ibnlive » India

Tibetan protests get musical

Jemima Rohekar,CNN-IBN
May 03, 2008 at 11:32pm IST

New Delhi: Tibetans have now found a new way of protesting against Chinese rule in Tibet. This time it's not dharnas or marches, but a tune in the palm of their hands.

Leading service providers like Vodafone and Airtel are offering patriotic Tibetan songs as caller tunes. For Tibetans living in Majnu ka Tila, the refugee colony in North Delhi, these songs couldn't have come at a better time.

Many Tibetans say that the songs remind them of their movement. They say it brings them together and they believe that it is good to have songs in their mother tongue.

CALLER TUNES: Service providers like Vodafone and Airtel are offering patriotic Tibetan songs as caller tunes.

The cell phone operators' decision to offer Tibetan songs as caller tunes come at a time of worldwide protests against Chinese atrocities in Tibet. Service providers, however, dismiss any link to current events as mere coincidence.

"With over 50,000 songs on offer, it is very difficult for me to keep track of what songs are there. We provide what is available and what the customers want,” says Director Marketing and New Business, Harit Nagpal.

While songs already on the list include rap performed by Tibetans in the US. Mobile store owners like Kalsan want companies to include pro-Tibet songs in Hindi to add mass appeal. Along with caller tunes, Tibetan youngsters are also using SMS and ring tones as tools of reaching more supporters.

"In our staff, we have set the Tibetan national anthem as the ring tone. So these things remind us of our responsibility,” says mobile store owner, Kalsan Puntsok.

For Tibetans, protesting is not only in the streets. It has now spread to modern forms of technology like caller tunes on mobiles.

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