Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Fri Jul 17, 2020 2:30 am

Part 1 of 2

Teutonic Order
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 7/16/20

“Now I shall tell you about myself, who and what I am! My name is surrounded with such hate and fear that no one can judge what is the truth and what is false, what is history and what myth. Some time you will write about it, remembering your trip through Mongolia and your sojourn at the yurta of the ‘bloody General.’”

He shut his eyes, smoking as he spoke, and tumbling out his sentences without finishing them as though some one would prevent him from phrasing them.

“The family of Ungern von Sternberg is an old family, a mixture of Germans with Hungarians—Huns from the time of Attila. My warlike ancestors took part in all the European struggles. They participated in the Crusades and one Ungern was killed under the walls of Jerusalem, fighting under Richard Coeur de Lion. Even the tragic Crusade of the Children was marked by the death of Ralph Ungern, eleven years old. When the boldest warriors of the country were despatched to the eastern border of the German Empire against the Slavs in the twelfth century, my ancestor Arthur was among them, Baron Halsa Ungern Sternberg. Here these border knights formed the order of Monk Knights or Teutons, which with fire and sword spread Christianity among the pagan Lithuanians, Esthonians, Latvians and Slavs. Since then the Teuton Order of Knights has always had among its members representatives of our family. When the Teuton Order perished in the Grunwald under the swords of the Polish and Lithuanian troops, two Barons Ungern von Sternberg were killed there. Our family was warlike and given to mysticism and asceticism.

“During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries several Barons von Ungern had their castles in the lands of Latvia and Esthonia. Many legends and tales lived after them. Heinrich Ungern von Sternberg, called ‘Ax,’ was a wandering knight. The tournaments of France, England, Spain and Italy knew his name and lance, which filled the hearts of his opponents with fear. He fell at Cadiz ‘neath the sword of a knight who cleft both his helmet and his skull. Baron Ralph Ungern was a brigand knight between Riga and Reval. Baron Peter Ungern had his castle on the island of Dago in the Baltic Sea, where as a privateer he ruled the merchantmen of his day.

“In the beginning of the eighteenth century there was also a well-known Baron Wilhelm Ungern, who was referred to as the ‘brother of Satan’ because he was an alchemist. My grandfather was a privateer in the Indian Ocean, taking his tribute from the English traders whose warships could not catch him for several years. At last he was captured and handed to the Russian Consul, who transported him to Russia where he was sentenced to deportation to the Transbaikal. I am also a naval officer but the Russo-Japanese War forced me to leave my regular profession to join and fight with the Zabaikal Cossacks. I have spent all my life in war or in the study and learning of Buddhism. My grandfather brought Buddhism to us from India and my father and I accepted and professed it. In Transbaikalia I tried to form the order of Military Buddhists for an uncompromising fight against the depravity of revolution.”

He fell into silence and began drinking cup after cup of tea as strong and black as coffee.

“Depravity of revolution! . . . Has anyone ever thought of it besides the French philosopher, Bergson, and the most learned Tashi Lama [Panchen Lama] in Tibet?”

The grandson of the privateer, quoting scientific theories, works, the names of scientists and writers, the Holy Bible and Buddhist books, mixing together French, German, Russian and English, continued:

“In the Buddhistic and ancient Christian books we read stern predictions about the time when the war between the good and evil spirits must begin. Then there must come the unknown ‘Curse’ which will conquer the world, blot out culture, kill morality and destroy all the people. Its weapon is revolution. During every revolution the previously experienced intellect-creator will be replaced by the new rough force of the destroyer.

[Louis Tully] [Wandering around street] I am the Keymaster. The Destructor is coming. Gozer, the Traveller, the Destroyer.
[Gozer] Subcreatures! Gozer the Gozerian, Gozer the Destructor, Volguus, Zildrohar, the Traveller has come. Choose and perish. Choose. Choose the form of the destructor. The Traveller has come.

-- Ghostbusters, directed by Ivan Reitman, starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Rick Moranis and Sigourney Weaver, written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis

He will place and hold in the first rank the lower instincts and desires. Man will be farther removed from the divine and the spiritual. The Great War proved that humanity must progress upward toward higher ideals; but then appeared that Curse which was seen and felt by Christ, the Apostle John, Buddha, the first Christian martyrs, Dante, Leonardo da Vinci, Goethe and Dostoyevsky. It appeared, turned back the wheel of progress and blocked our road to the Divinity. Revolution is an infectious disease and Europe making the treaty with Moscow deceived itself and the other parts of the world. The Great Spirit put at the threshold of our lives Karma, who knows neither anger nor pardon. He will reckon the account, whose total will be famine, destruction, the death of culture, of glory, of honor and of spirit, the death of states and the death of peoples. I see already this horror, this dark, mad destruction of humanity.”...

Well, there isn’t much left and this happens to be the most interesting. I was telling you that I wanted to found an order of military Buddhists in Russia. For what? For the protection of the processes of evolution of humanity and for the struggle against revolution, because I am certain that evolution leads to the Divinity and revolution to bestiality. But I worked in Russia! In Russia, where the peasants are rough, untutored, wild and constantly angry, hating everybody and everything without understanding why. They are suspicious and materialistic, having no sacred ideals. Russian intelligents live among imaginary ideals without realities. They have a strong capacity for criticising everything but they lack creative power. Also they have no will power, only the capacity for talking and talking. With the peasants, they cannot like anything or anybody. Their love and feelings are imaginary. Their thoughts and sentiments pass without trace like futile words. My companions, therefore, soon began to violate the regulations of the Order. Then I introduced the condition of celibacy, the entire negation of woman, of the comforts of life, of superfluities, according to the teachings of the Yellow Faith; and, in order that the Russian might be able to live down his physical nature, I introduced the limitless use of alcohol, hasheesh and opium. Now for alcohol I hang my officers and soldiers; then we drank to the ‘white fever,’ delirium tremens. I could not organize the Order but I gathered round me and developed three hundred men wholly bold and entirely ferocious. Afterward they were heroes in the war with Germany and later in the fight against the Bolsheviki, but now only a few remain.”...

“During the War we saw the gradual corruption of the Russian army and foresaw the treachery of Russia to the Allies as well as the approaching danger of revolution. To counteract this latter a plan was formed to join together all the Mongolian peoples which had not forgotten their ancient faiths and customs into one Asiatic State, consisting of autonomous tribal units, under the moral and legislative leadership of China, the country of loftiest and most ancient culture. Into this State must come the Chinese, Mongols, Tibetans, Afghans, the Mongol tribes of Turkestan, Tartars, Buriats, Kirghiz and Kalmucks. This State must be strong, physically and morally, and must erect a barrier against revolution and carefully preserve its own spirit, philosophy and individual policy. If humanity, mad and corrupted, continues to threaten the Divine Spirit in mankind, to spread blood and to obstruct moral development, the Asiatic State must terminate this movement decisively and establish a permanent, firm peace. This propaganda even during the War made splendid progress among the Turkomans, Kirghiz, Buriats and Mongols....”

“Russia turned traitor to France, England and America, signed the Brest-Litovsk Treaty and ushered in a reign of chaos. We then decided to mobilize Asia against Germany. Our envoys penetrated Mongolia, Tibet, Turkestan and China. At this time the Bolsheviki began to kill all the Russian officers and we were forced to open civil war against them, giving up our Pan-Asiatic plans; but we hope later to awake all Asia and with their help to bring peace and God back to earth. I want to feel that I have helped this idea by the liberation of Mongolia.”

He became silent and thought for a moment.

“But some of my associates in the movement do not like me because of my atrocities and severity,” he remarked in a sad voice. “They cannot understand as yet that we are not fighting a political party but a sect of murderers of all contemporary spiritual culture. Why do the Italians execute the ‘Black Hand’ gang? Why are the Americans electrocuting anarchistic bomb throwers?
and I am not allowed to rid the world of those who would kill the soul of the people? I, a Teuton, descendant of crusaders and privateers, I recognize only death for murderers!”

-- Beasts, Men and Gods, by Ferdinand Ossendowski

Order of Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem
Coat of arms in the style of the 14th-century
Active: c. 1192 – present
Allegiance: Kingdom of Jerusalem (1190–1291); State of the Teutonic Order (1226–1525); Duchy of Prussia (1525–1701); Holy Roman Empire (1190–1806); Austrian Empire & Austria-Hungary (1804–1918); Confederation of the Rhine (1806–1813); German Confederation (1815-1866); Kingdom of Prussia (1701-1918); Kingdom of Bavaria (1805-1918); Kingdom of Württemberg (1805-1918); Grand Duchy of Baden (1806-1918); Grand Duchy of Hesse (1806-1918); North German Confederation & German Empire (1867-1918); Holy See (1190–present)
Type: Catholic religious order (1192–1929 as military order)
Headquarters: Acre (1192–1291); Venice (1291–1309); Marienburg (1309–1466); Königsberg (1466–1525); Mergentheim (1525–1809); Vienna (1809–present)
Nickname(s): Teutonic Knights, German Order
Patron: Virgin Mary; Saint Elizabeth of Hungary; Saint George
Attire: White mantle with a black cross
First Grand Master: Heinrich Walpot von Bassenheim
Current Grand Master: Frank Bayard[1]

The Order of Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem[2] (official names: Latin: Ordo domus Sanctæ Mariæ Theutonicorum Hierosolymitanorum, German: Orden der Brüder vom Deutschen Haus der Heiligen Maria in Jerusalem), commonly the Teutonic Order (Deutscher Orden, Deutschherrenorden or Deutschritterorden), is a Catholic religious order founded as a military order c. 1192 in Acre, Kingdom of Jerusalem.

The Teutonic Order was formed to aid Christians on their pilgrimages to the Holy Land and to establish hospitals.
Its members have commonly been known as the Teutonic Knights, having a small voluntary and mercenary military membership, serving as a crusading military order for protection of Christians in the Holy Land and the Baltics during the Middle Ages.

Purely religious since 1810, the Teutonic Order still confers limited honorary knighthoods.[3] The Bailiwick of Utrecht of the Teutonic Order, a Protestant chivalric order, is descended from the same medieval military order and also continues to award knighthoods and perform charitable work.[4]


The full name of the Order in German is Orden der Brüder vom Deutschen Haus St. Mariens in Jerusalem or in Latin Ordo domus Sanctæ Mariæ Theutonicorum Hierosolymitanorum (engl. "Order of the House of St. Mary of the Germans in Jerusalem"). Thus the term "Teutonic" echoes the German origins of the order (Theutonicorum) in its Latin name.[5] It is commonly known in German as the Deutscher Orden (official short name, literally "German Order"), historically also as Deutscher Ritterorden ("German Order of Knights"), Deutschherrenorden, Deutschritterorden ("Order of the German Knights"), Marienritter ("Knights of Mary"), Die Herren im weißen Mantel ("The lords in white capes"), etc.

The Teutonic Knights have been known as Zakon Krzyżacki in Polish ("Order of the Cross") and as Kryžiuočių Ordinas in Lithuanian, Vācu Ordenis in Latvian, Saksa Ordu or, simply, Ordu ("The Order") in Estonian, as well as various names in other languages.


Extent of the Teutonic Order in 1300.

Formed in the year 1192 in Acre, in the Levant, the medieval Order played an important role in Outremer (the general name for the Crusader states), controlling the port tolls of Acre. After Christian forces were defeated in the Middle East, the Order moved to Transylvania in 1211 to help defend the South-Eastern borders of the Kingdom of Hungary against the Cumans. The Knights were expelled by force of arms by King Andrew II of Hungary in 1225, after attempting to place themselves under papal instead of the original Hungarian sovereignty and thus to become independent.[6]

In 1230, following the Golden Bull of Rimini, Grand Master Hermann von Salza and Duke Konrad I of Masovia launched the Prussian Crusade, a joint invasion of Prussia intended to Christianize the Baltic Old Prussians
. The Knights had quickly taken steps against their Polish hosts and with the Holy Roman Emperor's support, had changed the status of Chełmno Land (also Ziemia Chelminska or Kulmerland), where they were invited by the Polish prince, into their own property. Starting from there, the Order created the independent Monastic State of the Teutonic Knights, adding continuously the conquered Prussians' territory, and subsequently conquered Livonia. Over time, the kings of Poland denounced the Order for expropriating their lands, specifically Chełmno Land and later the Polish lands of Pomerelia (also Pomorze Gdańskie or Pomerania), Kujawy, and Dobrzyń Land.

The Order theoretically lost its main purpose in Europe with the Christianization of Lithuania. However, it initiated numerous campaigns against its Christian neighbours, the Kingdom of Poland, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and the Novgorod Republic (after assimilating the Livonian Order). The Teutonic Knights had a strong economic base which enabled them to hire mercenaries from throughout Europe to augment their feudal levies, and they also became a naval power in the Baltic Sea. In 1410, a Polish-Lithuanian army decisively defeated the Order and broke its military power at the Battle of Grunwald (Tannenberg). However, the capital of the Teutonic Knights was successfully defended in the following Siege of Marienburg and the Order was saved from collapse.

In 1515, Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I made a marriage alliance with Sigismund I of Poland-Lithuania. Thereafter, the empire did not support the Order against Poland. In 1525, Grand Master Albert of Brandenburg resigned and converted to Lutheranism, becoming Duke of Prussia as a vassal of Poland. Soon after, the Order lost Livonia and its holdings in the Protestant areas of Germany.[7] The Order did keep its considerable holdings in Catholic areas of Germany until 1809, when Napoleon Bonaparte ordered its dissolution and the Order lost its last secular holdings.

However, the Order continued to exist as a charitable and ceremonial body. It was outlawed by Adolf Hitler in 1938,[8] but re-established in 1945.
[9] Today it operates primarily with charitable aims in Central Europe.

The Knights wore white surcoats with a black cross. A cross pattée was sometimes used as their coat of arms; this image was later used for military decoration and insignia by the Kingdom of Prussia and Germany as the Iron Cross and Pour le Mérite. The motto of the Order was: "Helfen, Wehren, Heilen" ("Help, Defend, Heal").[10]

The Order's Marienburg Castle, Monastic state of the Teutonic Knights, now Malbork, Poland


Reliquary made in Elbing in 1388 for Teutonic komtur Thiele von Lorich, military trophy of Polish king Wladislaus in 1410.

• 1190 Formation
• 1218 Siege of Damietta
• 1228–1229 The Sixth Crusade
• 1237 absorption of The Livonian Brothers of the Sword
• 1242 The Battle on the Ice
• 1242–1249 First Prussian uprising
• 1249 Treaty of Christburg with the pagan Prussians signed on February 9
• 1249 Battle of Krücken
• 1260 Battle of Durbe
• 1260–1274 Great Prussian uprising
• 1262 Siege of Königsberg
• 1263 Battle of Löbau
• 1264 Siege of Bartenstein
• 1270 Battle of Karuse
• 1271 Battle of Pagastin
• 1279 Battle of Aizkraukle
• 1291 Siege of Acre (1291)
• 1308–1309 Teutonic takeover of Danzig and Treaty of Soldin
• 1326–1332 First Polish–Teutonic War, for Kuyavia, with involvement of Lithuania and Hungary
• 1331 Battle of Płowce
• 1343 Treaty of Kalisz, exchange of Kuyavia for Kulm and other territories
• 1343–1345 St. George's Night Uprising
• 1346 Purchase of Duchy of Estonia from Denmark
• 1348 Battle of Strėva
• 1370 Battle of Rudau
• 1409–1411 Polish–Lithuanian–Teutonic War, the Teutonic knights are defeated by Polish king Władysław II Jagiełło and Lithuanian Grand duke Vytautas the Great at the Battle of Grunwald (Tannenberg) (1410)
• 1414 Hunger War
• 1422 Gollub War ending with the Treaty of Melno
• 1431–1435 Second Polish–Teutonic War
• 1454–1466 Thirteen Years' War
• 1466 Second Peace of Thorn (1466)
• 1467–1479 War of the Priests
• 1519–1521 Third Polish–Teutonic War
• 1525 the Livonian Order buys itself de facto independent from the Teutonic Order
• 1525 Order loses State of the Teutonic Order due to the Prussian Homage, it becomes Ducal Prussia


In 1143 Pope Celestine II ordered the Knights Hospitaller to take over management of a German hospital in Jerusalem, which, according to the chronicler Jean d’Ypres, accommodated the countless German pilgrims and crusaders who could neither speak the local language nor Latin (patriæ linguam ignorantibus atque Latinam).[11] Although formally an institution of the Hospitallers, the pope commanded that the prior and the brothers of the domus Theutonicorum (house of the Germans) should always be Germans themselves, so a tradition of a German-led religious institution could develop during the 12th century in the Kingdom of Jerusalem.[12]

Hermann von Salza, the fourth Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights (1209–1239)

After the loss of Jerusalem in 1187, some merchants from Lübeck and Bremen took up the idea and founded a field hospital for the duration of the Siege of Acre in 1190, which became the nucleus of the order; Celestine III recognized it in 1192 by granting the monks Augustinian Rule. However, based on the model of the Knights Templar, it was transformed into a military order in 1198 and the head of the order became known as the Grand Master (magister hospitalis). It received papal orders for crusades to take and hold Jerusalem for Christianity and defend the Holy Land against the Muslim Saracens. During the rule of Grand Master Hermann von Salza (1209–1239) the Order changed from being a hospice brotherhood for pilgrims to primarily a military order.

The Order was founded in Acre, and the Knights purchased Montfort (Starkenberg), northeast of Acre, in 1220. This castle, which defended the route between Jerusalem and the Mediterranean Sea, was made the seat of the Grand Masters in 1229, although they returned to Acre after losing Montfort to Muslim control in 1271. The Order also had a castle at Amouda in Armenia Minor. The Order received donations of land in the Holy Roman Empire (especially in present-day Germany and Italy), Frankish Greece, and the Kingdom of Jerusalem.

Emperor Frederick II elevated his close friend Hermann von Salza to the status of Reichsfürst, or "Prince of the Empire", enabling the Grand Master to negotiate with other senior princes as an equal. During Frederick's coronation as King of Jerusalem in 1225, Teutonic Knights served as his escort in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre; von Salza read the emperor's proclamation in both French and German. However, the Teutonic Knights were never as influential in Outremer as the older Templars and Hospitallers.

Transylvania, Kingdom of Hungary

Tannhäuser in the habit of the Teutonic Knights, from the Codex Manesse

In 1211, Andrew II of Hungary accepted the services of the Teutonic Knights and granted them the district of Burzenland in Transylvania, where they would be immune to fees and duties and could enforce their own justice. Andrew had been involved in negotiations for the marriage of his daughter with the son of Hermann, Landgrave of Thuringia, whose vassals included the family of Hermann von Salza. Led by a brother called Theoderich or Dietrich, the Order defended the south-eastern borders of the Kingdom of Hungary against the neighbouring Cumans. Many forts of wood and mud were built for defence. They settled new German peasants among the existing Transylvanian Saxon inhabitants. The Cumans had no fixed settlements for resistance, and soon the Teutons were expanding into their territory. By 1220, The Teutonics Knights had built five castles, some of them made of stone. Their rapid expansion made the Hungarian nobility and clergy, who were previously uninterested in those regions, jealous and suspicious. Some nobles claimed these lands, but the Order refused to share them, ignoring the demands of the local bishop. After the Fifth Crusade, King Andrew returned to Hungary and found his kingdom full of grudge because of the expenses and losses of the failed military campaign. When the nobles demanded that he cancel the concessions made to the Knights, he concluded that they had exceeded their task and that the agreement should be revised, but did not revert the concessions. However, Prince Béla, heir to the throne, was allied with the nobility. In 1224, the Teutonic Knights, seeing that they would have problems when the Prince inherited the Kingdom, petitioned Pope Honorius III to be placed directly under the authority of the Papal See, rather than that of the King of Hungary. This was a grave mistake, as King Andrew, angered and alarmed at their growing power, responded by expelling the Teutonic Knights in 1225, although he allowed the ethnically German commoners and peasants settled here by the Order and who became part of the larger group of the Transylvanian Saxons, to remain. Lacking the military organization and experience of the Teutonic Knights, the Hungarians did not replace them with adequate defenders which had prevented the attacking Cumans. Soon, the steppe warriors would be a threat again.[13]


Main article: Prussian Crusade

In 1226, Konrad I, Duke of Masovia in north-eastern Poland, appealed to the Knights to defend his borders and subdue the pagan Baltic Old Prussians, allowing the Teutonic Knights use of Chełmno Land (Culmerland) as a base for their campaign. This being a time of widespread crusading fervor throughout Western Europe, Hermann von Salza considered Prussia a good training ground for his knights for the wars against the Muslims in Outremer.[14] With the Golden Bull of Rimini, Emperor Frederick II bestowed on the Order a special imperial privilege for the conquest and possession of Prussia, including Chełmno Land, with nominal papal sovereignty. In 1235 the Teutonic Knights assimilated the smaller Order of Dobrzyń, which had been established earlier by Christian, the first Bishop of Prussia.

Frederick II allows the order to invade Prussia, by P. Janssen

The conquest of Prussia was accomplished with much bloodshed over more than fifty years, during which native Prussians who remained unbaptised were subjugated, killed, or exiled. Fighting between the Knights and the Prussians was ferocious; chronicles of the Order state the Prussians would "roast captured brethren alive in their armour, like chestnuts, before the shrine of a local god".[15]

The native nobility who submitted to the crusaders had many of their privileges affirmed in the Treaty of Christburg. After the Prussian uprisings of 1260–83, however, much of the Prussian nobility emigrated or were resettled, and many free Prussians lost their rights. The Prussian nobles who remained were more closely allied with the German landowners and gradually assimilated.[16] Peasants in frontier regions, such as Samland, had more privileges than those in more populated lands, such as Pomesania.[17] The crusading knights often accepted baptism as a form of submission by the natives.[18] Christianity along western lines slowly spread through Prussian culture. Bishops were reluctant to have Prussian religious practices integrated into the new faith,[19] while the ruling knights found it easier to govern the natives when they were semi-pagan and lawless.[20] After fifty years of warfare and brutal conquest, the end result meant that most of the Prussian natives were either killed or deported.[21]

Map of the Teutonic state in 1260

The Order ruled Prussia under charters issued by the Pope and the Holy Roman Emperor as a sovereign monastic state, comparable to the arrangement of the Knights Hospitallers in Rhodes and later in Malta.

To make up for losses from the plague and to replace the partially exterminated native population, the Order encouraged immigration from the Holy Roman Empire (mostly Germans, Flemish, and Dutch) and from Masovia (Poles), the later Masurians. These included nobles, burghers, and peasants, and the surviving Old Prussians were gradually assimilated through Germanization. The settlers founded numerous towns and cities on former Prussian settlements. The Order itself built a number of castles (Ordensburgen) from which it could defeat uprisings of Old Prussians, as well as continue its attacks on the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Kingdom of Poland, with which the Order was often at war during the 14th and 15th centuries. Major towns founded by the Order included Allenstein (Olsztyn), Elbing (Elbląg), Klaipėda (Memel), and Königsberg, founded in 1255 in honor of King Otakar II of Bohemia on the site of a destroyed Prussian settlement.


Main article: Livonian Crusade

Teutonic Order castle in Paide, Estonia

The Livonian Brothers of the Sword were absorbed by the Teutonic Knights in 1237, after the former had suffered a devastating defeat in the Battle of Saule. The Livonian branch subsequently became known as the Livonian Order.[22] Attempts to expand into Rus' failed when the knights suffered a major defeat in 1242 in the Battle of the Ice at the hands of Prince Alexander Nevsky of Novgorod. Over the next decades the Order focused on the subjugation of the Curonians and Semigallians. In 1260 it suffered a disastrous defeat in the Battle of Durbe against Samogitians, which inspired rebellions throughout Prussia and Livonia. After the Teutonic Knights won a crucial victory in the Siege of Königsberg from 1262 to 1265, the war had reached a turning point. The Curonians were finally subjugated in 1267 and the Semigallians in 1290.[22] The Order suppressed a major Estonian rebellion in 1343–1345, and in 1346 purchased the Duchy of Estonia from Denmark.

Against Lithuania

The Teutonic Knights began to direct their campaigns against pagan Lithuania (see Lithuanian mythology), due to the long existing conflicts in the region (including constant incursions into the Holy Roman Empire's territory by pagan raiding parties) and the lack of a proper area of operation for the Knights, after the fall of the Kingdom of Jerusalem at Acre in 1291 and their later expulsion from Hungary.[23] At first the knights moved their headquarters to Venice, from which they planned the recovery of Outremer,[24] this plan was, however, shortly abandoned, and the Order later moved its headquarters to Marienburg, so it could better focus its efforts on the region of Prussia. Because "Lithuania Propria" remained non-Christian until the end of the 14th century, much later than the rest of eastern Europe, the conflicts stretched out for a longer time, and many Knights from western European countries, such as England and France, journeyed to Prussia to participate in the seasonal campaigns (reyse) against the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. In 1348, the Order won a great victory over the Lithuanians in the Battle of Strėva, severely weakening them. The Teutonic Knights won a decisive victory over Lithuania in the Battle of Rudau in 1370.

Warfare between the Order and the Lithuanians was especially brutal. It was common practice for Lithuanians to torture captured enemies and civilians, it is recorded by a Teutonic chronicler that they had the habit of tying captured Knights to their horses and having both of them burned alive, while sometimes a stake would be driven into their bodies, or the Knight would be flayed. Lithuanian pagan customs included ritualistic human sacrifice, the hanging of widows, and the burying of a warrior's horses and servants with him after his death.[25] The Knights would also, on occasion, take captives from defeated Lithuanians, whose condition (as that of other war captives in the Middle Ages) was extensively researched by Jacques Heers.[26] The conflict had much influence in the political situation of the region, and was the source of many rivalries between Lithuanians or Poles and Germans, the degree to which it impacted the mentalities of the time can be seen in the lyrical works of men such as the contemporary Austrian poet Peter Suchenwirt.

The conflict in its entirety lasted over 200 years (although with varying degrees of aggression during that time), with its front line along both banks of the Neman River, with as many as twenty forts and castles between Seredžius and Jurbarkas alone.

Against Poland

Main article: Teutonic takeover of Danzig

Pomerelia (Pommerellen) while part of the monastic state of the Teutonic Knights

A dispute over the succession to the Duchy of Pomerelia embroiled the Order in further conflict at the beginning of the 14th century. The Margraves of Brandenburg had claims to the duchy that they acted upon after the death of King Wenceslaus of Poland in 1306. Duke Władysław I the Elbow-high of Poland also claimed the duchy, based on inheritance from Przemysław II, but he was opposed by some Pomeranians nobles. They requested help from Brandenburg, which subsequently occupied all of Pomerelia except for the citadel of Danzig (Gdańsk) in 1308. Because Władysław was unable to come to the defense of Danzig, the Teutonic Knights, then led by Hochmeister Siegfried von Feuchtwangen, were called to expel the Brandenburgers.

The Order, under a Prussian Landmeister Heinrich von Plötzke, evicted the Brandenburgers from Danzig in September 1308 but then refused to yield the town to the Poles, and according to some sources massacred the town's inhabitants
; although the exact extent of the violence is unknown, and widely recognized by historians to be an unsolvable mystery. The estimates range from 60 rebellious leaders, reported by dignitaries of the region and Knight chroniclers, to 10,000 civilians, a number cited in a papal bull (of dubious provenance) that was used in a legal process installed to punish the Order for the event; the legal dispute went on for a time, but the Order was eventually absolved of the charges. In the Treaty of Soldin, the Teutonic Order purchased Brandenburg's supposed claim to the castles of Danzig, Schwetz (Świecie), and Dirschau (Tczew) and their hinterlands from the margraves for 10,000 marks on 13 September 1309.[27]

Control of Pomerelia allowed the Order to connect their monastic state with the borders of the Holy Roman Empire. Crusading reinforcements and supplies could travel from the Imperial territory of Hither Pomerania through Pomerelia to Prussia, while Poland's access to the Baltic Sea was blocked. While Poland had mostly been an ally of the knights against the pagan Prussians and Lithuanians, the capture of Pomerelia turned the kingdom into a determined enemy of the Order.[28]

The capture of Danzig marked a new phase in the history of the Teutonic Knights. The persecution and abolition of the powerful Knights Templar, which began in 1307, worried the Teutonic Knights, but control of Pomerelia allowed them to move their headquarters in 1309 from Venice to Marienburg (Malbork) on the Nogat River, outside the reach of secular powers. The position of Prussian Landmeister was merged with that of the Grand Master. The Pope began investigating misconduct by the knights, but no charges were found to have substance. Along with the campaigns against the Lithuanians, the knights faced a vengeful Poland and legal threats from the Papacy.[29]

The Treaty of Kalisz of 1343 ended open war between the Teutonic Knights and Poland. The Knights relinquished Kuyavia and Dobrzyń Land to Poland, but retained Culmerland and Pomerelia with Danzig.
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Fri Jul 17, 2020 2:31 am

Part 2 of 2

Defeat by the Mongols

In 1236, the Knights of Saint Thomas, an English order, adopted the rules of the Teutonic Order. A contingent of Teutonic Knights of indeterminate number is traditionally believed to have participated at the Battle of Legnica in 1241 against the Mongols. The combined German-Polish/Lithuanian force was crushed by the Mongol army and their superior tactics, with few survivors.[30][31][32]

Height of power

Map of the Teutonic state in 1410

In 1337, Emperor Louis IV allegedly granted the Order the imperial privilege to conquer all Lithuania and Russia. During the reign of Grand Master Winrich von Kniprode (1351–1382), the Order reached the peak of its international prestige and hosted numerous European crusaders and nobility.

King Albert of Sweden ceded Gotland to the Order as a pledge (similar to a fiefdom), with the understanding that they would eliminate the pirating Victual Brothers from this strategic island base in the Baltic Sea. An invasion force under Grand Master Konrad von Jungingen conquered the island in 1398 and drove the Victual Brothers out of Gotland and the Baltic Sea.

In 1386, Grand Duke Jogaila of Lithuania was baptised into Christianity and married Queen Jadwiga of Poland, taking the name Władysław II Jagiełło and becoming King of Poland. This created a personal union between the two countries and a potentially formidable opponent for the Teutonic Knights. The Order initially managed to play Jogaila and his cousin Vytautas against each other, but this strategy failed when Vytautas began to suspect that the Order was planning to annex parts of his territory.

The baptism of Jogaila began the official conversion of Lithuania to Christianity. Although the crusading rationale for the Order's state ended when Prussia and Lithuania had become officially Christian, the Order's feuds and wars with Lithuania and Poland continued. The Lizard Union was created in 1397 by Prussian nobles in Culmerland to oppose the Order's policy.

In 1407, the Teutonic Order reached its greatest territorial extent and included the lands of Prussia, Pomerelia, Samogitia, Courland, Livonia, Estonia, Gotland, Dagö, Ösel, and the Neumark, pawned by Brandenburg in 1402.


Battle of Grunwald

In 1410, at the Battle of Grunwald (German: Schlacht bei Tannenberg) – known in Lithuanian as the Battle of Žalgiris – a combined Polish-Lithuanian army, led by Vytautas and Jogaila, decisively defeated the Order in the Polish-Lithuanian-Teutonic War. Grand Master Ulrich von Jungingen and most of the Order's higher dignitaries fell on the battlefield (50 out of 60). The Polish-Lithuanian army then began the Siege of Marienburg, the capital of the Order, but was unable to take Marienburg owing to the resistance of Heinrich von Plauen. When the First Peace of Thorn was signed in 1411, the Order managed to retain essentially all of its territories, although the Knights' reputation as invincible warriors was irreparably damaged.

While Poland and Lithuania were growing in power, that of the Teutonic Knights dwindled through infighting.
They were forced to impose high taxes to pay a substantial indemnity but did not give the cities sufficient requested representation in the administration of their state. The authoritarian and reforming Grand Master Heinrich von Plauen was forced from power and replaced by Michael Küchmeister von Sternberg, but the new Grand Master was unable to revive the Order's fortunes. After the Gollub War the Knights lost some small border regions and renounced all claims to Samogitia in the 1422 Treaty of Melno. Austrian and Bavarian knights feuded with those from the Rhineland, who likewise bickered with Low German-speaking Saxons, from whose ranks the Grand Master was usually chosen. The western Prussian lands of the Vistula River Valley and the Brandenburg Neumark were ravaged by the Hussites during the Hussite Wars.[33] Some Teutonic Knights were sent to battle the invaders, but were defeated by the Bohemian infantry. The Knights also sustained a defeat in the Polish-Teutonic War (1431–1435).

Map of the Teutonic state in 1466

In 1454, the Prussian Confederation, consisting of the gentry and burghers of western Prussia, rose up against the Order, beginning the Thirteen Years' War. Much of Prussia was devastated in the war, during the course of which the Order returned Neumark to Brandenburg in 1455. In the Second Peace of Thorn (1466), the defeated Order recognized the Polish crown's rights over western Prussia (subsequently Royal Prussia) while retaining Teutonic Eastern Prussia, but under Polish suzerainty. Because Marienburg Castle was handed over to mercenaries in lieu of their pay, the Order moved its base to Königsberg in Sambia.

After the Polish–Teutonic War (1519–1521), the Order was completely ousted from Prussia when Grand Master Albert of Brandenburg converted to Lutheranism in 1525. He secularized the Order's remaining Prussian territories and assumed from his uncle Sigismund I the Old, King of Poland, the hereditary rights to the Duchy of Prussia as a vassal of the Polish Crown, the Prussian Homage. The Protestant Duchy of Prussia was thus a fief of Catholic Poland.

Although it had lost control of all of its Prussian lands, the Teutonic Order retained its territories within the Holy Roman Empire and Livonia, although the Livonian branch retained considerable autonomy. Many of the Imperial possessions were ruined in the German Peasants' War from 1524 to 1525 and subsequently confiscated by Protestant territorial princes.[34] The Livonian territory was then partitioned by neighboring powers during the Livonian War; in 1561 the Livonian Master Gotthard Kettler secularized the southern Livonian possessions of the Order to create the Duchy of Courland, also a vassal of Poland.

