi

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Lord Jim's

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Hotel Lobby

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Siam One-Bedroom Suite Dining Area

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Siam One-Bedroom Suite Living Area

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Siam One-Bedroom Suite

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Deluxe One-Bedroom Theme Suite Living Room

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Deluxe One-Bedroom Theme Suite

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Selandia Two-Bedroom Suite

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Selandia Two-Bedroom Suite Dining and Living Areas

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The Verandah

See also

• Thailand portal
• Architecture portal
• Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group
• Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong
• Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London
• Mandarin Oriental, New York
• Mandarin Oriental, Miami

Notes

1. O'Nell. Page 176.
2. Warren & Gocher. Page 120.
3. Augustin and Williamson.
4. O‘Nell. Page 178.
5. O‘Nell. Page 181.
6. Samuels.
7. "Press Kits - Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group". Mandarinoriental.com. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
8. "Press Kits - Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group". Mandarinoriental.com. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
9. "Press Kits - Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group". Mandarinoriental.com. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
10. "Bangkok Fine Dining - Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Bangkok". Mandarinoriental.com. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
11. "Bangkok Fine Dining - Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Bangkok". Mandarinoriental.com. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
12. "Bangkok Luxury Spa - Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Bangkok". Mandarinoriental.com. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
13. "5-Star Hotel in Bangkok - Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Bangkok". Mandarinoriental.com. Retrieved 29 December2014.
14. "Bangkok Hotel News - Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Bangkok". Mandarinoriental.com. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
15. "2009 World's Best Hotels - Travel + Leisure". Travel + Leisure. Retrieved 29 December 2014.

References

• Augustin, Andreas; Williamson, Andreas (2000). The Oriental Bangkok. Vienna: Leading Hotels of the World. pp. 160 pages. ISBN 3-902118-05-9.
• Augustin, Andreas. "Wachtveitl - Why don’t you do some work?". Accessed 26 September 2008.
• Augustin, Andreas. "Oriental Hotel - Historic Data“. Accessed 26 September 2008.
• Germaine Krull; Dorothea Melchers (1964). Bangkok: Siam's City of Angels. London: Robert Hale Limited. pp. 191 pages. ASIN B0000CM48L.
• Lim, Victor. "The legendary Oriental Bangkok – the grand dame turns 130". Accessed 27 September 2008.
• O’Nell, Maryvelma (2008). Bangkok - A Cultural and Literary History. Oxford: Signal Books. pp. 248 pages. ISBN 978-1-904955-39-9.
• Samuels, David. "Taste of History". Accessed 26 September 2008.
• William Warren; Jill Gocher (2007). Asia's legendary hotels: the romance of travel. Singapore: Periplus Editions. pp. 120 pages. ISBN 978-0-7946-0174-4.

External links

• Official website
• Dining at Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok
• The Oriental Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok
• Travel and Leisure World's Best Awards 2009

*****************************

A Short History of Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok
by Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok

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In the middle of the nineteenth century, a rest house for foreign seafarers was established on the banks of the Maenam River now known as Chao Phraya River. It was to become one of the world’s greatest hotels: The Oriental. Built in 1876, The Oriental, now Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok was the first luxury hotel in the Kingdom of Siam.

John le Carré completed The Honourable Schoolboy during his stay at The Oriental, W Somerset Maugham wrote about his bout with malaria during his stay at The Oriental in The Gentleman in the Parlour and Barbara Cartland named one of the heroines in Sapphires in Siam after an Oriental employee. Joseph Conrad, the sea captain and writer, was a frequent visitor to the bar of The Oriental, Vaslav Nijinsky danced in the ballroom in 1916 and playwright and actor Noël Coward treasured the memories of his favourite cocktail venue. Jim Thompson, the silk king, owned it, Peter Ustinov loved it and Graham Greene has a suite named in his honour. The Prince of Wales, The Queen of Sweden, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, and Marlon Brando are a few of the individuals who have called Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok their ‘home away from home’.

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An early view of the Oriental Hotel from across the river

In 1865, the hotel’s original structure was destroyed in a fire and was replaced by the current structure in 1876. It was a Danish-born sailor, H.N. Andersen – the only Dane outside the Thai Royal Family to have been decorated with the Order of the White Elephant by the King of Siam – who resolved to give the Siamese capital a new hotel, a new modern luxurious Oriental Hotel.

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Boats on the Chao Phraya River

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H N Andersen

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HM King Chulalongkorn, Rama V

Anderson appointed Italian architect firm Messrs Cardu and Rossi to design the Oriental building, which was subsequently constructed and withstood the ravages of time, and is today one of the proudest landmarks of Bangkok, a beautiful building that is both in use but also serves as a memorial and a promise, linking together the years past and present as well as those still to come.

On 17 December 1890, His Majesty King Chulalongkorn paid a private visit to The Oriental to assess the ability of the hotel to host royal guests. The King was so impressed that he decided to accommodate Crown Prince Nicholas of Russia, who became Tsar in 1894, at The Oriental in April 1891. It was the beginning of a long lasting relationship between the legendary hotel and Thailand’s Royal Palace.

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‘New Road”, opened in 1864

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Interior of the Authors’ Wing

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The Bamboo Bar exterior 1947

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Jim Thompson, the future “Thai Silk King”

A succession of owners followed, including Louis T. Leonowens, son of the famous Anna of ‘Anna and the King of Siam’. During the Second World War, the hotel was leased to the Japanese Army, which used it as an officers’ club under the management of the Imperial Hotel of Tokyo. At the end of the war it housed liberated Allied prisoners of war who, under the impression that it was a Japanese-owned property, ransacked the building and left it in urgent need of repair.

A partnership of six people each contributed US$250 to buy the hotel, and immediately began restoration. The partnership included Germaine Krull, a characterful Polish-born photographer who had served in the Pacific as a war correspondent for Agence France Presse, His Royal Highness Prince Bhanubandhu Yugala, a prominent Thai lawyer Pote Sarasin and two Americans, John Webster and Jim Thompson, who had served in the Organization for Strategic Security [Office of Strategic Services - OSS] and chose to stay on in Thailand. The Oriental reopened for business in June 1947. Ms. Krull took the position of manager and restored the hotel to its position as the premier hotel in Thailand and established the Bamboo Bar, which swiftly evolved into a city legend that endures to this day.

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HM Queen Sirikit attended the Rotary Bazaar at the Oriental in 1966

In 1958, the ten-storey Garden Wing was added, home to Le Normandie, Bangkok’s first fine dining restaurant, and featured the city’s first elevator. In 1967, Krull sold her share to Italthai, which was founded in the mid-fifties by Italian-born Giorgio Berlingieri and Dr. Chaijudh Karnasuta, and at the time well on its way to becoming one of the country’s most significant mercantile groups. Berlingieri appointed 30-year old Kurt Wachtveitl, at that time manager of a hotel in Pattaya owned by Italthai, as General Manager of The Oriental. Wachtveitl remained at The Oriental until his retirement in 2009.

In 1972, the hotel bought the adjacent land from Chartered Bank, where it built the 350-room River Wing to complete the main body of the hotel as we know it today. An estate was acquired across the river and the celebrated Sala Rim Naam restaurant opened in 1983, followed by The Oriental Thai Cooking School, the first cooking school in Bangkok, and the Fitness Centre. The world renowned The Oriental Spa, the first spa within a hotel property in Bangkok, opened here in 1993 in an exquisite teak mansion. In 1992, the first Oriental Shop opened in Isetan – today there are four Mandarin Oriental Shops across the city catering to Bangkok’s discerning gourmands.

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After construction of the River Wing, mid 1970s

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Joseph Conrad in 1924

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Noel Coward

In 1974, Mandarin International Hotels Limited, owner of The Mandarin in Hong Kong since 1963, was formed as a hotel management company and in expanding its interests in Asia, financed the building of the River Wing and therefore acquired a 45 percent stake in The Oriental. In 1985, the company rationalised its corporate structure by combining these two renowned properties under a common name, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group. In 2008, The Oriental formally changed its name to Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok.
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Germaine Krull
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 5/29/20



Germaine Luise Krull (20 November 1897 – 31 July 1985) was a photographer, political activist, and hotel owner.[1] Her nationality has been categorized as German,[2] French,[3] and Dutch,[4] but she spent years in Brazil, Republic of the Congo, Thailand, and India.[1] Described as "an especially outspoken example" of a group of early 20th-century female photographers who "could lead lives free from convention", she is best known for photographically-illustrated books such as her 1928 portfolio Métal.[5]

Biography

Krull was born in Posen-Wilda, a district of Posen (then in Germany; now Poznań, Poland), of an affluent German family.[1]:5–6 In her early years, the family moved around Europe frequently; she did not receive a formal education, but instead received homeschooling from her father, an accomplished engineer and a free thinker (whom some characterized as a "ne'er-do-well").[1]:6–7 Her father let her dress as a boy when she was young, which may have contributed to her ideas about women's roles later in her life.[6] In addition, her father's views on social justice "seem to have predisposed her to involvement with radical politics."[6]

Between 1915 and 1917 or 1918 she attended the Lehr- und Versuchsanstalt für Photographie, a photography school in Munich, Germany, at which Frank Eugene's teaching of pictorialism in 1907–1913 had been influential.[1]:9–13 She opened a studio in Munich in approximately 1918, took portraits of Kurt Eisner and others, and befriended prominent people such as Rainer Maria Rilke, Friedrich Pollock, and Max Horkheimer.[1]:13–16

Krull was politically active between 1918 and 1921. In 1919 she switched from the Independent Socialist Party of Bavaria to the Communist Party of Germany, and was arrested and imprisoned for assisting a Bolshevik emissary's attempted escape to Austria.[1]:18–22 She was expelled from Bavaria in 1920 for her Communist activities, and traveled to Russia with lover Samuel Levit.[1]:24–25 After Levit abandoned her in 1921, Krull was imprisoned as an "anti-Bolshevik" and expelled from Russia.[1]:26–27

She lived in Berlin between 1922 and 1925 where she resumed her photographic career.[1]:29–43 She and Kurt Hübschmann (later to be known as Kurt Hutton) worked together in a Berlin studio between 1922 and 1924. Among other photographs Krull produced in Berlin were a series of nudes (recently disparaged by an unimpressed 21st-century critic as "almost like satires of lesbian pornography"[6]).

