(TibetanReview.net, Jun22’23) – Despite some troublemakers on both sides, India is one of the most tolerant countries in the world and that its critics lack an overall picture of the true situation, the Sikyong, or executive head, Mr Penpa Tsering of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) has said, addressing the National Press Club of Australia in Canberra. An Indian government minister has tweeted Tsering’s remarks as Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on a high-profile state visit to the USA amid criticism from some for his perceived ‘Hindutva thrust’.
Sharing the video of Tsering’s statement, India’s Minister of State for Electronics and Technology Mr. Rajeev Chandrasekhar has tweeted, “India is the most tolerant country n most diverse country in the world – where every citizen has equal rights.”
“We live in India. I was born in India. It is not as drastic as it’s being made out in the international media…of Modi’s coercive policies. He is not trying to change Muslims into Hindus. There are some cow vigilantes overreacting to certain situations for which the government gets blamed. I think India is one of the most tolerant countries in the world. So diverse culture, so many religions, so many different kinds of people,” the hindustantimes.com Jun 22 quoted Tsering as saying when asked about India and the ‘Hindutva thrust’.
Tsering also believed India had now shed a bit of its over-sensitivity towards China in light of recent worsening of bilateral relations following the Galwan Valley clash in 2020.
“When His Holiness is asked this question (on India-China issues), he used to say India is always over-cautious when it comes to China. Now I can say we can remove the ‘over’ part but still ‘cautious’. Because of China’s belligerence on the Indian border, India has become much more stronger. If there is one thing that we know as Tibetans having lived with the Chinese for so many centuries (it) is to stand up for your values. If you don’t stand up for your values or position, the Chinese will always use you like a pony and keep riding you.”
Tsering’s remarks came as over 70 members of the US Senate and House of Representatives sent a letter to the Biden administration, asking it to address human rights concerns in his talks with Mr Modi, reported oneindia.com Jun 22.