After the loss of Prussia in 1525, the Teutonic Knights concentrated on their possessions in the Holy Roman Empire. Since they held no contiguous territory, they developed a three-tiered administrative system: holdings were combined into commanderies that were administered by a commander (Komtur). Several commanderies were combined to form a bailiwick headed by a Landkomtur. All of the Teutonic Knights' possessions were subordinate to the Grand Master, whose seat was in Bad Mergentheim.

Castle of the Teutonic Order in Bad Mergentheim

There were twelve German bailiwicks:

• Thuringia;
• Alden Biesen (in present-day Belgium);
• Hesse;
• Saxony;
• Westphalia;
• Franconia;
• Koblenz;
• Alsace-Burgundy;
• An der Etsch und im Gebirge (in Tyrol);
• Utrecht;
• Lorraine; and
• Austria.

Outside of German areas were the bailiwicks of

• Sicily;
• Apulia;
• Lombardy;
• Bohemia;
• "Romania" (in Greece); and
• Armenia-Cyprus.

The Order gradually lost control of these holdings until, by 1809, only the seat of the Grand Master at Mergentheim remained.

Following the abdication of Albert of Brandenburg, Walter von Cronberg became Deutschmeister in 1527, and later Administrator of Prussia and Grand Master in 1530. Emperor Charles V combined the two positions in 1531, creating the title Hoch- und Deutschmeister, which also had the rank of Prince of the Empire.[35] A new Grand Magistery was established in Mergentheim in Württemberg, which was attacked during the German Peasants' War. The Order also helped Charles V against the Schmalkaldic League. After the Peace of Augsburg in 1555, membership in the Order was open to Protestants, although the majority of brothers remained Catholic.[36] The Teutonic Knights became tri-denominational, with Catholic, Lutheran and Reformed bailiwicks.

The Grand Masters, often members of the great German families (and, after 1761, members of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine), continued to preside over the Order's considerable holdings in Germany. Teutonic Knights from Germany, Austria, and Bohemia were used as battlefield commanders leading mercenaries for the Habsburg Monarchy during the Ottoman wars in Europe.

The military history of the Teutonic Knights was to be ended in 1805 by the Article XII of the Peace of Pressburg, which ordered the German territories of the Knights converted into a hereditary domain and gave the Austrian Emperor responsibility for placing a Habsburg prince on its throne. These terms had not been fulfilled by the time of the Treaty of Schönbrunn in 1809, and therefore Napoleon Bonaparte ordered the Knights' remaining territory to be disbursed to his German allies, which was completed in 1810.

Medieval organisation

Administrative structure about 1350


Universal leadership


The Generalkapitel (general chapter) was the collection of all the priests, knights and half-brothers (German: Halbbrüder). Because of the logistical problems in assembling the members, who were spread over large distances, only deputations of the bailiwicks and commandries gathered to form the General chapter. The General chapter was designed to meet annually, but the conventions were usually limited to the election of a new Grandmaster. The decisions of the Generalkapitel had a binding effect on the Großgebietigers of the order.


Main article: Grand Masters of the Teutonic Order

The Hochmeister (Grandmaster) was the highest officer of the order. Until 1525, he was elected by the Generalkapitel. He had the rank of ruler of an ecclesiastic imperial state and was sovereign prince of Prussia until 1466. Despite this high formal position, practically, he was only a kind of first among equals.


The Großgebietiger were high officers with competence on the whole order, appointed by the Hochmeister. There were five offices.

• The Großkomtur (Magnus Commendator), the deputy of the Grandmaster
• The Treßler, the treasurer
• The Spitler (Summus Hospitalarius), responsible for all hospital affairs
• The Trapier, responsible for dressing and armament
• The Marschall (Summus Marescalcus), the chief of military affairs

National leadership


The order was divided in three national chapters, Prussia, Livland and the territory of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. The highest officer of each chapter was the Landmeister (country master). They were elected by the regional chapters. In the beginning, they were only substitutes of the Grandmaster but were able to create a power of their own so that, within their territory, the Grandmaster could not decide against their will. At the end of their rule over Prussia, the Grandmaster was only Landmeister of Prussia. There were three Landmeisters:

• The Landmeister in Livland, the successor of the Herrenmeister (lords master) of the former Livonian Brothers of the Sword.
• The Landmeister of Prussia, after 1309 united with the office of the Grandmaster, who was situated in Prussia from then.
• The Deutschmeister, the Landsmeister of the Holy Roman Empire. When Prussia and Livland were lost, the Deutschmeister also became Grandmaster.

Regional leadership

Because the properties of the order within the rule of the Deutschmeister did not form a contiguous territory, but were spread over the whole empire and parts of Europe, there was an additional regional structure, the bailiwick. Kammerbaleien("Chamber Bailiwicks") were governed by the Grandmaster himself. Some of these bailiwicks had the rank of imperial states

• Teutonic Order Bailiwick of Thuringia (Zwätzen)
• Teutonic Order Bailiwick of Hesse (Marburg)
• Teutonic Order Bailiwick of Saxonia (Elmsburg from 1221 until 1260 moved to Lucklum)
• Brandenburg
• Teutonic Order Bailiwick of Westphalia (Deutschordenskommende Mülheim)
• Teutonic Order Bailiwick of Franconia (Ellingen)
• "Chamber Bailiwick" of Koblenz
• Teutonic Order Bailiwick of Swabia-Alsace-Burgundy (Rouffach)
• Teutonic Order Bailiwick at the Etsch and in the Mountains (south Tyrol) (Bozen)
• Utrecht
• Lorraine (Trier)
• "Chamber Bailiwick" of Austria
• Teutonic Order Bailiwick of Alden Biesen
• Sicily
• Teutonic Order Bailiwick of Apulia (San Leonardo)
• Lombardy (also called Lamparten)
• "Chamber Bailiwick" of Bohemia
• Teutonic Order Bailiwick of Romania (Achaia, Greece)
• Armenia-Cyprus

Local leadership


The smallest administrative unit of the order was the Kommende. It was ruled by a Komtur, who had all administrative rights and controlled the Vogteien (district of a reeve) and Zehnthöfe (tithe collectors) within his rule. In the commandry, all kinds of brothers lived together in a monastic way. Noblemen served as Knight-brothers or Priest-brothers. Other people could serve as Sariantbrothers, who were armed soldiers, and as Half-brothers, who were working in economy and healthcare.

Special offices

• The Kanzler (chancellor) of the Grandmaster and the Deutschmeister. The chancellor took care of the keys and seals and was also the recording clerk of the chapter.
• The Münzmeister (master of the mint) of Thorn. In 1246, the order received the right to produce its own coins – the Moneta Dominorum Prussiae – Schillingen.
• The Pfundmeister (customs master) of Danzig. The Pfund was a local customs duty.
• The Generalprokurator the representative of the order at the Holy See.
• The Großschäffer, a trading representative with special authority.

Modern organization

Evolution and Reconfiguration as a Catholic Religious Order

The Roman Catholic order continued to exist in the various territories ruled by the Austrian Empire, out of Napoleon's reach. From 1804 the Order was headed by members of the Habsburg dynasty.

The collapse of the Habsurg monarchy and the Empire it governed in Austria, the Italian Tyrol, Bohemia and the Balkans brought a shattering crisis to the Order. While in the new Austrian Republic, the Order seemed to have some hope of survival, in the other former parts of the Habsburg territories, the tendency was to regard the Order as an honorary chivalric Order of the House of Habsburg. The consequence of this risked being the confiscation of the Order's property as belongings of the House of Habsburg. So as to make the distinction clearer, in 1923 the then High Master, Field Marshal Eugen of Austria-Teschen, Archduke of Austria, a member of the House of Habsburg and an active army commander before and during the First World War, had one of the Order's priests, Norbert Klein, at the time Bishop of Brno (Brünn) elected his Coadjutor and then abdicated, leaving the Bishop as High Master of the Order.

As a result of this move, by 1928 the now independent former Habsburg territories all recognized the Order as a Catholic religious order. The Order itself introduced a new Rule, approved by Pope Pius XI in 1929, according to which the government of the Order would in future be in the hands of a priest of the Order, as would its constituent provinces, while the women religious of the Order would have women superiors. In 1936 the situation of the women religious was further clarified and the Congregation of the Sisters of the Order was given as their supreme moderator the High Master of the Order, the Sisters also having representation at the Order's general chapter.

This completed the transformation of what remained in the Catholic Church of the Teutonic knights into a Catholic religious order now renamed simply the Deutscher Orden ("German Order")
. However, further difficulties were in store.

The promising beginnings of this reorganization and spiritual transformation suffered a severe blow through the expansion of German might under the National Socialist regime. After Austria's annexation by Germany in 1938, and similarly the Czech lands in 1939 the Teutonic Order was suppressed throughout the Großdeutsches Reich until Germany's defeat. This did not prevent the National Socialists from using imagery of the medieval Teutonic knights for propagandistic purposes.[39]

The Fascist rule in Italy, which since the end of the First World War had absorbed the Southern Tyrol, was not a propitious setting, but following the end of hostilities, a now democratic Italy provided normalized conditions, In 1947 Austria legally abolished the measures taken against the Order and restored confiscated property. Despite being hampered by the Communist regimes in Yugoslavia and in Czechoslovakia, the Order was now broadly in a position to take up activities in accordance with elements of its tradition, including care for the sick, for the elderly, for children, including work in education, in parishes and in its own internal houses of study. In 1957 a residence was established in Rome for the Order's Procurator General to the Holy See, to serve also as a pilgrim hostel. Conditions in Czechoslovakia gradual improved and in the meanwhile the forced exile of some members of the Order lead to the Order's re-establishing itself with some modest, but historically significant, foundations in Germany. The Sisters, in particular, gained several footholds, including specialist schools and care of the poor and in 1953 the former house of Augustinian Canons, St. Nikola, in Passau became the Sisters’ Motherhouse. Although the reconstruction represented by the reformed Rule of 1929 had set aside categories such as the knights, over time the spontaneous involvement of laypeople in the Order's apostolates has led to their revival in modernized form, a development formalized by Pope Paul VI in 1965.

With the official title of "Brethren of the German House of St Mary in Jerusalem", the Order today is unambiguously a Catholic religious order, though sui generis. Various features of its life and activities recall those of monastic and mendicant orders. At its core are priests who make solemn religious profession, along with lay brothers who make perpetual simple profession. Also part of the Order are the Sisters, with internal self-government within their own structures but with representation in the Order's General Chapter. Their ultimate superior is the High Master of the Order. The approximately 100 Catholic priests and 200 nuns of the Order are divided into five provinces, namely, Austria, Southern Tyrol-Italy, Slovenia, Germany, Czech Republic and Slovakia. While the priests predominantly provide spiritual guidance, the nuns primarily care for the ill and the aged. Many of the priests care for German-speaking communities outside of Germany and Austria, especially in Italy and Slovenia; in this sense the Teutonic Order has returned to its 12th-century roots: the spiritual and physical care of Germans in foreign lands.[40]

There is an Institute of "Familiares", most of whom are lay people, and who are attached by spiritual bonds to the Order but do not take vows. The "Familiares" are grouped especially into the bailiwicks of Germany, Austria, Southern Tyrol, Ad Tiberim (Rome), and the bailiwick of the Czech Republic and Slovakia, as also in the independent commandry of Alden Biesen in Belgium, though others are dispersed throughout the world. Overall, there are in recent years some 700.

By the end of the 20th century, then, this religious Order had developed into a charitable organization and established numerous clinics, as well as sponsoring excavation and tourism projects in Israel. In 2000, the German chapter of the Teutonic Order declared bankruptcy and its upper management was dismissed; an investigation by a special committee of the Bavarian parliament in 2002 and 2003 to determine the cause was inconclusive.

The current Abbot General of the Order, who also holds the title of High Master, is Father Frank Bayard. The current seat of the High Master is the Church of the German Order ("Deutschordenskirche") in Vienna. Near the St Stephen's Cathedral ("Stephansdom") in the Austrian capital is the Treasury of the Teutonic Order, which is open to the public, and the Order's central archive. Since 1996, there has also been a museum dedicated to the Teutonic Knights at their former castle in Bad Mergentheim in Germany, which was the seat of the High Master from 1525 to 1809.

Honorary Knights

Order of Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem
Coat of arms of the order
Awarded by Pope Francis
Type Dynasty order of chivalry
Established 1190
Country Holy See
Religious affiliation Catholic Church
Ribbon Black
Motto Helfen, Wehren, Heilen
Grand Master Frank Bayard
Honorary Knight
Total inductees 11?
Next (higher) Sovereign Military Order of Malta
Next (lower) Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice
Ribbon bar

See also: Category:Honorary Knights of the Teutonic Order

Honorary Knights of the Teutonic Order have included:

• Konrad Adenauer
• Udo Arnold
• Franz Josef II
• Rudolf Graber
• Otto von Habsburg
• Karl Habsburg-Lothringen
• Joachim Meisner
• Eduard Gaston Pöttickh von Pettenegg
• Eduard Schick
• Christoph Schönborn
• Carl Herzog von Württemberg

Protestant Bailiwick of Utrecht

A portion of the Order retains more of the character of the knights during the height of its power and prestige. Der Balije van Utrecht ("Bailiwick of Utrecht") of the Ridderlijke Duitsche Orde ("Chivalric German [i.e., 'Teutonic'] Order") became Protestant at the Reformation, and it remained an aristocratic society. The relationship of the Bailiwick of Utrecht to the Roman Catholic Deutscher Orden resembles that of the Protestant Bailiwick of Brandenburg to the Roman Catholic Order of Malta: each is an authentic part of its original order, though differing from and smaller than the Roman Catholic branch.[41]


The Knights wore white surcoats with a black cross, granted by Innocent III in 1205. A cross pattée was sometimes used. The coat of arms representing the grand master (Hochmeisterwappen)[42] is shown with a golden cross fleury or cross potent superimposed on the black cross, with the imperial eagle as a central inescutcheon. The golden cross fleury overlaid on the black cross became widely used in the 15th century. A legendary account attributes its introduction to Louis IX of France, who is said to have granted the master of the order this cross as a variation of the Jerusalem cross, with the fleur-de-lis symbol attached to each arm, in 1250. While this legendary account cannot be traced back further than the early modern period (Christoph Hartknoch, 1684), there is some evidence that the design does indeed date to the mid 13th century.[43]

The black cross pattée was later used for military decoration and insignia by the Kingdom of Prussia and Germany as the Iron Cross and Pour le Mérite.

The motto of the Order is "Helfen, Wehren, Heilen" ("to help, to defend, to heal").[year needed][10]

Influence on German and Polish nationalism

A German National People's Party poster from 1920 showing a Teutonic knight being attacked by Poles and socialists. The caption reads "Rescue the East".

Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany posed for a photo in 1902 in the garb of a monk from the Teutonic Order, climbing the stairs in the reconstructed Marienburg Castle as a symbol of Imperial German policy.[45]

The German historian Heinrich von Treitschke used imagery of the Teutonic Knights to promote pro-German and anti-Polish rhetoric. Many middle-class German nationalists adopted this imagery and its symbols. During the Weimar Republic, associations and organisations of this nature contributed to laying the groundwork for the formation of Nazi Germany.[45]

Before and during World War II, Nazi propaganda and ideology made frequent use of the Teutonic Knights' imagery, as the Nazis sought to depict the Knights' actions as a forerunner of the Nazi conquests for Lebensraum. Heinrich Himmler tried to idealise the SS as a 20th-century reincarnation of the medieval Order.[46] Yet, despite these references to the Teutonic Order's history in Nazi propaganda, the Order itself was abolished in 1938 and its members were persecuted by the German authorities. This occurred mostly due to Hitler's and Himmler's belief that, throughout history, Roman Catholic military-religious orders had been tools of the Holy See and as such constituted a threat to the Nazi regime.[47]

The converse was true for Polish nationalism (see: Sienkiewicz "The Knights of the Cross"), which used the Teutonic Knights as symbolic shorthand for Germans in general, conflating the two into an easily recognisable image of the hostile. Similar associations were used by Soviet propagandists, such as the Teutonic knight villains in the 1938 Sergei Eisenstein film Aleksandr Nevskii.

See also

·         Teutonic Knights in popular culture
·         Iron Cross
·         Prussian virtues


1.       "Der Hochmeister".
2.       Van Duren, Peter (1995). Orders of Knighthood and of Merit. C. Smythe. p. 212. ISBN 0-86140-371-1.
3.       Redazione. "La Santa Sede e gli Ordini Cavallereschi: doverosi chiarimenti (Seconda parte)".
4.       Riley-Smith, Jonathan Simon Christopher (1999). The Oxford History of the Crusades. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780192853646. Teutonic knights are still to be found only in another interesting survival, Ridderlijke Duitse Orde Balije van Utrecht (The Bailiwick of Utrecht of the Teutonic Order). Like the Hospitaller Bailiwick of Brandenburg, this commandery turned itself into a noble Protestant confraternity at the time of the Reformation.
5.       Innes-Parker 2013, p. 102.
6.       American Historical Association, National Board for Historical Service, National Council for the Social Studies – 1918 : Historical outlook: a journal for readers, students and teachers
7.       "History of the German Order". Teutonic Order, Order of the Teutonic Knights of St. Mary's Hospital in Jerusalem. Archived from the original on 2011-07-18. Retrieved 2011-01-30. The 15th and early 16th century brought hard times for the Order. Apart from the drastic power loss in the East as of 1466, the Hussite attacks imperilled the continued existence of the bailiwick of Bohemia. In Southern Europe, the Order had to renounce important outposts – such as Apulia and Sicily. After the coup d’état of Albrecht von Brandenburg, the only territory of the Order remained were the bailiwicks in the empire.
8.       Sainty, Guy Stair. "The Teutonic Order of Holy Mary in Jerusalem". Almanach de la Cour. Retrieved 2011-01-30. This tradition was further perverted by the Nazis who, after the occupation of Austria suppressed it by an act of 6 September 1938 because they suspected it of being a bastion of pro-Habsburg legitimism.
9.       "Restart of the Brother Province in 1945". Teutonic Order, Order of the Teutonic Knights of St. Mary's Hospital in Jerusalem. Archived from the original on 2011-07-18. Retrieved 2011-01-30.
10.      Demel, Bernhard (1999). Vogel, Friedrich (ed.). Der Deutsche Orden Einst Und Jetzt: Aufsätze Zu Seiner Mehr Als 800jahrigen Geschichte. Europäische Hochschulschriften: Geschichte und ihre Hilfswissenschaften. 848. Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany: Peter Lang. p. 80. ISBN 978-3-631-34999-1.
11.      Monumenta Germaniae Historica, SS Bd. 25, S. 796.
12.      Kurt Forstreuter. "Der Deutsche Orden am Mittelmeer". Quellen und Studien zur Geschichte des Deutschen Ordens, Bd II. Bonn 1967, S. 12f.
13.      The Teutonic Knights: A Military History by William Urban
14.      Seward, p. 100
15.      Seward, p. 104
16.      Christiansen, pp. 208–09
17.      Christiansen, pp. 210–11
18.      Barraclough, p. 268
19.      Urban, p. 106
20.      Christiansen, p. 211
21.      The German Hansa P. Dollinger, page 34, 1999 Routledge
22.      Plakans, Andrejs (2011). A Concise History of the Baltic States. Cambridge University Press. pp. 44–45. ISBN 9780521833721.
23.      SEWARD, Desmond (1995). The monks of war : the military religious orders (Second, Revised ed.). England: Penguin Books. p. 98. ISBN 0140195017.
24.      Christiansen, p. 150
25.      SEWARD, Desmond (1995). The monks of war : the military religious orders (Second, Revised ed.). England: Penguin Books. p. 100. ISBN 0140195017.
26.      HEERS, Jacques (1981). Esclaves et domestiques au Moyen Age dans le monde méditerranéen (First ed.). France: Fayard. ISBN 2213010943.
27.      The New Cambridge medieval history. McKitterick, Rosamond. Cambridge [England]: Cambridge University Press. 1995–2005. pp. 752. ISBN 0521362911. OCLC 29184676.
28.      Urban, p. 116
29.      Christiansen, p. 151
30.      The Mongols and the West, 1221–1410, Peter Jackson, Routledge, New York, ç2018, p.66-78
31.      The Rise and Fall of the Second Largest Empire in History, Thomas Craughwell, Quayside Publishing Group, Massachusetts, ç2010, p.193-195
32.      Encyclopedia of Mongolia and the Mongolian Empire, Christopher Atwood, Indiana Univ. Press, Bloomington, ç2004, p.79
33.      Westermann, p. 93
34.      Christiansen, p. 248
35.      Seward, p. 137
36.      Urban, p. 276
37.      Dieter Zimmerling: Der Deutsche Orden, S. 166 ff.
38.      Der Deutschordensstaat
39.      Sainty, Guy Stair. "The Teutonic Order of Holy Mary in Jerusalem". Almanach de la Cour. Retrieved 2011-01-30. [T]he Nazis...after the occupation of Austria suppressed [the Order] by an act of 6 September 1938 because they suspected it of being a bastion of pro-Habsburg legitimism. On Germany's occupying Czechoslovakia the following year, the Order was also suppressed in Moravia although the hospitals and houses in Yugoslavia and south Tyrol were able to continue a tenuous existence. The National Socialists, motivated by Himmler's fantasies of reviving a German military elite then attempted to establish their own "Teutonic Order" as the highest award of the Third Reich. The ten recipients of this included Reinhard Heydrich and several of the most notorious National Socialists. Needless to say, although its badge was modelled on that of the genuine Order, it had absolutely nothing in common with it.
40.      Urban, p. 277
41.      Official website of the Bailiwick of Utrecht, accessed March 15, 2010
42.      The offices of Hochmeister (grand master, head of the order) and Deutschmeister (Magister Germaniae) were united in 1525. The title of Magister Germaniae had been introduced in 1219 as the head of the bailiwicks in the Holy Roman Empire, from 1381 also those in Italy, raised to the rank of a prince of the Holy Roman Empire in 1494, but merged with the office of grand master under Walter von Cronberg in 1525, from which time the head of the order had the title of Hoch- und Deutschmeister. Bernhard Peter (2011)
43.      Helmut Nickel, "Über das Hochmeisterwappen des Deutschen Ordens im Heiligen Lande", Der Herold 4/1990, 97–108 ( Marie-Luise Heckmann, "Überlegungen zu einem heraldischen Repertorium an Hand der Hochmeisterwappen des Deutschen Ordens" in: Matthias Thumser, Janusz Tandecki, Dieter Heckmann (eds.) Edition deutschsprachiger Quellen aus dem Ostseeraum (14.-16. Jahrhundert), Publikationen des Deutsch-Polnischen Gesprächskreises für Quellenedition. Publikacje Niemiecko-Polskiej Grupy Dyskusyjnej do Spraw Edycij Zrodel 1, 2001, 315–346 (online edition). "Die zeitgenössische Überlieferung verdeutlicht für dieses Wappen hingegen einen anderen Werdegang. Der Modelstein eines Schildmachers, der unter Hermann von Salza zwischen 1229 und 1266 auf der Starkenburg (Montfort) im Heiligen Land tätig war, und ein rekonstruiertes Deckengemälde in der Burgkapelle derselben Festung erlaubten der Forschung den Schluss, dass sich die Hochmeister schon im 13. Jahrhundert eines eigenen Wappens bedient hätten. Es zeigte ein auf das schwarze Ordenskreuz aufgelegtes goldenes Lilienkreuz mit dem bekannten Adlerschildchen. Die Wappensiegel des Elbinger Komturs von 1310 bzw. 1319, ein heute in Innsbruck aufbewahrter Vortrageschild des Hochmeisters Karl von Trier von etwa 1320 und das schlecht erhaltene Sekretsiegel desselben Hochmeisters von 1323 sind ebenfalls jeweils mit aufgelegtem goldenem Lilienkreuz ausgestattet."
44.      In this example (dated 1594), Hugo Dietrich von Hohenlandenberg, commander of the bailiwick of Swabia-Alsace-Burgundy, shows his Landenberg family arms quartered with the order's black cross.
45.     (in Polish) Mówią wieki. "Biała leganda czarnego krzyża Archived 2008-02-27 at the Wayback Machine". Accessed 6 June 2006.
46.      Christiansen, p. 5
47.      Desmond Seward, Mnisi Wojny, Poznań 2005, p. 265.

External links

·         "Massive Ceremonial Hall Discovered Under Crusader Castle in Northern Israel" – Haaretz, Nov.22, 2018


·         Christiansen, Erik (1997). The Northern Crusades. London: Penguin Books. pp. 287. ISBN 0-14-026653-4.
·         Seward, Desmond (1995). The Monks of War: The Military Religious Orders. London: Penguin Books. p. 416. ISBN 0-14-019501-7.
·         Urban, William (2003). The Teutonic Knights: A Military History. London: Greenhill Books. p. 290. ISBN 1-85367-535-0.
·         Selart, Anti (2015). Livonia, Rus' and the Baltic Crusades in the Thirteenth Century. Leiden: Brill. p. 400. ISBN 978-9-00-428474-6.
·         Innes-Parker, Catherine (2013). Anchoritism in the Middle Ages: Texts and Traditions. Cardiff: University of Wales Press. p. 256. ISBN 978-0-7083-2601-5.

External links

·         The order's homepage in Germany (in German)
·         The order's homepage in Austria (in English)
·         Territorial extent of the Teutonic Knights in Europe (map)
·         An Historical Overview of the Crusade to Livonia, by William Urban
·         "The Early Years of the Teutonic Order", by William Urban
·         Museum in the residential castle of the Teutonic Order in Bad Mergentheim (in German)
·         Zwaetzen and the German Order in Central Germany (in German)
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Fri Jul 17, 2020 7:46 am

19th Kushok Bakula Rinpoche
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 7/17/20

It was not until 1990 that the Communist Party of Mongolia relinquished its monopoly on power. In 1992 a new democratic constitution came into effect.

Today (in 1999) the old monasteries destroyed by the Communists are being rebuilt, in part with western support. Since the beginning of the nineties a real “re-Lamaization” is underway among the Mongolians and with it a renaissance of the Shambhala myth and a renewed spread of the Kalachakra ritual. The Gelugpa order is attracting so many new members there that the majority of the novices cannot be guaranteed a proper training because there are not enough tantric teachers. The consequence is a sizeable army of unqualified monks, who not rarely earn their living through all manner of dubious magic practices and who represent a dangerous potential for a possible wave of Buddhist fundamentalism.

The person who with great organizational skill is supervising and accelerating the “rebirth” of Lamaism in Mongolia goes by the name of Bakula Rinpoche, a former teacher of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama and his right hand in the question of Mongolian politics. The lama, recognized as a higher tulku, surprisingly also functions as an Indian ambassador in Ulan Bator alongside his religious activities, and is accepted and supported in this dual role as ambassador for India and as a central figure in the “re-Lamaization process” by the local government.
In September of 1993 he had an urn containing the ashes of the historical Buddha brought to Mongolia for several weeks from India, a privilege which to date no other country has been accorded by the Indian government. Bakula enjoys such a great influence that in 1994 he announced to the Mongolians that the ninth incarnation of the Jabtsundamba Khutuktu, the supreme spiritual figure of their country, had been discovered in India.

The Dalai Lama is aware of the great importance of Mongolia for his global politics. He is constantly a guest there and conducts noteworthy mass events (in 1979, 1982, 1991, 1994, and 1995). In Ulan Bator in 1996 the god-king celebrated the Kalachakra ritual in front of a huge, enthusiastic crowd. When he visited the Mongolian Buriats in Russia in 1994, he was asked by them to recognize the greatest military leader of the world, Genghis Khan, as a “Bodhisattva”. The winner of the Nobel peace prize smiled enigmatically and silently proceeded to another point on the agenda. The Kundun enjoys a boundless reverence in Mongolia as in no other part of the world (except Tibet). The grand hopes of this impoverished people who once ruled the world hang on him. He appears to many Mongolians to be the savior who can lead them out of the wretched financial state they are currently in and restore their fame from the times of Genghis Khan.

-- The Shadow of the Dalai Lama: Sexuality, Magic and Politics in Tibetan Buddhism, by Victor and Victoria Trimondi

His Holiness 19th Kushok Bakula Rinpoche
Title 19th Kushok Bakula Rinpoche
Born: 27 May 1918, Royal Palace of Matho
Died: 4 November 2003 (aged 85), Saket, New Delhi
Religion: Tibetan Buddhism
Senior posting
Period in office: 21 May 1917 – 4 November 2003
Predecessor ?
Successor: 20th Kushok Bakula Rinpoche

Ngawang Lobzang Thupstan Chognor[1][2] (Tibetan: ངག་དབང་བློ་བཟང་ཐུབ་བསྟན་མཆོག་ནོར, Wylie: ngag dbang blo bzang thub bstan mchog nor), commonly known as 19th Kushok Bakula Rinpoche (19 May 1918 – 4 November 2003) was a Buddhist lama, who also served as India's ambassador to Mongolia. He is mainly known for his efforts in reviving Buddhism in Mongolia and Russia by linking them with the community of Tibetan exiles in India.[3]

He was born in the Matho branch of the Royal House of Ladakh, India. He was the youngest child of his father, Nangwa Thayas, the titular King of Matho, and his wife, Princess Yeshes Wangmo of the Royal House of Zangla. He was recognised by the Thirteenth Dalai Lama as a reincarnation of Bakula Arhat,[4] one of the Sixteen Arhats who in legend were direct disciples of Gautama Buddha. He was a direct descendant of the last King of Ladakh Tsepel Tondup Namgyal. He was, in fact, his great-great-great grandson.[5][6][7]

"In 1962 ... allowed the Indian troops to convert a section of his Pethub Monastery into a makeshift military hospital. When a section of people in Kashmir demanded plebiscite, Rinpoche categorically stated that Ladakh would never go to Pakistan and would remain with India."[3]

Later he served in the Parliament of India, and was deeply engaged with welfare, education and rights of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes of India. In his later years, he became India's Ambassador in Mongolia.[8] He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1988.[3] The airport at Leh in the Indian region of Ladakh is named after him.


1. Nils Ole Bubandt; Martijn Van Beek. Varieties of Secularism in Asia: Anthropological Explorations of Religion, Politics and the Spiritual.
2. "Tributes paid to 19th Kushok Bakula Rinpoche on 99th Birth anniversary". Reach Ladakh Bulletin. 30 May 2016.
3. "Architect of Modern Ladakh". Daily Excelsior. 14 January 2018. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
4. "Tribute to the Venerable Kushok Bakula Rinpoche". FPMT. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
5. Tondup, Dawa. "The History of the Political Ordeal of Ladakh". Reach Ladakh Bulletin. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
6. The History of the Political Ordeal of Ladakh
7. Tondup, Dawa (6 November 2019). "The History of the Political Ordeal of Ladakh". Reach Ladakh Bulletin.
8. "Former Ambassadors". Embassy of India Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Retrieved 23 April 2018.

Further reading

• Nawang Tsering Shakspo and Henry M. Vyner, M.D. (2006): Kushok Bakula Rinpoche — Saint and Statesman, World Buddhist Culture Trust, New Delhi
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Sat Jul 18, 2020 3:09 am

U.S. Buddhism Leader Havanpola Ratanasara Dies (February 28, 1920 - May 26, 2000)
by Elaine Woo, LA Times Staff Writer
The Los Angeles Times
June 2, 2000

The Venerable Havanpola Ratanasara, a monk who strove to build an American style of Buddhism and led Buddhists, Catholics and other denominations in interfaith dialogues, has died.

At 80, Ratanasara was believed to be the oldest Buddhist monk in Southern California. He suffered from diabetes and heart problems and died in his sleep last Friday surrounded by monks in his apartment at the International Buddhist Meditation Center in Los Angeles.

Ratanasara founded the Buddhist Sangha Council of Southern California, an effort to unite Buddhists of disparate ethnic backgrounds and traditions.

A leading exponent of a "united Buddhism in America," he was a co-founder of the American Buddhist Congress and served as executive president until 1999. He also led efforts to ordain women as Buddhist monks. "He was the glue in the Buddhist community in Southern California," said the Rev. Kusala (Thich Tam-Thien), a Buddhist chaplain for the University Religious Conference at UCLA. "He was so concerned about getting people together and talking. . . . It's a rare combination to find a scholar-monk . . . with a political bent who could really change the community he lived in."

Ratanasara was a native of Sri Lanka who immigrated to the United States in 1980 and became a U.S. citizen. After undergraduate work in Sri Lanka, he earned a master's degree at Columbia University and a PhD in education at the University of London. In addition to holding university positions in Sri Lanka, he was a United Nations delegate for that country in 1957.

In the United States, Ratanasara began to ponder how Buddhists could join the mainstream of American society. Largely because of immigration, the nation has the largest variety of Buddhist traditions in the world, but Ratanasara saw differences of language and culture as major obstacles to unity within American Buddhism as well as to dialogue with other faiths. "How can we become Americanized, yet hold to the core of Buddhism? How can we develop an American Buddhism, which will be vital and appropriate to this society and still retain our individual, unique traditions?" Ratanasara asked in an interview several years ago.

In 1987, he and the Rev. Karl Springer, an American-born Buddhist leader, led efforts to organize the American Buddhist Congress. The national body, which weighs in on national debates from a Buddhist perspective, represents members of many Buddhist traditions, including Thai, Chinese, Korean, Sri Lankan, Tibetan, Vietnamese and Cambodian, as well as American-born converts.

There are 3 million to 5 million Buddhists in the United States, about 500,000 of whom reside in Southern California.

Ratanasara served as Buddhist representative to Pope John Paul II during the pontiff's visit to Los Angeles in 1987. He also was co-founder of the Los Angeles Buddhist-Catholic Dialogue, a program pioneered by the local Buddhist council and the Catholic archdiocese, and a past vice president of the Interreligious Council of Southern California.

