(TibetanReview.net, Apr16’19) – More prominent Indian leaders, including 200 MPs, have called on New Delhi to confer the nation’s highest civilian honour on His Holiness the Dalai Lama while the country’s heath minister has called on the exile spiritual leader of Tibet on Apr 14 following his recent hospital treatment for a chest infection.
The Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Mr Jagat Prakash Nadda, visited His Holiness at his hotel room to enquire about his health condition, said the Central Tibetan Administration on its Tibet.net website Apr 15.
It added that Mr Nadda assured that the government of India would provide all necessary help and support to His Holiness in the best way possible.
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On the same day Chief Minister Nitish Kumar of Bihar has publicly endorsed former West Bengal governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi’s call on India to confer the Bharat Ratna on the 1989 Nobel Peace laureate.
“I agree with Gopalkrishna Gandhi’s write-up titled ‘Bharat Ki Jarurat Hain Dalai Lama’ published in a Hindi daily,” timesofindia.com Apr 15 quoted Nitish as having said in a tweet posting.
The report said Gopalkrishna, in a write-up published on Apr 13, strongly pleaded for the conferment of the award on the Dalai Lama.
Recalling that India had happily conferred the Bharat Ratna on Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan of Pakistan, Nelson Mandela of South Africa, and Albania-origin Mother Teresa, Gopalkrishna, a grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and governor of West Bengal from 2004 to 2009, has said, “Wherever the Dalai Lama goes across the world, people see a form of Lord Buddha in him. Only we don’t see the Buddha in him.”
Nitish was reported to have reacted by tweeting, “The precious principles of love, non-violence, brotherhood and world peace make India an unparalleled country. The Dalai Lama’s presence as ideological guide is very important.”
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Meanwhile, former Chief Minister Shanta Kumar of Himanchal Pradesh has issued a press release at Dharamsala on Apr 15, saying 200 MPs from across party lines had signed a memorandum demanding Bharat Ratna for the Dalai Lama. He has said the memorandum had been submitted to Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
“His contribution has been acknowledged across the globe. He was also awarded Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. The parliamentarians have made a conscious decision to demand Bharat Ratna for him,” tribuneindia.com Apr 15 quoted him as saying.
Shanta Kumar, a BJP MP, is also the convener of the All Party Indian Parliamentary Forum for Tibet. He has previously repeatedly called for Bharat Ratna for the Dalai Lama.
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The timesofindia.com report noted that in Apr 2017, the Rashtriya Syawamsevak Sangh (RSS), a Hindu religion based national mass voluntary organization, had launched a campaign in Arunachal Pradesh for awarding the Bharat Ratna on the Dalai Lama.
The campaign was launched on Apr 6, 2017, a day before the Dalai Lama reached Tawang in West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh in the face of protests by China.