Indian Parliamentary Forum on Tibet urges PM Modi to honor His Holiness with Bharat Ratna

By Lobsang Tenchoe

DHARAMSALA, Dec 8: The All Party Indian Parliamentary Forum on Tibet has appealed to the government of India to honor His Holiness the Dalai Lama with Bharat Ratna Award.

The forum held a meeting chaired by former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Shanta Kumar and passed a resolution stating that the Dalai Lama has done great work to establish Indian values of peace and non-violence in the world.

“The forum met on December 6 at Delhi under my chairmanship and unanimously passed the resolution in this regard,” India Today quoted Shanta Kumar as saying in its report.

Shanta Kumar said the Dalai Lama is the only Bodh guru of the world who has been honored by almost all countries and deserves the highest civilian award of India.

The highest civilian award has been conferred to two non-Indians in the past, Baloch leader Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan and Nelson Mandela.

Earlier, Shanta Kumar appealed to the Indian Government to confer the Tibetan Noble Peace laureate with the Bharat Ratna for his boundless service to humanity at his book launch held at the main temple in Mcleod Ganj, Dharamsala on Nov 1 which was attended by the Tibetan spiritual leader.

The Tibet Support Group of Arunachal Pradesh made the same appeal following a meeting held in November. The group decided to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi to formally appeal to him to confer the country’s highest civilian award to the Tibetan spiritual leader in recognition of his great services to India and humanity.

The Tibetan spiritual leader left Dharamsala today for an extended visit to South India from Dec 14 – 27.

The Dalai Lama’s itinerary includes a public talk at Tibetan Festival organized by the Tibet House and Men-Tsee-Khang at Thyagaraj Stadium in New Delhi on Dec 9 and a public talk on

‘Compassion and Secular Ethics’ at the Convention Centre of Ashoka Hotel on Dec 11.

The Tibetan spiritual leader’s other engagements include inauguration of new academic library block at Dalai Lama Institute for Higher Studies in Bengaluru on Dec 14 and taking part in a conference with Tibetan Buddhist scholars and scientists on ‘Consciousness and origins of life’ at Drepung Loseling Monastery from Dec 18-20.

His Holiness will also attend the celebration of 600th founding anniversary of Drepung Monastery and present Geshe Lharampa (equivalent to a post doctorate in philosophy) degree award to over 700 monks on Dec 21 and to preside over the historic Geshema (equivalent to a doctorate in philosophy) award ceremony and to attend the Golden Jubilee of CST Mundgod on the same day.

A two-day teaching from Dec 25- 27 on Shantideva’s ‘A guide to Bodhisattva’s Way of Life’ (Chodjug) for Russians at Leela Ambience Convention Hotel, New Delhi concludes His Holiness’ engagement.