As past president of the Buddhist Sangha Council of Los Angeles, which he organized in 1979, Ratanasara directed the most widely representative regional Buddhist council in the country.

In 1988, Ratanasara and his colleagues took a bold step by ordaining a Thai woman. The action revived a practice that had died out centuries ago in Ratanasara's Theravada Buddhist tradition, which is mainly practiced in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Burma and Cambodia.

More than 150 monks and worshipers came to view Ratanasara's body Wednesday at the Wat Thai Temple in North Hollywood. "He was like a father. He taught me to be a good monk," said one of the mourners, the Venerable Havanpola Shanti, a nephew of the Buddhist leader. Ratanasara is survived by four nephews in the United States.

A service will be held at the temple at 4 p.m. Saturday. After cremation, some of Ratanasara's ashes will be taken to temples in Sri Lanka.

Ratanasara founded schools in Sri Lanka, including Buddhist Studies International. Contributions to support Buddhist Studies International can be sent c/o the Venerable Havanpola Shanti, 933 S. New Hampshire Ave., Los Angeles 90006.

Staff writer Roberto J. Manzano contributed to this story.


Ceylonese Here Does Triple Duty
by The New York Times
Sunday, March 23, 1958


U.N. Delegate, a Buddhist Scholar, Is a Graduate Student at Columbia.

Three-ring circuses have nothing on a 38-year-old Ceylonese Buddhist who is seeing New York for the first time.

The Venerable Havanpola Ratanasara does triple duty as an alternate delegate to the United Nations, a full-time Columbia University graduate student and a devoted practitioner of Buddhism. In his spare time he tours the city on foot.

Though Mr. Ratanasara is new to this country, his diversified abilities are even newer to his classmates at Teachers College, where he is studying for a master’s degree in education.

He is an expert in Singhalese, an honor graduate of a school for Buddhist monks and personal friend of Ceylon’s Prime Minister, Solomon Bandaranaike.

A lively little man with a flair for Oriental languages, Mr. Ratanasara has a habit of speaking rapid-fire English in candid spurts.

Scorns ‘Power Bloc’

“You Americans believe in atomic bombs, hydrogen bombs and all those things,” he said the other day. “Well, we don’t. We are peace-loving people and want no association with any power bloc.”

When the United Nations General Assembly was meeting last fall, Mr. Ratanasara regularly attended the all-day sessions of the Social; Humanitarian and Cultural affairs Committee, to which he is attached as a member of the Ceylonese delegation.

Sitting in the United Nation’s chambers, garbed in his native yellow robes, Mr. Ratanasara can rely on a varied background to serve him in his work on the committee.

In Ceylon he was a school principal. He was educated at a school for Buddhist monks, where he received a bachelor’s degree in Pali, the official language of Buddhism. In addition, Mr. Ratanasara gave frequent radio talks on Ceylon’s educational system, and plans to become an instructor in languages when he returns home.

At the end of a day’s diplomatic sword-clashing, Mr. Ratanasara leaves for Columbia. His classes there usually begin at 5 P.M. The rest of the evening, and well into the early morning, he spends studying for the next day’s classes.

“It’s a bit tiring at times.” He grins, “But I manage all right.”

Mr. Ratanasara is the only Ceylonese at Teachers College. He arrived last September as an exchange student on a fellowship grant from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Shortly after his arrival, he became an alternate United Nations delegate and got the title Venerable to go with his new position.

Between politics, studies and Buddhism, Mr. Ratanasara finds time to visit various points in the United States. He will visit Harvard next month.

Teachers College officials have considered asking him to stay on for a Ph.D. after he gets his master’s this June.

“It’s another two years,” Mr. Ratanasara muses. “ But I’d do it. After all, I’m getting to like it here.”


Ven. Dr. Havanpola Ratanasara
Accessed: 7/17/20

Ven. Dr. Havanpola Ratanasara was born in the Sri Lanken Village of Havanpola Feb. 28, 1920. With his parent's permission, he became a novice monk at the age of 11, taking full ordination 9 years later at the age of 20. He went on to obtain his first university degree from the University of Sri Lanka, then a post graduate degree and diploma for Educational Research from Columbia University in New York and finally a PhD in education from the University of London in 1965. In the course of his academic career as an educator, he founded the Post Graduate Institute of Pali and Buddhist Studies at the University of Kelaniya in Sri Lanka.

In the early years, he participated in numerous international seminars and conferences presenting papers on various topics. One of his many books titled, “Buddhist Philosophy of Education” was written to emphasize the feasibility of formulating a general system of education built on a foundation of Buddhist philosophy. First published in 1969 it was reprinted in 1995 to celebrate the opening of his ‘Buddhist Studies International’ in Sri Lanka, an institute dedicated to the promotion of Buddhist learning, peace and harmony among the peoples of the world.

In 1957 at the personal request of the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Ven. Ratanasara was asked to represent Sri Lanka as a delegate to the United Nations, the first Buddhist monk awarded this honor. He is reported to have said during an interview in 1958 on being a United Nations delegate, “You Americans believe in atomic bombs, hydrogen bombs and all those things,” he said the other day. “Well, we don’t. We are a peace-loving people and want no association with any power bloc.”

In 1980 Dr. Ratanasara emigrated to the United States, settled in Los Angeles and devoted himself to the promulgation of inter-Buddhist, inter-religious understanding and education. He initiated the establishment of the Buddhist Sangha Council of Southern California, an organization of Buddhist clergy of all traditions, serving as its president. He also served as Executive President emeritus of the American Buddhist Congress, a national organization of Buddhist temples and organizations, of which he is a founding member. In 1983 he founded the College of Buddhist Studies, Los Angeles and was the president and a member of the academic staff.

Dr. Ratanasara played an active role in inter-religious understanding for twenty years. He served as a Board Director for numerous international conferences on religion and peace. He was a member of the executive Council of the Interreligious Council of So. California and served as a Vice President. He served as Co-Chair for the on going Buddhist- Roman Catholic dialogue in Los Angeles. In 1992 Ven. Ratanasara was named the Chief Sangha Nayake (Judicial Patriarch) for the Western Hemisphere for his lineage, formalizing his role as chief advisor of his tradition. In 1995 he founded the Buddhist Studies International Center in Iriyaweteya, Sri Lanka, which has become a center for those who want to study Buddhism and meditate in a true Buddhist cultural setting. Buddhist Studies International is a center of training for American, Latin American, Korean, Indian, and Bangladesh students wanting to become teachers of Buddhism in their native homelands.

From his paper, "The Importance of Interfaith Dialogue" presented at the Intermonastic Dialogue Gethsemani Monastery, Louisville, Kentucky July, 1996.

"Now, it seems to me that since we are so ready to I embrace each other, and claim that we are already honorary members of each other's religion, there is really no reason why we cannot continue talking. We are alike in that we all suffer, and our primary concern is the end of suffering; this is what we call liberation. As His Holiness the Dalai Lama has put it: "I am interested not in converting other people to Buddhism but in how we Buddhists can contribute to human society, according to our own ideas." And I have always maintained, and maintain today, that if we had enough in common thirty years ago to begin talking to each other, then we have enough in common to continue."

At the time of his death May 26, 2000, he was working on: "The Path to Perfection: A Buddhist Psychological View of Personality, growth and Development."


‘A Remarkable Step’ : 45 American Buddhist Groups Convene, Form National Unit
by John Dart, Time Religion Writer
Los Angeles Times
November 14, 1987

Forty-five American Buddhist organizations of various ethnic and sectarian traditions have formed a national body to further their own cooperation, to educate and grow, and, perhaps eventually, to add another religious perspective to church-state debates and national issues.

“We’ve taken a remarkable step,” said the Rev. Karl Springer of Boulder, Colo., the Jewish-born co-chairman of the new American Buddhist Congress.

Looking around at the assembled Asian and Caucasian delegates, many in colorful saffron robes, Springer adjourned a three-day meeting at the Kwan Um Sa Korean Temple in Los Angeles this week with hopes of even more members joining soon.

Growth Expected

“I expect that within 90 days the membership will go up to 70 groups,” Springer said after the meeting. Many groups have expressed interest but could not send a representative, Springer said.

Organizers said that between 3 million and 5 million Buddhists may live in in the United States, but that through the Congress it may be possible next year to come up with a more exact estimate.

The body’s newly approved constitution said that all Buddhists “share a strong and fundamental common ground in the essential teachings of Lord Buddha. The most central message of nonaggression, compassion and benevolence to all beings is paramount. . . .”

Elected to chair the executive committee along with Springer were the Venerable Havanpola Ratanasara, a Sri Lankan monk living in Los Angeles, and the Rev. Do Ahn Kim, abbot of the meeting’s host temple.

Springer and Ratanasara were the principal leaders behind the Congress, which started with a call to organize in August, 1986.

If the first Congress lacked anything in representation it was the absence of the largest Japanese Buddhist groups among the founding members, Springer conceded. Interest has been shown by the San Francisco-based Buddhist Churches of America, which recently received approval from the Defense Department to certify the first Buddhist chaplains for the armed forces.

Ratanasara said the Buddhist Churches of America will first have to “get consent of all the groups in its organization.”

Resolutions approved by delegates included those which “wholeheartedly request” the government of Vietnam to release religious prisoners and which “call upon” the Chinese government “to desist from excessive population transfer and other threats to the people of Tibet” and to begin negotiations with the Dalai Lama, the self-exiled holy leader of Tibet, to protect Tibetans’ rights.

Springer and Ratanasara said it may be a few years before the American Buddhist Congress speaks to domestic issues. Buddhist Churches of America, for example, has issued statements opposing legislative attempts to permit prayer in public schools. “Maybe in four years,” Springer said. “Right now we’re concerned with organizational areas.”

Another resolution, aimed at informing more Americans about Buddhism, urged joint observances at local levels of Buddha’s birthday, also known as Vesak. Though all ethnic traditions celebrate the day in the spring, the actual dates vary.

“Everybody still celebrates their own traditional date, but at the regional level we already hold joint celebrations on a day that does not conflict with anyone’s observances,” said Ratanasara, who is also president of the large Buddhist Sangha Council of Los Angeles.

Springer said he also hopes that the Congress can achieve an agreement on a set national day for Buddha’s birthday.

Nominated for Office

Springer, 38, who said he has been a Buddhist for the last 18 years, was also approved as a suggested nominee for vice president of the World Fellowship of Buddhists, a group that will meet next fall in Los Angeles at the invitation of a Hacienda Heights temple. The international group, which only recently admitted mainland American Buddhist groups as members, has always met in Asia.

Besides the three men chosen to chair the executive committee and elected to four-year terms, the delegates elected one woman among six vice chairpersons, the Rev. Karuna Dharma of the International Buddhist Meditation Center in Los Angeles.

Others elected were the Venerable Phra Sunthorn Plamintr, Buddhist Council of the Midwest, Chicago; the Venerable Thich Thien-Thanh, Buddhist Congregation of the United States, Long Beach, Calif.; the Rev. Jomyo Tanaka Roshi, Mandala Buddhist Center, Bristol, Vt.; the Rev. Jakusho Kwong Roshi, Sonoma Mountain Zen Center, Santa Rosa, Calif., and the Venerable Kurunegoda Piyatissa, American-Sri Lanka Buddhist Assn., New York.

Officials said the Congress will meet next in New York, at the latest by 1989. The organization, which adopted a modest first-year budget of $55,000, will have two headquarters, in Los Angeles and New York, they said.


The Importance of Interfaith Dialogue: A Buddhist perspective
An Examination of Pope John Paul II's Crossing the Threshold of Hope
A talk given at the Intermonastic Dialogue
Gethsemani Monastery, Louisville, Kentucky
July, 1996
by Ven. Havanpola Ratanasara, Ph.D.

Rabbi Alfred Wolf, Ven. Havanpola Ratanasara and Pope John Paul II - Los Angeles, California - 1987

In his published work, Crossing the Threshold of Hope, His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, made some observations with which I, as a Buddhist, wholly agree. The Holy Father reminded us all, that "what unites us is much greater than what separates us ... It is necessary ... to rid ourselves of stereotypes, of old habits and above all, it is necessary to recognize the unity that already exists." Since all of you are already knowledgeable about the history of inter-religious dialogue, it isn't my intention to bore you by rehashing it. But I think it is worth our while to pause every now and then, to "step back" and remind ourselves just how far we've come in the last three decades. The evidence, which confirms the Pope's observation of a "unity that already exists" is most encouraging. Formal interfaith dialogue, however, does not materialize, fully developed, out of a vacuum. It evolves gradually, in response to the needs and aspirations of the broader community of which its participants are members. The "unity that already exists," of which the Pope speaks, is the life of the community, and a tacit consensus, that "what unites us" is at least as important as "what separates us." On the other hand, this pre-existing "unity" must be recognized, and positive steps taken to build on it. No less encouraging, therefore, is the evidence that what was begun some thirty years ago continues with increasing momentum.

Brief History of the Development of Inter-religious Dialogue

While in recent times interfaith dialogue has become not only national but international in its scope, I cite the experience of Los Angeles as but one example, since it is the one with which I'm most familiar. Almost from the very beginning, dialogue in Los Angeles included Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Jews, and Christians. Since it is unique in being a truly "global" community, Los Angeles provided an ideal environment for such dialogue. Over 120 languages are spoken there. And all religions and ethnic groups are represented as well, including all major Buddhist traditions, each with its own language and customs.

Formal dialogue, however, required a catalyst, and it was the Catholic Church which, by the enlightened leadership of its pontiffs, provided it. As early as 1964, in his first encyclical letter, Ecclesiam Suam, Pope Paul Vl already emphasized the need for inter-religious dialogue, an attitude which was further underscored in Nostra Aetate which was wholly dedicated to the subject indicated by title. It was Nostra Aetate however, that set the stage for the beginning of genuine interreligious dialogue. This decree initiated a fundamental change in the way the Church viewed other religions. For the first time, it encouraged dialogue with them.

For its part, the Catholic community in Los Angeles lost no time following the guidelines set by Nostra Aetate. In 1969 the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, together with representatives of the Catholic and Jewish communities, founded the Interreligious Council of Southern California (ICSC). In 1971, Buddhist communities joined in. This became the focal point of the Los Angeles dialogue. In 1974, the Catholic Archdiocese formed the Commission on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs (CEIA) to coordinate and expedite its relations with other religious communities. The work of both of these organizations continues, sponsoring ongoing dialogue, but also (and just as important), informal contacts among the various participating religious organizations. These activities have enhanced considerably mutual understanding, and a lessening of conflicts among religions

Development of dialogue after these first steps was impressive. Nostra Aetate, to its great credit, called upon Catholics to repudiate anti-Semitism in all its forms. It also encouraged them to promote dialogue between Catholics and the Jewish community. In 1977, in Malibu, an all-day conference, the first of its kind, brought together about 50 Catholic sisters, with about as many Jewish women. Since that auspicious beginning, conferences have been held annually. It's worth noting too, that in Los Angeles, the Catholic and Jewish communities had already developed strong ties prior to Nostra Aetate indeed as far back as the 1920's. And in the 1950's and 1960's Loyola University (now Loyola Marymount) became a meeting place for members of the two faiths, and the American Jewish Committee did much to encourage this. During this period, however, such contacts were mostly informal, but nonetheless important. Most significant as well, have been the activities of the National Conference of Christians and Jews, which has its headquarters in Los Angeles, and is dedicated to combating racial and religious bigotry.

Through the initiatives of both of the organizations I mentioned earlier (ICSC and CEIA), meaningful informal exchanges with the Buddhist community were begun, and have continued apace. A highlight of this process was a visit by Pope John Paul II to Los Angeles in 1987. In 1989, the Los Angeles Buddhist-Catholic Dialogue began. It marked the beginning of a formal Buddhist-Catholic communication. It was sponsored by the Buddhist Sangha Council of Southern California and the Catholic Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs. A commemorative pamphlet published in 1991 described this as a "very early and preliminary dialogue, with a great need for mutual patience and simply getting to know one another."

This is certainly true. But what I think is most significant is that this formal dialogue in fact conferred recognition on what had already been happening, more informally, for almost twenty years. And this "informal" communication continues to the present day, alongside more formal or "official" dialogue. This suggests that the mandate for our dialogue, far from being "imposed from on high," whether by Nostra Aetate or anything else, is an expression of a genuine respect and friendship, which, I would like to think, would be happening anyway. As a document prepared by the Vatican's Secretariat for Non-Christians puts it: "Dialogue does not grow out of the opportunism of the tactics of the moment, but arises from reasons which experience and reflection, and even the difficulties themselves, have deepened." This is not to suggest, of course, that Nostra Aetate did not provide the impetus to get it going; it surely did. But if the will to carry it forward had not existed, I think we would not be meeting here today.

Also encouraging, is the evidence of international interreligious dialogue. In 1979, The World Council of Churches first published its Guidelines on Dialogue with People of Living Faiths and Ideologies. In the index to the fourth edition of that publication, I counted 75 major international meetings concerned with interreligious dialogue, from 1969 to 1989. And most recently, in Summer 1995, the Vatican Pontifical Council for ~ Interreligious Dialogue organized a Buddhist-Christian Colloquium in Taiwan. It was attended by 10 Christians and 10 Buddhist scholars, as well as four members of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, and many monks and nuns from a monastery in Taiwan, as well as some of the Catholic Bishops in Taiwan. The attending scholars came from Japan, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Italy, and the United States. The very fact that an international colloquium at such a high level was taking place at all, seems to me, a most auspicious development.

The Prospects for an Ongoing Dialogue

Perhaps the only mistake we can make now, is to allow our optimism to become complacency. While it is true that much has been accomplished by way of interfaith dialogue, there remain significant stumbling blocks to its longevity. One of the most enduring impediments to dialogue is the belief by members of the various religions, that by participating in it they may be compromising their own beliefs. I would like to address this concern.

In his book which I cited at the beginning of this address, the Holy Father, with characteristic eloquence, makes another point with which any Buddhist would find it hard to disagree, and which states an important principle on which dialogue can go forward: "... there is basis for dialogue and for the growth of unity, a growth that should occur at the same rate at which we are able to overcome our divisions --- divisions that to a great degree result from the idea that one can have a monopoly on truth." For a Buddhist, his or her faith is no bar to dialogue with other religions. The reason is that Buddhism is neither a system of dogmas, nor a doctrine of "salvation" as that term is generally understood in theistic religions. The Buddha exhorted his disciples to take nothing on blind faith, not even his words. Rather, they should listen, and then examine the teachings for themselves, so that they might be convinced of its truth.

Once, when the Buddha was visiting a market town called Kesaputta, the local people, known as the Kalamas, sought his advice. Wandering ascetics and teachers used to visit the town from time to time, and were not reticent about propagating their own particular religious and philosophical doctrines, and at the same time disparaging I the teachings of others.

The Buddha advised them in this way:

"It is proper for you, Kalamas, to doubt, to be uncertain, do not be led by reports, or tradition, or hearsay. Do not be led by the authority of religious texts, nor by mere logic or inference, nor by considering appearances; nor by delight in speculative opinions, nor by seeming possibilities, nor by the idea, this ascetic is our teacher. But rather, when you yourselves know [that] certain things are unwholesome and wrong, [that such] things are censured by the wise, and when undertaken, such things lead to harm, [then] abandon them. And when you yourselves know [that] certain things are unwholesome and good, [that such] things are approved by the wise, and when undertaken such things lead to benefit and happiness, [then] enter on and abide in them."

What the Buddha's teaching offers, then, is an intellectual and spiritual "crutch," that we may use until we I are able to tread the path to liberation and Enlightenment alone. While the teachings of other religions do have much in common with Buddhism, the latter is unique in its emphasis on this point. As the Buddha put it: "One is indeed, one's own savior, for what other savior could there be? When one is in control of oneself, one obtains a savior difficult to find." The Buddha compared his doctrine, the Dhamma, to a raft which one uses to cross over a lake or stream, but is left behind when one reaches shore. It would make no sense to continue lugging the raft about, once it had served its purpose. So attachment to doctrine for its own sake, be it religious, political, or ideological, is illogical from a Buddhist's point of view. It follows then, that a Buddhist needn't fear "losing" his faith by coming into contact with the faiths of others.

This principle of "eclecticism" has, in my view, two corollaries. The first is that differences between faiths should not be overdrawn, or created where none exist. For example, in his book, the Pope characterizes Buddhist soteriology as almost exclusively negative.

This he explains in the following way:

"We do not free ourselves from evil through the good which comes from God; we liberate ourselves only through detachment from the world, which is bad. The fullness of such a detachment is not union with God, but what is called nirvana, a state of perfect indifference with regard to the world. To save oneself means, above all, to free oneself from evil by becoming indifferent to the world, which is the source of evil. This is the culmination of the spiritual process."

Now, it seems that such "indifference" to the world, were it true, would be but a step removed from contempt for the world. And nothing could be farther removed from the Buddhist attitude. In fact, it was out of love for the world, that the Buddha spent 45 years of his life teaching. Nor was he reticent about involving himself in what today, we would call "social issues." On one occasion, in fact, he intervened to prevent what started as a petty squabble over land ownership, from developing into armed conflict. And many Buddhist traditions emphasize the Bodhisattva ideal. This means that even one who has achieved liberation vows to remain in samsara (the cycle of birth and death), until all sentient beings have been enlightened. It is difficult, in Buddhist terms at least, to imagine an altruism more encompassing than this.

The second corollary is that we must be no less candid about our differences than we are sanguine about our similarities. Sometimes Buddhists who are highly regarded in the Buddhist community, and whose words therefore carry an aura of authority, lose sight of this principle. In a misguided zeal to promote an ecumenical atmosphere, they misrepresent the Buddhist position, by making it more compatible with the beliefs of other religions than it actually is. For example, in his (1995) work, Thich Nhat Hanh attempted to attenuate the doctrine of "not-self" (anatta) by suggesting that the Buddha did not really mean what he said. Such attempts to water down basic Buddhist principles tends to have the opposite effect of that intended, because other participants will then express opinions on Buddhism, based upon what they have heard, believing that they have it on good authority. As a result, their remarks will appear to their Buddhist colleagues as ill-informed or disparaging of Buddhism.

What I am actually talking about here are canons of sound scholarship which all participants in the dialogue should recognize and try to honor. When non-Buddhists express opinions on Buddhism, they should take care to do their homework. Informed comments not only engender ill feelings, but an attitude of condescension on the other side. Genuine dialogue, however, is possible only in an atmosphere of mutual respect, based upon a consensus that it is being conducted among equals. And, this is obviously no less true when Buddhists talk about Christianity or other religions. At the same time, it is necessary that all of us remain committed to an open forum, where the participants are free to express ideas and views without fear of recrimination for "political incorrectness." It may happen that certain religious communities who are only recently part of the dialogue and therefore new to its ways, will be unable to "find their tongue" when others make criticisms which seem to them unjustified or ill-informed. Their first inclination, then, will almost naturally be to want to silence their critics. This is all the more reason why the representatives of each faith should be aware of the special needs of others. And again, this means each member should recognize a responsibility to familiarize himself with the traditions of the others.

These caveats, however, are not merely a paraphrase of the old saw, "lf you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." As Buddhists, we cannot and do not close our eyes to the evil and injustice in the world. We are no less bound than our Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and Hindu brethren to take a stand on it. The easy part, of course, is staking out a position when we agree with each other. No religion that deserves to be taken seriously condones slavery or oppression in any form. Both the Pope and his predecessors have issued encyclicals sternly condemning political and religious persecution, as well as reproving the excesses of all forms of economic organization, capitalist, socialist, or communist. And Buddhists would be the first to agree. The hard part is taking a stand, when we disagree with each other. And this I identify as a second potential stumbling block to interfaith dialogue. Buddhists have often said what everyone knows, but is all too easily forgotten, that harsh or idle words, once uttered, cannot be retracted. They remain "out there," to poison the ambiance in which dialogue takes place, and may, in the few seconds required to utter them, undo what has taken years to accomplish. On the other hand, we cannot and will not always agree; and none of us can hope to enjoy the approval of everyone all the time. As the Buddha reminded us, "there never was, there never will be, nor does there exist now, a person who is wholly praised or wholly blamed." The very fact we are here, however, and expressing our willingness to talk to each other, suggests that we --- all of us --- must be doing something right!

Reflection on this second potential impediment to dialogue at once reveals a second reason why it should continue. In the WCC's booklet, Guidelines on Dialogue, to which I alluded earlier, the author remarks that "[i]t is easy to discuss religions and even ideologies as though they existed in some realm of calm quite separate from the sharp divisions, conflicts and sufferings of humankind." I wholly agree, and not only, but all Buddhists would agree with the author when he suggests that "[r]eligions and ideologies often contribute to the disruption of communities and the suffering of those whose community life is broken." Religious differences have often been the most deeply rooted and destructive of all. If we, as representatives of the world's major religions, can show the rest of the world that we can communicate with each other, they just might come to realize that there is no reason why they cannot do the same.

In Buddhism, virtuous conduct (sila) includes "right speech" (samma vaca). And by practicing the virtue of right speech in the context of dialogue, we will be setting an example for the larger community to emulate. As I pointed out earlier, dialogue already takes place as a part of the life of the community, even before it becomes formal. The many problems which beset our communities, indeed all mankind, at the close of this century are articulated in the political forum --- the environment, nuclear proliferation, international terrorism, human rights, urban violence, social justice, and the like. Representatives of the religious community, therefore, are drawn into the fray. The only question is whether we will rise to the occasion.

I would like to focus upon just one of these issues --- one indeed, that must concern us as representatives of the world's religions --- religious intolerance and persecution. Not only has it not disappeared, but it is actually on the rise in many parts of the world, and has shown itself in shameful incidents, even in our own country, and even within the last few weeks.

A recent spate of Church bombings has elicited a formal response from the White House, and has alarmed the public out of its characteristic lethargy. In fact, on the very day that I was working on this address, I happened to glance at the daily paper, only to see on the front page, a heart-rending picture of a 92-year old black minister standing in front of what was left of his church, in Boligee, Alabama. Let me put it in his words: "The last Sunday we were in [our church] I had a real good sermon. And there wasn't any quarrel in the church. My sermon was about turning over a new life, to start a new thing, to start living better, to start working together, to live in the Spirit of God, to get along. Four days later they called me. My daughter drove me back out there. And it was all burned down. It was gone. The church was all down in ashes, just one wall and one corner still standing. The other walls had fallen in, and there was nothing left but ashes. So I said a prayer, and I asked the Lord to take charge. I asked the Lord to take control of it. I asked him two things. I asked him to help me build another church. And I asked him to tell us who did it. Because he's the Lord. He knows.'' The very same day the Times reported that a church in South-central Los Angeles had received its second arson threat.

As a Buddhist, who with great sadness must watch what is happening to his Christian brethren, I am reminded of the words of the Buddha: "Yo appadutthassa narassa dussati suddhassa posassa ananganassa. Tam eva balam pacceti papam sukkhumo rajo pativatam' va khitto." ("Whoever harms a harmless person, one pure and guiltless, upon that very fool the evil recoils like a fine dust thrown against the wind.") When I see things like this happening, I find it difficult to forgive the perpetrators, even though I know I must. The Buddha told his monks that "even if bandits were to sever you savagely limb by limb with a two-handed saw, he who gave rise to a mind of hate towards them would not be carrying out my teaching." As a Buddhist I do not profess to know whether Christ ever really healed the sick, raised up a cripple, made the blind see, the deaf hear, or raised the dead. But I do know that he never made anyone lame, or blind, or mute; nor did he ever put anyone to death. He was at the very least a good, compassionate, and virtuous human being; he was, indeed, everything that the Buddha was, and taught us what we should be. Even though we (and I speak now not only as a Buddhist, but as a Christian, a Jew, a Muslim, a Hindu, as a human being, as one of you) . . I say, even though we may wonder whether we can find it in our hearts to forgive those who harm us, who beat us, kill us, defame us, or burn our churches and temples, we must remember that Christ himself had no second thoughts about those who persecuted him, beat him, spat upon him, and even killed him. He forgave them from the cross; can we do less?

And this is why we must continue our dialogue; this is why we must talk! The only alternative to talk is the build up of resentment and anger, which in time must inevitably become open hostility and conflict. Nor can religions take the attitude that they will start talking, when they have "settled scores." As the Buddha reminds us, "In those who harbor such thoughts as 'he abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me,' hatred is not appeased." In Buddhism there are few instances of "eternal truths," and so, when the Buddha himself declares something so to be, we have to assume that he really meant it. In an often quoted verse, the Buddha stated that "[h]atreds never cease through hatred in this world; through love alone do they cease. This is an eternal law." And did not Jesus say, "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you"? And again, in St. Paul's letter to the Romans, we read: "Bless those who persecute you; never curse them bless them resist evil and conquer it with good."

Concluding Note

The Pope's conviction, then, that what unites us is greater than what separates us offers firm ground upon which to continue building an edifice in which all faiths can feel at home. I, as a Buddhist, believe that Buddhism is a "universal" religion, in the sense that it is concerned with the fundamental human condition, and thus with the problem of suffering, first and foremost. The Buddha said, "it is suffering I teach, and the cessation of suffering." But in this respect it is like other religions, and Christianity in particular. For it too, is concerned with the problem of suffering. As the Pope himself reminds us, "Stat crux dum volvitur orbis." ("The cross remains constant while the world turns.") For Christians (as well as other theistic religions), this observation has at once led philosophers and theologians to seek an answer to a most perplexing question: since there is obviously evil in the world, how can God permit it? The Buddhist is no less aware of, and concerned about, the reality of evil and suffering. But for us, the question is not how God can permit it, but rather, what are we going to do about it?

In any case, the corollary of the universality of suffering is not that we claim that everyone should be a Buddhist, but rather that, with respect to the fundamental problem with which Buddhism is concerned, everyone already is a "Buddhist," whether he accepts that name or not. Referring to Hinduism and Buddhism, the Holy Father states that "[t]he Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions. The Church has a high regard for their conduct and way of life, for those precepts and doctrines which, although differing on many points from that which the Church believes and propounds, often reflect a ray of that truth which enlightens all men." On this point, I must mention a comment by Francis Cardinal Arinze, President of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. In one of the most gracious gestures of the Church in our memory, a letter sent this year to the Buddhist community, the Cardinal extended his wishes for a "Happy feast of Vesakh." Vesakh is the day on which Buddhists commemorate the birth, Enlightenment, and death of the Buddha. True to the spirit of its founder, Buddhism has been renowned throughout its history for its tolerance of other beliefs and values. But as the Cardinal reminds us, this is not enough. He points out that "the pluralistic society in which we live demands more than mere tolerance. Tolerance is usually thought of as putting up with the other, or at best as a code of polite conduct. Yet this resigned, lukewarm attitude does not create the right atmosphere for a [truly] harmonious existence. The spirit of our religions challenges us to go beyond this. We are commanded in fact love our neighbors as ourselves." And in the Dhammapada the Buddha exhorts us: "Conquer anger by love, conquer evil by good; conquer avarice by giving; conquer the liar by truth."

Now, it seems to me that since we are so ready to I embrace each other, and claim that we are already honorary members of each other's religion, there is really no reason why we cannot continue talking. We are alike in that we all suffer, and our primary concern is the end of suffering; this is what we call liberation. As His Holiness the Dalai Lama has put it: "I am interested not in converting other people to Buddhism but in how we Buddhists can contribute to human society, according to our own ideas." And I have always maintained, and maintain today, that if we had enough in common thirty years ago to begin talking to each other, then we have enough in common to continue.
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

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Part 1 of 2

B. R. Ambedkar [Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar]
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Accessed: 7/17/20

"Bhimrao Ambedkar" redirects here. For the Uttar Pradesh politician, see Bhimrao Ambedkar (Uttar Pradesh politician).

We must now turn to the evaluation of means. We must ask whose means are superior and lasting in the long run. There are, however some misunderstandings on both sides. It is necessary to clear them up. Take violence. As to violence, there are many people who seem to shiver at the very thought of it. But this is only a sentiment. Violence cannot be altogether dispensed with. Even in non-communist countries a murderer is hanged. Does not hanging amount to violence? Non-communist countries go to war with non-communist countries. Millions of people are killed. Is this no violence? If a murderer can be killed, because he has killed a citizen, if a soldier can be killed in war because he belongs to a hostile nation, why cannot a property owner be killed if his ownership leads to misery for the rest of humanity? There is no reason to make an exception in favour of the property owner, why one should regard private property as sacrosanct.

The Buddha was against violence. But he was also in favour of justice, and where justice required, he permitted the use of force...

"Does the Tathagata prohibit all war, even when it is in the interest of Truth and Justice?"

Buddha replied. You have wrongly understood what I have been preaching. An offender must be punished, and an innocent man must be freed. It is not a fault of the Magistrate if he punishes an offender. The cause of punishment is the fault of the offender. The Magistrate who inflicts the punishment is only carrying out the law. He does not become stained with Ahimsa. A man who fights for justice and safety cannot be accused of Ahimsa. If all the means of maintaining peace have failed, then the responsibility for Himsa falls on him who starts war. One must never surrender to evil powers. War there may be. But it must not be for selfish ends...."

There are of course other grounds against violence such as those urged by Prof. John Dewey. In dealing with those who contend that the end justifies the means is [a] morally perverted doctrine, Dewey has rightly asked what can justify the means if not the end? It is only the end that can justify the means.

Buddha would have probably admitted that it is only the end which would justify the means. What else could? And he would have said that if the end justified violence, violence was a legitimate means for the end in view. He certainly would not have exempted property owners from force if force were the only means for that end. As we shall see, his means for the end were different. As Prof. Dewey has pointed out that violence is only another name for the use of force and although force must be used for creative purposes a distinction between use of force as energy and use of force as violence needs to be made. The achievement of an end involves the destruction of many other ends, which are integral with the one that is sought to be destroyed. Use of force must be so regulated that it should save as many ends as possible in destroying the evil one. Buddha's Ahimsa was not as absolute as the Ahimsa preached by Mahavira the founder of Jainism. He would have allowed force only as energy. The communists preach Ahimsa as an absolute principle. To this the Buddha was deadly opposed...

