Fact Box: “SNOW LION” Flag of Tibet
China allows the showcase of banned Tibetan “snow lion” flag in film “Rockstar” screened in China
Surprisingly, Chinese censors have permitted the blackballed Tibetan “Snow Lion” flag which is a representation for the Tibet independence movement to be showcased in the screening of the Imtiaz Ali’s film “Rockstar” on the first day of the Beijing International Film Festival, in Beijing (China).
Is this a result of relaxing of policies in China ?
- No. China has in the past, jailed the monks for possessing and displaying the flag. The decision to permit the screening of “Rockstar” with scenes uncut is probably more the consequence of an oversight by generally vigilant censors instead of a loosening up of policy.
The film “Rockstar” was released in India in 2011 amidst controversy as the Censor Board ordered the producers to delete controversial shots of the Tibetan flag in a song which was shot in a monastery in McLeod Ganj, Dharamsala, residence of exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.
- A celestial animal of Tibet.
- One of the Four Dignities of Shambhala Buddhism – tiger (Tib. tak), lion (Tib. seng), garuda (Tib. kyung) and dragon (Tib. druk)
As national emblem of Tibet
- During the period 1909-59 snow lion was used as national emblem of Tibet on the coins, poststamps, banknotes and the national flag of Tibet.
The ‘Snow Lion Flag’ or the ‘Free Tibet flag’
- The ‘Snow Lion flag’ or ‘Free Tibet flag’ or ‘Tibetan flag’, was a flag of the military of Tibet introduced in 1912 by the 13th Dalai Lama and was then used until 1959.
- The flag was designed symbolizes motif of Japanese military’s Rising Sun Flag.
- Since the 1960s, the flag symbolizes of the Tibetan independence movement.
- Following the 1959 Tibetan Rebellion, the 14th Dalai Lama left his position as governor of Tibet, denouncing the 17-point accord with the PRC, and instituted the exile Central Tibetan Administration in India.
- In order to infuse pan-Tibetan nationalism in Tibetan people the 14th Dalai Lama standardized and assumed symbolizations as nationalist symbols, such as the Lhasa dialect of Tibetan, a Tibetan national anthem, and the flag.