Having met Dutch filmmaker and communist Joris Ivens in 1923, she moved to Amsterdam in 1925.[1]:40–43 After Krull returned to Paris in 1926, Ivens and Krull entered into a marriage of convenience between 1927 and 1943 so that Krull could hold a Dutch passport and could have a "veneer of married respectability without sacrificing her autonomy."[1]:67–70[7]

Image

Georg Henri Anton "Joris" Ivens (18 November 1898 – 28 June 1989) was a Dutch documentary filmmaker and propagandist. Among the notable films he directed or co-directed are A Tale of the Wind,...

A Tale of the Wind is a 1988 French film directed by Joris Ivens and Marceline Loridan. It is also known as A Wind Story. It stars Ivens as he travels in China and tries to capture winds on film, while he reflects on his life and career. The film blends real and fictional elements; it ranges from documentary footage to fantastical dream sequences and Peking opera. It was Ivens' last film.

-- A Tale of the Wind, by Wikipedia


The Spanish Earth,...

The Spanish Earth is a 1937 propaganda film made during the Spanish Civil War in support of the democratically elected Republicans, whose forces included a wide range from the political left like communists, socialists, anarchists, to moderates like centrists, and liberalist elements. The film was directed by Joris Ivens, written by John Dos Passos and Ernest Hemingway, narrated by Orson Welles and re-recorded by Hemingway (with Jean Renoir doing the narration in the French release), with music composed by Marc Blitzstein and arranged by Virgil Thomson.

-- The Spanish Earth, by Wikipedia


Rain, ...A Valparaiso, Misère au Borinage (Borinage),...

Misère au Borinage (French, literally "Poverty in the Borinage"), also known as Borinage, was a 1934 Belgian documentary film directed by Henri Storck and Joris Ivens. Produced during the Great Depression, the film's theme was intensely socialist, covering the poor living conditions of the workers and coal miners of Belgium's industrialised Borinage region. It is considered a classic work of political cinema and has been described as "one of the most important references in the documentary genre".

Misère au Borinage was shot in black and white and is a silent film. Its intertitles are in French and Dutch languages. It opens with a title card, bearing the slogan: "Crisis in the Capitalist World. Factories are closed down, abandoned. Millions of proletarians are hungry!" and shows footage of the repression of a 1933 strike in Ambridge, Pennsylvania in the United States. The film then shifts to the Borinage, an industrial region in Belgium's Province of Hainaut, during and after the general strike of 1932. The majority of the film focuses on the plight of Borinage coal miners who have been evicted from their houses and made unemployed following their participation in the strike. It also shows the poor living conditions of the miners and their families. The film makes the argument that strike action could be justified by the poor conditions in which Belgian workers lived.

-- Misère au Borinage, by Wikipedia


17th Parallel: Vietnam in War,...

17th Parallel: Vietnam in War is a 1968 French documentary film directed by Joris Ivens. The film sets out to show the effects of the American bombing campaign on the Vietnamese people, who were mainly peasant farmers.

In 1968, between South Vietnam under the control of the US Army and North Vietnam struggling for independence, a demilitarized zone was created around the 17th parallel. Joris Ivens and his wife, Marceline Loridan, went to this area around the village of Vinh Linh for two months to live among the peasants who had taken refuge in cellars in an attempt to survive the incessant bombing of the American artillery.


-- 17th Parallel: Vietnam in War, by Wikipedia


The Seine Meets Paris, Far from Vietnam,...

In seven different segments, Godard, Klein, Lelouch, Marker, Resnais and Varda show their sympathy and support for the North Vietnamese army during the Vietnam war.

-- Far from Vietnam, by imdb


Pour le Mistral and How Yukong Moved the Mountains.

How Yukong Moved the Mountains is a series of 12 documentary films about China directed by Joris Ivens. This film, whose title references the old Chinese story of an old man who moved the mountains (Yugong Yishan), deals with the last days of the Cultural Revolution.

-- How Yukong Moved the Mountains, by Wikipedia


Born Georg Henri Anton Ivens into a wealthy family, Ivens went to work in one of his father's photo supply shops and from there developed an interest in film. Under the direction of his father, he completed his first film at 13; in college he studied economics with the goal of continuing his father's business, but an interest in class issues distracted him from that path. He met photographer Germaine Krull in Berlin in 1923, and entered into a marriage of convenience with her between 1927 and 1943...

In 1929, Ivens went to the Soviet Union and was invited to direct a film on a topic of his own choosing which was the new industrial city of Magnitogorsk. Before commencing work, he returned to the Netherlands to make Industrial Symphony for Philips Electric which is considered to be a film of great technical beauty. He returned to the Soviet Union to make the film about Magnitogorsk, Song of Heroes in 1931 with music composed by Hanns Eisler. This was the first film on which Ivens and Eisler worked together. It was a propaganda film about this new industrial city where masses of forced laborers and communist youth worked for Stalin's Five Year Plan. With Henri Storck, Ivens made Misère au Borinage (Borinage, 1933), a documentary on life in a coal mining region. In 1943, he also directed two Allied propaganda films for the National Film Board of Canada, including Action Stations, about the Royal Canadian Navy's escorting of convoys in the Battle of the Atlantic.

The Battle of the Atlantic, the longest continuous military campaign in World War II, ran from 1939 to the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945, covering a major part of the Naval history of World War II. At its core was the Allied naval blockade of Germany, announced the day after the declaration of war, and Germany's subsequent counter-blockade. The campaign peaked from mid-1940 through to the end of 1943.

The Battle of the Atlantic pitted U-boats and other warships of the German Kriegsmarine (Navy) and aircraft of the Luftwaffe (Air Force) against the Royal Navy, Royal Canadian Navy, United States Navy, and Allied merchant shipping. Convoys, coming mainly from North America and predominantly going to the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union, were protected for the most part by the British and Canadian navies and air forces. These forces were aided by ships and aircraft of the United States beginning September 13, 1941. The Germans were joined by submarines of the Italian Regia Marina (Royal Navy) after Germany's Axis ally Italy entered the war on June 10, 1940....

It involved thousands of ships in more than 100 convoy battles and perhaps 1,000 single-ship encounters, in a theatre covering millions of square miles of ocean. The situation changed constantly, with one side or the other gaining advantage, as participating countries surrendered, joined and even changed sides in the war, and as new weapons, tactics, counter-measures and equipment were developed by both sides. The Allies gradually gained the upper hand, overcoming German surface-raiders by the end of 1942 and defeating the U-boats by mid-1943, though losses due to U-boats continued until the war's end. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill later wrote "The only thing that really frightened me during the war was the U-boat peril. I was even more anxious about this battle than I had been about the glorious air fight called the 'Battle of Britain'."

-- Battle of the Atlantic, by Wikipedia


From 1936 to 1945, Ivens was based in the United States. For Pare Lorentz's U.S. Film Service, in the year 1940, he made a documentary film on rural electrification called Power and the Land. It focused on a family, the Parkinsons, who ran a business providing milk for their community. The film showed the problem in the lack of electricity and the way the problem was fixed.

Pare Lorentz (December 11, 1905 – March 4, 1992) was an American filmmaker known for his film work about the New Deal...

As the most influential documentary filmmaker of the Great Depression, Lorentz was the leading American advocate for government-sponsored documentary films. His service as a filmmaker for the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II was formidable, including technical films, documentation of bombing raids, and synthesizing raw footage of Nazi atrocities for an educational film on the Nuremberg Trials. Nonetheless, Lorentz perennially will be known best as "FDR′s filmmaker."...

Roosevelt was impressed ... and in 1936, as president of the United States, invited Lorentz to make a government-sponsored film about the Oklahoma Dust Bowl.

Despite not having any film credits, Lorentz was appointed to the Resettlement Administration as a film consultant. He was given US$6,000 to make a film, which became The Plow That Broke the Plains, a film that showed the natural and man–made devastation caused by the Dust Bowl. Though the tight budget and his inexperience occasionally showed through in the film, Lorentz's script, combined with Thomas Hardie Chalmers′s narration and Virgil Thomson′s score, made the 30-minute movie powerful and moving. The film, which had its first public showing on May 10, 1936 at Washington, D.C′s Mayflower Hotel, had a preview screening in March at the White House. Roosevelt was impressed and, after his re-election in 1936, gave Lorentz the opportunity to make a film about one of the president's favorite subjects: conservation. Lorentz made The River, a film celebrating the exploits of the Tennessee Valley Authority.

The TVA mitigated flooding but, more importantly to Lorentz and to Roosevelt, it put a stop to the prodigious pillaging of the forests by providing cheap, readily available hydro–electric power to a wide area. This film won the Best Documentary at the Venice International Film Festival. The text of The River appeared in book form, and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in poetry the same year. It generally is considered his most masterful work...

Lorentz served in the U.S. Army Air Corps, more specifically the Air Transport Command (ATC), accompanied by Floyd Crosby, who became an outstanding cinematographer during World War II. He was promoted to the rank of colonel. While serving, he made 275 pilot navigational films and minor documentaries for the U.S. Office of War Information (OWI) and the U.S. Information Agency (USIA), and filmed over 2,500 hours of bombing raids. (Note: Lorentz's name is not associated with any OWI or USIA films; his son Pare Lorentz, Jr., may have worked on a USIA film though most of his work was for USAID.) In 1946, Lorentz made a federally funded movie about the Nuremberg trials, intended to help educate the German people as to what had happened during the war. In the process of compiling material, Lorentz reviewed over 1 million hours of footage about the Nazis and their atrocities. Nuremberg, the film that resulted, played to "capacity audiences" in Germany for two years. However, it was not released in the United States until 1979. This film was produced for the Civil Affairs Division of the Government of Military Occupation (OMGUS). Lorentz's role and contributions to this production are not entirely clear because he prematurely resigned and the Hollywood director Budd Schulberg is given credit for completing it.

-- Pare Lorentz, by Wikipedia


In 1938 he traveled to China. The 400 Million (1939) depicted the history of modern China and the Chinese resistance during the Second Sino-Japanese War, including dramatic shots of the Battle of Taierzhuang. Robert Capa did camerawork, Sidney Lumet worked on the film as a reader, Hanns Eisler wrote the musical score, and Fredric March provided the narration. It, too, had been financed by the same people as those of Spanish Earth. Its chief fundraiser was Luise Rainer, recipient of the best actress Oscar two years in a row; and the entire group called themselves this time, History Today, Inc . The Guomindang government censored the film, fearing that it would give too much credit to left-wing forces. Ivens was also suspected of being a friend of Mao Zedong and especially Zhou Enlai.

In early 1943, Frank Capra hired Ivens to supervise the production of Know Your Enemy: Japan for his U.S. War Department film series Why We Fight.
The film's commentary was written largely by Carl Foreman. Capra fired Ivens from the project because he felt that his approach was too sympathetic toward the Japanese. The film's release was held up because there were concerns that Emperor Hirohito was being depicted as a war criminal, and there was a policy shift to portray the Emperor more favorably after the war as a means of maintaining order in post-war Japan.

With the emerging "Red Scare" of the late 1940s, Ivens was forced to leave the country in the early months of the Truman administration. Ivens' leftist politics also put the kibosh on his first feature film project which was to have starred Greta Garbo. In fact, Walter Wanger, the film's producer, was adamant about "running [Ivens] out of town."

In 1946, commissioned to make a Dutch film about Indonesian 'independence', Ivens resigned in protest over what he considered ongoing imperialism; the Dutch were in his view resisting decolonization. Instead, Ivens filmed Indonesia Calling in secret, for which he received funding from the International Workers Order.


Indonesia Calling is a 1946 Australian short documentary film directed by Joris Ivens and produced by the then Waterside Workers' Federation. The film gives a glimpse of immediate post-World War II Sydney as trade union seamen and waterside workers refuse to service Dutch ships (known as the "Black Armada") containing arms and ammunition destined for Indonesia to suppress the country's independence movement.

-- Indonesia Calling, by Wikipedia


For around a decade Ivens lived in Eastern Europe, working for several studios there. His position concerning Indonesia and his taking sides for the Eastern Bloc in the Cold War annoyed the Dutch government. Over a period of many years, he was obliged to renew his passport every three or four months....

From 1965 to 1970 he filmed two propaganda films about North Vietnam during the war: he made 17e parallèle: La guerre du peuple (17th Parallel: Vietnam in War) and he participated in the collective work Loin du Vietnam (Far from Vietnam). He was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize for the year 1967.

From 1971 to 1977, he shot How Yukong Moved the Mountains, a 763-minute propaganda documentary about the Cultural Revolution in China. He was given unprecedented access because of his pro-communist views and his old personal friendships with Zhou Enlai and Mao Zedong.

-- Joris Ivens, by Wikipedia


In Paris between 1926 and 1928, Krull became friends with Sonia Delaunay, Robert Delaunay, Eli Lotar, André Malraux, Colette, Jean Cocteau, André Gide and others; her commercial work consisted of fashion photography, nudes, and portraits.[1]:83–89 During this period she published the portfolio Métal (1928) which concerned "the essentially masculine subject of the industrial landscape."[5] Krull shot the portfolio's 64 black-and-white photographs in Paris, Marseille, and Holland during approximately the same period as Ivens was creating his film De Brug ("The Bridge") in Rotterdam, and the two artists may have influenced each other.[1]:70–77 The portfolio's subjects range from bridges, buildings (e.g., the Eiffel Tower), and ships to bicycle wheels; it can be read as either a celebration of machines or a criticism of them.[1]:77–82 Many of the photographs were taken from dramatic angles, and overall the work has been compared to that of László Moholy-Nagy and Alexander Rodchenko.[6] In 1999–2004 the portfolio was selected as one of the most important photobooks in history.[8][9][10][11]

By 1928 Krull was considered one of the best photographers in Paris, along with André Kertész and Man Ray.[1]:90 Between 1928 and 1933, her photographic work consisted primarily of photojournalism, such as her photographs for Vu, a French magazine.;[1]:97–112[5] also in the early 1930s,she also made a pioneering study of employment black spots in Britain for Weekly Illustrated (most of her ground-breaking reportage work from this period remains immured in press archives and she has never received the credit which is her due for this work).[12] Her book Études de Nu ("Studies of Nudes") published in 1930 is still well-known today.[5][10] Between 1930 and 1935 she contributed photographs for a number of travel and detective fiction books.[1]:113–125

In 1935–1940, Krull lived in Monte Carlo where she had a photographic studio.[13] Among her subjects during this period were buildings (such as casinos and palaces), automobiles, celebrities, and common people.[13] She may have been a member of the Black Star photojournalism agency which had been founded in 1935, but "no trace of her work appears in the press with that label."[1]:127

Black Star, also known as Black Star Publishing Company, was started by refugees from Germany who had established photographic agencies there in the 1930s. Today it is a New York City-based photographic agency with offices in London and in White Plains, New York. It is known for photojournalism, corporate assignment photography and stock photography services worldwide. It is noted for its contribution to the history of photojournalism in the United States. It was the first privately owned picture agency in the United States, and introduced numerous new techniques in photography and illustrated journalism. The agency was closely identified with Henry Luce's magazines Life and Time.

Black Star was formed in December 1935. The three founders were Kurt Safranski, Ernest Mayer and Kurt Kornfeld. In 1964, the company was sold to Howard Chapnick. The three founders; Safranski, Mayer and Kornfeld were German Jews who fled Berlin during the Nazi regime. They brought with them a wealth of knowledge and some new ideas for the American press.

Safranski was a graphic designer and editor for the Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung (BIZ), which was part of the Ullstein publishing house. During the early 1930s, Ullstein Verlag was Germany's largest publisher of books, newspapers and magazines. BIZ's circulation was over one million. While an editor at BIZ, Safranski was using two or more photos placed together to create a story which surpassed the need for text. Not only was this visually appealing, but it attracted more readers as well.

This drew the attention of the top American mass media publishers. William Randolph Hearst, a powerful media mogul of the day, was intrigued by the European advances in photography and printing. Hearst invited Safranski over to the United States to produce a dummy magazine using photos to tell the stories. Hearst liked the proposed idea but initially didn't move forward on it. Mayer then brought to idea to the experimental editorial department of Henry Luce, the largest publisher of the day, with periodicals such as Time and Fortune. Luce collaborated with Black Star to produce a new weekly magazine called Life. Life would use artistic photos in a new format. These pictures would be large and take up the majority of the page. They could capture not only a moment in time, but an emotion and story that would be paramount to the text. Prior to this, photojournalism in the U.S. was relegated to regional newspapers where text was more important than photos.
Photos would sometimes be staged or posed or re-created to help a news article. But this all changed with the advent of the 35mm camera. The Leica, which was developed in Germany in 1925, was a small and easier to use camera. Advances in half-tone printing made using photographs in periodicals easier. Safranski and Mayer were already familiar with photographers who used this new technology to capture more candid moments.

Mayer owned the publishing company and photo agency, Mauritius, in Berlin. Forced by the Nazis to sell his business, he brought negatives, and connections to European photographers with him to the United States. The contacts included the notable photographers Dr. Paul Wolff and Fritz Goro. These contacts with European-based photographers, and the photographic negatives he brought with him, became the foundation for the new business.

Kornfeld was a literary agent back in his native Germany where he had a talent for bringing together authors and editors. Originally the idea for the company was to be a publishing house and a photo agency just like Mayer's Mauritius. However, the publishing business never took off and more profit was to be found in selling photos. Even though he had no experience with photography, Kornfeld became Black Star's best picture agent. He had a talent for creating rapport between client and artist. Therefore, Kornfeld handled their most important client, Life magazine, providing up to 200 photos a week.

Although Life was the agency's most high-profile client, Black Star also served other periodicals, newspapers, advertisers and publishers. Its stock of iconic photography represents a pictorial history of the 20th century beginning in the 1930s. This archive was anonymously donated to Ryerson University in 2005.

Noted Black Star photographers include Robert Capa, Andreas Feininger, Germaine Krull, Philippe Halsman, Martin Munkácsi, Kurt Severin, W. Eugene Smith, Marion Post-Wolcott, Bill Brandt, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Charles Moore, James Nachtwey, Lee Lockwood, Mario Giacomelli and Spider Martin.