As to Dictatorship, the Buddha would have none of it. He was born a democrat, and he died a democrat...

The Bhikshu Sangh had the most democratic constitution. He was only one of the Bhikkus. At the most he was like a Prime Minister among members of the Cabinet. He was never a dictator...

The Communists themselves admit that their theory of the State as a permanent dictatorship is a weakness in their political philosophy. They take shelter under the plea that the State will ultimately wither away. There are two questions, which they have to answer. When will it wither away? What will take the place of the State when it withers away? To the first question they can give no definite time. Dictatorship for a short period may be good, and a welcome thing even for making Democracy safe. Why should not Dictatorship liquidate itself after it has done its work, after it has removed all the obstacles and boulders in the way of democracy and has made the path of Democracy safe. Did not Asoka set an example? He practised violence against the Kalingas. But thereafter he renounced violence completely. If our victor’s to-day not only disarm their victims, but also disarm themselves, there would be peace all over the world...

The Communists have given no answer. At any rate no satisfactory answer to the question what would take the place of the State when it withers away, though this question is more important than the question when the State will wither away. Will it be succeeded by Anarchy? If so, the building up of the Communist State is an useless effort. If it cannot be sustained except by force, and if it results in anarchy when the force holding it together is withdrawn, what good is the Communist State? The only thing which could sustain it after force is withdrawn is Religion. But to the Communists Religion is anathema. Their hatred to Religion is so deep seated that they will not even discriminate between religions which are helpful to Communism and religions which are not. The Communists have carried their hatred of Christianity to Buddhism without waiting to examine the difference between the two. The charge against Christianity levelled by the Communists was two fold. Their first charge against Christianity was that they made people other worldliness and made them suffer poverty in this world. As can be seen from quotations from Buddhism in the earlier part of this tract, such a charge cannot be levelled against Buddhism.

The second charge levelled by the Communists against Christianity cannot be levelled against Buddhism. This charge is summed up in the statement that Religion is the opium of the people. This charge is based upon the Sermon on the Mount which is to be found in the Bible. The Sermon on the Mount sublimates poverty and weakness. It promises heaven to the poor and the weak. There is no Sermon on the Mount to be found in the Buddha's teachings. His teaching is to acquire wealth. I give below his Sermon on the subject to Anathapindika one of his disciples.

Once Anathapindika came to where the Exalted One was staying. Having come, he made obeisance to the Exalted One, and took a seat at one side, and asked, "Will the Enlightened One tell what things are welcome, pleasant, agreeable, to the householder but which are hard to gain."

The Enlightened One having heard the question put to him said "Of such things the first is to acquire wealth lawfully."

"The second is to see that your relations also get their wealth lawfully."

"The third is to live long and reach great age."...

"Thus to acquire wealth legitimately and justly, earn by great industry, amassed by strength of the arm and gained by sweat of the brow is a great blessing. The householder makes himself happy and cheerful and preserves himself full of happiness; also makes his parents, wife, and children, servants, and labourers, friends and companions happy and cheerful, and preserves them full of happiness."...

The Russians are proud of their Communism. But they forget that the wonder of all wonders is that the Buddha established Communism so far as the Sangh was concerned without dictatorship. It may be that it was a communism on a very small scale, but it was communism without dictatorship, a miracle which Lenin failed to do...

It has been claimed that the Communist Dictatorship in Russia has wonderful achievements to its credit. There can be no denial of it. That is why I say that a Russian Dictatorship would be good for all backward countries. But this is no argument for permanent Dictatorship. Humanity does not only want economic values, it also wants spiritual values to be retained. Permanent Dictatorship has paid no attention to spiritual values, and does not seem to intend to. Carlyle called Political Economy a Pig Philosophy. Carlyle was of course wrong. For man needs material comforts. But the Communist Philosophy seems to be equally wrong, for the aim of their philosophy seems to be fatten pigs as though men are no better than pigs. Man must grow materially as well as spiritually. Society has been aiming to lay a new foundation was summarised by the French Revolution in three words: Fraternity, Liberty and Equality. The French Revolution was welcomed because of this slogan. It failed to produce equality. We welcome the Russian Revolution because it aims to produce equality. But it cannot be too much emphasised that in producing equality, society cannot afford to sacrifice fraternity or liberty. Equality will be of no value without fraternity or liberty. It seems that the three can coexist only if one follows the way of the Buddha. Communism can give one but not all.

-- B. R. Ambedkar, Excerpt from "A Modern Buddhist Bible: Essential Readings from East and West", by Donald S. Lopez, Jr.

I stayed in Kalimpong for the next fourteen years, working for the good of Buddhism as best I could, getting to know the local people, both Buddhist and Hindu, and being uplifted and inspired by the sight of Mount Kanchenjunga, the third highest peak in the world, dazzlingly white against the blue sky. In the course of my first seven years in the town I founded a Young Men’s Buddhist Association; started a monthly journal of Himalayan religion, culture, and education called Stepping-Stones; was ordained as a bhikshu or full monk by an international sangha; organized a public reception for the relics of the Buddha’s two chief disciples, then touring India amid scenes of wild popular enthusiasm, found a kindred spirit in Lama Govinda, the German-born artist and scholar; re-established contact with the Maha Bodhi Society (conditions at its headquarters had recently changed for the better); and became well known as a lecturer not only in Kalimpong and the surrounding area but also in Calcutta, Bombay, and Bangalore.

But if I was not to work for the good of Buddhismat the expense of my own good, spiritually speaking, I needed to have a means of uniting the two. I found this in the Bodhisattva ideal, especially as presented in Šãntideva’s Šikëã-samuccaya or Collection of Teachings: the ideal of the one who strives for Enlightenment not just for his own sake but for the sake of all living beings. It was not that the Bodhisattva literally gave up the prospect of Nirvãna for himself in order to remain in the world and help others achieve Nirvãna, as in the popular version of the ideal, but rather that he saw no difference between striving for his own Enlightenment and striving for theirs. He saw no difference because he had transcended the dichotomy of ‘self’ and ‘others’; and it was this very dichotomy that was the real obstacle to Enlightenment. Some years later I affirmed my allegiance to the Bodhisattva ideal by taking the Bodhisattva ordination. I took it from Dhardo Rimpoche, a Tibetan incarnate lama who had arrived in Kalimpong shortly before I did, whom I gradually got to know, and whom I came to revere as a living embodiment of the Bodhisattva ideal.

During those first seven years in Kalimpong I operated from a succession of borrowed or rented premises. In March 1957 the generosity of friends enabled me to buy a small hillside property on the outskirts of the town and there establish the Triyana Vardhana Vihara, the Monastery Where the Three Yanas Flourish. It was the year of the Buddha Jayanti or 2,500th anniversary of Buddhism, a year that was important for me on a number of counts. Besides establishing the Triyana Vardhana Vihara, I toured the Buddhist holy places as a guest of the Government of India together with Dhardo Rimpoche and fifty-odd other ‘Eminent Buddhists from the Border Areas’; took part in the official Buddha Jayanti celebrations in Delhi; met the Dalai and Panchen Lamas; and had the satisfaction of seeing my book A Survey of Buddhism published to widespread acclaim. Most important of all, perhaps, I became involved with the movement of mass conversion of so-called ‘ex-Untouchable’ Hindus to Buddhism.

This historic movement had begun in Nagpur, where Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, the leader of the ex-Untouchables, had embraced Buddhism with 400,000 of his followers. Six weeks later he died suddenly in Delhi. I happened to arrive in Nagpur less than an hour before the news of his death was received there, and that night I addressed a condolence meeting attended by 100,000 grief-stricken and demoralized new Buddhists.

Ambedkar was not dead, I assured my audience. He lived on in them, and his work –- especially the work of conversion -– had to continue. In the next four days I visited practically all the ex-Untouchable ghettoes in the city, made more than forty speeches, and initiated 30,000 persons into Buddhism. By the time I left for Calcutta I had addressed altogether 200,000 people, and given them renewed confidence in their future as Buddhists. Leading members of the community declared that I had saved Nagpur for Buddhism. That may or may not have been true. I had certainly forged with the Buddhists of Nagpur, and indeed with all Ambedkar’s followers, a link that was destined to endure.

In the course of my second seven years in Kalimpong I developed the Triyana Vardhana Vihara as a centre of interdenominational Buddhism. Thai, Vietnamese, and Tibetan monks came to stay with me, and there was even the occasional Western Buddhist. Much of my time when I was actually in Kalimpong was spent at my desk, and my literary output during this period included the books later published as The Three Jewels and The Eternal Legacy. At the suggestion of a friend I also started writing my memoirs. When not in Kalimpong I was usually to be found either in Calcutta, editing the Maha Bodhi Society’s monthly journal, or touring central and western India preaching to the followers of Dr Ambedkar. The fourth and longest of my preaching tours lasted from October 1961 to May 1962. In those eight months I visited more than half the states of India, gave nearly 200 lectures, and received 25,000 men and women into the Buddhist community.

But there was another thread running through the fabric of my life, during that second seven-year period: the colourful thread of the Vajrayãna. Since the invasion of Tibet by the Chinese in 1950, there had been a steady trickle of refugees into Kalimpong, and in 1959, when the Dalai Lama himself fled to India, the trickle became a flood. A number of the refugees were incarnate lamas. Naturally I got to know these, and between 1957 and 1964 received from some of the most distinguished of them various Vajrayãna initiations. Among my Vajrayãna gurus were Dilgo Khyentse Rimpoche and Dudjom Rimpoche, both of whom subsequently became well known in the West. The Vajrayãna being nothing if not practical, I naturally came to devote more and more of the time I spent in Kalimpong to deity yoga and to the Four Foundation Yogas, especially to the Going for Refuge and Prostration Practice centred upon the figure of Padmasambhava, to whom I had felt strongly drawn ever since my arrival in the Himalayan region. As though in recognition of my connection with him, in the course of one of my initiations I was given the name Urgyen, Padmasambhava being known as the Guru from Urgyen or Uddiyãna.

In 1963 the English Sangha Trust invited me to spend a few months in England. Prior to that I had not thought even of visiting the West: my life and my work lay in India. Two considerations induced me, eventually, to accept the invitation. The first was that my presence might help resolve the differences that had arisen between the two principal Buddhist organizations in London; the second, that my parents were growing old and I ought to see them. After several delays and postponements, and one more visit to western India, in August 1964 I therefore returned to England after an absence of twenty years.

-- Moving Against the Stream: The Birth of a new Buddhist Movement, by Sangharakshita [Dennis Lingwood]

Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar
Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar as a young man
Member of Parliament of Rajya Sabha for Bombay State[1]
In office: 3 April 1952 – 6 December 1956
President: Rajendra Prasad
Prime Minister: Jawaharlal Nehru
1st Minister of Law and Justice
In office: 15 August 1947 – 6 October 1951
President: Rajendra Prasad
Governor General: Louis Mountbatten; C. Rajagopalachari
Prime Minister: Jawaharlal Nehru
Preceded by: Position established
Succeeded by: Charu Chandra Biswas
Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee
In office: 29 August 1947 – 24 January 1950
Member of the Constituent Assembly of India[2][3]
In office: 9 December 1946 – 24 January 1950
Constituency: Bengal Province (1946-47); Bombay Province (1947-50)
Labour Member, Viceroy's Executive Council[4][5][6]
In office: 22 July 1942 – 20 October 1946
Governor General: The Marquess of Linlithgow; The Viscount Wavell
Preceded by: Feroz Khan Noon
Leader of the Opposition in the Bombay Legislative Assembly[7][8]
In office: 1937–1942
Member of the Bombay Legislative Assembly[9][10]
In office: 1937–1942
Constituency: Bombay City (Byculla and Parel) General Urban
Member of the Bombay Legislative Council[11][12][13][14]
In office: 1926–1937
Personal details
Pronunciation: Bhīmrāo Rāmjī Āmbēḍkar
Born: Bhiva Ramji Sakpal, 14 April 1891, Mhow, Central Provinces, British India (present-day Bhim Janmabhoomi, Dr. Ambedkar Nagar, Indore district, Madhya Pradesh, India)
Died: 6 December 1956 (aged 65); Dr. Ambedkar National Memorial[15][16] (Dr. Ambedkar Parinirvan Bhoomi), Delhi, New Delhi, India
Resting place: Chaitya Bhoomi, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Political party: Independent Labour Party; Scheduled Castes Federation
Other political affiliations: Republican Party of India
Spouse(s): Ramabai Ambedkar (m. 1906; died 1935); Savita Ambedkar (m. 1948)
Children: Yashwant Ambedkar
Mother: Bhimabai Ramji Sakpal
Father: Ramji Maloji Sakpal
Relatives: See Ambedkar family
Residence: Rajgruha, Mumbai, Maharashtra; 26 Alipur road, Dr. Ambedkar National Memorial, New Delhi
Alma mater: University of Mumbai (B.A., M.A.); Columbia University (M.A., PhD); London School of Economics (M.Sc., D.Sc.); Gray's Inn (Barrister-at-Law)
Profession: Jurist economist academic politician social reformer anthropologist writer
Known for: Dalit rights movement; Drafting Constitution of India; Dalit Buddhist movement
Awards: Bharat Ratna (posthumously in 1990)

Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar (14 April 1891 – 6 December 1956), also known as Babasaheb Ambedkar, was an Indian jurist, economist, politician and social reformer, who inspired the Dalit Buddhist movement and campaigned against social discrimination towards the untouchables (Dalits). He was independent India's first Minister of Law and Justice, and the chief architect of the Constitution of India.

Ambedkar was a prolific student, earning doctorates in economics from both Columbia University and the London School of Economics, and gaining reputation as a scholar for his research in law, economics and political science.[17] In his early career, he was an economist, professor, and lawyer. His later life was marked by his political activities; he became involved in campaigning and negotiations for India's independence, publishing journals, advocating political rights and social freedom for Dalits, and contributing significantly to the establishment of the state of India. In 1956, he converted to Buddhism, initiating mass conversions of Dalits.[18]

In 1990, the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award, was posthumously conferred upon Ambedkar. Ambedkar's legacy includes numerous memorials and depictions in popular culture.

Early life

Ambedkar was born on 14 April 1891 in the town and military cantonment of Mhow in the Central Provinces (now in Madhya Pradesh).[19] He was the 14th and last child of Ramji Maloji Sakpal, an army officer who held the rank of Subedar, and Bhimabai Sakpal, daughter of Laxman Murbadkar.[20] His family was of Marathi background from the town of Ambadawe (Mandangad taluka) in Ratnagiri district of modern-day Maharashtra. Ambedkar was born into a poor low Mahar (dalit) caste, who were treated as untouchables and subjected to socio-economic discrimination.[21] Ambedkar's ancestors had long worked for the army of the British East India Company, and his father served in the British Indian Army at the Mhow cantonment.[22] Although they attended school, Ambedkar and other untouchable children were segregated and given little attention or help by teachers. They were not allowed to sit inside the class. When they needed to drink water, someone from a higher caste had to pour that water from a height as they were not allowed to touch either the water or the vessel that contained it. This task was usually performed for the young Ambedkar by the school peon, and if the peon was not available then he had to go without water; he described the situation later in his writings as "No peon, No Water".[23] He was required to sit on a gunny sack which he had to take home with him.[24]

Ramji Sakpal retired in 1894 and the family moved to Satara two years later. Shortly after their move, Ambedkar's mother died. The children were cared for by their paternal aunt and lived in difficult circumstances. Three sons – Balaram, Anandrao and Bhimrao – and two daughters – Manjula and Tulasa – of the Ambedkars survived them. Of his brothers and sisters, only Ambedkar passed his examinations and went to high school. His original surname was Sakpal but his father registered his name as Ambadawekar in school, meaning he comes from his native village 'Ambadawe' in Ratnagiri district.[25][25][26][27][28] His Deshastha Brahmin teacher, Krishna Mahadev Ambedkar, changed his surname from 'Ambadawekar' to his own surname 'Ambedkar' in school records.[29][30]


Post-secondary education

In 1897, Ambedkar's family moved to Mumbai where Ambedkar became the only untouchable enrolled at Elphinstone High School. In 1906, when he was about 15 years old, his marriage to a nine-year-old girl, Ramabai, was arranged.[31]

Undergraduate studies at the University of Bombay

Ambedkar as a student

In 1907, he passed his matriculation examination and in the following year he entered Elphinstone College, which was affiliated to the University of Bombay, becoming, according to him, the first from his Mahar caste to do so. When he passed his English fourth standard examinations, the people of his community wanted to celebrate because they considered that he had reached "great heights" which he says was "hardly an occasion compared to the state of education in other communities". A public ceremony was evoked, to celebrate his success, by the community, and it was at this occasion that he was presented with a biography of the Buddha by Dada Keluskar, the author and a family friend.[32]

By 1912, he obtained his degree in economics and political science from Bombay University, and prepared to take up employment with the Baroda state government. His wife had just moved his young family and started work when he had to quickly return to Mumbai to see his ailing father, who died on 2 February 1913.[33]

Postgraduate studies at Columbia University

In 1913, Ambedkar moved to the United States at the age of 22. He had been awarded a Baroda State Scholarship of £11.50 (Sterling) per month for three years under a scheme established by Sayajirao Gaekwad III (Gaekwad of Baroda) that was designed to provide opportunities for postgraduate education at Columbia University in New York City. Soon after arriving there he settled in rooms at Livingston Hall with Naval Bhathena, a Parsi who was to be a lifelong friend. He passed his M.A. exam in June 1915, majoring in Economics, and other subjects of Sociology, History, Philosophy and Anthropology. He presented a thesis, Ancient Indian Commerce. Ambedkar was influenced by John Dewey and his work on democracy.[34]

In 1916 he completed his second thesis, National Dividend of India - A Historic and Analytical Study, for another M.A.[35] On 9 May, he presented the paper Castes in India: Their Mechanism, Genesis and Development before a seminar conducted by the anthropologist Alexander Goldenweiser.

Postgraduate studies at the London School of Economics

Ambedkar (In center line, first from right) with his professors and friends from the London School of Economics (1916-17)

In October 1916, he enrolled for the Bar course at Gray's Inn, and at the same time enrolled at the London School of Economics where he started working on a doctoral thesis. In June 1917, he returned to India because his scholarship from Baroda ended. His book collection was dispatched on different ship from the one he was on, and that ship was torpedoed and sunk by a German submarine.[33] He got permission to return to London to submit his thesis within four years. He returned at the first opportunity, and completed a master's degree in 1921. His thesis was on "The problem of the rupee: Its origin and its solution".[36] In 1923, he completed a D.Sc. in Economics, and the same year he was called to the Bar by Gray's Inn. His third and fourth Doctorates (LL.D, Columbia, 1952 and D.Litt., Osmania, 1953) were conferred honoris causa.[37]

Opposition to Aryan invasion theory

Ambedkar viewed the Shudras as Aryan and adamantly rejected the Aryan invasion theory, describing it as "so absurd that it ought to have been dead long ago" in his 1946 book Who Were the Shudras?.[38]

Ambedkar viewed Shudras as originally being "part of the Kshatriya Varna in the Indo-Aryan society", but became socially degraded after they inflicted many tyrannies on Brahmins.[39]

According to Arvind Sharma, Ambedkar noticed certain flaws in the Aryan invasion theory that were later acknowledged by western scholarship. For example, scholars now acknowledge anās in Rig Veda 5.29.10 refers to speech rather than the shape of the nose.[40] Ambedkar anticipated this modern view by stating:

The term Anasa occurs in Rig Veda V.29.10. What does the word mean? There are two interpretations. One is by Prof. Max Muller. The other is by Sayanacharya. According to Prof. Max Muller, it means 'one without nose' or 'one with a flat nose' and has as such been relied upon as a piece of evidence in support of the view that the Aryans were a separate race from the Dasyus. Sayanacharya says that it means 'mouthless,' i.e., devoid of good speech. This difference of meaning is due to difference in the correct reading of the word Anasa. Sayanacharya reads it as an-asa while Prof. Max Muller reads it as a-nasa. As read by Prof. Max Muller, it means 'without nose.' Question is : which of the two readings is the correct one? There is no reason to hold that Sayana's reading is wrong. On the other hand there is everything to suggest that it is right. In the first place, it does not make non-sense of the word. Secondly, as there is no other place where the Dasyus are described as noseless, there is no reason why the word should be read in such a manner as to give it an altogether new sense. It is only fair to read it as a synonym of Mridhravak. There is therefore no evidence in support of the conclusion that the Dasyus belonged to a different race.[40]

Ambedkar disputed various hypotheses of the Aryan homeland being outside India, and concluded the Aryan homeland was India itself.[41] According to Ambedkar, the Rig Veda says Aryans, Dāsa and Dasyus were competing religious groups, not different peoples.[42]

Opposition to untouchability

Ambedkar as a barrister in 1922

As Ambedkar was educated by the Princely State of Baroda, he was bound to serve it. He was appointed Military Secretary to the Gaikwad but had to quit in a short time. He described the incident in his autobiography, Waiting for a Visa.[43] Thereafter, he tried to find ways to make a living for his growing family. He worked as a private tutor, as an accountant, and established an investment consulting business, but it failed when his clients learned that he was an untouchable.[44] In 1918, he became Professor of Political Economy in the Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics in Mumbai. Although he was successful with the students, other professors objected to his sharing a drinking-water jug with them.[45]

Ambedkar had been invited to testify before the Southborough Committee, which was preparing the Government of India Act 1919. At this hearing, Ambedkar argued for creating separate electorates and reservations for untouchables and other religious communities.[46] In 1920, he began the publication of the weekly Mooknayak (Leader of the Silent) in Mumbai with the help of Shahu of Kolhapur i.e. Shahu IV (1874–1922).[47]

Ambedkar went on to work as a legal professional. In 1926, he successfully defended three non-Brahmin leaders who had accused the Brahmin community of ruining India and were then subsequently sued for libel. Dhananjay Keer notes that "The victory was resounding, both socially and individually, for the clients and the doctor".

While practising law in the Bombay High Court, he tried to promote education to untouchables and uplift them. His first organised attempt was his establishment of the central institution Bahishkrit Hitakarini Sabha, intended to promote education and socio-economic improvement, as well as the welfare of "outcastes", at the time referred to as depressed classes.[48] For the defence of Dalit rights, he started many periodicals like Mook Nayak, Bahishkrit Bharat, and Equality Janta.[49]

He was appointed to the Bombay Presidency Committee to work with the all-European Simon Commission in 1925.[50] This commission had sparked great protests across India, and while its report was ignored by most Indians, Ambedkar himself wrote a separate set of recommendations for the future Constitution of India.[51]

By 1927, Ambedkar had decided to launch active movements against untouchability. He began with public movements and marches to open up public drinking water resources. He also began a struggle for the right to enter Hindu temples. He led a satyagraha in Mahad to fight for the right of the untouchable community to draw water from the main water tank of the town.[52] In a conference in late 1927, Ambedkar publicly condemned the classic Hindu text, the Manusmriti (Laws of Manu), for ideologically justifying caste discrimination and "untouchability", and he ceremonially burned copies of the ancient text. On 25 December 1927, he led thousands of followers to burn copies of Manusmrti.[53][54] Thus annually 25 December is celebrated as Manusmriti Dahan Din (Manusmriti Burning Day) by Ambedkarites and Dalits.[55][56]

In 1930, Ambedkar launched Kalaram Temple movement after three months of preparation. About 15,000 volunteers assembled at Kalaram Temple satygraha making one of the greatest processions of Nashik. The procession was headed by a military band, a batch of scouts, women and men walked in discipline, order and determination to see the god for the first time. When they reached to gate, the gates were closed by Brahmin authorities.[57]

Poona Pact

M.R. Jayakar, Tej Bahadur Sapru and Ambedkar at Yerwada jail, in Poona, on 24 September 1932, the day the Poona Pact was signed

In 1932, British announced the formation of a separate electorate for "Depressed Classes" in the Communal Award. Gandhi fiercely opposed a separate electorate for untouchables, saying he feared that such an arrangement would divide the Hindu community.[58][59][60] Gandhi protested by fasting while imprisoned in the Yerwada Central Jail of Poona. Following the fast, Congress politicians and activists such as Madan Mohan Malaviya and Palwankar Baloo organised joint meetings with Ambedkar and his supporters at Yerwada.[61] On 25 September 1932, the agreement known as Poona Pact was signed between Ambedkar (on behalf of the depressed classes among Hindus) and Madan Mohan Malaviya (on behalf of the other Hindus). The agreement gave reserved seats for the depressed classes in the Provisional legislatures, within the general electorate. Due to the pact, the depressed class received 148 seats in the legislature, instead of the 71 as allocated in the Communal Award earlier proposed by British Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald. The text uses the term "Depressed Classes" to denote Untouchables among Hindus who were later called Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes under India Act 1935, and the later Indian Constitution of 1950.[62][63] In the Poona Pact, a unified electorate was in principle formed, but primary and secondary elections allowed Untouchables in practice to choose their own candidates.[64]

Political career

Ambedkar with his family members at Rajgraha in February 1934. From left – Yashwant (son), Ambedkar, Ramabai (wife), Laxmibai (wife of his elder brother, Balaram), Mukund (nephew) and Ambedkar’s favourite dog, Tobby

In 1935, Ambedkar was appointed principal of the Government Law College, Bombay, a position he held for two years. He also served as the chairman of Governing body of Ramjas College, University of Delhi, after the death of its Founder Shri Rai Kedarnath.[65] Settling in Bombay (today called Mumbai), Ambedkar oversaw the construction of a house, and stocked his personal library with more than 50,000 books.[66] His wife Ramabai died after a long illness the same year. It had been her long-standing wish to go on a pilgrimage to Pandharpur, but Ambedkar had refused to let her go, telling her that he would create a new Pandharpur for her instead of Hinduism's Pandharpur which treated them as untouchables. At the Yeola Conversion Conference on 13 October in Nasik, Ambedkar announced his intention to convert to a different religion and exhorted his followers to leave Hinduism.[66] He would repeat his message at many public meetings across India.

In 1936, Ambedkar founded the Independent Labour Party, which contested the 1937 Bombay election to the Central Legislative Assembly for the 13 reserved and 4 general seats, and secured 11 and 3 seats respectively.[67]

Ambedkar published his book Annihilation of Caste on 15 May 1936.[68] It strongly criticised Hindu orthodox religious leaders and the caste system in general,[69] and included "a rebuke of Gandhi" on the subject.[70] Later, in a 1955 BBC interview, he accused Gandhi of writing in opposition of the caste system in English language papers while writing in support of it in Gujarati language papers.[71]

Ambedkar served on the Defence Advisory Committee[6] and the Viceroy's Executive Council as minister for labour.[6]

After the Lahore resolution (1940) of the Muslim League demanding Pakistan, Ambedkar wrote a 400 page tract titled Thoughts on Pakistan, which analysed the concept of "Pakistan" in all its aspects. Ambedkar argued that the Hindus should concede Pakistan to the Muslims. He proposed that the provincial boundaries of Punjab and Bengal should be redrawn to separate the Muslim and non-Muslim majority parts. He thought the Muslims could have no objection to redrawing provincial boundaries. If they did, they did not quite "understand the nature of their own demand". Scholar Venkat Dhulipala states that Thoughts on Pakistan "rocked Indian politics for a decade". It determined the course of dialogue between the Muslim League and the Indian Naitonal Congress, paving the way for the Partition of India.[72][73]

In his work Who Were the Shudras?, Ambedkar tried to explain the formation of untouchables. He saw Shudras and Ati Shudras who form the lowest caste in the ritual hierarchy of the caste system, as separate from Untouchables. Ambedkar oversaw the transformation of his political party into the Scheduled Castes Federation, although it performed poorly in the 1946 elections for Constituent Assembly of India. Later he was elected into the constituent assembly of Bengal where Muslim League was in power.[2]

Ambedkar contested in the Bombay North first Indian General Election of 1952, but lost to his former assistant and Congress Party candidate Narayan Kajrolkar. Ambedkar became a member of Rajya Sabha, probably an appointed member. He tried to enter Lok Sabha again in the by-election of 1954 from Bhandara, but he placed third (the Congress Party won). By the time of the second general election in 1957, Ambedkar had died.

Ambedkar also criticised Islamic practice in South Asia. While justifying the Partition of India, he condemned child marriage and the mistreatment of women in Muslim society.

No words can adequately express the great and many evils of polygamy and concubinage, and especially as a source of misery to a Muslim woman. Take the caste system. Everybody infers that Islam must be free from slavery and caste. [...] [While slavery existed], much of its support was derived from Islam and Islamic countries. While the prescriptions by the Prophet regarding the just and humane treatment of slaves contained in the Koran are praiseworthy, there is nothing whatever in Islam that lends support to the abolition of this curse. But if slavery has gone, caste among Musalmans [Muslims] has remained.[74]

Drafting India's Constitution

Ambedkar, chairman of the Drafting Committee, presenting the final draft of the Indian Constitution to Rajendra Prasad on 25 November 1949.

Upon India's independence on 15 August 1947, the new Congress-led government invited Ambedkar to serve as the nation's first Law Minister, which he accepted. On 29 August, he was appointed Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee, and was appointed by the Assembly to write India's new Constitution.[75]

Granville Austin described the Indian Constitution drafted by Ambedkar as 'first and foremost a social document'. 'The majority of India's constitutional provisions are either directly arrived at furthering the aim of social revolution or attempt to foster this revolution by establishing conditions necessary for its achievement.'[76]

The text prepared by Ambedkar provided constitutional guarantees and protections for a wide range of civil liberties for individual citizens, including freedom of religion, the abolition of untouchability, and the outlawing of all forms of discrimination. Ambedkar argued for extensive economic and social rights for women, and won the Assembly's support for introducing a system of reservations of jobs in the civil services, schools and colleges for members of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes and Other Backward Class, a system akin to affirmative action. India's lawmakers hoped to eradicate the socio-economic inequalities and lack of opportunities for India's depressed classes through these measures.[77] The Constitution was adopted on 26 November 1949 by the Constituent Assembly.[78]

Opposition to Article 370

Ambedkar opposed Article 370 of the Constitution of India, which granted a special status to the State of Jammu and Kashmir, and which was included against his wishes. Balraj Madhok reportedly said, Ambedkar had clearly told the Kashmiri leader, Sheikh Abdullah: "You wish India should protect your borders, she should build roads in your area, she should supply you food grains, and Kashmir should get equal status as India. But Government of India should have only limited powers and Indian people should have no rights in Kashmir. To give consent to this proposal, would be a treacherous thing against the interests of India and I, as the Law Minister of India, will never do it." Then Sk. Abdullah approached Nehru, who directed him to Gopal Swami Ayyangar, who in turn approached Sardar Patel, saying Nehru had promised Sk. Abdullah the special status. Patel got the Article passed while Nehru was on a foreign tour. On the day the article came up for discussion, Ambedkar did not reply to questions on it but did participate on other articles. All arguments were done by Krishna Swami Ayyangar.[79][80]

Support to Uniform Civil Code

I personally do not understand why religion should be given this vast, expansive jurisdiction, so as to cover the whole of life and to prevent the legislature from encroaching upon that field. After all, what are we having this liberty for? We are having this liberty in order to reform our social system, which is so full of inequities, discriminations and other things, which conflict with our fundamental rights.[81]

During the debates in the Constituent Assembly, Ambedkar demonstrated his will to reform Indian society by recommending the adoption of a Uniform Civil Code.[82][83] Ambedkar resigned from the cabinet in 1951, when parliament stalled his draft of the Hindu Code Bill, which sought to enshrine gender equality in the laws of inheritance and marriage.[84] Ambedkar independently contested an election in 1952 to the lower house of parliament, the Lok Sabha, but was defeated in the Bombay (North Central) constituency by a little-known Narayan Sadoba Kajrolkar, who polled 138,137 votes compared to Ambedkar's 123,576.[85][86][87] He was appointed to the upper house, of parliament, the Rajya Sabha in March 1952 and would remain as member till death.[88]

Economic planning

Ambedkar was the first Indian to pursue a doctorate in economics abroad.[89] He argued that industrialisation and agricultural growth could enhance the Indian economy.[90] He stressed investment in agriculture as the primary industry of India.[citation needed] According to Sharad Pawar, Ambedkar’s vision helped the government to achieve its food security goal.[91] Ambedkar advocated national economic and social development, stressing education, public hygiene, community health, residential facilities as the basic amenities.[90] His DSc thesis "The problem of the Rupee: Its origin and solution" (1923) examines the causes for the Rupee's fall in value.[citation needed] He proved the importance of price stability over exchange stability. He analysed the silver and gold exchange rates and their effect on the economy, and found the reasons for the failure of British India's public treasury.[citation needed] He calculated the loss of development caused by British rule.[92]

In 1951, Ambedkar established the Finance Commission of India. He opposed income tax for low-income groups. He contributed in Land Revenue Tax and excise duty policies to stabilise the economy.[citation needed] He played an important role in land reform and the state economic development.[93] According to him, the caste system divided labourors and impeded economic progress. He emphasised a free economy with a stable Rupee which India has adopted recently.[citation needed] He advocated birth control to develop the Indian economy, and this has been adopted by Indian government as national policy for family planning. He emphasised equal rights for women for economic development.[citation needed] He laid the foundation of industrial relations after Indian independence.[93]

Reserve Bank of India

Ambedkar was trained as an economist, and was a professional economist until 1921, when he became a political leader. He wrote three scholarly books on economics:

• Administration and Finance of the East India Company
• The Evolution of Provincial Finance in British India
• The Problem of the Rupee: Its Origin and Its Solution[94][95][96]

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), was based on the ideas that Ambedkar presented to the Hilton Young Commission.[94][96][97][98]
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Second marriage

Ambedkar with wife Savita in 1948

Ambedkar's first wife Ramabai died in 1935 after a long illness. After completing the draft of India's constitution in the late 1940s, he suffered from lack of sleep, had neuropathic pain in his legs, and was taking insulin and homoeopathic medicines. He went to Bombay for treatment, and there met Dr. Sharada Kabir, whom he married on 15 April 1948, at his home in New Delhi. Doctors recommended a companion who was a good cook and had medical knowledge to care for him.[99] She adopted the name Savita Ambedkar and cared for him the rest of his life.[100] Savita Ambedkar, who was called 'Mai', died on May 29, 2003, aged 93 at Mehrauli, New Delhi.[101]

Conversion to Buddhism

Main article: Dalit Buddhism

Ambedkar delivering speech during mass conversion

Ambedkar considered converting to Sikhism, which encouraged opposition to oppression and so appealed to leaders of scheduled castes. But after meeting with Sikh leaders, he concluded that he might get "second-rate" Sikh status.[102]

Instead, around 1950, he began devoting his attention to Buddhism and travelled to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) to attend a meeting of the World Fellowship of Buddhists.[103] While dedicating a new Buddhist vihara near Pune, Ambedkar announced he was writing a book on Buddhism, and that when it was finished, he would formally convert to Buddhism.[104] He twice visited Burma in 1954; the second time to attend the third conference of the World Fellowship of Buddhists in Rangoon.[105] In 1955, he founded the Bharatiya Bauddha Mahasabha, or the Buddhist Society of India.[106] He completed his final work, The Buddha and His Dhamma, in 1956 which was published posthumously.[106]

After meetings with the Sri Lankan Buddhist monk Hammalawa Saddhatissa,[107] Ambedkar organised a formal public ceremony for himself and his supporters in Nagpur on 14 October 1956. Accepting the Three Refuges and Five Precepts from a Buddhist monk in the traditional manner, Ambedkar completed his own conversion, along with his wife. He then proceeded to convert some 500,000 of his supporters who were gathered around him.[104][108] He prescribed the 22 Vows for these converts, after the Three Jewels and Five Precepts. He then travelled to Kathmandu, Nepal to attend the Fourth World Buddhist Conference.[105] His work on The Buddha or Karl Marx and "Revolution and counter-revolution in ancient India" remained incomplete.


