R. K Sinha
Even as India-China ties are touching a new low over border dispute and war clouds are also looming large, the absence of Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama from the scene is really unbelievable to say the least. Not only Dalai Lama, but even Tibetans living in India are silent. They are also not visible.
Why Dalai Lama is not attacking China over its imperialist designs and build opinion against the dragon for threatening war against India? For somebody who got Nobel Peace Prize for peace, this is a perfect opportunity to launch all out attack against China.
Yet, Dalai Lama prefers to keep quite at a time when tension is not deescalating. The two Asians giants have close to 3,500 miles long border. It is disputed one. It would be an understatement to say that the situation is grave and serious as six thousand soldiers from the world’s two largest countries are facing each-other eyeball-to-eyeball.
Amid all this the respected leader from Tibet is not seen. This is the time when he could and should pro-actively use his good offices and stature in appraisal of the current situation to the top leaders of the world. Further, he could tell them as to how the brutal Chinese government is treating people in Tibet.
Remember March 17, 1959
The charismatic Dalai Lama should remember March 17, 1959, when he left Lhasa. And on March 26, 1959, he reached Lhuntse Dzong, a few days march from the McMahon Line, the border between India and Tibet.
Dalai Lama wrote to the then Indian prime minister Pt. Jawahalal Nehru to seek refuge in India.
And once Nehru got the request, he immediately decided to grant asylum to him and his close aides.
Jawaharlal Nehru replied to the Dalai Lama: ‘My colleagues and I welcome you and send you greetings on your safe arrival in India. We shall be happy to afford the necessary facilities for you, your family and entourage to reside in India. The people of India who hold you in great veneration will no doubt accord their traditional respect to your person.’
Son of India
And since then, Dalai Lama is considered as among the most respected citizens of India. Indians hold him in very high esteem.
And he too, describe himself as a “son of India” and hailed the secularism prevailing in the country. In a recent interview, Dalai Lama said “I am living in India since 1959 and hence, I am a ‘son of India”. The noble laureate made this remark in his speech after inaugurating an international seminar on Buddhism in Bihar’s Nalanda district.
Further, the Tibetan spiritual leader’s Simon to China to learn from India about democracy which brings in harmony among people of different languages and ethnic backgrounds. “In India, there is harmony in society, which has different languages and scripts. Democracy in this country is deeply rooted not because of the country’s poor condition, but because of transparency,” the Dalai Lama once told Thailand’s leading English daily ‘Nation’ in an interview. These goody- goody things are fine while you are giving interview to a newspaper or addressing a seminar. Now, the situation is extremely explosive as borders are boiling.
India does want active support from Lama when it is facing a war-like situation. Sadly enough, it is missing. He has not uttered even a word against the ulterior designs of China. Why? Dalai Lama ought to speak the truth. India doesn’t expect that he becomes our spokesperson. However, India can expect that he exposes the deadly designs of China in no uncertain terms.
And same is true for Tibetan living in India. They freely protest against the rank-repressive Chinese regime for atrocities in Tibet.
There are roughly 100,000 Tibetans living in India. Although they are often referred to as “refugees”, it is a different matter that many of them got the Indian citizenship too.
According to India’s Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 1986, anyone born in India between January 26, 1950, and July 1, 1987, is an Indian citizen. This makes a large section of the Tibetan exile community in India eligible for Indian citizenship. Many of them are applying for citizenship too.
Since long, these Tibetans protest as a matter of principle as and when any big Chinese leader visit Delhi. Some of them even climb the wall of Chinese mission. Even though cops beat them and prevent them from creating nuisance, yet they make their presence felt with their protests. This is the freedom they are enjoying in India. Yet, these Tibetans too are not ready to come out in support of India. They have not organised even a single protest march in Delhi or any part of the country. This is something bewildering attitude. While India always and univocally support their cause and struggle, both Dalai Lama and Tibetans found wanting when India is facing war like situation without any reason. While India is fully prepared to face any eventuality, it was expecting moral support from them.
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