Interview Age: 72
Date of Birth: 1935
Birthplace: Zachem, Kham, Tibet
Year Left Tibet: 1969
Profession: Dairy Farming
Political Prisoner: Yes
Interview No.: 75
Location: Dickey Larsoe Settlement, Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India
Categories: Resistance and Revolution
Keywords: Bon, brutality/torture, Chinese -- first appearance of, Chinese rule -- life under, Chushi Gangdrug guerrillas, Cultural Revolution, environment/wildlife, escape experiences, forced labor, imprisonment, Kham, nomadic life, resistance fighters, thamzing/struggle sessions, wealthy/upper class
Gadak tells how Bon, the earliest religion of Tibet, originated and how Bon and Buddhism complement each other. Gadak, who belonged to a wealthy nomadic family, describes how the Chinese disturbed the nomads' harmonious coexistence with nature by extracting minerals from Tibetan land and by harvesting medicinal plants from the soil.
Determined to fight against the Chinese occupation, Gadak helped form a resistance group, which received air-dropped weapons from the United States. After 22 days of intense fighting, he and his only remaining companion surrendered to the Chinese. They were imprisoned and forced to perform hard labor. Many of the prisoners died from unsanitary conditions or went insane and were shot by the guards. Gadak was eventually released and sent back to his village.
Gadak witnessed the Cultural Revolution in 1965-66 in Tibet, when the Chinese destroyed Buddhist monasteries and subjected Tibetans to thamzing 'struggle sessions.' Gadak fled in 1966, but when he reached Bhutan, the Indian Intelligence agencies suspected he was a spy for China.
- Rebecca Novick (Interviewer)
- Ronny Novick (Videographer)
- Tsering Dorjee (Interpreter)