Mahaparinirvana of B. R. Ambedkar

Since 1948, Ambedkar suffered from diabetes. He was bed-ridden from June to October in 1954 due to medication side-effects and poor eyesight.[104] His health worsened during 1955. Three days after completing his final manuscript The Buddha and His Dhamma, Ambedkar died in his sleep on 6 December 1956 at his home in Delhi.

A Buddhist cremation was organised at Dadar Chowpatty beach on 7 December,[109] attended by half a million grieving people.[110] A conversion program was organised on 16 December 1956,[111] so that cremation attendees were also converted to Buddhism at the same place.[111]

Ambedkar was survived by his second wife, who died in 2003,[112] and his son Yashwant (known as Bhaiyasaheb Ambedkar).[113] Ambedkar's grandson, Ambedkar Prakash Yashwant, is the chief-adviser of the Buddhist Society of India,[114] leads the Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh[115] and has served in both houses of the Indian Parliament.[115]

A number of unfinished typescripts and handwritten drafts were found among Ambedkar's notes and papers and gradually made available. Among these were Waiting for a Visa, which probably dates from 1935–36 and is an autobiographical work, and the Untouchables, or the Children of India's Ghetto, which refers to the census of 1951.[104]

A memorial for Ambedkar was established in his Delhi house at 26 Alipur Road. His birthdate is celebrated as a public holiday known as Ambedkar Jayanti or Bhim Jayanti. He was posthumously awarded India's highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, in 1990.[116]

On the anniversary of his birth and death, and on Dhamma Chakra Pravartan Din (14 October) at Nagpur, at least half a million people gather to pay homage to him at his memorial in Mumbai.[117] Thousands of bookshops are set up, and books are sold. His message to his followers was "educate, agitate, organise!".[118]


People paying tribute at the central statue of Ambedkar in Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University in Aurangabad.

Ambedkar's legacy as a socio-political reformer, had a deep effect on modern India.[119][120] In post-Independence India, his socio-political thought is respected across the political spectrum. His initiatives have influenced various spheres of life and transformed the way India today looks at socio-economic policies, education and affirmative action through socio-economic and legal incentives. His reputation as a scholar led to his appointment as free India's first law minister, and chairman of the committee for drafting the constitution. He passionately believed in individual freedom and criticised caste society. His accusations of Hinduism as being the foundation of the caste system made him controversial and unpopular among Hindus.[121] His conversion to Buddhism sparked a revival in interest in Buddhist philosophy in India and abroad.[122]

Many public institutions are named in his honour, and the Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport in Nagpur, otherwise known as Sonegaon Airport. Dr. B. R. Ambedkar National Institute of Technology, Jalandhar, Ambedkar University Delhi is also named in his honour.

The Maharashtra government has acquired a house in London where Ambedkar lived during his days as a student in the 1920s. The house is expected to be converted into a museum-cum-memorial to Ambedkar.[123]

Ambedkar was voted "the Greatest Indian" in 2012 by a poll which didn't include Mahatma Gandhi, citing it was not possible to beat him in the poll. The poll was organised by History TV18 and CNN IBN. Nearly 20 million votes were cast.[124] Due to his role in economics, Narendra Jadhav, a notable Indian economist,[125] has said that Ambedkar was "the highest educated Indian economist of all times."[126] Amartya Sen, said that Ambedkar is "father of my economics", and "he was highly controversial figure in his home country, though it was not the reality. His contribution in the field of economics is marvelous and will be remembered forever."[127][128]

Ambedkar's legacy was not without criticism. Ambedkar has been criticised for his one-sided views on the issue of caste at the expense of cooperation with the larger nationalist movement.[129] Ambedkar has been also criticised by some of his biographers over his neglect of organization-building.[130]

Ambedkar's political philosophy has given rise to a large number of political parties, publications and workers' unions that remain active across India, especially in Maharashtra. His promotion of Buddhism has rejuvenated interest in Buddhist philosophy among sections of population in India. Mass conversion ceremonies have been organised by human rights activists in modern times, emulating Ambedkar's Nagpur ceremony of 1956.[131] Some Indian Buddhists regard him as a Bodhisattva, although he never claimed it himself.[132] Outside India, during the late 1990s, some Hungarian Romani people drew parallels between their own situation and that of the downtrodden people in India. Inspired by Ambedkar, they started to convert to Buddhism.[133]

In popular culture

Several movies, plays, and other works have been based on the life and thoughts of Ambedkar. Jabbar Patel directed the English-language film Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar in 2000 with Mammootty in the lead role.[134] This biopic was sponsored by the National Film Development Corporation of India and the government's Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. The film was released after a long and controversial gestation.[135] David Blundell, professor of anthropology at UCLA and historical ethnographer, has established Arising Light – a series of films and events that are intended to stimulate interest and knowledge about the social conditions in India and the life of Ambedkar.[136] In Samvidhaan,[137] a TV mini-series on the making of the Constitution of India directed by Shyam Benegal, the pivotal role of B. R. Ambedkar was played by Sachin Khedekar. The play Ambedkar Aur Gandhi, directed by Arvind Gaur and written by Rajesh Kumar, tracks the two prominent personalities of its title.[138]

Bhimayana: Experiences of Untouchability is a graphic biography of Ambedkar created by Pardhan-Gond artists Durgabai Vyam and Subhash Vyam, and writers Srividya Natarajan and S. Anand. The book depicts the experiences of untouchability faced by Ambedkar from childhood to adulthood. CNN named it one of the top 5 political comic books.[139]

The Ambedkar Memorial at Lucknow is dedicated in his memory. The chaitya consists of monuments showing his biography.[140][141]

Jai Bhim slogan was given by the dalit community in Delhi in his honour on 1946.

Google commemorated Ambedkar's 124th birthday through a homepage doodle[142] on 14 April 2015.[143] The doodle was featured in India, Argentina, Chile, Ireland, Peru, Poland, Sweden and the United Kingdom.[144][145][146]

A television show named Ek Mahanayak: Dr. B. R. Ambedkar portraying his life aired on &TV in 2019.[147]


The Education Department, Government of Maharashtra (Mumbai) published the collection of Ambedkar's writings and speeches in different volumes.[148]

·         Castes in India: Their Mechanism, Genesis and Development and 11 Other Essays
·         Ambedkar in the Bombay Legislature, with the Simon Commission and at the Round Table Conferences, 1927–1939
·         Philosophy of Hinduism; India and the Pre-requisites of Communism; Revolution and Counter-revolution; Buddha or Karl Marx
·         Riddles in Hinduism
·         Essays on Untouchables and Untouchability
·         The Evolution of Provincial Finance in British India
·         The Untouchables Who Were They And Why They Became Untouchables ?
·         The Annihilation of Caste (1936)
·         Pakistan or the Partition of India
·         What Congress and Gandhi have done to the Untouchables; Mr. Gandhi and the Emancipation of the Untouchables
·         Ambedkar as member of the Governor General's Executive Council, 1942–46
·         The Buddha and his Dhamma
·         Unpublished Writings; Ancient Indian Commerce; Notes on laws; Waiting for a Visa ; Miscellaneous notes, etc.
·         Ambedkar as the principal architect of the Constitution of India
·         (2 parts) Dr. Ambedkar and The Hindu Code Bill
·         Ambedkar as Free India's First Law Minister and Member of Opposition in Indian Parliament (1947–1956)
·         The Pali Grammar
·         Ambedkar and his Egalitarian Revolution – Struggle for Human Rights. Events starting from March 1927 to 17 November 1956 in the chronological order; Ambedkar and his Egalitarian Revolution – Socio-political and religious activities. Events starting from November 1929 to 8 May 1956 in the chronological order; Ambedkar and his Egalitarian Revolution – Speeches. (Events starting from 1 January to 20 November 1956 in the chronological order.)

See also

·         Chaitya Bhoomi
·         Deekshabhoomi
·         Statue of Equality


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146.     Nelson, Dean (14 April 2015). "B.R. Ambedkar, a hero of India's independence movement, honoured by Google Doodle". Archived from the original on 5 January 2016.
147.     "A new TV show on B.R.Ambedkar raises questions of responsible representation".
148.     Ambedkar, B. R. (1979), Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, writings and speeches, Mumbai: Education Dept., Government of Maharashtra, OL 4080132M

Further reading

·         Ahir, D. C. (September 1990). The Legacy of Dr. Ambedkar. Delhi: B. R. Publishing. ISBN 81-7018-603-X.
·         Ajnat, Surendra (1986). Ambedkar on Islam. Jalandhar: Buddhist Publ.
·         Beltz, Johannes; Jondhale, S. (eds.). Reconstructing the World: B.R. Ambedkar and Buddhism in India. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.
·         Bholay, Bhaskar Laxman (2001). Dr Dr. Baba Saheb Ambedkar: Anubhav Ani Athavani. Nagpur: Sahitya Akademi.
·         Fernando, W. J. Basil (2000). Demoralisation and Hope: Creating the Social Foundation for Sustaining Democracy—A comparative study of N. F. S. Grundtvig (1783–1872) Denmark and B. R. Ambedkar (1881–1956) India. Hong Kong: AHRC Publication. ISBN 962-8314-08-4.
·         Chakrabarty, Bidyut. "B.R. Ambedkar" Indian Historical Review (Dec 2016) 43#2 pp 289–315. doi:10.1177/0376983616663417.
·         Gautam, C. (2000). Life of Babasaheb Ambedkar (Second ed.). London: Ambedkar Memorial Trust.
·         Jaffrelot, Christophe (2004). Ambedkar and Untouchability. Analysing and Fighting Caste. New York: Columbia University Press.
·         Kasare, M. L. Economic Philosophy of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. New Delhi: B. I. Publications.
·         Kuber, W. N. Dr. Ambedkar: A Critical Study. New Delhi: People's Publishing House.
·         Kumar, Aishwary. Radical Equality: Ambedkar, Gandhi, and the Risk of Democracy (2015).
·         Kumar, Ravinder. "Gandhi, Ambedkar and the Poona pact, 1932." South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies 8.1-2 (1985): 87-101.
·         Michael, S.M. (1999). Untouchable, Dalits in Modern India. Lynne Rienner Publishers. ISBN 978-1-55587-697-5.
·         Nugent, Helen M. (1979) "The communal award: The process of decision-making." South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies 2#1-2 (1979): 112-129.
·         Omvedt, Gail (January 2004). Ambedkar: Towards an Enlightened India. ISBN 0-670-04991-3.
·         Sangharakshita, Urgyen (1986). Ambedkar and Buddhism. ISBN 0-904766-28-4. PDF

Primary sources

·         Ambedkar, Bhimrao Ramji. Annihilation of caste: The annotated critical edition (Verso Books, 2014).
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Sun Jul 19, 2020 2:41 am

George Patterson (missionary)
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 7/18/20

[F]earful of capture if he remained in Lhasa, the Dalai Lama responded in the tradition of his immediate predecessor: he fled the capital. Disguised as a layman and escorted by an entourage of 200, he stole out of Lhasa on the night of 20 December (1950) and worked his way south toward the border town of Yatung, just twenty-four kilometers from the princely protectorate of Sikkim.

As this was taking place, American diplomats in neighboring India did what they could to monitor the Dalai Lama's movements. Perhaps none took a greater interest than the U.S. ambassador to India, Loy Henderson. Dubbed a "quintessential Cold Warrior" by one Foreign Service officer under his watch, Henderson had long harbored deep concern for Tibet, especially the threat of PRC control extending across the Himalayas. As far back as the summer of 1949 he had lobbied for a more proactive U.S. policy toward Lhasa to offset this feared Chinese advance, including sending a U.S. envoy from India to the Tibetan capital and leaving behind a small diplomatic mission.

Despite the ambassador's expressed urgency, Washington dragged its feet on approving any bold moves. Frustrated, Ambassador Henderson felt that the stakes were growing too high to afford continued neglect, especially after the Dalai Lama reached Yatung in early 1951. Unless there was some immediate future indication of moral and military support from abroad, he cabled Washington on 12 January, the youthful monarch might leave his kingdom and render ineffective any future resistance to Chinese rule.

But if the exile of the Dalai Lama posed problems, Henderson saw it as preferable to having him return to Lhasa. To prevent the latter, the ambassador took the initiative in March to pen a letter to the monarch. Written on Indian-made stationery and lacking a signature -- thereby affording the United States plausible deniability if it was intercepted -- the note implored the Tibetan leader not to move back to the capital for fear that he would be manipulated by Beijing. The letter further urged the Dalai Lama to seek refuge overseas, preferably in the predominantly Buddhist nation of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).

Informing Washington of the note after it had been written, Henderson was in for a surprise. Finally coming around to his way of thinking, the State Department lent its approval to the scheme, with only minor editorial changes. Two copies of the anonymous appeal were eventually printed: one carried to Yatung by Heinrich Harrer, the Dalai Lama's Austrian tutor who had fled Lhasa shortly before the monarch's departure, and the second turned over to a Tibetan dignitary in Kalimpong during Mid-May. Those forwarding the letter were told to discreetly convey that it came from the U.S. ambassador.

The Dalai Lama did not take long to respond. On 24 May, his personal representative sought out U.S. diplomats in Calcutta to clarify several points regarding potential exile. Among other things, the monarch wanted to know if Washington would grant him asylum in America and if the United States would extend military aid to a theoretical anti-Chinese resistance movement after his departure from Tibetan soil. He also wanted permission for his oldest brother, Thubten Norbu, to visit the United States.

Before the United States could respond, a shock came over the airwaves on 26 May. Three months earlier, the Dalai Lama had dispatched two groups of officials to China in a desperate bid to appease Beijing and keep the Kham invasion force at bay. Arriving in the Chinese capital by mid-April, neither group had been authorized by the Dalai Lama to make binding decisions on the kingdom's behalf. Despite this, several weeks of stressful talks took their toll: on 23 May, all the Tibetan emissaries lent their names to a seventeen-point agreement with China that virtually wiped out any prospect of an autonomous Tibetan identity.

When news of the pact was broadcast three days later over Chinese state radio, it was a devastating blow to the Dalai lama. Knowing that the monarch would be under mounting pressure to formulate a response to Beijing, Henderson received approval on 2 June to grant U.S. asylum to the Dalai Lama and a 100-man entourage -- provided both India and Ceylon proved unreceptive. Washington was also prepared to provide military aid if India was amenable to transshipment. Finally, Henderson was authorized to extend U.S. visas to Thubten Norbu and a single servant, though both had to pay their own expenses while in America.

Given the fast pace of events, the embassy decided to send a U.S. diplomat to Kalimpong to deal directly with Tibetan officials at their resident trade mission. These officials were shuttling to and from the Dalai Lama's redoubt at Yatung, and this offered the fastest means of negotiating with the isolated monarch. Because Kalimpong fell within the purview of the American consulate general in Calcutta, Vice Consul Nicholas Thacher was chosen for the job.

There was a major stumbling block with such indirect diplomacy, however. The United States was looking to advance its Tibet policy in a third country, and that country -- India -- had its own national interests at heart. Despite being condemned by Beijing in 1949 as the "dregs of humanity," New Delhi was doing its best to remain on good terms with China. This precluded Indian officials from being taken into Washington's confidence. Thacher, therefore, needed to negotiate in the shadows.

With little time to concoct an elaborate charade, the American vice consul prepared for the long drive from Calcutta. Taking along his wife, young child, and nanny as cover, Thacher was to explain his Kalimpong trip as a holiday respite if questioned by Indian authorities. Before leaving, he was coached in the use of a primitive code based on the local scenery. Because his only means of communicating from Kalimpong was via telegraph -- no doubt monitored by Indian intelligence -- he would rely on this code to send updates to the Calcutta consulate…

Thacher pulled into Kalimpong on 15 June... the town factored prominently in the trans-Himalayan economy because for generations it had served as the final destination for mule caravans hauling products -- primarily wool -- from Tibet. At any given time, there was a significant community of Tibetan merchants in town, making it a logical site for that country's only overseas trade office…

Thacher had little trouble locating the Tibetan mission. Entering, he introduced himself in English to the ensemble of officials…

Thacher set about explaining the U.S. offer to grant asylum and material assistance. Very quickly, the vice consul was struck by the lack of realism displayed by Lhasa's envoys. "There was a sense of the absurd," he later commented. "They were talking wistfully in terms of America providing them with tanks and aircraft." Thacher did his best to downplay expectations before taking his leave and making his way to the telegraph office to send a coded report to Calcutta…

Hearing of the latest U.S. promises, the Tibetans found little reason for cheer. The offer of U.S. asylum, for example, was to be granted only if Asian options were exhausted, even though the Dalai Lama was adamant that he wanted exile only in America. Military aid, too, was moot, because it was contingent on Indian approval -- a near impossibility, given New Delhi's desire to maintain cordial ties with China.

Twenty-nine years old, Thubten Norbu was an important Tibetan religious figure in his own right. As a child, he had been named the incarnation of a famed fifteenth-century monk. Studying at the expansive Kumbum monastery not far from his home village in Amdo, Norbu had risen to chief abbot by 1949. When Amdo was occupied by the PLA that fall, he came under intense Chinese pressure to lobby his brother on Beijing's behalf. Feigning compliance, he ventured to Lhasa in November 1950. But rather than sell the PRC, he presented a graphic report of Chinese excesses in Amdo. [In recognition of his status as an incarnation, Norbu was also known as the twenty fourth Taktser Rinpoche ("incarnation from Taktser"). Taktser is the town in Amdo where Norbu spent his youth… U.S. diplomatic cables over the ensuing years variously (and incorrectly) referred to Norbu as "Takster" and "Tak Tser."]

Because Beijing no doubt viewed Norbu's act as treachery, the Dalai Lama was anxious to see his brother leave Tibet. He succeeded up to a point, spiriting Norbu to Kalimpong by the first week of June 1951…

Just when Norbu's departure seemed secure, however, complications arose. Neither he nor his accompanying servant had passports, and they had fled Tibet with insufficient funds to pay for extended overseas travel. Thus, both of them needed to quickly secure some form of sponsorship.

At that point, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) stepped forward with a ready solution. By coincidence only weeks earlier the agency had inaugurated the perfect vehicle for discreetly channeling financial support to persons like the Dalai Lama's brother. On 18 May, the San Francisco-based Committee for a Free Asia (CFA) had been formally unveiled to the public as a means to "render effective assistance to Asians in advancing personal and national liberty throughout their homelands." The committee's charter further declared its intention to assist noncommunist travelers, refugees, and exiles in order to "strengthen Asian resistance to communism." Left unsaid was the fact that the committee was made possible by financial assistance from the CIA. [Although the CIA connection was repeatedly denied over the years, there were public suspicions from the start. On 27 June 1951, Alfred Kohlberg, a prominent U.S. importer of Chinese textiles, sent a letter to CFA president George Greene accusing the organization of being a government front. In his letter, Kohlberg astutely noted that the Committee for a Free Europe, a sister entity created the previous year, was correctly suspected of having CIA links.]…

[During the same month, the Committee for a Free Asia factored in another aspect of America's Tibet policy. On 22 June, Secretary of State Acheson handed the Thai ambassador to the United States a copy of a letter written on CFA stationery. The note, which was addressed to the secretary, claimed that the committee would underwrite the expenses of the Dalai Lama if he were granted asylum in Thailand. The idea of Thai asylum -- and related CFA sponsorship -- was apparently not pursued.]…

Norbu arrived in Calcutta on 24 June with plans to catch a flight to the United States within two weeks. Before leaving, he met with members of the U.S. consulate and was informed that Washington would support a third Tibetan appeal to the United Nations, provided the Dalai Lama publicly disavowed the 23 May agreement with China. Norbu assured the diplomats that his brother, despite his curious silence to date, did not approve of the May pact and was still intent on seeking overseas asylum. ..

T]he Tibetans were whisked the following day to Washington for meetings with State Department and CIA officials.

Norbu had arrived at a critical juncture. By the close of June, Thacher and his family had concluded their faux vacation and returned to Calcutta. In order to maintain coverage in Kalimpong, Thacher was to be replaced by another consulate official. Given that assignment was Robert Linn, head of the small CIA base in Calcutta…

[Linn] found the Kalimpong crowd of little help in swaying the teenage monarch and his conservative courtesans across the border at Yatung. On 11 July, Linn passed word to the Calcutta consulate that the Dalai Lama intended to return to Lhasa in ten days.

With time running short, officials in Washington imposed on Norbu to translate a message for the Dalai Lama into Tibetan. This, along with two more unsigned letters prepared by the U.S. embassy in New Delhi, was quickly forwarded to Yatung. Embassy officials even flirted with fanciful plans for Heinrich Harrer, the monarch's former tutor, and George Patterson, an affable Scottish missionary who had once preached in Kham, to effectively kidnap the Dalai Lama and bundle him off to India.

All these efforts were to no avail. On 21 July, the monarch heeded advice channeled under trance by the state oracle and departed Yatung on a slow caravan back to the Tibetan capital. Still unwilling to concede defeat, American diplomats continued to smuggle unsigned messages to the Dalai Lama while he was en route. Trying a slightly more bold tack, Ambassador Henderson received approval on 10 September to write a signed note on official government letterhead. Tibetan representatives in India were allowed to briefly view the document the following week and verbally convey its contents to their leader. The United States, read this last message, was now prepared to publicly support Tibetan autonomy. In addition, Washington vowed to assist an anti-Chinese resistance movement with such material as may be "feasible under existing political and physical conditions."

Even if the Dalai Lama's interest was piqued by the latest round of promises, it was probably too late for him to act. He arrived in Lhasa during mid-August, and PLA troops were sighted in the capital by early the following month. On 28 September, the Tibetan national assembly convened to debate the controversial seventeen-point agreement signed the previous May. Less than one month later, confirmation was sent to Mao Tse-tung that the kingdom accepted the accord. Tibet was now officially part of the People's Republic of China...

In the summer of 1952... Tibet was more inaccessible than ever...One notable exception was the unique window provided by the princely state of Sikkim...

Beginning in 1947 and continuing for the next three years, its royals scrambled to salvage some form of autonomy that would safeguard their exalted status...

The job of negotiating with the Indians went to the prince's son and heir apparent, Palden Thondup...

The result was a December treaty whereby the protectorate of Sikkim was free to manage domestic matters but allowed India to regulate its foreign affairs, defense, and trade...

Though prohibited from making independent foreign policy, they believed that it was still within their right to retain a degree of international personality. This held obvious appeal for the United States, which appreciated Sikkim's unique perspective on Himalayan events, on account of its royals being related by blood and marriage to the elite in neighboring Bhutan and Tibet...In the spring of 1951, the U.S. consulate in Calcutta gingerly tested the waters. The Chinese had already invaded Kham, and Larry Dalley, a young CIA officer who had arrived in the city the previous fall under cover of vice consul, was eager to collect good intelligence on events across the border. He knew that two members of Sikkim's royal family frequented Calcutta and would be good sources of information.

The first, Pema Tseudeun, was the older sister of the crown prince. Popularly known by the name Kukula, she was the stunning, urbane archetype of a Himalayan princess. Her contact with American officials actually dated back to 1942, when she had been in Lhasa as the teenage wife of a Tibetan nobleman. OSS officers Tolstoy and Dolan had just arrived in the Tibetan capital that December and were preparing to present a gift from President Franklin Roosevelt to the young Dalai Lama. The gift was in a plain box, and the two Americans were scrambling to find suitable wrapping. "I came forward," she recalls, "and donated the bright red ribbon in my hair." [During his stay in Lhasa, OSS officer Dolan befriended Kukula's sister-in-law and fathered her child.]

For the next eight years, Kukula had it good. Married into the powerful Phunkang family (her father-in-law was a cabinet official), she now had considerable holdings in Lhasa. After the Chinese invasion of Kham, however, all was in jeopardy. Leaving many of her possessions back in Tibet, she fled to the safety of Sikkim. There she became a close adviser to the crown prince, accompanying her brother to New Delhi that December to finalize their state's treaty with India.

The second royal in Calcutta, Pema Choki, was Kukula's younger sister. Better known as Princess Kula, she was every bit as beautiful and sophisticated as her sibling. Kula was also married to a Tibetan of high status; her father-in-Iaw, Yutok Dzaza, had been a ranking official at the trade mission in Kalimpong. Both Kukula and Kula were regulars on the Indian diplomatic circuit. "They came to many of the consulate's social functions," remembers Nicholas Thacher, "and were known for their ability to perform all of the latest dance numbers."

Not all of that contact, CIA officer Dalley determined, was social. After arranging for a meeting with Princess Kukula at his apartment, he asked her if she thought the Tibetans might need anything during their current crisis. Kukula suggested that they could use ammunition and said that she would bring a sample of what they needed to their next meeting. True to her word, the princess appeared at Dalley's apartment bearing a round for a British Lee-Enfield rifle. She also mentioned that waves of Tibetan traders came to India almost quarterly to get treatment for venereal disease (a scourge in Tibet) and to pick up food shipments for import. Particularly popular at the time were tins of New Zealand fruits packed in heavy syrup.

Based on this information, Dalley devised a plan to substitute bullets for the fruit. He went as far as pouching Kukula's bullet and a sample tin label to CIA headquarters -- all to no avail. "They laughed at the scheme," he recalls.

Later that spring, the U.S. consulate in Calcutta again turned to the Sikkimese royals for help. At the time, the Dalai Lama was holed up in the border town of Yatung, and CIA officer Robert Linn was brainstorming ways of facilitating indirect contact with the monarch. Two of those he asked to assist in passing notes were Kukula and Kula. Although the Tibetan leader ultimately elected not to go into exile, it was not for want of trying on the part of the princesses.

One year later, Sikkim's royals once more proved their willingness to help. In June 1952, Kukula approached the consulate with an oral message from the Dalai Lama. She had just returned from a visit to her in-laws in Lhasa, and although she had not personally seen the Dalai Lama, she had been given information from Kula's father-in-Iaw, Yutok Dzaza, who had been in Lhasa at the same time, circulating among senior government circles. [Back in September 1951, Yutok Dzaza, a former official at the Tibetan trade office in Kalimpong, had been brought down to the consulate in Calcutta and shown Ambassador Henderson's last-ditch appeal to the Dalai Lama written on U.S. embassy letterhead. Yutok took notes from the letter and then went to Lhasa, where he met several senior government officials. He also met with one of the Dalai Lama's older brothers, Lobsang Samten. It was the information gathered from these sources that he passed to Princess Kukula.] Kukula quoted the Dalai Lama as saying that when the time was propitious for liberation, he hoped the United States would give material aid and moral support. Kukula also passed observations about food shortages in Lhasa and about the desperate conditions of the vast majority of Chinese troops in that city.

To maintain the flow of such useful information, the consulate continued its discreet courtship of the Sikkimese sisters. Part of the task fell to Gary Soulen, the ranking Foreign Service officer in Calcutta. In September 1952, Soulen obtained Indian approval to visit Sikkim for a nature trek. Venturing as far as the Natu pass on the Tibetan frontier, Princess Kukula accompanied him on the trip and imparted more anecdotes about the situation in Lhasa.

CIA officials, too, were looking to make inroads. Kenneth Millian, who replaced Larry Dalley in October 1952 under cover as vice consul, counted the Sikkimese as one of his primary targets. By that time, however, the Indians were doing everything in their power to obstruct contact. On one of the rare occasions when he got permission to visit the Sikkimese capital of Gangtok, for example, New Delhi leaked a false report to the press that the American vice president -- not vice consul -- was scheduled to make an appearance. As a result, entire villages turned out expecting to see Richard Nixon. "Discreet contact," lamented Millian, "became all but impossible."

Occasional trysts with the Sikkimese were conducted by another CIA officer in Calcutta, John Turner. Born of American parents in India, Turner spent his formative years attending school in Darjeeling. He then went to college in the United States, followed by a stint in the army and induction into the agency in 1948. For his first overseas CIA assignment, he was chosen in May 1952 to succeed Robert Linn as the senior CIA officer in Calcutta. Given his cultural background and fluency in Hindi, Turner was well suited for the job...

The Sikkimese, Turner found, needed no prompting to maintain contact "They offered us tidbits of intelligence to try and influence U.S. policy," he concluded....

[T]he prince would pass Turner relevant information about Tibet. One such meeting took place in the spring of 1954 immediately after the crown prince's return from a trip to Lhasa. While in the Tibetan capital, the prince had spoken with the Dalai lama, whom he found unhappy but resigned to his fate. Even more revealing, the Chinese had feted their Sikkimese guest by showing off their new Damshung airfield north of Lhasa and had motored him along a fresh stretch of road leading into Kham. Turner found the debriefing so informative that he recorded the entire session and sent a voluminous report back to Washington...

Ever since it had first invaded western Kham in late 1950, the PLA knew that it could not sustain its presence without a modern logistical network. As the Chinese worked feverishly to complete this, they retained the existing monastic structure -- including the Dalai lama -- and attempted to woo Tibet's lay aristocracy. They were fairly successful in winning support from the latter, especially since many aristocrats profited from the sudden influx of needy Chinese troops and administrators. [China's strategy also involved the cultivation of the pliable Panchen Lama, the second most influential incarnation in Tibet, as a counterweight to the Dalai Lama. Beginning in 1954, Beijing insisted on treating the two as virtual equals.]...

In 1952, the Dalai lama was pressured into firing his dual prime ministers over alleged anti-Chinese sentiment. There were also food shortages due to the presence of the occupying troops, as well as the affront they represented to Tibetan prestige. Various forms of nonviolent resistance -- anonymous posters and sarcastic street rhymes were the preferred outlets -- were already becoming commonplace in Lhasa.

Still, both the Tibetans and the Chinese had seen fit to abide by an unofficial truce. This lasted up until Beijing's transportation network was nearing completion. With the new option of rushing reinforcements to the Tibetan plateau, the PLA had the flexibility of eclipsing carrot with stick.

Beijing wasted no time driving the point home. Just weeks after the crown prince's 1954 visit, the Dalai Lama was invited to the Chinese capital, ostensibly to lead the Tibetan delegation to the inauguration ceremonies for the PRC's new constitution. Though many members of his inner circle were suspicious of Chinese intentions, the young monarch -- still determined to work within the system -- had little choice but to heed the call. He even made it a family affair, bringing along his mother, three siblings, and a brother-in-law.

On 11 July, the Dalai Lama and his 500-person entourage departed Lhasa. Where possible, they took stretches of the partially finished road that wove east through Kham. Once in Beijing, the visit started out well. Partial to socialist precepts, the Dalai Lama had few qualms with China's economic direction; he had already voiced support for radical land reforms at home, although the landed aristocracy and religious elite had successfully thwarted implementation. The Dalai Lama was also treated with respect by the upper echelons of China's communist hierarchy; Mao Tse-tung, in particular, doted on the teenage monarch...

By the time the Dalai Lama headed home in the spring of 1955, the road leading from Kham to Lhasa was fully finished. A second route from Amdo to the capital was also complete. No longer feeling the need to be tolerant, the Chinese introduced atheist doctrine in Tibetan schools. The PLA also started disarming villagers in eastern Tibet prior to the implementation of harsh agrarian collectivization; as firearms were a cultural fixture in Kham and Amdo, their removal struck at a tenet of Tibetan tradition. As the Dalai Lama wove his way west, several Khampa leaders presented his entourage with petitions complaining of Beijing's heavy-handed ways.

During that same time frame, a hint of the dissatisfaction brewing in Kham reached the U.S. consulate in Calcutta via a different channel. John Turner, the CIA base chief, had been approached by George Patterson for an urgent meeting in the town of Kalimpong. Patterson, the Scottish missionary who had volunteered his services to the consulate in the past, was making the pitch on behalf of Ragpa Pandatsang, the same activist from the wealthy Kham trading family who had been alternately flirting with Lhasa and Beijing since 1950. Ragpa had done reasonably well for himself under the Chinese -- he was a senior official in the town of Markham -- but in a characteristic twist, he was now venturing to India to quietly sound out noncommunist options.