-- Black Star (photo agency), by Wikipedia


In World War II, she became disenchanted with the Vichy France government, and sought to join the Free French Forces in Africa.[6] Due to her Dutch passport and her need to obtain proper visas, her journey to Africa included over a year (1941–1942) in Brazil where she photographed the city of Ouro Preto.[1]:227–231 Between 1942 and 1944 she was in Brazzaville in French Equatorial Africa, after which she spent several months in Algiers and then returned to France.[1]:231–243

After World War II, she traveled to Southeast Asia as a war correspondent, but by 1946 had become a co-owner of the Oriental Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand, a role that she undertook until 1966.[1]:245–252[6] She published three books with photographs during this period, and also collaborated with Malraux on a project concerning the sculpture and architecture of Southeast Asia.[1]:252–255

After retiring from the hotel business in 1966, she briefly lived near Paris, then moved to Northern India and converted to the Sakya school of Tibetan Buddhism.[1]:257–260 Her final major photographic project was the publication of a 1968 book Tibetans in India that included a portrait of the Dalai Lama.[1]:257–263 After a stroke, she moved to a nursing home in Wetzlar, Germany, where she died in 1985.[1]:265

Selected works

• Krull's archives are kept at the Museum Folkwang in Essen, Germany.
• Detroit Public Library Digital Collection houses a portrait of singer Adelaide Hall by Germaine Krull dated 1929, photographed during Blackbirds residency at the Moulin Rouge, Paris.[14]

Books

• Krull, Germaine. Métal. Paris: Librairie des arts décoratifs, 1928. (New facsimile edition published in 2003 by Ann and Jürgen Wilde, Köln.)
• Krull, Germaine. 100 x Paris. Berlin-Westend: Verlag der Reihe, 1929.
• Bucovich, Mario von. Paris. New York: Random House, 1930. (With photographs by Krull.)
• Colette. La Chatte. Paris: B. Grasset, 1930. (With photographs by Krull.)
• Krull, Germaine. Études de Nu. Paris: Librairie des Arts Décoratifs, 1930.
• Nerval, Gérard de, and Germaine Krull. Le Valois. Paris: Firmin-Didot, 1930.
• Warnod, André. Visages de Paris. Paris: Firmin-Didot, 1930. (With photographs by Krull.)
• Krull, Germaine, and Claude Farrère. La Route Paris-Biarritz. Paris: Jacques Haumont, 1931.
• Morand, Paul, and Germaine Krull. Route de Paris à la Méditerranée. Paris: Firmin-Didot, 1931.
• Simenon, Georges, and Germaine Krull. La Folle d'Itteville. Paris: Jacques Haumont, 1931.
• Krull, Germaine, and André Suarès. Marseille. Paris: Librairie Plon, 1935.
• Krull, Germaine, Raúl Lino, and Ruy Ribeiro Couto. Uma Cidade Antiga do Brasil, Ouro Preto. Lisboa: Edições Atlântico, 1943.
• Vailland, Roger. La Bataille d'Alsace (Novembre-Décembre 1944). Paris: Jacques Haumont, 1945. (With photographs by Krull.)
• Krull, Germaine. Chiengmai. Bangkok: Assumption Printing Press, 1950–1959?
• Krull, Germaine, and Dorothea Melchers. Bangkok: Siam's City of Angels. London: R. Hale, 1964.
• Krull, Germaine, and Dorothea Melchers. Tales from Siam. London: R. Hale, 1966.
• Krull, Germaine. Tibetans in India. Bombay: Allied Publishers, 1968.
• Krull, Germaine. La Vita Conduce la Danza. Firenze: Filippo Giunti, 1992. ISBN 88-09-20219-8. (Unpublished autobiography of Krull in French, La Vie Mène la Danse or "Life Leads the Dance", translated into Italian by Giovanna Chiti.)

Films

• Six pour Dix Francs (France, 1930)
• Il Partit pour un Long Voyage (France, 1932)

Further reading

• MacOrlan, Pierre. Germaine Krull: Photographes Nouveaux. Paris: Gallimard, 1931.
• Rheinisches Landesmuseum Bonn. Germaine Krull: Fotografien 1922–1966. Köln: Rheinland-Verlag, 1977. ISBN 3-7927-0364-5.
• Bouqueret, Christian, and Michèle Moutashar. Germaine Krull: Photographie 1924–1936. Arles: Musée Réattu, 1988.
• Sichel, Kim. From Icon to Irony: German and American Industrial Photography. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1995. ISBN 1-881450-06-6.
• Kosta, Barbara. "She was a Camera." Women's Review of Books, volume 17, issue 7, pages 9–10, April 2000.
• Sichel, Kim. "Germaine Krull and L'Amitié Noire: World War II and French Colonialist Film." In Colonialist Photography: Imag(in)ing Race and Place, edited by Eleanor M. Hight and Gary D. Sampson. London: Routledge, 2002. ISBN 0-415-27495-8.
• Sichel, Kim. Germaine Krull: Photographer of Modernity, The MIT Press, 1999; ISBN 0262194015; ISBN 978-0262194013
• Specker, Heidi. Bangkok - Heidi Specker Germaine Krull im Sprengel-Museum Hannover, 9. Oktober 2005 bis 25. Juni 2006. Zülpich: Albert-Renger-Patzsch-Archiv, 2005. ISBN 3-00-017658-6.
• Sichel, Kim. Germaine Krull à Monte-Carlo = Germaine Krull: the Monte Carlo Years. Montréal: Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal, 2006. ISBN 2-89192-306-5.
• Bertolotti, Alessandro. Books of Nudes. New York: Abrams, 2007. ISBN 978-0-8109-9444-7.
• Dumas, Marie Hélène. "Lumières d'Exil". Paris: Gallimard and Éditions Joëlle Losfeld, 2009. ISBN 978-2-07-078770-8. (A novel in French about Krull's life.)

References

1. Sichel, Kim. Germaine Krull: Photographer of Modernity. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1999. ISBN 0-262-19401-5.
2. "New National Museum of Monaco Exhibition: Three Questions to Jean-Michel Bouhours, Chief Curator". Government of Monaco. 3 August 2007. Archived from the original on February 24, 2010. Retrieved 16 April 2010.
3. Union List of Artist Names. "Krull, Germaine (French Photographer, 1897–1985)". J. Paul Getty Trust. Retrieved 16 April2010.
4. "Maker List" (PDF). J. Paul Getty Museum, Department of Photographs. December 2006. Retrieved 16 April 2010.
5. Rosenblum, Naomi. A History of Women Photographers, 2nd edition. New York: Abbeville Press, 2000. ISBN 0-7892-0658-7.
6. Baker, Kenneth. "Germaine Krull's Radical Vision / Photographer's Work Featured at SFMOMA." San Francisco Chronicle, 15 April 2000. Retrieved 4 April 2010.
7. Schoots, Hans. Living Dangerously: a Biography of Joris Ivens. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2000. ISBN 90-5356-433-0.
8. Fotografía Pública: Photography in Print 1919–1939. Madrid: Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, 1999. ISBN 84-8026-125-0.
9. Roth, Andrew, editor. The Book of 101 Books: Seminal Photographic Books of the 20th Century. New York: PPP Editions in association with Roth Horowitz LLC, 2001. ISBN 0-9670774-4-3.
10. Parr, Martin, and Gerry Badger. The Photobook: a History. Volume I. London & New York: Phaidon, 2004. ISBN 0-7148-4285-0.
11. Roth, Andrew, editor. The Open Book: a History of the Photographic Book from 1878 to the Present. Göteborg, Sweden: Hasselblad Center, 2004.
12. Ian Jeffrey,text written by.The Photo Book. London: Phaidon, 2000. p.255.
13. "Portrait of Hedonism with Glasses Half Empty." The Gazette (Montreal), 30 December 2006.
14. Portrait of singer Adelaide Hall by Germaine Krull, Paris, 1929":https://digitalcollections.detroitpubliclibrary.org/islandora/object/islandora%3A198931

External links

• Germaine Krull: Jeu de Paume exhibition, 2015
• O'Hagan, Sean Germaine Krull: the woman Man Ray named his equal
• "Germaine Krull, German Photographer" (slide show with 42 images).
• "In plain sight: Germaine Krull in Paris, The work of the maverick photographer gains new exposure in an exhibition in the French capital," by Claire Holland, The Financial Times, June 13-14, 2015
• "Contortions of Technique: Germaine Krull’s Experimental Photography," by Kim Sichel. In Mitra Abbaspour, Lee Ann Daffner, and Maria Morris Hambourg, eds. Object:Photo. Modern Photographs: The Thomas Walther Collection 1909–1949. An Online Project of The Museum of Modern Art. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2014.

