(TibetanReview.net, Dec20’21) – Chief Mohan Bhagwat of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the Hindu religion-based world’s largest volunteer organization, has on Dec 20 called on Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, at his McLeod Ganj residence. The group is seen as the base of India’s ruling BJP, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi having been its member from an early age.
It was a courtesy call, the IANS news service Dec 20 cited the Tibetan spiritual leader’s office as saying.
A picture of the meeting shows Bhagwat gifting a Ganesha idol to His Holiness, who was seen donning a Himachali cap. Ganesha is one of the best known and most worshipped deities in the Hindu pantheon. Incidentally Ganesha also figures in the Tibetan Buddhist pantheon of protectors.
The RSS chief was reported to have arrived on a five-day visit to Kangra District on Dec 16.
The RSS has been outspoken in supporting the Tibetan campaign for independence from Chinese occupation rule.
In the context of the Central Tibetan Administration’s position that Tibet should be a genuinely autonomous region of China, a middle way policy proposed by the Dalai Lama more than three decades ago, its Sikyong (executive head) Penpa Tsering has said, “Mohan Bhagwat ji specified that the position of the Sangh is pro-independence for Tibet and that they continue to do that. However, the government (of India) does have its own way of doing things; so from the Sangh side they support the independence of Tibet.”
“Tibet has always been independent and that is the only leverage that we have for the middle way approach; so, it is important that when we have big organizations like Sangh who support us,” the ANI new service Dec 20 quoted him as saying.