Prime Minister Modi  Should Meet His Holiness The Dalai Lama

By: N.S.Venkataraman.

Chennai: It is reported that respected the Dalai Lama has now reached Delhi after visiting  Ladakh.

Surprisingly, Indian Prime Minister Modi has not met His Holiness the  Dalai Lama for more than three years now. Some months back,  Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Kushinagar international airport in Uttar Pradesh, which connects the key Buddhist pilgrimage sites in India.  Kushinagar is believed to be the final resting place of Gautam Buddha and therefore, is an important Buddhist pilgrimage destination A large contingent of Buddhist monks from different countries were invited for the inaugural programme of Kushinagar airport.  However, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the renowned Buddhist monk, was not invited to the meeting.

Mr Modi has not met the Dalai Lama for several years and has not invited him to the Kushinagar airport inauguration programme, fearing China’s reaction. In viewing these incidents, one gets an impression that Mr Modi does not want to displease China, despite China’s grave injustice to Tibetans and brutal aggression against Tibet by China

However, Mr Modi has sent birthday greetings to the Dalai Lama
recently,  even though similar birthday greetings were not sent earlier.  One is not sure as to whether Mr Modi has decided to change his Tibetan policy in any way.

China killed thousands of Indian soldiers in the 1962 Indo-China war and several other subsequent wars and skirmishes on the border. China has made several insulting remarks against India in many world forums and China is known to support terrorists who have attacked India in the past. China is occupying the area in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir,  which is claimed by India as its own. It is still occupying thousands of kilometres of Indian territory and is claiming Arunachal Pradesh in India as its own.

In such circumstances, it would not be in the interest of  India or fairness,  if  Mr Modi would think that China must be kept in good humour at all costs.

Millions of Indians think that  India has harmed the interest of Tibet, by not protesting against the occupation of Tibet by China and by approving that Tibet’s occupation by China is legitimate.  Concerning the Tibet policy, millions of Indians think that India has erred.

In any case, by avoiding meeting with the Dalai Lama,  should India go to the ridiculous extent of fearing China’s criticism?

The Dalai Lama is the most respected and senior Buddhist monk in the world. He is applauded everywhere for his advocacy of peace and harmony and hatred for none.  He was awarded the Nobel prize for peace

India should consider itself honoured to have the presence of the Dalai Lama on Indian soil for so many years.

If Mr Modi were to continue to refrain from meeting the Dalai Lama, many people would consider that it would be a case of showing disrespect to the great Buddhist monk by the Indian Prime Minister and against India’s culture, tradition and value system.

Venkataraman is a trustee with the “Nandini Voice for the Deprived,” a not-for-profit organisation that aims to highlight the problems of downtrodden and deprived people and supports their cause. To promote probity and ethical values in private and public life and to deliberate on socio-economic issues dispassionately and objectively.

The views expressed in this article are that of the author’s and should not be attributed to Tibet Express.

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