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Germaine Krull: 1897 — POZNAŃ, POLAND | 1985 — WETZLAR, GERMANY
German naturalised French photographer
by AwareWomenArtists.com

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Germaine Krull, Autoportrait, Paris, 1927, gelatin silver print, 23.9 x 17.9 cm, Stiftung Ann und Jürgen Wilde, Pinakothek der Moderne, © Estate Germaine Krull/ Museum Folkwang

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Germaine Krull, André Malraux, 1930, gelatin silver print, 23 x 17.3 cm, Museum Folkwang, © Estate Germaine Krull/ Museum Folkwang, Essen

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Germaine Krull, Assia, de profil, ca. 1930, gelatin silver print, 22.2 x 15.8 cm, © Estate Germaine Krull/ Museum Folkwang

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Germaine Krull, Au bon coin, Paris, 1929, gelatin silver print, 14.2 x 10.5 cm, © Estate Germaine Krull/ Museum Folkwang

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Germaine Krull, Étude publicitaire pour Paul Poiret, 1926, Centre Pompidou, © Estate Germaine Krull/ Museum Folkwang

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Germaine Krull, Jean Cocteau, 1929, gelatin silver print, 23.7 x 17,2 cm, © Estate Germaine Krull/ Museum Folkwang

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Germaine Krull, Nu féminin, 1928, gelatin silver print, 21.6 x 14.4 cm, Centre Pompidou, © Estate Germaine Krull/ Museum Folkwang

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Germaine Krull, Pol Rab (illustrateur), 1930, photomontage, gelatin silver print, 19.5 x 14.5 cm, Amsab-Institut d’Histoire Sociale, © Estate Germaine Krull/ Museum Folkwang

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Germaine Krull, Pont roulant, Rotterdam, ca. 1928, gelatin silver print, 21.9 x 15.3 cm, Stiftung Ann und Jürgen Wilde, Pinakothek der Moderne, © Estate Germaine Krull/ Museum Folkwang

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Germaine Krull, Publicité Gibbs L’Illustration, N 4533, 18 janvier 1930, 1930, © Estate Germaine Krull/ Museum Folkwang

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Germaine Krull, Rue Auber à Paris, ca. 1928, gelatin silver print, MoMA, © Estate Germaine Krull, Museum Folkwang, Essen

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Germaine Krull, Usine électrique Issy les Moulineaux, 1928, gelatin silver print, 22.6 x 16.6 cm, Amsab-Institut d’Histoire Sociale, © Estate Germaine Krull/ Museum Folkwang

Considered in France as the representative of (New Objectivity), a German realist movement that introduced geometric motifs to photography, Germaine Krull remains known as the woman of Métal, named after one of her prestigious series. Born in Germany she had a hectic youth: expelled from Munich in 1918 thanks to her revolutionary activities, she moved to Berlin and began specialising in portraiture. Well integrated in the Berlin art scene, she published in literary magazines and photographed buildings and train tracks from new angles, focusing predominantly on the geometry of the city. From 1921 she lived in the Netherlands, where from 1924 to 1925 she and her future husband, filmmaker Joris Ivens, used industrial architecture as their main subject. She arrived in Paris in 1926, connecting with the Parisian artistic scene, working in fashion with Sonia Delaunay, and in commercial and industrial photography for Peugeot and Shell. With the help of Robert Delaunay she exhibited her series Métal – comprised of Dutch bridges, low-angle shots of the Eiffel Tower and images of automobiles – at the Salon d’automne. The 64 plates were published under the same name by the publisher Calavas in 1927. Despite the mediocre printing quality, Métal was a success and appeared to be the manifesto of a new vision. These reversed photographs reveal an interplay of volumes, abstract details and geometric motifs, and through their unusual cropping constitute a “manifesto of the modern perspective”, according to Christian Bouqueret, and symbolise the new aesthetic awareness of industrial beauty.

During the same period, her nude photographs of the young model Assia show fragments of the body that slip into abstraction (1930). At the end of the 1920s she had gained recognition and Walter Benjamin included her in A Short History of Photography (1931). She appeared thus as the leader of the Nouvelle Vision (New vision), a movement that considered photography, with its technical and artistic possibilities, as giving a new perspective of the world. Her portrait of filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein (1930) is emblematic of the style: tight framing, low-angle lighting and theatricality. In 1928 she exhibited at the first Salon des indépendants de la photographie, known as the Salon de l’escalier, in Paris, at Film und Foto in Stuttgart in 1929, and later in Munich and Brussels. She spent time with Berenice Abbott, André Kertész and Man Ray, and worked in close collaboration with Eli Lotar with whom she realised photomontages and exchanged negatives. During the same period, she worked for illustrated magazines (Vu, Voilà, Détective, Jazz) at the height of their golden years. She realised series on diverse subjects, such as the banks of the Seine, the Spanish Revolution and Javanese dancers. Her preference was for the Paris of Francis Carco and Pierre Mac Orlan – a marginal, working-class Paris. She photographed the zone and created a reportage on the homeless. She also participated in a series of books on the capital (Paris by Mario von Bucovich, 1928, 100 x Paris, 1929). In 1931 a monograph titled Germaine Krull was published in the collection “Photographes nouveaux” with texts by Pierre Mac Orlan was a “true consecration”, of her, as C. Bouqueret wrote. She then travelled throughout Europe and moved to the South of France where she conducted local reports. A discreet activist and friend of André Malraux, she emigrated to the United States in 1940, then to Brazil, and joining the Resistance. She directed the photographic service of Free France and photographed General De Gaulle in Algiers. After 1945 she become a war reporter in Germany, Italy and Indochina for various newspapers and illustrated magazines. She then left for Thailand and India, returning to Germany just before her death. Thanks to A. Malraux, a retrospective of her work was presented at the Cinémathèque Française in 1967, and some of her photographs were exhibited at Documenta 6 in Kassel in 1977. During her lifetime, she did not receive recognition as a photographer, probably because of the loss of her old negatives, recently found, and the dispersion of her production during the interwar years. However, internationally known for her engagement and personality, she has influenced entire generations of photographers.

Anne Reverseau

Translated from French by Katia Porro.

From the Dictionnaire universel des créatrices
© 2013 Des femmes – Antoinette Fouque
© Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions

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Artist: Germaine Krull (German, 1897–1985)Title: Two nude studies from der akt , ca. 1925Medium:
photogravures; size: 10.2 x 8.3 cm. (4 x 3.3 in.)

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Nus, 1924, Collection Dietmar Siegert

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Autoportrait à l’Icarette, vers 1925; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Musée national d’art moderne/Centre de création industrielle; Achat grâce au mécénat de Yves Rocher, 2011. Ancienne collection Christian Bouqueret; Photo © Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais/image Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI

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Architecture ancienne : imprimerie de l’Horloge, 1928; Amsab-Institut d’Histoire Sociale, Gand

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Étalage : les mannequins, 1928; Amsab-Institut d’Histoire Sociale, Gand

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Marseille, juin 1930; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Thomas Walther Collection; Gift of Thomas Walther; Photo © 2015. Digital Image, The Museum of Modern Art, New York/Scala, Florence

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Étude pour La Folle d’Itteville, 1931; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Musée national d’art moderne/Centre de création industrielle; Achat grâce au mécénat de Yves Rocher, 2011 Ancienne collection Christian Bouqueret; Photo © Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI, ;Dist. RMN-Grand Palais/Guy Carrard

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Cérémonie religieuse tibétaine, offrande; de l’écharpe blanche, vers 1960; Museum Folkwang, Essen
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Fri May 29, 2020 11:40 pm

Alpha Females: Deadlier Than the Male?
by Gill Corkindale
Harvard Business Review
November 09, 2007

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post on alpha males. Since then I’ve been wondering about their female counterparts. The received wisdom seems to be that alpha females are pretty much an extension of the alpha male profile, but I’m not so sure. In fact, I have been wondering, is female of the species deadlier than the male?

Just for a moment I want to put aside all the usual debates about women at work — the glass ceiling, the difficulties of combining a career with a family, the prejudices, age, appearance, and the different standards of behaviour for men and women. Instead, I want to look at alpha females as a unique phenomenon, something that transcends the usual commentary about women in the workplace.

The first thing I’ve noticed is that alpha females are usually one-off characters, women who defy categorisation. Unlike alpha males, who like to be part of a pack, it’s difficult to put them in a group as they seem to rise above any stereotyping. The second thing is that they are instantly recognisable. You immediately know when an alpha female walks into the room. The third point is that they can be surprising and full of contradictions.

In London there are a number of alpha females who are worth studying. Here are three who have stood out in recent years for being truly impressive and groundbreaking in their respective fields and I am sure there are many more who will come to light in the coming years.

The first is Nicola Horlick, a 46-year-old billion dollar fund manager who was dubbed ‘Superwoman’ in the 1990s for combined an adrenalin-charged career with bringing up seven children (one of whom died of leukemia. Last year, she fought off an armed robber who tried to mug her outside her home. Even though she had a handgun pushed into her stomach and was pistol-whipped across the back of her head, she fought off the attackers and was back at work the next day, sporting a large bruise from the attack. Ms Horlick ascribed her success to her support systems, her mother, nanny, and husband. “It is women that do not have or cannot afford this type of support that are the real superwomen,” she has said.

Next is Karren Brady, the 38-year-old managing director of Birmingham City Football Club, the first woman to hold such a post in English league soccer. Appointed in 1992, when she was only 23, she was responsible for its flotation in 1997 and became the youngest Managing Director of a UK plc in the process. She has written four books: two novels, a factual account of her first season at the club, and Playing to Win, about successful women in business. [[Shas two childrean and had brain surgery last year, aged 36.?]] Ms Brady says 10 principles kept her going through the good and bad times: ambition, determination, courage, charm, hard work, attitude, humour, confidence, focus and communication.

Finally, Dame Stella Rimington, former head of MI5, Britain’s home intelligence service, burst on to the landscape over a decade ago when the service decided to increase public transparency and reveal details of its activities. Under intense public scrutiny and pressure, MI5’s real-life ‘M’ guided the service into a new era of modernity and, upon retirement, wrote her memoir and several novels. “My whole life has been a surprise to me because I never expected a career at all and I certainly would not have expected to be director general of MI5,” she said.