Based on middleman Patterson's request, Turner made his way to Kalimpong.
By that time, the hill town had drawn a sizable roster of eclectic expatriates. One permanent fixture, Prince Peter of Greece and Denmark, was a physical anthropologist who spent his time measuring skulls. There was also Dennis Conan Doyle, who made a brief appearance in an unsuccessful bid to contact the spirit of his late father, Arthur. Joining them were die-hard followers of the late Madame Helena Blavatsky, the debunked Ukrainian psychic whose nonsensical Theosophist religion had the unenviable distinction of being one of the tenets of the Nazi's Aryan master race thesis.

Arriving at a house owned by the Pandatsang family, Turner waited outside. Perfectly timed, Ragpa materialized from out of the dawn mist on the back of a Tibetan pony. "He was apparently on his morning gallop," recalls Turner, "and he cut quite a figure." Dismounting, the Khampa greeted the CIA case officer. Patterson, who had befriended the Pandatsang family during his missionary days in Kham, was on hand to act as translator. After brief pleasantries, Ragpa touched lightly on the fact that the Khampas were looking for assistance in resisting the Chinese, including armaments. Without exchanging anything further of substance, he remounted the horse and melted back into the hills. Said Turner, "It was a surreal moment."...

Since the second half of 1956, a band of twenty-seven young Khampa men -- some still in their late teens -- had been growing restive in the enclave of Kalimpong. Most came from relatively wealthy trading families and had been spirited to India to protect them from the instability in their native province. Full of vigor, the entire group had ventured to New Delhi shortly before the Dalai Lama's Buddha Jayanti pilgrimage to conduct street protests. Once the Dalai Lama arrived, they sought a brief audience to make an impassioned plea for Lhasa's intercession against the Chinese offensive in Kham.

To their disappointment, the Dalai Lama counseled patience. "His Holiness only said things would settle down," recalls one of the Khampas. Undaunted, the twenty-seven young men shadowed the monarch during several of the Buddha Jayanti commemorative events. By early January 1957, this took them to Bodh Gaya, the city in eastern India where the historical Buddha was said to have attained enlightenment. While there, the Dalai Lama's older brother, Thubten Norbu, approached the Khampas and asked if he could take their individual photographs as a souvenir. Although it was an odd request, they complied...

In February 1957, John Hoskins was ordered by Washington to immediately identify eight Tibetan candidates for external training as a pilot team that would infiltrate their homeland and assess the state of resistance. Gyalo, who had been in Kalimpong making an eleventh-hour bid to convince his brother to seek asylum, was given responsibility for screening candidates among the Tibetan refugees already in India. Although the twenty-seven Khampas did not know it, Gyalo intended to make the selection from their ranks. Using the photographs taken by Norbu at Bodh Gaya, he sought guidance from two senior Khampas in town, both of whom hailed from the extended family of Gompo Tashi Andrugtsang, a prominent trader of Tibetan wool, deer horns, and musk.

With their assistance, Gyalo soon settled on his first pick. Wangdu Gyato-tsang, age twenty-seven, had been born to an affluent Khampa family from the town of Lithang. He was well connected: Gompo Tashi was his uncle, as was one of the senior Khampas helping Gyalo with the selection. Wangdu also had the right disposition for the task at hand. Despite being schooled at the Lithang monastery from the age of ten, he did not exactly conform to monastic life. "He was hot tempered from childhood," recalls younger brother Kalsang...

When approached by Gyalo, Wangdu immediately volunteered for the mission. Within days, five other Khampas were singled out (Washington now wanted a total of six trainees, not eight), but only Wangdu was given any hint of the impending assignment. Four were from Lithang; of these, three were Wangdu's close acquaintances, and one was his family servant. The fifth was a friend from the nearby town of Bathang (also spelled Batang). All were still on hand to attend the Dalai Lama's final open-air blessing in a Kalimpong soccer field shortly before the monarch headed back toward Tibet.

-- The CIA's Secret War in Tibet, by Kenneth Conboy and James Morrison

Political intrigues, gossip, and accusations about espionage circulated in Kalimpong, and were related in books written by Western visitors to Kalimpong— some of whom did indeed report back to foreign agencies about their neighbours and friends (Nebesky-Wojkowitz 1956b; Patterson 1990; Sangharakshita 1997). It became infamous as a “nest of spies” (Patterson 1960, 71), a place with a highly volatile atmosphere in which suspicion and mistrust were widespread and had concrete consequences. Newly arrived residents and visitors were often seen as potential threats because of their possible ulterior motives for being in town. This atmosphere of suspicion engulfed Prince Peter as well as his wife Irina and his close friend Georg Nikolaivitch Roerich who, as Russian nationals, were both suspected of being Communist stooges. Another friend, Gyalo Thondup, the Dalai Lama’s elder brother, was suspected of being an agent of the Chinese Nationalists (Patterson 1990, 137). He later helped the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) work with a Tibetan émigré group gathering in Kalimpong to spearhead the Tibetan resistance and an anti-China campaign, creating a resistance network and planning a long-term guerrilla war (Shakya 1999; Knaus 1999; 2012).6 Kalimpong had become an important gathering place for Tibetan resistance directed towards Communist China, as well as a place of refuge for Tibetans fleeing Chinese expansion in Tibet as the PLA further advanced into Tibet and threatened India at its borders...

Being a Tibetan place also meant that European and American Tibetologists, anthropologists, political officers, trade officers, and explorers stayed in Kalimpong, either as a necessary stopover before proceeding to Tibet or as a replacement for a stay in Tibet. Famous Tibetophiles like Alexandra David-Néel, Georg Nikolaivitch Roerich, and René de Nebesky-Wojkowitz went there. Some rented or bought homes and settled in Kalimpong. Others stayed at the Himalayan Hotel, from which important information, gossip, and misinformation about Tibet was circulated (Nebesky-Wojkowitz 1956b; Sangharakshita 1997).

Thus, at the height of the Cold War, an increasing number of visitors came to Kalimpong because it was the second-best thing to being in Tibet proper. Scottish missionary George Patterson remarked that numerous unidentifiable, questionable individuals came to Kalimpong at the height of the tension, when Kalimpong was “the most strategic town on the Chinese Communist route to Calcutta, and became a Communist constituency at this most critical period of Indo-Tibetan crisis” (Patterson 1990, 132). He observed how newspaper fantasies were fabricated because reporters, barred by obstructive Tibetan officials, were unable to enter Tibet. Instead they sought their information among Tibetan travelers in Kalimpong’s bazaars and among the foreigners who gathered at the Himalayan Hotel. They wired home reports about Tibet, which were partly from people’s imaginations and partly products of the Kalimpong rumor mill. Patterson called it “imaginative reporting.” Patterson himself reported to a foreign power, not in order to support any anti-Communist movement, but out of his “pro-God and pro-Tibet” convictions (Patterson 1960; 1990, 124).

-- Prince Peter’s Seven Years in Kalimpong: Collecting in a Contact Zone, by Trine Brox and Miriam Koktvedgaard Zeitzen

George N. Patterson
Born: 19 August 1920, Falkirk, Scotland
Died: 28 December 2012 (aged 92), Lesmahagow, Scotland
Spouse(s): Meg Patterson

George Neilson Patterson (born 19 August 1920 in Falkirk, died at Auchlochan, Lesmahagow, 28 December 2012)[1] also known as Khampa Gyau[2] (bearded Khampa in Tibetan) and Patterson of Tibet, was a Scottish engineer and missionary who served as medical officer and diplomatic representative of the Tibetan resistance movement during the Chinese invasion of Tibet.

He was married to the surgeon Meg Patterson.

Letter of Remembrance

The International Campaign for Tibet awarded him their Light of Truth Award on 25 March 2011.[3] In a letter presented with the award, a simple butter-lamp symbolizing the light the recipient has shed on the cause of Tibet, the Dalai Lama's Special Envoy Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari said: "It is my honour to convey to you in writing the decision of the Board of the International Campaign for Tibet to award you the Light of Truth, the highest recognition in the Tibet world of service to Tibet. The Board of Directors, chaired by Mr. Richard Gere, took the unanimous decision with great enthusiasm and, on their behalf, I offer you heartfelt congratulations. It gives my added pleasure as a Khampa to be the person to officially bring this news to you, Khampa Gyau [‘bearded Khampa’], the name by which His Holiness the Dalai Lama fondly and humorously called you."[2]


• Patterson, George Neilson (1952). Tibetan Journey. UK: Faber & Faber.
• Patterson, George Neilson (1954). God's Fool. United States: Doubleday.
• Patterson, George Neilson (1956). Up and Down Asia.
• Patterson, George Neilson (1958). Tragic Destiny.
• Patterson, George Neilson (1960). Tibet in Revolt.
• Patterson, George Neilson (April 1963). Peking Versus Delhi. United States: Praeger.
• Patterson, George Neilson (May 1964). The Unquiet Frontier. United States: Dragonfly Paperbacks.
• Patterson, George Neilson (1968). Christianity in Communist China. United States: Word[disambiguation needed].
• Patterson, George Neilson (1983). Christianity and Marxism. UK: Paternoster Press.
• Patterson, George Neilson (1990). Requiem For Tibet. London, UK: Aurum Press.
• Patterson, George Neilson (1990). The China Paradox - Christ Versus Marx. UK: Word Books.
• Patterson, George Neilson. Patterson of Tibet. United States: Promotion Publishing.

Joint publications

with Meg Patterson

• Patterson, George Neilson (1975). Addictions Can Be Cured. UK: Lion.
• Patterson, George Neilson (1983). Getting Off The Hook: Addictions can be cured by NET (neuroelectric therapy). Wheaton, Illinois: Harold Shaw. ISBN 978-0-87788-305-0.
• Patterson, George Neilson (1987). The Power Factor. UK: Word.
• Patterson, George Neilson (1994). The Paradise Factor. UK: Word.


• editor Klatt, Werner (1965). The Chinese Problem. OUP & HKUP.
• editor Wint, Guy (September 1966). Asia Handbook. Anthony Blond; Penguin.


Advisor and scriptwriter

• 1964: Raid Into Tibet with Adrian Cowell and Chris Menges
• 1970 Chasing the Dragon
• 1980 Synanon

See also

• Geoffrey Bull


1. "George Patterson". Telegraph. 13 January 2013. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
2. International Campaign for Tibet (25 March 2011). "Light of Truth award presented to legendary 'bearded Khampa' George Patterson". Archived from the original on 2 June 2011. Retrieved 28 March 2011.
3. Brown, Craig (20 March 2011). "Dalai Lama honours Scots hero of Tibetan struggle". Scotland on Sunday. Edinburgh. Retrieved 20 March 2011.

External links

• Article, including photograph of George Patterson on his Tibetan horse, at
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Sun Jul 19, 2020 5:40 am

Bhola Nath Mullik
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 7/18/20

When the United States learned that the Dalai Lama had gotten permission in early November to attend the Buddha Jayanti celebrations, the CIA scrambled to bypass Sikkim and establish direct links with Tibetan sources close to the monarch.

None were closer than the Dalai Lama's two brothers in exile. The eldest, Thubten Norbu, already had a history of indirect contact with the agency via the Committee for a Free Asia… Settling in New Jersey, Norbu began to earn a modest income teaching Tibetan to a handful of students as part of a noncredited course at Columbia University.

The other brother, Gyalo Thondup, was residing in Darjeeling. Six years Norbu's junior, Gyalo was the proverbial prodigal son… As a teen, he had befriended members of the Chinese mission in Lhasa and yearned to study in China… Gyalo got his wish in 1947 when he and a brother-in-law arrived at the Kuomintang capital of Nanking and enrolled in college.

Two years later, Gyalo, then twenty-one, veered further toward China when he married fellow student Zhu Dan. Not only was his wife ethnic Chinese, but her father, retired General Chu Shi- kuei, had been a key Kuomintang officer during the early days of the republic. Because of both his relationship to General Chu and the fact that he was the Dalai Lama's brother, Gyalo was feted in Nanking by no less than Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek…

With the communists closing in on Nanking during the final months of China's civil war, Gyalo and his wife fled in mid-1949 to the safer climes of India. Once again because of his relationship to the Dalai Lama, he was added to the invitation list for various diplomatic events and even got an audience with Prime Minister Nehru.

That October, Gyalo briefly ventured to the Tibetan enclave at Kalimpong before settling for seven months in Calcutta. While there, his father-in-law, General Chu, attempted to make contact with the Tibetan government. With the retreat of the Kuomintang to Taiwan, Chu had astutely shifted loyalty to the People's Republic and was now tasked by Beijing to arrange a meeting between Tibetan and PRC officials at a neutral site, possibly Hong Kong.

Conversant in Chinese and linked to both the Dalai Lama and General Chu, Gyalo was a logical intermediary for the Hong Kong talks… Unable to gain quick entry to the crown colony, Gyalo made what he intended to be a brief diversion to the Republic of China (ROC) on Taiwan. But Chiang Kai- shek, no doubt anxious to keep Gyalo away from General Chu and the PRC, had other plans. Smothering the royal sibling with largesse, Chiang kept Gyalo in Taipei for the next sixteen months. Only after a desperate letter to U.S. Secretary of State Dean Acheson requesting American diplomatic intervention did the ROC relent and give Gyalo an exit permit.

After arriving in Washington in September 1951, Gyalo continued to dabble in diplomacy. Within a month of his arrival, he was called to a meeting at the State Department. Significantly, Gyalo's Chinese wife was at his side during the encounter. Because of the couple's close ties to Chiang, department representatives assumed that details of their talk would quickly be passed to the Kuomintang Nationalists…

Despite State Department efforts to secure him a scholarship at Stanford University, he hurriedly departed the United States in February 1952 for the Indian subcontinent. Leaving his wife behind, he then trekked back to Lhasa after a six-year absence.

By that time, Beijing had a secure foothold in the Tibetan capital. Upon meeting this wayward member of the royal family, the local PRC representatives were pleased. As a Chinese speaker married to one of their own, Gyalo was perceived as a natural ally. Yet again, however, he would prove a disappointment. After showing some interest in promoting a bold land reform program championed by the Dalai Lama, Gyalo once more grew restive. In late spring, he secretly met with the Indian consul in Lhasa, and after promising to refrain from politicking, he was given permission to resettle in India…

Noting his recent return to Darjeeling, the U.S. embassy in early August 1952 cautiously considered establishing contact. Calcutta's Consul General Gary Soulen saw an opportunity in early September while returning from his Sikkim trek with Princess Kukula. Pausing in Darjeeling, Soulen stayed long enough for Gyalo to pass on the latest information from his contacts within the Tibetan merchant community.

Although he had promised to refrain from exile politics, Gyalo saw no conflict in courting senior Indian officials. In particular, he sought a meeting with India's spymaster Bhola Nath Mullik. As head of Indian intelligence, Mullik presided over an organization with deep colonial roots. Established in 1887 as the central Special Branch, it had been organized by the British to keep tabs on the rising tide of Indian nationalism. Despite several redesignations before arriving at the title Intelligence Bureau, anticolonialists remained its primary target for the next sixty years.

Upon independence in 1947, Prime Minister Nehru appointed the bureau's first Indian director…

Three years later, Mullik became the bureau's second director. A police officer since the age of twenty-two, the taciturn Mullik was known for his boundless energy (he often worked sixteen-hour days), close ties to Nehru, healthy suspicion of China, and (rare for a senior Indian official) predisposition against communism. Almost immediately, the Tibetan frontier became his top concern. This followed Beijing's invasion of Kham that October, which meant that India's military planners now had to contend with a hypothetical front besides Pakistan. Moreover, the tribal regions of northeastern India were far from integrated, and revolutionaries in those areas could now easily receive Chinese support. The previous year, in fact, the bureau had held a conference on risks associated with Chinese infiltration.

Despite Mullik's concerns, Nehru was prone to downplay the potential Chinese threat. Not only did he think it ludicrous to prepare for a full-scale Chinese attack, but he saw real benefits in cultivating Beijing to offset Pakistan's emerging strategy of anticommunist cooperation with the West. "It was Nehru's idealism against hard-headed Chinese realism," said one Intelligence Bureau official. "Mullik injected healthy suspicions."

Astute enough to hedge his bets, Nehru allowed Mullik some leeway in improving security along the border and collecting intelligence on Chinese forces in Tibet. To accomplish this, Mullik expanded the number of Indian frontier posts strung across the Himalayas. In addition, he sought contact with Tibetans living in the Darjeeling and Kalimpong enclaves. Not only could these Tibetans be tapped for information, but a symbolic visit by a senior official like Mullik would lift morale at a time when their homeland was being subjugated. Such contact, moreover, could give New Delhi advance warning of any subversive activity in Tibet being staged from Indian soil.

Of all the Tibetan expatriates, Mullik had his eye on Gyalo Thondup. Besides having an insider's perspective of the high offices in Lhasa, Gyalo had already passed word of his desire for a meeting. Prior to his departure for his first visit to Darjeeling in the spring of 1953, Mullik asked for -- and quickly received -- permission from the prime minister to include the Dalai Lama's brother on his itinerary. Their subsequent exchange of views went well, as did their tete-a-tete during Mullik's second visit to Darjeeling in 1954…

The Indians, too, seemed more than willing to turn a blind eye on the CIA's cavorting with the Tibetans. In 1960, B. N. Mullik, head of the Indian Intelligence Bureau, and Richard Helms, the CIA's chief of operations for the Directorate of Plans, had met discreetly during an Interpol conference in Hawaii; at that time, Mullik said that he endorsed the agency's efforts and wanted U.S. overflights to continue...

Although Indian spymaster Mullik quietly reaffirmed his tacit approval of the agency's efforts in 1961, and had earlier claimed that Nehru held similar beliefs, his influence with the aging prime minister was more than offset by India's ambitious and abrasive defense minister, Krishna Menon...

Now that the guerrilla force had a leader, there remained the job of signing on Tibetan volunteers. To help, the Indians sent an emissary from the Intelligence Bureau to Darjeeling to fetch the Dalai Lama's brother, Gyalo Thondup. After years of attempting to court the Indians -- who were often sympathetic but never committal -- Gyalo relished the moment as he sat in front of a select group of senior intelligence and military officials in the capital. Speaking in theoretical terms, his hosts asked whether he could organize the needed volunteers. Of course, replied Gyalo. When asked how many, he conjured a robust, round figure. Five thousand, he said.

Next came a key question. Would Gyalo prefer that the Intelligence Bureau or the Ministry of Defense be involved? Based on his earlier contact with Mullik and his current cooperation with the CIA (through Lhamo Tsering), the decision was easy…

As a covert aside to Harriman's talks, the CIA representatives on the delegation held their own sessions with Indian intelligence czar Mullik. This was a first, as Galbraith had previously taken great pains to downscale the agency's activities inside India to all but benign reporting functions. As recently as 5 November, he had objected to projected CIA plans due to the risk of exposure. But in a 13 November letter to Kennedy, the ambassador had a qualified change of heart, noting that Menon's departure was a turning point to begin working with the Indians on "sensitive matters."

Both the CIA and the Intelligence Bureau were quick to seize the opportunity. "I went into a huddle with Mullik and Des," recalls Critchfield, "and we started coming up with all these schemes against the Chinese." Most of their ideas centered around use of the Tibetans. "The Indians were interested in the Tibet program because of its intelligence collection value," said station chief David Blee, who sat in on some of the meetings. "Mullik was particularly interested in paramilitary operations." There was good reason for this: following Menon's resignation, and Gyalo Thondup's stated preference, the Intelligence Bureau had been placed in charge of the 5,000 Tibetan guerrillas forming under Brigadier Uban.

Mullik was cautious as well. Although he was well connected to the Nehru family and had the prime minister's full approval to talk with the CIA, he knew that the Indian populace was fickle, and until recently, anti-Americanism had been a popular mantra. It was perhaps only a matter of time before the barometer would swing back and make open Indo-U.S. cooperation political suicide. To offer some protection against this, Mullik and one of his close deputies, M. I. Hooja, made a special request during a session with FitzGerald and Blee. "They made us promise that our involvement," said Blee, "would remain secret forever."…

For intelligence chief Mullik, the Chakrata project signaled a new sense of militancy regarding Tibet. This was communicated in strong fashion on 29 December when Mullik -- through Gyalo Thondup -- told the Dalai Lama that New Delhi had now adopted a covert policy of supporting the eventual liberation of his homeland…

On 20 November, Mullik had notified Nehru that he wanted to quit his post as director of the Intelligence Bureau in order to focus on organizing a resistance movement in the event the Chinese pushed further into Assam. Nehru refused to accept his spy-master's resignation and instead directed him toward Patnaik, with the suggestion that they pool their talent.

Meeting later that same afternoon, the spy and the minister became quick allies. Although their resistance plans took on less urgency the next day, after Beijing announced a unilateral cease-fire, Patnaik offered critical help in other arenas. Later that month, when the CIA wanted to use its aircraft to quietly deliver three planeloads of supplies to India as a sign of good faith, it was Patnaik who arranged for the discreet use of the Charbatia airfield in Orissa. And in December, after the CIA notified New Delhi of its impending paramilitary support program, he was the one dispatched to Washington on behalf of Nehru and Mullik to negotiate details of the assistance package…

Throughout 1964, Intelligence Bureau director Mullik had been pushing for infiltration of all the Hale-trained agents to establish an underground movement within Tibet. By year's end, the Special Center saw its limited inroads -- elements of four teams operating inside their homeland -- as a glass half full.

Mullik, by contrast, saw it as a glass half empty. Whereas he had once held excessive expectations of a Tibet-wide underground creating untold headaches for China, he now saw the limitations of overland infiltrations -- especially by Khampa agents moving into areas where they did not have family or clan support. By the beginning of 1965, Mullik lashed out, claiming that the Tibetans were being coddled by the CIA.

Part of the problem was that Mullik himself was vulnerable and under pressure. In May 1964, ailing Prime Minister Nehru had died in his sleep, denying the fourteen-year spymaster of his powerful patron. That October, colleagues (and competitors) saw the chance to ease Mullik out of the top intelligence slot. They succeeded, but only to a degree. Although he gave up his hat as bureau director, he retained unofficial control over joint paramilitary operations with the CIA. That position -- which was officially titled director general of security in February 1965 -- answered directly to the prime minister and oversaw the ARC base at Charbatia, the Special Center, Establishment 22, and the sensor mission of Nanda Devi.

With Mullik growing impatient, the Special Center readied its agents for a second season inside Tibet. Arriving in late 1964 as the new CIA representative at the center was John Gilhooley, the same Far East Division officer who had briefly worked at the Tibet Task Force's Washington office in 1960. The Indian and Tibetan officials at the center warmed to their new American counterpart. "He was a free spirit, very good-natured," said Rabi.…

Although the Special Center's agent program had little to boast about, it looked positively dynamic compared with the paramilitary army festering in Mustang. A big part of Mustang's problem was that it was being managed from afar without any direct oversight. The Special Center had assumed handling of the program, but none of its officers had ever actually visited Mustang. The closest they got was when CIA representative Ken Knaus twice visited Pokhara in 1964 to meet Mustang officers, With no on-site presence, the agency and Intelligence Bureau had to rely on infrequent reporting by the Tibetan guerillas themselves. From what little was offered, it was readily apparent that the by-product from Mustang was practically nil.

For the taciturn Mullik, disenchantment with Mustang was starting to run deep. By late 1964, he was alternating between extremes -- first insisting that the guerrillas be given a major injection of airdropped supplies, later throwing up his arms and demanding that they all be brought down to India and merged with Establishment 22.

In January 1965, the pendulum swung back -- with a twist. Now Mullik was proposing that Mustang be given two airdrops to equip its unarmed volunteers. These weapons would be given on the condition that the guerrillas shift inside Tibet to two operating locations. The first was astride the route between Kathmandu and Lhasa. The second was along the Chinese border road running west from Lhasa toward Xinjiang via the contested Ladakh region.

The choice of these two locations was understandable. In late 1961, the Chinese had offered to build for Nepal an all-weather road linking Kathmandu and the Nepalese border pass at Kodari, one of the few areas on the Tibet frontier not closed by winter snows. Work was continuing at a breakneck pace, with completion of the route expected by 1966. India, not surprisingly, was concerned about the road's military applications; by putting a concentration of guerrillas astride the approach from the Tibetan side, any PLA traffic could be halted. Similarly, a guerrilla pocket along the Xinjiang road would complicate Chinese efforts to reinforce Ladakh.

As before, Mullik was reluctant to use the ARC to perform the supply drops. Knowing that the CIA would be equally reluctant to use its own assets -- that would defeat one of the main reasons for creating the ARC in the first place -- he offered two sweeteners. First, he promised that the U.S. aircraft could stage from Charbatia. Second, he would allow one ARC member to accompany the flights. This revised proposal went back to Washington and was put before the members of the 303 Committee (prior to June 1964, known as the Special Group); on 9 April, the committee lent its approval to the airdrop and Mustang redeployment scheme.

Mullik, it turned out, was a moving target. As soon as he was informed of Washington's consent, he reneged on the offer to allow an ARC crew member on the flights. The CIA fired back, insisting that the Indian member was a prerequisite for the missions to go ahead. To this, Mullik had a ready counteroffer: he would provide a cover story if the flight encountered problems.

As Mullik ducked and weaved, Ambassador Bowles urged the CIA to accept the proposal. Bowles was acutely aware that relations with New Delhi were already growing prickly on other fronts, and they were not helped when the unpredictable President Johnson unceremoniously canceled a summit that month with the Indian prime minister. Just as he would later support the stillborn C- 130 deal, the ambassador felt that a compromise with Mullik was a way to keep at least intelligence cooperation on a solid footing. The CIA agreed; the flights would proceed on an all-American basis…

The year had started on a most inauspicious note. On 10 January 1966, while in the Soviet city of Tashkent to negotiate an end to the Indo-Pakistan dispute in Kashmir, Indian Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri suffered a fatal heart attack. As his body was flown home for cremation, party stalwarts in New Delhi looked to pick a second leader in as many years.

Their choice eventually fell on Nehru's daughter, Indira Gandhi. Then in her mid-forties, she had made few political ripples of her own. Looking somewhat awkward and shy in public, Mrs. Gandhi had been elevated to power precisely because party seniors thought her pliable.

President Johnson, for one, quickly found out otherwise. In March, Gandhi arrived in Washington on her first official foreign trip. Exuding both tact and charm, she earned Johnson's strong support for a major food aid package in exchange for market-oriented economic reforms.

With the Washington summit a success surpassing all expectations, Indo-U.S. relations got back some of the luster lost during the previous year's Kashmir crisis. Sensing an opportunity, the CIA on 22 April asked the 303 Committee to approve a major $18 million Tibetan paramilitary package. Part of this was earmarked to maintain the Mustang force for a three-year term. The package also included two C-130 aircraft as ELINT platforms to augment the lone ARC C-46 flying in this role, as well as funding for a 5,000-man increase in Establishment 22.

Most remarkable was the argument the CIA was using to justify its proposal. Moving beyond the lip service paid by Mullik in earlier years, the agency claimed that the Intelligence Bureau had drawn up plans in 1965 calling for the liberation of Tibet. Reading into this, the CIA suggested that India might be willing to commit Establishment 22 to a second front in the event circumstances in Vietnam sparked all-out hostilities between the United States and China.

In making a linkage between Tibet and Vietnam, the CIA was being politically astute. Rather than justifying the Tibetan operation solely on its own merits, the agency was now trying to loosely fix it to the coattails of Indochina policy -- a topic that resonated at the top of the Johnson administration agenda.

All this smacked of geopolitical fantasy. If Mullik, just a few months earlier, had balked at making airdrops to Mustang, it was a good bet that New Delhi would not willingly invite Beijing's wrath by sponsoring a Tibet front if the United States and China went to war over Vietnam. Even Ambassador Bowles, an ardent proponent of intelligence cooperation, quickly backpedaled on the Vietnam link. There was a "strong possibility" that India would be willing to commit its guerrilla forces against Tibet, he wrote in a secret cable on 28 April, but only if Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim, or maybe Burma were attacked by China.…

By the time Gougelmann got his India assignment in mid-1966, he had a full plate. Part of his time was devoted to managing the mountaineering expeditions aimed at placing a nuclear-powered sensor atop the Nanda Devi summit. Even more of Gougelmann's time was spent arranging assistance for the guerrillas at Chakrata. The Indians were eager to double the number of Tibetans at Establishment 22 and were even calling for the recruitment of Gurkhas into the unit. Reflecting bureaucratic creep, Director General of Security Mullik had come up with a new, more formal name for the outfit -- the Special Frontier Force, or SFF -- and had given Uban an office in New Delhi.

The SFF had matured considerably since its humble start. One hundred twenty-two guerrillas made up each of its companies, with five or six companies grouped into battalions commanded by Tibetan political leaders…

The Indians were also nervous about media revelations concerning the CIA. In March 1967, Ramparts, a liberal U.S. magazine critical of the government, published an expose on covert CIA support for various private organizations, including the Asia Foundation (originally known as the Committee for a Free Asia). Because numerous U.S. educational and voluntary groups were active in India, this sparked an anti-CIA furor in the Indian parliament.

Never openly embraced, the CIA now had few advocates on the subcontinent. Mullik, who had chaperoned the Tibet projects since the beginning of Indian involvement, had already given up his seat as director general of security in mid-1966. His replacement, Balbir Singh, had an independent and forceful personality but only limited clout with the prime minister. For her part, Mrs. Gandhi showed little appreciation for the agency or its assistance. "We became a tolerated annoyance," summed up Woody Johnson.

-- The CIA's Secret War in Tibet, by Kenneth Conboy and James Morrison

Bhola Nath Mullik
Born: West Bengal, India
Occupation: Civil servant, spymaster
Known for his service as the director of Intelligence Bureau
Awards: 1964 Padma Bhushan

Bhola Nath Mullik was an Indian civil servant, spymaster and the second director of the Intelligence Bureau of India (IB).[1][2] He served as the director of IB from July 15, 1950 to October 9, 1964.[3] He was known to be a hardworking official, with close contacts with the then Union government.[4] It was reported that Mullik had been a close associate of Jawaharlal Nehru, the erstwhile Indian prime minister[5] and assisted Nehru to keep a watch on the movements of the relatives of Subhash Chandra Bose in the aftermath of Bose's disappearance in 1945.[6] It was on his advice, that Nehru ordered for the establishment of Special Frontier Force (SFF) (also known as Establishment 22) for defending against the Chinese army in the Sino-Indian War of 1962.[7] The Government of India awarded him Padma Bhushan, the third highest Indian civilian award, in 1964.[8]

See also

• Death of Subhas Chandra Bose
• R. N. Kao


1. Anne F. Thurston; Gyalo Thondup (16 April 2015). The Noodle Maker of Kalimpong: The Untold Story of My Struggle for Tibet. Ebury Publishing. pp. 141–. ISBN 978-1-4481-7596-3.
2. "A spy and a gentleman". Kashmir Sentinel. 3 January 2003. Retrieved 26 May2018.
3. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 August 2013. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
4. Paul Maddrell; Christopher Moran; Mark Stout, Ioanna Iordanou (1 February 2018). Spy Chiefs: Volume 2: Intelligence Leaders in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Georgetown University Press. pp. 268–. ISBN 978-1-62616-523-6.
5. Sinha, S. K. (20 October 2012). "The guilty men of '62". The Asian Age. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
6. "Intelligence Bureau didn't believe Netaji died in 1945 - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
7. Sanyal, Amitava (14 November 2009). "The curious case of establishment 22". Retrieved 26 May 2018.
8. "Padma Awards". Padma Awards. Government of India. 17 May 2018. Retrieved 17 May 2018.

Further reading

• Rajeswar, T. V. (2016). India : the crucial years. New Delhi: Harper Collins. p. 296. ISBN 9789351772866. OCLC 921977922.

External links

• Sanyal, Amitava (15 November 2009). "Snippets from the world of secrets". The Telegraph. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
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Posts: 31737
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Mon Jul 20, 2020 1:33 am

Part 1 of 2

Prince Peter’s Seven Years in Kalimpong: Collecting in a Contact Zone
by Trine Brox and Miriam Koktvedgaard Zeitzen
January, 2017

Kalimpong Main Road, RCM Road 1950


The main protagonist of this paper is H.R.H. Prince Peter of Greece and Denmark (1908–1980), an old-world ethnographer and explorer who went to Kalimpong in the 1950s, first as a member and later as the leader of the Third Danish Expedition to Central Asia. The expedition’s aims were to explore and document empty spots on the map and to rescue the remnants of local cultures in Upper Asia. With the developing crisis in Tibet, however, Prince Peter was stranded in Kalimpong, waiting in vain for permission to enter Tibet. Yet unfavourable political circumstances turned into great opportunities for the expedition as the advance of the People’s Liberation Army into Tibet led to a stream of refugees into Kalimpong: “We had been denied entry into Tibet, but Tibet had come to us.” In this article, we explore Prince Peter’s seven years in Kalimpong and how he navigated this particularly intense contact zone, negotiating difficult political, personal, and professional circumstances.

Introducing Prince Peter in Kalimpong

H.R.H. Prince Peter of Greece and Denmark was an old-world ethnographer and explorer who embodied the intellectual aristocrat who travelled in style to exotic places to study the local flora, fauna, and folk.1 His mother’s vast fortune supported Prince Peter and enabled him to dedicate his life to his travels and the pursuit of adventure on his own professional— and personal—terms. Yet this description fails to do justice to the thirst for knowledge and the quest to make scientific discoveries that drove him to travel to the far reaches of the world. In 1950, his travels took him to the north-east Indian Himalayan town of Kalimpong—“the little frontier town at the very gate of central Tibet” (Prince Peter 1963, 581). He arrived there in 1950 as part of, and later as the leader of the Third Danish Expedition to Central Asia. He was aiming for Tibet, but ended up staying in Kalimpong for seven years.2 During those years, based in Kalimpong, Prince Peter not only became entangled in intense and sometimes conflictual political and personal relations with society there, but he also faced tremendous professional challenges because the expedition was stranded in this Himalayan town and unable to follow its intended trajectory into Upper Asia.

