By Sanjeev Miglani | Reuters
NEW DELHI, India, 29 June 2020
The political leader of Tibetans in exile on Monday urged India to take a more prominent role in resolving the Tibetan issue with China, an appeal that could further inflame tensions between the two Asian giants.
India and China are locked in their most serious political crisis in years after a deadly clash between soldiers on their disputed Himalayan border which has reignited long-standing differences between the world’s two most populous countries.
China has long reviled the Tibetans’ spiritual leader the Dalai Lama – who lives in India in exile – as a dangerous separatist and his activities in India have been a source of friction.
But Lobsang Sangay, president of the Tibetan government-in-exile based in the northern Indian hill town of Dharamshala, said China’s expansionist policy had resulted in renewed focus on the Tibetans’ struggle for autonomy and India had a unique role to play.
“India has the largest Tibetan population in exile, the Dalai Lama calls himself proud son of India, and historically geopolitically, culturally, and for all these reasons, India can raise the issue of Tibet,” Sangay told the Foreign Correspondents Club of India, South Asia.
The Indian government has in recent years discouraged large-scale Tibetan protests and even banned a rally to mark the 60th anniversary of the uprising in 2018 in order not to upset China.
But following the clash this month in the Ladakh region in western Himalayas in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed, former Indian diplomats and military generals have suggested the government ends its reluctance to promote the Tibetans’ cause.
Sangay said Tibet, which historically served as a buffer between India and China, is just as important for India as it is for China’s security.
“India for various reasons has a lot at stake, it should intervene and take up the leadership in solving the issue of Tibet,” Sangay said.
Our leaders need to have our won narrative than borrow from the Chinese perspective. Tibet was an independent nation for over 2 thousand recorded history sharing border with China and China’s security was never threatened. In fact China was more secure with Tibet as buffer between British India and itself.
India has no history of invading other countries except during the British Raj. The Tibet issue will remain alive because China has no legitimacy in Tibet. The Tibetan people don’t accept Chinese rule and Chinese claims over Tibet are frivolous, dubious and fabricated. The Self-immolation of 56 Tibetans since 2009 is enough evidence to prove it.
The most important factor is, India can’t afford to have two enemies hand in glove with each other. It’s an existential threat to itself. Just as India entered the war of independence of erstwhile East Pakistan in 1971, it will bide its time for any opportunity that arises in Tibet to seize the opportunity to free Tibet. Not because they love Tibet but because they love India to be secure from the north like its border with Bhutan.
Therefore, I thought it was the right thing for chitue Tsewang Rinzin to say, we are ready to fight for India. Our enemy is India’s enemy and it’s common sense that we have to combine the strength of the two nations to fight the common enemy. After all, let’s not forget, India has given us a platform.
Since, we can’t fight the Chinese on our own, we have to piggyback a powerful country like India with whom we share the ancestory of our religion, culture and the origin of our language. In fact our first king, གཉའ་འཁྲི་བཙན་པོ་ came from India. After the battle of Kurukshetra between the Pandavas and Kauravas, one prince escaped to Tibet, who became Tibet’s first monarch.