These women are all very different in personality and approach, but a common thread is that their lives and career paths have not always run smoothly. Each has shown, courage, determination and dogged belief in themselves, their people and their organisations during hard times. It is this, together with their intellect, style that marks them out as true alpha females.

Interestingly, Britain has always had a strong alpha female in public life right down the ages, from Boudicca, the Celtic queen who led an uprising against the Romans, to Elizabeth I, Margaret Thatcher and the current Queen. A clue to why this is so can be found in the work of Geert Hofstede, the Dutch expert on culture. He believes that societies place different values on traditionally male or female values, with Japan being the most ‘masculine’ culture and Sweden the most ‘feminine’. Britain is unusual in that its culture is balanced between the two, with females often displaying male values and males female values — which might make the Britain the best place to be if you are an alpha female.

Are you an alpha female or do you work with one? What are their characteristics? What do you think distinguishes them from alpha males?
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

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A Journey Through the Past: Thailand 1967-1971
by Maxmilian Wechsler
BigChilli
9/2/2018

As pointed out by renowned scientist Carl Sagan, ‘You have to know the past to understand the present’. If for no other reason, the events that shaped modern-day Thailand are worth revisiting to get an understanding of how the country has developed. Starting from February, The BigChilli will recap important news stories of the past 50 years, from 1967 to 2017, a period in which Thailand made the remarkable journey from Southeast Asian backwater to one of the world’s premier tourist destinations. Each issue will cover a five-year period and is sure to offer surprises for even the most knowledgeable Thai history buffs.

1967

1967 was the year Thai Rung Engineering Company was founded by Vichien Phaoenchoke. It was the first and only Thai automobile manufacturing company. Other major news stories of 1967 include:

January

For the first time Thai troops were deployed to South Vietnam. About 1,000 Thai soldiers joined in military operations alongside South Vietnamese forces backed by the US.
• Nobel Prize-winning American author John Steinbeck arrived in Bangkok following a four-month ‘fact-finding mission’ to Vietnam. Steinbeck predicted that the US would win the war and condemned anti-war protesters.


March

US officials admitted for the first time that the US planes were using Thai bases to bomb North Vietnam. Around 35,000 US personnel were stationed in Thailand at the time.
• American Jim Thompson failed to return from a trip to Malaysia. It was learned that he disappeared in the jungle around the Cameron Highlands after taking a walk from a cottage where he was staying. Thompson was a former intelligence officer who had been attached to the US Office of Strategic Services (predecessor of the CIA). He settled in Thailand in 1946 and was responsible for making Thai silk famous around the world.


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James Harrison Wilson Thompson (March 21, 1906 – March 26, 1967 disappeared) was an American businessman who helped revitalise the Thai silk industry in the 1950s and 1960s. At the time of his disappearance he was one of the most famous Americans living in Asia. Time magazine claimed he "almost singlehanded(ly) saved Thailand's vital silk industry from extinction".

Jim Thompson was born in Greenville, Delaware in 1906. He was the youngest of five children of Henry and Mary Thompson. His father was a wealthy textile manufacturer; his mother was the daughter of James Harrison Wilson (1837–1925), a noted Union general during the American Civil War....

From 1931 to 1940, he practised in New York City with Holden, McLaughlin & Associates, designing homes for the East Coast rich. During this period, he led an active social life and sat on the board of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo.

The Original Ballet Russe (originally named Ballets Russes de Monte-Carlo) was a ballet company established in 1931 by René Blum and Colonel Wassily de Basil as a successor to the Ballets Russes, founded in 1909 by Sergei Diaghilev. The company assumed the new name Original Ballet Russe after a split between de Basil and Blum. De Basil led the renamed company, while Blum and others founded a new company under the name Ballet Russe de Monte-Carlo. It was a large scale professional ballet company which toured extensively in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, the United States, and Central and South America. It closed down operations in 1947.

-- Original Ballet Russe, by Wikipedia


In 1941, he quit his job and enlisted with the Delaware National Guard. Before the outbreak of the Second World War, he was transferred to a military outpost in Fort Monroe, Virginia. While he was here, he got to know Second Lieutenant Edwin Fahey Black, a fresh graduate from the US Military Academy, West Point. It was Black who encouraged him to join the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the forerunner of the Central Intelligence Agency.

At the height of the Second World War, Thompson was recruited by major general William Joseph Donovan (1883–1959) to serve as an operative in the OSS.

His first assignment was with the French Resistance in North Africa. He was then sent to Europe. After Victory in Europe Day (May 7–8, 1945), he was transferred to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) to work with the pro-Allied Seri Thai (Free Thai Movement). Their mission was to help liberate Thailand from the occupying Japanese Army
. The group had the support of Pridi Panomyong, the regent to King Ananda Mahidol of Thailand, and Seni Pramoj, the Thai ambassador to the United States.

In August 1945, Thompson was about to be sent into Thailand, when the Surrender of Japan officially ended World War II. He arrived in Thailand shortly after Victory over Japan Day and organised the Bangkok OSS office. It was here he got to know Constance (Connie) Mangskau, an Allied Services translator, who later became one of his closest friends.

In the spring of 1946, Thompson went to work as military attaché at the United States legation for his former Princeton classmate Charles Woodruff Yost, the US Minister to Thailand. Thompson used his contacts with the Free Thai and Free Lao groups to gather information and defuse conflicts on Thailand's borders. Working with him in the Legation was Kenneth Landon, an American missionary whose wife, Margaret Landon, was the author of Anna and the King of Siam, which was the inspiration for a 1946 film of the same name, and The King and I in 1956.


In late 1946, Thompson headed for home to seek his discharge from the army. After his divorce from Patricia Thraves (1920–1969), he returned to Thailand to join a group of investors to buy The Oriental Hotel in Bangkok. While working on its restoration, he had some differences with his associates and this resulted in him giving up his shares. He subsequently switched his focus to silk.

In 1948,[13] he partnered with George Barrie to found the Thai Silk Company Limited. It was capitalised at US$25,000. They each bought eighteen percent of the shares. The remaining sixty-four percent were sold to Thai and foreign investors.

The firm achieved a coup in 1951 when designer Irene Sharaff made use of Thai silk fabrics for the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, The King and I. From then on, the company prospered.... It was only after Thompson's disappearance that the Thai Silk Company relocated its weaving operations to Korat, a city which serves as a base of operations for the Royal Thai Army....

In 1958, he began what was to be the pinnacle of his architectural achievement – the construction of a new home to showcase his objets d'art.

Using parts of old up-country houses – some as old as a hundred years – he succeeded in constructing a masterpiece that involved the reassembling of six Thai dwellings on his estate. Most of the units were dismantled and brought over by river from Ayutthaya, but the largest – a weaver's house (now the living room) – came from Bangkrua. On arrival, the woodwork was offloaded and pieced together....

After he was through with its creation, he filled his home with the items he had collected in the past. Decorating his rooms were Chinese blue-and-white Ming pieces, Belgian glass, Cambodian carvings, Victorian-era chandeliers, Benjarong earthenware, Thai stone images, Burmese statues, and a dining table which was once used by King Rama V of Thailand....

Thompson disappeared from Malaysia's Cameron Highlands on Sunday, March 26, 1967. His disappearance from the hill station generated one of the largest land searches in Southeast Asian history, and is one of the most famous mysteries in the region.

-- Jim Thompson (designer), by Wikipedia


• Chulalongkorn University, Thailand’s first university named after King Chulalongkorn (Rama V), celebrated its 50th anniversary. Their Majesties King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit opened the festivities which took place on the campus over a three-day period.

June

• A fascinated crowd watched the first Thai colour TV show on eight 24-inch colour sets placed outside the Royal Hotel in Bangkok. TV sets were sold in the shops but cost at least twice as much as black and white sets.

September

Thai security forces arrested 37 members of the Communist Party of Thailand, both males and females, including some alleged leaders. Most of the arrests were made in Bangkok. Under the Article 17 of the new interim constitution those arrested faced a possible death sentence.

October

An emotional ceremony was held for the first two Thai soldiers killed in Vietnam. The soldiers were reportedly killed by a booby trap while on patrol near Saigon. Their bodies were flown to Don Muang airport.
• Establishment of Prince of Songkhla University, the first university in southern Thailand. The King christened the university in honour of his father, His Royal Highness Prince Mahidol Adulyadej, Prince of Songkhla. An initial plan to construct the university in Pattani province was scrapped and Hat Yai in Songkhla province was chosen instead.

November

• Establishment of the Association of Thai Industries (FTA), a private sector organization designed to assist and promote Thai industries.
The Dalai Lama arrived in Bangkok at the invitation of the Buddhist Association of Thailand. While in Thailand he met with local religious leaders and government officials including Prince Dhani Nivat, president of the Privy Council, and Prime Minister Field Marshal Thanom Kittikachorn.

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Field Marshal Thanom Kittikachorn (11 August 1911 – 16 June 2004) was a Thai military dictator. A staunch anti-communist, Thanom oversaw a decade of military rule in Thailand from 1963 to 1973, during which he staged a self-coup, until public protests which exploded into violence forced him to step down. His return from exile in 1976 sparked protests which led to a massacre of demonstrators, followed by a military coup....

After serving in the Shan States of Burma during World War II, then Lieutenant Colonel Thanom took part in a successful 1947 coup headed by Colonel Sarit Thanarat. He became a regimental commander and was head of the Lopburi military department. He was soon promoted to colonel, commanding the 11th Infantry Division. Thanom was appointed a member of parliament in 1951, his first political role. He was promoted to major general the same year.