Prince Peter’s unanticipated Kalimpong adventure nonetheless stands out from other ethnographic work done amongst Tibetans because of the variety and amount of material that he was able to collect during his stay there from January 1950 to February 1957. He acquired a rich collection of artefacts and books, photographs and moving images, sound recordings, and ethnographic information, as well as an astoundingly large body of physical anthropology data. He published several articles based on the data from the expedition, covering topics ranging from fraternal polyandry to anthropometrical studies, as well as investigations of Tibetan oracles, aristocrats, Muslims, and many others. Our preliminary inquiry reveals that between 1935 and 1980, Prince Peter published six books and over sixty articles, many of them for the general public. He also produced sixteen anthropological films. Almost half of his work was published in the 1950s, professionally his most productive decade.3

Prince Peter’s Kalimpong years were not only his most productive professionally, but also his most intense, personally and politically. For Prince Peter, and the many other explorers, ethnographers, and adventurers who lived in or travelled through the town, Kalimpong came to constitute a complex contact zone—one of those “social spaces where disparate cultures meet, clash and grapple with each other, often in highly asymmetrical relations of dominance and subordination” (Pratt 1992, 4). Contact zones are, from Marie Louise Pratt’s perspective, fluid places and spaces of exchange and connectivity, spaces shaped by European expeditions into non-European worlds (Pratt 1992). Therefore, the concept of a contact zone is a useful tool for framing and understanding the many encounters and exchanges between the local and the global, the national and the transnational, and between identity and diversity, that took place during Prince Peter’s sojourn in Kalimpong—a sojourn which in many and varied ways embodies the West’s encounter with “the rest.”

Thus, Prince Peter’s stationary expedition work obtaining permits, collecting artefacts, and interacting with interlocutors in Kalimpong could be understood as activities that took place within a complex contact zone. This paper represents a first attempt at exploring the ways in which Prince Peter’s scientific pursuits became entangled with political and personal dramas in this multi-layered contact zone, where people from a variety of socio-cultural and ethnic-linguistic backgrounds moved in and out, oscillating between placement and displacement. We will investigate Kalimpong as a fluid and dynamic place containing various spaces of exchange and connectivity in which Prince Peter interacted with interlocutors, and will explore the transcultural knowledge spaces that emerge from their encounters. For analytical purposes, and to do justice to Prince Peter’s many entanglements, we have conceptually subdivided Kalimpong into a geopolitical, an interpersonal, and an ethnographic contact zone. How Prince Peter navigated these multiple and complex contact zones, constantly negotiating difficult political, personal, and professional circumstances in a stream of social and cultural encounters and scientific challenges is one of the focal points of this paper.

Our second focal point is Prince Peter’s initially reluctant abandonment of the expedition mode in favour of a more contemporary way of doing ethnographic fieldwork, that is, intense study in particular spaces. Operating within the old fashioned expedition mode, Prince Peter had been determined to travel to far-off places to penetrate new and unexplored worlds in order to document the many facets of the exotic and unknown civilizations he expected to encounter. He was part of a team composed of anthropologists, archaeologists, geographers, botanists, meteorologists, and religious studies scholars—scholars whose expertise, the result of their different scientific methods, was considered necessary to map out in their entirety the various constituents of a civilization. The team of Danish explorers was supposed to pass through Kalimpong, yet rather than being the intended gateway to Tibet, the town came to constitute a particular space in which Prince Peter conducted intense studies of Tibetans and their culture. As time passed and the expedition continued to be denied entry to Tibet, the other members of the expedition left one by one, and Prince Peter came to represent the expedition single-handedly, carrying the flag of the Explorers’ Club, both metaphorically and literally, as the expedition’s sole remaining participant.

In Kalimpong, Prince Peter attempted to salvage both tangible Tibetan cultural heritage, on commission from the Danish National Museum, and intangible cultural heritage, documenting particular Tibetan lifeways such as polyandry for posterity (Koktvedgaard Zeitzen 2008; Prince Peter 1963). Prince Peter’s stay in Kalimpong foreshadowed contemporary anthropological fieldwork, where ethnographers work with people where they are when the fieldwork is being done, rather than where they are considered to have originated from. In 1950s Kalimpong, where both Prince Peter and his Tibetan interlocutors were embroiled in personal struggles of various kinds, the narrative identity they created was dynamic—and displaced. However, Prince Peter’s goal was not to understand contemporary Tibetan lifeways in Kalimpong but rather, to collect and document Tibetan heritage as it was practiced where, in his view, it had originally belonged, that is, in Tibet proper. He filters his Tibetan interlocutors’ accounts and artefacts through his own acquired anthropological narratives about Tibet, and, using this filter, extracted those elements he thought embodied authentic Tibetan cultural lifeways. By exploring Prince Peter’s work in Kalimpong as taking place within a complex and contested contact zone, this paper attempts to take some initial steps in exploring his production of ethnographic knowledge and its entanglement with his Tibetan interlocutors and their own bodies of knowledge.

H.R.H. Prince Peter of Greece and Denmark

H.R.H. Prince Peter of Greece and Denmark was born in Paris in 1908. He was the son of Prince Georg of Greece and Denmark, brother to the Greek king. His mother was the famous psychiatrist Marie Bonaparte, who came from the immensely wealthy Blanc family of France, whose fortune derived from the Monte Carlo Casino. She became a psychiatrist after becoming a patient and later a close friend of Sigmund Freud; she is well-known for paying the ransom that enabled him to leave German-occupied Austria in 1938. Prince Peter’s maternal grandfather was Prince Roland Napoléon Bonaparte, grandson of Emperor Napoleon’s brother Lucien, and a famous botanist and explorer in his own right. He was a member of the 1886 French scientific expedition to northern Norway, where he photographed and took anthropometric measurements of indigenous Sami people (Bonaparte 1886).

Anthropometry was used extensively by anthropologists studying human and racial origins: some attempted racial differentiation and classification, often seeking ways in which certain races were inferior to others. Nott translated Arthur de Gobineau's An Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races (1853–1855), a founding work of racial segregationism that made three main divisions between races, based not on colour but on climatic conditions and geographic location, and privileged the "Aryan" race. Science has tested many theories aligning race and personality, which have been current since Boulainvilliers (1658–1722) contrasted the Français (French people), alleged descendants of the Nordic Franks, and members of the aristocracy, to the Third Estate, considered to be indigenous Gallo-Roman people subordinated by right of conquest.

François Bernier, Carl Linnaeus and Blumenbach had examined multiple observable human characteristics in search of a typology. Bernier based his racial classification on physical type which included hair shape, nose shape and skin color. Linnaeus based a similar racial classification scheme. As anthropologists gained access to methods of skull measure they developed racial classification based on skull shape.

Theories of scientific racism became popular, one prominent figure being Georges Vacher de Lapouge (1854–1936), who in L'Aryen et son rôle social (1899 - "The Aryan and his social role") divided humanity into various, hierarchized, different "races", spanning from the "Aryan white race, dolichocephalic" to the "brachycephalic" (short and broad-headed) race. Between these Vacher de Lapouge identified the "Homo europaeus (Teutonic, Protestant, etc.), the "Homo alpinus" (Auvergnat, Turkish, etc.) and the "Homo mediterraneus" (Napolitano, Andalus, etc.). "Homo africanus" (Congo, Florida) was excluded from discussion. His racial classification ("Teutonic", "Alpine" and "Mediterranean") was also used by William Z. Ripley (1867–1941) who, in The Races of Europe (1899), made a map of Europe according to the cephalic index of its inhabitants.

Vacher de Lapouge became one of the leading inspirations of Nazi anti-semitism and Nazi ideology. Nazi Germany relied on anthropometric measurements to distinguish Aryans from Jews and many forms of anthropometry were used for the advocacy of eugenics. During the 1920s and 1930s, though, members of the school of cultural anthropology of Franz Boas began to use anthropometric approaches to discredit the concept of fixed biological race. Boas used the cephalic index to show the influence of environmental factors...

Several studies have demonstrated correlations between race and brain size, with varying results. In some studies, Caucasians were reported to have larger brains than other racial groups, whereas in recent studies and reanalysis of previous studies, East Asians were reported as having larger brains and skulls. More common among the studies was the report that Africans had smaller skulls than either Caucasians or East Asians. Criticisms have been raised against a number of these studies regarding questionable methods.

In Crania Americana Morton claimed that Caucasians had the biggest brains, averaging 87 cubic inches, Indians were in the middle with an average of 82 cubic inches and Negroes had the smallest brains with an average of 78 cubic inches. In 1873 Paul Broca (1824–1880) found the same pattern described by Samuel Morton's Crania Americana by weighing brains at autopsy. Other historical studies alleging a Black-White difference in brain size include Bean (1906), Mall, (1909), Pearl, (1934) and Vint (1934). But in Germany Rudolf Virchow's study led him to denounce "Nordic mysticism" in the 1885 Anthropology Congress in Karlsruhe. Josef Kollmann, a collaborator of Virchow, stated in the same congress that the people of Europe, be them German, Italian, English or French, belonged to a "mixture of various races," furthermore declaring that the "results of craniology" led to "struggle against any theory concerning the superiority of this or that European race". Virchow later rejected measure of skulls as legitimate means of taxonomy. Paul Kretschmer quoted an 1892 discussion with him concerning these criticisms, also citing Aurel von Törok's 1895 work, who basically proclaimed the failure of craniometry.

-- History of anthropometry, by Wikipedia

Figure 1: Irina taking a rest on her way to Ladakh with Prince Peter in 1938; their pre-war Himalayan journey is described in Prince Peter’s book Chevauchée tibétaines, Fernand Nathan, Paris 1958.

Prince Peter led a life of luxury and enjoyed the high social status befitting his royal birth, yet when he married the twice-divorced Russian socialite Irina Alexandrovna Ovtchinnikova (b. 1904 in Saint Petersburg, d. 1990 in Paris) in Madras in 1939, his fortunes took an abrupt turn. His family did not approve of the marriage, and he was banished from the royal inner circles in Greece and Denmark. Distant places might have seemed even more attractive to the prince after his familial déroute, and his wife remained his loyal and intrepid companion during all his subsequent travels. Prince Peter’s mother also remained devoted to her son, albeit at a distance, and continued to pay his personal expenses and finance his professional endeavours even after his rift with the royal families.

In 1937–39, Prince Peter undertook his first anthropological expedition to South Asia (figure 1). Together with his wife, Prince Peter carried out fieldwork among polyandrous groups in Ladakh, the Himalayas, and on the Malabar Coast. He had been broadly educated, studying first in Paris at the Sorbonne, where he became Docteur en Droit in 1934 with a thesis on Danish cooperatives. In 1935, he began post-graduate studies in anthropology at the London School of Economics under the supervision of Bronislaw Malinowski. One of the founding fathers of modern anthropology, Malinowski pioneered ethnographic fieldwork as the hallmark of anthropological methodology.
Malinowski may thus have inspired and encouraged Prince Peter to do intense, long-term fieldwork.

Prince Peter’s travels were interrupted by the outbreak of the Second World War, during which he was stationed in Egypt as a captain in the Greek Army. He resumed his anthropological explorations in 1946 with an expedition to Afghanistan, and moved on to join the Third Danish Expedition to Central Asia in 1948. It was part of Denmark’s participation in the race between nations to explore what Prince Peter called “little-known parts of the world” (Prince Peter 1954, 229). The overarching goal of the expedition was to explore terra incognita in Upper Asia. It had two objectives: firstly to explore and document Upper Asia, which was considered a blank spot on the map, and secondly to rescue the remnants of local cultures, which were assumed to be soon lost to the world. The expedition team under the prince’s leadership was to head for Sikkim in the south, work its way to Lhasa and over the Tibetan Plateau to Alaša in Inner Mongolia, and from there into the territory of the “Yellow Uigurs” (Prince Peter 1954, 229).

Prince Peter arrived in Kalimpong in January 1950, intent on documenting Tibet, its people, and its culture, all of which were considered under threat from the encroaching modern world, which gave the expedition a sense of urgency.4 Tibet was perceived as an inaccessible, empty space on the map between India and China, yet to be discovered and documented by cartographers and ethnographers, a forbidden and isolated place that had to be forced open to reveal its secrets (Bishop 1989).
In his book Trespassers on the Roof of the World: The Race for Lhasa, Peter Hopkirk articulates such a vision of Tibet, circulating at the time of Prince Peter’s expedition: “Until the Chinese invasion, their spartan way of life had hardly changed since the Middle Ages. […] Like Shangri La, the ‘lost’ valley of James Hilton’s Lost Horizons, Tibet was a land where time stood still and people had not yet lost their innocence. It was this, perhaps above all else, which made it so alluring to trespassers from the West” (Hopkirk 1982, 7).5 Prince Peter summed up the Western—and masculine—ethos of their expedition: “The people of Tibet are still practically unknown. From an anthropological and ethnological point of view, the country is virgin ground” (Prince Peter 1952, 281).

Prince Peter was unable to enter Tibet because of the tense political situation, and the advancement of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) into Tibet in November 1950 left him stranded in Kalimpong. Yet the fruitless, seven-year wait for permission to enter Tibet nevertheless turned out to be Prince Peter’s most productive phase professionally, as the PLA’s presence in Tibet triggered a stream of Tibetan refugees into Kalimpong, creating a supply of potential interlocutors for his anthropological research (figure 2). He was, however, facing political, personal, and scientific challenges in this complex contact zone. From his exchange of letters with the Indian government and West Bengali authorities it is clear that they had little understanding of the scientific work he was doing. The Indian authorities grew increasingly concerned about him and his activities, in part because they suspected that his Russian wife was a spy. Eventually, Prince Peter and Irina were evicted from their house, and in February 1957 they left Kalimpong.

Spending seven years in Kalimpong and gaining first hand experience of Cold War politics and Communist China’s advance into Tibet, which pushed Tibetans into exile, Prince Peter became deeply engaged in the Tibetan cause. As President of the Nordic Council for Tibetan Assistance, he was instrumental in helping Tibetans go to Scandinavia in the 1960s.

The Nordic Council is the official body for formal inter-parliamentary Nordic cooperation among the Nordic countries. Formed in 1952, it has 87 representatives from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden as well as from the autonomous areas of the Faroe Islands, Greenland, and the Åland Islands. The representatives are members of parliament in their respective countries or areas and are elected by those parliaments. The Council holds ordinary sessions each year in October/November and usually one extra session per year with a specific theme...

In 1971, the Nordic Council of Ministers, an intergovernmental forum, was established to complement the Council. The Council and the Council of Ministers are involved in various forms of cooperation with neighbouring areas, amongst them being the Baltic Assembly and the Benelux,[4] as well as Russia[5] and Schleswig-Holstein.

During World War II, Denmark and Norway were occupied by Germany; Finland was under assault by the Soviet Union; while Sweden, though neutral, still felt the war's effects. Following the war, the Nordic countries pursued the idea of a Scandinavian defence union to ensure their mutual defence. However, Finland, due to its Paasikivi-Kekkonen policy of neutrality and FCMA treaty with the USSR, could not participate.

It was proposed that the Nordic countries would unify their foreign policy and defence, remain neutral in the event of a conflict and not ally with NATO, which some were planning at the time. The United States, keen on getting access to bases in Scandinavia and believing the Nordic countries incapable of defending themselves, stated it would not ensure military support for Scandinavia if they did not join NATO. As Denmark and Norway sought US aid for their post-war reconstruction, the project collapsed, with Denmark, Norway and Iceland joining NATO.

Further Nordic co-operation, such as an economic customs union, also failed. This led Danish Prime Minister Hans Hedtoft to propose, in 1951, a consultative inter-parliamentary body. This proposal was agreed by Denmark, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden in 1952. The Council's first session was held in the Danish Parliament on 13 February 1953 and it elected Hans Hedtoft as its president. When Finnish-Soviet relations thawed following the death of Joseph Stalin, Finland joined the council in 1955.

On 2 July 1954, the Nordic labour market was created and in 1958, building upon a 1952 passport-free travel area, the Nordic Passport Union was created. These two measures helped ensure Nordic citizens' free movement around the area. A Nordic Convention on Social Security was implemented in 1955. There were also plans for a single market but they were abandoned in 1959 shortly before Denmark, Norway, and Sweden joined the European Free Trade Area (EFTA). Finland became an associated member of EFTA in 1961 and Denmark and Norway applied to join the European Economic Community (EEC).

This move towards the EEC led to desire for a formal Nordic treaty. The Helsinki Treaty outlined the workings of the Council and came into force on 24 March 1962. Further advancements on Nordic cooperation were made in the following years: a Nordic School of Public Health, a Nordic Cultural Fund, and Nordic House in Reykjavík were created.

-- Nordic Council, by Wikipedia

In 1960, he helped arrange for twenty Tibetans aged eleven to sixteen to be educated in Denmark (Brox and Koktvedgaard Zeitzen 2016). His time in Kalimpong also fundamentally influenced his future academic trajectory. After returning to Europe, Prince Peter submitted his PhD dissertation on polyandry, based on his fieldwork in the Himalayas and southern India, to the London School of Economics. He received his PhD in 1959, and his seminal work on polyandry was published in 1963. He received an honorary doctorate from the University of Copenhagen in 1960, yet he never held an appointment at a university in Denmark or elsewhere. Nevertheless, he continued to travel and lecture at universities, explorers’ clubs, and various venues, and to publish on Tibetan matters for both an academic audience and the general readership. Prince Peter was finally allowed to enter Tibet in 1979—in post-Mao China, when Deng Xiaoping’s reforms opened the Tibetan plateau for Chinese business, immigration and tourism, and socio-economic reforms were intended to raise Tibet from the ruins of the Cultural Revolution. Prince Peter died a year later in London.

Kalimpong as a geopolitical contact zone

Figure 2: The photo bears the inscription “With compliments from Lakhmishand Kaluram. Kalimpong. 14/8/54” on the back; someone else has added that Prince Peter is standing next to the wife of a Tibetan Official.


Kalimpong extends along a mountain ridge at a height of 1,300 meters in the Himalayan foothills of northern West Bengal, at the endpoint of a land corridor leading to Tibet. As the southern terminus of a commodity pathway starting at the Tibetan capital Lhasa and crossing over the Jelep mountain pass into India, it was the most important hill station in the region when Prince Peter stayed there. It had become the new economic capital of the region after the British Younghusband military expedition in 1903–4 forced entry into Tibet and opened a trade route between Lhasa and Calcutta. Goods coming from Tibet through Kalimpong could thus be transported to the commercial port of Calcutta, and shipped onward to Europe and America (Hackett ND; Harris 2008, 2013). As a globally connected centre of Indo-Tibetan trade, Kalimpong attracted people from all over, making the town a classic example of a contact zone fuelled by a complex web of cultural, ethnic, caste, religious, and linguistic encounters. It was, in the words of Prince Peter’s fellow scholar and friend René de Nebesky-Wojkowitz (figure 3), the “city of the seven new years,” because here “practically all peoples living in the Himalayas and adjacent territories” congregated and each group celebrated its new year according to its own calendar (Nebesky-Wojkowitz 1956b, 55, 66). The multitude of festivals testified to the cultural diversity of Kalimpong. Here, Tibetan, Marwari, Newari, and Kashmiri traders as well as Chinese merchants joined the many indigenous ethnic peoples and non-native groups coming and going to and from Kalimpong. Among them were Buddhist masters and their entourages, elite Tibetan politicians and nobility, royalty in exile, indigenous Lepchas, spies of the great powers, colonial holiday-goers, Scottish missionaries, European Tibetologists and ethnographers, and, following the PLA’s advancement into Tibet in 1950, an increasing number of Chinese and Tibetan refugees.

Figure 3: On their way to Gangtok. The three men are photographed outside the Himalayan Hotel in Kalimpong May 2, 1951. Next to Prince Peter is his friend and colleague René de Nebesky-Wojkowitz.

Kalimpong thus not only constituted a cultural juncture, it was also a frontier, a borderland, and a political edge. Wedged between Sikkim, Bhutan, Nepal, and Tibet, regional and national interests often converged and at times clashed in Kalimpong. In effect, it represented a Tibet in absentia, a player as well as a pawn in “the Great Game,” in which China, Russia, and Great Britain fought to gain a foothold in High Asia (Hopkirk 1990). Prince Peter stayed there at the height of the Cold War, when the agents of a newly independent India and competing empires congregated in Kalimpong, transforming it into a political gossip factory, and, in the words of Chinese President Mao Zedong, “a centre of espionage, primarily American and British” (quoted in Shakya 1999, 158). Indian President Nehru was indeed concerned about the number of potential spies, and he was under increasing pressure internally and externally as a result of the tense political situation. At a parliament hearing in the Lower House, Lok Sabha, he said about Kalimpong:

Kalimpong, Sir, has been often described as a nest of spies, spies of innumerable nationalities, not one, spies, spies from Asia, spies from Europe, spies from America, spies of Communists, spies of anti-Communists, red spies, white spies, blue spies, pink spies and so on. […] This has been going on for the last few years so there is no doubt that so far as Kalimpong is concerned there has been a deal of espionage and counter-espionage and a complicated game of chess by various nationalities and various members of spies and counter-spies there. No doubt a person with the ability to write fiction of this kind will find Kalimpong an interesting place for some novel of that type (Nehru 1959, 18–19).

Kalimpong, Sir, has been often described as a nest of spies, spies of innumerable nationalities, not one, spies from Asia, spies from Europe, spies from America, spies of Communists, spies of anti-Communists, red spies, white spies, blue spies, pink spies and so on. Once a knowledgeable person who knew something about this matter and was in Kalimpong actually said to me, though no doubt it was a figure of speech, that there were probably more spies in Kalimpong than the rest of the inhabitants put together. That is an exaggeration. But it has become that in the last few years, especially in the last seven or eight years. As Kalimpong is more or less perched near the borders of India, and since the developments in Tibet some years ago since a change took place there, it became of great interest to all kinds of people outside India, and many people have come here in various guises, sometimes as technical people, sometimes as bird watchers, sometimes as geologists, sometimes as journalists and sometimes with some other purpose, just to admire the natural scenery, and so they all seem to find an interest; the main object of their interest, whether it is bird watching or something else, was round about Kalimpong.

Naturally we have taken interest in this. We have to. While I cannot say that we know exactly everything that took place there, broadly we do know and we have repeatedly taken objection to those persons concerned or to their Embassies we have pointed this out and we have in the past even hinted that some people had better remove themselves from there, and they have removed themselves. This has been going on for the last few years so that there is no doubt that so far as Kalimpong is concerned there has been a deal of espionage and counter-espionage and a complicated game of chess by various nationalities and various numbers of spies and counter-spies there. No doubt a person with the ability to write fiction of this kind will find Kalimpong an interesting place for some novel of that type (Nehru 1959, 18-19, Parliament hearing in the Lower House, Lok Sabha)

Political intrigues, gossip, and accusations about espionage circulated in Kalimpong, and were related in books written by Western visitors to Kalimpong— some of whom did indeed report back to foreign agencies about their neighbours and friends (Nebesky-Wojkowitz 1956b; Patterson 1990; Sangharakshita 1997). It became infamous as a “nest of spies” (Patterson 1960, 71), a place with a highly volatile atmosphere in which suspicion and mistrust were widespread and had concrete consequences. Newly arrived residents and visitors were often seen as potential threats because of their possible ulterior motives for being in town. This atmosphere of suspicion engulfed Prince Peter as well as his wife Irina and his close friend Georg Nikolaivitch Roerich who, as Russian nationals, were both suspected of being Communist stooges. Another friend, Gyalo Thondup, the Dalai Lama’s elder brother, was suspected of being an agent of the Chinese Nationalists (Patterson 1990, 137). He later helped the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) work with a Tibetan émigré group gathering in Kalimpong to spearhead the Tibetan resistance and an anti-China campaign, creating a resistance network and planning a long-term guerrilla war (Shakya 1999; Knaus 1999; 2012).6 Kalimpong had become an important gathering place for Tibetan resistance directed towards Communist China, as well as a place of refuge for Tibetans fleeing Chinese expansion in Tibet as the PLA further advanced into Tibet and threatened India at its borders.

Kalimpong grew to be so important that for many Tibetans it became synonymous with all of India. For others, it was a Tibetan place (figure 4). According to Prince Peter, the town had a large ex-pat community of 3,500 Tibetan residents, including nobility, traders, and Tibetan Christians (Prince Peter 1963, 582). It also housed the famous Tibetan-language newspaper, the Tibet Mirror (yul phyogs so so’i gsar ’gyur gyi me long), which Dorje Tharchin had been publishing since 1925, and which circulated among the elite in Tibet for almost forty years (Hackett ND; McGranahan 2010, 69ff).

British-Indian intelligence reported that Kalimpong had an “extensive spy-network” by 1946 (SAWB, IB 1946, 4). We will probably never know about all the spies who operated in Kalimpong, but arguably the two most famous who appeared in Kalimpong were Gergan Dorje Tharchin, the editor of the Tibet Mirror, and Hisao Kimura, the “Japanese agent who disguised himself as a Mongolian pilgrim [… and] was recruited by the British Intelligence to gather information on the Chinese in Eastern Tibet” (Kimura 1990, book jacket). Tharchin had settled in Kalimpong and started his newspaper; with that he became of interest to the British, and also the Chinese, who tried to buy him.

-- Kalimpong: The China Connection, by Prem Poddar and Lisa Lindkvist Zhang

Being a Tibetan place also meant that European and American Tibetologists, anthropologists, political officers, trade officers, and explorers stayed in Kalimpong, either as a necessary stopover before proceeding to Tibet or as a replacement for a stay in Tibet. Famous Tibetophiles like Alexandra David-Néel, Georg Nikolaivitch Roerich, and René de Nebesky-Wojkowitz went there. Some rented or bought homes and settled in Kalimpong. Others stayed at the Himalayan Hotel, from which important information, gossip, and misinformation about Tibet was circulated (Nebesky-Wojkowitz 1956b; Sangharakshita 1997).

What is now the ‘Mayfair Himalayan Spa Resort' was previously the iconic ‘Himalayan Hotel’. It was established by David MacDonald, an ‘Anglo-Himalayan’ born to a Sikkimese mother and a Scottish father. During his long service as an interpreter and then a trade agent Mr MacDonald came in close contact with the 13th Dalai Lama. When His Holiness decided to escape Tibet to India it was David MacDonald who helped him.

Later impressed with his service, Mr MacDonald was given by the British Government a choice of either a title or European land parcel. David MacDonald asked for a particular plot of land in Kalimpong itself, next to his family home. Here, encouraged by his son-in-law Frank Perry, he established the ‘Himalayan Hotel’, the first hotel in the Darjeeling region. It was 1905, and the town of Kalimpong was a vibrant and flourishing town, because of the trade between Tibet and India. For years to come Mr MacDonald managed the hotel with his 3 daughters who were lovingly called ‘The three fat ladies of Kalimpong’.

Meanwhile there was another development: Nepal was declared a Hindu state and they closed it’s borders to all who aspired to climb Mt Everest, as they considered it sacrilegious; thus Kalimpong was the only way to the ‘south column’; thus the Himalayan Hotel became the favourite rendezvous for mountaineers. Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay made their final plans of scaling the summit while staying in the ‘Himalayan Hotel’!!

In 1953 during the political unrest and with tensions brewing in the Indo- Chinese border, Pandit Jawarlal Nehru visited Kalimpong and stayed in the iconic hotel.

Over the years many Hollywood stars had also stayed in the iconic hotel. The Hollywood diva Shirley MacLaine stayed at the ‘Himalayan’ before leaving for Bhutan. When asked to sum up her stay she quoted the famous lines of George Bernard Shaw ‘The great advantage of a hotel is that it’s a refuge from home life’. These words somehow the essence of ‘Himalayan’. In 1991 Hollywood heartthrob Richard Gere and supermodel Cindy Crawford stayed in the ‘Himalayan’.

Even the glitz and glamour of Bollywood was not far from patronising the ‘Himalayan’. In 1965, Sunil Dutt, Nargis Dutt, along with Sanjay Dutt (then just 6 years old) stayed at the ‘Himalayan’. In 1974, Dev Anand and Zeenat Aman stayed in the hotel along with Shabana Azmi.

Now after 117 years and a rich legacy, the MacDonald family has decided to hand over the hotel to ‘Mayfair’ group. Now the ‘Himalayan Hotel’ is the ‘Mayfair Himalayan Spa Resort’. According to Mr Dilip Ray, the Chairman and Managing Director of Mayfair group, the essence of the hotel is still the same.

-- Of Royalty, Opulence , Luxury….A Stay at MAYFAIR, Kalimpong (The History), by

Figure 4: Gopal Studio in Kalimpong published many photographs from the Fourteenth Dalai Lama’s Kalimpong reception in 1956, and Prince Peter collected several of these. This picture captures contact zone encounters within a single frame.

Thus, at the height of the Cold War, an increasing number of visitors came to Kalimpong because it was the second-best thing to being in Tibet proper. Scottish missionary George Patterson remarked that numerous unidentifiable, questionable individuals came to Kalimpong at the height of the tension, when Kalimpong was “the most strategic town on the Chinese Communist route to Calcutta, and became a Communist constituency at this most critical period of Indo-Tibetan crisis” (Patterson 1990, 132). He observed how newspaper fantasies were fabricated because reporters, barred by obstructive Tibetan officials, were unable to enter Tibet. Instead they sought their information among Tibetan travelers in Kalimpong’s bazaars and among the foreigners who gathered at the Himalayan Hotel. They wired home reports about Tibet, which were partly from people’s imaginations and partly products of the Kalimpong rumor mill. Patterson called it “imaginative reporting.” Patterson himself reported to a foreign power, not in order to support any anti-Communist movement, but out of his “pro-God and pro-Tibet” convictions (Patterson 1960; 1990, 124).

The tense political situation produced severe obstacles, forcing Prince Peter to give up his original research design. He had arrived in Kalimpong in January 1950 and met the remnants of the first team of the Third Danish Expedition to Central Asia; the prince was a member of the second team. He intended to stay in Kalimpong primarily to arrange a permit for the expedition to enter Tibet. However, his repeated requests for a travel permit were looked upon with suspicion, since he and his expedition members were seen “as intruders with possibly suspicious ulterior motives” (Prince Peter 1963, 581). He abandoned the original goal of traversing the Tibetan plateau to reach Alaša in Inner Mongolia and the territory of the “Yellow Uigurs” (Prince Peter 1954, 229),...

A Yugur family in Lanzhou, Gansu, 1944

The Yugurs, Yughurs, Yugu or Yellow Uyghurs, as they are traditionally known, are a Turkic and Mongolic group ... The Yugur live primarily in Sunan Yugur Autonomous County in Gansu, China. They are Tibetan Buddhists...

The Turkic-speaking Yugurs are considered to be the descendants of a group of Uyghurs who fled from Mongolia southwards to Gansu after the collapse of the Uyghur Khaganate in 840, where they established the prosperous Ganzhou Uyghur Kingdom (870-1036) with capital near present Zhangye at the base of the Qilian Mountains in the valley of the Ruo Shui. The population of this kingdom, estimated at 300,000 in Song chronicles, practised Manichaeism and Buddhism in numerous temples throughout the country.

In 1037 the Yugur came under Tangut domination. The Gansu Uyghur Kingdom was forcibly incorporated into the Western Xia after a bloody war that raged from 1028–1036.

The Mongolic-speaking Yugurs are probably the descendants of one of the Mongolic-speaking groups that invaded North China during the Mongol conquests of the thirteenth century. The Yugurs were eventually incorporated into Qing China in 1696 during the reign of the second Qing ruler, the Kangxi Emperor (1662–1723).

In 1893, Russian explorer Grigory Potanin, the first Western scientist to study the Yugur, published a small glossary of Yugur words, along with notes on their administration and geographical situation. Then, in 1907, Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim visited the Western Yugur village of Lianhua (Mazhuangzi) and the Kangle Temple of the Eastern Yugur. Mannerheim was the first to conduct a detailed ethnographic investigation of the Yugur. In 1911, he published his findings in an article for the Finno-Ugrian Society.

About 4,600 of the Yugurs speak Western Yugur (a Turkic language) and about 2,800 Eastern Yugur (a Mongolic language). Western Yugur has preserved many archaisms of Old Uyghur. The remaining Yugurs of the Autonomous County lost their respective Yugur language and speak Chinese. A very small number of the Yugur reportedly speak Tibetan...

The Yugur people are predominantly employed in animal husbandry...

The traditional religion of the Yugur is Tibetan Buddhism, which used to be practised alongside shamanism.

-- Yugur [Yughurs] [Yugu] [Yellow Uyghurs], by Wikipedia

and instead found what he believed to be a more pragmatic solution, namely crossing the Indo-Tibetan border and following the traditional trade route to its northern terminus in Gyantse. According to Prince Peter’s account, neither the Political Officer in Sikkim nor “the Tibetans” wanted to take responsibility for Prince Peter’s scientific expedition, each of them responding to his request by referring him to the other (Prince Peter 1953b, 8–9).7 Prince Peter lamented that “in truly Oriental manner, they abstained from being either affirmative or negative” (Prince Peter 1963, 582) until August, when he was told to “kindly postpone my voyage” (Prince Peter 1954, 231).

