India and China face-off over making Tibetan medicine a part of their own cultural heritage

The genesis of standoff between India and China over the Himalayas dates back by centuries. To give a more recent chronology of events:

  • In 1950, China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) had forcefully invaded Tibet.
  • In 1959, New Delhi had granted asylum to Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.
  • In 1962, India and China fought the now infamous Indo-China war.

Presently, the Indian Army and the People’s Liberation Army of China are again locked in a standoff at India-China-Bhutan tri-junction over China’s attempt to build a motorable road in Doklam plateau, which actually is Bhutanese territory.

The two countries also seem to be locked in another conflict, which is who will formally be able to tie the ancient practice of Tibetan medicine to its nation’s patrimony that is make it a part of its cultural heritage, according to a New York Times report.

- Advertisement - - Article resumes -

China had filed paperwork at the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in March pressing for recognition of medicinal bathing which is one of many practices of Sowa Rigpa as part of its “intangible cultural heritage”. Following this, India has filed its own bid at the UNESCO staking claim for its cultural patrimony of the entire Sowa Rigpa.

Sowa-Rigpa, which means “the science of healing” in English, is commonly known as the Amchi system of medicine. This is among the oldest documented medical traditions in the world and is believed to have originated in the 3rd century BC. Sowa Rigpa is practiced in China, India, Bhutan, Mongolia and Nepal.

“Lum medicinal bathing of Sowa Rigpa, knowledge and practices concerning life, health and illness prevention and treatment are popular among the Tibetan people in China,” reads the China’s claim.

The India’s claim, however, states, “The majority of theory and practice of Sowa Rigpa is similar to Ayurveda. The first Ayurvedic influence came to Tibet during 3rd century AD but it became popular only after 7th centuries with the approach of Buddhism to Tibet. Thereafter, this trend of exportation of Indian medical literature, along with Buddhism and other Indian art and sciences were continued till the early 19th century.”

Western scholars say there are clear historical links between Ayurvedic and Tibetan medical traditions.

Both the dossiers will be considered during UNESCO’s session in 2018. It is also believed that, UNESCO’s recognition to Sowa Rigpa will definitely have tangible effects on its commercial aspects. Stephan Kloos, a medical anthropologist at the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna, was quoted as saying that his preliminary calculations suggest that the industry’s value could be approaching $1 billion.

Regarding the claim, Tashi Tsering Phuri, Director of the Tibetan Medical and Astro-Science Institute in Dharamsala, was quoted as saying that the founding text of Tibetan medicine is “for the whole world to enjoy.”

In 2010, India had recognised Sowa Rigpa as an Indian medicinal system. Both the Houses of the Parliament had passed a bill to include Sowa-Rigpa under Indian systems of medicine.

But Qin Yongzhang, an ethnologist at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, wrote in Chinese state run newspaper Global Times as saying, “Tibetan medicine not only originated but has been developed in China.”

Robert Thurman, a professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist studies at Columbia University, however, said that because China has forcibly owned most of the Tibetan Plateau, its UNESCO application did made some sense. “But to claim that somehow China has been the origin of the tradition is just silly.”


Share This Post and Support:
We need your support to survive in the media industry. Please consider paying us for the content we produce:

To know more about these payments, please click here.


Most read articles recently

Image Source: DNA

Karnataka: Police arrest techies for chanting Pro-Modi slogans at Rahul Gandhi event in Bengaluru

The police officers who were supposed to act to save the techies from being attacked by the Congress 'goons' not only remained silent but also unleashed its force against them for chanting pro-Modi slogans.
Nehru Gandhi family celebrates birthday in aeroplane

A Pulitzer Prize winning report on Priyanka Gandhi’s aeroplane trip by Mausambi Singh

Priyanka Gandhi took an IndiGo flight from Delhi to Lucknow, and it was a flight to remember.

Fact Check: Did 350 people convert to Islam in New Zealand after the Christchurch Mosque attack?

Many people spreading a fake news on social media that 350 people converted to Islam in New Zealand after the Christchurch Mosque attack

Aaj Tak channel spots lone anti-BJP voice in a crowd in viral video, uses him in multiple shows to attack BJP

Aaj Tak picked an anti-BJP man from a viral video where he was arguing with dozens of people

Shabbir Gurfan from Surat arrested for sending obscene pic to Barkha Dutt, three others for sending obscene texts

Shabbir Gurfan Pinjari, a Surat resident who allegedly sent Barkha Dutt a d*ck pic, works as a butcher
When Manohar Parrikar found $3 billion of our money lying forgotten in a US account

When Manohar Parrikar found $3 billion of our money lying forgotten in a US account

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had revealed that he had found $3 billion (or Rs 20,000 crore) of Govt of India money lying forgotten in a US account.
Mamata Banerjee shielding her family

West Bengal police shields wife of Mamata’s nephew as she is caught with 2 kg gold at Kolkata airport: report

This news has led a political storm where political parties are questioning the delinquency and the bias of the West Bengal Government

131 chartered accountants debunk the politically motivated baseless allegations of some economists and social scientists

CAs appeal to the professionals around the world to come together to present the true picture of India and counter baseless allegations with political motivations

Indifference to ‘slow poison’ in Indira Canteens shows how ‘secularism’ is literally killing people

No onion and garlic in school midday meals becomes an issue, but E. coli in Indira Canteen meals does not

As Congress appears lazy about its election strategy, journalists get restless with polling dates approaching

Some journalists, as we know, have been known for trying to push a narrative through their tweets and articles for quite some time now

Latest articles

Connect with us

147,522FansLike
119,067FollowersFollow
30,001SubscribersSubscribe

Don't miss these


Share This Post and Support: