Dalai Lama

India: Modi Should Meet Dalai Lama

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It is reported that respected the Dalai Lama has now reached Delhi after visiting Lhasa.

It is surprising that 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.

Obviously, 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, in spite of 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 1962 Indo-China war and in 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 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 in fairness, if Mr. Modi would think that China must be kept in good humour at all costs.

Millions of Indians think that India has done harm to 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. With regard to 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.