When the PLA invaded eastern Tibet in October 1950, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, faced with the threat that the PLA would proceed to Lhasa, moved in December to Dromo, a small town near the Indo-Tibetan border (Shakya 1999, 51). In a last effort to obtain permission to enter Tibet, Prince Peter flexed his royal connections and got his cousin, King Paul of Greece, to provide him with a greeting that he could present to the Dalai Lama (Prince Peter 1953b, 10; 1954, 232). Prince Peter was not allowed, however, to present the introductory letter and the Greek king’s photograph to the Dalai Lama. These had the opposite effect on the Tibetans who—perhaps fearing a potential Chinese reaction—sealed Prince Peter’s fate, for he now found himself permanently stranded in Kalimpong, unable to enter Tibet: “We thus lost a last opportunity to visit the land before the Chinese military occupation in December of the same year” (Prince Peter 1952, 283). The final incorporation of Tibet into the People’s Republic of China (PRC) the following year, and the Chinese military presence all along the Indian border from Kashmir to Assam heightened tensions in the region: “it makes everyone on the border feel jittery, and, as usual, scientists are suspected of having deeper motives for being in those regions than is in fact the case” (Prince Peter 1953b, 10).
Prince Peter’s expedition was thus forced to come to an end in Kalimpong, and he summed up his experience of the situation succinctly:

I have come to learn that international politics are the real obstacle to scientific research in these areas. The height of the Himalayan Barrier, the barrenness of the Tibetan high plateau, and the difficulties of supply and transport pale into insignificance when compared with this, the main impediment (Prince Peter 1954, 232).

Kalimpong as an interpersonal contact zone

Kalimpong was a cosmopolitan borderland en route to Tibet, Prince Peter’s ultimate destination which had been rendered unachievable by the PLA’s progression into Tibet. Instead, Kalimpong became a figurative route into Tibet for him: The many Tibetans pouring into town, along with the already existing community of Tibetan residents, became a huge potential pool of interlocutors. In addition, Kalimpong was a favourite seasonal refuge for Tibetans fleeing the cold Tibetan winters—a “Riviera for Tibet” (Prince Peter 1953a, 6). According to Prince Peter, the annual Tibetan traffic to or through Kalimpong amounted to as many as 15,000 Tibetans (Prince Peter 1953b, 9). He was thus able to get direct access to many Tibetans who otherwise would be unapproachable or difficult to meet during travels in Tibet proper. Moreover, the Dalai Lama and his government’s relocation to Dromo in December 1950 caused panic among Tibetan elites and prompted many of them to flee Tibet and move to Kalimpong (Harrer 1954; Shakya 1999, 51). This multiplied Prince Peter’s pool of potential interlocutors greatly: “a wave of Tibetan temporary refugees to Kalimpong, people generally of means, who decided to weather the storm on the Indian side of the frontier and see which way events would develop” (Prince Peter 1963, 582). It also increased Prince Peter’s pool of potential artefacts because the ruling elite who sent their families and their valuables across the border into safety were later willing to sell their belongings to him (Prince Peter 1953a, 10–11).

Tibetans arrived in large numbers in Kalimpong, where they bought or rented property to such an extent that the Development Area in Kalimpong “looked like a suburb of Lhasa” (Patterson 1990, 104). Tibetan officials and their families, Tibetan traders and pilgrims, as well as the few European residents of Tibet all fled to Kalimpong (figure 5). The Dalai Lama’s mother arrived there with his six siblings, and Prince Peter befriended the elder brother of the Dalai Lama, Gyalo Thondup (Knaus 2012, 309 n.18). The famous Austrian mountaineer Heinrich Harrer came to Kalimpong after seven years in Tibet (Harrer 1954), as did the White Russian engineer Niedbylov, the English radio operator Reginald Fox, a Torgut Mongol prince with his family and retinue, twenty-three Russian Old Believers, and a steady “stream of refugees” (Prince Peter 1954, 232). They came to a cosmopolitan Kalimpong that included residents like the exiled prince and princess of the fallen Burmese royal family and the sister of the Sikkimese king, Chuni Wangmo, who was married to a Bhutanese prince (Shah 2012).

Prince Peter dealt with both destitute travellers and representatives of the Tibetan upper class, who met the prince as fellow aristocrats. His close friend Georg Nikolaivitch Roerich, a Tibet scholar and son of the Russian painter Nicholas Roerich, was instrumental in arranging meetings with prominent Tibetans, found good language teachers for Prince Peter so he could learn Tibetan, and helped him obtain ethnographical artefacts and books for his collection. Tibet scholar René de Nebesky-Wojkowitz was likewise Prince Peter’s close ally in the field, dedicating his monumental work Oracles and Demons of Tibet (1956a) to Prince Peter. Another traveller visiting Kalimpong at the time, James Cameron, wrote in his autobiography that the odd and endearing Kalimpong “had become a rendezvous for what was probably the most impressive collection of human eccentrics in Asia.” The people whom he met at the Himalayan Hotel were almost surrealistic: “wizards and sorcerers, Tibetan aristocrats, angry exiles from China, remote sprigs from the forgotten European nobility, Indian yogi, Bhutani politicians, professional anthropologists, linguists, students, pilgrims, miracle-workers and innocent bystanders, all milling around with curious axes to grind and trying either to get into Tibet, or to get out” (Cameron 1967, 204–205).

Around the time Seven Years in Tibet fell off the Best Seller List, the New York Times reported that the Dalai and Panchen Lamas were about to leave Tibet for Beijing at the PRC’s invitation192. The Dalai Lama left Lhasa in July 1954 and arrived in Beijing in September. In Beijing, the Dalai Lama attended the Chinese National People’s Congress, which produced the PRC’s first constitution, met Mao, attended numerous banquets and meetings, and greeted Nehru as the first head of a major non-Communist state to visit the PRC. The PRC also made sure the Dalai Lama and members of his delegation saw the PRC’s industrial achievements, which suitably impressed the Tibetans193.

The amount of coverage of the Dalai Lama’s trip to Beijing and tour of various locations throughout China was not great. In fact, the New York Times waited to publish a feature story or any photograph of the two incarnation’s tour until the PRC announced the formation of the Preparatory Committee for establishing the Tibet Autonomous Region (PCTAR) in March 1955194. In contrast to such prior coverage of the Dalai Lama as his flight to Yadong, what Americans read about the Dalai Lama’s journey to Beijing was quicker, more to the point, and sparser on details. Although the New York Times initially only reported that Tibetans urged him not to leave, tens of thousands turned out to watch the Dalai Lama’s five hundred man delegation depart while some cried and nearly threw themselves in the Kyichu River as the nineteen-year-old incarnation crossed in his special coracle195. Just as in coverage of the Dalai Lama’s flight to Yadong, there were physical and political limitations on what American reporters could see of events in Tibet, but American interest had clearly waned by this time. Americans were apparently eager for Harrer’s depiction of Tibet that struck a Lost Horizon tone, filled with excitement and adventure, but not for the reality of Tibet and the Dalai Lama’s ostensible cooperation with Communism.

Unlike coverage of the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet or the Dalai Lama’s flirtation with exile, there was a Western journalist in Beijing on hand to report his observations: James Cameron from the News Chronicle of London. The New York Times published several of Cameron’s dispatches, including one about how he accidentally managed to obtain the Dalai and Panchen Lamas’ autographs, with the Dalai Lama’s signature purposefully written first196. [196 James Cameron, “Red Delegations Flock to Peiping,” NYT, Nov. 1, 1954, 1.] Even though Americans could see events transpiring in Beijing through a Western journalist’s eyes, the American press put emphasis on other events occurring in Beijing over the Dalai Lama. Cameron’s journalism provided an extraordinary opportunity for Americans to receive eyewitness testimony on the two most important Tibetans behind the Bamboo Curtain, but Cameron’s own experience meeting the Dalai Lama was buried by his reporting on how much the PRC loved foreign delegations. Incidentally, Cameron also provided a means of historical corroboration when he sent his dispatch to the New York Times reporting Nehru’s unexpected encounter with the Dalai Lama. While Nehru was in Beijing for Sino-Indian talks, he unexpectedly ran into the Dalai Lama in a situation Cameron described as “piquant,” stating, “Mr. Nehru appeared to do a swift double-take, then embarked on a most animated conversation, to which the Dalai Lama replied with bemused nods.” To the Dalai Lama’s recollection, it was Nehru who was bemused and spoke only superficially197. Even though the PRC press made sure to waste no photo opportunity of Mao and the Dalai Lama together at the Tibetan New Year’s banquet in Beijing, the New York Times only published a 132 word blurb on the event, without a photograph198. The American press had at its disposal an unprecedented view of the boy god-king, but made little use of it.

[url]-- American Journalism and the Tibet Question, 1950-1959, by James August Duncan
Iowa State University[/url]

Time reported on December 4, 1950:

Tibet is only 30 miles away. For that reason, Kalimpong has collected over the years a number of mystical characters who arrived via Jelep-la pass from Tibet, and another bunch who would give their last rupee to travel the other way. Foreign cultists, scholars, artists, adventurers and missionaries plod Kalimpong’s streets, panting to explore Tibet and its particular brand of Buddhism, but lacking permission to get in. […] Last year anthropologist Prince Peter of Greece and Denmark breezed into Kalimpong with his wife to study a unique form of Tibetan polyandry called za-sum-pa, the sharing of wives between fathers and sons, and (occasionally) between uncles and nephews. Tibet would not admit the prince and princess (Time 1950).

Figure 5: Picture given to Prince Peter by Heinrich Harrer in Kalimpong, showing Tibetan official with child.

Despite his failure to enter Tibet, Prince Peter was nonetheless thrilled about the opportunities that Kalimpong offered. In 1954, he reported to the Royal Asiatic Society:

All this made the place we had perforce settled in a most interesting and lively one. […] Apart from the excitement of meeting all these strange and fascinating people, there were enormous possibilities of work. Very soon we had got down to interviewing them, purchasing clothes and valuables from them which we dispatched to the National Museum in Copenhagen and, after the Indian Government has made registration of all Tibetans with the police compulsory, measuring and describing them in order the better to find out what their physical racial characteristics were. We had been denied entry into Tibet, but Tibet had come to us, and under circumstances of stress which made it perhaps easier for us to obtain the results we wanted than if we had been working in the country under settled conditions (Prince Peter 1954, 231–2).

In terms of doing research, what had initially seemed like a disaster because of the expedition’s failure to enter Tibet, soon proved to grant unparalleled access to Tibetans from all walks of life and all regions of the country. This diversity is illustrated by the datasheets of the 5,000 individuals who came to Kalimpong from Tibet who Prince Peter measured anthropometrically. Of the 5,000 surveyed, 4,924 were Tibetans—4,411 males and 513 females, perhaps reflecting the gender composition of the general Tibetan refugee and trader population in Kalimpong, as opposed to that of the more settled Tibetan population. The people he measured came from all three Tibetan regions (Tib.: chol kha gsum), Utsang, Kham, and Amdo (figure 6). Prince Peter categorized his material according to these three indigenous categories, which in his view constituted Tibet, that is: taken together the three cohorts represented Tibet.8
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Part 2 of 2

Prince Peter settled in Kalimpong with his wife and, building on his productive professional relations, he started to establish equally productive interpersonal relations within Kalimpong society. Initially, the couple rented the house Tashiding from Jigme Palden Dorji, Bhutan’s future first Prime Minister,

Tashiding Tourist Lodge, Kalimpong, India

but later they bought the house Krishnalok. Both houses were situated in Ringkingpong, literally and metaphorically high above the rest of the town because Kalimpong is located along a ridge stretching from one mountain top, Ringkingpong, to the other mountain top, Deolo. Here, they lived in relative wealth and abundance compared to the rest of Kalimpong’s residents. According to Patterson, Kalimpong was at the time divided into five areas: firstly, the Development Area in Ringkingpong occupied by European residents and Tibetan elites who lived in European-style houses with gardens, an area which had been developed during the end of the colonial period and was physically elevated above the rest of the town; secondly, the Deolo hills to the north with Dr. Graham’s Homes for Anglo-Indian children; thirdly, the Eleventh Mile with Tibetan caravanserais; fourthly, the bazaar where townspeople conducted local trade; and finally the Tenth Mile, with its busy Tibetan and Chinese commercial area and international trade, the red light district, and the Topkhana (shelter for the destitute) where most Tibetans lived (Patterson 1960, 72, cf. Nebesky-Wojkowitz 1956b, 75).

Figure 6: One of the portraits accompanying the thousands of anthropometric measurements that Prince Peter collected in Kalimpong.

However, the good times—both professionally and personally—did not last. For several years Kalimpong was a strategic site where Prince Peter could conveniently collect Tibetan artefacts, accounts, and anthropometrical data, and he worked tirelessly at maintaining his social and scientific relations in order to secure the expedition’s success, despite its failure to enter Tibet. In his reports back to his Danish sponsors, he regularly complained about the difficult circumstances under which he was working, which included the regular rejection of his applications to enter the Sikkimese and Nepalese Himalayas. Further difficulties arose as Prince Peter became increasingly estranged from some of the Tibetan contacts and friendships that he had built in Kalimpong since arriving there in 1950 (Prince Peter 1954, 233). From his correspondence with Indian and Tibetan contacts and authorities it is also clear that there was little support for his scientific work in Kalimpong. The Indian government and the West Bengali authorities grew increasingly concerned about his activities because of his royal biography, their speculations about the true motives behind his expedition, and suspicions that his Russian wife was a spy; talks and interviews that he gave, in which he spoke out against the government of the PRC and Nehru’s passive stance on Tibet, also raised their concern. According to Prince Peter, the Indian authorities were trying, under pressure from the Chinese, to halt his work and obstruct his contact with Tibetans (Prince Peter and 1966, 8). A rumour spread by the Communist press in India did not help his case. This rumour claimed that Prince Peter was not measuring Tibetans to gain anthropometrical statistics about Tibetans, but to further a political agenda: to turn them into imperialist agents operating in Tibet with the aim of creating “a new Hungary” (Prince Peter 1966, 8).

Prince Peter felt that the Indian press and the Indian government were harassing him. The perceived harassment culminated in 1956 when Prince Peter and Irina’s residency permits were withdrawn and they were evicted from their home, Krishnalok. According to Prince Peter, the Chinese Prime Minister Zhou Enlai was directly responsible for the eviction. After being granted a few months’ reprieve to allow Irina to recuperate from a severe bout of pneumonia, Prince Peter and Irina finally left Kalimpong in February 1957, never to return.

After the Manchuria expedition, [George] Roerich spent many years living in India. His father Nicholas Roerich died in 1947. Due to political unrest in the area, Roerich moved with his mother Helena Roerich from their home in Nagger to Kalimpong where he lived until 1956. Helena Roerich died in 1955, and in 1957, Roerich returned to Russia. Before his return to his homeland, Roerich participated in several important projects.

He collaborated with Prince Peter of Greece and Denmark and R. Sanskrtyayana to translate the Buddhist text Pramanavaartikam from Tibetan into Sanskrit. Working with Tse-Trung Lopsang Phuntshok he wrote Textbook of Colloquial Tibetan. Together with Gendün Chöphel, he translated Blue Annals, the lengthy pioneering work on Tibetan history, published in two volumes by the Asiatic Society in 1949 and 1954.[19]

After spending almost 30 years in India, Roerich returned in 1957 to Soviet Russia, where he made efforts to revive the Russian School of Oriental Studies. As the head of the Indology Department in the Institute of Oriental Studies in Moscow, he resumed editing of Bibliotheca Buddhica.

-- George de Roerich [George Nicolas de Roerich] [Georg Nikolaivitch Roerich], by Wikipedia

Kalimpong as an ethnographic contact zone

Ethnographic challenges were soon to add to the geopolitical and interpersonal challenges Prince Peter faced in Kalimpong. The longer he remained in Kalimpong, the clearer it became that he would have to abandon the expedition mode in favour of localised ethnographic studies. Prince Peter’s journey thus mirrored the trajectory that had led his mentor Bronislaw Malinowski to pioneer ethnographic fieldwork as an anthropological method. As a Polish national, Malinowski was initially stranded in the Trobriand Islands due to the outbreak of the First World War. He wrote in his diary: “September 1st began a new epoch in my life: an expedition all on my own to the tropics” (Malinowski 1989 [1967], 3). Malinowski spent several years on the islands, learning the local language and pioneering participant observation. Similarly, Prince Peter was stranded in Kalimpong for seven years, never able to enter Tibet, but acquired a deep local knowledge and a command of Tibetan in order to talk to his interlocutors. Prince Peter was not immobilized but instead “stranded” in Kalimpong in the sense that the expedition was unable to proceed into Tibet as planned. During their seven years there, Prince Peter and Irina did go on vacations and other expeditions, as well as back to Denmark in October 1952, to exhibit the artefacts that Prince Peter had collected in Kalimpong at the Danish National Museum (figure 7). They also conducted a lecture tour showcasing his films about Kalimpong’s “indigenous peoples and wonderful landscapes” (Prince Peter 1953a, 12).

Figure 7: Prince Peter (with Halfdan Siiger) at the National Museum in 1952, where some of the Tibetan artefacts that he collected were exhibited; he is getting ready for a presentation to the press.

Prince Peter’s unplanned and unanticipated long stay in Kalimpong not only forced him to abandon the mobile expedition approach to ethnographic collecting, it also significantly foreshadowed contemporary anthropological fieldwork approaches, in which ethnographers work with people where they are when the fieldwork is being conducted, rather than where they are considered to originally belong (Malkki 1992). Yet Prince Peter wanted to document the customs of Tibetans as “originally” practiced in Tibet: “It was, of course, not the same as studying the people in their own, national environment, but it was the closest I could get, and not unsatisfactory at that” (Prince Peter 1963, 582).

One of the objects of the Third Danish Expedition to Central Asia was indeed to explore terra incognita and rescue the remnants of local cultures perceived to be under threat from the encroaching, modernizing world. That is, Prince Peter intended to and did in fact engage in rescue anthropology, documenting still extant traditional cultures to preserve records of these for future generations. As part of the Tibetan rescue efforts, Prince Peter resumed his ethnographic research on polyandry—a marriage form in which one woman is married to several men—which had been interrupted by the Second World War (Prince Peter 1954, 232). Tibet was at the time, and still is, home to the largest polyandrous communities in the world. Tibetans typically practice fraternal polyandry where brothers or classificatory brothers become husbands to a common wife. Other forms include the polyandry of fathers and sons who have a wife in common, a unique phenomenon not found anywhere else in the world. Prince Peter was fascinated by the fact that every form of marriage appeared to be permissible in Tibet—polyandry, polygyny, monogamy, group marriage, as well as combinations of these, often within the same family—reflecting the cultural diversity of the area (Koktvedgaard Zeitzen 2008; Prince Peter 1963). It gave him an even greater impetus to explore and salvage manifestations of this cultural diversity.

Prince Peter’s interest in polyandry and his desire to “rescue” it for posterity might have been fuelled by the widespread notion in (and outside) the West that modernity would make the “traditional” practices of polygamy disappear (Koktvedgaard Zeitzen 2008). Prince Peter even went so far as to call polyandry a “recessive cultural trait,” arguing that polyandry was fragile because it was a product of very special economic and social circumstances and could easily be destroyed when societies in which it was practiced came in contact with non-polyandrous societies (Prince Peter 1963, 570). From this perspective, polyandrous Tibetans exposed to monogamous peoples were seen as in danger of abandoning or being forced to abandon their age-old marriage customs (figure 8).

However, Prince Peter’s anthropological rescue paradigm was not based solely on concerns about particular Tibetan customs. Rather, it was grounded in long-held assumptions about cultural decay. For centuries, many people in the West have assumed that peoples in non-Western societies would end up becoming just like them with the onslaught of modernity, that traditional indigenous cultures would collapse in unequal struggles with superior Western culture and global capitalism. Anthropologists have challenged but also perpetuated such pervasive ideas about cultural decay.9 Marshall Sahlins (1999; 2005) argues that anthropologists have always suffered from a certain type of cultural nostalgia, seeking out pure indigenous Others, untouched by the corrupt, capitalist West. He asserts that anthropologists often assume that these Others must necessarily face cultural decay or even cultural death through contact with the West—a contact which, ironically, often was initiated by the anthropologist himself. The problem with this mindset is, according to Sahlins, that anthropologists are no longer studying what they find in the field, but rather are addressing it through the prism of an ideologically inspired project about “rescuing” indigenous peoples and their cultures from (and for) the West. Thus, contemporary anthropologists have not come much farther than their founding fathers over one hundred years ago, when Franz Boas and Bronislaw Malinowski saw it as their duty to rescue what they could of old traditional cultures heading toward extinction. Sahlins goes as far as to call this missionary work.

Figure 8: Tibetan polyandrous extended family, photographed by Prince Peter in Kalimpong, 1956. Tibetan polyandrous marriages, where a woman is married to several men, can be combined with polygynous marriages, where a man is married to several women.

Prince Peter’s essentialised vision of a spatially anchored Tibet, and the urge to keep it in temporal and developmental stasis, clashes with contemporary anthropological views of cultures as dynamic and fluid. There is no cultural core as such to be rescued, as cultures develop continuously and can never be catalogued in their entirety (Hastrup 2004). Sahlins’ critique can indeed be levelled at Prince Peter and his research in Kalimpong. Prince Peter was a student of Malinowski and had been schooled in rescue anthropology as a paradigm, and he himself saw his expedition as a rescue mission.10 His journey into and sojourn in Kalimpong thus, in various ways, embodies the West’s meeting with the non-West.

In anthropology, the postmodern and postcolonial critique has helped focus scholarly attention on assumptions about other peoples that underlie the discipline and its theories. Discourse has become a prism through which to understand ethnographic narratives, how they are shaped by the ethnographers’ subjective selves in their interactions with their interlocutors, their field sites, their conventions for cultural narrative (Abu-Lughod 1991; 1993). It suggests that we may approach Prince Peter’s ethnographic accounts about polyandrous Tibetans as narratives representing his subjective stories about how polyandry may have been practiced in Tibet. He constantly had to negotiate access to and rely on the narratives of Tibetans who had settled or were displaced in Kalimpong. Prince Peter neither explored nor reflected on the representativeness of their accounts, just as there is little reflection in his accounts on the effect of displacement on his interlocutors’ narratives. One might argue, however, that his interlocutors’ narratives are just that, narratives, and they would not necessarily be more authentic or accurate if delivered in the interlocutors’ self-professed point of origin, or less so if delivered in another place.11

We may thus gain new insights into Prince Peter’s ethnographic accounts by understanding his interactions with his interlocutors and collaborators in Kalimpong as taking place within a contact zone. Contact zones are, from Pratt’s perspective, spaces shaped by European expeditions into non-European worlds, yet they are also transformative spaces, where differences in power relations between ethnographer and interlocutors could be overcome and new relations could be negotiated (Pratt 1992). Looking at the conflictual social and political climate in the 1950s Kalimpong contact zone, where both Prince Peter and his Tibetan interlocutors were embroiled in personal struggles of different kinds, we may question the extent of the reciprocity: Prince Peter had to rely on his interlocutors’ bodies of knowledge in order to understand how they looked at and made sense of their polyandrous world. Yet he filters their stories through the cultural assumptions regarding polyandry that formed part of his own acquired anthropological narratives. And from this filter he had to extract those elements which he thought embodied the original Tibetan polyandrous customs practiced in a different time and place. He did not address the questions about the many ways in which his interlocutors’ words might relate to their actual worlds, the ones in Kalimpong in which they were living or were displaced. His primary purpose was not to understand what was happening in Kalimpong during his sojourn there, but rather to rescue what had been practiced and situated in Tibet proper and was about to disappear. In Sahlins’s words (Sahlins 1999), it was missionary work.

Prince Peter, a classic old world-ethnographer and explorer, complete with a colonial lifestyle and an expeditionary approach to the field, epitomized the quintessential, privileged European traveller in foreign, unexplored, and exotic parts of the world. His expedition and ethnographic work thus becomes more than an actual exploration of empty spaces, it involves travel as imaginary constructions of other peoples and places (C. Harris 2012). Expedition writing as a form of travel writing is, as Pratt suggests, shaped by certain narrative contexts and conventions, where factual accounts may be mixed with more speculative representations of otherness and other peoples based on the writer’s own cultural or academic assumptions (Pratt 1992). The prince’s exploration of polyandry in Kalimpong could thus, from Pratt’s perspective, be understood as a Eurocentric exploration of an exotic marriage system, which in turn reinforced European cultural assumptions about a particular kind of marriage as normal and natural.

Upon leaving Kalimpong, Prince Peter travelled extensively in Europe and the US giving leisure talks about exotic Tibetan customs at explorers’ clubs. At the Royal Central Asian Society in London, he was introduced by its chairman, Lord [Christopher] Birdwood, as an anthropologist—a discipline that Birdwood understood as “concerned with bones, stones and queer stories about savages.”12 Prince Peter did not just relate queer stories about savages, however, he also delivered political messages about a people that he had come to cherish and wanted to help. Perhaps this was Eurocentric, but it was driven by a humanistic and genuine interest in and empathy for Tibet and the plight of its peoples and cultures under Communist Chinese rule.

Concluding remarks on Prince Peter in Kalimpong

Prince Peter’s work in Kalimpong in the 1950s took place in a particularly complex contact zone in which he had to negotiate difficult personal, political, and professional circumstances in his encounters and exchanges with the great variety of ethnic, religious, and linguistic groups moving in and out of the town. Yet it was also a very productive contact zone, where he was able to assemble vast amounts of material and immaterial data through his prolonged and intense interactions with local interlocutors. As the town developed into an important ethnographic contact zone through the arrival of thousands of displaced Tibetans fleeing the Chinese advances into Tibet, his seven years in Kalimpong turned out to be the most productive phase in Prince Peter’s professional life. Here he was able to pursue his expedition’s aims of documenting and rescuing Tibetan culture, albeit in a stationary mode—Tibet came to him rather than him going to Tibet.

Prince Peter had the financial means to pursue his research interests on his own personal and professional terms. Yet in Kalimpong, he had to navigate this complex contact zone carefully in order to obtain permission to work there and to meet interlocutors and collaborators from whom he could collect accounts and artefacts so as to document immaterial and material Tibetan culture. As a contested contact zone, Kalimpong also constituted a transformative space where differences in power relations between Prince Peter, as ethnographer, and his Tibetan interlocutors and local collaborators could be overcome and new relations negotiated. In order to disentangle the networks of knowledge that emerge from Prince Peter’s many encounters and exchanges as he engaged with a great variety of differently placed peoples, we subdivided the multi-layered contact zone into three different sub-zones, which we have labelled the geopolitical, the interpersonal, and the ethnographic contact zones. In those sub-zones, Prince Peter’s encounters and exchanges cannot necessarily be understood as the archetypal Western penetration of social spaces and cultural places previously inhabited by the non-Western Other. That is, they were not necessarily encounters between the superior civilizer from the centre and the inferior indigene on the periphery. Prince Peter did not have the upper hand in every encounter, despite being male, white, wealthy, and royal. Like everyone else navigating this complex contact zone, Prince Peter had to assume different positions at different times, and he often struggled personally and professionally to get access to and work with potential interlocutors and collaborators.

Prince Peter’s encounters and exchanges with Tibetan and Indian authorities were particularly complex, as Kalimpong developed into a Tibetan place and a significant ethnographic contact zone for him, whereas the authorities often considered it a nest of spies. In Kalimpong, Prince Peter’s scientific pursuits became entangled with the political drama and the social tragedy resulting from the PLA presence in Tibet. The town became a transformative space for him, as it further developed into a conflictual geo-political contact zone as well as a challenging interpersonal contact zone for the prince and his wife. Stranded in Kalimpong, Prince Peter attempted to combine his two reasons for being in the region, namely to lead the Third Danish Expedition to Central Asia in order to rescue the remnants of local cultures, and to continue his fieldwork and research on polyandry. However, the prince wanted to collect and document Tibetan heritage as it was practiced in the place where he believed it originally belonged, anchored in place in Tibet. He was less interested in understanding contemporary Tibetan lifeways in Kalimpong, and seems not to have reflected on the representativeness of his Tibetan accounts, collected outside of Tibet, or the effect of displacement on those accounts.

Prince Peter’s unreflective approach is in line with Pratt’s assertion that the whole idea of discovery and exploration in such projects as the Third Danish Expedition to Central Asia was fundamentally Eurocentric, since what Europeans discovered was always already known by local peoples. Yet discoveries were ascribed to the European travellers as if what they had discovered had not existed beforehand (Pratt 1992). Prince Peter’s exploration of polyandry in Kalimpong might possibly be viewed as one such Eurocentric exploration, seeking to map out an exotic marriage system at odds with European notions of propriety and morality. Through his ethnographic account, polyandry was presented as a rare and divergent marriage form, the ultimate exotic custom to be rescued from oblivion. As a scientific explorer and expedition leader, Prince Peter could relate and display exotic customs like polyandry in non-threatening ways on the basis of the perceived good intentions of his endeavours. Accounts of polyandry could tantalize but not threaten curious Europeans because these accounts were taken out of their context and inserted into a new context, the ethnographic account, where Europeans could ascribe meaning to them. Yet they were also literally out of context, based on accounts from displaced peoples in a contested contact zone.

Our preliminary exploration of Prince Peter’s ethnographic research therefore raises a number of questions about his work with his Tibetan interlocutors in Kalimpong. We view the cultural accounts collected by Prince Peter, whether they are of Tibetan polyandrous family structures or oracle trances, as produced in the cultural encounters and exchanges with interlocutors that took place in the transformative spaces within the geopolitical, interpersonal, and ethnographic contact zones. His interlocutors emerge as co-producers of his ethnographic knowledge and accounts, which leads us to ask how Prince Peter’s representations of Tibetan Others were shaped by these Others, and how these Tibetan Others’ representations of themselves and their polyandry were shaped by the way they represented themselves to a European explorer like Prince Peter.

Pratt links such queries to the notion of transculturation, a contact zone phenomenon referring to the dynamic, mutual influences on forms of representation and cultural practices flowing between colony and metropolis, or periphery and centre (Pratt 1992). Transculturation was first used as a corrective to notions of acculturation or deculturation. These notions describe the transfer of culture from metropolitan centres to peripheral colonies, which is often assumed to result in the destruction of local cultures— and the emergence of rescue anthropology (Sahlins 1999; 2005). In contemporary ethnography, transculturation may be used to understand how marginal groups choose, invent, or incorporate elements based on materials and resources transmitted to them from dominant groups.13 Whether Prince Peter’s work in Kalimpong can be interpreted in the light of transculturation in a contact zone or, as he assumed, in terms of deculturation, is an interesting question that we intend to explore further.14 Here it suffices to say that his ground-breaking study of polyandry helped produce and maintain European perceptions about themselves and their world by opening vistas into unknown and uncharted marital forms and sexualities. As all good travel writing does, it helped shape a European sense of difference from exotic non-Western cultures, which were to be explored, described, and mapped. Prince Peter’s research was not merely advanced travel writing, however. He left behind rich collections of ethnographic accounts and artefacts, and a legacy of intrepid exploration and a tenacious will to learn.


Fig. 1–8: Ethnographic Collection, National Museum.


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1 In this article we describe the results of a preliminary investigation conducted in 2014 into Prince Peter’s seven years in Kalimpong. In March 2015 we presented these findings in our paper “The Third Danish Expedition to Central Asia—7 Years in Kalimpong” at the conference Transcultural Encounters in the Himalayan Borderlands: Kalimpong as a “Contact Zone.” We would like to thank the convenors for inviting us to this inspiring event, and we are grateful to the Asian Dynamics Initiative at the University of Copenhagen for financing our participation in the conference and travel to Kalimpong. Thanks are also due to the Eastern Himalaya Research Network and the other participants at the conference, both the lecturers and the audience, whose positive and constructive responses to our paper are much appreciated.

2 Prince Peter also led the Danish Scientific Mission to Afghanistan (the Henning Haslund-Christensen Memorial Expedition) in 1953–54, in which several other Danish scientists participated (Prince Peter 1954b).

3 Prince Peter’s scholarly work had the greatest impact within Tibetan Studies in general and polyandry in particular, but he recognised the importance of a comparative social anthropology. Within that discipline, however, his research and writing gave him only a marginal position, apart from, perhaps, the role he played in introducing anthropology to Greece. He gave numerous lectures at, among other institutions, the University of Athens and the Anthropological Society in the late 1950s and early 1960s. He never obtained an academic position in Greece, and his monograph The Science of Anthropology did not receive good reviews (Agelopoulos 2013).

4 He had been to Kalimpong once before, in December 1938, doing research on polyandry (Prince Peter 1963).

5 In James Hilton’s 1933 novel Lost Horizon, a plane crash in the Himalayas brought four Americans and Europeans to the utopian monastery of Shangri-La run by “the high lama,” a Catholic missionary from Belgium. Shangri-La was a storehouse of European high culture and wisdom rescued from war and destruction, and hidden away in the Himalayas. Shangri-La had an enchanting effect on those who found the place and it was a remedy for materialism, spiritual decay, and old age. The idea of Tibet as synonymous with Shangri-La has since become part of Western popular culture.

6 In his own memoir, Gyalo Thondup branded himself “the noodle-maker of Kalimpong” (2015).

7 When Prince Peter writes “the Tibetans” in his account, he probably means the Tibetan Foreign Bureau in Lhasa and his contact Tsepon Shakabpa, who was the highest-ranking Tibetan official in Kalimpong.

8 For more details on Prince Peter’s anthropometric studies, see Brox and Koktvedgaard Zeitzen 2017.

9 See Thomas 1991; 1994.

10 See for instance Prince Peter 1952; 1953a–b; 1954; 1966.

11 See Fergusson & Gupta 1997; Marcus 1995.

12 The lecture was given on February 25, 1959 (Prince Peter 1959, 251).

13 See Thomas 1991; 1994; 2000.

14 In our research project Prince Peter and the Third Danish Expedition to Central Asia, we have focused on Prince Peter’s ethnographic knowledge production during the seven years he spent in Kalimpong. The objective of the project is to do an ethnography of collecting in the Tibetan works, words, and worlds of Prince Peter in order to trace the biographies of both him and his Tibetan interlocutors, as well as the biographies of the Tibetan artefacts, accounts, and anthropometrical data he collected in order to advance our understanding of cultural heritage in the Himalayas. See also Koktvedgaard Zeitzen and Brox (2016).
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