By N.S.Venkataraman

The respected  Dalai Lama’s 87th birthday was celebrated by the Tibetans, admirers, and followers of the Dalai Lama all over the world.

While several world leaders including the U S Secretary of State Antony J Blinken greeted the Dalai Lama on his birthday,  what is particularly significant is that Indian Prime Minister Modi spoke to the Dalai Lama over the telephone and greeted him on occasion. Further, the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh attended the celebrations in  Dharamshala and the Minister of State in Government of India Ms Meenakshi Lekhi attended the event in Delhi to mark the birthday of the great saint the Dalai Lama.

It is reported that the Chinese Foreign Minister has objected to Prime Minister Modi greeting the Dalai Lama and officials in the Government of India participating in the celebrations. It is good that the Indian Foreign Minister has responded to China stating that the Dalai Lama is an honourable guest of India and the birthday messages were part of India’s consistent policy to treat and respect the Dalai Lama as an honoured guest, who is accorded courtesies and freedom to conduct religious and spiritual activities.

Many Indians are of the view that India greeting the Dalai Lama is an internal matter in India and China has no business objecting to India’s stand.

Such a vicious mindset of China toward the Dalai Lama is not surprising,  since most people in the world do not expect any better behaviour from the present leadership of the Government of China.

China has harmed Tibet, massacred innocent Tibetans and occupied the holy land of Tibet for the last several decades with a vice-like grip suppressing the freedom of the Tibetans.  China is doing everything possible to brainwash the Tibetans living in Tibet and make them forget the Tibetan culture, traditions and value systems.

China’s criticism of Prime Minister Modi greeting the Dalai Lama only shows that China is not succeeding in suppressing the spirit of Tibetans and their love for Tibetan culture and philosophy.

The Dalai Lama is an embodiment of peace, harmony and love for all and hates none. He does not even hate the cruel leaders in present-day China,  despite all the harm that they have been doing to Tibet and issuing venomous statements against the Dalai Lama.

Despite such approach and cruel leadership of the present Chinese government, the Dalai Lama in a recent video message played before a group of parliamentarians and supporters of the Tibetan cause gathered in Washington DC for the 8th  World Parliamentarian Convention on Tibet has graciously said that his goal is the preservation of Tibetan culture. The Dalai Lama said that what most concerns him is the importance of preserving and safeguarding the Tibetan culture and language.  The Dalai Lama also noted that growing numbers of Chinese people are taking an interest in Buddhism.

The Dalai Lama is a universal person and certainly thinks beyond politics and territories. What is the sharp difference between the towering standard of the Dalai Lama and the deplorable mindset of the leaders in the present Chinese government?

When the Dalai Lama has said that his goal is not independence for Tibet, the statement should be read in the context of his statement that Tibetan culture and language should be preserved.

The pre requisite for preserving Tibetan culture, traditions and language is that Tibet should become an independent country and Tibetans must govern the country. With China continuing to be the occupier of Tibet, it is not possible to realise the Dalai Lama’s goal of preserving Tibetan culture and the Tibetan language.

It is symbolic of the present conditions in the world that a country like China believing in occupation and aggression is not opposed, even as there is overwhelming sympathy for the sufferers. In such conditions, it is sad that the aggressor appears to have the last laugh, which it should not be.

It is good that Prime Minister Modi has greeted the  Dalai Lama on his birthday and it appears that Prime Minister Modi has not done this on some of his earlier birthdays.  The conscience of India is deeply disturbed to see the present plight of Tibetans and the Dalai Lama not being in a position to go back to the holy land of Tibet. Many Indians believe that the Government of India has not opposed the occupation of Tibet by China in any meaningful way so far.

Now, there is an overwhelming realisation amongst people in India that the mindset of the leadership of China is destructive and China has to be opposed so that China will not have its way  which is full of greed  and venom

The conscience of Indians will be satisfied only when Tibet would be freed and the Dalai Lama would regain his rightful place in Tibet and achieve his goal of protecting Tibet’s tradition and culture.

Many Indians hope that Prime Minister Modi greeting the Dalai Lama on his birthday is a step that should be followed by more proactive ways to help Tibet regain its freedom.


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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