Thank You India Event: India And Tibet Are Like Guru And Shishya, Says Dalai Lama

| March 31 , 2018 , 16:30 IST

Tibetans on Saturday started the year-long celebrations under “Thank You India” event to mark 60 years of the Dalai Lama’s arrival in India in Mcleodganj of Himachal Pradesh. The Dalai Lama was joined by Union Minister Mahesh Sharma and BJP general secretary Ram Madhav along with several leaders.

Tibetan band performed Thank u India song, Bharat ki Jai, koti koti to begin the celebrations.

Senior BJP leader and MP Shanta Kumar addressed the event. He said, "It was a tragedy the Dalai Lama had to come to India leaving his country, but you graced us and made this land pious and made it pilgrimage."

He added, "Hey God change China's heart to change its approach to the Dalai Lama."

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Shanta Kumar went on to say that the Dalai Lama is a spiritual leader and doesn't want confrontation. China should pave way for his return he added.

The Dalai Lama addressed the gathering and said that when he came to India he though the two countries had the relationship of guru and shishya and that spirit continues till today. 

Dalai Lama said, "Tibetans have faced problems but have preserved their cultural traditions, we have lived with a lot of self-confidence and holding values of humanity and brotherhood."

Dalai Lama honoured Naren Chandra Das, the only survivor who had received the Dalai Lama on his arrival to India in 1959.

Ram Madhav also addressed the event. He said,"Thank You India event is to thank Indian civilization, culture and traditions. India always welcomed with open arms and an open heart, life of a refugee is difficult. Indian had always given shelter. Thank you for his Holiness the Dalai Lama."

Madhav further said that The Dalai Lama is not a refugee but a family member. He also thanked Jawaharlal Nehru for providing asylum to the Dalai Lama in the country. 

A monk while addressing the gathering said, “We are grateful to Indians for giving us shelter and support during the past 60 years, ever since His Holiness the Dalai Lama arrived. Thus, in this event, we have ensured the presence of Naren Chandra Das, the 79-year-old man retired Havaldar of 5 Assam Rifles who had received the Dalai Lama when he entered the Indian soil in 1959."

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Prime Minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile Lobsang Sangay also addressed the event said, "Our relations with India dates back to hundreds of years not just past 60 years. India is guru and Tibet a disciple. it's duty to pay obeisance and touch the guru's feet."

The year-long event has been planned by the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), the Tibetan government-in-exile headquartered in Mcleodganj. The Centre had recently issued an advisory asking senior leaders and government functionaries to avoid attending functions organised by Tibetans living here in exile, citing the “sensitive” phase of Indo-China ties.

This has led to some disappointment in the Tibetan community. The venue, which was initially planned to be in Delhi, was shifted to Dharamshala later.