Bihar CM Nitish Kumar backs calls to confer Bharat Ratna to Dalai Lama

DHARAMSALA, 15 April: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has joined the campaign urging New Delhi to confer the country’s highest civilian award to the Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Nitish Kumar joined the Bharat Ratna for Dalai Lama chorus by backing Gopalkrishna Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi’s article published in a Hindi daily on Saturday that strongly called on the government of India to honour the Dalai Lama with Bharat Ratna Award.

“I agree with Gopalkrishna Gandhi’s article ‘Bharat Ki Jarurat Hain Dalai Lama’ published in Dainik Jagaran,” the CM tweeted.

“The invaluable principles of unity, love, non-violence, brotherhood and world peace make India invaluable. The Dalai Lama’s presence as an ideological guide is very important,” the CM added in the tweet which has garnered over 3.1k likes.

The grandson of Mahatma Gandhi who has served as governor of West Bengal from 2004 to 2009 has reportedly cautioned both the current and the previous government of India for remaining shy when it came to the Dalai Lama in his piece on the National daily and further argued why has the the Tibetan spiritual leader been deprived of the highest civilian award which he described as India’s loss.

“Wherever the Dalai Lama goes across the world, people see a form of Lord Buddha in him. Only we don’t see the Buddha in him,” the Times of India quoted as saying in its report.

The CM and the grandson of the father of nation are not alone to campaign to confer the honour on the Tibetan noble laureate. Former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Shanta Kumar urged the New Delhi for the same at his book launch held at the main temple in Mcleod Ganj, Dharamsala on Nov 1 which was also attended by the Tibetan spiritual leader.

Tibet Support Group of Arunachal Pradesh (TSGAP) and the All Party Indian Parliamentary Forum on Tibet has appealed to the government of India to honor the Dalai Lama with Bharat Ratna Award earlier in November and December of 2016 respectively while the Rashtriya Syawamsevak Sangh (RSS) has launched a campaign demanding the same on April 2017.

Till date, the highest civilian award of India has been conferred to only two non-Indians, Baloch leader Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan and Nelson Mandela.

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