Amid border row, Indian Army officers learn Tibetan culture, language

Amid border row, Indian Army officers learn Tibetan culture, language
Source: IANS

By Sumit Kumar Singh

Tenga (Arunachal Pradesh), Oct 18 (IANS) Amid border tensions with China on the Line of Actual Control, young and mid-level Indian Army officers deployed in Arunachal Pradesh are undergoing a short orientation course on Tibetan culture, language and topography, and will subsequently "assist in military operation capability".

"They are undergoing Tibetology Orientation Cadre course at the Central Institute of Himalayan Culture Studies, at Bomdila in Arunachal Pradesh," said a senior Indian Army officer.

The aim of the orientation course, the officer said, is enhance awareness among the young and mid-level officers about Tibet, its demographic, its culture, its people, and its history. "Once they undergo this course, they will be fully aware about the whom they would be dealing with on the other side of the Line of Actual Control," said a senior officer at 5 Mountain Division.

During the course, the officers are also taken to nearby monasteries where they interact with monks to understand Buddhist philosophy.

"The basic Bodhi language are also being taught during the orientation course," said the officer, adding that it is a 42 day rigorous programme. The first batch of 15 officers were trained in 2020. The second batch of 25 officers started this year.

About the course's benefits, the officer said that it helps in analysing information, and collating that information to help the force understand what they are dealing with in a particular situation.

He also said that the officers who have undergone this course "assist the force in military operation capability".

The course is voluntary for these officers but importantly it will be endorsed in their career report for sure.

Major Pritam, who took this course, said that he was completely unaware about Tibet and the people when he came to Arunachal Pradesh. "After doing the course, I know what was missing. I was missing the essence," he said.

The force's first target is to get around 200 officers trained in Tibetology.

Offering undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral programmes in Buddhist and Himalayan studies, the centre was established under the aegis of the Buddhist Culture Preservation Society, Bomdila in 2003. In 2010, it became an autonomous body under the Union Culture Ministry.

(Sumit Kumar Singh can be reached at [email protected])