30.1 C
New Delhi
Saturday, February 27, 2021

Indian political leaders outspoken at exile Tibetan administration’s ‘Thank You India’ year launch

Thank You Inida(TibetanReview.net, Apr02, 2018) – In an apparent indication of not having totally surrendered to China on the issue of Tibet and in an obvious reversal of an earlier order, political leaders of India did attend a high profile event organized by the Central Tibetan Administration at Dharamshala, Himachala Pradesh, on Mar 31.

Forced to shift from a national sports complex in capital New Delhi, with senior government leaders being especially asked not to attend the event to avoid the risk of offending China, the ‘Thank You India’ year, marking the start of the Dalai Lama’s 60th year in exile, was launched in a relatively robust event on the small courtyard of the Tsuglakhang, the main Buddhist temple in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh. Central and state political leaders did attend the event, perhaps suggesting that the order asking them to excuse themselves was tacitly acknowledged as having gone a bit too far, all the more because some saw it as a snub to a person of the Dalai Lama’s stature and by others as overindulgence towards a geopolitical rival that shows little reciprocal concern towards its interests.

Chief Guest Mr Mahesh Sharma, India’s junior minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation. (Tibet.net)
Chief Guest Mr Mahesh Sharma, India’s junior minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation. (Tibet.net)

In his rather short remark on the occasion, the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, told the gathering of around 4,000 people that after nearly 60 years of living in exile, the Tibetan people had a clearer idea of what the future might hold. He referred to the special historical relationship, dating back to ancient times, between India and Tibet. “We regard ourselves as students and Indians as our gurus. We think of India with respect and admiration as the Land of the Noble Ones. There is a strong bond between us.”

He also said: “Our culture in Tibet was based on what we learned from the masters of Nalanda, such as Shantarakshita. Under his guidance we translated the words of the Buddha into the hundred or so volumes of the Kagyur and the exegetical treatises of subsequent Indian masters into the more than two hundred volumes of the Tengyur.”

A Feb 26 directive from India’s top bureaucrat, the Cabinet Secretary, asking senior federal and state political leaders not to attend the event so as not to jeopardize ties with China, stood either ignored or diluted at the event. The chief guest was Mr Mahesh Sharma, India’s junior minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, while Mr Ram Madhav, General Secretary of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, was the Guest of Honour. Also present was Mr Shanta Kumar, the state’s former chief minister and current MP representing the local Kangra District in India’s parliament where he is the Convenor of the All Party Indian Parliamentary Forum for Tibet. Mr Satyavrat Chaturvedi, a Rajya Sabha MP from India’s opposition Congress party, also attended the event. So also Mr RK Khrimey, a former minister in Arunachal Pradesh state, in his capacity as the National Convener of the Core Group for the Tibetan Cause, an umbrella body for Tibet support groups across India. Mr Kishen Kapoor, a State government minister and the local MLA, was also present.

Mr Ram Madhav, General Secretary of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, was the Guest of Honour. (Photo courtesy: OHHDL)
Mr Ram Madhav, General Secretary of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, was the Guest of Honour. (Photo courtesy: OHHDL)

Most of the Speakers, including chief guest Mahesh Sharma and President Lobsang Sangay of the Central Tibetan administration, called for change of heart in Beijing to make it possible for the Dalai Lama to return to his homeland.

Said chief guest Mahesh Sharma: “When it’s issue of relations between India and Tibet, there is no need for a thank you. This is an emotional moment, the word refugee is painful; you are our friends and guests in India. Tibetans have integrated Indian culture as flower and fragrance, thus the word thank you does not hold a meaning. We are committed to protecting and supporting the Tibetan culture. Prime Minister Modi is taking Indian culture and traditional message of peace to the world and Tibetan culture is part of it,” indianexpress.com Mar 31 cited Sharma as saying, adding, “We support the Dalai Lama’s struggle for returning to his country.”

Guest of honour Ram Madhav said the Dalai Lama was not a refugee but a family member. He thanked Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister, for providing asylum to the Dalai Lama in the country.

He appreciated the Dalai Lama’s contributions to India, referring to Tibet’s preservation of ancient India’s Nalanda and Vikramashila Buddhist scholarship. “Now, you have brought it back to India and we thank you for reminding us of our Buddhist heritage. We regard India as the land of the Buddha, Mahatma Gandhi and His Holiness the Dalai Lama, but appreciate your desire ultimately to see your motherland again.”

Senior BJP leader Shanta Kumar called it a tragedy that the Dalai Lama had to come to India, leaving his country. “But you graced us and made this land pious and made it pilgrimage. Hey God change China’s heart to change its approach to the Dalai Lama,” indianexpress.com Mar 31 quoted him as saying.

Mr Chaturvedi said India fulfilled a sacred duty in welcoming the Dalai Lama, adding, “Therefore, everyone of you is our special guests and a part of our family.”

Related Articles

Global Covid-19 death toll crosses 2.5 million, reported Tibetan cases touch 1,540

(TibetanReview.net, Feb26’21) – Reported worldwide death toll from Covid-19 has now topped the 2.5 million mark, with half of them having occurred...

India reports sharpest daily rise in Covid-19 cases since Jan 29

(TibetanReview.net, Feb25’21) – Amid fears that it may be headed for second wave of Covid-19 infections, India has reported rather sharp increases...

India’s seven-day rolling average of daily Covid-19 cases rose for the ninth consecutive day

(TibetanReview.net, Feb24’21) – The seven-day daily average of Covid-19 infections in India has risen by more than 1,800 cases, going from 11,430...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Stay Connected

6,190FansLike
705FollowersFollow
7,109FollowersFollow
- Advertisement -

Latest Articles

After US State Department and Canadian House of Commons, Dutch Parliament declares China’s atrocities in Xinjiang genocide

(TibetanReview.net, Feb26’21) – After the US State Department and Canada’s House of Commons, the Netherlands has become the first European country whose...

Global Covid-19 death toll crosses 2.5 million, reported Tibetan cases touch 1,540

(TibetanReview.net, Feb26’21) – Reported worldwide death toll from Covid-19 has now topped the 2.5 million mark, with half of them having occurred...

China calls UN rights forum criticism of its abysmal record interference in its internal affairs

(TibetanReview.net, Feb25’21) – Several countries have on Feb 24 criticized the deteriorating human rights situation in the People’s Republic of China, including...

India reports sharpest daily rise in Covid-19 cases since Jan 29

(TibetanReview.net, Feb25’21) – Amid fears that it may be headed for second wave of Covid-19 infections, India has reported rather sharp increases...

China says Sichuan-Tibet Railway is a border defence project

(TibetanReview.net, Feb24’21) – China has for the first time made it clear that its geologically highly challenging Sichuan-Tibet Railway, which will run...