I hope that international observers will be present when the currency illegally seized from the Seventeenth Karmapa is counted, because plainly, some people in India are not good with numbers.
On June 26, 1985, the boy Ugyen Thinley, nicknamed Apo Gaga -- "Happy Brother" -- was born in modest circumstances to a nomadic family in eastern Tibet. Living in tents, moving from place to place according to season, the child was just another mouth to feed. As is customary in such circumstances, he was placed in a Buddhist monastery, sometime before his seventh birthday.
Thereafter, when he was seven -- this was in 1992 -- he returned home to visit with his family. On that occasion he was found by the lamas searching for the reincarnation of the Sixteenth Karmapa. As all signs given in the Sixteenth Karmapa's predicition letter regarding his future rebirth were fulfilled, Happy Brother was confirmed as the Seventeenth Karmapa, and taken to Tsurphu Monastery to be enthroned.
On December 28, 1999, at around 10:30 p.m. -- and this was when he was fourteen years old -- the boy lama climbed out the window of his room at Tsurphu Monastery, jumped on to the roof of a Mahakala shrine, and from there leaped to the ground. Thereafter, the boy fled Tibet, traveling by jeep, horseback, and on foot, until he reached the border. On the early morning of January 5, 2000, he arrived in Dharmasala, and went directly to meet with His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
So, my questions to those who claim, or even suspect, that the Seventeenth Karmapa is a Chinese spy are very simple:
- When, and where, during the fourteen years he lived in occupied Tibet did he receive the indoctrination to function as a dependable Chinese agent of influence?
- More to the point, in the approximately seven years between the time he left a nomad's tent, and his arrival in India, under what circumstances did he receive pre-teen intelligence training?
While we are keeping it real, shall we look at some other numbers?
Under normal, everyday circumstances, the Himachal Pradesh police cannot arrange to successfully raid a whorehouse. Yet, we are expected to believe that this challenged organization was by some occult means able to shake off the cloak of its decades-old record, and swing into action as an elite crime-fighting and internal security agency such as India has never seen.
- They magically interdicted a cash filled car at the precise moment of vulnerability.
- Within a half-hour, they extracted the minute details of a vast conspiracy from two errand boys.
- They knew just where to look at Gyuto Tantric Monastery, and indeed elsewhere.
- They were able to successfully execute simultaneous raids in several different locales.
- They were able to sweep up conspirators at lightning speed.
- Everybody immediately cooperated during questioning and spilled the whole story.
- They are able to read the Karmapa's mind, and "know" when he is lying.
- They were able to coordinate each and every move with sympathetic photographers and journalists.
- Events were magically reported in real time.
Doubtlessly, both the FBI and CIA will be sending teams for training by the Himachal Pradesh state police, where James Bond is rumored to be a senior operations advisor. Were the matter not so tragic, it would be laughable. Indeed, even the Chinese intelligence services have been unable to contain their mirth. With barely contained amusement, Chinese organs have issued "denials" that the Karmapa is an agent -- for the sheer pleasure of watching credulous Indians bump into each other like bats in a barn fire.
No matter how many ways you crunch the numbers in this case, they do not add up to anything more than a crude shakedown, prepared well in advance. Whether this is political reprisal for the Karmapa's recent, strong showing in Sikkim, typical Tibetan internecine plotting and wrangling, or extortion under color of law is anybody's guess.
Regardless, it is a put up job from start to finish -- intended to tarnish His Holiness the Seventeenth Gyalwa Karmapa, in the 900th Anniversary Year.
Do the math.
Then, ask yourself what new horizons are served.
Of possible related interest, on background --
- Seeking Asylum for the Seventeenth Karmapa
- Sorting Out the Karmapa's Cash
- Politics, Religion, and Envious Time: Free the Karmapa
- Anita Mui and Karmapa Light
- The Karmapa Prophecies