In February 1953, Thanom led the suppression of a rebellion against military rule, and was rewarded with promotion to lieutenant general. He represented Thailand at the ceremony to mark the end of the Korean War in July 1953 and was later promoted as commander of the 1st Region Army.

He was appointed deputy cooperatives minister in 1955. Thanom supported Sarit in his coup against the government of Field Marshal Plaek Phibunsongkhram, and was subsequently appointed defence minister in Pote Sarasin's puppet regime in 1957.


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Pote Sarasin (Thai: พจน์ สารสิน, RTGS: Phot Sarasin, pronounced [pʰót sǎː.rā.sǐn]; 25 March 1905 – 28 September 2000) was a Thai diplomat and politician from the influential Sarasin family. He served as foreign minister from 1949 to 1951 and then served as ambassador to the United States. In September 1957 when Sarit Thanarat seized power in a military coup, he appointed Pote to be the acting prime minister. He resigned in December 1957. Pote also served as the first Secretary General of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization from September 1957 until 1964....

Pote was a scion of the Sarasin family, one of Bangkok's oldest and wealthiest assimilated Chinese families. The Sarasins had always cultivated good relations with the bureaucratic elite of the 19th century, and by the early 1950s held substantial interests in real estate and rice trading. His father, Thian Hee (Chinese: 黄天喜, whose official title was Phraya Sarasinsawamiphakh), was the son of a traditional Chinese doctor and pharmacist who had immigrated from Hainan to Siam in the early 19th century.

Pote's sons are Pong, a leading businessman, Police General Pao, who once served as the Chief of the Royal Thai Police, and Arsa, who, like his father, was also one of the former foreign ministers of Thailand and was serving as the late King Bhumibol's Principal Private Secretary. All three sons–Pong, Arsa and Pao Sarasin had all served as the Deputy Prime Ministers of Thailand.


-- Pote Sarasin, by Wikipedia


Thanom consolidated his power base as the second military leader and right-hand man of Sarit. A few days after the December 1957 general election, in which the pro-government Sahaphum Party ("United Land") had performed disappointingly, Thanom co-founded the National Socialist Party (Chat Sangkhomniyom).

National Socialist Party was a short-lived pro-military political party in Thailand. It was founded on 21 December 1957 by Field Marshal Sarit Thanarat.

-- National Socialist Party (Thailand)


He became the deputy leader of this party, designed to extend the pro-government camp and win over former members of Phibunsongkhram's Seri Manangkhasila Party who had been reelected to parliament as independents.

In 1958, he was made a full general and assumed the offices of prime minister and defence minister. He was prime minister for nine months, after which he was replaced by Sarit himself and made deputy prime minister, defence minister, and armed forces deputy supreme commander.

Thanom was appointed prime minister one day after Sarit's death in 1963. He subsequently appointed himself commander-in-chief of the army. One year later, he promoted himself to the concurrent ranks of field marshal, admiral of the fleet, and Marshal of the Royal Thai Air Force. Thanom continued the pro-American and anti-communist politics of his predecessor, which helped to ensure massive US economic and financial aid during the Vietnam War. Although he was personally popular, his regime was known for massive corruption.
He established and led the United Thai People's Party (Saha Prachathai) in October 1968.

Thanom reappointed himself prime minister in February 1969 after general elections had been completed. The following year saw the beginnings of the 1970s peasant revolts in Thailand. Then, in November 1971, he staged a coup against his own government, citing the need to suppress communist infiltration. He dissolved parliament and appointed himself Chairman of the National Executive Council, and served as a caretaker government for one year. In December 1972, he appointed himself prime minister for a fourth time, also serving as the defence and foreign ministers. Thanom, his son Colonel Narong, and Narong's father-in-law General Praphas Charusathien became known as the "three tyrants".

Public discontent grew, along with demands for a general election to choose a new parliament. Student-led demands for a return to constitutional government, the so-called "14 October 1973 uprising", led to three days of violence followed by the sudden downfall of his government. Thanom and the other "tyrants" flew to exile in the United States and Singapore. Thanom's departure was followed by a restoration of a democratic rule in Thailand.

In October 1976, Thanom returned to Thailand in the robes of a novice monk, to stay at Bangkok's Wat Bowonniwet.
Even though he announced he had no desire to enter politics, his return triggered student protests, which eventually moved onto the campus of Thammasat University. This was only a year after South Vietnam and Thailand's neighbors Laos and Cambodia had fallen to the communists, and right-wing Thais suspected the protesters wished the same fate for their own country. On 6 October 1976, right-wing militants, aided by government security forces, stormed the Thammasat campus, violently broke up the protests, and killed many protesters. That evening, the military seized power from the elected civilian government of Democrat MR Seni Pramoj and installed hard-line royalist Thanin Kraivichien as premier.

Thanom soon left the monkhood, but he kept his word never to take part in politics again. Late in his life, he attempted to rehabilitate his tarnished image and recover properties seized when his government was overthrown.


In March 1999, Thanom was nominated to be a member of the honorary Royal Guard by Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai, which led to controversy. Thanom settled the matter himself by turning down the appointment.

-- Thanom Kittikachorn, by Wikipedia


• According to the Public Health Ministry, the incidence of venereal diseases had increased in Thailand by 50 percent over the previous five years. The ministry said most infections were contracted through prostitutes and asked the United Nations for assistance. The UN Children’s Fund and the World Health Organization promised to help.
Jacqueline Kennedy, the widow of assassinated US President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, visited Thailand. She met with the King and Queen during her short stay.
• The first Thailand National Games, also known as Phra Nakhon 1967, were held in Bangkok. The multi-sport venue hosted 103 events in 15 disciplines. A total of 716 athletes from all regions of the country participated in the games.

1968

1968 was the year the separatist Islamic group called Pattani United Liberation Organization was formed, with the aim of using military and political means to achieve independence for Muslim-majority areas of southern Thailand.

January

PM Thanom announced that US warplanes taking off from Thai air force bases were bombing the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos. It was the first official admission that US bombing raids were launched from Thai soil. The PM justified the action by saying it was “for the defence of our country”.
• The Shan of Iran and Empress Farah made a week-long state visit to Thailand. They were greeted at Don Muang Airport by the King and the Queen, who had visited Iran in February 1967.
• Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos and his wife Imelda made a five-day state visit to Thailand during which they met with the King and the Queen.


February

• PM Thanom inaugurated Thailand’s first steel manufacturing plant, GS Steel, in a ceremony in Samut Prakan province. The plant was a joint venture between GS and Japan’s Mitsubishi Shoki Kaisha and Kawaishi-Gisho companies. The plant complex consisted of 14 buildings.

March

• Around 1,000 taxi drivers formed the Taxi Drivers Cooperative, making it the first labour union in Thailand. The stated aim of the cooperative was to improve the working conditions of taxi drivers and provide a better experience for passengers.
• Tanayong Public Company Limited was founded. Now called BTS Group Holding, the company is the majority shareholder of Bangkok Mass Transit System PCL, which operates both the BTS Skytrain and Bangkok BRT.

May

The country’s first satellite communications earth station was opened at Tung Sukhla in Si Racha district of Chonburi province. The station was linked to an IntelSat II satellite in orbit 22.300 miles above the Pacific Ocean, facilitating communication by voice, television and data. It was the first such station in Southeast Asia.
• Ethiopia’s Emperor Haile Selassie made a state visit to Thailand lasting three days, during which he met with the King. His Majesty said that the Emperor’s visit “marks the first time that a reigning monarch from Africa has made a state visit to Thailand” and praised the Emperor’s “wise and benevolent leadership”.

July

• For the first time in Thai medical history doctors at Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok succeeded in separating conjoined twins. The twins were joined at the liver and the complicated procedure to separate them was performed by a team of five Thai doctors led by the chief of the hospital’s paediatrics department, Dr Snoh Indrasukhsri.

August

• Popular 38-year-old singer Surapol Sombatcharoen, hailed as ‘Thailand’s Elvis’, was shot dead by an assassin after getting into his car at a car park following a performance at Saengchand Theatre in Nakhon Pathom province. Thousands of mourners came to his funeral at Wat Paknam in Thonburi.

October

• The last nine trams were removed from Bangkok streets after it was determined they were too expensive to maintain and they blocked vehicular traffic. The trams had been introduced to Bangkok about 70 years earlier.

November

• The first King’s Cup, the country’s first international football tournament organized by the Football Association of Thailand, kicked off at National Stadium and carried on to December. The Cup was won by Indonesia, who beat Burma 1-0 in the final. Thailand finished third. Three bottle bombs exploded during a semifinal between Thailand and Burma, injuring seven spectators at the stadium. Authorities suspected that the incident was the work of communist insurgents.

December

• The King opened the National Cancer Institute on Rama IV Road near Ramathibodi Hospital. The institute was partially financed by Japan. The King proclaimed December 10 as Anti-Cancer Day.

1969

1969 saw the transition of Assumption University, established in 1938, to an autonomous educational institution, as well as the founding of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Surat Thani province. The area was evangelized by the Salesians of Don Bosco in the 1930s. 1969 was also the year Sahakol Air was formed as an air-taxi service. It was the first privately owned domestic airline in Thailand and under contract to the Overseas International Construction Company, US Operation Mission and other organizations involved in oil and natural gas exploration in the Gulf of Thailand. The airline was rebranded as Bangkok Airways in 1989.

