The burning monk


In dimineata zilei de 10 iunie 1963, Malcom Browne, un fotograf de 30 de ani din New York ce a fost trimis in Vietnam de Associated Press, a primit un telefon cu informatia de a fi a doua zi intr-o anume intersectie din Saigon pentru ca ceva important avea sa se intample.

A doua zi a ajuns acolo si in timp ce astepta insotit de David Halberstam, reporter la New York Times, o masina a oprit din care au coborat trei calugari. Unul dintre ei, Thich Quang Duc, s-a asezat in pozitia de lotus cu o cutie de chibrituri in mana, in timp ce ceilalti doi turnau benzina peste el.

Thich Quang Duc a aprins un bat de chibrit si s-a transformat instantaneu, o data cu Malcolm Browne, in celebritati mondiale. In contrast cu tipetele celor ce priveau, in timp ce ardea, calucarul nu a scos nici un sunet si nu si-a miscat nici un muschi, ghidat de o incredibila autodisciplina. Protestul a fost motivat prin dorinta de a atrage atentia asupra tratamentului sever la care erau supusi calugarii budisti de catre regimul catolic al lui Ngo Dinh Diem, regim sprijinit de americani.

Ciudat este ca una dintre fotografii a ajuns coperta a unui album “Rage Against the Machine”


On the evening of June 10, 1963 Malcolm Browne, a 30-year-old photographer from New York who had been sent to Vietnam by his employer Associated Press to cover the war, received a call telling him to be at a particular intersection in Saigon the next morning as something important was going to happen.

He was there waiting the following morning, along with David Halberstam, a reporter from The New York Times, when a car pulled up and three or four monks got out. One, Thich Quang Duc, sat on the ground in the lotus position with a box of matches in his hand while the others proceeded to pour gasoline over him from jerry cans.

Thich Quang Duc then struck a match and instantly made himself and Malcolm Browne world famous. In contrast to the wailing of the people watching, as he burned he never made a sound nor moved a muscle, such was his self-discipline. His protest was designed to draw attention to the harsh treatment that Buddhists were receiving from the US-backed Catholic regime of Ngo Dinh Diem.