DHARAMSALA, Dec 2: India would definitely prefer to have Tibet as its neighbor with which India shares a common culture rather than an expansionist country like China, said Mr Arun Kumar Srivastava, General Secretary of India’s political party Janta Dal which recently won the Legislative Assembly election in the Indian state of Bihar.
He made the statement while answering to a question from this reporter on whether India will benefit from Tibet’s independence or autonomy as far as India’s border issue with China is concerned at a press conference held today in Dharamsala.
“It is not about India’s benefit or loss; Tibet should think for itself where its interest lies. If Tibet becomes our neighbor it will be better for us rather than having a huge country like China as our neighbor. India does not share a border with China anywhere. We have a border with Tibet which shares a border with China. We would definitely wish to have Tibet as our neighbor, albeit not for our benefit, because we share a common culture with Tibet and believe that Tibet should get its freedom and we have fought for it. Tibetans also believe in democracy and if Tibetans can democratically run its ministries in exile, we would definitely prefer a neighbor like that,” said Mr Srivastava.
Janta Dal’s National Secretary, Mr Afaque Khan who accompanied Mr Srivastava at the press conference expressed full commitment to the Tibetan cause and the popular slogan “Tibet’s freedom, India’s security”. However, he noted that there need to be more interaction between the Tibetan administration and the ‘other parties’ as he personally feels that the Tibet movement lacks vigor and passion these days as compared to the 1980s when he and his friends went to jail for demonstrating against the then visiting Chinese Prime Minister.
The Janta Dal leaders were in Dharamsala at the invitation of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile and met with the Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament, Minister for Department of Home and Secretary of Department of Information and International Relations among others.