February

An IBM 1800 computer was delivered to Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, a gift from the US Pentagon. The computer was installed inside the Engineering Faculty. The computer was intended for scientific and industrial work and also available to American and Thai military personnel.
• A professional bout between two Thai boxers at Ratchadamnoen Stadium was refereed by former world heavyweight boxing champion Rocco Francis Marchegiano, better known as Rocky Marciano. About 12,000 people were in attendance. Marciano won all 49 fights of his career, 43 by KO.
The first national election in 11 years was held. More than 1,500 candidates from a dozen parties and independents vied for 219 seats in the House of Representatives. PM Thanom’s United Thai People Party won 75 seats and 72 went to independents. After the elections 30 of the 72 independents joined the UTPP.

April

• A US Air Force EC-121 spy plane crashed on takeoff near Korat killing all 18 crew-members. The crash was in an unpopulated area about five kilometers northwest of Korat’s Royal Thai Air Force Base.

May

Three electricity generating companies, Yanhee Electricity Authority, Lignite Electricity and Northeast Electricity Authority joined to form the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT). The merger was designed to reduce costs. EGAT became the largest power producer in Thailand.
• Fifty three Thai fishermen were freed by Cambodian Prince Norodom Sihanouk after spending five to eight years in Cambodian custody. The fishermen had been captured in Cambodian waters, charged with illegal fishing and jailed. The Burmese Ambassador representing Thai interests in Cambodia was partly responsible for the release.

June

The King authorized the purchase of new printing presses to produce high quality banknotes. The Bank of Thailand’s Banknote Printing Division said that using high quality paper and modern printing techniques machines would deter counterfeiters. The first running of the new presses produced notes of five and 10 baht denomination.

July

US President Richard Nixon and his wife Pat made a visit to Thailand and were received by the King and the Queen. They also met with PM Thanom and other officials, including the Foreign Minister Thanat Khoman. US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger joined the president in various meetings.

August

• PM Thanom told the National Cultural Council to ban mini-skirts.

September

• English language bookseller Asia Books was established.
The US began the withdrawal of 48,000 troops and giant B52 bombers from Thailand amid growing anti-war protests and increasing criticism from Congress on the management of the war. State Department Secretary William Rogers said Congress was worried that the US could be dragged into another land war in Thailand. An agreement was reached on September 20 between the US and Thailand specifying that the first 6,000 US troops would leave Thailand by July 1, 1970.

November

Thousands of Thai Marines were sent to help police in the struggle against communists and Muslim separatists in the jungles of South Thailand. The strategy of the insurgents was to destroy the economy by attacking infrastructure and spreading fear among workers at rubber plantations. On November 12 in Songkhla province insurgents killed seven policemen and critically injured three others.

December

• Bangkok Bank was the first financial institution in Thailand to computerize its operations. Bank officials said customers would be able to deposit and withdraw money from the 38 branches in Bangkok and Thonburi more conveniently.

1970

1970 brought new rules for foreign workers in the country in an effort to reduce the number of immigrants who were taking jobs from Thais. It was announced that regulations requiring foreigners to have work permits would soon be introduced.

1970 saw the founding of the following enterprises and institutions which are still with us: Provincial Electricity Football Club,now known as Buriram United FC; Wat Phra Dhammakaya Buddhist temple in Pathum Thani province, founded by the maechi (nun) Chandra Khonnokyoong and Luang Por Dhammajayo; Thai motion picture production and distribution company Sahamongkol Film International, or Mongkol Film; and Suriya College, renamed Sripatum University in 1987.

The Queen’s Cup annual football competition took place for the first time in 1970, but was discontinued in 2010.

February

• The Dusit Thani Hotel opened its doors on the corner of Silom and Rama IV roads. Founded by Chanut Piyaoui, it was the highest building in Bangkok at the time.

March

Indonesian President Hajji Suharto and his wife made a two-day official visit to Thailand. The president was welcomed at the airport by the King, who said that both nations faced ‘critical dangers’. Both Thailand and Indonesia supported America’s program of communist suppression throughout the region.
• Color Television Channel 3 (TV3) began broadcasting at 10am on March 26. It was the first Thai commercial television station. TV3 was officially launched during a ceremony attended by PM Thanom.

May

Cambodia asked Thailand for a military aid, one year after the Americans began bombing communist Vietnamese targets in Cambodia. Links between Thailand and Cambodia improved with the opening of the Aranyaprathet border crossing and re-establishment of diplomatic relations.

July

Cambodian Prime Minister Lon Nol was the first Cambodian premier to make an official visit to Thailand in 20 years. Lon Nol led a successful bloodless military coup d'état in May which overthrew the regime of Prince Norodom Sihanouk. He was later overthrown by the Khmer Rouge in 1975.

July

A tax was introduced on more than 200 imported and locally made items. Dubbed the Midnight Tax Decree, the new regulations increased the import duty on cars from an already high 60% to 80%, while sales taxes went up to 30 percent. The duty on cosmetics increased almost 100%. The government defended the increases as necessary to increase the military budget to fund communist suppression efforts and fend off other national security threats.

September

• More than 4,000 students from Chulalongkorn University broke through the main gate of the Parliament building and demanded the suspension of three professors allegedly involved in corruption in the lease of campus land to private businesses.

October

• Superstar actor Mitr Chaibancha (born Pichet Pumhem) fell 90 meters to his death from a helicopter while filming the final scene of his new movie Insee Thong (Golden Eagle) at Dongtan Beach, Jomtien, Pattaya. The 36-year-old actor appeared in 266 films between 1956 and 1970 was injured several times during his career. Around 100,000 fans came to a memorial service for Mitr held the day after his accident at Bangkok’s Wat Sunthorn Thammathan.

November

• A French monorail company approached the Bangkok municipality with a proposal to do a feasibility study into a mass rail line for Bangkok. The city accepted the proposal.

December

• A five-hour fire destroyed half of the commercial centre of Saraburi, laying waste to homes and businesses and leaving over 3,000 people homeless. Hundreds of shop houses, three banks, two insurance companies, a theatre, a market and two schools were destroyed. The King sent relief supplies to families affected by the fire.

1971

1971 saw the launch of the Chao Phraya Express transport service operating on the Chao Phraya River. The service still provides convenient transportation between Bangkok and Nonthaburi for locals and tourists. Ramkhamhaeng University, a public and open university named after King Ramkhamhaeng the Great of Sukhothai, was established. The King is credited with creating the Thai alphabet. Sirindhorn Dam, named after Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, was commissioned in 1971. The dam is located in Sirindhorn district of Ubon Ratchathani province and was built to serve as a hydropower facility and to supply water for irrigation.

January

• Mitr Chaibancha was cremated at Wat Thepsirin in Bangkok. Tens of thousands of fans attended the cremation ceremony.

March

Martial law was suspended in 34 provinces including Bangkok, and the government said that Thonburi and Chiang Mai were no longer considered ‘communist infested’ areas. However, emergency powers remained in force in 37 Thai provinces, including the whole Northeast.

April

• A blaze at the Imperial Hotel in Bangkok claimed 24 lives, including six children. Many guests jumped from windows of the 107-room hotel to escape the blaze.

May

FM Khoman referred to China as “the People’s Republic of China” during a press conference in a real sign of warming between the two countries. It was the first time any cabinet official used the official name of China.

July

• Nation Multimedia Group was formed and English-language newspaper The Nation was launched by former Bangkok Post journalist Suthichai Yoon on July 1. The front-page headline was: “The How and Why of The Nation.” The first issue reportedly sold 3,000 copies.
• The government considered various proposals on how to support the car manufacturing industry. Ministries worked together to come up with recommendations to promote car assembly and the manufacture of component parts. One proposal was to widen the import tax differential between completely built-up cars – to be taxed at higher rate – and cars which were assembled in Thailand.

August

Scientists warned that unless something was done to prevent further subsidence, Bangkok could be below sea level in 20 years’ time. Two professors in geotechnical engineering from the Asian Institute of Technology claimed said there was evidence that many areas in Bangkok were subsiding because too much underground water had been pumped from beneath the city to meet the rapid increase in water demand.

September

• Transvestites (katoey) from Bangkok and Thonburi formed an association to protect their interests and to end what they claimed was prejudice against them. Among other aims, the group’s leaders said they wanted a law to allow them to marry. The group estimated there were around 10,000 katoey living in Bangkok and Thonburi.

October

• Mobs of football fans, mostly youths, rioted at the National Stadium after heavy rain led to cancellation of the Queen’s Cup semifinal match between Vee Foh and Rajathevi. The fans tore down goalposts, smashed seats and lit bonfires on the pitch. The match was attended by about 20,000 fans. An unknown number participated in the riot after players failed to show after half-time.
• The government approved a proposal to transform and develop the island of Koh Samui into a major holiday destination in an effort to boost the ailing tourist industry. Among other attempts to stimulate tourism was an extension of the length of time tourists could stay without a visa.

November

PM Thanom staged a coup on November 17 against his own government, citing the need to suppress communist infiltration. In a shocking announcement made on Bangkok Radio at 7pm, PM Thanom declared martial law, abrogating the constitution, dissolving Parliament and disbanding the cabinet. All authority was placed in the hands of security forces chiefs. Thanom also announced the establishment of a nine-member Executive Council to direct affairs of state for five years.

December

• The Supreme Patriarch Somdej Phra Ariyawongsakhatayan passed away after injuries suffered in a car accident. The accident happened in Bang Phli district of Samut Prakan province as the supreme patriarch was on his way to deliver a sermon. His limousine crashed head-on with a pickup truck. The country went into a 15-day mourning period. A tearful Thanom paid homage to the patriarch at Police Hospital in Bangkok, where the body was taken.

*Sources for this story include archives of UPI, AFP, AP, the Bangkok Post, The Nation and Wikipedia.
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